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Clement of Alexandria (1)

Exhortation to the Heathen

On the salvation of the Rich

The Instructor (Paedagogos)

The Stromata


 

Titus Flavius Clemens (153–217)

Clement, a presbyter and head of the influential Christian catechetical school at Alexandria at the close of the second century and the start of the third, is one of the major Fathers of the Greek Church. The exact date of his birth is unknown; it is also uncertain whether Alexandria or Athens was his birthplace. This catechetical school, founded around the middle of the second century, was presided over by the Sicilian Pantaenus from 180 until shortly before 200 AD.

Clement, who early in his adult life was a pagan philosopher and teacher, was baptised a Christian and soon became successor to Pantaenus as president of the catechetical school. In turn he had Origen for his student, along with some other eminent men. He seems to have compiled his Stromata in the reigns of Commodus and Severus. If, at this time, he was about forty years of age, his birth should be dated while Antoninus Pius was emperor, while Polycarp was still alive and Justin and Irenaeus were in their prime.

Quasten describes Clement's extensive travels in southern Italy, in Syria and in Palestine, to seek instruction from eminent teachers. "But what was of greatest importance for his scholarly education was that his journeying brought him in the end to Alexandria. Pantaenus' lectures had such attraction for him that he settled there and made that city his second home." (Patrology, II, 5). Of Pantaenus, Clement said that "having tracked him down in his concealment in Egypt, I found rest. He was the true Sicilian bee gathering the spoil of the prophetic and apostolic meadow, engendered in the souls of his hearers a deathless element of knowledge." (ibid.)

Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, speaks of Clement as his master: "for we acknowledge as fathers those blessed saints who are gone before us, and to whom we shall go after a little time; the truly blest Pantaenus, I mean, and the holy Clement, my teacher, who was to me so greatly useful and helpful." Cyril of Alexandria calls him "a man admirably learned and skillful, and one who searched to the depths all the learning of the Greeks, with an exactness rarely attained before." Theodoret says that he "surpassed all others, and was a holy man." Jerome pronounces him the most learned of all the ancients; while Eusebius testifies to his theological attainments, and applauds him as an "incomparable master of Christian philosophy."

Clement's cites Scripture from the Septuagint version, quoting either inaccurately from memory, or from a different text from what we possess, often with verbal adaptations; or blending texts together. The works of Clement present considerable difficulties to the translator, mainly due to the state of the text, which is in great need of expurgation and emendation. For this there are abundant materials, in the annotations by various hands, collected together in Migne's edition; where, however, obvious corruptions have been allowed to remain in the text.

Exhortation to the Heathen

Chapter 1.

Your art-inspired idolatry, instead of the adoring God the Father

Amphion of Thebes and Arion of Methymna were both minstrels, and both were renowned in story. They are celebrated in song to this day in the chorus of the Greeks; the one for having allured the fishes, and the other for having surrounded Thebes with walls by the power of music. Another, a Thracian, a cunning master of his art (he also is the subject of a Hellenic legend), tamed the wild beasts by the mere might of song; and transplanted trees – oaks – by music. I might tell you also the story of another, a brother to these – the subject of a myth, and a minstrel – Eunomos the Locrian and the Pythic grasshopper. A solemn Hellenic assembly had met at Pytho, to celebrate the death of the Pythic serpent, when Eunomos sang the reptile's epitaph. Whether his ode was a hymn in praise of the serpent, or a dirge, I am not able to say. But there was a contest, and Eunomos was playing the lyre in the summer time: it was when the grasshoppers, warmed by the sun, were chirping beneath the leaves along the hills; but they were singing not to that dead dragon, but to God All-wise, – a song unfettered by rule, better than the numbers of Eunomos. The Locrian breaks a string. The grasshopper sprang on the neck of the instrument, and sang on it as on a branch; and the minstrel, adapting his strain to the grasshopper's song, made up for the want of the missing string. The grasshopper then was attracted by the song of Eunomos, as the fable represents, according to which also a brazen statue of Eunomos with his lyre, and the Locrian's ally in the contest, was erected at Pytho. But of its own accord it flew to the lyre, and of its own accord sang, and was regarded by the Greeks as a musical performer. How, let me ask, have you believed vain fables and supposed animals to be charmed by music while Truth's shining face alone, as would seem appears to you disguised, and is looked on with incredulous eyes? And so Cithaeron, and Helicon, and the mountains of the Odrysi, and the initiatory rites of the Thracians, mysteries of deceit, are hallowed and celebrated in hymns. For me, I am pained at such calamities as form the subjects of tragedy, though but myths; but by you the records of miseries are turned into dramatic compositions.

But the dramas and the raving poets, now quite intoxicated, let us crown with ivy; and distracted outright as they are, in Bacchic fashion, with the satyrs, and the frenzied rabble, and the rest of the demon crew, let us confine to Cithaeron and Helicon, now antiquated. But let us bring from above out of heaven, Truth, with Wisdom in all its brightness, and the sacred prophetic choir, down to the holy mount of God; and let Truth, darting her light to the most distant points, cast her rays all around on those that are involved in darkness, and deliver men from delusion, stretching out her very strong right hand, which is wisdom, for their salvation. And raising their eyes, and looking above, let them abandon Helicon and Cithaeron, and take up their abode in Sion. "For out of Sion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, – the celestial Word, the true athlete crowned in the theatre of the whole universe. What my Eunomos sings is not the measure of Terpander, nor that of Capito, nor the Phrygian, nor Lydian, nor Dorian, but the immortal measure of the new harmony which bears God's name – the new, the Levitical song.

"Soother of pain, calmer of wrath, producing forgetfulness of all ills." Sweet and true is the charm of persuasion which blends with this strain. To me, therefore, that Thracian Orpheus, that Theban, and that Methymnaean, – men, and yet unworthy of the name, – seem to have been deceivers, who, under the pretense of poetry corrupting human life, possessed by a spirit of artful sorcery for purposes of destruction, celebrating crimes in their orgies, and making human woes the materials of religious worship, were the first to entice men to idols; no, to build up the stupidity of the nations with blocks of wood and stone, – that is, statues and images, – subjecting to the yoke of extremist bondage the truly noble freedom of those who lived as free citizens under heaven by their songs and incantations. But not such is my song, which has come to loose, and that speedily, the bitter bondage of tyrannizing demons; and leading us back to the mild and loving yoke of piety, recalls to heaven those that had been cast prostrate to the earth. It alone has tamed men, the most intractable of animals; the frivolous among them answering to the fowls of the air, deceivers to reptiles, the irascible to lions, the voluptuous to swine, the rapacious to wolves.

The silly things are logs and stones, and still more senseless than stones is a man who is steeped in ignorance. As our witness, we adduce the voice of prophecy resonant with truth, and bewailing those who are crushed in ignorance and folly: "For God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham;" and He, commiserating their great ignorance and hardness of heart who are petrified against the truth, has raised up a seed of piety, sensitive to virtue, from those stones – for the nations, that is, who trusted in stones. Indeed, some venomous and false hypocrites, who plotted against righteousness, he once called "a brood of vipers." But if one even of those serpents is willing to repent, and follows the Word, he becomes a man of God. Others he figuratively calls wolves, clothed in sheep-skins, meaning thereby monsters of rapacity in human form. And so even such most savage beasts, and all such blocks of stone, the celestial song has transformed into tractable men. "For even we ourselves were at one time foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another." So speaks the apostolic Scripture: "But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour to man appeared, he saved us, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy."

Behold the power of the new song! It has made men out of stones, men out of beasts. Those, moreover, that were as dead, not being partakers of the true life, have come to life again, simply by becoming listeners to this song. It also composed the universe into melodious order, and tuned the discord of the elements to harmonious blend, so that the whole world might become harmony. It let loose the fluid ocean, and yet has prevented it from encroaching on the land. The earth, again, which had been in a state of commotion, it has established, and fixed the sea as its boundary. The violence of fire it has softened by the atmosphere, as the Dorian is blended with the Lydian strain; and the harsh cold of the air it has moderated by the embrace of fire, harmoniously arranging these the extreme tones of the universe. And this deathless strain, the support of the whole and the harmony of all, – reaching from the centre to the circumference, and from the extremities to the central part, has harmonized this universal frame of things, not according to the Thracian music, which is like that invented by Jubal, but according to the paternal counsel of God, which fired the zeal of David.

Now he who is descended of David, and yet is before him, the Word of God, despising the lyre and harp, which are but lifeless instruments, and having tuned by the Holy Spirit the universe, and especially man, – who, composed of body and soul, is a universe in miniature, makes melody to God on this instrument of many tones; and to this intrument – I mean man – he sings in tune: "For you are my harp, and pipe, and temple." – a harp for harmony – a pipe by reason of the Spirit- a temple by reason of the word; so that the first may sound, the second breathe, the third contain the Lord. And David the king, the harper whom we mentioned a little above, who exhorted to the truth and dissuaded from idols, was so far from celebrating demons in song, that in reality they were driven away by his music. So, when Saul was plagued with a demon, he cured him by merely playing. A beautiful breathing instrument of music the Lord made man, after his own image. And he himself also, surely, who is the supramundane Wisdom, the celestial Word, is the all-harmonious, melodious, holy instrument of God. What, then, does this instrument – the Word of God, the Lord, the New Song – desire? To open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf, and to lead the lame or the erring to righteousness, to exhibit God to the foolish, to put a stop to corruption, to conquer death, to reconcile disobedient children to their father. The instrument of God loves mankind. The Lord pities, instructs, exhorts, admonishes, saves, shields, and of his bounty promises us the kingdom of heaven as a reward for learning; and the only advantage he reaps is, that we are saved. For wickedness feeds on men's destruction; but truth, like the bee, harming nothing, delights only in the salvation of men.

You have, then, God's promise; you have his love: become partaker of his grace. And do not suppose the song of salvation to be new, as a vessel or a house is new. For "before the morning star it was;"'and "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Error seems old, but truth seems a new thing. Whether, then, the Phrygians are shown to be the most ancient people by the goats of the fable; or, on the other hand, the Arcadians by the poets, who describe them as older than the moon; or, finally, the Egyptians by those who dream that this land first gave birth to gods and men: yet none of these at least existed before the world. But before the foundation of the world were we, who, because destined to be in him, pre-existed in the eye of God before, – we the rational creatures of the Word of God, on whose account we date from the beginning; for "in the beginning was the Word." Well, inasmuch as the Word was from the first, he was and is the divine source of all things; but inasmuch as he has now assumed the name Christ, consecrated of old, and worthy of power, he has been called by me the New Song. This Word, then, the Christ, the cause of both our being at first (for he was in God) and of our well-being, this very Word has now appeared as man, he alone being both, both God and man – the Author of all blessings to us; by whom we, being taught to live well, are sent on our way to life eternal. For, according to that inspired apostle of the Lord, "the grace of God which brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for the blessed hope, and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

This is the New Song, the manifestation of the Word that was in the beginning, and before the beginning. The Saviour, who existed before, has in recent days appeared. He, who is in him that truly is, has appeared; for the Word, who "was with God," and by whom all things were created, has appeared as our Teacher. The Word, who in the beginning bestowed on us life as Creator when he formed us, taught us to live well when he appeared as our Teacher; that as God he might afterwards conduct us to the life which never ends. He did not now for the first time pity us for our error; but he pitied us from the first, from the beginning. But now, at his appearance, lost as we already were, he accomplished our salvation. For that wicked reptile monster, by his enchantments, enslaves and plagues men even till now; inflicting, as seems to me, such barbarous vengeance on them as those who are said to bind the captives to corpses until they rot together. This wicked tyrant and serpent, accordingly, binding fast with the miserable chain of superstition whomsoever he can draw to his side from their birth, to stones, and stocks, and images, and such like idols, may with truth be said to have taken and buried living men with those dead idols, till both suffer corruption together. Therefore (for the seducer is one and the same) he that at the beginning brought Eve down to death, now brings there the rest of mankind. Our ally and helper, too, is one and the same – the Lord, who from the beginning gave revelations by prophecy, but now plainly calls to salvation. In obedience to the apostolic injunction, therefore, let us flee from "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience," and let us run to the Lord the Saviour, who now exhorts to salvation, as he has ever done, as he did by signs and wonders in Egypt and the desert, both by the bush and the cloud, which, through the favour of divine love, attended the Hebrews like a handmaid. By the fear which these inspired he addressed the hard-hearted; while by Moses, learned in all wisdom, and Isaiah, lover of truth, and the whole prophetic choir, in a way appealing more to reason, he turns to the Word those who have ears to hear. Sometimes he rebukes, and sometimes he threatens. Some men he mourns over, others he addresses with the voice of song, just as a good physician treats some of his patients with cataplasms, some with rubbing, some with fomentations; in one case cuts open with the lancet, in another cauterizes, in another amputates, in order if possible to cure the patient's diseased part or member. The Saviour has many tones of voice, and many methods for the salvation of men; by threatening he admonishes, by rebuking he converts, by bewailing he pities, by the voice of song he cheers. He spoke by the burning bush, for the men of that day needed signs and wonders.

He awed men by the fire when he made flame to burst from the pillar of cloud – a token at once of grace and fear: if you obey, there is the light; if you disobey, there is the fire; but. Since humanity is nobler than the pillar or the bush, after them the prophets uttered their voice, – the Lord himself speaking in Isaiah, in Elias, – speaking himself by the mouth of the prophets. But if you do not believe the prophets, but supposest both the men and the fire a myth, the Lord himself shall speak to you, "who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but humbled himself," – He, the merciful God, exerting himself to save man. And now the Word himself clearly speaks to you, shaming your unbelief; yes, I say, the Word of God became man, that you may learn from man how man may become God. Is it not then monstrous, my friends, that while God is ceaselessly exhorting us to virtue, we should spurn his kindness and reject salvation?

Does not John also invite to salvation, and is he not entirely a voice of exhortation? Let us then ask him, "What kind of men are you, and from where?" he will not say Elias. He will deny that he is Christ, but will profess himself to be "a voice crying in the wilderness." who, then, is John? In a word, we may say, "The beseeching voice of the Word crying in the wilderness." What do you cry, O voice? Tell us also. "Make straight the paths of the Lord." John is the forerunner, and that voice the precursor of the Word; an inviting voice, preparing for salvation, – a voice urging men on to the inheritance of the heavens, and through which the barren and the desolate is childless no more. This fecundity the angel's voice foretold; and this voice was also the precursor of the Lord preaching glad tidings to the barren woman, as John did to the wilderness. By reason of this voice of the Word, therefore, the barren woman bears children, and the desert becomes fruitful. The two voices which heralded the Lord's – that of the angel and that of John – intimate, as I think, the salvation in store for us to be, that on the appearance of this Word we should reap, as the fruit of this productiveness, eternal life. The Scripture makes this all clear, by referring both the voices to the same thing: "Let her hear who has not brought forth, and let her who has not had the pangs of childbirth utter her voice: for more are the children of the desolate, than of her who has an husband."

The angel announced to us the glad tidings of a husband. John entreated us to recognise the farmer, to seek the husband. For this husband of the barren woman, and this farmer of the desert – who filled with divine power the barren woman and the desert – is one and the same. For because many were the children of the mother of noble rule, yet the Hebrew woman, once blessed with many children, was made childless because of unbelief: the barren woman receives the husband, and the desert the farmer; then both become mothers through the word, the one of fruits, the other of believers. But to the Unbelieving the barren and the desert are still reserved. For this reason John, the herald of the Word, besought men to make themselves ready against the coming of the Christ of God. And it was this which was signified by the dumbness of Zacharias, which waited for fruit in the person of the harbinger of Christ, that the Word, the light of truth, by becoming the Gospel, might break the mystic silence of the prophetic enigmas. But if you desire truly to see God, take to yourself means of purification worthy of him, not leaves of laurel fillets interwoven. With wool and purple; but wreathing your brows with righteousness, and encircling them with the leaves of temperance, set yourself earnestly to find Christ. "For I am," he says, "the door," which we who desire to understand God must discover, that he may throw heaven's gates wide open to. Us. For the gates of the Word being intellectual, are opened by the key of faith. No one knows God but the Son, and he to whom the Son shall reveal him. And I know well that he who has opened the door hereto shut, will afterwards reveal what is within; and will show what we could not have known before, had we not entered in by Christ, through whom alone God is beheld.

Chapter 2.

The absurd heathen fables, about the birth and death of their gods

Explore not then too curiously the shrines of impiety, or the mouths of caverns full of monstrosity, or the Thesprotian caldron, or the Cirrhaean tripod, or the Dodonian copper. The Gerandryon, once regarded sacred in the midst of desert sands, and the oracle there gone to decay with the oak itself, consigned to the region of antiquated fables. The fountain of Castalia is silent, and the other fountain of Colophon; and, in the same way, all the rest of the springs of divination are dead, and stripped of their vainglory, although at a late date, are shown with their fabulous legends to have run dry. Recount to us also the useless oracles of that other kind of divination, or rather madness, the Clarian, the Pythian, the Didymaean, that of Amphiaraus, of Apollo, of Amphilochus; and if you will, couple with them the expounders of prodigies, the augurs, and the interpreters of dreams. And bring and place beside the Pythian those that divine by flour, and those that divine by barley, and the ventriloquists still held in honour by many. Let the secret shrines of the Egyptians and the necromancies of the Etruscans be consigned to darkness. Insane devices truly are they all of unbelieving men. Goats, too, have been confederates in this are of soothsaying, trained to divination; and crows taught by men to give oracular responses to men.

And what if I go over the mysteries? I will not divulge them in mockery, as they say Alcibiades did, but I will expose right well by the word of truth the sorcery hidden in them; and those so-called gods of yours, whose are the mystic rites, I shall display, so to speak, on the stage of life, to the spectators of truth. The bacchanals hold their orgies in honour of the frenzied Dionysus, celebrating their sacred frenzy by the eating of raw flesh, and go through the distribution of the parts of butchered victims, crowned with snakes, shrieking out the name of that Eva by whom error came into the world. The symbol of the Bacchic orgies. Is a consecrated serpent. Moreover, according to the strict interpretation of the Hebrew term, the name Hevia, aspirated, signifies a female serpent. Demeter and Proserpine have become the heroines of a mystic drama; and their wanderings, and seizure, and grief, Eleusis celebrates by torchlight processions. I think that the derivation of orgies and mysteries ought to be traced, the former to the wrath (orgh) of Demeter against Zeus, the latter to the nefarious wickedness (musos) relating to Dionysus; but if from Myus of Attica, who Pollodorus says was killed in hunting – no matter, I don't grudge your mysteries the glory of funeral honours. You may understand mysteria in another way, as mytheria (hunting fables), the letters of the two words being interchanged; for certainly fables of this sort hunt after the most barbarous of the Thracians, the most senseless of the Phrygians, and the superstitious among the Greeks. Perish, then, the man who was the author of this imposture among men, be he Dardanus, who taught the mysteries of the mother of the gods, or Eetion, who instituted the orgies and mysteries of the Samothracians, or that Phrygian Midas who, having learned the cunning imposture from Odrysus, communicated it to his subjects. For I will never be persuaded by that Cyprian Islander Cinyras, who dared to bring forth from night to the light of day the lewd orgies of Aphrodite in his eagerness to deify a strumpet of his own country. Others say that Melampus the son of Amythaon imported the festivals of Ceres from Egypt into Greece, celebrating her grief in song.

These I would instance as the prime authors of evil, the parents of impious fables and of deadly superstition, who sowed in human life that seed of evil and ruin – the mysteries.

And now, for it is time, I will prove their orgies to be full of imposture and quackery. And if you have been initiated, you will laugh all the more at these fables of yours which have been held in honour. I publish without reserve what has been involved in secrecy, not ashamed to tell what you are not ashamed to worship.

There is then the foam-born and Cyprus-born, the darling of Cinyras, – I mean Aphrodite, lover of the virilia, because sprung from them, even from those of Uranus, that were cut off, those lustful members, that, after being cut off, offered violence to the waves. Of members so lewd a worthy fruit, Aphrodite, is born. In the rites which celebrate this enjoyment of the sea, as a symbol of her birth a lump of suit and the phallus are handed to those who are initiated into the art of uncleanness. And those initiated bring a piece of money to her, as a courtesan's paramours do to her,

Then there are the mysteries of Demeter, and Zeus's wanton embraces of his mother, and the wrath of Demeter; I do not know what for the future I shall call her, mother or wife, on which account it is that she is called Brimo, as is said; also the entreaties of Zeus, and the drink of gall, the plucking out of the hearts of sacrifices, and deeds that we dare not name. Such rites the Phrygians perform in honour of Attis and Cybele and the Corybantes. And the story goes, that Zeus, having torn away the orchites of a ram, brought them out and cast them at the breasts of Demeter, paying so a fraudulent penalty for his violent embrace, pretending to have cut out his own. The symbols of initiation into these rites, when set before you in a vacant hour, I know will excite your laughter, although on account of the exposure by no means inclined to laugh. "I have eaten out of the drum, I have drunk out of the cymbal, I have carried the Cernos, I have slipped into the bedroom." Are not these tokens a disgrace? Are not the mysteries absurdity?

What if I add the rest? Demeter becomes a mother, Core is reared up to womanhood. And, in course of time, he who begot her, – this same Zeus has intercourse with his own daughter Pherephatta, – after Ceres, the mother, – forgetting his former abominable wickedness. Zeus is both the father and the seducer of Core, and shamefully courts her in the shape of a dragon; his identity, however, was discovered. The token of the Sabazian mysteries to the initiated is "the deity gliding over the breast," – the deity being this serpent crawling over the breasts of the initiated. Proof surely this of the unbridled lust of Zeus. Pherephatta has a child, though, to be sure, in the form of a bull, as an idolatrous poet says, – "The bull, The dragon's father, and the father of the bull the dragon, under the herdsman's hidden ox-goad," –

- alluding, as I believe, under the name of the herdsman's ox-goad, to the reed wielded by bacchanals. Do you wish me to go into the story of Persephatta's gathering of flowers, her basket, and her seizure by Pluto (Aidoneus), and the rent in the earth, and the swine of Eubouleus that were swallowed up with the two goddesses; for which reason, in the Thesmophoria, speaking the Megaric tongue, they thrust out swine? This mythological story the women celebrate variously in different cities in the festivals called Thesmophoria and Scirophoria; dramatizing in many forms the rape of Pherephatta or Persephatta (Proserpine). The mysteries of Dionysus are wholly inhuman; for while still a child, and the Curetes danced around (his cradle) clashing their weapons, and the Titans having come on them by stealth, and having beguiled him with childish toys, these very Titans tore him limb from limb when but a child, as the bard of this mystery, the Thracian Orpheus, says: "Cone, and spinning-top, and limb-moving rattles, And fair golden apples from the clear-toned Hesperides." And the useless symbols of this mystic rite it will not be useless to exhibit for condemnation. These are dice, ball, hoop, apples, top, looking-glass, tuft of wool.

Athene (Minerva), to resume our account, having abstracted the heart of Dionysus, was called Pallas, from the vibrating of the heart; and the Titans who had torn him limb from limb, setting a caldron on a tripod, and throwing into it the members of Dionysus, first boiled them down, and then fixing them on spits, "held them over the fire." But Zeus having appeared, since he was a God, having speedily perceived the savour of the pieces of flesh that were being cooked, – that savour which your gods agree to have assigned to them as their perquisite, assails the Titans with his thunderbolt, and consigns the members of Dionysus to his son Apollo to be interred. And he – for he did not disobey Zeus – bore the dismembered corpse to Parnassus, and there deposited it. If you wish to inspect the orgies of the Corybantes, then know that, having killed their third brother, they covered the head of the dead body with a purple cloth, crowned it, and carrying it on the point of a spear, buried it under the roots of Olympus. These mysteries are, in short, murders and funerals. And the priests of these rites, who are called kings of the sacred rites by those whose business it is to name them, give additional strangeness to the tragic occurrence, by forbidding parsley with the roots from being placed on the table, for they think that parsley grew from the Corybantic blood that flowed forth; just as the women, in celebrating the Thesmophoria, abstain from eating the seeds of the pomegranate which have fallen on the ground, from the idea that pomegranates sprang from the drops of the blood of Dionysus. Those Corybantes also they call Cabiric; and the ceremony itself they announce as the Cabiric mystery.

For those two identical fratricides, having abstracted the box in which the phallus of Bacchus was deposited, took it to Etruria – dealers in honourable wares truly. They lived there as exiles, employing themselves in communicating the precious teaching of their superstition, and presenting phallic symbols and the box for the Tyrrhenians to worship. And some will have it, not improbably, that for this reason Dionysus was called Attis, because he was mutilated. And what is surprising at the Tyrrhenians, who were barbarians, being so initiated into these foul indignities, when among the Athenians, and in the whole of Greece – I blush to say it – the shameful legend about Demeter holds its ground? For Demeter, wandering in quest of her daughter Core, broke down with fatigue near Eleusis, a place in Attica, and sat down on a well overwhelmed with grief. This is even now prohibited to those who are initiated, for fear that they should appear to mimic the weeping goddess. The indigenous inhabitants then occupied Eleusis: their names were Baubo, and Dusaules, and Triptolemus; and besides, Eumolpus and Eubouleus. Triptolemus was a herdsman, Eumolpus a shepherd, and Eubouleus a swineherd; from whom came the race of the Eumolpidae and that of the Heralds – a race of Hierophants – who flourished at Athens.

Well, then (for I shall not refrain from the recital), Baubo having received Demeter hospitably, reaches to her a refreshing draught; and on her refusing it, not having any inclination to drink (for she was very sad), and Baubo having become annoyed, thinking herself slighted, uncovered her shame, and exhibited her nudity to the goddess. Demeter is delighted at the sight, and takes, though with difficulty, the draught – pleased, I repeat, at the spectacle. These are the secret mysteries of the Athenians; these Orpheus records. I shall produce the very words of Orpheus, that you may have the great authority on the mysteries himself, as evidence for this piece of turpitude:

"Having so spoken, she drew aside her garments, And showed all that shape of the body which it is improper to name, And with her own hand Baubo stripped herself under the breasts. Blandly then the goddess laughed and laughed in her mind, And received the glancing cup in which was the draught." And the following is the token of the Eleusinian mysteries: I have fasted, I have drunk the cup; I have received from the box; after doing, I put it into the basket, and out of the basket into the chest. Fine sights truly, and becoming a goddess; mysteries worthy of the night, and flame, and the magnanimous or rather silly people of the Erechthidae, and the other Greeks besides, "whom a fate they hope not for awaits after death." And in truth against these Heraclitus the Ephesian prophesies, as "the night-walkers, the magi, the bacchanals, the Lenaean revellers, the initiated." These he threatens with what will follow death, and predicts for them fire. For what are regarded among men as mysteries, they celebrate sacrilegiously. Law, then, and opinion, are nugatory. And the mysteries of the dragon are an imposture, which celebrates religiously mysteries that are no mysteries at all, and observes with a spurious piety profane rites. What are these mystic chests? – for I must expose their sacred things, and divulge things not fit for speech. Are they not sesame cakes, and pyramidal cakes, and globular and flat cakes, embossed all over, and lumps of salt, and a serpent the symbol of Dionysus Bassareus? And besides these, are they not pomegranates, and branches, and rods, and ivy leaves? and besides, round cakes and poppy seeds? And further, there are the unmentionable symbols of Themis, marjoram, a lamp, a sword, a woman's comb, which is a euphemism and mystic expression for the muliebria. O unblushing shamelessness! Once on a time night was silent, a veil for the pleasure of temperate men; but now for the initiated, the holy night is the tell-tale of the rites of licentiousness; and the glare of torches reveals vicious indulgences. Quench the flame, O Hierophant; reverence, O Torch-bearer, the torches. That light exposes Iacchus; let your mysteries be honoured, and command the orgies to be hidden in night and darkness. The fire dissembles not; it exposes and punishes what it is bidden. Such are the mysteries of the Atheists. And with reason I call those Atheists who do not know the true God, and pay shameless worship to a boy torn in pieces by the Titans, and a woman in distress, and to parts of the body that in truth cannot be mentioned for shame, held fast as they are in the double impiety, first in that they do not know God, not acknowledging as God him who truly is; the other and second is the error of regarding those who exist not, as existing and calling those gods that have no real existence, or rather no existence at all, who have nothing but a name. Therefore the apostle reproves us, saying, "And you were strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." All honour to that king of the Scythians, whoever Anacharsis was, who shot with an arrow one of his subjects who imitated among the Scythians the mystery of the Mother of the gods, as practiced by the inhabitants of Cyzicus, beating a drum and sounding a cymbal strung from his neck like a priest of Cybele, condemning him as having become effeminate among the Greeks, and a teacher of the disease of effeminacy to the rest of the Cythians.

Therefore (for I must by no means conceal it) I cannot help wondering how Euhemerus of Agrigentum, and Nicanor of Cyprus, and Diagoras, and Hippo of Melos, and besides these, that Cyrenian of the name of Theodorus, and numbers of others, who lived a sober life, and had a clearer insight than the rest of the world into the prevailing error respecting those gods, were called Atheists; for if they did not arrive at the knowledge of the truth, they certainly suspected the error of the common opinion; which suspicion is no insignificant seed, and becomes the germ of true wisdom. One of these charges the Egyptians so: "If you believe them to be gods, do not mourn or bewail them; and if you mourn and bewail them, do not any more regard them as gods." And another, taking an image of Hercules made of wood (for he happened most likely to be cooking something at home), said, "Come now, Hercules; now is the time to undergo for us this thirteenth labour, as you did the twelve for Eurystheus, and make this ready for Diagoras," and so cast it into the fire as a log of wood. For the extremes of ignorance are atheism and superstition, from which we must endeavour to keep. And do you not see Moses, the hierophant of the truth, commanding that no eunuch, or emasculated man, or son of a harlot, should enter the congregation? By the two first he alludes to the impious custom by which men were deprived both of divine energy and of their virility; and by the third, to him who, in place of the only real God, assumes many gods falsely so called, – as the son of a harlot, in ignorance of his true father, may claim many putative fathers. There was an innate original communion between men and heaven, obscured through ignorance, but which now at length has leapt forth instantaneously from the darkness, and shines resplendent; as has been expressed by one in the following lines: -

"Do you see this lofty, this boundless ether,

Holding the earth in the embrace of its humid arms." And in these:

"O you, who make the earth your chariot, and in the earth have your seat,

Whoever you be, baffling our efforts to behold you." And whatever else the sons of the poets sing.

But sentiments erroneous, and deviating from what is right, and certainly pernicious, have turned man, a creature of heavenly origin, away from the heavenly life, and stretched him on the earth, by inducing him to cleave to earthly objects. For some, beguiled by the contemplation of the heavens, and trusting to their sight alone, while they looked on the motions of the stars, immediately were seized with admiration, and deified them, calling the stars gods from their motion (theoj from thein); and worshipped the sun, – as, for example, the Indians; and the moon, as the Phrygians. Others, plucking the benignant fruits of earth-born plants, called grain Demeter, as the Athenians, and the vine Dionysus, as the Thebans. Others, considering the penalties of wickedness, deified them, worshipping various forms of retribution and calamity. Hence the Erinnyes, and the Eumenides, and the piacular deities, and the judges and avengers of crime, are the creations of the tragic poets. And some even of the philosophers, after the poets, make idols of forms of the affections in your breasts, – such as fear, and love, and joy, and hope; as, to be sure, Epimenides of old, who raised at Athens the altars of Insult and Impudence. Other objects deified by men take their rise from events, and are fashioned in bodily shape, such as a Dike, a Clotho, and Lachesis, and Atropos, and Heimarmene, and Auxo, and Thallo, which are Attic goddesses. There is a sixth mode of introducing error and of manufacturing gods, according to which they number the twelve gods, whose birth is the theme of which Hesiod sings in his Theogony, and of whom Homer speaks in all that he says of the gods. The last mode remains (for there are seven in all) – that which takes its rise from the divine beneficence towards men. For, not understanding that it is God that does us good, they have invented Saviours in the persons of the Dioscuri, and Hercules the averter of evil, and Asclepius the healer. These are the slippery and hurtful deviations from the truth which draw man down from heaven, and cast him into the abyss. I wish to show thoroughly what like these gods of yours are, that now at length you may abandon your delusion, and speed your flight back to heaven. "For we also were once children of wrath, even as others; but God, being rich in mercy, for the great love with which he loved us, when we were now dead in trespasses, enlivened us together with Christ." For the Word is living, and having been buried with Christ, is exalted with God. But those who are still unbelieving are called children of wrath, reared for wrath. We who have been rescued from error, and restored to the truth, are no longer the nurslings of wrath. So, therefore, we who were once the children of lawlessness, have through the philanthropy of the Word now become the sons of God.

But to you a poet of your own, Empedocles of Agrigentum, comes and says: "Therefore, distracted with grievous evils, you will never ease your soul of its miserable woes." The most of what is told of your gods is fabled and invented; and those things which are supposed to have taken place, are recorded of vile men who lived licentious lives: "You walk in pride and madness, And leaving the right and straight path, you have gone away Through thorns and briars. Why do you wander? Cease, foolish men, from mortals; Leave the darkness of night, and lay hold on the light." These counsels the Sibyl, who is at once prophetic and poetic, enjoins on us; and truth enjoins them on us too, stripping the crowd of deities of those terrifying and threatening masks of theirs, disproving the rash opinions formed of them by showing the similarity of names. For there are those who reckon three Jupiters: him of Aether in Arcadia, and the other two sons of Kronos; and of these, one in Crete, and the others again in Arcadia. And there are those that reckon five Athenes: the Athenian, the daughter of Hephaestus; the second, the Egyptian, the daughter of Nilus; the third the inventor of war, the daughter of Kronos; the fourth, the daughter of Zeus, whom the Messenians have named Coryphasia, from her mother; above all, the daughter of Pallas and Titanis, the daughter of Oceanus, who, having wickedly killed her father, adorned herself with her father's skin, as if it had been the fleece of a sheep. Further, Aristotle calls the first Apollo, the son of Hephaestus and Athene (consequently Athene is no more a virgin); the second, that in Crete, the son of Corybas; the third, the son Zeus; the fourth, the Arcadian, the son of Silenus (this one is called by the Arcadians Nomius); and in addition to these, he specifies the Libyan Apollo, the son of Ammon; and to these Didymus the grammarian adds a sixth, the son of Magnes. And now how many Apollos are there? They are numberless, mortal men, all helpers of their fellow-men who similarly with those already mentioned have been so called. And what were I to mention the many Asclepiuses, or all the Mercuries that are reckoned up, or the Vulcans of fable? Shall I not appear extravagant, deluging your ears with these numerous names?

At any rate, the native countries of your gods, and their arts and lives, and besides especially their sepulchers, demonstrate them to have been men. Mars, accordingly, who by the poets is held in the highest possible honour:

"Mars, Mars, bane of men, blood-stained stormer of walls," – this deity, always changing sides, and implacable, as Epicharmus says, was a Spartan; Sophocles knew him for a Thracian; others say he was an Arcadian. This God, Homer says, was bound thirteen months: "Mars had his suffering; by Aloeus' sons, Otus and Ephialtes, strongly bound, he thirteen months in brazen fetters lay."

Good luck attend the Carians, who sacrifice dogs to him! And may the Scythians never leave off sacrificing asses, as Apollodorus and Callimachus relate: "Phoebus rises propitious to the Hyperboreans, Then they offer sacrifices of asses to him." And the same in another place: "Fat sacrifices of asses' flesh delight Phoebus." Hephaestus, whom Jupiter cast from Olympus, from its divine threshold, having fallen on Lemnos, practiced the art of working in brass, maimed in his feet: "his tottering knees were bowed beneath his weight." you have also a doctor, and not only a brass-worker among the gods. And the doctor was greedy of gold; Asclepius was his name. I shall produce as a witness your own poet, the Boeotian Pindar: "Him even the gold glittering in his hands, Amounting to a splendid fee, persuaded, To rescue a man, already death's capture, from his grasp; But Saturnian Jove, having shot his bolt through both, Quickly took the breath from their breasts, And his flaming thunderbolt sealed their doom." And Euripides: "For Zeus was guilty of the murder of my son Asclepius, by casting the lightning flame at his breast." He therefore lies struck with lightning in the regions of Cynosuris. Philochorus also says, that Poseidon was worshipped as a physician in Tenos; and that Kronos settled in Sicily, and there was buried. Patroclus the Thurian, and Sophocles the younger, in three tragedies, have told the story of the Dioscuri; and these Dioscuri were only two mortals, if Homer is worthy of credit: .” . . . . . But they beneath the teeming earth, In Lacedaemon lay, their native land."

And, in addition, he who wrote the Cypriot poems says Castor was mortal, and death was decreed to him by fate; but Pollux was immortal, being the progeny of Mars. This he has poetically fabled. But Homer is more worthy of credit, who spoke as above of both the Dioscuri; and, besides, proved Herucles to be a mere phantom: "The man Hercules, expert in mighty deeds."

Hercules, therefore, was known by Homer himself as only a mortal man. And Hieronymus the philosopher describes the make of his body, as tall, bristling-haired, robust; and Dicaearchus says that he was square-built, muscular, dark, hook-nosed, with grayish eyes and long hair. This Hercules, accordingly, after living fifty-two years, came to his end, and was burned in a funeral pyre in Oeta.

As for the Muses, whom Alcander calls the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, and the rest of the poets and authors deify and worship,-those Muses, in honour of whom whole states have already erected museums, being handmaids, were hired by Megaclo, the daughter of Macaros. This Macaros reigned over the Lesbians, and was always quarreling with his wife; and Megaclo was vexed for her mother's sake. What would she not do on her account? Accordingly she hires those handmaids, being so many in number, and calls them Mysae, according to the dialect of the Aeolians. These she taught to sing deeds of the olden time, and play melodiously on the lyre. And they, by assiduously playing the lyre, and singing sweetly to it, soothed Macaros, and put a stop to his ill-temper. Therefore Megaclo, as a token of gratitude to them, on her mother's account erected brazen pillars, and ordered them to be held in honour in all the temples. Such, then, are the Muses. This account is in Myrsilus of Lesbos. And now, then, hear the loves of your gods, and the incredible tales of their licentiousness, and their wounds, and their bonds, and their laughings, and their fights, their servitudes too, and their banquets; and furthermore, their embraces, and tears, and sufferings, and lewd delights. Call me Poseidon, and the troop of damsels deflowered by him, Amphitrite Amymone, Alope, Melanippe, Alcyone, Hippothoe, Chione, and myriads of others; with whom, though they were so many, the passions of your Poseidon were not satiated.

Call me Apollo; this is Phoebus, both a holy prophet and a good adviser. But Sterope will not say that, nor Aethousa, nor Arsinoe, nor Zeuxippe, nor Prothoe, nor Marpissa, nor Hypsipyle. For Daphne alone escaped the prophet and seduction.

And, above all, let the father of gods and men, according to you, himself come, who was so given to sexual pleasure, as to lust after all, and indulge his lust on all, like the goats of the Thmuitae. And your poems, O Homer, fill me with admiration! "He said, and nodded with his shadowy brows; Waved on the immortal head the ambrosial locks, And all Olympus trembled at his nod."

You make Zeus venerable, O Homer; and the nod which you ascribe to him is most revered. But show him only a woman's girdle, and Zeus is exposed, and his locks are dishonoured. To what a pitch of licentiousness did that Zeus of yours proceed, who spent so many nights in voluptuousness with Alcmene? For not even these nine nights were long to this insatiable monster. But, on the contrary, a whole lifetime were short enough for his lust; that he might beget for us the evil-averting God. Hercules, the son of Zeus – a true son of Zeus – was the offspring of that long night, who with hard toil accomplished the twelve labours in a long time, but in one night deflowered the fifty daughters of Thestius, and so was at once the debaucher and the bridegroom of so many virgins. It is not, then, without reason that the poets call him a cruel wretch and a nefarious scoundrel. It would be tedious to recount his adulteries of all sorts, and debauching of boys. For your gods did not even abstain from boys, one having loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, and another Ganymede. Let such gods as these be worshipped by your wives, and let them pray that their husbands be such as these – so temperate; that, emulating them in the same practices, they may be like the gods. Such gods let your boys be trained to worship, that they may grow up to be men with the accursed likeness of fornication on them received from the gods.

But it is only the male deities, perhaps, that are impetuous in sexual indulgence. "The female deities stayed each in the house, for shame," says Homer; the goddesses blushing, for modesty's sake, to look on Aphrodite when she had been guilty of adultery. But these are more passionately licentious, bound in the chains of adultery; Eos having disgraced herself with Tithonus, selene with Endymion, Nereis with Aeacus, Thetis with Peleus, Demeter with Jason, Persephatta with Adonis. And Aphrodite having disgraced herself with Ares, crossed over to Cinyra and married Anchises, and laid snares for Phaethon, and loved Adonis. She contended with the ox-eyed Juno; and the goddesses un-robed for the sake of the apple, and presented themselves naked before the shepherd, that he might decide which was the fairest.

But come, let us briefly go the round of the games, and do away with those solemn assemblages at tombs, the Isthmian, Nemean, and Pythian, and finally the Olympian. At Pytho the Pythian dragon is worshipped, and the festival-assemblage of the serpent is called by the name Pythia. At the Isthmus the sea spit out a piece of miserable refuse; and the Isthmian games bewail Melicerta.

At Nemea another – a little boy, Archemorus – was buried; and the funeral games of the child are called Nemea. Pisa is the grave of the Phrygian charioteer, O Hellenes of all tribes; and the Olympian games, which are nothing else than the funeral sacrifices of Pelops, the Zeus of Phidias claims for himself. The mysteries were then, as is probable, games held in honour of the dead; so also were the oracles, and both became public. But the mysteries at Sagra and in Alimus of Attica were confined to Athens. But those contests and phalli consecrated to Dionysus were a world's shame, pervading life with their deadly influence. For Dionysus, eagerly desiring to descend to Hades, did not know the way; a man, by name Prosymnus, offers to tell him, not without reward. The reward was a disgraceful one, though not so in the opinion of Dionysus: it was an Aphrodisian favour that was asked of Dionysus as a reward. The God was not reluctant to grant the request made to him, and promises to fulfill it should he return, and confirms his promise with an oath. Having learned the way, he departed and again returned: he did not find Prosymnus, for he had died. In order to acquit himself of his promise to his lover, he rushes to his tomb, and burns with unnatural lust. Cutting a fig-branch that came to his hand, he shaped the phallus, and so fulfilled his promise to the dead man. As a mystic memorial of this incident, phalli are raised aloft in honour of Dionysus through the various cities. "For did they not make a procession in honour of Dionysus, and sing most shameless songs in honour of the pudenda, all would go wrong," says Heraclitus. This is that Pluto and Dionysus in whose honour they give themselves up to frenzy, and play the bacchanal, – not so much, in my opinion, for the sake of intoxication, as for the sake of the shameless ceremonial practiced. With reason, therefore, such as have become slaves of their passions are your gods! Furthermore, like the Helots among the Lacedemonians, Apollo came under the yoke of slavery to Admetus in Pherae, Hercules to Omphale in Sardis. Poseidon – was a drudge to Laomedon; and so was Apollo, who, like a good-for-nothing servant, was unable to obtain his freedom from his former master; and at that time the walls of Troy were built by them for the Phrygian. And Homer is not ashamed to speak of Athene as appearing to Ulysses with a golden lamp in her hand. And we read of Aphrodite, like a wanton serving-wench, taking and setting a seat for Helen opposite the adulterer, in order to entice him.

Panyasis, too, tells us of gods in plenty besides those who acted as servants, writing so: "Demeter underwent servitude, and so did the famous lame God; Poseidon underwent it, and Apollo too, of the silver bow, with a mortal man for a year. And fierce Mars Underwent it at the compulsion of his father." And so on.

Agreeably to this, it remains for me to bring before you those amatory and sensuous deities of yours, as in every respect having human feelings. "For theirs was a mortal body."

This Homer most distinctly shows, by introducing Aphrodite uttering loud and shrill cries on account of her wound; and describing the most warlike Ares himself as wounded in the stomach by Diomede. Polemo, too, says that Athene was wounded by Ornytus; no, Homer says that Pluto even was struck with an arrow by Hercules; and Panyasis relates that the beams of Sol were struck by the arrows of Hercules; and the same Panyasis relates, that by the same Hercules Hera the goddess of marriage was wounded in sandy Pylos. Sosibius, too, relates that Hercules was wounded in the hand by the sons of Hippocoon. And if there are wounds, there is blood. For the ichor of the poets is more repulsive than blood; for the putrefaction of blood is called ichor. Therefore cures and means of sustenance of which they stand in need must be furnished. Accordingly mention is made of tables, and potations, and laughter, and intercourse; for men would not devote themselves to love, or beget children, or sleep, if they were immortal, and had no wants, and never grew old. Jupiter himself, when the guest of Lycaon the Arcadian, partook of a human table among the Ethiopians – a table rather inhuman and forbidden. For he satiated himself with human flesh unwittingly; for the God did not know that Lycaon the Arcadian, his entertainer, had slain his son (his name was Nyctimus), and served him up cooked before Zeus.

This is Jupiter the good, the prophetic, the patron of hospitality, the protector of suppliants, the benign, the author of omens, the avenger of wrongs; rather the unjust, the violater of right and of law, the impious, the inhuman, the violent, the seducer, the adulterer, the amatory. But perhaps when he was such he was a man; but now these fables seem to have grown old on our hands. Zeus is no longer a serpent, a swan, nor an eagle, nor a licentious man; the God no longer flies, nor loves boys, nor kisses, nor offers violence, although there are still many beautiful women, more comely than Leda, more blooming than Semele, and boys of better looks and manners than the Phrygian herdsman. Where is now that eagle? Where now that swan? Where now is Zeus himself? He has grown old with his feathers; for as yet he does not repent of his amatory exploits, nor is he taught continence. The fable is exposed before you: Leda is dead, the swan is dead. Seek your Jupiter. Ransack not heaven, but earth. The Cretan, in whose country he was buried, will show him to you, – I mean Callimachus, in his hymns: "For your tomb, O king, The Cretans fashioned!"

For Zeus is dead, be not distressed, as Leda is dead, and the swan, and the eagle, and the libertine, and the serpent. And now even the superstitious seem, although reluctantly, yet truly, to have come to understand their error respecting the Gods. "For not from an ancient oak, nor from a rock, But from men, is your descent."

But shortly after this, they will be found to be but oaks and stones. One Agamemnon is said by Staphylus to be worshipped as a Jupiter in Sparta; and Phanocles, in his book of the Brave and Fair, relates that Agamemnon king of the Hellenes erected the temple of Argennian Aphrodite, in honour of Argennus his friend. An Artemis, named the Strangled, is worshipped by the Arcadians, as Callimachus says in his Book of Causes; and at Methymna another Artemis had divine honours paid her, that is, Artemis Condylitis. There is also the temple of another Artemis – Artemis Podagra (or, the gout) – in Laconica, as Sosibius says. Polemo tells of an image of a yawning Apollo; and again of another image, reverenced in Elis, of the guzzling Apollo. Then the Eleans sacrifice to Zeus, the averter of flies; and the Romans sacrifice to Hercules, the averter of flies; and to Fever, and to Terror, whom also they reckon among the attendants of Hercules. (I pass over the Argives, who worshipped Aphrodite, opener of graves.) The Argives and Spartans reverence Artemis Chelytis, or the cougher, from xelyttein which in their speech signifies to cough.

Do you imagine from what source these details have been quoted? Only such as are furnished by yourselves are here adduced; and you do not seem to recognise your own writers, whom I call as witnesses against your unbelief. Poor wretches that you are, who have filled with unholy jesting the whole extent of your life – a life in reality devoid of life! Is not Zeus the Baldhead worshipped in Argos; and another Zeus, the avenger, in Cyprus? Do not the Argives sacrifice to Aphrodite Peribaso (the protectress), and the Athenians to Aphrodite Hetsera (the courtesan), and the Syracusans to Aphrodite Kallipygos, whom Nicander has somewhere called Kalliglutos (with beautiful rump). I pass over in silence just now Dionysus Choiropsales. The Sicyonians reverence this deity, whom they have constituted the God of the muliebria – the patron of filthiness – and religiously honour as the author of licentiousness. Such, then, are their gods; such are they also who make mockery of the gods, or rather mock and insult themselves. How much better are the Egyptians, who in their towns and villages pay divine honours to the irrational creatures, than the Greeks, who worship such gods as these? For if they are beasts, they are not adulterous or libidinous, and seek pleasure in nothing that is contrary to nature. And of what sort these deities are, what need is there further to say, as they have been already sufficiently exposed? Furthermore, the Egyptians whom I have now mentioned are divided in their objects of worship. The Syenites worship the braize-fish; and the maiotes – this is another fish – is worshipped by those who inhabit Elephantine: the Oxyrinchites likewise worship a fish which takes its name from their country. Again, the Heraclitopolites worship the ichneumon, the inhabitants of Sais and of Thebes a sheep, the Leucopolites a wolf, the Cynopolites a dog, the Memphites Apis, the Mendesians a goat. And you, who are altogether better than the Egyptians (I shrink from saying worse)., who never cease laughing every day of your lives at the Egyptians, what are some of you, too, with regard to brute beasts? For of your number the Thessalians pay divine homage to storks, in accordance with ancient custom; and the Thebans to weasels, for their assistance at the birth of Hercules. And again, are not the Thessalians reported to worship ants, since they have learned that Zeus in the likeness of an ant had intercourse with Eurymedusa, the daughter of Cletor, and begot Myrmidon? Polemo, too, relates that the people who inhabit the Troad worship the mice of the country, which they call Sminthoi, because they gnawed the strings of their enemies' bows; and from those mice Apollo has received his epithet of Sminthian. Heraclides, in his work, Regarding the Building of Temples in Acarnania, says that, at the place where the promontory of Actium is, and the temple of Apollo of Actium, they offer to the flies the sacrifice of an ox.

Nor shall I forget the Samians: the Samians, as Euphorion says, reverence the sheep. Nor shall I forget the Syrians, who inhabit Phoenicia, of whom some revere doves, and others fishes, with as excessive veneration as the Eleans do Zeus. Well, then, since those you worship are not gods, it seems to me required to ascertain if those are really demons who are ranked, as you say, in this second order (next the gods). For if the lickerish and impure are demons, indigenous demons who have obtained sacred honours may be discovered in crowds throughout your cities: Menedemus among the Cythnians; among the Tenians, Callistagoras; among the Delians, Anius; among the Laconians, Astrabacus; at Phalerus, a hero affixed to the prow of ships is worshipped; and the Pythian priestess enjoined the Plataeans to sacrifice to Androcrates and Democrates, and Cyclaeus and Leuco while the Median war was at its height. Other demons in plenty may be brought to light by anyone who can look about him a little. "For thrice ten thousand are there in the all-nourishing earth Of demons immortal, the guardians of articulate-speaking men." who these guardians are, do not grudge, O Boeotian, to tell. Is it not clear that they are those we have mentioned, and those of more renown, the great demons, Apollo, Artemis, Leto, Demeter, Core, Pluto, Hercules, and Zeus himself?

But it is from running away that they guard us, O Ascraean, or perhaps it is from sinning, as indeed they have never tried their hand at sin themselves! In that case truly the proverb may fitly be uttered: "The father who took no admonition admonishes his son." If these are our guardians, it is not because they have any ardour of kindly feeling towards us, but intent on your ruin, after the way of flatterers, they prey on your substance, enticed by, the smoke. These demons themselves indeed confess their own gluttony, saying: "For with drink-offerings due, and fat of lambs, my altar still has at their hands been fed; Such honour has to us been ever paid."

What other speech would they utter, if indeed the gods of the Egyptians, such as cats and weasels, should receive the faculty of speech, than that Homeric and poetic one which proclaims their liking for savoury odors and cookery? Such are your demons and gods, and demigods, if there are any so called, as there are demi-asses (mules); for you have no want of terms to make up compound names of impiety.

Chapter 3.

The cruelty of the sacrifices to the gods

Well, now, let us say in addition, what inhuman demons, and hostile to the human race, your gods were, not only delighting in the insanity of men, but gloating over human slaughter, – now in the armed contests for superiority in the stadia, and now in the numberless contests for renown in the wars providing for themselves the means of pleasure, that they might be able abundantly to satiate themselves with the murder of human beings.

And now, like plagues invading cities and nations, they demanded cruel oblations. So Aristomenes the Messenian slew three hundred human beings in honour of Ithometan Zeus thinking that hecatombs of such a number and quality would give good omens; among whom was Theopompos, king of the Lacedemonians, a noble victim. The Taurians, the people who inhabit the Tauric Chersonese, sacrifice to the Tauric Artemis immediately whatever strangers they lay hands on their coasts who have been east adrift on the sea. These sacrifices Euripides represents in tragedies on the stage. Monimus relates, in his treatise on marvels, that at Pella, in Thessaly, a man of Achaia was slain in sacrifice to Peleus and Chiron. That the Lyctii, who are a Cretan race, slew men in sacrifice to Zeus, Anticlides shows in his Homeward Journeys; and that the Lesbians offered the like sacrifice to Dionysus, is said by Dosidas. The Phocaeans also (for I will not pass over such as they are), Pythocles informs us in his third book, On Concord, offer a man as a burn-sacrifice to the Taurian Artemis.

Erechtheus of Attica and Marius the Roman sacrificed their daughters, – the former to Pherephatta, as Demaratus mentions in his first book on Tragic Streets; the latter to the evil-averting deities, as Dorotheus relates in his first book of Italian Affairs. Philanthropic, assuredly, the demons appear, from these examples; and how shall those who revere the demons not be correspondingly pious? The former are called by the fair name of Saviours; and the latter ask for safety from those who plot against their safety, imagining that they sacrifice with good omens to them, and forget that they themselves are slaying men. For a murder does not become a sacrifice by being committed in a particular spot. You are not to call it a sacred sacrifice, if one slays a man either at the altar or on the highway to Artemis or Zeus, any more than if he slew him for anger or covetousness, – other demons very like the former; but a sacrifice of this kind is murder and human butchery. Then why is it, O men, wisest of all creatures, that you avoid wild beasts, and get out of the way of the savage animals, if you fall in with a bear or lion? "As when some traveler spies, Coiled in his path on the mountain side, a deadly snake, back he recoils in haste, – his limbs all trembling, and his cheek all pale,"

But though you perceive and understand demons to be deadly and wicked, plotters, haters of the human race, and destroyers, why do you not turn out of their way, or turn them out of yours? What truth can the wicked tell, or what good can they do anyone?

I can then readily demonstrate that man is better than these gods of yours, who are but demons; and can show, for instance, that Cyrus and Solon were superior to oracular Apollo. Your Phoebus was a lover of gifts, but not a lover of men. "He betrayed his friend Croesus, and forgetting the reward he had got (so careful was he of his fame), led him across the Halys to the stake. The demons love men in such a way as to bring them to the fire (unquenchable).

But O man, who love the human race better, and are truer than Apollo, pity him that is bound on the pyre. Let you, O Solon, declare truth; and you, O Cyrus, command the fire to be extinguished. Be wise, then, at last, O Croesus, taught by suffering. He whom you worship is an ingrate; he accepts your reward, and after taking the gold plays false. "Look again to the end, O Solon. It is not the demon, but the man that tells you this. It is not ambiguous oracles that Solon utters. You shall easily take him up. Nothing but true, O Barbarian, shall you find by proof this oracle to be, when you are placed on the pyre. From which I cannot help wondering, by what plausible reasons those who first went astray were impelled to preach superstition to men, when they exhorted them to worship wicked demons, whether it was Phoroneus or Merops, or whoever else that raised temples and altars to them; and besides, as is fabled, were the first to offer sacrifices to them. But, unquestionably, in succeeding ages men invented for themselves gods to worship. It is beyond doubt that this Eros, who is said to be among the oldest of the gods, was worshipped by no one till Charmus took a little boy and raised an altar to him in Academia, – a thing more proper, than the lust he had gratified; and the lewdness of vice men called by the name of Eros, deifying so unbridled lust. The Athenians, again, knew not who Pan was till Philippides told them. Superstition, then, as was to be expected, having taken its rise so, became the fountain of insensate wickedness; and not being subsequently checked, but having gone on augmenting and rushing along in full flood, it became the originator of many demons, and was displayed in sacrificing hecatombs, appointing solemn assemblies, setting up images, and building temples, which were in reality tombs: for I will not pass these over in silence, but make a thorough exposure of them, though called by the august name of temples; that is, the tombs which got the name of temples. But let you now at length quite give up your superstition, feeling ashamed to regard sepulchers with religious veneration. In the temple of Athene in Larissa, on the Acropolis, is the grave of Acrisius; and at Athens, on the Acropolis, is that of Cecrops, as Antiochus says in the ninth book of his histories. What of Erichthonius? Was he not buried in the temple of Polias? And Immarus, the son of Eumolpus and Daira, were they not buried in the precincts of the Elusinium, which is under the Acropolis; and the daughters of Celeus, were they not interred in Eleusis? Why should I enumerate to you the wives of the Hyperboreans? They were called Hyperoche and Laodice; they were buried in the Artemisium in Delos, which is in the temple of the Delian Apollo. Leandrius says that Clearchus was buried in Miletus, in the Didymaeum. Following the Myndian Zeno, it would be unsuitable in this connection to pass over the sepulcher of Leucophryne, who was buried in the temple of Artemis in Magnesia; or the altar of Apollo in Telmessus, which is reported to be the tomb of Telmisseus the seer. Further, Ptolemy the son of Agesarchus, in his first book about Philopator, says that Cinyras and the descendants of Cinyras were interred in the temple of Aphrodite in Paphos. But all time would not be sufficient for me, were I to go over the tombs which are held sacred by you, And if no shame for these audacious impieties steals over you, it comes to this, that you are completely dead, putting, as really you do, your trust in the dead. "Poor wretches, what misery is this you suffer? Your heads axe enveloped in the darkness of night."

Chapter 4.

The shamefulness of the images of the gods

If, in addition, I set before you for inspection these very images, you will, as you go through them, find how truly silly is the custom in which you have been reared, of worshipping the senseless works of men's hands. Of old, the Scythians worshipped their sabres, the Arabs stones, the Persians rivers. And some, belonging to other races still more ancient, set up blocks of wood in conspicuous situations, and erected pillars of stone, which were called Xoana, from the carving of the material of which they were made. The image of Artemis in Icarus was doubtless unworked wood, and that of the Cithaeronian Here was a felled tree-trunk; and that of the Samian Here, as Aethlius says, was at first a plank, and was afterwards during the government of Proclus carved into human shape. And when the Xoana began to be made in the likeness of men, they got the name of Brete, a term derived from Brotos (man). In Rome, the historian Varro says that in ancient times the Xoaron of Mars – the idol by which he was worshipped – was a spear, artists not having yet applied themselves to this specious pernicious art; but when are flourished, error increased. That of stones and stocks – in a word, of dead matter – you have made images of human form, by which you have produced a counterfeit of piety, and slandered the truth, is now as clear as can be; but such proof as the point may demand must not be declined. That the statue of Zeus at Olympia, and that of Polias at Athens, were executed of gold and ivory by Phidias, is known by everybody; and that the image of Hera in Samos was formed by the chisel of Euclides, Olympichus relates in his Samiaca.

Have no doubt that of the gods called at Athens venerable, Scopas made two of the stone called Lychnis, and Calos the one which they are reported to have had placed between them, as Polemon shows in the fourth of his books addressed to Timaeus. Nor need you doubt respecting the images of Zeus and Apollo at Patara, in Lycia, which Phidias executed, as well as the lions that recline with them; and if, as some say, they were the work of Bryxis, I do not dispute, – you have in him another maker of images. Whichever of these you like, write down. Furthermore, the statues nine cubits in height of Poseidon and Amphitrite, worshipped in Tenos are the work of Telesius the Athenian, as we are told by Philochorus. Demetrius, in the second book of his Argolics, writes of the image of Hera in Tiryns, both that the material was pear-tree and the artist was Argus.

Many may perhaps be surprised to learn that the Palladium which is called the Diopetes – that is, fallen from heaven – which Diomede and Ulysses are related to have carried off from Troy and deposited at Demophoon, was made of the bones of Pelops, as the Olympian Jove of other bones – those of the Indian wild beast. I adduce as my authority Dionysius, who relates this in the fifth part of his Cycle. And Apellas, in the Delphics, says that there were two Palladia, and that both were fashioned by men. But that one may suppose that I have passed over them through ignorance, I shall add that the image of Dionysus Morychus at Athens was made of the stones called Phellata, and was the work of Simon the son of Eupalamus, as Polemo says in a letter. There were also two other sculptors of Crete, as I think: they were called Scyles and Dipoenus; and these executed the statues of the Dioscuri in Argos, and the image of Hercules in Tiryns, and the effigy of the Munychian Artemis in Sicyon. Why should I linger over these, when I can point out to you the great deity himself, and show you who he was, – whom indeed, conspicuously above all, we hear to have been considered worthy of veneration? Him they have dared to call "made without hands" – I mean the Egyptian Serapis. For some relate that he was sent as a present by the people of Sinope to Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of the Egyptians, who won their favour by sending them corn from Egypt when they were perishing with famine; and that this idol was an image of Pluto; and Ptolemy, having received the statue, placed it on the promontory which is now called Racotis; where the temple of Serapis was held in honour, and the sacred enclosure borders on the Spot; and that when Blistichis the courtesan died in Canopus, Ptolemy had her conveyed there, and buried beneath the afore-mentioned shrine.

Others say that the Serapis was a Pontic idol, and was transported with solemn pomp to Alexandria. Isidore alone says that it was brought from the Seleucians, near Antioch, who also had been visited with a dearth of corn, and had been fed by Ptolemy. But Athenodorns the son of Sandon, while wishing to make out the Serapis to be ancient, has somehow slipped into the mistake of proving it to be an image fashioned by human hands. He says that Sesostris the Egyptian king, having subjugated the most of the Hellenic races, on his return to Egypt brought a number of craftsmen with him. Accordingly he ordered a statue of Osiris, his ancestor, to be executed in sumptuous style; and the work was done by the artist Bryaxis, not the Athenian, but another of the same name, who employed in its execution a mixture of various materials. For he had filings of gold, and silver, and lead, and in addition, tin; and of Egyptian stones not one was wanting, and there were fragments of sapphire, and hematite, and emerald, and topaz. Having ground down and mixed together all these ingredients, he gave to the composition a blue colour, from which comes the darkish hue of the image; and having mixed the whole with the colouring matter that was left over from the funeral of Osiris and Apis, moulded the Serapis, the name of which points to its connection with sepulture and its construction from funeral materials, compounded as it is of Osiris and Apis, which together make Osirapis.

Another new deity was added to the number with great religious pomp in Egypt, and was near being so in Greece by the king of the Romans, who deified Antinous, whom he loved as Zeus loved Ganymede, and whose beauty was of a very rare order: for lust is not easily restrained, destitute as it is of fear; and men now observe the sacred nights of Antinous, the shameful character of which the lover who spent them with him knew well. Why reckon him among the gods, who is honoured on account of uncleanness? And why do you command him to be lamented as a son? And why should you enlarge on his beauty? Beauty blighted by vice is loathsome. Do not play the tyrant, O man, over beauty, nor offer foul insult to youth in its bloom. Keep beauty pure, that it may be truly fair. Be king over beauty, not its tyrant. Remain free, and then I shall acknowledge your beauty, because you have kept its image pure: then will I worship that true beauty which is the archetype of all who are beautiful. Now the grave of the debauched boy is the temple and town of Antinous. For just as temples are held in reverence, so also are sepulchers, and pyramids, and mausoleums, and labyrinths, which are temples of the dead, as the others are sepulchers of the gods. As teacher on this point, I shall produce to you the Sibyl prophetess: "Not the oracular lie of Phoebus, whom silly men called God, and falsely termed Prophet; But the oracles of the great God, who was not made by men's hands, Like dumb idols of Sculptured stone."

Chapter 5.

The Sybil predicted the ruin of temples; and Heraclitus scoffs at them

The Sybil also predicts the ruin of the temple, foretelling that that of the Ephesian Artemis would be engulfed by earthquakes and rents in the ground, as follows: "Prostrate on the ground Ephesus shall wail, weeping by the shore, And seeking a temple that has no longer an inhabitant." She says also that the temple of Isis and Serapis would be demolished and burned: "Isis, thrice-wretched goddess, you shall linger by the streams of the Nile; Solitary, frenzied, silent, on the sands of Acheron." Then she proceeds: "And you, serapis, covered with a heap of white tones, shalt lie a huge ruin in thrice-wretched Egypt."

But if you attend not to the prophetess, hear at least your own philosopher, the Ephesian Heraclitus, rebuking images with their senselessness: "And to these images they pray, with the same result as if one were to talk to the Walls of his house." For are they not to be wondered at who worship stones, and place them before the doors, as if capable of activity? They worship Hermes as a God, and place Aguieus as a doorkeeper. For if people rebuke them with being devoid of sensation, why worship them as gods? And if they are thought to be endowed with sensation, why place them before the door? The Romans, who ascribed their greatest successes to Fortune, and regarded her as a very great deity, took her statue to the toilet, and erected it there, assigning to the goddess as a fitting temple – the necessary. But senseless wood and stone, and rich gold, care not a whir for either savoury odor, or blood, or smoke, by which, being at once honoured and fumigated, they are blackened; no more do they for honour or insult. And these images are more worthless than any animal. I am at a loss to conceive how objects devoid of sense were deified, and feel compelled to pity as miserable wretches those that wander in the mazes of this folly: for if some living creatures have not all the senses, as worms and caterpillars, and such as even from the first appear imperfect, as moles and the shrew-mouse, which Nicander says is blind and uncouth; yet are they superior to those utterly senseless idols and images. For they have some one sense, – say, for example, hearing, or touching, or something analogous to smell or taste; while images do not possess even one sense. There are many creatures that have neither sight, nor hearing, nor speech, such as the genus of oysters, which yet live and grow, and are affected by the changes of the moon. But images, being motionless, inert, and senseless, are bound, nailed, glued, – are melted, filed, sawed, polished, carved. The senseless earth is dishonoured by the makers of images, who change it by their art from its proper nature, and induce men to worship it; and the makers of gods worship not gods and demons, but in my view earth and art, which go to make up images. For, in sooth, the image is only dead matter shaped by the craftsman's hand. But we have no sensible image of sensible matter, but an image that is perceived by the mind alone, – God, who alone is truly God. And again, when involved in calamities, the superstitious worshippers of stones, though they have learned by the event that senseless matter is not to be worshipped, yet, yielding to the pressure of misfortune, become the victims of their superstition; and though despising the images, yet not wishing to appear wholly to neglect them, are found fault with by those gods by whose names the images are called.

Chapter 6.

Rulers have with impunity stripped the ornaments from idols, for their own use

For when the tyrant, Dionysius the younger, stripped off the golden mantle from the statue of Jupiter in Sicily, he ordered him to be clothed in a woollen one, remarking facetiously that the latter was better than the golden one, being lighter in summer and warmer in winter. And Antiochus of Cyzicus, being in difficulties for money, ordered the golden statue of Zeus, fifteen cubits in height, to be melted; and one like it, of less valuable material, plated with gold, to be erected in place of it. And the swallows and most birds fly to these statues, and void their excrement on them, paying no respect either to Olympian Zeus, or Epidaurian Asclepius, or even to Athene Polias, or the Egyptian Serapis; but not even from them have you learned the senselessness of images. But it has happened that miscreants or enemies have assailed and set fire to temples, and plundered them of their votive gifts, and melted even the images themselves, from base greed of gain. And if a Cambyses or a Darius, or any other madman, has made such attempts, and if one has killed the Egyptian Apis, I laugh at him killing their God, while pained at the outrage being perpetrated for the sake of gain. I will therefore willingly forget such villany, looking on acts like these more as deeds of covetousness, than as a proof of the impotence of idols. But fire and earthquakes are shrewd enough not to feel shy or frightened at either demons or idols, any more than at pebbles heaped by the waves on the shore.

I know fire to be capable of exposing and curing superstition. If you are willing to abandon this folly, the element of fire shall light your way. This same fire burned the temple in Argos, with Chrysis the priestess; and that of Artemis in Ephesus the second time after the Amazons. And the Capitol in Rome was often wrapped in flames; nor did the fire spare the temple of Serapis, in the city of the Alexandrians. At Athens it demolished the temple of the Eleutherian Dionysus; and as to the temple of Apollo at Delphi, first a storm assailed it, and then the discerning fire utterly destroyed it. This is told as the preface of what the fire promises. And the makers of images, do they not shame those of you who are wise into despising matter? The Athenian Phidias inscribed on the finger of the Olympian Jove, Pantarkes is beautiful. It was not Zeus that was beautiful in his eyes, but the man he loved. And Praxiteles, as Posidippus relates in his book about Cnidus, when he fashioned the statue of Aphrodite of Cnidus, made it like the form of Cratine, of whom he was enamored, that the miserable people might have the paramour of Praxiteles to worship. And when Phryne the courtesan, the Thespian, was in her bloom, all the painters made their pictures of Aphrodite copies of the beauty of Phryne; as, again, the sculptors at Athens made their Mercuries like Alcibiades. It remains for you to judge whether you ought to worship courtesans. Moved, as I believe, by such facts, and despising such fables, the ancient kings unblushingly proclaimed themselves gods, as this involved no danger from men, and so taught that on account of their glory they were made immortal. Ceux, the son of Eolus, was named Zeus by his wife Alcyone; Alcyone, again, being by her husband named Hera. Ptolemy the Fourth was called Dionysus; and Mithridates of Pontus was also called Dionysus; and Alexander wished to be considered the son of Ammon, and to have his statue made horned by the sculptors – eager to disgrace the beauty of the human form by the addition of a horn. And not kings only, but private persons dignified themselves with the names of deities, as Menecrates the physician, who took the name of Zeus. What need is there for me to instance Alexarchus? He, having been by profession a grammarian, assumed the character of the sun-God, as Aristus of Salamis relates. And why mention Nicagorus? He was a native of Zela (in Pontus), and lived in the days of Alexander. Nicagorus was named Hermes, and used the dress of Hermes, as he himself testifies. And while whole nations, and cities with all their inhabitants, sinking into self-flattery, treat the myths about the gods with contempt, at the same time men themselves, assuming the air of equality with the gods, and being puffed up with vainglory, vote themselves extravagant honours. There is the case of the Macedonian Philip of Pella, the son of Amyntor, to whom they decreed divine worship in Cynosargus, although his collar-bone was broken, and he had a lame leg, and had one of his eyes knocked out. And again that of Demetrius, who was raised to the rank of the gods; and where he alighted from his horse on his entrance into Athens is the temple of Demetrius the Alighter; and altars were raised to him everywhere, and nuptials with Athene assigned to him by the Athenians. But he disdained the goddess, as he could not marry the statue; and taking the courtesan Lamia, he ascended the Acropolis, and lay with her on the couch of Athene, showing to the old virgin the postures of the young courtesan.

There is no cause for indignation, then, at Hippo, who immortalized his own death. For this Hippo ordered the following elegy to be inscribed on his tomb: "This is the sepulcher of Hippo, whom Destiny Made, through death, equal to the immortal gods." Well done, Hippo! you showest to us the delusion of men. If they did not believe you speaking, now that you are dead, let them become your disciples. This is the oracle of Hippo; let us consider it. The objects of your worship were once men, and in process of time died; and fable and time have raised them to honour. For somehow, what is present can often be despised through familiarity; but what is past, being separated through the obscurity of time from the temporary censure that attached to it, is invested with honour by fiction, so that the present is viewed with distrust, the past with admiration. Exactly in this way is it, then, that the dead men of antiquity, being reverenced through the long prevalence of delusion respecting them, are regarded as gods by posterity.

As grounds of your belief in these, there are your mysteries, your solemn assemblies, bonds and wounds, and weeping deities. "Woe, woe! that fate decrees my best-belov'd, Sarpedon, by Patroclus' hand to fall." The will of Zeus was overruled; and Zeus being worsted, laments for Sarpedon. With reason, therefore, have you yourselves called them shades and demons, since Homer, paying Athene and the other divinities sinister honour, has named them demons: "She her heavenward course pursued To join the immortals in the abode of Jove."

Chapter 7.

How can sensible people reverence these empty phenomena?

How, then, can shades and demons be still reckoned gods, being in reality unclean and impure spirits, acknowledged by all to be of an earthly and watery nature, sinking downwards by their own weight, and flitting about graves and tombs, about which they appear dimly, being but shadowy phantasms? Such things are your gods – shades and shadows; and to these add those maimed, wrinkled, squinting divinities the Litae, daughters of Thersites rather than of Zeus. So that Bion – wittily, as I think – says, How in reason could men pray Zeus for a beautiful progeny, – a thing he could not obtain for himself?

The incorruptible being, as far as in you lies, you sink in the earth; and that pure and holy essence you have buried in the grave, robbing the divine of its true nature. Why, I ask you, have you assigned the prerogatives of God to what are no gods? Why, let me ask, have you forsaken heaven to pay divine honour to earth? What else is gold, or silver, or steel, or iron, or brass, or ivory, or precious stones? Are they not earth, and of the earth? Are not all these things which you look on the progeny of one mother – the earth?

Why, then, foolish and silly men (for I will repeat it), have you, defaming the celestial region, dragged religion to the ground, by fashioning to yourselves gods of earth, and by going after those created objects, instead of the uncreated Deity, have sunk into deepest darkness? The Parian stone is beautiful, but it is not yet Poseidon. The ivory is beautiful, but it is not yet the Olympian Zeus. Matter always needs art to fashion it, but the deity needs nothing. Art has come forward to do its work, and the matter is clothed with its shape; and while the preciousness of the material makes it capable of being turned to profitable account, it is only on account of its form that it comes to be deemed worthy of veneration. Your image, if considered as to its origin, is gold, it is wood, it is stone, it is earth, which has received shape from the artist's hand. But I have been in the habit of walking on the earth, not of worshipping it. For I hold it wrong to entrust my spirit's hopes to things destitute of the breath of life. We must therefore approach as close as possible to the images. How peculiarly inherent deceit is in them, is manifest from their very look. For the forms of the images are plainly stamped with the characteristic nature of demons. If one go round and inspect the pictures and images, he will at a glance recognise your gods from their shameful forms: Dionysus from his robe; Hephaestus from his art; Demeter from her calamity; Ino from her head-dress; Poseidon from his trident; Zeus from the swan; the pyre indicates Heracles; and if one sees a statue of a naked woman without an inscription, he understands it to be the golden Aphrodite. So that Cyprian Pygmalion became enamored of an image of ivory: the image was Aphrodite, and it was nude. The Cypriot is made a conquest of by the mere shape, and embraces the image.

This is related by Philostephanus. A different Aphrodite in Cnidus was of stone, and beautiful. Another person became enamored of it, and shamefully embraced the stone. Posidippus relates this. The former of these authors, in his book on Cyprus, and the latter in his book on Cnidus. So powerful is art to delude, by seducing amorous men into the pit. Art is powerful, but it cannot deceive reason, nor those who live agreeably to reason. The doves on the picture were represented so to the life by the painter's art, that the pigeons flew to them; and horses have neighed to well-executed pictures of mares. They say that a girl became enamored of an image, and a comely youth of the statue at Cnidus. But it was the eyes of the spectators that were deceived by art; for no one in his senses ever would have embraced a goddess, or entombed himself with a lifeless paramour, or become enamored of a demon and a stone. But it is with a different kind of spell that are deludes you, if it leads you not to the indulgence of amorous affections: it leads you to pay religious honour and worship to images and pictures.

Chapter 8.

Art is fine, but do not confuse it with what is true and real

The picture is real? Well and good! Let art receive its measure of praise, but let it not deceive man by passing itself off for truth. The horse stands quiet; the dove flutters not, its wing is motionless. But the cow of Daedalus, made of wood, allured the savage bull; and are having deceived him, compelled him to meet a woman full of licentious passion. Such frenzy have mischief – working arts created in the minds of the insensate. On the other hand, apes are admired by those who feed and care for them, because nothing in the shape of images and girls' ornaments of wax or clay deceives them. You then will show yourselves inferior to apes by cleaving to stone, and wood, and gold, and ivory images, and to pictures. Your makers of such mischievous toys – the sculptors and makers of images, the painters and workers in metal, and the poets – have introduced a motley crowd of divinities: in the fields, satyrs and Pans; in the woods, Nymphs, and Oreads, and Hamadryads; and besides, in the waters, the rivers, and fountains, the Naiads; and in the sea the Nereids. And now the Magi boast that the demons are the ministers of their impiety, reckoning them among the number of their domestics, and by their charms compelling them to be their slaves. Besides, the nuptials of the deities, their begetting and bringing forth of children that are recounted, their adulteries celebrated in song, their carousals represented in comedy, and bursts of laughter over their cups, which your authors introduce, urge me to cry out, though I would wish to be silent. Oh the godlessness! you have turned heaven into a stage; sluggard, as a fountain your harvest shall come," the "Word of the Father, the benign light, the Lord that brings light, faith to all, and salvation." For "the Lord who created the earth by his power," as Jeremiah says, "has raised up the world by his wisdom;" for wisdom, which is his word, raises us up to the truth, who have fallen prostrate before idols, and is itself the first resurrection from our fall. Therefore Moses, the man of God, dissuading from all idolatry, beautifully exclaims, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one Lord; and you shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve." "Now therefore be wise, O men," according to that blessed psalmist David; "lay hold on instruction, for fear that the Lord be angry, and you perish from the way of righteousness, when his wrath has quickly kindled. Blessed are all they who put their trust in him." But already the Lord, in his surpassing pity, has inspired the song of salvation, sounding like a battle march, "Sons of men, how long will you be slow of heart? Why do you love vanity, and seek after a lie?" What, then, is the vanity, and what the lie? The holy apostle of the Lord, reprehending the Greeks, will show you: "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and changed the glory of God into the likeness of corruptible man, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator." And truly this is the God who "in the beginning made the heaven and the earth." But you do not know God, and worship the heaven, and how shall you escape the guilt of impiety? Hear again the prophet speaking: "The sun, shall suffer eclipse, and the heaven be darkened; but the Almighty shall shine for ever: while the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, and the heavens stretched out and drawn together shall be rolled as a parchment-skin (for these are the prophetic expressions), and the earth shall flee away from before the face of the Lord."

Chapter 9.

To despise God's gracious calling is a grievous sin

I could adduce ten thousand Scriptures of which not "one tittle shall pass away," without being fulfilled; for the mouth of the Lord the Holy Spirit has spoken these things. "No longer, my son," he says, "despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by him." What surpassing love for man! Not as a teacher speaking to his pupils, not as a master to his servants, nor as God to men, but as a father, does the Lord gently admonish his children. So Moses confesses that "he was filled with quaking and terror" while he listened to God speaking concerning the Word. And are not you afraid as you hear the voice of the Divine Word? Are you not distressed? Do you not fear, and hasten to learn of him, – that is, to salvation, – dreading wrath, loving grace, eagerly striving after the hope set before us, that you may shun the judgment threatened? Come, come, O my young people! For if you become not again as little children, and be born again, as says the Scripture, you shall not receive the truly existent Father, nor shall you ever enter into the kingdom of heaven. For in what way is a stranger permitted to enter? Well, as I take it, then, when he is enrolled and made a citizen, and receives one to stand to him in the relation of father, then will he be occupied with the Father's concerns, then shall he be deemed worthy to be made his heir, then will he share the kingdom of the Father with his own dear Son. For this is the first-born Church, composed of many good children; these are "the first-born enrolled in heaven, who hold high festival with so many myriads of angels." We, too, are first-born sons, who are reared by God, who are the genuine friends of the First-born, who first of all other men attained to the knowledge of God, who first were wrenched away from our sins, first severed from the devil. And now the more benevolent God is, the more impious men are; for he desires us from slaves to become sons, while they scorn to become sons. O the prodigious folly of being ashamed of the Lord! he often freedom, you flee into bondage; he bestows salvation, you sink down into destruction; he confers everlasting life, you wait for punishment, and prefer the fire which the Lord "has prepared for the devil and his angels." Therefore the blessed apostle says: "I testify in the Lord, that you walk no longer as the Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind; having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart: who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness and concupiscence." After the accusation of such a witness, and his invocation of God, what else remains for the unbelieving than judgment and condemnation? And the Lord, with ceaseless assiduity, exhorts, terrifies, urges, rouses, admonishes; he awakes from the sleep of darkness, and raises up those who have wandered in error. "Awake," he says, "you that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light," – Christ, the Sun of the Resurrection, he "who was born before the morning star," and with his beams bestows life. Let no one then despise the Word, for fear that he unwittingly despise himself. For the Scripture somewhere says, "To-day, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers proved me by trial." And what was the trim? If you wish to learn, the Holy Spirit will show you: "And saw my works," he says, "forty years. Therefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in heart, and have not known my ways. So I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest." Look to the threatening! Look to the exhortation! Look to the punishment! Why, then, should we any longer change grace into wrath, and not receive the word with open ears, and entertain God as a guest in pure spirits? For great is the grace of his promise, "if today we hear his voice." And that today is lengthened out day by day, while it is called today. And to the end the today and the instruction continue; and then the true today, the never-ending day of God, extends over eternity. Let us then ever obey the voice of the divine word. For the today signifies eternity. And day is the symbol of light; and the light of men is the Word, by whom we behold God. Rightly, then, to those that have believed and obey, grace will superabound; while with those that have been unbelieving, and err in heart, and have not known the Lord's ways, which John commanded to make straight and to prepare, God is incensed, and those he threatens.

And, indeed, the old Hebrew wanderers in the desert received typically the end of the threatening; for they are said not to have entered into the rest, because of unbelief, till, having followed the successor of Moses, they learned by experience, though late, that they could not be saved otherwise than by believing on Jesus. But the Lord, in his love to man, invites all men to the knowledge of the truth, and for this end sends the Paraclete. What, then, is this knowledge? Godliness; and "godliness," according to Paul, "is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." If eternal salvation were to be sold, for how much, O men, would you propose to purchase it? Were one to estimate the value of the whole of Pactolus, the fabulous river of gold, he would not have reckoned up a price equivalent to salvation. Do not, however, faint. You may, if you choose, purchase salvation, though of inestimable value, with your own resources, love and living faith, which will be reckoned a suitable price. This recompense God cheerfully accepts; "for we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those who believe."

But the rest, round whom the world's growths have fastened, as the rocks on the sea-shore are covered over with sea-weed, make light of immortality, like the old man of Ithaca, eagerly longing to see, not the truth, not the fatherland in heaven, not the true light, but smoke. But godliness, that makes man as far as can be like God, designates God as our suitable teacher, who alone can worthily assimilate man to God. This teaching the apostle knows as truly divine. "You, O Timothy," he says, "from a child have known the holy letters, which are able to make you wise to salvation, through faith that is in Christ Jesus." For truly holy are those letters that sanctify and deify; and the writings or volumes that consist of those holy letters and syllables, the same apostle consequently calls "inspired of God, being profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work." No one will be so impressed by the exhortations of any of the saints, as he is by the words of the Lord himself, the lover of man. For this, and nothing but this, is his only work – the salvation of man. Therefore he himself, urging them on to salvation, cries, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Those men that draw near through fear, he converts. So also the apostle of the Lord, beseeching the Macedonians, becomes the interpreter of the divine voice, when he says, "The Lord is at hand; take care that you be not apprehended empty." But are you so devoid of fear, or rather of faith, as not to believe the Lord himself, or Paul, who in Christ's stead so entreats: "Taste and see that Christ is God?" Faith will lead you in; experience will teach you; Scripture will train you, for it says, "Come here, O children; listen to me, and I will teach you the fear of the Lord." Then, as to those who already believe, it briefly adds, "What man is he that desires life, that loves to see good days?" It is we, we shall say – we who are the devotees of good, we who eagerly desire good things. Hear, then, you who are far off, hear you who are near: the word has not been hidden from any; light is common, it shines "on all men." No one is a Cimmerian in respect to the word. Let us haste to salvation, to regeneration; let us who are many haste that we may be brought together into one love, according to the union of the essential unity; and let us, by being made good, conformably follow after union, seeking after the good Monad.

The union of many in one, issuing in the production of divine harmony out of a medley of sounds and division, becomes one symphony following one choir-leader and teacher, the Word, reaching and resting in the same truth, and crying Abba, Father. This, the true utterance of his children, God accepts with gracious welcome – the first-fruits he receives from them.

Chapter 10.

The objection, that it was wrong to abandon the customs of their Fathers

But you say it is not creditable to subvert the customs handed down to us from our fathers. And why, then, do we not still use our first nourishment, milk, to which our nurses accustomed us from the time of our birth? Why do we increase or diminish our patrimony, and not keep it exactly the same as we got it? Why do we not still vomit on our parents' breasts, or still do the things for which, when infants, and nursed by our mothers, we were laughed at, but have corrected ourselves, even if we did not fall in with good instructors? Then, if excesses in the indulgence of the passions, though pernicious and dangerous, yet are accompanied with pleasure, why do we not in the conduct of life abandon that usage which is evil, and provocative of passion, and godless, even should our fathers feel hurt, and betake ourselves to the truth, and seek him who is truly our Father, rejecting custom as a deleterious drug? For of all that I have undertaken to do, the task I now attempt is the noblest, that is, to demonstrate to you how inimical this insane and most wretched custom is to godliness. For a boon so great, the greatest ever given by God to the human race, would never have been hated and rejected, had not you been carried away by custom, and then shut your ears against us; and just as unmanageable horses throw off the reins, and take the bit between their teeth, you rush away from the arguments addressed to you, in your eager desire to shake yourselves clear of us, who seek to guide the chariot of your life, and, impelled by your folly, dash towards the precipices of destruction, and regard the holy word of God as an accursed thing. The reward of your choice, therefore, as described by Sophocles, follows: "The mind a blank, useless ears, vain thoughts."

And you do not know that, of all truths, this is the truest, that the good and godly shall obtain the good reward, inasmuch as they held goodness in high esteem; while, on the other hand, the wicked shall receive meet punishment. For the author of evil, torment has been prepared; and so the prophet Zecharias threatens him: "He that has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you; see, is not this a brand plucked from the fire?" What an infatuated desire, then, for voluntary death is this, rooted in men's minds! Why do they flee to this fatal brand, with which they shall be burned, when it is within their power to live nobly according to God, and not according to custom? For God bestows life freely; but evil custom, after our departure from this world, brings on the sinner unavailing remorse with punishment. By sad experience, even a child knows how superstition destroys and piety saves. Let any of you look at those who minister before the idols, their hair matted, their persons disgraced with filthy and tattered clothes; who never come near a bath, and let their nails grow to an extraordinary length, like wild beasts; many of them castrated, who show the idol's temples to be in reality graves or prisons. These appear to me to bewail the gods, not to worship them, and their sufferings to be worthy of pity rather than piety. And seeing these things, do you still continue blind, and will you not look up to the Ruler of all, the Lord of the universe? And will you not escape from those dungeons, and flee to the mercy that comes down from heaven? For God, of his great love to man, comes to the help of man, as the mother-bird flies to one of her young that has fallen out of the nest; and if a serpent open its mouth to swallow the little bird, "the mother flutters round, uttering cries of grief over her dear progeny;" and God the Father seeks his creature, and heals his transgression, and pursues the serpent, and recovers the young one, and incites it to fly up to the nest.

So dogs that have strayed, track out their master by the scent; and horses that have thrown their riders, come to their master's call if he but whistle. "The ox," it is said, "knows his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel has not known me." What, then, of the Lord? He remembers not our ill desert; he still pities, he still urges us to repentance. And I would ask you, if it does not appear to you monstrous, that you men who are God's handiwork, who have received your souls from him, and belong wholly to God, should be subject to another master, and, what is more, serve the tyrant instead of the rightful King – the evil one instead of the good? For, in the name of truth, what man in his senses turns his back on good, and attaches himself to evil? What, then, is he who flees from God to consort with demons? Who, that may become a son of God, prefers to be in bondage? Or who is he that pursues his way to Erebus, when it is in his power to be a citizen of heaven, and to cultivate Paradise, and walk about in heaven and partake of the tree of life and immortality, and, cleaving his way through the sky in the track of the luminous cloud, behold, like Elias, the rain of salvation? Some there are, who, like worms wallowing in marshes and mud in the streams of pleasure, feed on foolish and useless delights – swinish men. For swine, it is said, like mud better than pure water; and, according to Democritus, "doat on dirt." Let us not then be enslaved or become swinish; but, as true children of the light, let us raise our eyes and look on the light, for fear that the Lord discover us to be spurious, as the sun does the eagles. Let us therefore repent, and pass from ignorance to knowledge, from foolishness to wisdom, from licentiousness to self-restraint, from unrighteousness to righteousness, from godlessness to God. It is an enterprise of noble daring to take our way to God; and the enjoyment of many other good things is within the reach of the lovers of righteousness, who pursue eternal life, specially those things to which God himself alludes, speaking by Isaiah: "There is an inheritance for those who serve the Lord." Noble and desirable is this inheritance: not gold, not silver, not clothing, which the moth assails, and things of earth which are assailed by the robber, whose eye is dazzled by worldly wealth; but it is that treasure of salvation to which we must hasten, by becoming lovers of the Word. Thence praise-worthy works descend to us, and fly with us on the wing of truth. This is the inheritance with Which the eternal covenant of God invests us, conveying the everlasting gift of grace; and so our loving Father – the true Father – ceases not to exhort, admonish, train, love us. For he ceases not to save, and advises the best course: "Become righteous," says the Lord. You that thirst, come to the water; and you that have no money, come, and buy and drink without money. He invites to the font, to salvation, to illumination, all but crying out and saying, The land I give you, and the sea, my child, and heaven too; and all the living creatures in them I freely bestow on you. Only, O child, thirst for your Father; God shall be revealed to you without price; the truth is not made merchandise of. He gives you all creatures that fly and swim, and those on the land. These the Father has created for your thankful enjoyment. What the bastard, who is a son of perdition, foredoomed to be the slave of mammon, has to buy for money, he assigns to you as your own, even to his own son who loves the Father; for whose sake he still works, and to whom alone he promises, saying, "The land shall not be sold in perpetuity," for it is not destined to corruption. "For the whole land is mine;" and it is your too, if you receive God. Therefore the Scripture, as might have been expected, proclaims good news to those who have believed. "The saints of the Lord shall inherit the glory of God and his power." What glory, tell me, O blessed One, which "eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man;" and "they shall be glad in the kingdom of their Lord for ever and ever! Amen." you have, O men, the divine promise of grace; you have heard, on the other hand, the threatening of punishment: by these the Lord saves, teaching men by fear and grace. Why do we delay? Why do we not shun the punishment? Why do we not receive the free gift? Why, in fine. Do we not choose the better part, God instead of the evil one, and prefer wisdom to idolatry, and take life in exchange for death? "Behold," he says, "I have set before your face death and life." The Lord tries you, that "you may choose life." He counsels yon as a father to obey God. "For if you hear me," he says, "and be willing, you shall eat the good things of the land:" this is the grace attached to obedience. "But if you obey me not, and are unwilling, the sword and fire shall devour you:" this is the penalty of disobedience. For the mouth of the Lord – the Law of truth, the word of the Lord – has spoken these things. Are you willing that I should be your good counselor? If so, you hear well. I, if possible, will explain. You ought, O men, when reflecting on the Good, to have brought forward a witness inborn and competent, viz, faith, which of itself, and from its own resources, chooses at once what is best, instead of occupying yourselves in painfully enquiring whether what is best ought to be followed. For, allow me to tell you, you ought to doubt whether you should get drunk, but you get drunk before reflecting on the matter; and whether you ought to do an injury, but you do injury with the utmost readiness. The only thing you make the subject of question is, whether God should be worshipped, and whether this wise God and Christ should be followed: and this you think requires deliberation and doubt, and do not know what is worthy of God. Have faith in us, as you have in drunkenness, that you may be wise; have faith in us, as you have in injury, that you may live. But if, acknowledging the conspicuous trustworthiness of the virtues, you wish to trust them, come and I will set before you in abundance, materials of persuasion respecting the Word. But let you – for your ancestral customs, by which your minds are preoccupied, divert you from the truth, – let you now hear what is the real state of the case as follows. And let not any shame of this name preoccupy you, which does great harm to men, and seduces them from salvation. Let us then openly strip for the contest, and nobly strive in the arena of truth, the holy Word being the judge, and the Lord of the universe prescribing the contest. For "tis no insignificant prize, the guerdon of immortality which is set before us. Pay no more regard, then, if you are rated by some of the low rabble who lead the dance of impiety, and are driven on to the same pit by their folly and insanity, makers of idols and worshippers of stones. For these have dared to deify men, – Alexander of Macedon, for example, whom they canonized as the thirteenth God, whose pretensions Babylon confuted, which showed him dead. I admire, therefore, the divine sophist. Theocritus was his name. After Alexander's death, Theocritus, holding up the vain opinions entertained by men respecting the gods, to ridicule before his fellow-citizens, said: "Men, keep up your hearts as long as you see the gods dying sooner than men." And, truly, he who worships gods that are visible, and the promiscuous rabble of creatures begotten and born, and attaches himself to them, is a far more wretched object than the very demons. For God is by no way of means unrighteous, as the demons are, but in the very highest degree righteous; and nothing more resembles God than one of us when he becomes righteous in the highest possible degree: -

"Go into the way, the whole tribe of you handicrafts-men, who worship Jove's fierce-eyed daughter, the working goddess, with fans duly placed, fools that you are" -

Fashioners of stones, and worshippers of them. Let your Phidias, and Polycletus, and your Praxiteles and Apelles too, come, and all that are engaged in mechanical arts, who, being themselves of the earth, are workers of the earth. "For then," says a certain prophecy, "the affairs here turn out unfortunately, when men put their trust in images." Let the meaner artists, too – for I will not stop calling – come. None of these ever made a breathing image, or out of earth moulded soft flesh. Who liquefied the marrow? or who solidified the bones? Who stretched the nerves? Who distended the veins? Who poured the blood into them? Or who spread the skin? Who ever could have made eyes capable of seeing? Who breathed spirit into the lifeless form? Who bestowed righteousness? Who promised immortality? The Maker of the universe alone; the Great Artist and Father has formed us, such a living image as man is. But your Olympian Jove, the image of an image, greatly out of harmony with truth, is the senseless work of Attic hands. For the image of God is his Word, the genuine Son of Mind, the Divine Word, the archetypal light of light; and the image of the Word is the true man, the mind which is in man, who is therefore said to have been made "in the image and likeness of God," assimilated to the Divine Word in the affections of the soul, and therefore rational; but effigies sculptured in human form, the earthly image of that part of man which is visible and earth-born, are but a perishable impress of humanity, manifestly wide of the truth. That life, then, which is occupied with so much earnestness about matter, seems to me to be nothing else than full of insanity. And custom, which has made you taste bondage and unreasonable care, is fostered by vain opinion; and ignorance, which has proved to the human race the cause of unlawful rites and delusive shows, and also of deadly plagues and hateful images, has, by devising many shapes of demons, stamped on all that follow it the mark of long-continued death. Receive, then, the water of the word; wash, you polluted ones; purify yourselves from custom, by sprinkling yourselves with the drops of truth. The pure must ascend to heaven. You are a man, if we look to that which is most common to you and others – seek him who created you; you are a son, if we look to that which is your peculiar prerogative – acknowledge your Father. But do you still continue in your sins, engrossed with pleasures? To whom shall the Lord say, "Yours is the kingdom of heaven?" yours, whose choice is set on God, if you will; yours, if you will only believe, and comply with the brief terms of the announcement; which the Ninevites having obeyed, instead of the destruction they looked for, obtained a signal deliverance. How, then, may I ascend to heaven, is it said? The Lord is the way; a narrow way, but leading from heaven, narrow in truth, but leading back to heaven, narrow, despised on earth; broad, adored in heaven.

Then, he that is uninstructed in the word, has ignorance as the excuse of his error; but as for him into whose ears instruction has been poured, and who deliberately maintains his incredulity in his soul, the wiser he appears to be, the more harm will his understanding do him; for he has his own sense as his accuser for not having chosen the best part. For man has been otherwise constituted by nature, so as to have fellowship with God. As, then, we do not compel the horse to plough, or the bull to hunt, but set each animal to that for which it is by nature fitted; so, placing our finger on what is man's peculiar and distinguishing characteristic above other creatures, we invite him – born, as he is, for the contemplation of heaven, and being, as he is, a truly heavenly plant – to the knowledge of God, counseling him to furnish himself with what is his sufficient provision for eternity, namely piety. Practice planting, we say, if you are a farmer; but while you till your fields, know God. Sail the sea, you who are devoted to navigation, yet call the while on the heavenly Pilot. Has knowledge taken hold of you while engaged in military service? Listen to the commander, who orders what is right. As those, then, who have been overpowered with sleep and drunkenness, let you awake; and using your eyes a little, consider what mean those stones which you worship, and the expenditure you frivolously lavish on matter. Your means and substance you squander on ignorance, even as you throw away your lives to death, having found no other end of your vain hope than this. Not only unable to pity yourselves, you are incapable even of yielding to the persuasions of those who commiserate you; enslaved as you are to evil custom, and, clinging to it voluntarily till your last breath, you are hurried to destruction: "because light is come into the world, and men have loved the darkness rather than the light," while they could sweep away those hindrances to salvation, pride, and wealth, and fear, repeating this poetic utterance: -

"Where do I bear these abundant riches? and where Do I myself wander?"

If you wish, then, to cast aside these vain phantasies, and bid adieu to evil custom, say to vain opinion: "Lying dreams, farewell; you were then nothing."

For what, do you think, O men, is the Hermes of Typho, and that of Andocides, and that of Amyetus? Is it not evident to all that they are stones, as is the veritable Hermes himself? As the Halo is not a God, and as the Iris is not a God, but are states of the atmosphere and of the clouds; and as, likewise, a day is not a God, nor a year, nor time, which is made up of these, so neither is sun nor moon, by which each of those mentioned above is determined. Who, then, in his right senses, can imagine Correction, and Punishment, and Justice, and Retribution to be gods? For neither the Furies, nor the Fates, nor Destiny are gods, since neither Government, nor Glory, nor Wealth are gods, which last (as Plutus) painters represent as blind. But if you deify Modesty, and Love, and Venus, let these be followed by Infamy, and Passion, and Beauty, and Intercourse. Therefore Sleep and Death cannot reasonably any more be regarded as twin deities, being merely changes which take place naturally in living creatures; no more will you with propriety call Fortune, or Destiny, or the Fates goddesses. And if Strife and Battle be not gods, no more are Ares and Enyo. Still further, if the lightnings, and thunderbolts, and rains are not gods, how can fire and water be gods? How can shooting stars and comets, which are produced by atmospheric changes? He who calls Fortune a God, let him also so call Action. If, then, none of these, nor of the images formed by human hands, and destitute of feeling, is held to be a God, while a providence exercised about us is evidently the result of a divine power, it remains only to acknowledge this, that he alone who is truly God, only truly is and subsists. But those who are insensible to this are like men who have drunk mandrake or some other drug. May God grant that you may at length awake from this slumber, and know God; and that neither Gold, nor Stone, nor Tree, nor Action, nor Suffering, nor Disease, nor Fear, may appear in your eyes as a God. For there are, in sooth, "on the fruitful earth thrice ten thousand" demons, not immortal, nor indeed mortal; for they are not endowed with sensation, so as to render them capable of death, but only things of wood and stone, that hold despotic sway over men insulting and violating life through the force of custom. "The earth is the Lord's," it is said, "and the fullness thereof." Then why darest you, while luxuriating in the bounties of the Lord, to ignore the Sovereign Ruler? "Leave my earth," the Lord will say to you. "Touch not the water which I bestow. Partake not of the fruits of the earth produced by my planting." Give to God recompense for your sustenance; acknowledge your Master. You are God's creature. What belongs to him, how can it with justice be alienated? For that which is alienated, being deprived of the properties that belonged to it, is also deprived of truth. For, after the fashion of Niobe, or, to express myself more mystically, like the Hebrew woman called by the ancients Lot's wife, are you not turned into a state of insensibility? This woman we have heard, was turned into stone for her love of Sodore. And those who are godless, addicted to impiety, hard-hearted and foolish are Sodomites. Believe that these utterances are addressed to you from God. For think not that stones, and stocks, and birds, and serpents are sacred things, and men are not; but, on the contrary, regard men as truly sacred, and take beasts and stones for what they are. For there are miserable wretches of human kind, who consider that God utters his voice by the raven and the jackdaw, but says nothing by man; and honour the raven as a messenger of God. But the man of God, who croaks not, nor chatters, but speaks rationally and instructs lovingly, alas, they persecute; and while he is inviting them to cultivate righteousness, they try inhumanly to slay him, neither welcoming the grace which, comes from above, nor fearing the penalty. For they believe not God, nor understand his power, whose love to man is inexpressible; and his hatred of evil is inconceivable. His anger augments punishment against sin; his love bestows bless-rags on repentance. It is the height of wretchedness to be deprived of the help which comes from God. Hence this blindness of eyes and dullness of hearing are more grievous than other inflictions of the evil one; for the one deprives them of heavenly vision, the other robs them of divine instruction. But you, so maimed as respects the truth, blind in mind, deaf in understanding, are not grieved, are not pained, have had no desire to see heaven and the Maker of heaven, nor, by fixing your choice on salvation, have sought to hear the Creator of the universe, and to learn of him; for no hindrance stands in the way of him who is bent on the knowledge of God. Neither childlessness, nor poverty, nor obscurity, nor want, can hinder him who eagerly strives after the knowledge of God; nor does anyone who has conquered by brass or iron the true wisdom for himself choose to exchange it, for it is vastly preferred to everything else. Christ is able to save in every place. For he that is fired with ardour and admiration for righteousness, being the lover of One who needs nothing, needs himself but little, having treasured up his bliss in nothing but himself and God, where is neither moth, robber, nor pirate, but the eternal Giver of good. With justice, then, have you been compared to those serpents who shut their ears against the charmers. For "their mind," says the Scripture, "is like the serpent, like the deaf adder, which stops her ear, and will not hear the voice of the charmers." But allow yourselves to feel the influence of the charming strains of sanctity, and receive that mild word of ours, and reject the deadly poison, that it may be granted to you to rid yourselves as much as possible of destruction, as they have been rid of old age. Hear me, and do not stop your ears; do not block up the avenues of hearing, but lay to heart what is said. Excellent is the medicine of immortality! Stop at length your grovelling reptile motions. "For the enemies of the Lord," says Scripture, "shall lick the dust." Raise your eyes from earth to the skies, look up to heaven, admire the sight, cease watching with outstretched head the heel of the righteous, and hindering the way of truth. Be wise and harmless. Perhaps the Lord will endow you with the wing of simplicity (for he has resolved to give wings to those that are earth-born), that you may leave your holes and dwell in heaven. Only let us with our whole heart repent, that we may be able with our whole heart to contain God. "Trust in him, all you assembled people; pour out all your hearts before him." He says to those that have newly abandoned wickedness, "He pities them, and fills them with righteousness." Believe him who is man and God; believe, O man. Believe, O man, the living God, who suffered and is adored. Believe, you slaves, him who died; believe, all you of human kind, him who alone is God of all men. Believe, and receive salvation as your reward. Seek God, and your soul shall live. He who seeks God is busying himself about his own salvation. Have you found God? – then you have life. Let us then seek, in order that we may live. The reward of seeking is life with God. "Let all who seek you be glad and rejoice in you; and let them say continually, God be magnified." A noble hymn of God is an immortal man, established in righteousness, in whom the oracles of truth are engraved. For where but in a soul that is wise can you write truth? Where love? Where reverence? Where meekness? Those who have had these divine characters impressed on them, ought, I think, to regard wisdom as a fair port from which to embark, to whatever lot in life they turn; and likewise to deem it the calm haven of salvation: wisdom, by which those who have betaken themselves to the Father, have proved good fathers to their children; and good parents to their sons, those who have known the Son; and good husbands to their wives, those who remember the Bridegroom; and good masters to their servants, those who have been redeemed from utter slavery. Oh, happier far the beasts than men involved in error! who live in ignorance as you, but do not counterfeit the truth. There are no tribes of flatterers among them. Fishes have no superstition: the birds worship not a single image; only they look with admiration on heaven, since, deprived as they are of reason, they are unable to know God. So are you not ashamed for living through so many periods of life in impiety, making yourselves more irrational than irrational creatures? You were boys, then striplings, then youths, then men, but never as yet were you good. If you have respect for old age, be wise, now that you have reached life's sunset; and albeit at the close of life, acquire the knowledge of God, that the end of life may to you prove the beginning of salvation. You have become old in superstition; as young, enter on the practice of piety. God regards you as innocent children. Let, then, the Athenian follow the laws of Solon, and the Argive those of Phoroneus, and the Spartan those of Lycurgus: but if you enroll yourself as one of God's people, heaven is your country, God your lawgiver. And what are the laws? "You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not seduce boys; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall love the Lord your God." And the complements of these are those laws. Of reason and words of sanctity which are inscribed on men's hearts: "You shall love your neighbour as yourself; to him who strikes you on the cheek, present also the other;" "you shall not lust, for by lust alone you have committed adultery." How much better, therefore, is it for men from the beginning not to wish to desire things forbidden, than to obtain their desires! But you are unable to endure the austerity of salvation; but as we delight in sweet' things, and prize them higher for the agreeableness of the pleasure they yield, while, on the other hand, those bitter things which are distasteful to the palate are curative and healing, and the harshness of medicines strengthens people of weak stomach, so custom pleases and, tickles; but custom pushes into the abyss, while truth conducts to heaven. Harsh it is at first, but a good nurse of youth; and it is at once the decorous place where the household maids and matrons dwell together, and the sage council-chamber. Nor is it difficult to approach, or impossible to attain, but is very near us in our very homes; as Moses, endowed with all wisdom, says, while referring to it, it has its abode in three departments of our constitution – in the hands, the mouth, and the heart: a meet emblem this of truth, which is embraced by these three things in all – will, action, speech. And be not afraid for fear that the multitude of pleasing objects which rise before you withdraw you from wisdom. You yourself will spontaneously surmount the frivolousness of custom, as boys when they have become men throw aside their toys. For with a celerity unsurpassible, and a benevolence to which we have ready access, the divine power, casting its radiance on the earth, has filled the universe with the seed of salvation. For it was not without divine care that so great a work was accomplished in so brief a space by the Lord, who, though despised as to appearance, was in reality adored, the expiator of sin, the Saviour, the clement, the Divine Word, he that is truly most manifest Deity, he that is made equal to the Lord of the universe; because he was his Son, and the Word was in God, not disbelieved in by all when he was first preached, nor altogether unknown when, assuming the character of man, and fashioning himself in flesh, he enacted the drama of human salvation: for he was a true champion and a fellow-champion with the creature. And being communicated most speedily to men, having dawned from his Father's counsel quicker than the sun, with the most perfect ease he made God shine on us. From whom he was and what he was, he showed by what he taught and exhibited, manifesting himself as the Herald of the Covenant, the Reconciler, our Saviour, the Word, the Fount of life, the Giver of peace, diffused over the whole face of the earth; by whom so to speak, the universe has already become an ocean of blessings.

Chapter 11.

The benefits conferred on man through the advent of Christ

Contemplate a little, if agreeable to you, the divine beneficence. The first man, when in Paradise, sported free, because he was the child of God; but when he succumbed to pleasure (for the serpent allegorically signifies pleasure crawling on its belly, earthly wickedness nourished for fuel to the flames), was as a child seduced by lusts, and grew old in disobedience; and by disobeying his Father, dishonoured God. Such was the influence of pleasure. Man, that had been free by reason of simplicity, was found fettered to sins. The Lord then wished to release him from his bonds, and clothing himself with flesh – O divine mystery! – vanquished the serpent, and enslaved the tyrant death; and, most marvellous of all, man that had been deceived by pleasure, and bound fast by corruption, had his hands unloosed, and was set free. O mystic wonder! The Lord was laid low, and man rose up; and he that fell from Paradise receives as the reward of obedience something greater (than Paradise) – namely, heaven itself. Therefore, since the Word himself has come to us from heaven, we need not, I reckon, go any more in search of human learning to Athens and the rest of Greece, and to Ionia. For if we have as our teacher him that filled the universe with his holy energies in creation, salvation, beneficence, legislation, prophecy, teaching, we have the Teacher from whom all instruction comes; and the whole world, with Athens and Greece, has already become the domain of the Word. For you, who believed the poetical fable which designated Minos the Cretan as the bosom friend of Zeus, will not refuse to believe that we who have become the disciples of God have received the only true wisdom; and that which the chiefs of philosophy only guessed at, the disciples of Christ have both apprehended and proclaimed. And the one whole Christ is not divided: "There is neither barbarian, nor Jew, nor Greek, neither male nor female, but a new man," transformed by God's Holy Spirit. Further, the other counsels and precepts are unimportant, and respect particular things, – as, for example, if one may marry, take part in public affairs, beget children; but the only command that is universal, and over the whole course of existence, at all times and in all circumstances, tends to the highest end, that is, life, is piety, – all that is necessary, in order that we may live for ever, being that we live in accordance with it. Philosophy, however, as the ancients say, is "a long-lived exhortation, wooing the eternal love of wisdom;" while the commandment of the Lord is far-shining, "enlightening the eyes." Receive Christ, receive sight, receive your light,

"In order that you may know well both God and man." "Sweet is the Word that gives us light, precious above gold and gems; it is to be desired above honey and the honey-comb." For how can it be other than desirable, since it has filled with light the mind which had been buried in darkness, and given keenness to the "light-bringing eyes" of the soul? For just as, had the sun not been in existence, night would have brooded over the universe notwithstanding the other luminaries of heaven; so, had we nor known the Word, and been illuminated by him; we should have been nowise different from fowls that are being fed, fattened in darkness, and nourished for death. Let us then admit the light, that we may admit God; let us admit the light, and become disciples to the Lord. This, too, he has been promised to the Father: "I will declare your name to my brethren; in the midst of the Church will I praise you." Praise and declare to me your Father God; your utterances save; your hymn teaches that hereto I have wandered in error, seeking God. But since you lead me to the light, O Lord, and I find God through you, and receive the Father from you, I become "Your fellow-heir," since you "weft not ashamed of me as your brother." Let us put away, then, let us put away oblivion of the truth, that is, ignorance; and removing the darkness which obstructs, as dimness of sight, let us contemplate the only true God, first raising our voice in this hymn of praise: Hail, O light! For in us, buried in darkness, shut up in the shadow of death, light has shone forth from heaven, purer than the sun, sweeter than life here below. That light is eternal life; and whatever partakes of it lives. But night fears the light, and hiding itself in terror, gives place to the day of the Lord. Sleepless light is now over all, and the west has given credence to the east. For this was the end of the new creation. For "the Sun of Righteousness," who drives his chariot over all, pervades equally all humanity, like "his Father, who makes his sun to rise on all men," and distills on them the dew of the truth. He has changed sunset into sunrise, and through the cross brought death to life; and having wrenched man from destruction, he has raised him to the skies, transplanting mortality into immortality, and translating earth to heaven – He, the farmer of God,

"Pointing out the favourable signs and rousing the nations To good works, putting them in mind of the true sustenance;" having bestowed on us the truly great, divine, and inalienable inheritance of the Father, deifying man by heavenly teaching, putting his laws into our minds, and writing them on our hearts. What laws does he inscribe? "That all shall know God, from small to great;" and, "I will be merciful to them," says God, "and will not remember their sins." Let us receive the laws of life, let us comply with God's expostulations; let us become acquainted with him, that he may be gracious. And though God needs nothing let us render to him the grateful recompense of a thankful heart and of piety, as a kind of house-rent for our dwelling here below. "Gold for brass, A hundred oxen's worth for that of nine;"

That is, for your little faith he gives you the earth of so great extent to till, water to drink and also to sail on, air to breathe, fire to do your work, a world to dwell in; and he has permitted you to conduct a colony from here to heaven: with these important works of his hand, and benefits in such numbers, he has rewarded your little faith. Then, those who have put faith in necromancers, receive from them amulets and charms, to ward off evil indeed; and will you not allow the heavenly Word, the Saviour, to be bound on to you as an amulet, and, by trusting in God's own charm, be delivered from passions which are the diseases of the mind, and rescued from sin? – for sin is eternal death. Surely utterly dull and blind, and, like moles, doing nothing but eat, you spend your lives in darkness, surrounded with corruption. But it is truth which cries, "The light shall shine forth from the darkness." Let the light then shine in the hidden part of man, that is, the heart; and let the beams of knowledge arise to reveal and irradiate the hidden inner man, the disciple of the Light, the familiar friend and fellow-heir of Christ; especially now that we have come to know the most precious and venerable name of the good Father, who to a pious and good child gives gentle counsels, and commands what is salutary for his child. He who obeys him has the advantage in all things, follows God, obeys the Father, knows him through wandering, loves God, loves his neighbour, fulfills the commandment, seeks the prize, claims the promise. But it has been God's fixed and constant purpose to save the flock of men: for this end the good God sent the good Shepherd. And the Word, having unfolded the truth, showed to men the height of salvation, that either repenting they might be saved, or refusing to obey, they might be judged. This is the proclamation of righteousness: to those that obey, glad tidings; to those that disobey, judgment. The loud trumpet, when sounded, collects the soldiers, and proclaims war. And shall not Christ, breathing a strain of peace to the ends of the earth, gather together his own soldiers, the soldiers of peace? Well, by his blood, and by the word, he has gathered the bloodless host of peace, and assigned to them the kingdom of heaven. The trumpet of Christ is his Gospel. He has blown it, and we have heard. "Let us array ourselves in the armor of peace, putting on the breastplate of righteousness, and taking the shield of faith, and binding our brows with the helmet, of salvation; and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," let us sharpen. So the apostle in the spirit of peace commands. These are our invulnerable weapons: armed with these, let us face the evil one; "the fiery darts of the evil one" let us quench with the sword-points dipped in water, that, have been baptised by the Word, returning grateful thanks for the benefits we have received, and honouring God through the Divine Word. "For while you are yet speaking," it is said, "He will say, Behold, I am beside you." O this holy and blessed power, by which God has fellowship with men! Better far, then, is it to become at once the imitator and the servant of the best of all beings; for only by holy service will anyone be able to imitate God, and to serve and worship him only by imitating him. The heavenly and truly divine love comes to men so, when in the soul itself the spark of true goodness, kindled in the soul by the Divine Word, is able to burst forth into flame; and, what is of the highest importance, salvation runs parallel with sincere willingness – choice and life being, so to speak, yoked together. Therefore this exhortation of the truth alone, like the most faithful of our friends, abides with us till our last breath, and is to the whole and perfect spirit of the soul the kind attendant on our ascent to heaven. What, then, is the exhortation I give you? I urge you to be saved. This Christ desires. In one word. He freely bestows life on you. And who is He? Briefly learn. The Word of truth, the Word of incorruption, that regenerates man by bringing him back to the truth – the goad that urges to salvation t he who expels destruction and pursues death- he who builds up the temple of God in men, that he may cause God to take up his abode in men. Cleanse the temple; and pleasures and amusements abandon to the winds and the fire, as a fading flower; but wisely cultivate the fruits of self-command, and present yourself to God as an offering of first-fruits, that there may be not the work alone, but also the grace of God; and both are required, that the friend of Christ may be rendered worthy of the kingdom, and be counted worthy of the kingdom.

Chapter 12.

Let us then abandon heathen custom and follow the instructions of Christ

Let us then avoid custom as we would a dangerous headland, or the threatening Charybdis, or the mythic sirens. It chokes man, turns him away from truth, leads him away from life: custom is a snare, a gulf, a pit, a mischievous winnowing fan. "Urge the ship beyond that smoke and billow."

Let us shun, fellow-mariners, let us shun this billow; it vomits forth fire: it is a wicked island, heaped with bones and corpses, and in it sings a fair courtesan, Pleasure, delighting with music for the common ear. "Hie you here, far-famed Ulysses, great glory of the Achaians; Moor the ship, that you may hears diviner voice." She praises you, O mariner, and calls the illustrious; and the courtesan tries to win to herself the glory of the Greeks. Leave her to prey on the dead; a heavenly spirit comes to your help: pass by Pleasure, she beguiles. "Let not a woman with flowing train cheat you of your senses, with her flattering prattle seeking your hurt."

Sail past the song; it works death. Exert your will only, and you have overcome ruin; bound to the wood of the cross, you shall be freed from destruction: the word of God will be your pilot, and the Holy Spirit will bring you to anchor in the haven of heaven. Then shall you see my God, and be initiated into the sacred mysteries, and come to the fruition of those things which are laid up in heaven reserved for me, which "ear has not heard, nor have they entered into the heart of any." "And in sooth I think I see two suns, And a double Thebes," said one frenzy-stricken in the worship of idols, intoxicated with mere ignorance. I would pity him in his frantic intoxication, and so frantic I would invite him to the sobriety of salvation; for the Lord welcomes a sinner's repentance, and not his death.

Come, O madman, not leaning on the thyrsus, not crowned with ivy; throw away the mitre, throw away the fawn-skin; come to your senses. I will show you the Word, and the mysteries of the Word, expounding them after your own fashion. This is the mountain beloved of God, not the subject of tragedies like Cithaeron, but consecrated to dramas of the truth, – a mount of sobriety, shaded with forests of purity; and there revel on it not the Maenades, the sisters of Semele, who was struck by the thunderbolt, practicing in their initiator rites unholy division of flesh, but the daughters of God, the fair lambs, who celebrate the holy rites of the Word, raising a sober choral dance. The righteous are the chorus; the music is a hymn of the King of the universe. The maidens strike the lyre, the angels praise, the prophets speak; the sound of music issues forth, they run and pursue the jubilant band; those that are called make haste, eagerly desiring to receive the Father.

Come you also, O aged man, leaving Thebes, and casting away from you both divination and Bacchic frenzy, allow yourself to be led to the truth. I give you the staff (of the cross) on which to lean. Haste, Tiresias; believe, and you will see. Christ, by whom the eyes of the blind recover sight, will shed on you a light brighter than the sun; night will flee from you, fire will fear, death will be gone; you, old man, who saw not Thebes, shall see the heavens. O truly sacred mysteries! O stainless light! my way is lighted with torches, and I survey the heavens and God; I become holy while I am initiated. The Lord is the hierophant, and seals while illuminating him who is initiated, and presents to the Father him who believes, to be kept safe for ever. Such are the reveries of my mysteries. If it is your wish, be also initiated; and you shall join the choir along with angels around the unbegotten and indestructible and the only true God, the Word of God, raising the hymn with us. This Jesus, who is eternal, the one great high priest of the one God, and of his Father, prays for and exhorts men. "Hear, you myriad tribes, rather whoever among men are endowed with reason, both barbarians and Greeks. I call on the whole race of men, whose Creator I am, by the will of the Father. Come to me, that you may be put in your due rank under the one God and the one Word of God; and do not only have the advantage of the irrational creatures in the possession of reason; for to you of all mortals I grant the enjoyment of immortality. For I want, I want to impart to you this grace, bestowing on you the perfect boon of immortality; and I confer on you both the Word and the knowledge of God, my complete self. This am I, this God wills, this is symphony, this the harmony of the Father, this is the Son, this is Christ, this the Word of God, the arm of the Lord, the power of the universe, the will of the Father; of which things there were images of old, but not all adequate. I desire to restore you according to the original model, that you may become also like me. I anoint you with the ungent of faith, by which you throw off corruption, and show you the naked form of righteousness by which you ascend to God. Come to me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Let us haste, let us run, my fellowmen – us, who are God-loving and God-like images of the Word. Let us haste, let us run, let us take his yoke, let us receive, to conduct us to immortality, the good charioteer of men. Let us love Christ. He led the colt with its parent; and having yoked the team of humanity to God, directs his chariot to immortality, hastening clearly to fulfill, by driving now into heaven, what he shadowed forth before by riding into Jerusalem. A spectacle most beautiful to the Father is the eternal Son crowned with victory. Let us aspire, then, after what is good; let us become God-loving men, and obtain the greatest of all things which are incapable of being harmed – God and life. Our helper is the Word; let us put confidence in him; and never let us be visited with such a craving for silver and gold, and glory, as for the Word of truth himself. For it will not, it will not be pleasing to God himself if we value least those things which are worth most, and hold in the highest estimation the manifest enormities and the utter impiety of folly, and ignorance, and thoughtlessness, and idolatry. For not improperly the sons of the philosophers consider that the foolish are guilty of profanity and impiety in whatever they do; and describing ignorance itself as a species of madness, allege that the multitude are nothing but madmen. There is therefore no room to doubt, the Word will say, whether it is better to be sane or insane; but holding on to truth with our teeth, we must with all our might follow God, and in the exercise of wisdom regard all things to be, as they are, his; and besides, having learned that we are the most excellent of his possessions, let us commit ourselves to God, loving the Lord God, and regarding this as our business all our life long. And if what belongs to friends be reckoned common property, and man be the friend of God-for through the mediation of the Word has he been made the friend of God – then accordingly all things become man's, because all things are God's, and the common property of both the friends, God and man. It is time, then, for us to say that the pious Christian alone is rich and wise, and of noble birth, and so call and believe him to be God's image, and also his likeness, having become righteous and holy and wise by Jesus Christ, and so far already like God. Accordingly this grace is indicated by the prophet, when he says, "I said that you are gods, and all sons of the Highest." For us, yes us, he has adopted, and wishes to be called the Father of us alone, not of the unbelieving. Such is then our position who are the attendants of Christ. "As are men's wishes, so are their words; As are their words, so are their deeds; And as their works, such is their life."

Good is the whole life of those who have known Christ. Enough, I think, of words, though, impelled by love to man, I might have gone on to pour out what I had from God, that I might exhort to what is the greatest of blessings – salvation. For discourses concerning the life which has no end, are not readily brought to the end of their disclosures. To you still remains this conclusion, to choose which will profit you most – judgment or grace. For I do not think there is even room for doubt which of these is the better; nor is it allowable to compare life with destruction.


 

On the Salvation of the Rich

Chapter 1.

To flatter the rich is both godless and treacherous

Those who bestow laudatory addresses on the rich appear to me to be rightly judged not only as flatterers and base, in vehemently pretending that things which are disagreeable give them pleasure, but also as godless and treacherous; godless, because neglecting to praise and glorify God who is alone perfect and good, "of whom are all things, and by whom are all things, and for whom are all things," they invest with divine honours men wallowing in an abominable life, and, what is the principal thing, liable on this account to the judgment of God; and treacherous, because, although wealth is of itself sufficient to puff up and corrupt the souls of its possessors, and to turn them from the path by which salvation is to be attained, they stupefy them still more, by inflating the minds of the rich with the pleasures of extravagant praises, and by making them utterly despise all things except wealth, on account of which they are admired; bringing, as the saying is, fire to fire, pouring pride on pride, and adding conceit to wealth, a heavier burden to that which by nature is a weight, from which somewhat ought rather to be removed and taken away as being a dangerous and deadly disease. For to him who exalts and magnifies himself, the change and downfall to a low condition succeeds in turn, as the divine word teaches. For it appears to me to be far kinder, than basely to flatter the rich and praise them for what is bad, to aid them in working out their salvation in every possible way; asking this of God, who surely and sweetly bestows such things on his own children; and so by the grace of the Saviour healing their souls, enlightening them and leading them to the attainment of the truth; and whosoever obtains this and distinguishes himself in good works shall gain the prize of everlasting life. Now prayer that runs its course till the last day of life needs a strong and tranquil soul; and the conduct of life needs a good and righteous disposition, reaching out towards all the commandments of the Saviour.

Chapter 2.

Why salvation is more difficult for the rich than for the poor

Perhaps the reason of salvation appearing more difficult to the rich than to poor men, is not single but manifold. For some, merely hearing, and that in an off-hand way, the utterance of the Saviour, "that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven," despair of themselves as not destined to live, surrender all to the world, cling to the present life as if it alone was left to them, and so diverge more from the way to the life to come, no longer enquiring either whom the Lord and Master calls rich, or how that which is impossible to man becomes possible to God. But others rightly and adequately comprehend this, but attaching slight importance to the works which tend to salvation, do not make the required preparation for attaining to the objects of their hope. And I affirm both of these things of the rich who have learned both the Saviour's power and his glorious salvation. With those who are ignorant of the truth I have little concern.

Chapter 3.

Heaven is not shut them, if they obey the commandments

Those then who are actuated by a love of the truth and love of their brethren, and neither are rudely insolent towards such rich as are called, nor, on the other hand, cringe to them for their own avaricious ends, must first by the word relieve them of their groundless despair, and show with the required explanation of the oracles of the Lord that the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven is not quite cut off from them if they obey the commandments; then admonish those who they entertain a causeless fear, and that the Lord gladly receives them, provided they are willing; and then, in addition, exhibit and teach how and by what deeds and dispositions they shall win the objects of hope, inasmuch as it is neither out of their reach, nor, on the other hand, attained without effort; but, as is the case with athletes – to compare things small and perishing with things great and immortal – let the man who is endowed with worldly wealth reckon that this depends on himself. For among those, one man, because he despaired of being able to conquer and gain crowns, did not give in his name for the contest; while another, whose mind was inspired with this hope, and yet did not submit to the appropriate labours, and diet, and exercises, remained uncrowned, and was balked in his expectations. So also let not the man that has been invested with worldly wealth proclaim himself excluded at the outset from the Saviour's lists, provided he is a believer and one who contemplates the greatness of God's philanthropy; nor let him, on the other hand, expect to grasp the crowns of immortality without struggle and effort, continuing untrained, and without contest. But let him go and put himself under the Word as his trainer, and Christ the President of the contest; and for his prescribed food and drink let him have the New Testament of the Lord; and for exercises, the commandments; and for elegance and ornament, the fair dispositions, love, faith, hope, knowledge of the truth, gentleness, meekness, pity, gravity: so that, when by the last trumpet the signal shall be given for the race and departure hence, as from the stadium of life, he may with a good conscience present himself victorious before the Judge who confers the rewards, confessedly worthy of the Fatherland on high, to which he returns with crowns and the acclamations of angels.

Chapter 4.

The Saviour grants to those who pray and teaches those who ask

May the Saviour then grant to us that, having begun the subject from this point, we may contribute to the brethren what is true, and suitable, and saving, first concerning the hope itself, and, second, concerning the access to the hope. He indeed grants to those who beg, and teaches those who ask, and dissipate ignorance and dispels despair, by introducing again the same words about the rich, which become their own interpreters and infallible expounders. For there is nothing like listening again to the very same statements, which until now in the Gospels were distressing you, hearing them as you did without examination, and erroneously through lack of experience.

And as he was going forth on the way, a person approached and knelt down, saying, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may inherit everlasting life?" And Jesus says, "Why call you me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. You know the commandments. Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour your father and your mother." And he answering says to him, "All these have I observed." And Jesus, looking on him, loved him, and said, "One thing you lack. If you would be perfect, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me" And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he was rich, having great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and says to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into the kingdom of God!" And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answers again, and says to them, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! More easily shall a camel enter through the eye of a needle than a rich man into the kingdom of God.” And they were astonished and said, "Who then can be saved?" He, looking on them, said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God. For with God all things are possible." Peter began to say to him, "See, we have left all and followed you." And Jesus answered and said, "Truly I say to you, whosoever shall leave what is his own, parents, and brethren, and possessions, for my sake and the Gospel's, shall receive an hundred-fold now in this world, lands, and possessions, and house, and brethren, with persecutions; and in the world to come is life everlasting. But many that are first shall be last, and the last first."

Chapter 5.

Do not hear these words in a fleshly way; but search out their hidden meaning

These things are written in the Gospel according to Mark; and in all the rest correspondingly; although perhaps the expressions vary slightly in each, yet all show identical agreement in meaning. But well knowing that the Saviour teaches nothing in a merely human way, but teaches all things to his own with divine and mystic wisdom, we must not listen to his utterances carnally; but with due investigation and intelligence must search out and learn the meaning hidden in them. For even those things which seem to have been simplified to the disciples by the Lord himself are found to require not less, even more, attention than what is expressed enigmatically, from the surpassing superabundance of wisdom in them. And whereas the things which are thought to have been explained by him to those within – those called by him the children of the kingdom – require still more consideration than the things which seemed to have been expressed simply, and respecting which therefore no questions were asked by those who heard them, but which, pertaining to the entire design of salvation, and to be contemplated with admirable and supercelestial depth of mind, we must not receive superficially with our ears, but with application of the mind to the very spirit of the Saviour, and the unuttered meaning of the declaration.

Chapter 6.

Jesus showed the essence of the Gospel, the gift of eternal life

For our Lord and Saviour was asked pleasantly a question most appropriate for him, – the Life respecting life, the Saviour respecting salvation, the Teacher respecting the chief doctrines taught, the Truth respecting the true immortality, the Word respecting the word of the Father, the Perfect respecting the perfect rest, the Immortal respecting the sure immortality. He was asked respecting those things on account of which he descended, which he inculcates, which he teaches, which he offers, in order to show the essence of the Gospel, that it is the gift of eternal life. For he foresaw as God, both what he would be asked, and what each one would answer him. For who should do this more than the Prophet of prophets, and the Lord of' every prophetic spirit? And having been called "good," and taking the starting note from this first expression, he begins his teaching with this, turning the pupil to God, the good, and first and only dispenser of eternal life, which the Son, who received it of him, gives to us.

Chapter 7.

Above all, know the eternal God; ignorance of him is death

Therefore the greatest and chiefest point of the instructions which relate to life must be implanted in the soul from the beginning, – to know the eternal God, the giver of what is eternal, and by knowledge and comprehension to possess God, who is first, and highest, and one, and good. For this is the immutable and immoveable source and support of life, the knowledge of God, who really is, and who bestows the things which really are, that is, those which are eternal, from whom both being and the continuance of it are derived to other beings. For ignorance of him is death; but the knowledge and appropriation of him, and love and likeness to him, are the only life.

Chapter 8.

The greatness of the Saviour and the newness of his grace

He then who would live the true life is enjoined first to know him "whom no one knows, except the Son reveal (Him)." Next is to be learned the greatness of the Saviour after him, and the newness of grace; for, according to the apostle, "the Law was given by Moses, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ;" and the gifts granted through a faithful servant are not equal to those bestowed by the true Son. If then the Law of Moses had been sufficient to confer eternal life, it were to no purpose for the Saviour himself to come and suffer for us, accomplishing the course of human life from his birth to his cross; and to no purpose for him who had done all the commandments of the Law from his youth to fall on his knees and beg from another immortality. For he had not only fulfilled the law, but had begun to do so from his very earliest youth. For what is there great or pre-eminently illustrious in an old age which is unproductive of faults? But if one in juvenile frolicsomeness and the fire of youth shows a mature judgment older than his years, this is a champion admirable and distinguished, and hoary pre-eminently in mind.

But, nevertheless, this man being such, is perfectly persuaded that nothing is wanting to him as far as respects righteousness, but that he is entirely destitute of life. Therefore he asks it from him who alone is able to give it. And with reference to the law, he carries confidence; but the Son of God he addresses in supplication. He is transferred from faith to faith. As perilously tossing and occupying a dangerous anchorage in the law, he makes for the Saviour to find a haven.

Chapter 9.

Jesus welcomes the young man's good-will; but says he is not perfect

Jesus, accordingly, does not charge him with not having fulfilled all things out of the law, but loves him, and fondly welcomes his obedience in what he had learned; but says that he is not perfect as respects eternal life, inasmuch as he had not fulfilled what is perfect, and that he is a doer indeed of the law, but idle at the true life. Those things, indeed, are good. Who denies it? For "the commandment is holy," as far as a sort of training with fear and preparatory discipline goes, leading as it did to the culmination of legislation and to grace. But Christ is the fulfillment "of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes;" and not as a slave making slaves, but sons, and brethren, and fellow-heirs, who perform the Father's will.

Chapter 10.

He bids him leave his busy life, and cleave to One and adhere to grace

"If you will be perfect." Consequently he was not yet perfect. For nothing is more perfect than what is perfect. And divinely the expression "if you will" showed the self-determination of the soul holding converse with him. For choice depended on the man as being free; but the gift on God as the Lord. And he gives to those who are willing and are exceedingly earnest, and ask, that so their salvation may become their own. For God compels not (for compulsion is repugnant to God), but supplies to those who seek, and bestows on those who ask, and opens to those who knock. If you will, then, if you really will, and are not deceiving yourself, acquire what you lack. One thing is lacking you, – the one thing which abides, the good, that which is now above the law, which the Law gives not, which the Law contains not, which is the prerogative of those who live. He indeed who had fulfilled all the demands of the Law from his youth, and had gloried in what was magnificent, was not able to complete the whole with this one thing which was specially required! by the Saviour, so as to receive the eternal life which he desired. But he departed displeased, vexed at the commandment of the life, on account of which he supplicated. For he did not truly wish life, as he averred, but aimed at the mere reputation of the good choice. And he was capable of busying himself about many things; but the one thing, the work of life, he was powerless, and disinclined, and unable to accomplish. Such also was what the Lord said to Martha, who was occupied with many things, and distracted and troubled with serving; while she blamed her sister, because, leaving serving, she set herself at his feet, devoting her time to learning: "You are troubled about many things, but Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." So also he bade him leave his busy life, and cleave to One and adhere to the grace of him who offered everlasting life.

Chapter 11.

Love of wealth made him depart from the Master

What then was it which persuaded him to flight, and made him depart from the Master, from the entreaty, the hope, the life, previously pursued with ardour? – "Sell your possessions." And what is this? He does not, as some conceive off-hand, bid him throw away the substance he possessed, and abandon his property; but bids him banish from his soul his notions about wealth, his excitement and morbid feeling about it, the anxieties, which are the thorns of existence, which choke the seed of life. For it is no great thing or desirable to be destitute of wealth, if without a special object, – not except on account of life. For so those who have nothing at all, but are destitute, and beggars for their daily bread, the poor dispersed on the streets, who do not know God and God's righteousness, simply on account of their extreme want and destitution of subsistence, and lack even of the smallest things, were most blessed and most dear to God, and sole possessors of everlasting life.

Nor was the renunciation of wealth and the bestowment of it on the poor or needy a new thing; for many did so before the Saviour's advent, – some because of the leisure (thereby obtained) for learning, and on account of a dead wisdom; and others for empty fame and vainglory, as the Anaxagorases, the Democriti, and the Crateses.

Chapter 12.

Why did he command as life-giving, what did not save those of former days?

Why did he command as new, as divine, as alone life-giving, what did not save those of former days? And what peculiar thing is it that the new creature the Son of God intimates and teaches? It is not the outward act which others have done, but something else indicated by it, greater, more godlike, more perfect, the stripping off of the passions from the soul itself and from the disposition, and the cutting up by the roots and casting out of what is alien to the mind. For this is the lesson peculiar to the believer, and the instruction worthy of the Saviour. For those who formerly despised external things relinquished and squandered their property, but the passions of the soul, I believe, they intensified. For they indulged in arrogance, pretension, and vainglory, and in contempt of the rest of mankind, as if they had done something superhuman. How then would the Saviour have enjoined on those destined to live for ever what was injurious and hurtful with reference to the life which he promised? For although such is the case, one, after ridding himself of the burden of wealth, may none the less have still the lust and desire for money innate and living; and may have abandoned the use of it, but being at once destitute of and desiring what he spent, may doubly grieve both on account of the absence of attendance, and the presence of regret. For it is impossible and inconceivable that those in want of the necessaries of life should not be harassed in mind, and hindered from better things in the endeavour to provide them somehow, and from some source.

Chapter 13.

The benefits of possessions

How much more beneficial the opposite case, for a man, through possessing a competency, both himself not to be in straits about money, and also to give assistance to those to whom he is required to do so! For if no one had anything, what room would be left among men for giving? And how can this dogma fail to be found plainly opposed to and conflicting with many other excellent teachings of the Lord? "Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when you fail, they may receive you into the everlasting habitations." "Acquire treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, nor thieves break through." How could one give food to the hungry, and drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless, for not doing which he threatens with fire and the outer darkness, if each man first rid himself of all these things? No, he bids Zaccheus and Matthew, the rich tax-gathers, entertain him hospitably. And he does not bid them part with their property, but, applying the just and removing the unjust judgment, he subjoins, "To-day salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham." He so praises the use of property as to enjoin, along with this addition, the giving a share of it, to give drink to the thirsty, bread to the hungry, to take the homeless in, and clothe the naked. But if it is not possible to supply those needs without substance, and he bids people abandon their substance, what else would the Lord be doing than exhorting to give and not to give the same things, to feed and not to feed, to take in and to shut out, to share and not to share? Which were the most irrational of all things.

Chapter 14.

Not to destroy wealth, but to use it properly

Riches, then, which benefit also our neighbours, are not to be thrown away. For they are possessions, inasmuch as they are possessed, and goods, inasmuch as they are useful and provided by God for the use of men; and they lie to our hand, and are put under our power, as material and instruments which are for good use to those who know the instrument. If you use it skillfully, it is skillful; if you are deficient in skill, it is affected by your want of skill, being itself destitute of blame. Such an instrument is wealth. Are you able to make a right use of it? It is subservient to righteousness. Does one make a wrong use of it? It is, on the other hand, a minister of wrong. For its nature is to be subservient, not to rule. That then which of itself has neither good nor evil, being blameless, ought not to be blamed; but that which has the power of using it well and ill, by reason of its possessing voluntary choice. And this is the mind and judgment of man, which has freedom in itself and self-determination in the treatment of what is assigned to it. So let no man destroy wealth, rather than the passions of the soul, which are incompatible with the better use of wealth. So that, becoming virtuous and good, he may be able to make a good use of these riches. The renunciation, then, and selling of all possessions, is to be understood as spoken of the passions of the soul.

Chapter 15.

Better to rid ourselves of passion than of possessions

I would then say this. Since some things are within and some without the soul, and if the soul make a good use of them, they also are reputed good, but if a bad, bad; – whether does he who commands us to alienate our possessions repudiate those things, after the removal of which the passions still remain, or those rather, on the removal of which wealth even becomes beneficial? If therefore he who casts away worldly wealth can still be rich in the passions, even though the material (for their gratification) is absent, – for the disposition produces its own effects, and strangles the reason, and presses it down and inflames it with its inbred lusts, – it is then of no advantage to him to be poor in purse while he is rich in passions. For it is not what ought to be cast away that he has cast away, but what is indifferent; and he has deprived himself of what is serviceable, but set on fire the innate fuel of evil through want of the external means (of gratification). We must therefore renounce those possessions that are injurious, not those that are capable of being serviceable, if one knows the fight use of them. And what is managed with wisdom, and sobriety, and piety, is profitable; and what is hurtful must be cast away. But things external hurt not. So then the Lord introduces the use of external things, bidding us put away not the means of subsistence, but what uses them badly. And these are the infirmities and passions of the soul.

Chapter 16.

But the loss of wealth can be salutary

The presence of wealth in these is deadly to all, the loss of it salutary. Of which, making the soul pure, – that is, poor and bare, – we must hear the Saviour speaking so, "Come, follow me." For to the pure in heart he now becomes the way. But into the impure soul the grace of God finds no entrance. And that (soul) is unclean which is rich in lusts, and is in the throes of many worldly affections. For he who holds possessions, and gold, and silver, and houses, as the gifts of God; and ministers from them to the God who gives them for the salvation of men; and knows that he possesses them more for the sake of the brethren than his own; and is superior to the possession of them, not the slave of the things he possesses; and does not carry them about in his soul, nor bind and circumscribe his life within them, but is ever labouring at some good and divine work, even should he be necessarily some time or other deprived of them, is able with cheerful mind to bear their removal equally with their abundance. This is he who is blessed by the Lord, and cared poor in spirit, a meet heir of the kingdom of heaven, not one who could not live rich.

Chapter 17.

Not to let riches possess our soul

But he who carries his riches in his soul, and instead of God's Spirit bears in his heart gold or land, and is always acquiring possessions without end, and is perpetually on the outlook for more, bending downwards and fettered in the toils of the world, being earth and destined to depart to earth, – how can he be able to desire and to mind the kingdom of heaven, – a man who carries not a heart, but land or metal, who must perforce be found in the midst of the objects he has chosen? For where the mind of man is, there is also his treasure. The Lord acknowledges a twofold treasure, – the good: "For the good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth good;" and the evil: for "the evil man, out of the evil treasure, brings forth evil: for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." As then treasure is not one with him, as also it is with us, that which gives the unexpected great gain in the finding, but also a second, which is profitless and undesirable, an evil acquisition, hurtful; so also there is a richness in good things, and a richness in bad things, since we know that riches and treasure are not by nature separated from each other. And the one sort of riches is to be possessed and acquired, and the other not to be possessed, but to be cast away.

In the same way spiritual poverty is blessed. Therefore also Matthew added, "Blessed are the poor." How? "In spirit." And again, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after the righteousness of God." Therefore wretched are the contrary kind of poor, who have no part in God, and still less in human property, and have not tasted of the righteousness of God.

Chapter 18.

Scholarly understanding of the "Camel through the Needle's Eye"

So that (the expression) rich men that shall with difficulty enter into the kingdom, is to be apprehended in a scholarly way, not awkwardly, or rustically, or carnally. For if the expression is used so, salvation does not depend on external things, whether they be many or few, small or great, or illustrious or obscure, or esteemed or disesteemed; but on the virtue of the soul, on faith, and hope, and love, and brotherliness, and knowledge, and meekness, and humility, and truth, the reward of which is salvation. For it is not on account of comeliness of body that anyone shall live, or, on the other hand, perish. But he who uses the body given to him chastely and according to God, shall live; and he that destroys the temple of God shall be destroyed. An ugly man can be profligate, and a good-looking man temperate. Neither strength and great size of body makes alive, nor does any of the members destroy. But the soul which uses them provides the cause for each. Bear then, it is said, when struck on the face; which a man strong and in good health can obey. And again, a man who is feeble may transgress from refractoriness of temper. So also a poor and destitute man may be found intoxicated with lusts; and a man rich in worldly goods temperate, poor in indulgences, trustworthy, intelligent, pure, chastened.

If then it is the soul which, first and especially, is that which is to live, and if virtue springing up around it saves, and vice kills; then it is clearly manifest that by being poor in those things, by riches of which one destroys it, it is saved, and by being rich in those things, riches of which ruin it, it is killed. And let us no longer seek the cause of the issue elsewhere than in the state and disposition of the soul in respect of obedience to God and purity, and in respect of transgression of the commandments and accumulation of wickedness.

Chapter 19.

Truly rich, whoever is rich in virtue

He then is truly and rightly rich who is rich in virtue, and is capable of making a holy and faithful use of any fortune; while he is spuriously rich who is rich, according to the flesh, and turns life into outward possession, which is transitory and perishing, and now belongs to one, now to another, and in the end to nobody at all. Again, in the same way there is a genuine poor man, and another counterfeit and falsely so called. He that is poor in spirit, and that is the right thing, and he that is poor in a worldly sense, which is a different thing. To him who is poor in worldly goods, but rich in vices, who is not poor in spirit and rich toward God, it is said, Abandon the alien possessions that are in your soul, that, becoming pure in heart, you may see God; which is another way of saying, Enter into the kingdom of heaven. And how may you abandon them? By selling them. What then? Are you to take money for effects, by effecting an exchange of riches, by turning your visible substance into money? Not at all. But by introducing, instead of what was formerly inherent in your soul, which you desire to save, other riches which deify and which minister everlasting life, dispositions in accordance with the command of God; for which there shall accrue to you endless reward and honour, and salvation, and everlasting immortality. It is so that you do rightly sell the possessions, many are superfluous, which shut the heavens against you by exchanging them for those which are able to save. Let the former be possessed by the carnal poor, who are destitute of the latter. But you, by receiving instead spiritual wealth, shall have now treasure in the heavens.

Chapter 20.

How the same man can be both poor and rich

The wealthy and legally correct man, not understanding these things figuratively, nor how the same man can be both poor and rich, and have wealth and not have it, and use the world and not use it, went away sad and downcast, leaving the state of life, which he was able merely to desire but not to attain, making for himself the difficult impossible. For it was difficult for the soul not to be seduced and ruined by the luxuries and flowery enchantments that beset remarkable wealth; but it was not impossible, even surrounded with it, for one to lay hold of salvation, provided he withdrew himself from material wealth, – to that which is grasped by the mind and taught by God, and learned to use things indifferent rightly and properly, and so as to strive after eternal life. And the disciples even themselves were at first alarmed and amazed. Why were they so on hearing this? Was it that they themselves possessed much wealth? No, they had long ago left their very nets, and hooks, and rowing boats, which were their sole possessions. Why then do they say in consternation, "Who can be saved?" They had heard well and like disciples what was spoken in parable and obscurely by the Lord, and perceived the depth of the words. For they were sanguine of salvation on the ground of their want of wealth. But when they became conscious of not having yet wholly renounced the passions (for they were neophytes and recently selected by the Saviour), they were excessively astonished, and despaired of themselves no less than that rich man who clung so terribly to the wealth which he preferred to eternal life. It was therefore a fit subject for all fear on the disciples' part; if both he that possesses wealth and he that is teeming with passions were the rich, and these alike shall be expelled from the heavens. For salvation is the privilege of pure and passionless souls.

Chapter 21.

What is impossible with men is possible with God."

But the Lord replies, "Because what is impossible with men is possible with God." This again is full of great wisdom. For a man by himself working and toiling at freedom from passion achieves nothing. But if he plainly shows himself very desirous and earnest about this, he attains it by the addition of the power of God. For God conspires with willing souls. But if they abandon their eagerness, the spirit which is bestowed by God is also restrained. For to save the unwilling is the part of one exercising compulsion; but to save the willing, that of one showing grace. Nor does the kingdom of heaven belong to sleepers and sluggards, "but the violent take it by force." For this alone is commendable violence, to force God, and take life from God by force. And He, knowing those who persevere firmly, or rather violently, yields and grants. For God delights in being vanquished in such things.

Therefore on hearing those words, the blessed Peter, the chosen, the pre-eminent, the first of the disciples, for whom alone and himself the Saviour paid tribute, quickly seized and comprehended the saying. And what does he say? "See, we have left all and followed you? Now if by all he means his own property, he boasts of leaving four oboli perhaps in all, and forgets to show the kingdom of heaven to be their recompense. But if, casting away what we were now speaking of, the old mental possessions and soul diseases, they follow in the Master's footsteps, this now joins them to those who are to be enrolled in the heavens. For it is so that one truly follows the Saviour, by aiming at sinlessness and at his perfection, and adorning and composing the soul before it as a mirror, and arranging everything in all respects similarly.

Chapter 22.

Meaning of Jesus' words about abandoning parents and children and wealth

"And Jesus answering said, Truly I say to you, whosoever shall leave what is his own, parents, and children, and wealth, for my sake and the Gospel's, shall receive an hundredfold." But let neither this trouble you, nor the still harder saying delivered in another place in the words, "Whoever hates not father, and mother, and children, and his own life besides, cannot be my disciple." For the God of peace, who also exhorts to love enemies, does not introduce hatred and dissolution from those that are dearest. But if we are to love our enemies, it is in accordance with right reason that, ascending from them, we should love also those nearest in kindred. Or if we are to hate our blood-relations, deduction teaches us that much more are we to spurn from us our enemies. So that the reasonings would be shown to destroy one another. But they do not destroy each other, nor are they near doing so. For from the same feeling and disposition, and on the ground of the same rule, one loving his enemy may hate his father, inasmuch as he neither takes vengeance on an enemy, nor reverences a father more than Christ. For by the one word he extirpates hatred and injury, and by the other shamefacedness towards one's relations, if it is detrimental to salvation. If then one's father, or son, or brother, be godless, and become a hindrance to faith and an impediment to the higher life, let him not be friends or agree with him, but on account of the spiritual enmity, let him dissolve the fleshly relationship.

Chapter 23.

When parents and children follow different value-systems

Suppose the matter to be a law-suit. Let your father be imagined to present himself to you and say, "I begot and reared you. Follow me, and join with me in wickedness, and obey not the Law of Christ;" and whatever a man who is a blasphemer and dead by nature would say. But on the other side hear the Saviour: "I regenerated you, who were ill born by the world to death. I emancipated, healed, ransomed you. I will show you the face of the good Father God. Call no man your father on earth. Let the dead bury the dead; but follow you me. For I will bring you to a rest of inexpressible and unutterable blessings, which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of men; into which angels desire to look, and see what good things God has prepared for the saints and the children who love him." I am he who feeds you, giving Myself as bread, of which he who has tasted experiences death no more, and supplying day by day the drink of immortality. I am teacher of supercelestial lessons. For you I contended with Death, and paid your death, which you owed for your former sins and your unbelief towards God."

Having heard these considerations on both sides, decide for yourself and give your vote for your own salvation. Should a brother say the like, should a child, should a wife, should anyone whosoever, in preference to all let Christ in you be conqueror. For he contends in your behalf.

Chapter 24.

At what stage one should "renounce" and "flee" the world

You may even go against wealth. Say, "Certainly Christ does not debar me from property. The Lord does not envy." But do you see yourself overcome and overthrown by it? Leave it, throw it away, hate, renounce, flee. "Even if your right eye offend you," quickly "cut it out." Better is the kingdom of God to a man with one eye, than the fire to one who is unmutilated. Whether hand, or foot, or soul, hate it. For if it is destroyed here for Christ's sake, it will be restored to life yonder.

Chapter 25.

The "persecutions" that Jesus says will accompany possessions

To this effect similarly is what follows. "Now at this present time, to have lands, and money, and houses, and brethren, with persecutions." For it is neither penniless, nor homeless, nor brotherless people that the Lord calls to life, since he has also called rich people; but, as we have said above, also brothers, as Peter with Andrew, and James with John the sons of Zebedee, but of one mind with each other and Christ. And the expression "with persecutions" rejects the possessing of each of those things. There is a persecution which arises from without, from men assailing the faithful, either out of hatred, or envy, or avarice, or through diabolic agency. But the most painful is internal persecution, which proceeds from each man's own soul being vexed by impious lusts, and different pleasures, and base hopes, and destructive dreams; when, always grasping at more, and maddened by brutish loves, and inflamed by the passions which beset it like goads and stings, it is covered with blood, (to drive it on) to insane pursuits, and to despair of life, and to contempt of God.

More grievous and painful is this persecution, which arises from within, which is ever with a man, and which the persecuted cannot escape; for he carries the enemy about everywhere in himself. So also burning which attacks from without works trial, but that from within produces death. War also made on one is easily put an end to, but that which is in the soul continues till death.

With such persecution, if you have worldly wealth, if you have brothers allied by blood and other pledges, abandon the whole wealth of these which leads to evil; procure peace for yourself, free yourself from protracted persecutions; turn from them to the Gospel; choose before all the Saviour and Advocate and Paraclete of your soul, the Prince of life. "For the things which are seen are temporary; but the things which are not seen are eternal." And in the present time are things evanescent and insecure, but in that to come is eternal life.

Chapter 26.

"The first shall be last, and the last first."

This is fruitful in meaning and exposition, but does not demand investigation at present; for it refers not only to the wealthy alone, but plainly to all men, who have once surrendered themselves to faith. So let this stand aside for the present. But I think that our proposition has been demonstrated in no way inferior to what we promised, that the Saviour by no means has excluded the rich on account of wealth itself, and the possession of property, nor fenced off salvation against them; if they are able and willing to submit their life to God's commandments, and prefer them to transitory objects, and if they would look to the Lord with steady eye, as those who look for the nod of a good helmsman, what he wishes, what he orders, what he indicates, what signal he gives his mariners, where and how he directs the ship's course. For what harm does one do, who, previous to faith, by applying his mind and by saving has collected a competency? Or what is much less reprehensible than this, if at once by God, who gave him his life, he has had his home given him in the house of such men, among wealthy people, powerful in substance, and pre-eminent in opulence? For if, in consequence of his involuntary birth in wealth, a man is banished from life, rather is he wronged by God, who created him, in having kindly granted to him temporary enjoyment, and in being deprived of eternal life. And why should wealth have ever sprung from the earth at all, if it is the author and patron of death?

But if one is able in the midst of wealth to turn from its power, and to entertain moderate sentiments, and to exercise self-command, and to seek God alone, and to breathe God and walk with God, such a poor man submits to the commandments, being free, unsubdued, free of disease, unwounded by wealth. But if not, "sooner shall a camel enter through a needle's eye, than such a rich man reach the kingdom of God." Let then the camel, going through a narrow and difficult way before the rich man, signify something loftier; which mystery of the Saviour is to be learned in the "Exposition of first Principles and of Theology."

Chapter 27.

Judge all in light of the greatest commandment

Well, first let the point of the parable (which is evident) and the reason why it is spoken, be presented. Let it teach the prosperous that they are not to neglect their own salvation, as if they had been already fore-doomed, nor, on the other hand, to cast wealth into the sea, or condemn it as a traitor and an enemy to life, but learn in what way and how to use wealth and obtain life. For since neither does one perish by any means by fearing because he is rich, nor is by any means saved by trusting and believing that he shall be saved, come let them look what hope the Saviour assigns them, and how what is unexpected may become ratified, and what is hoped for may come into possession.

The Master accordingly, when asked, "Which is the greatest of the commandments?" says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul, and with all your strength;" that no commandment is greater than this (He says), and with exceeding good reason; for it gives command respecting the First and the Greatest, God himself, our Father, by whom all things were brought into being, and exist, and to whom what is saved returns again. By him, then, being loved beforehand, and having received existence, it is impious for us to regard ought else older or more excellent; rendering only this small tribute of gratitude for the greatest benefits; and being unable to imagine anything else whatever by way of recompense to God, who needs nothing and is perfect; and gaining immortality by the very exercise of loving the Father to the extent of one's might and power. For the more one loves God, the more he enters within God.

Chapter 28.

Using money to help one's neighbour, like the Good Samaritan

The second in order, and not any less than this, he says, is, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself," consequently God above yourself. And on his interlocutor enquiring, "Who is my neighbour?" he did not, in the way of the Jews, specify the blood-relation, or the fellow-citizen, or the proselyte, or him that had been similarly circumcised, or the man who uses one and the same law. But he introduces one on his way down from the upland region from Jerusalem to Jericho, and represents him stabbed by robbers, cast half-dead on the way, passed by the priest, looked sideways at by the Levite, but pitied by the vilified and excommunicated Samaritan; who did not, like those, pass casually, but came provided with such things as the man in danger required, such as oil, bandages, a beast of burden, money for the inn-keeper, part given now, and part promised. "Which of them," said He, "was neighbour to the one who suffered these things?" and on his answering, "He that showed mercy to him," (replied), Go also, therefore, and do likewise, since love buds into well-doing.

Chapter 29.

The example of Christ's compassion for our poverty

In both the commandments, then, he introduces love; but in order distinguishes it. And in the one he assigns to God the first part of love, and allots the second to our neighbour. Who else can it be but the Saviour himself? or who more than he has pitied us, who by the rulers of darkness were all but put to death with many wounds, fears, lusts, passions, pains, deceits, pleasures?. Of these wounds the only physician is Jesus, who cuts out the passions thoroughly by the root, – not as the Law does the bare effects, the fruits of evil plants, but applies his axe to the roots of wickedness. He it is that poured wine on our wounded souls (the blood of David's vine), that brought the oil which flows from the compassions of the Father? and bestowed it abundantly. He it is that produced the ligatures of health and of salvation that cannot be undone, – Love, Faith, Hope. He it is that subjected angels, and principalities, and powers, for a great reward to serve us. For they also shall be delivered from the vanity of the world through the revelation of the glory of the sons of God. We are therefore to love him equally with God. And he loves Christ Jesus who does his will and keeps his commandments. "For not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father." And "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" "And blessed are you who see and hear what neither righteous men nor prophets" (have seen or heard), if you do what I say.

Chapter 30.

Our love for Christ is mirrored in our love of neighbour

He then is first who loves Christ; and second, he who loves and cares for those who have believed on him. For whatever is done to a disciple, the Lord accepts as done to himself, and reckons the whole as his. "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungered, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink: and I was a stranger, and you took me in: I was naked and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the righteous answer, saying, Lord, when saw we you hungry, and fed you? or thirsty, and gave you drink? And when saw we you a stranger, and took you in? or naked, and clothed you? Or when saw we you sick, and visited you? or in prison, and came to you? And the King answering, shall say to them, Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it to me." Again, on the opposite side, to those who have not performed these things, "Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you have not done it to one of the least of these, you have not done it to me." And in another place, "He that receives you; receives me; and he that receives not you, rejects me."

Chapter 31.

Gospel sayings, on the reward of generosity

Such he names children, and sons, and little children, and friends, and little ones here, in reference to their future greatness above. "Despise not," he says, "one of these little ones; for their angels always behold the face of my Father in heaven." And in another place, "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom of heaven." Similarly also he says that "the least in the kingdom of heaven" that is his own disciple "is greater than John, the greatest among those born of women." And again, "He that receives a righteous man or a prophet in the name of a righteous man or a prophet, shall receive their reward; and he that gives to a disciple in the name of a disciple a cup of cold water to drink, shall not lose his reward." Therefore this is the only reward that is not lost. And again, "Make to you friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations;" showing that by nature all property which a man possesses in his own power is not his own. And from this nrighteousness it is permitted to work a righteous and saving thing, to refresh some one of those who have an everlasting habitation with the Father. See then, first, that he has not commanded you to be solicited or to wait to be importuned, but yourself to seek those who are to be benefited and are worthy disciples of the Saviour. Excellent, accordingly, also is the apostle's saying, "For the Lord loves a cheerful giver;" who delights in giving, and spares not, sowing so that he may also so reap, without murmuring, and disputing, and regret, and communicating, which is pure beneficence. But better than this is the saying spoken by the Lord in another place, "Give to everyone who asks you." For truly such is God's delight in giving. And this saying is above all divinity, – not to wait to be asked, but to enquire oneself who deserves to receive kindness.

Chapter 32.

How one can "purchase immortality for money"

Then to appoint such a reward for generosity, – an everlasting habitation! O excellent trading! O divine merchandise! One purchases immortality for money; and, by giving the perishing things of the world, receives in exchange for these an eternal mansion in the heavens! Sail to this mart, if you are wise, O rich man! If need be, sail round the whole world. Spare not perils and toils, that you may purchase here the heavenly kingdom. Why do transparent stones and emeralds delight you so much, and a house that is fuel for fire, or a plaything of time, or the sport of the earthquake, or an occasion for a tyrant's outrage? Aspire to dwell in the heavens, and to reign with God. This kingdom a man imitating God will give you. By receiving a little here, there through all ages he will make you a dweller with him. Ask that you may receive; haste; strive; fear for fear that he disgrace you. For he is not commanded to receive, but you to give. The Lord did not say, Give, or bring, or do good, or help, but make a friend. But a friend proves himself such not by one gift, but by long intimacy. For it is neither the faith, nor the love, nor the hope, nor the endurance of one day, but "he that endures to the end shall be saved."

Chapter 33.

Do not judge who is worthy or who is unworthy.

How then does man give these things? For I will give not only to friends, but to the friends of friends. And who is it that is the friend of God? Do not judge who is worthy or who is unworthy. For it is possible you may be mistaken in your opinion. As in the uncertainty of ignorance it is better to do good to the undeserving for the sake of the deserving, than by guarding against those that are less good to fail to meet in with the good. For though sparing, and aiming at testing, who will receive meritoriously or not, it is possible for you to neglect some that are loved by God; the penalty for which is the punishment of eternal fire. But by offering to all in turn that need, you must of necessity by all means find some one of those who have power with God to save. "Judge not, then, that you be not judged. With what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again; good measure, pressed and shaken, and running over, shall be given to you." Open your compassion to all who are enrolled the disciples of God; not looking contemptuously to personal appearance, nor carelessly disposed to any period of life. Nor if one appears penniless, or ragged, or ugly, or feeble, do you fret in soul at this and turn away. This form is cast around us from without, the occasion of our entrance into this world, that we may be able to enter into this common school. But within dwells the hidden Father, and his Son, who died for us and rose with us.

Chapter 34.

The needy you have helped will be your protection at the judgment

This visible appearance cheats death and the devil; for the wealth within, the beauty, is unseen by them. And they rave about the carcass, which they despise as weak, being blind to the wealth within; knowing not what a "treasure in an earthen vessel" we bear, protected as it is by the power of God the Father, and the blood' of God the Son, and the dew of the Holy Spirit. But be not deceived, you who have tasted of the truth, and been reckoned worthy of the great redemption. But contrary to what is the case with the rest of men, collect for yourself an unarmed, an unwarlike, a bloodless, a passionless, a stainless host, pious old men, orphans dear to God, widows armed with meekness, men, adorned with love. Obtain with your money such guards, for body and for soul, for whose sake a sinking ship is made buoyant, when steered by the prayers of the saints alone; and disease at its height is subdued, put to flight by the laying on of hands; and the attack of robbers is disarmed, spoiled by pious prayers; and the might of demons is crushed, put to shame in its operations by strenuous commands.

Chapter 35.

All these warriors and guards are trusty.

All these warriors and guards are trusty. No one is idle, no one is useless. One can obtain your pardon from God, another comfort you when sick, another weep and groan in sympathy for you to the Lord of all, another teach some of the things useful for salvation, another admonish with confidence, another counsel with kindness. And all can love truly, without guile, without fear, without hypocrisy, without flattery, without pretense. O sweet service of loving (souls)! O blessed thoughts of confident (hearts)! O sincere faith of those who fear God alone! O truth of words with those who cannot lie! O beauty of deeds with those who have been commissioned to serve God, to persuade God, to please God, not to touch your flesh! to speak, but to the King of eternity dwelling in you.

Chapter 36.

Some are especially worthy of our support

All the faithful, then, are good and godlike, and worthy of the name by which they are encircled as with a diadem. There are, besides, some, the elect of the elect, and so much more or less distinguished by drawing themselves, like ships to the strand, out of the surge of the world and bringing themselves to safety; not wishing to seem holy, and ashamed if one call them so; hiding in the depth of their mind the inexpressible mysteries, and disdaining to let their nobleness be seen in the world; whom the Word calls "the light of the world, and the salt of the earth." This is the seed, the image and likeness of God, and his true son and heir, sent here so to speak on a sojourn, by the high administration and suitable arrangement of the Father, by whom the visible and invisible things of the world were created; some for their service, some for their discipline, some for their instruction; and all things are held together so long as the seed remains here; and when it is gathered, these things shall be very quickly dissolved.

Chapter 37.

Look into the bosom of the Father, to find the way of true love

For what further need has God of the mysteries of love? And then you shall look into the bosom of the Father, whom God the only-begotten Son alone has declared. And God himself is love; and out of love to us became feminine. In his inexpressible essence he is Father; in his compassion to us he became Mother. The Father by loving became feminine: and the great proof of this is he whom he begot of himself; and the fruit brought forth by love is love.

For this also he came down. For this he clothed himself with man. For this he voluntarily subjected himself to the experiences of men, that by bringing himself to the measure of our weakness whom he loved, he might correspondingly bring us to the measure of his own strength. And about to be offered up and giving himself a ransom, he left for us a new Covenant-testament: my love I give to you. And what and how great is it? For each of us he gave his life, – the equivalent for all. This he demands from us in return for one another. And if we owe our lives to the brethren, and have made such a mutual compact with the Saviour, why should we any more hoard and shut up worldly goods, which are beggarly, foreign to us and transitory? Shall we shut up from each other what after a little shall be the property of the fire? Divinely and weightily John says," he that loves not his brother is a murderer," the seed of Cain, a nursling of the devil. He has not God's compassion. He has no hope of better things. He is sterile; he is barren; he is not a branch of the ever-living supercelestial vine. He is cut off; he waits the perpetual fire.

Chapter 38.

Love is "soberly insane" and enables true repentance

But learn the more excellent way, which Paul shows for salvation. "Love seeks not her own," but is diffused on the brother. About him she is fluttered, about him she is soberly insane. "Love covers a multitude of sins." "Perfect love casts out fear." "Vaunts not itself, is not puffed up; rejoices not in iniquity, but-rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Prophecies are done away, tongues cease, gifts of healing fail on the earth. But these three abide, Faith, Hope, Love. But the greatest of these is Love." And rightly. For Faith departs when we are convinced by vision, by seeing God. And Hope vanishes when the things hoped for come. But Love comes to completion, and grows more when that which is perfect has been bestowed. If one introduces it into his soul, although he be born in sins, and has done many forbidden things, he is able, by increasing love, and adopting a pure repentance, to retrieve his mistakes. For let not this be left to despondency and despair by you, if you learn who the rich man is that has not a place in heaven, and what way he uses his property.

Chapter 39.

The mercy of the Eternal Father

If one should escape the superfluity of riches, and the difficulty they interpose in the way of life, and be able to enjoy the eternal good things; but should happen, either from ignorance or involuntary circumstances, after the seal and redemption, to fall into sins or transgressions so as to be quite carried away; such a man is entirely rejected by God. For to everyone who has turned to God in truth, and with his whole heart, the doors are open, and the thrice-glad Father receives his truly repentant son. And true repentance is to be no longer bound in the same sins for which he denounced death against himself, but to eradicate them completely from the soul. For on their extirpation God takes up his abode again in you. For it is said there is great and exceeding joy and festival in the heavens with the Father and the angels when one sinner turns and repents. Therefore also he cries, "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice." "I desire not the death, but the repentance of the sinner." "Though your sins be as scarlet wool, I will make them white as snow; though they be blacker than darkness, I will wash and make them like white wool." For it is in the power of God alone to grant the forgiveness of sins, and not to impute transgressions; since also the Lord commands us each day to forgive the repenting brethren. "And if we, being evil, know to give good gifts," much more is it the nature of the Father of mercies, the good Father of all consolation, much pitying, very merciful, to be patient, to wait for those who have turned. And to turn is really to cease from our sins, and to look no longer behind.

Chapter 40.

The conditions needed, to be forgiven

Forgiveness of past sins, then, God gives; but of future, each one gives to himself. And this is to repent, to condemn the past deeds, and beg oblivion of them from the Father, who only of all is able to undo what is done, by mercy proceeding from him, and to blot out former sins by the dew of the Spirit. "For by the state in which I find you will I judge," also, is what in each case the end of all cries aloud. So that even in the case of one who has done the greatest good deeds in his life, but at the end has run headlong into wickedness, all his former pains are profitless to him, since at the catastrophe of the drama he has given up his part; while it is possible for the man who formerly led a bad and dissolute life, on afterwards repenting, to overcome in the time after repentance the evil conduct of a long time. But it needs great carefulness, just as bodies that have suffered by protracted disease need regimen and special attention. Thief, do you wish to get forgiveness? steal no more. Adulterer, burn no more. Fornicator, live for the future chastely. You who have robbed, give back, and give back more than (you tookest). False witness, practice truth. Perjurer, swear no more, and extirpate the rest of the passions, wrath, lust, grief, fear; that you may be found at the end to have previously in this world been reconciled to the adversary. It is then probably impossible all at once to eradicate inbred passions; but by God's power and human intercession, and the help of brethren, and sincere repentance, and constant care, they are corrected.

Chapter 41.

The rich man's need of a spiritual guide

Therefore it is by all means necessary for you, who are pompous, and powerful, and rich, to set over yourself some man of God as a trainer and governor. Reverence, though it be but one man; fear, though it be but one man. Give yourself to hearing, though it be but one speaking freely, using harshness, and at the same time healing. For it is good for the eyes not to continue always wanton, but to weep and smart sometimes, for greater health. So also nothing is more pernicious to the soul than uninterrupted pleasure. For it is blinded by melting away, if it remain unmoved by bold speech. Fear this man when angry; be pained at his groaning; and reverence him when making his anger to cease; and anticipate him when he is deprecating punishment. Let him pass many sleepless nights for you, interceding for you with God, influencing the Father with the magic of familiar litanies. For he does not hold out against his children when they beg his pity. And for you he will pray purely, held in high honour as an angel of God, and grieved not by you, but for you. This is sincere repentance. "God is not mocked," nor does he give heed to vain words. For he alone searches the marrow and reins of the heart, and hears those that are in the fire, and listens to those who supplicate in the whale's belly; and is near to all who believe, and far from the wicked if they repent not.

Chapter 42.

A tale of repentance: The Apostle John brought a young man, for baptism

That you may be still more confident, that by repenting so truly there remains for you a sure hope of salvation, listen to a tale? Which is not a tale but a narrative, handed down and committed to the custody of memory, about the Apostle John. For when, on the tyrant's death, he returned to Ephesus from the isle of Patmos, he went away, being invited, to the contiguous territories of the nations, here to appoint bishops, there to set in order whole churches, there to ordain those who were marked out by the Spirit.

Having come to one of the cities not far off (the name of which some give), and having put the brethren to rest in other matters, at last, looking to the bishop appointed, and seeing a youth, powerful in body, comely in appearance, and ardent, said, "This (youth) I commit to you in all earnestness, in the presence of the Church, and with Christ as witness." And on his accepting and promising all, he gave the same injunction and testimony. And he set out for Ephesus.

Chapter 43.

But the youth grew wild and dissolute

The presbyter taking home the youth committed to him, reared, kept, cherished, and finally baptised him. After this he relaxed his stricter care and guardianship, under the idea that the seal of the Lord he had set on him was a complete protection to him. But on his obtaining premature freedom, some youths of his age, idle, dissolute, and adepts in evil courses, corrupt him. First they entice him by many costly entertainments; then afterwards by night issuing forth for highway robbery, they take him along with them. Then they dared to execute together something greater. And he by degrees got accustomed; and from greatness of nature, when he had gone aside from the right path, and like a hard-mouthed and powerful horse, had taken the bit between his teeth, rushed with all the more force down into the depths. And having entirely despaired of salvation in God, he no longer meditated what was insignificant, but having perpetrated some great exploit, now that he was once lost, he made up his mind to a like fate with the rest. Taking them and forming a hand of robbers, he was the prompt captain of the bandits, the fiercest, the bloodiest, the cruelest.

Chapter 44.

The bishop tells of the young man's sad apostasy

Time passed, and some necessity having emerged, they send again for John. He, when he had settled the other matters on account of which he came, said, "Come now, O bishop, restore to us the deposit which I and the Saviour committed to you in the face of the Church over which you preside, as witness." The other was at first confounded, thinking that it was a false charge about money which he did not get; and he could neither believe the allegation regarding what he had not, nor disbelieve John. But when he said "I demand the young man, and the soul of the brother," the old man, groaning deeply, and bursting into tears, said, "He is dead." "How and what kind of death?" "He is dead," he said, "to God. For he turned wicked and abandoned, and at last a robber; and now he has taken possession of the mountain in front of the church, along with a band like him." Rending, therefore, his clothes, and striking his head with great lamentation, the apostle said, "It was a fine guard of a brother's soul I left! But let a horse be brought me, and let some one be my guide on the way." He rode away, just as he was, straight from the church. On coming to the place, he is arrested by the robbers' outpost; neither fleeing nor entreating, but crying, "It was for this I came. Lead me to your captain;" who meanwhile was waiting, all armed as he was. But when he recognised John as he advanced, he turned, ashamed, to flight. The other followed with all his might, forgetting his age, crying, "Why, my son, do you flee from me, your father, unarmed, old? Son, pity me. Fear not; you have still hope of life. I will give account to Christ for you. If need be, I will willingly endure your death, as the Lord did death for us. For you I will surrender my life. Stand, believe; Christ has sent me."

Chapter 45.

The youth is re-converted, by the old man's prayers

He, when he heard, first stood, looking down; then threw down his arms, then trembled and wept bitterly. And on the old man approaching, he embraced him, speaking for himself with lamentations as he could, and baptised a second time with tears, concealing only his right hand. The other pledging, and assuring him on oath that he would find forgiveness for himself from the Saviour, beseeching and failing on his knees, and kissing his right hand itself, as now purified by repentance, led him back to the church. Then by supplicating with abundant prayers, and striving along with him in continual fastings, and subduing his mind by various utterances of words, did not depart, as they say, until he restored him to the Church, presenting in him a great example of true repentance and a great token of regeneration, a trophy of the resurrection for which we hope; when at the end of the world, the angels, radiant with joy, hymning and opening the heavens, shall receive into the celestial abodes those who truly repent; and before all, the Saviour himself goes to meet them, welcoming them; holding forth the shadowless, ceaseless light; conducting them to the Father's bosom, to eternal life, to the kingdom of heaven. Let one believe these things, and the disciples of God, and God, who is surety, the Prophecies, the Gospels, the Apostolic words; living in accordance with them, and lending his ears, and practicing the deeds, he shall at his decease see the end and demonstration of the truths taught. For he who in this world welcomes the angel of penitence will not repent at the time that he leaves the body, nor be ashamed when he sees the Saviour approaching in his glory and with his army. He fears not the fire. But if one chooses to continue and to sin perpetually in pleasures, and values indulgence here above eternal life, and turns away from the Saviour, who gives forgiveness; let him no more blame either God, or riches, or his having fallen, but his own soul, which voluntarily perishes. But to him who directs his eye to salvation and desires it, and asks with boldness and vehemence for its bestowal, the good Father who is in heaven will give the true purification and the changeless life. To whom, by his Son Jesus Christ, the Lord of the living and dead, and by the Holy Spirit, be glory, honour, power, eternal majesty, both now and ever, from generation to generation, and from eternity to eternity. Amen.


 

The Instructor
(ho Paedagogos)

Paedagogos, Book 1.

Paedagogos, Book 2.

Paedagogos, Book 3

Book 1. Introduction to Jesus, our Guide to life, our Divine Instructor

Chapter 1. The Word of God, as our Tutor (or Paedagogos)

As there are these three things in the case of man, habits, actions, and passions; habits are the department appropriated by hortatory discourse the guide to piety, which, like the ship's keel, is laid beneath for the building up of faith; in which, rejoicing exceedingly, and abjuring our old opinions, through salvation we renew our youth, singing with the hymning prophecy, "How good is God to Israel, to such as are upright in heart!" All actions, again, are the province of preceptive discourse; while persuasive discourse applies itself to heal the passions. It is, however, one and the self-same word which rescues man from the custom of this world in which he has been reared, and trains him up in the one salvation of faith in God.

When, then, the heavenly guide, the Word, was inviting men to salvation, the appellation of hortatory was properly applied to him: his same word was called rousing (the whole from a part). For the whole of piety is hortatory, engendering in the kindred faculty of reason a yearning after true life now and to come. But now, being at once curative and preceptive, following in his own steps, he makes what had been prescribed the subject of persuasion, promising the cure of the passions within us. Let us then designate this Word appropriately by the one name Tutor (or Paedagogue, or instructor).

The Instructor being practical, not theoretical, his aim is so to improve the soul, not to teach, and to train it up to a virtuous, not to an intellectual life. Although this same word is didactic, but not in the present instance. For the word which, in matters of doctrine, explains and reveals, is that whose province it is to teach. But our Educators being practical, first exhorts to the attainment of right dispositions and character, and then persuades us to the energetic practice of our duties, enjoining on us pure commandments, and exhibiting to such as come after representations of those who formerly wandered in error. Both are of the highest utility, – that which assumes the form of counseling to obedience, and that which is presented in the form of example; which latter is of two kinds, corresponding to the former duality, – the one having for its purpose that we should choose and imitate the good, and the other that we should reject and turn away from the opposite.

Hence accordingly ensues the healing of our passions, in consequence of the assuagements of those examples; the Paedagogue strengthening our souls, and by his benign commands, as by gentle medicines, guiding the sick to the perfect knowledge of the truth.

There is a wide difference between health and knowledge; for the latter is produced by learning, the former by healing. One, who is ill, will not therefore learn any branch of instruction until he is quite well. For neither to learners nor to the sick is each injunction invariably expressed similarly; but to the former in such a way as to lead to knowledge, and to the latter to health. As, then, for those of us who are diseased in body a physician is required, so also those who are diseased in soul require a paedagogue to cure our maladies; and then a teacher, to train and guide the soul to all required knowledge when it is made able to admit the revelation of the Word. Eagerly desiring, then, to perfect us by a gradation conducive to salvation, suited for efficacious discipline, a beautiful arrangement is observed by the all-benignant Word, who first exhorts, then trains, and finally teaches.

Chapter 2. The Instructor's treatment of our Sins

Now, O you, my children, our Instructor is like his Father God, whose son he is, sinless, blameless, and with a soul devoid of passion; God in the form of man, stainless, the minister of his Father's will, the Word who is God, who is in the Father, who is at the Father's right hand, and with the form of God is God. He is to us a spotless image; to him we are to try with all our might to assimilate our souls. He is wholly free from human passions; therefore also he alone is judge, because he alone is sinless. As far, however, as we can, let us try to sin as little as possible. For nothing is so urgent in the first place as deliverance from passions and disorders, and then the checking of our liability to fall into sins that have become habitual. It is best, therefore, not to sin at all in any way, which we assert to be the prerogative of God alone; next to keep clear of voluntary transgressions, which is characteristic of the wise man; thirdly, not to fall into many involuntary offences, which is peculiar to those who have been excellently trained. Not to continue long in sins, let that be ranked last. But this also is salutary to those who are called back to repentance, to renew the contest.

And the Instructor, as I think, very beautifully says, through Moses: "If anyone die suddenly by him, immediately the head of his consecration shall be polluted, and shall be shaved," designating involuntary sin as sudden death. And he says that it pollutes by defiling the soul: therefore he prescribes the cure with all speed, advising the head to be instantly shaven; that is, counseling the locks of ignorance which shade the reason to be shorn clean off, that reason (whose seat is in the brain), being left bare of the dense stuff of vice, may speed its way to repentance. Then after a few remarks he adds, "The days before are not reckoned irrational," by which manifestly sins are meant which are contrary to reason. The involuntary act he calls "sudden," the sin he calls "irrational." Therefore the Word, the Instructor, has taken the charge of us, in order to the prevention of sin, which is contrary to reason.

Hence consider the expression of Scripture, "Therefore these things says the Lord;" the sin that had been committed before is held up to reprobation by the succeeding expression "therefore," according to which the righteous judgment follows. This is shown conspicuously by the prophets, when they said, "Had you not sinned, he would not have uttered these threatenings." "Therefore the Lord says; "Because you have not heard these words, therefore these things the Lord;" and, "Therefore, behold, the Lord says." For prophecy is given by reason both of obedience and disobedience: for obedience, that we may be saved; for disobedience, that we may be corrected.

Our Instructor, the Word, therefore cures the unnatural passions of the soul by means of exhortations. For with the highest propriety the help of bodily diseases is called the art of healing – an art acquired by human skill. But the Word of the Father is the only Paeonian Physician of human infirmities, and the holy charmer of the sick soul. "Save," it is said, "Your servant, my God, who trusts in you. Pity me, O Lord; for I will cry to you all the day." For a while the "physician's art," according to Democritus, "heals the diseases of the body; wisdom frees the soul from passion." But the good Instructor, the Wisdom, the Word of the Father, who made man, cares for the whole nature of his creature; the all-sufficient Physician of humanity, the Saviour, heals both body and soul. "Rise up," he said to the paralytic; "take the bed on which you lie, and go away home;" and immediately the infirm man received strength. And to the dead he said, "Lazarus, go forth;" and the dead man issued from his coffin such as he was before he died, having undergone resurrection. Further, he heals the soul itself by precepts and gifts – by precepts indeed, in course of time, but being generous in his gifts, he says to us sinners, "Your sins be forgiven you."

We, however, as soon as he conceived the thought, became his children, having had assigned us the best and most secure rank by his orderly arrangement, which first circles about the world, the heavens, and the sun's circuits, and occupies itself with the motions of the rest of the stars for man's sake, and then busies itself with man himself, on whom all its care is concentrated; and regarding him as its greatest work, regulated his soul by wisdom and temperance, and tempered the body with beauty and proportion. And whatever in human actions is right and regular, is the result of the inspiration of its rectitude and order.

Chapter 3. The kindness (philanthropy) of the Instructor

The Lord ministers all good and all help, both as man and as God: as God, forgiving our sins; and as man, training us not to sin. Man is therefore justly dear to God, since he is his workmanship. The other works of creation he made by the word of command alone, but man he framed by himself, by his own hand, and breathed into him what was peculiar to himself. What, then, was fashioned by him, and after he likeness, either was created by God himself as being desirable on its own account, or was formed as being desirable on account of something else. "If, then, man is an object desirable for itself, then he who is good loved what is good, and the love-charm is within even in man, and is that very thing which is called the inspiration (or breath of God; but if man was a desirable object on account of something else, God had no other reason for creating him, than that unless he came into being, it was not possible for God to be a good Creator, or for man to arrive at the knowledge of God. For God would not have accomplished that on account of which man was created otherwise than by the creation of man; and what hidden power in willing God possessed, he carried fully out by the forth-putting of his might externally in the act of creating, receiving from man what he made man; and whom he had he saw, and what he wished that happened; and there is nothing which God cannot do. Man, then, whom God made, is desirable for himself, and that which is desirable on his account is allied to him to whom it is desirable on his account; and this, too, is acceptable and liked.

But what is loveable, and is not also loved by him? And man has been proved to be loveable; consequently man is loved by God. For how shall he not be loved for whose sake the only-begotten Son is sent from the Father's bosom, the Word of faith, the faith which is superabundant; the Lord himself distinctly confessing and saying, "For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me;" and again, "And have loved them as you have loved me?" What, then, the Master desires and declares, and how he is disposed in deed and word, how he commands what is to be done, and forbids the opposite, has already been shown. Plainly, then, the other kind of discourse, the didactic, is powerful and spiritual, observing precision, occupied in the contemplation of mysteries. But let it stand over for the present. Now, it is incumbent on us to return his love, who lovingly guides us to that life which is best; and to live in accordance with the injunctions of his will, not only fulfilling what is commanded, or guarding against what is forbidden, but turning away from some examples, and imitating others as much as we can, and so to perform the works of the Master according to his Similitude, and so fulfill what Scripture says as to our being made in his image and likeness. For, wandering in life as in deep darkness, we need a guide that cannot stumble or stray; and our guide is the best, not blind, as the Scripture says, "leading the blind into pits." But the Word is keen-sighted, and scans the recesses of the heart. As, then, that is not light which enlightens not, nor motion that moves not, nor loving which loves not, so neither is that good which profits not, nor guides to salvation. Let us then aim at the fulfillment of the commandments by the works of the Lord; for the Word himself also, having openly become flesh, exhibited the same virtue, both practical and contemplative. Therefore let us regard the Word as law, and his commands and counsels as the short and straight paths to immortality; for his precepts are full of persuasion, not of fear.

Chapter 4. Men and women alike under the Instructor's charge

Let us, then, embracing more and more this good obedience, give ourselves to the Lord; clinging to what is surest, the cable of faith in him, and understanding that the virtue of man and woman is the same. For if the God of both is one, the master of both is also one; one church, one temperance, one modesty; their food is common, marriage an equal yoke; respiration, sight, hearing, knowledge, hope, obedience, love all alike. And those whose life is common, have common graces and a common salvation; common to them are love and training. "For in this world," he says, "they marry, and are given in marriage," in which alone the female is distinguished from the male; "but in that world it is so no more." There the rewards of this social and holy life, which is based on conjugal union, are laid up, not for male and female, but for man, the sexual desire which divides humanity being removed. Common therefore, too, to men and women, is the name of man. For this reason I think the Attics called, not boys only, but girls, paidarion, using it as a word of common gender; if Menander the comic poet, in Rhapizomena, appears to anyone a sufficient authority, who so speaks: "my little daughter; for by nature The child (paidarion) is most loving." Arnesj, too, the word for lambs, is a common name of simplicity for the male and female animal.

Now the Lord himself will feed us as his flock forever. Amen. But without a shepherd, neither can sheep nor any other animal live, nor children without a tutor, nor domestics without a master.

Chapter 5. The prophetic Spirit identifies us as children of God

That, then, Paedagogy is the training of children (paidwn agwgh), is clear from the word itself. It remains for us to consider the children whom Scripture points to; then to give the paedagogue charge of them. We are the children. In many ways Scripture celebrates us, and describes us in manifold figures of speech, giving variety to the simplicity of the faith by different names Accordingly, in the Gospel, "the Lord, standing on the shore, says to the disciples" – they happened to be fishing – "and called aloud, Children, have you any meat?" – addressing those that were already in the position of disciples as children. "And they brought to him," it is said, "children, that he might put his hands on them and bless them; and when his disciples hindered them, Jesus said, suffer the children, and forbid them not to come to me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." What the expression means the Lord himself shall declare, saying, "Unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven;" not in that place speaking figuratively of regeneration, but setting before us, for our imitation, the simplicity that is in children.

The prophetic spirit also distinguishes us as children. "Plucking," it is said, "branches of olives or palms, the children went forth to meet the Lord, and cried, saying, Hhosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord;" light, and glory, and praise, with supplication to the Lord: for this is the meaning of the expression Hhosanna when rendered in Greek. And the Scripture appears to me, in allusion to the prophecy just mentioned, reproachfully to rebuke the thoughtless: "Have you never read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise?" In this way the Lord in the Gospels spurs on his disciples, urging them to attend to him, hastening as he was to the Father; rendering his hearers more eager by the intimation that after a little he was to depart, and showing those who it was required that they should take more unsparing advantage of the truth than ever before, as the Word was to ascend to heaven. Again, therefore, he calls them children; for he says, "Children, a little while I am with you." And, again, he likens the kingdom of heaven to children sitting in the market-places and saying, "We have piped to you, and you have not danced; we have mourned, and you have not lamented;" and whatever else he added agreeably to it. And it is not alone the Gospel that holds these sentiments. Prophecy also agrees with it. David accordingly says, "Praise, O children, the Lord; praise the name of the Lord." It says also by Isaiah, "Here am I, and the children that God has given me." Are you amazed, then, to hear that men who belong to the nations are sons in the Lord's sight? You do not in that case appear to give ear to the Attic dialect, from which you may learn that beautiful, comely, and freeborn young maidens are still called paidiskai, and servant-girls paidiskaria; and that those last also are, on account of the bloom of youth, called by the flattering name of young maidens. And when he says, "Let my lambs stand on my right," he alludes to the simple children, as if they were sheep and lambs in nature, not men; and the lambs he counts worthy of preference, from the superior regard he has to that tenderness and simplicity of disposition in men which constitutes innocence. Again, when he says, "as suckling calves," he again alludes figuratively to us; and "as an innocent and gentle dove," the reference is again to us. Again, by Moses, he commands "two young pigeons or a pair of turtles to be offered for sin;" so saying, that the harmlessness and innocence and placable nature of these tender young birds are acceptable to God, and explaining that like is an expiation for like. Further, the timorousness of the turtle-doves typifies fear in reference to sin.

And that he calls us chickens the Scripture testifies: "As a hen gathers her chickens under her wings." So are we the Lord's chickens; the Word so marvellously and mystically describing the simplicity of childhood. For sometimes he calls us children, sometimes chickens, sometimes infants, and at other times sons, and "a new people," and "a recent people." "And my servants shall be called by a new name" (a new name, he says, fresh and eternal, pure and simple, and childlike and true), which shall be blessed on the earth. And again, he figuratively calls us colts unyoked to vice, not broken in by wickedness; but simple, and bounding joyously to the Father alone; not such horses "as neigh after their neighbours' wives, that are under the yoke, and are female-mad;" but free and new-born, jubilant by means of faith, ready to run to the truth, swift to speed to salvation, that tread and stamp under foot the things of the world.

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; tell aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes, just, meek, and bringing salvation; meek truly is He, and riding on a beast of burden, and a young colt." It was not enough to have said colt alone, but he added to it also young, to show the youth of humanity in Christ, and the eternity of simplicity, which shall know no old age. And we who are little ones being such colts, are reared up by our divine colt-tamer. But if the new man in Scripture is represented by the ass, this ass is also a colt. "And he bound," it is said, "the colt to the vine," having bound this simple and childlike people to the word, whom he figuratively represents as a vine. For the vine produces wine, as the Word, produces blood, and both drink for health to men – wine for the body, blood for the spirit.

And that he also calls us lambs, the Spirit by the mouth of Isaiah is an unimpeachable witness: "He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs with his arm," – using the figurative appellation of lambs, which are still more tender than sheep, to express simplicity. And we also in truth, honouring the fairest and most perfect objects in life with an appellation derived from the word child, have named training paideia and discipline (paidagwgia). Discipline (paidagwgia) we declare to be right guiding from childhood to virtue. Accordingly, our Lord revealed more distinctly to us what is signified by the appellation of children. On the question arising among the apostles, "which of them should be the greater," Jesus placed a little child in the midst, saying, "Whosoever, shall humble himself as this little child, the same shall be the greater in the kingdom of heaven." He does not then use the appellation of children on account of their very limited amount of understanding from their age, as some have thought. Nor, if he says, "Unless you become as these children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of God," are his words to be understood as meaning "without learning." We, then, who are infants, no longer roll on the ground, nor creep on the earth like serpents as before, crawling with the whole body about senseless lusts; but, stretching upwards in soul, loosed from the world and our sins, touching the earth on tiptoe so as to appear to be in the world, we pursue holy wisdom, although this seems folly to those whose wits are whetted for wickedness. Rightly, then, are those called children who know him who is God alone as their Father, who are simple, and infants, and guileless, who are lovers of the horns of the unicorns.

To those, therefore, that have made progress in the word, he has proclaimed this utterance, bidding them dismiss anxious care of the things of this world, and exhorting them to adhere to the Father alone, in imitation of children. Therefore also in what follows he says: "Take no anxious thought for the morrow; sufficient to the day is the evil thereof." So he enjoins them to lay aside the cares of this life, and depend on the Father alone. And he who fulfills this commandment is in reality a child and a son to God and to the world, – to the one as deceived, to the other as beloved. And if we have one Master in heaven, as the Scripture says, then by common consent those on the earth will be rightly called disciples. For so is the truth, that perfection is with the Lord, who is always teaching, and infancy and childishness with us, who are always learning. So prophecy has honoured perfection, by applying to it the appellation man. For instance, by David, he says of the devil: "The Lord abhors the man of blood;" he calls him man, as perfect in wickedness. And the Lord is called man, because he is perfect in righteousness. Directly in point is the instance of the apostle, who says, writing the Corinthians: "For I have espoused you to one man, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ," whether as children or saints, but to the Lord alone. And writing to the Ephesians, he has unfolded in the clearest manner the point in question, speaking to the following effect: "Till we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we be no longer children, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, by the craft of men, by their cunning in stratagems of deceit; but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up to him in all things," – saying these things in order to the edification of the body of Christ, who is the head and man, the only one perfect in righteousness; and we who are children guarding against the blasts of heresies, which blow to our inflation; and not putting our trust in fathers who teach us otherwise, are then made perfect when we are the church, having received Christ the head. Then it is right to notice, with respect to the appellation of infant (nhpios), that tonhpion is not predicated of the silly: for the silly man is called nhputioj: and nhpioj is nehpioj (since he that is tender-hearted is called hpioj), as being one who has newly become gentle and meek in Conduct. This the blessed Paul most clearly pointed out when he said, "When we might have been burdensome as the apostles of Christ, we were gentle (h)pioi) among you, as a nurse cherishes her children." The child (nhpios) is therefore gentle (h)pios), and therefore more tender, delicate, and simple, guileless, and destitute of hypocrisy, straightforward and upright in mind, which is the basis of simplicity and truth. For he says, "Upon whom shall I look, but on him who is gentle and quiet?" For such is the Virgin speech, tender, and free of fraud; from which also a virgin can often be called "a tender bride," and a child "tender-hearted." And we are tender who are pliant to the power of persuasion, and are easily drawn to goodness, and are mild, and free of the stain of malice and perverseness, for the ancient race was perverse and hard-hearted; but the band of infants, the new people which we are, as delicate as a child. On account of the hearts of the innocent, the apostle, in the Letter to the Romans, owns that he rejoices, and furnishes a kind of definition of children, so to speak, when he says, "I would have you wise toward good, but simple towards evil." For the name of child, nhpioj, is not understood by us privatively, though the sons of the grammarians make the nh a privative particle. For if they call us who follow after childhood foolish, see how they utter blasphemy against the Lord, in regarding those as foolish who have betaken themselves to God. But if, which is rather the true sense, they themselves understand the designation children of simple ones, we glory in the name. For the new minds, which have newly become wise, which have sprung into being according to the new covenant, are infantile in the old folly. Of late, then, God was known by the coming of Christ: "For no man knows God but the Son, and he to whom the Son shall reveal him." In contradistinction, therefore, to the older people, the new people are called young, having learned the new blessings; and we have the exuberance of life's morning prime in this youth which knows no old age, in which we are always growing to maturity in intelligence, are always young, always mild, always new: for those must necessarily be new, who have become partakers of the new Word. And that which participates in eternity can often be assimilated to the incorruptible: so that to us appertains the designation of the age of childhood, a lifelong spring-time, because the truth that is in us, and our habits saturated with the truth, cannot be touched by old age; but Wisdom is ever blooming, ever remains consistent and the same, and never changes. "Their children," it is said, "shall be borne on their shoulders, and fondled on their knees; as one whom his mother comforts, so also shall I comfort you." The mother draws the children to herself; and we seek our mother the Church. Whatever is feeble and tender, as needing help on account of its feebleness, is kindly looked on, and is sweet and pleasant, anger changing into help in the case of such: for so horses' colts, and the little calves of cows, and the lion's whelp, and the stag's fawn, and the child of man, are looked on with pleasure by their fathers and mothers. So also the Father of the universe cherishes affection towards those who have fled to him; and having begotten them again by his Spirit to the adoption of children, knows them as gentle, and loves those alone, and aids and fights for them; and therefore he bestows on them the name of child. The word Isaac I also connect with child. Isaac means laughter. He was seen sporting with his wife and helpmeet Rebecca by the prying king. The king, whose name was Abimelech, appears to me to represent a supramundane wisdom contemplating the mystery of sport. They interpret Rebecca to mean endurance. O wise sport, laughter also assisted by endurance, and the king as spectator! The spirit of those that are children in Christ, whose lives are ordered in endurance, rejoice. And this is the divine sport. "Such a sport, of his own, Jove sports," says Heraclitus. For what other employment is proper for a wise and perfect man, than to sport and be glad in the endurance of what is good-and, in the administration of what is good, holding festival with God? That which is signified by the prophet may be interpreted differently, namely, of our rejoicing for salvation, as Isaac. He also, delivered from death, laughed, sporting and rejoicing with his spouse, who was the type of the Helper of our salvation, the Church, to whom the stable name of endurance is given; for this reason surely, because she alone remains to all generations, rejoicing ever, subsisting as she does by the endurance of us believers, who are the members of Christ. And the witness of those that have endured to the end, and the rejoicing on their account, is the mystic sport, and the salvation accompanied with decorous solace which brings us aid. The King, then, who is Christ, beholds from above our laughter, and looking through the window, as the Scripture says, views the thanksgiving, and the blessing, and the rejoicing, and the gladness, and furthermore the endurance which works together with them and their embrace: views his Church, showing only his face, which was wanting to the Church, which is made perfect by her royal Head. And where, then, was the door by which the Lord showed himself? The flesh by which he was manifested. He is Isaac (for the narrative may be interpreted otherwise), who is a type of the Lord, a child as a son; for he was the son of Abraham, as Christ the Son of God, and a sacrifice as the Lord, but he was not immolated as the Lord. Isaac only bore the wood of the sacrifice, as the Lord the wood of the cross. And he laughed mystically, prophesying that the Lord should fill us with joy, who have been redeemed from corruption by the blood of the Lord. Isaac did everything but suffer, as was right, yielding the precedence in suffering to the Word. Furthermore, there is an intimation of the divinity of the Lord in his not being slain. For Jesus rose again after his burial, having suffered no harm, like Isaac released from sacrifice. And in defence of the point to be established, I shall adduce another consideration of the greatest weight. The Spirit calls the Lord himself a child, so prophesying by Isaiah: "See, to us a child has been born, to us a son has been given, on whose own shoulder the government shall be; and his name has been called the Angel of great Counsel." who, then, is this infant child? He according to whose image we are made little children. By the same prophet is declared his greatness: "Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace; that he might fulfill his discipline: and of his peace there shall be no end." O the great God! O the perfect child! The Son in the Father, and the Father in the Son. And how shall not the discipline of this child be perfect, which extends to all, leading as a schoolmaster us as children who are his little ones? He has stretched forth to us those hands of his that are conspicuously worthy of trust. To this child additional testimony is borne by John, "the greatest prophet among those born of women:" Behold the Lamb of God!" For since Scripture calls the infant children lambs, it has also called him – God the Word – who became man for our sakes, and who wished in all points to be made like to us – "the Lamb of God" – him, namely, that is the Son of God, the child of the Father.

Chapter 6. Not "children" in regard to our education

We have ample means of encountering those who are given to carping. For we are not termed children and infants with reference to the childish and contemptible character of our education, as those who are inflated on account of knowledge have calumniously alleged. Immediately, on our regeneration, we attained that perfection after which we aspired. For we were illuminated, which is to know God. He is not then imperfect who knows what is perfect. And do not reprehend me when I profess to know God; for so it was deemed right to speak to the Word, and he is free. For at the moment of the Lord's baptism there sounded a voice from heaven, as a testimony to the Beloved, "You are my beloved Son, today have I begotten you." Let us then ask the wise, Is Christ, begotten today, already perfect, or – what were most monstrous – imperfect? If the latter, there is some addition he requires yet to make. But for him to make any addition to his knowledge is absurd, since he is God. For none can be superior to the Word, or the teacher of the only Teacher. Will they not then own, though reluctant, that the perfect Word born of the perfect Father was begotten in perfection, according to economic fore-ordination? And if he was perfect, why was He, the perfect one, baptised? It was necessary, they say, to fulfill the profession that pertained to humanity. Most excellent. Well, I assert, simultaneously with his baptism by John, he becomes perfect? Manifestly. He did not then learn anything more from him? Certainly not. But he is perfected by the washing – of baptism – alone, and is sanctified by the descent of the Spirit? Such is the case. The same also takes place in our case, whose exemplar Christ became. Being baptised, we are illuminated; illuminated, we become sons; being made sons, we are made perfect; being made perfect, we are made immortal. "I," he says, "have said that you are gods, and all sons of the Highest." This work is variously called grace, and illumination, and perfection, and washing: washing, by which we cleanse away our sins; grace, by which the penalties accruing to transgressions are remitted; and illumination, by which that holy light of salvation is beheld, that is, by which we see God clearly. Now we call that perfect which wants nothing. For what is yet wanting to him who knows God? For it would be truly monstrous that that which is not complete should be called a gift (or act) of God's grace. Being perfect, he consequently bestows perfect gifts. As at his command all things were made, so on his bare wishing to bestow grace, ensues the perfecting of his grace. For the future of time is anticipated by the power of his volition.

Further release from evils is the beginning of salvation. We then alone, who first have touched the confines of life, are already perfect; and we already live who are separated from death. Salvation, accordingly, is the following of Christ: "For that which is in him is life." Truly, truly, I say to you, he that hears my words, and believes on him that sent me, has eternal life, and comes not into condemnation, but has passed from death to life." So believing alone, and regeneration, is perfection in life; for God is never weak. For as his will is work, and this is named the world; so also his counsel is the salvation of men, and this has been called the church. He knows, therefore, whom he has called, and whom he has saved; and at one and the same time he called and saved them. "For you are," says the apostle, "taught of God." It is not then allowable to think of what is taught by him as imperfect; and what is learned from him is the eternal salvation of the eternal Saviour, to whom be thanks for ever and ever. Amen. And he who is only regenerated – as the name necessarily indicates – and is enlightened, is delivered immediately from darkness, and on the instant receives the light.

As, then, those who have shaken off sleep immediately become all awake within; or rather, as those who try to remove a film that is over the eyes, do not supply to them from without the light which they do not possess, but removing the obstacle from the eyes, leave the pupil free; so also we who are baptised, having wiped off the sins which obscure the light of the Divine Spirit, have the eye of the spirit free, unimpeded, and full of light, by which alone we contemplate the Divine, the Holy Spirit flowing down to us from above. This is the eternal adjustment of the vision, which is able to see the eternal light, since like loves like; and that which is holy, loves that from which holiness proceeds, which has appropriately been termed light. "Once you were darkness, now are you light in the Lord." Hence I am of opinion man was called by the ancients fwj. But he has not yet received, say they, the perfect gift. I also assent to this; but he is in the light, and the darkness comprehends him not. There is nothing intermediate between light and darkness. But the end is reserved till the resurrection of those who believe; and it is not the reception of some other thing, but the obtaining of the promise previously made. For we do not say that both take place together at the same time – both the arrival at the end, and the anticipation of that arrival. For eternity and time are not the same, neither is the attempt and the final result; but both have reference to the same thing, and one and the same person is concerned in both. Faith, so to speak, is the attempt generated in time; the final result is the attainment of the promise, secured for eternity. Now the Lord himself has most clearly revealed the equality of salvation, when he said: "For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes on him, should have everlasting life; and I will raise him up in the last day." As far as possible in this world, which is what he means by the last day, and which is preserved until the time that it shall end, we believe that we are made perfect. Therefore he says, "He that believes on the Son has everlasting life." If, then, those who have believed have life, what remains beyond the possession of eternal life? Nothing is wanting to faith, as it is perfect and complete in itself. If anything is wanting to it, it is not wholly perfect. But faith is not lame in any respect; nor after our departure from this world does it make us who have believed, and received without distinction the earnest of future good, wait; but having in anticipation grasped by faith that which is future, after the resurrection we receive it as present, in order that that may be fulfilled which was spoken, "Be it according to your faith." And where faith is, there is the promise; and the consummation of the promise is rest. So that in illumination what we receive is knowledge, and the end of knowledge is rest – the last thing conceived as the object of aspiration. As, then, inexperience comes to an end by experience, and perplexity by finding a clear outlet, so by illumination must darkness disappear. The darkness is ignorance, through which we fall into sins, purblind as to the truth. Knowledge, then, is the illumination we receive, which makes ignorance disappear, and endows us with clear vision. Further, the abandonment of what is bad is the adopting of what is better. For what ignorance has bound ill, is by knowledge loosed well; those bonds are with all speed slackened by human faith and divine grace, our transgressions being taken away by one Poeonian medicine, the baptism of the Word. We are washed from all our sins, and are no longer entangled in evil. This is the one grace of illumination, that our characters are not the same as before our washing. And since knowledge springs up with illumination, shedding its beams around the mind, the moment we hear, we who were untaught become disciples. Does this, I ask, take place on the advent of this instruction? You cannot tell the time. For instruction leads to faith, and faith with baptism is trained by the Holy Spirit. For that faith is the one universal salvation of humanity, and that there is the same equality before the righteous and loving God, and the same fellowship between him and all, the apostle most clearly showed, speaking to the following effect: "Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up to the faith which should afterwards be revealed, so that the Law became our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith; but after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." Do you not hear that we are no longer under that law which was accompanied with fear, but under the Word, the master of free choice? Then he subjoined the utterance, clear of all partiality: "For you are all the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus." There are not, then, in the same Word some "illuminated (gnostics); and some animal (or natural) men;" but all who have abandoned the desires of the flesh are equal and spiritual before the Lord. And again he writes in another place: "For by one spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free, and we have all drunk of one cup." Nor would it be absurd to employ the expressions of those who call the reminiscence of better things the filtration of the spirit, understanding by filtration the separation of what is baser, that results from the reminiscence of what is better. There follows of necessity, in him who has come to the recollection of what is better, repentance for what is worse. Accordingly, they confess that the spirit in repentance retraces its steps. In the same way, therefore, we also, repenting of our sins, renouncing our iniquities, purified by baptism, speed back to the eternal light, children to the Father. Jesus therefore, rejoicing in the spirit, said: "I thank you, O Father, God of heaven and earth, that you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes;" the Master and Teacher applying the name babes to us, who are readier to embrace salvation than the wise in the world, who, thinking themselves wise, are inflated with pride. And he exclaims in exultation and exceeding joy, as if lisping with the children, "Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in your sight." Therefore those things which have been concealed from the wise and prudent of this present world have been revealed to babes. Truly, then, are we the children of God, who have put aside the old man, and stripped off the garment of wickedness, and put on the immortality of Christ; that we may become a new, holy people by regeneration, and may keep the man undefiled. And a babe, as God's little one, is cleansed from fornication and wickedness. With the greatest clearness the blessed Paul has solved for us this question in his First Letter to the Corinthians, writing so: "Brethren, be not children in understanding; nevertheless in malice be children, but in understanding be men." And the expression, "When I was a child, I thought as a child, I spoke as a child," points out his mode of life according to the law, according to which, thinking childish things, he persecuted, and speaking childish things he blasphemed the Word, not as having yet attained to the simplicity of childhood, but as being in its folly; for the word nhpion has two meanings. "When I became a man," again Paul says, "I put away childish things." It is not incomplete size of stature, nor a definite measure of time, nor additional secret teachings in things that are manly and more perfect, that the apostle, who himself professes to be a preacher of childishness, alludes to when he sends it, so to speak, into banishment; but he applies the name "children" to those who are under the law, who are terrified by fear as children are by bugbears; and "men" to us who are obedient to the Word and masters of ourselves, who have believed, and are saved by voluntary choice, and are rationally, not irrationally, frightened by terror. Of this the apostle himself shall testify, calling as he does the Jews heirs according to the first covenant, and us heirs according to promise: "Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he differs nothing from a servant, though he be Lord of all; but is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed by the father. So also we, when we were children, were in bondage under the rudiments of the world: but when the fullness of the time was came, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" by him. See how he has admitted those to be children who are under fear and sins; but has conferred manhood on those who are under faith, by calling them sons, in contradistinction from the children that are under the law: "For you are no more a servant," he says, "but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God." What, then, is lacking to the son after inheritance? Therefore the expression, "When I was a child," may be elegantly expounded so: that is, when I was a Jew (for he was a Hebrew by extraction) I thought as a child, when I followed the law; but after becoming a man, I no longer entertain the sentiments of a child, that is, of the law, but of a man, that is, of Christ, whom alone the Scripture calls man, as we have said before. "I put away childish things." But the childhood which is in Christ is maturity, as compared with the law. Having reached this point, we must defend our childhood. And we have still to explain what is said by the apostle: "I have fed you with milk (as children in Christ), not with meat; for you were unable, neither yet are you now able." For it does not appear to me that the expression is to be taken in a Jewish sense; for I shall oppose to it also that Scripture, "I will bring you into that good land which flows with milk and honey." A very great difficulty arises in reference to the comparison of these Scriptures, when we consider. For if the infancy which is characterized by the milk is the beginning of faith in Christ, then it is disparaged as childish and imperfect. How is the rest that comes after the meat, the rest of the man who is perfect and endowed with knowledge, again distinguished by infant milk? Does not this, as explaining a parable, mean something like this, and is not the expression to be read somewhat to the following effect: "I have fed you with milk in Christ;" and after a slight stop, let us add, "as children," that by separating the words in reading we may make out some such sense as this: I have instructed you in Christ with simple, true, and natural nourishment, – namely, that which is spiritual: for such is the nourishing substance of milk swelling out from breasts of love. So that the whole matter may be conceived so: As nurses nourish new-born children on milk, so do I also by the Word, the milk of Christ, instilling into you spiritual nourishment.

So, then, the milk which is perfect is perfect nourishment, and brings to that consummation which cannot cease. Therefore also the same milk and honey were promised in the rest. Rightly, therefore, the Lord again promises milk to the righteous, that the Word may be clearly shown to be both, "the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end;" the Word being figuratively represented as milk. Something like this Homer oracularly declares against his will, when he calls righteous men milk-fed (galaktofagoi). So also may we take the Scripture: "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal, even as to babes in Christ;" so that the carnal may be understood as those recently instructed, and still babes in Christ. For he called those who had already believed on the Holy Spirit spiritual, and those newly instructed and not yet purified carnal; whom with justice he calls still carnal, as minding equally with the heathen the things of the flesh: "For whereas there is among you envy and strife, are you not carnal, and walk as men?" "Therefore also I have given you milk to drink," he says; meaning, I have instilled into you the knowledge which, from instruction, nourishes up to life eternal. But the expression, "I have given you to drink" (epotisa), is the symbol of perfect appropriation. For those who are full-grown are said to drink, babes to suck. "For my blood," says the Lord, "is true drink." In saying, therefore, "I have given you milk to drink," has he not indicated the knowledge of the truth, the perfect gladness in the Word, who is the milk? And what follows next, "not meat, for you were unable," may indicate the clear revelation in the future world, like food, face to face. "For now we see as through a glass," the same apostle says, "but then face to face." Therefore also he has added, "neither yet are you now able, for you are still carnal," minding the things of the flesh, – desiring, loving, feeling jealousy, wrath, envy. "For we are no more in the flesh," as some suppose. For with it (they say), having the face which is like an angel's, we shall see the promise face to face. How then, if that is truly the promise after our departure hence, say those who they know "what eye has not known, nor has entered into the mind of man," who have not perceived by the Spirit, but received from instruction "what ear has not heard," or that ear alone which "was rapt up into the third heaven?" But it even then was commanded to preserve it unspoken. But if human wisdom, as it remains to understand, is the glorying in knowledge, hear the Law of Scripture: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the mighty man glory in his might; but let him that glories glory in the Lord." But we are God-taught, and glory in the name of Christ. How then are we not to regard the apostle as attaching this sense to the milk of the babes? And if we who preside over the churches are shepherds after the image of the good Shepherd, and you the sheep, are we not to regard the Lord as preserving consistency in the use of figurative speech, when he speaks also of the milk of the flock? And to this meaning we may secondly accommodate the expression, "I have given you milk to drink, and not given you food, for you are not yet able," regarding the meat not as something different from the milk, but the same in substance. For the very same Word is fluid and mild as milk, or solid and compact as meat. And entertaining this view, we may regard the proclamation of the Gospel, which is universally diffused, as milk; and as meat, faith, which from instruction is compacted into a foundation, which, being more substantial than hearing, is likened to meat, and assimilates to the soul itself nourishment of this kind. Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when he said: "Eat you my flesh, and drink my blood;" describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both, – of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle. And when hope expires, it is as if blood flowed forth; and the vitality of faith is destroyed. If, then, some would oppose, saying that by milk is meant the first lessons – so to speak, the first food – and that by meat is meant those spiritual cognitions to which they attain by raising themselves to knowledge, let them understand that, in saying that meat is solid food, and the flesh and blood of Jesus, they are brought by their own vainglorious wisdom to the true simplicity. For the blood is found to be an original product in man, and some have consequently ventured to call it the substance of the soul. And this blood, transmuted by a natural process of assimilation in the pregnancy of the mother, through the sympathy of parental affection, effloresces and grows old, in order that there may be no fear for the child. Blood, too, is the moister part of flesh, being a kind of liquid flesh; and milk is the sweeter and finer part of blood. For whether it be the blood supplied to the fetus, and sent through the navel of the mother, or whether it be the menses themselves shut out from their proper passage, and by a natural diffusion, commanded by the all-nourishing and creating God, proceed to the already swelling breasts, and by the heat of the spirits transmuted, (whether it be the one or the other) that is formed, into food desirable for the babe, that which is changed is the blood. For of all the members, the breasts have the most sympathy with the womb. When there is parturition, the vessel by which blood was conveyed to the fetus is cut off: there is an obstruction Of the flow, and the blood receives an impulse towards the breasts; and on a considerable rush taking place, they are distended, and change the blood to milk in a manner analogous to the change of blood into pus in ulceration. Or if, on the other hand, the blood from the veins in the vicinity of the breasts, which have been opened in pregnancy, is poured into the natural hollows of the breasts; and the spirit discharged from the neighbouring arteries being mixed with it, the substance of the blood, still remaining pure, it becomes white by being agitated like a wave; and by an interruption such as this is changed by frothing it, like what takes place with the sea, which at the assaults of the winds, the poets say, "spits forth briny foam." Yet still the essence is supplied by the blood.

In this way also the rivers, borne on with rushing motion, and fretted by contact with the surrounding air, murmur forth foam. The moisture in our mouth, too, is whitened by the breath. What an absurdity is it, then, not to acknowledge that the blood is converted into that very bright and white substance by the breath! The change it suffers is in quality, not in essence. You will certainly find nothing else more nourishing, or sweeter, or whiter than milk. In every respect, accordingly, it is like spiritual nourishment, which is sweet through grace, nourishing as life, bright as the day of Christ.

The blood of the Word has been also exhibited as milk. Milk being so provided in parturition, is supplied to the infant; and the breasts, which till then looked straight towards the husband, now bend down towards the child, being taught to furnish the substance elaborated by nature in a way easily received for salutary nourishment. For the breasts are not like fountains full of milk, flowing in ready prepared; but, by effecting a change in the nourishment, form the milk in themselves, and discharge it. And the nourishment suitable and wholesome for the new-formed and new-born babe is elaborated by God, the nourisher and the Father of all that are generated and regenerated, – as manna, the celestial food of angels, flowed down from heaven on the ancient Hebrews. Even now, in fact, nurses call the first-poured drink of milk by the same name as that food – manna. Further, pregnant women, on becoming mothers, discharge milk. But the Lord Christ, the fruit of the Virgin, did not pronounce the breasts of women blessed, nor selected them to give nourishment; but when the kind and loving Father had rained down the Word, himself became spiritual nourishment to the good. O mystic marvel! The universal Father is one, and one the universal Word; and the Holy Spirit is one and the same everywhere, and one is the only virgin mother. I love to call her the Church. This mother, when alone, had not milk, because alone she was not a woman. But she is once virgin and mother – pure as a virgin, loving as a mother. And calling her children to her, she nurses them with holy milk, that is, with the Word for childhood. Therefore she had not milk; for the milk was this child fair and comely, the body of Christ, which nourishes by the Word the young brood, which the Lord himself brought forth in throes of the flesh, which the Lord himself swathed in his precious blood. O amazing birth! O holy swaddling bands! The Word is all to the child, both father and mother and tutor and nurse. "Eat you my flesh," he says, "and drink my blood." Such is the suitable food which the Lord ministers, and he offers his flesh and pours forth his blood, and nothing is wanting for the children's growth. O amazing mystery l We are enjoined to cast off the old and carnal corruption, as also the old nourishment, receiving in exchange another new regimen, that of Christ, receiving him if we can, to hide him within; and that, enshrining the Saviour in our souls, we may correct the affections of our flesh.

But you are not inclined to understand it so, but perhaps more generally. Hear it also in the following way. The flesh figuratively represents to us the Holy Spirit; for the flesh was created by him. The blood points out to us the Word, for as rich blood the Word has been infused into life; and the union of both is the Lord, the food of the babes – the Lord who is Spirit and Word. The food- that is, the Lord Jesus – that is, the Word of God, the Spirit made flesh, the heavenly flesh sanctified. The nourishment is the milk of the Father, by which alone we infants are nourished. The Word himself, then, the beloved One, and our nourisher, has shed his own blood for us, to save humanity; and by him, we, believing on God, flee to the Word, "the care-soothing breast" of the Father. And he alone, as is befitting, supplies us children with the milk of love, and those only are truly Messed who suck this breast. Therefore also Peter says: "Laying therefore aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisy, and envy, and evil speaking, as new-born babes, desire the milk of the word, that you may grow by it to salvation; if you have tasted that the Lord is Christ." And were one to concede to those who the meat was something different from the milk, then how shall they avoid being transfixed on their own spit, through want of consideration of nature? For in winter, when the air is condensed, and prevents the escape of the heat enclosed within, the food, transmuted and digested and changed into blood, passes into the veins, and these, in the absence of exhalation, are greatly distended, and exhibit strong pulsations; consequently also nurses are then fullest of milk. And we have shown a little above, that on pregnancy blood passes into milk by a change which does not affect its substance, just as in old people yellow hair changes to gray. But again in summer, the body, having its pores more open, affords greater facility for diaphoretic action in the case of the food, and the milk is least abundant, since neither is the blood full, nor is the whole nourishment retained. If, then, the digestion of the food results in the production of blood, and the blood becomes milk, then blood is a preparation for milk, as blood is for a human being, and the grape for the vine. With milk, then, the Lord's nourishment, we are nursed directly we are born; and as soon as we are regenerated, we are honoured by receiving the good news of the hope of rest, even the Jerusalem above, in which it is written that milk and honey fall in showers, receiving through what is material the pledge of the sacred food. "For meats are done away with," as the apostle himself says; but this nourishment on milk leads to the heavens, rearing up citizens of heaven, and members of the angelic choirs. And since the Word is the gushing fountain of life, and has been called a river of olive oil, Paul, using appropriate figurative language, and calling him milk, adds: "I have given you to drink;" for we drink in the word, the nourishment of the truth. In truth, also liquid food is called drink; and the same thing may somehow be both meat and drink, according to the different aspects in which it is considered, just as cheese is the solidification of milk or milk solidified; for I am not concerned here to make a nice selection of an expression, only to say that one substance supplies both articles of food. Besides, for children at the breast, milk alone suffices; it serves both for meat and drink. "I," says the Lord, "have meat to eat that you do not know of. My meat is to do the will of him that sent me." you see another kind of food which, similarly with milk, represents figuratively the will of God. Besides, also, the completion of his own passion he called catachrestically "a cup," when he alone had to drink and drain it. So to Christ the fulfilling of his Father's will was food; and to us infants, who drink the milk of the word of the heavens, Christ himself is food. Hence seeking is called sucking; for to those babes that seek the Word, the Father's breasts of love supply milk. Further, the Word declares himself to be the bread of heaven. "For Moses," he says, "gave you not that bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he that comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world. And the bread which I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Here is to be noted the mystery of the bread, inasmuch as he speaks of it as flesh, and as flesh, consequently, that has risen through fire, as the wheat springs up from decay and germination; and, in truth, it has risen through fire for the joy of the Church, as bread baked. But this will be shown later on more clearly in the section on the resurrection. But since he said, "And the bread which I will give is my flesh," and since flesh is moistened with blood, and blood is figuratively termed wine, we are commanded to know that, as bread, crumbled into a mixture of wine and water, seizes on the wine and leaves the watery portion, so also the flesh of Christ, the bread of heaven absorbs the blood; that is, those among men who are heavenly, nourishing them up to immortality, and leaving only to destruction the lusts of the flesh.

So in many ways the Word is figuratively described, as meat, and flesh, and food, and bread, and blood, and milk. The Lord is all these, to give enjoyment to us who have believed on him. Let no one then think it strange, when we say that the Lord's blood is figuratively represented as milk. For is it not figuratively represented as wine? "Who washes," it is said, "his garment in wine, his robe in the blood of the grape." In his Own Spirit he he says will deck the body of the Word; as certainly by his own Spirit he will nourish those who hunger for the Word. And that the blood is the Word, is testified by the blood of Abel, the righteous interceding with God. For the blood would never have uttered a voice, had it not been regarded as the Word: for the righteous man of old is the type of the new righteous one; and the blood of old that interceded, intercedes in the place of the new blood. And the blood that is the Word cries to God, since it intimated that the Word was to suffer. Further, this flesh, and the blood in it, are by a mutual sympathy moistened and increased by the milk. And the process of formation of the seed in conception ensues when it has mingled with the pure residue of the menses, which remains. For the force that is in the seed coagulating the substances of the blood, as the rennet curdles milk, effects the essential part of the formative process. For a suitable blending conduces to fruitfulness; but extremes are adverse, and tend to sterility. For when the earth itself is flooded by excessive rain, the seed is swept away, while in consequence of scarcity it is dried up; but when the sap is viscous, it retains the seed, and makes it germinate. Some also hold the hypothesis, that the seed of an animal is in substance the foam of the blood, which being by the natural heat of the male agitated and shaken out is turned into foam, and deposited in the seminal veins. For Diogenes Apollionates will have it, that hence is derived the word aphrodisia. From all this it is therefore evident, that the essential principle of the human body is blood. The contents of the stomach, too, at first are milky, a coagulation of fluid; then the same coagulated substance is changed into blood; but when it is formed into a compact consistency in the womb, by the natural and warm spirit by which the embryo is fashioned, it becomes a living creature. Further also, the child after birth is nourished by the same blood. For the flow of milk is the product of the blood; and the source of nourishment is the milk; by which a woman is shown to have brought forth a child, and to be truly a mother, by which also she receives a potent charm of affection. Therefore the Holy Spirit in the apostle, using the voice of the Lord, says mystically, "I have given you milk to drink." For if we have been regenerated to Christ, he who has regenerated us nourishes us with his own milk, the Word; for it is proper that what has procreated should immediately supply nourishment to that which has been procreated. And as the regeneration was conformably spiritual, so also was the nourishment of man spiritual. In all respects, therefore, and in all things, we are brought into union with Christ, into relationship through his blood, by which we are redeemed; and into sympathy, in consequence of the nourishment which flows from the Word; and into immortality, through his guidance: "Among men the bringing up of children often produces stronger impulses to love than the procreating of them."

The same blood and milk of the Lord is therefore the symbol of the Lord's passion and teaching. Therefore each of us babes is permitted to make our boast in the Lord, while we proclaim:

"Yet of a noble sire and noble blood I boast me sprung." And that milk is produced from blood by a change, is already clear; yet we may learn it from the flocks and herds. For these animals, in the time of the year which we call spring, when the air has more humidity, and the grass and meadows are juicy. And moist, are first filled with blood, as is shown by the distension of the veins of the swollen vessels; and from the blood the milk flows more abundantly. But in summer again, the blood being burnt and dried up by the heat, prevents the change, and so they have less milk.

Further, milk has a most natural affinity for water, as assuredly the spiritual washing has for the spiritual nourishment. Those, therefore, that swallow a little cold water, in addition to the above-mentioned milk, immediately feel benefit; for the milk is prevented from souring by its combination with water, not in consequence of any antipathy between them, but in consequence of the water taking kindly to the milk while it is undergoing digestion.

And such as is the union of the Word with baptism, is the agreement of milk with water; for it receives it alone of all liquids, and admits of mixture with water, for the purpose of cleansing, as baptism for the remission of sins. And it is mixed naturally with honey also, and this for cleansing along with sweet nourishment. For the Word blended with love at once cures our passions and cleanses our sins; and the saying,

"Sweeter than honey flowed the stream of speech," seems to me to have been spoken of the Word, who is honey. And prophecy oft extols him "above honey and the honeycomb." Furthermore, milk is mixed with sweet wine; and the mixture is beneficial, as when suffering is mixed in the cup in order to immortality. For the milk is curdled by the wine, and separated, and whatever adulteration is in it is drained off. And in the same way, the spiritual communion of faith with suffering man, drawing off as serious matter the lusts of the flesh, commits man to eternity, along with those who are divine, immortalizing him. Further, many also use the fat of milk, called butter, for the lamp, plainly indicating by this enigma the abundant unction of the Word, since he alone it is who nourishes the infants, makes them grow, and enlightens them. Therefore also the Scripture says respecting the Lord," he fed them with the produce of the fields; they sucked honey from the rock, and oil from the solid rock, butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs;" and what follows he gave them. But he that prophesies the birth of the child says: "Butter and honey shall he eat." And it occurs to me to wonder how some dare call themselves perfect and gnostics, with ideas of themselves above the apostle, inflated and boastful, when Paul even owned respecting himself, "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am apprehended of Christ. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forth to those that are before, I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus." And yet he reckons himself perfect, because he has been emancipated from his former life, and strives after the better life, not as perfect in knowledge, but as aspiring after perfection. Therefore also he adds, "As many of us as are perfect, are so minded," manifestly describing perfection as the renunciation of sin, and regeneration into the faith of the only perfect One, and forgetting our former sins.

Chapter 7. The Instructor is none other than Jesus

Since, then, we have shown that all of us are by Scripture called children; and not only so, but that we who have followed Christ are figuratively called babes; and that the Father of all alone is perfect, for the Son is in him, and the Father is in the Son; it is time for us in due course to say who our Instructor is.

He is called Jesus: Sometimes he calls himself a shepherd, and says, "I am the good Shepherd." According to a metaphor drawn from shepherds, who lead the sheep, is hereby understood the Instructor, who leads the children – the Shepherd who tends the babes. For the babes are simple, being figuratively described as sheep. "And they shall all," it is said, "be one flock, and one shepherd." The Word, then, who leads the children to salvation, is appropriately called the Instructor (Paedagogue). With the greatest clearness, accordingly, the Word has spoken respecting himself by Hosea: "I am your Instructor." Now piety is instruction, being the learning of the service of God, and training in the knowledge of the truth, and right guidance which leads to heaven. And the word "instruction" is employed variously. For there is the instruction of him who is led and learns, and that of him who leads and teaches; and there is, thirdly, the guidance itself; and fourthly, what is taught, as the commandments enjoined.

Now the instruction which is of God is the right direction of truth to the contemplation of God, and the exhibition of holy deeds in everlasting perseverance.

As therefore the general directs the phalanx, consulting the safety of his soldiers, and the pilot steers the vessel, desiring to save the passengers; so also the Instructor guides the children to a saving course of conduct, through solicitude for us; and, in general, whatever we ask in accordance with reason from God to be done for us, will happen to those who believe in the Instructor. And just as the helmsman does not always yield to the winds, but sometimes, turning the prow towards them, opposes the whole force of the hurricanes; so the Instructor never yields to the blasts that blow in this world, nor commits the child to them like a vessel to make shipwreck on a wild and licentious course of life; but, wafted on by the favouring breeze of the Spirit of truth, stoutly holds on to the child's helm, – his ears, I mean, – until he bring him safe to anchor in the haven of heaven.

What is called by men an ancestral custom passes away in a moment, but the divine guidance is a possession which abides for ever. They say that Phoenix was the Instructor of Achilles, and Adrastus of the children of Croesus; and Leonides of Alexander, and Nausithous of Philip. But Phoenix was women-mad Adrastus was a fugitive. Leonides did not curtail the pride of Alexander, nor Nausithous reform the drunken Pellaean. No more was the Thracian Zopyrus able to check the fornication of Alcibiades; but Zopyrus was a bought slave, and Sicinnus, the tutor of the children of Themistocles, was a lazy domestic. They say also that he invented the Sicinnian dance. Those have not escaped our attention who are called royal instructors among the Persians; whom, in number four, the kings of the Persians select with the greatest care from all the Persians and set over their sons. But the children only learn the use of the bow, and on reaching maturity have sexual intercourse with sisters, and mothers, and women, wives and courtesans innumerable, practiced in intercourse like the wild boars.

But our Instructor is the holy God Jesus, the Word, who is the guide of all humanity. The loving God himself is our Instructor. Somewhere in song the Holy Spirit says with regard to him, "He provided sufficiently for the people in the wilderness. He led him about in the thirst of summer heat in a dry land, and instructed him, and kept him as the apple of his eye, as an eagle protects her nest, and shows her fond solicitude for her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, and bears them on her back. The Lord alone led them, and there was no strange God with them." Clearly, I trow, has the Scripture exhibited the Instructor in the account it gives of his guidance.

Again, when he speaks in his own person, he confesses himself to be the Instructor: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt." who, then, has the power of leading in and out? Is it not the Instructor? This was he who appeared to Abraham, and said to him, "I am your God, be accepted before me;" and in a way most befitting an instructor, forms him into a faithful child, saying, "And be blameless; and I will make my covenant between me and you, and try seed." There is the communication of the Instructor's friendship. And he most manifestly appears as Jacob's instructor. He says accordingly to him, "See, I am with you, to keep you in all the way in which you shall go; and I will bring you back into this land: for I will not leave you till I do what I have told you." He is said, too, to have wrestled with him. "And Jacob was left alone, and there wrestled with him a man (the Instructor) till the morning." This was the man who led, and brought, and wrestled with, and anointed the athlete Jacob against evil. Now that the Word was at once Jacob's trainer and the Instructor of humanity (appears from this) – "He asked," it is said, "his name, and said to him, Tell me what is Try name." And he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" For he reserved the new name for the new people – the babe; and was as yet unnamed, the Lord God not having yet become man. Yet Jacob called the name of the place, "Face of God." "For I have seen," he says, "God face to face; and my life is preserved." The face of God is the Word by whom God is manifested and made known. Then also was he named Israel, because he saw God the Lord. It was God, the Word, the Instructor, who said to him again afterwards, "Fear not to go down into Egypt." See how the Instructor follows the righteous man, and how he anoints the athlete, teaching him to trip up his antagonist.

It is he also who teaches Moses to act as instructor. For the Lord says, "If anyone sin before me, him will I blot out of my book; but now, go and lead this people into the place which I told you." Here he is the teacher of the art of instruction. For it was really the Lord that was the Instructor of the ancient people by Moses; but he is the Instructor of the new people by himself, face to face. "For behold," he says to Moses, "my angel shall go before you," representing the evangelical and commanding power of the Word, but guarding the Lord's prerogative. "In the day on which I will visit them," he says, "I will bring their sins on them; that is, on the day on which I will sit as judge I will render the recompense of their sins." For the same who is Instructor is judge, and judges those who disobey him; and the loving Word will not pass over their transgression in silence. He reproves, that they may repent. For "the Lord wills the repentance of the sinner rather than his death." And let us as babes, hearing of the sins of others, keep from similar transgressions, through dread of the threatening, that we may not have to undergo like sufferings. What, then, was the sin which they committed? "For in their wrath they slew men, and in their impetuosity they hamstrung bulls. Cursed be their anger." who, then, would train us more lovingly than He? Formerly the older people had an old covenant, and the Law disciplined the people with fear, and the Word was an angel; but to the fresh and new people has also been given a new covenant, and the Word has appeared, and fear is turned to love, and that mystic angel is born – Jesus. For this same Instructor said then, "You shall fear the Lord God;" but to us he has addressed the exhortation, "You shall love the Lord your God." Therefore also this is enjoined on us: "Cease from your own works, from your old sins;" "Learn to do well;" "Depart from evil, and do good;" "You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity." This is my new covenant written in the old letter. The newness of the word must not, then, be made ground of reproach. But the Lord has also said in Jeremiah: "Do not say that I am a youth: before I formed you in the belly I knew you, and before I brought you out of the womb I sanctified you." Such allusions prophecy can make to us, destined in the eye of God to faith before the foundation of the world; but now babes, through the recent fulfillment of the will of God, according to which we are born now to calling and salvation. Therefore also he adds, "I have set you for a prophet to the nations," saying that he must prophesy, so that the appellation of "youth" should not become a reproach to those who are called babes.

Now the Law is ancient grace given through Moses by the Word. Therefore also the Scripture says, "The Law was given through Moses," not by Moses, but by the Word, and through Moses his servant. Therefore it was only temporary; but eternal grace and truth were by Jesus Christ. Mark the expressions of Scripture: of the Law only is it said "was given;" but truth being the grace of the Father, is the eternal work of the Word; and it is not said to be given, but to be by Jesus, without whom nothing was. Presently, therefore, Moses prophetically, giving place to the perfect Instructor the Word, predicts both the name and the office of Instructor, and committing to the people the commands of obedience, sets before them the Instructor. "A prophet," he says, "like me shall God raise up to you of your brethren," pointing out Jesus the Son of God, by an allusion to Jesus the son of Nun; for the name of Jesus predicted in the Law was a shadow of Christ. He adds, therefore, consulting the advantage of the people, "Him shall you hear;" and, "The man who will not hear that Prophet," him he threatens. Such a name, then, he predicts as that of the Instructor, who is the author of salvation. Therefore prophecy invests him with a rod, a rod of discipline, of rule, of authority; that those whom the persuasive word heals not, the threatening may heal; and whom the threatening heals not, the rod may heal; and whom the rod heals not, the fire may devour. "There shall come out," it is said, "a rod out of the root of Jesse."

See the care, and wisdom, and power of the Instructor: "He shall not judge according to opinion, nor according to report; but he shall dispense judgment to the humble, and reprove the sinners of the earth." And by David: "The Lord instructing, has instructed me, and not given me over to death." For to be chastised of the Lord, and instructed, is deliverance from death. And by the same prophet he says: "You shall rule them with a rod of iron." So also the apostle, in the Letter to the Corinthians, being moved, says, "What will you? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love, in the spirit of meekness?" Also, "The Lord shall send the rod of strength out of Sion," he says by another prophet. And this same rod of instruction, "Your rod and staff have comforted me," said someone else. Such is the power of the Instructor – sacred, soothing, saving.

Chapter 8. Those who doubt that God is good, because he corrects wrongs

At this stage some rise up, saying that the Lord, by reason of the rod, and threatening, and fear, is not good; misapprehending, as appears, the Scripture which says, "And he that fears the Lord will turn to his heart;" and most of all, oblivious of his love, in that for us he became man. For more suitably to him, the prophet prays in these words: "Remember us, for we are dust;" that: is, sympathize with us; for you know from personal experience of suffering the weakness of the flesh. In this respect, therefore, the Lord the Instructor is most good and unimpeachable, sympathizing as he does from the exceeding greatness of his love with the nature of each man. "For there is nothing which the Lord hates." For assuredly he does not hate anything, and yet wish that which he hates to exist Nor does he wish anything not to exist, and yet become the cause of existence to that which he wishes not to exist. Nor does he wish anything not to exist which yet exists. If, then, the Word hates anything, he does not wish it to exist. But nothing exists, the cause of whose existence is not supplied by God. Nothing, then, is hated by God, nor yet by the Word. For both are one – that is, God. For he has said, "In the beginning the Word was in God, and the Word was God." If then he hates none of the things which he has made, it follows that he loves them. Much more than the rest, and with reason, will he love man, the noblest of all objects created by him, and a God-loving being. Therefore God is loving; consequently the Word is loving.

But he who loves anything wishes to do good to it. And that which does good must be every way better than that which does not good. But nothing is better than the Good. The Good, then, does good. And God is admitted to be good. God therefore does good. And the Good, in virtue of its being good, does nothing else than do good. Consequently God does all good. And he does no good to man without caring for him, and he does not care far him without taking care of him. For that which does good purposely, is better than what does not good purposely. But nothing is better than God. And to do good purposely, is nothing else than to take care of man. God therefore cares for man, and takes care of him. And he shows this practically, in instructing him by the Word, who is the true coadjutor of God's love to man. But the good is not said to be good, on account of its being possessed of virtue; as also righteousness is not said to be good on account of its possessing virtue – for it is itself virtue. – but on account of its being in itself and by itself good. In another way the useful is called good, not on account of its pleasing, but of its doing good. All which, therefore, is righteousness, being a good thing, both as virtue and as desirable for its own sake, and not as giving pleasure; for it does not judge in order to win favour, but dispenses to each according to his merits. And the beneficial follows the useful. Righteousness, therefore, has characteristics corresponding to all the aspects in which goodness is examined, both possessing equal properties equally. And things which are characterized by equal properties are equal and similar to each other. Righteousness is therefore a good thing. "How then," say they, "if the Lord loves man, and is good, is he angry and punishes?" We must therefore treat of this point with all possible brevity; for this mode of treatment is advantageous to the right training of the children, occupying the place of a necessary help. For many of the passions are cured by punishment, and by the inculcation of the sterner precepts, as also by instruction in certain principles. For reproof is, so to speak, the surgery of the passions of the soul; and the passions are, so to speak, an abscess of the truth, which must be cut open by an incision of the lancet of reproof.

Reproach is like the application of medicines, dissolving the callosities of the passions, and purging the impurities of the lewdness of the life; and in addition, reducing the excrescences of pride, restoring the patient to the healthy and true state of humanity. Admonition. Is, so to speak, the regimen of the diseased soul, prescribing what it must take, and forbidding what it must not. And all these tend to salvation and eternal health.

Furthermore, the general of an army, by inflicting fines and corporeal punishments with chains and the extremist disgrace on offenders, and sometimes even by punishing individuals with death, aims at good, doing so for the admonition of the officers under him.

So also he who is our great General, the Word, the Commander-in-chief of the universe by admonishing those who throw off the restraints of his law, that he may effect their release from the slavery, error, and captivity of the adversary, brings them peacefully to the sacred concord of citizenship.

As, therefore in addition to persuasive discourse, there is the hortatory and the consolatory form; so also, in addition to the laudatory, there is the inculpatory and reproachful. And this latter constitutes the art of censure. Now censure is a mark of good-will, not of ill-will. For both he who is a friend and he who is not, reproach; but the enemy does so in scorn, the friend in kindness. It is not, then, from hatred that the Lord chides men; for he himself suffered for us, whom he might have destroyed for our faults. For the Instructor also, in virtue of his being good, with consummate are glides into censure by rebuke; rousing the sluggishness of the mind by his sharp words as by a scourge. Again in turn he endeavours to exhort the same persons. For those who are not induced by praise are spurred on by censure; and those whom censure calls not forth to salvation being as dead, are by denunciation roused to the truth. "For the stripes and correction of wisdom are in all time." "For teaching a fool is like glueing a potsherd; and sharpening to sense a hopeless blockhead is like bringing earth itself to sensation." Therefore he adds plainly, "rousing the sleeper from deep sleep," which of all things else is most like death. Further, the Lord shows very clearly of himself, when, describing figuratively his manifold and in many ways serviceable culture, – he says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer." Then he adds, "Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away; and every branch that bears fruit he prunes, that it may bring forth more fruit." For the vine that is not pruned grows to wood. So also man. The Word – the knife – clears away the wanton shoots; compelling the impulses of the soul to fructify, not to indulge in lust. Now, reproof addressed to sinners has their salvation for its aim, the word being harmoniously adjusted to each one's conduct; now with tightened, now. With relaxed cords. Accordingly it was very plainly said by Moses," Be of good courage: God has drawn near to try you, that his fear may be among you, that you sin not." And Plato, who had learned from this source, says beautifully: "For all who suffer punishment are in reality treated well, for they are benefited; since the spirit of those who are justly punished is improved." And if those who are corrected receive good at the hands of justice, and, according to Plato, what is just is acknowledged to be good, fear itself does good, and has been found to be for men's good. "For the soul that fears the Lord shall live, for their hope is in him who saves them." And this same Word who inflicts punishment is judge; regarding whom Isaiah also says, "The Lord has assigned him to our sins," plainly as a corrector and reformer of sins. Therefore he alone is able to forgive our iniquities, who has been appointed by the Father, Instructor of us all; he alone it is who is able to distinguish between disobedience and obedience. And while he threatens, he manifestly is unwilling to inflict evil to execute his threatenings; but by inspiring men with fear, he cuts off the approach to sin, and shows his love to man, still delaying, and declaring what they shall suffer if they continue sinners, and is not as a serpent, which the moment it fastens on its prey devours it. God, then, is good. And the Lord speaks many a time and oft before he proceeds to act. "For my arrows," he says, "will make an end of them; they shall be consumed with hunger, and be eaten by birds; and there shall be incurable tetanic incurvature. I will send the teeth of wild beasts on them, with the rage of serpents creeping on the earth. Without, the sword shall make them childless; and out of their chambers shall be fear." For the Divine Being is not angry in the way that some think; but often restrains, and always exhorts humanity, and shows what ought to be done. And this is a good device, to terrify for fear that we sin. "For the fear of the Lord drives away sins, and he that is without fear cannot be justified," says the Scripture. And God does not inflict punishment from wrath, but for the ends of justice; since it is not expedient that justice should be neglected on our account. Each one of us, who sins, with his own free-will chooses punishment, and the blame lies with him who chooses. God is without blame. "But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous, who takes vengeance? God forbid." He says, therefore, threatening," I will sharpen my sword, and my hand shall lay hold on judgment; and I will render justice to my enemies, and requite those who hate me. I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh from the blood of the wounded." It is clear, then, that those who are not at enmity with the truth, and do not hate the Word, will not hate their own salvation, but will escape the punishment of enmity. "The crown of wisdom," then as the book of Wisdom says, "is the fear of the Lord." Very clearly, therefore, by the prophet Amos has the Lord unfolded his method of dealing, saying, "I have overthrown you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah; and you shall be as a brand plucked from the fire: and yet you have not returned to me, says the Lord."

See how God, through his love of goodness, seeks repentance; and by means of the plan he pursues of threatening silently, shows his own love for man. "I will avert," he says, "my face from them, and show what shall happen to them." For where the face of the Lord looks, there is peace and rejoicing; but where it is averted, there is the introduction of evil. The Lord, accordingly, does not wish to look on evil things; for he is good. But on his looking away, evil arises spontaneously through human unbelief. "Behold, therefore," says Paul, "the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell severity; but on you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness," that is, in faith in Christ.

Now hatred of evil attends the good man, in virtue of his being in nature good. Therefore I will grant that he punishes the disobedient (for punishment is for the good and advantage of him who is punished, for it is the correction of a refractory subject); but I will not grant that he wishes to take vengeance. Revenge is retribution for evil, imposed for the advantage of him who takes the revenge. He will not desire us to take revenge, who teaches us "to pray for those that despitefully use us." But that God is good, all willingly admit; and that the same God is just, I require not many more words to prove, after adducing the evangelical utterance of the Lord; he speaks of him as one, "That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in Us: that the world also may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you have given me I have given them; that they may be one, as We are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one." God is one, and beyond the one and above the Monad itself. Therefore also the particle "You," having a demonstrative emphasis, points out God, who alone truly is, "who was, and is, and is to come," in which three divisions of time the one name (o (w)n); "who is," has its place. And that he who alone is God is also alone and truly righteous, our Lord in the Gospel itself shall testify, saying "Father, I will that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: For you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it." This is he "that visits the iniquities of the fathers on the children, to those who hate him, and shows mercy to those that love him." For he who placed some "on the right hand, and others on the left," conceived as Father, being good, is called that which alone he is – "good;" but as he is the Son in the Father, being his Word, from their mutual relation, the name of power being measured by equality of love, he is called righteous. "He will judge," he says, "a man according to his works," – a good balance, even God having made known to us the face of righteousness in the person of Jesus, by whom also, as by even scales, we know God. Of this also the book of Wisdom plainly says, "For mercy and wrath are with him, for he alone is Lord of both," Lord of propitiations, and pouring forth wrath according to the abundance of his mercy. "So also is his reproof." For the aim of mercy and of reproof is the salvation of those who are reproved.

Now, that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus is good, the Word himself will again avouch: "For he is kind to the unthankful and the evil;" and further, when he says," Be merciful, as your Father is merciful." Still further also he plainly says, "None is good, but my Father, who is in heaven." In addition to these, again he says, "my Father makes his sun to shine on all." Here it is to be noted that he proclaims his Father to be good, and to be the Creator. And that the Creator is just, is not disputed: And again he says," my Father sends rain on the just, and on the unjust." In respect of his sending rain, he is the Creator of the waters, and of the clouds. And in respect of his doing so on all, he holds an even balance justly and rightly. And as being good, he does so on just and unjust alike. Very clearly, then, we conclude him to be one and the same God, so. For the Holy Spirit has sung, "I will look to the heavens, the works of your hands;" and, "He who created the heavens dwells in the heavens;" and, "Heaven is your throne." And the Lord says in his prayer, "Our Father, who are in heaven." And the heavens belong to him, who created the world. It is indisputable, then, that the Lord is the Son of the Creator. And if, the Creator above all is confessed to be just, and the Lord to be the Son of the Creator; then the Lord is the Son of him who is just. Therefore also Paul says, "But now the righteousness of God without the Law is manifested;" and again, that you may better conceive of God, "even the righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus Christ on all that believe; for there is no difference." And, witnessing further to the truth, he adds after a little, "through the tolerance of God, in order to show that he is just, and that Jesus is the justifier of him who is of faith." And that he knows that what is just is good, appears by his saying, "So that the Law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good," using both names to denote the same power. But "no one is good," except his Father. It is this same Father of his, then who being one is manifested by many powers And this was the import of the utterance, "No man knew the Father," who was himself everything before the coming of the Son. So that it is veritably clear that the God of all is only one good, just Creator, and the Son in the Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen. But it is not inconsistent with the saving Word, to administer rebuke dictated by solicitude. For this is the medicine of the divine love to man, by which the blush of modesty breaks forth, and shame at sin supervenes. For if one must censure, it is necessary also to rebuke; when it is the time to wound the apathetic soul not mortally, but salutarily, securing exemption from everlasting death by a little pain.

Great is the wisdom displayed in his instruction, and manifold the modes of his dealing in order to salvation. For the Instructor testifies to the good, and summons forth to better things those that are called; dissuades those that are hastening to do wrong from the attempt, and exhorts them to turn to a better life. For the one is not without testimony, when the other has been testified to; and the grace which proceeds from the testimony is very great. Besides, the feeling of anger (if it is proper to call his admonition anger) is full of love to man, God condescending to emotion on man's account; for whose sake also the Word of God became man.

Chapter 9. The way of instruction of the Word (Logos): censure and reward

With all his power, therefore, the Instructor of humanity, the Divine Word, using all the resources of wisdom, devotes himself to the saving of the children, admonishing, rebuking, blaming, chiding, reproving, threatening, healing, promising, favouring; and so to speak, by many reins, curbing the irrational impulses of humanity. To speak briefly, therefore, the Lord acts towards us as we do towards our children. "Have you children? correct them," is the exhortation of the book of Wisdom, "and bend them from their youth. Have you daughters? attend to their body, and let not your face brighten towards them," – although we love our children exceedingly, both sons and daughters, above anything else whatever. For those who speak with a man merely to please him, have little love for him, seeing they do not pain him; while those that speak for his good, though they inflict pain for the time, do him good for ever after. It is not immediate pleasure, but future enjoyment, that the Lord has in view. Let us now proceed to consider the mode of his loving discipline, with the aid of the prophetic testimony.

Admonition, then, is the censure of loving care, and produces understanding. Such is the Instructor in his admonitions, as when he says in the Gospel, "How often would I have gathered your children, as a bird gathers her young ones under her wings, and you would not!" And again, the Scripture admonishes, saying, "And they committed adultery with stock and stone, and burnt incense to Baal." For it is a very great proof of his love, that, though knowing well the shamelessness of the people that had kicked and bounded away, he notwithstanding exhorts them to repentance, and says by Ezekiel, "Son of man, you dwell in the midst of scorpions; nevertheless, speak to them, if perhaps they will hear." Further, to Moses he says, "Go and tell Pharaoh to send my people forth; but I know that he will not send them forth." For he shows both things: both his divinity in his foreknowledge of what would take place, and his love in affording an opportunity for repentance to the self-determination of the soul. He admonishes also by Isaiah, in his care for the people, when he says, "This people honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." What follows is reproving censure: "In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Here his loving care, having shown their sin, shows salvation side by side. Rebuking is censure on account of what is base, conciliating to what is noble. This is shown by Jeremiah: "They were female-mad horses; each one neighed after his neighbour's wife. Shall I not visit for these things? says the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?" he everywhere interweaves fear, because "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of sense." And again, by Hosea, he says, "Shall I not visit them? for they themselves were mingled with harlots, and sacrificed with the initiated; and the people that understood embraced a harlot." He shows their offence to be clearer, by declaring that they understood, and so sinned willfully. Understanding is the eye of the soul; therefore also Israel means, "he that sees God" – that is, he that understands God. Complaint is censure of those who are regarded as despising or neglecting. He employs this form when he says by Isaiah: "Hear, O heaven; and give ear, O earth: for the Lord has spoken, I have begotten and brought up children, but they have disregarded me. The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel has not known me." For how shall we not regard it fearful, if he that knows God, shall not recognise the Lord; but while the ox and the ass, stupid and foolish animals, will know him who feeds them, Israel is found to be more irrational than these? And having, by Jeremiah, complained against the people on many grounds, he adds: "And they have forsaken me, says the Lord." Invective is a reproachful rebuking, or chiding censure. This mode of treatment the Instructor employs in Isaiah, when he says, "Woe to you, children revolters. The Lord says, you have taken counsel, but not by me; and made compacts, but not by my Spirit." He uses the very bitter mordant of fear in each case repressing the people, and at the same time turning them to salvation; as also wool that is undergoing the process of dyeing can often be previously treated with mordants, in order to prepare it for taking on a fast colour.

Reproof is the bringing forward of sin, laying it before one. This form of instruction he employs as in the highest degree necessary, by reason of the feebleness of the faith of many. For he says by Isaiah, "You have forsaken the Lord, and have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger." And he says also by Jeremiah: "Heaven was astonished at this, and the earth shuddered exceedingly. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and have hewn out to themselves broken cisterns, which will not be able to hold water." And again, by the same: "Jerusalem has sinned a sin; therefore it became commotion. All that glorified her dishonoured her, when they saw her baseness." And he uses the bitter and biting language of reproof in his consolations by Solomon, tacitly alluding to the love for children that characterizes his instruction: "my son, despise not you the chastening of the Lord; nor faint when you are rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives;" "For a man who is a sinner escapes reproof." Consequently, therefore, the Scripture says, "Let the righteous reprove and correct me; but let not the oil of the sinner anoint my head." Bringing one to his senses (frenwsis) is censure, which makes a man think. Neither from this form of instruction does he abstain, but says by Jeremiah, "How long shall I cry, and you not hear? So your ears are uncircumcised." O blessed tolerance! And again, by the same: "All the heathen are uncircumcised, but this people is uncircumcised in heart:" "for the people are disobedient; children," he says, "in whom is not faith." Visitation is severe rebuke. He uses this species in the Gospel: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that kill the prophets, and stone those who are sent to you!" The reduplication of the name gives strength to the rebuke. For he that knows God, how does he persecute God's servants? Therefore he says, "Your house is left desolate; for I say to you, From now on you shall not see me, until you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord." For if you do not receive his love, you shall know his power.

Denunciation is vehement speech. And he employs denunciation as medicine, by Isaiah, saying, "Ah, sinful nation, lawless sons, people full of sins, wicked seed!" And in the Gospel by John he says, "Serpents, brood of vipers." Accusation is censure of wrong-doers. This mode of instruction he employs by David, when he says: "The people whom I knew not served me, and at the hearing of the ear obeyed me. Sons of strangers lied to me, and halted from their ways." And by Jeremiah: "And I gave her a writing of divorcement, and covenant-breaking Judah feared not." And again: "And the house of Israel disregarded me; and the house of Judah lied to the Lord."

Bewailing one's fate is latent censure, and by artful aid ministers salvation as under a veil. He made use of this by Jeremiah: "How did the city sit solitary that was full of people! She that ruled over territories became as a widow; she came under tribute; weeping, she wept in the night." Objurgation is objurgatory censure. Of this help the Divine Instructor made use by Jeremiah, saying, "You had a whore's forehead; you were shameless towards all; and did not call me to the house, who am your father, and Lord of your virginity." "And a fair and graceful harlot skilled in enchanted potions." With consummate art, after applying to the Virgin the opprobrious name of whoredom, he thereupon calls her back to an honourable life by filling her with shame.

Indignation is a rightful rebuking; or rebuking on account of ways exalted above what is right. In this way he instructed by Moses, when he said, "Faulty children, a generation crooked and perverse, do you so requite the Lord? This people is foolish, and not wise. Is not this your father who acquired you?" he says also by Isaiah, "Your princes are disobedient, companions of thieves, loving gifts, following after rewards, not judging the orphans."

In fine, the system he pursues to inspire fear is the source of salvation. And it is the prerogative of goodness to save: "The mercy of the Lord is on all flesh, while he reproves, corrects, and teaches as a shepherd his flock. He pities those who receive his instruction, and those who eagerly seek union with him." And with such guidance he guarded the six hundred thousand footmen that were brought together in the hardness of heart in which they were found; scourging, pitying, striking, healing, in compassion and discipline: "For according to the greatness of his mercy, so is his rebuke." For it is indeed noble not to sin; but it is good also for the sinner to repent; just as it is best to be always in good health, but well to recover from disease. So he commands by Solomon: "Strike you your son with the rod, that you may deliver his soul from death." And again: "Abstain not from chastising your son, but correct him with the rod; for he will not die."

For reproof and rebuke, as also the original term implies, are the stripes of the soul, chastising sins, preventing death, and leading to self-control those carried away to licentiousness. So also Plato, knowing reproof to be the greatest power for reformation, and the most sovereign purification, in accordance with what has been said, observes, "that he who is in the highest degree impure is uninstructed and base, by reason of his being unreproved in those respects in which he who is destined to be truly happy ought to be purest and best."

For if rulers are not a terror to a good work, how shall God, who is by nature good, be a terror to him who sins not? "If you do evil, be afraid," says the apostle. Therefore the apostle himself also in every case uses stringent language to the churches, after the Lord's example; and conscious of his own boldness, and of the weakness of his hearers, he says to the Galatians: "Am I your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" So also people in health do not require a physician, do not require him as long as they are strong; but those who are ill need his skill. So also we who in our lives are ill of shameful lusts and reprehensible excesses, and other inflammatory effects of the passions, need the Saviour. And he administers not only mild, but also stringent medicines. The bitter roots of fear then arrest the eating sores of our sins. Therefore also fear is salutary, if bitter. Sick, we truly stand in need of the Saviour; having wandered, of one to guide us; blind, of one to lead us to the light; thirsty, "of the fountain of life, of which whosoever partakes, shall no longer thirst;" dead, we need life; sheep, we need a shepherd; we who are children need a tutor, while universal humanity stands in need of Jesus; so that we may not continue intractable and sinners to the end, and so fall into condemnation, but may be separated from the chaff, and stored up in the paternal garner. "For the fan is in the Lord's hand, by which the chaff due to the fire is separated from the wheat." you may learn, if you will, the crowning wisdom of the all-holy Shepherd and Instructor, of the omnipotent and paternal Word, when he figuratively represents himself as the Shepherd of the sheep. And he is the Tutor of the children. He says therefore by Ezekiel, directing his discourse to the elders, and setting before them a salutary description of his wise solicitude: "And that which is lame I will bind up, and that which is sick I will heal, and that which has wandered I will turn back; and I will feed them on my holy mountain." Such are the promises of the good Shepherd.

Feed us, the children, as sheep. Yes, Master, fill us with righteousness, your own pasture; yes, O Instructor, feed us on your holy mountain the Church, which towers aloft, which is above the clouds, which touches heaven. "And I will be," he says, "their Shepherd," and will be near them, as the garment to their skin. He wishes to save my flesh by enveloping it in the robe of immortality, and he has anointed my body. "They shall call me," he says, "and I will say, Here am I." you did hear sooner than I expected, Master. "And if they pass over, they shall not slip," says the Lord. For we who are passing over to immortality shall not fall into corruption, for he shall sustain us. For so he has said, and so he has willed. Such is our Instructor, righteously good. "I came not," he says, "to be ministered to, but to minister." Therefore he is introduced in the Gospel "wearied," because toiling for us, and promising "to give his life a ransom for many." For him alone who does so he owns to be the good shepherd. Generous, therefore, is he who gives for us the greatest of all gifts, his own life; and beneficent exceedingly, and loving to men, in that, when he might have been Lord, he wished to be a brother man; and so good was he that he died for us.

Further, his righteousness cried, "If you come straight to me, I also will come straight to you but if you walk crooked, I also will walk crooked says the Lord of hosts;" meaning by the crooked ways the punishments of sinners. For the straight and natural way which is indicated by the Iota of the name of Jesus is his goodness, which is firm and sure towards those who have believed at hearing: "When I called, you obeyed not, says the Lord; but set at nought my counsels, and heeded not my reproofs." So the Lord's reproof is most beneficial. David also says of them, "A perverse and provoking race; a race which set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful with God: they kept not the covenant of God, and would not walk in his law."

Such are the causes of provocation for which the Judge comes to inflict punishment on those that would not choose a life of goodness. Therefore also afterwards he assailed them more roughly; in order, if possible, to drag them back from their impetuous rush towards death. He therefore tells by David the most manifest cause of the threatening: "They believed not in his wonderful works. When he slew them, they sought after him, and turned and enquired early after God; and remembered that God was their Helper, and God the Most High their Redeemer." So he knew that they turned for fear, while they despised his love: for, for the most part, that goodness which is always mild is despised; but he who admonishes by the loving fear of righteousness is reverenced. There is a twofold species of fear, the one of which is accompanied with reverence, such as citizens show towards good rulers, and we towards God, as also right-minded children towards their fathers. "For an unbroken horse turns out unmanageable, and a son who is let take his own way turns out reckless." The other species of fear is accompanied with hatred, which slaves feel towards hard masters, and the Hebrews felt, who made God a master, not a father. And as far as piety is concerned, that which is voluntary and spontaneous differs much, no entirely, from what is forced. "For He," it is said, "is merciful; he will heal their sins, and not destroy them, and fully turn away his anger, and not kindle all his wrath." See how the justice of the Instructor, which deals in rebukes, is shown; and the goodness of God, which deals in compassions. Therefore David – that is, the Spirit by him – embracing them both, sings of God himself, "Justice and judgment are the preparation of his throne: mercy and truth shall go before your face." He declares that it belongs to the same power both to judge and to do good. For there is power over both together, and judgment separates that which is just from its opposite. And he who is truly God is just and good; who is himself all, and all is He; for he is God, the only God.

For as the mirror is not evil to an ugly man because it shows him what like he is; and as the physician is not evil to the sick man because he tells him of his fever, – for the physician is not the cause of the fever, but only points out the fever; – so neither is He, that reproves, ill-disposed towards him who is diseased in soul. For he does not put the transgressions on him, but only shows the sins which are there; in order to turn him away from similar practices. So God is good on his own account, and just also on ours, and he is just because he is good. And his justice is shown to us by his own Word from there from above, where the Father was. For before he became Creator he was God; he was good. And therefore he wished to be Creator and Father. And the nature of all that love was the source of righteousness – the cause, too, of his lighting up his sun, and sending down his own Son. And he first announced the good righteousness that is from heaven, when he said, "No man knows the Son, but the Father; nor the Father, but the Son." This mutual and reciprocal knowledge is the symbol of primeval justice. Then justice came down to men both in the letter and in the body, in the Word and in the law, constraining humanity to saving repentance; for it was good. But do you not obey God? Then blame yourself, who drag to yourself the judge.

Chapter 10. The same God, by the Word, both restrains and exhorts

If, then, we have shown that the plan of dealing stringently with humanity is good and salutary, and necessarily adopted by the Word, and conducive to repentance and the prevention of sins; we shall have now to look in order at the mildness of the Word. For he has been demonstrated to be just. He sets before us his own inclinations which invite to salvation; by which, in accordance with the Father's will, he wishes to make known to us the good and the useful. Consider these. The good (tokalon) belongs to the panegyrical form of speech, the useful to the persuasive. For the hortatory and the de-hortatory are a form of the persuasive, and the laudatory and inculpatory of the panegyrical.

For the persuasive style of sentence in one form becomes hortatory, and in another dehortatory. So also the panegyrical in one form becomes inculpatory, and in another laudatory. And in these exercises the Instructor, the Just One, who has proposed our advantage as his aim, is chiefly occupied. But the inculpatory and dehortatory forms of speech have been already shown us; and we must now handle the persuasive and the laudatory, and, as on a beam, balance the equal scales of justice. The exhortation to what is useful, the Instructor employs by Solomon, to the following effect: "I exhort you, O men; and I utter my voice to the sons of men. Hear me; for I will speak of excellent things;" and so on. And he counsels what is salutary: for counsel has for its end, choosing or refusing a certain course; as he does by David, when he says, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsels of the wicked, and stands not in the way of sinners, and sits not in the chair of pestilences; but his will is in the Law of the Lord." And there are three departments of counsel: That which takes examples from past times; as what the Hebrews suffered when they worshipped the golden calf, and what they suffered when they committed fornication, and the like. The second, whose meaning is understood from the present times, as being apprehended by perception; as it was said to those who asked the Lord, "If he was the Christ, or shall we wait for another? Go and tell John, the blind receive their sight, the deaf hear, the lepers are cleansed, the dead are raised up; and blessed is he who shall not be offended in me." Such was that which David aid when he prophesied, "As we have heard, so have we seen." And the third department of counsel consists of what is future, by which we are commanded to guard against what is to happen; as also that was said, "Those who fall into sins shall be cast into outer darkness, where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth," and the like. So that from these things it is clear that the Lord, going the round of all the methods of curative treatment, calls humanity to salvation.

By encouragement he assuages sins, reducing lust, and at the same time inspiring hope for salvation. For he says by Ezekiel, "If you return with your whole heart, and say, Father, I will hear you, as a holy people." And again he says, "Come all to me, who labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;" and that which is added the Lord speaks in his own person. And very clearly he calls to goodness by Solomon, when he says, "Blessed is the man who has found wisdom, and the mortal who has found understanding." "For the good is found by him who seeks it, and can often be seen by him who has found it." By Jeremiah, too, he sets forth prudence, when he says, "Blessed are we, Israel; for what is pleasing to God is known by us; – and it is known by the Word, by whom we are blessed and wise. For wisdom and knowledge are mentioned by the same prophet, when he says, "Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life, and give ear to know understanding." By Moses, too, by reason of the love he has to man, he promises a gift to those who hasten to salvation. For he says, "And I will bring you into the good land, which the Lord swore to your fathers." And further, "And I will bring you into the holy mountain, and make you glad," he says by Isaiah. And still another form of instruction is benediction. "And blessed is he," he says by David, "who has not sinned; and he shall be as the tree planted near the channels of the waters, which will yield its fruit in its season, and his leaf shall not wither" (by this he made an allusion to the resurrection); "and whatever he shall do shall prosper with him." Such he wishes us to be, that we may be blessed. Again, showing the opposite scale of the balance of justice, he says, "But not so the wicked – not so; but as the dust which the wind sweeps away from the face of the earth." By showing the punishment of sinners, and their easy dispersion, and carrying off by the wind, the Instructor dissuades from crime by means of punishment; and by holding up the merited penalty, shows the kindness of his beneficence in the most skillful way, in order that we may possess and enjoy its blessings. He invites us to knowledge also, when he says by Jeremiah, "Had you walked in the way of God, you would have dwelt for ever in peace;" for, exhibiting there the reward of knowledge, he calls the wise to the love of it. And, granting pardon to him who has erred, he says, "Turn, turn, as a grape-gatherer to his basket." Do you see the goodness of justice, in that it counsels to repentance? And still further, by Jeremiah, he enlightens in the truth those who have erred. "The Lord says, stand in the ways, and look, and ask for the eternal paths of the Lord, what is the good path, and walk in it, and you shall find purification for your souls." And in order to promote our salvation, he leads us to repentance. Therefore he says, "If you repent, the Lord will purify your heart, and the heart of your seed." We might have adduced, as supporters on this question, the philosophers who say that only the perfect man is worthy of praise, and the bad man of blame. But since some slander beatitude, as neither itself taking any trouble, nor giving any to anyone else, so not understanding its love to man; on their account, and on account of those who do not associate justice with goodness, the following remarks are added. For it would be a legitimate inference to say, that rebuke and censure are suitable to men, since they say that all men are bad; but God alone is wise, from whom comes wisdom, and alone perfect, and therefore alone worthy of praise. But I do not employ such language. I say, then, that praise or blame, or whatever resembles praise or blame, are medicines most essential of all to men. Some are ill to cure, and, like iron, are worked into shape with fire, and hammer, and anvil, that is, with threatening, and reproof, and punishment; while others, cleaving to faith itself, as self-taught, and as acting of their own free-will, grow by praise:- "For virtue that is praised Grows like a tree."

Comprehending this, as it seems to me, the Samian Pythagoras gives the injunction: "When you have done base things, rebuke yourself; But when you have done good things, be glad."

Chiding is also called admonishing; and the etymology of admonishing is putting of understanding into one; so that rebuking is bringing one to one's senses. But there are myriads of injunctions to be found, whose aim is the attainment of what is good, and the avoidance of what is evil. "For there is no peace to the wicked, says the Lord." Therefore by Solomon he commands the children to beware: "my son, let not sinners deceive you, and go not after their ways; and go not, if they entice you, saying, Come with us, share with us in innocent blood, and let us hide unjustly the righteous man in the earth; let us put him out of sight, all alive as he is into Hades." This is accordingly likewise a prediction concerning the Lord's passion. And by Ezekiel, the life supplies commandments: "The soul that sins shall die; but he that does righteousness shall be righteous. He eats not on the mountains, and has not set his eyes on the devices of the house of Israel, and will not defile his neighbour's wife, and will not approach to a woman in her separation, and will not oppress a man, and will restore the debtor's pledge, and will not take plunder: he will give his bread to the hungry, and clothe the naked. His money he will not give on usury, and will not take interest; and he will turn away his hand from wrong, and will execute righteous judgment between a man and his neighbour. He has walked in my statutes, and kept my judgments to do them. This is a righteous man. He shall surely live, says the Lord." These words contain a description of the conduct of Christians, a notable exhortation to the blessed life, which is the reward of a life of goodness – everlasting life.

Chapter 11. The Word instructed us by the Law and the prophets

The mode of his love and his instruction we have shown as we could. Therefore he himself, declaring himself very beautifully, likened himself to a grain of mustard-seed; and pointed out the spirituality of the word that is sown, and the productiveness of its nature, and the magnificence and conspicuousness of the power of the word; and besides, intimated that the pungency and the purifying virtue of punishment are profitable on account of its sharpness. By the little grain, as it is figuratively called, he bestows salvation on all humanity abundantly. Honey, being very sweet, generates bile, as goodness begets contempt, which is the cause of sinning. But mustard lessens bile, that is, anger, and stops inflammation, that is, pride. From which Word springs the true health of the soul, and its eternal happy temperament (eukrasia).

Accordingly, of old he instructed by Moses, and then by the prophets. Moses, too, was a prophet. For the Law is the training of refractory children. "Having feasted to the full," accordingly, it is said, "they rose up to play;" senseless repletion with victuals being called xortasma (fodder), not brwma (food). And when, having senselessly filled themselves, they senselessly played; on that account the Law was given them, and terror ensued for the prevention of transgressions and for the promotion of right actions, securing attention, and so winning to obedience to the true Instructor, being one and the same Word, and reducing to conformity with the urgent demands of the law. For Paul says that it was given to be a "schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." So that from this it is clear, that one alone, true, good, just, in the image and likeness of the Father, his Son Jesus, the Word of God, is our Instructor; to whom God has entrusted us, as an affectionate father commits his children to a worthy tutor, expressly charging us, "This is my beloved Son: hear him." The divine Instructor is trustworthy, adorned as he is with three of the fairest ornaments – knowledge, benevolence, and authority of utterance; – with knowledge, for he is the paternal wisdom: "All Wisdom is from the Lord, and with him for evermore;" – with authority of utterance, for he is God and Creator: "For all things were made by him, and without him was not anything made;" – and with benevolence, for he alone gave himself a sacrifice for us: "For the good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep;" and he has so given it. Now, benevolence is nothing but wishing to do good to one's neighbour for his sake.

Chapter 12. The severity and the kindness of our Instructor

Having now accomplished those things, it would be a fitting sequel that our instructor Jesus should draw for us the model of the true life, and train humanity in Christ. Nor is the cast and character of the life he enjoins very formidable; nor is it made altogether easy by reason of his kindness. He enjoins his commands, and at the same time gives them such a character that they may be accomplished.

The view I take is, that he himself formed man of the dust, and regenerated him by water; and made him grow by his Spirit; and trained him by his word to adoption and salvation, directing him by sacred precepts; in order that, transforming earth-born man into a holy and heavenly being by his advent, he might fulfill to the utmost that divine utterance, "Let Us make man in Our own image and likeness." And, in truth, Christ became the perfect realization of what God spoke; and the rest of humanity is conceived as being created merely in his image. But let us, O children of the good Father – nurslings of the good Instructor – fulfill the Father's will, listen to the Word, and take on the impress of the truly saving life of our Saviour; and meditating on the heavenly mode of life according to which we have been deified, let us anoint ourselves with the perennial immortal bloom of gladness – that ointment of sweet fragrance – having a clear example of immortality in the walk and conversation of the Lord; and following the footsteps of God, to whom alone it belongs to consider, and whose care it is to see to, the way and manner in which the life of men may be made more healthy. Besides, he makes preparation for a self-sufficing mode of life, for simplicity, and for girding up our loins, and for free and unimpeded readiness of our journey; in order to the attainment of an eternity of beatitude, teaching each one of us to be his own storehouse. For he says, "Take no anxious thought for to-morrow," meaning that the man who has devoted himself to Christ ought to be sufficient to himself, and servant to himself, and moreover lead a life which provides for each day by itself. For it is not in war, but in peace, that we are trained. War needs great preparation, and luxury craves profusion; but peace and love, simple and quiet sisters, require no arms nor excessive preparation. The Word is their sustenance.

Our superintendence in instruction and discipline is the office of the Word, from whom we learn frugality and humility, and all that pertains to love of truth, love of man, and love of excellence. And so, in a word, being assimilated to God by a participation in moral excellence, we must not retrograde into carelessness and sloth. But labour, and faint not. You shall be what you do not hope, and cannot conjecture. And as there is one mode of training for philosophers, another for orators, and another for athletes; so is there a generous disposition, suitable to the choice that is set on moral loveliness, resulting from the training of Christ. And in the case of those who have been trained according to this influence, their gait in walking, their sitting at table, their food, their sleep, their going to bed, their regimen, and the rest of their mode of life, acquire a superior dignity. For such a training as is pursued by the Word is not overstrained, but is of the right tension. So, therefore, the Word has been called also the Saviour, seeing he has found out for men those rational medicines which produce vigour of the senses and salvation; and devotes himself to watching for the favourable moment, reproving evil, exposing the causes of evil affections, and striking at the roots of irrational lusts, pointing out what we ought to abstain from, and supplying all the antidotes of salvation to those who are diseased. For the greatest and most regal work of God is the salvation of humanity. The sick are vexed at a physician, who gives no advice bearing on their restoration to health. But how shall we not acknowledge the highest gratitude to the divine Instructor, who is not silent, who omits not those threatenings that point towards destruction, but discloses them, and cuts off the impulses that tend to them; and who indoctrinates in those counsels which result in the true way of living? We must confess, therefore, the deepest obligations to him. For what else do we say is incumbent on the rational creature – I mean man – than the contemplation of the Divine? I say, too, that it is required to contemplate human nature, and to live as the truth directs, and to admire the Instructor and his injunctions, as suitable and harmonious to each other. According to which image also we ought, conforming ourselves to the Instructor, and making the word and our deeds agree, to live a real life.

Chapter 13. Virtue is rational, sin irrational

Everything that is contrary to right reason is sin. Accordingly, therefore, the philosophers think fit to define the most generic passions so: lust, as desire disobedient to reason; fear, as weakness disobedient to reason; pleasure, as an elation of the spirit disobedient to reason. If, then, disobedience in reference to reason is the generating cause of sin, how shall we escape the conclusion, that obedience to reason – the Word – which we call faith, will necessarily be the efficacious cause of duty? For virtue itself is a state of the soul rendered harmonious by reason in respect to the whole life. No, to crown all, philosophy itself is pronounced to be the cultivation of right reason; so that, necessarily, whatever is done through error of reason is transgression, and is rightly called, (a (marthma) sin.

Since, then, the first man sinned and disobeyed God, it is said, "And man became like to the beasts:" being rightly regarded as irrational, he is likened to the beasts. From which Wisdom says: "The horse for covering; the libidinous and the adulterer is become like to an irrational beast." Therefore also it is added: "He neighs, whoever may be sitting on him." The man, it is meant, no longer speaks; for he who transgresses against reason is no longer rational, but an irrational animal, given up to lusts by which he is ridden (as a horse by his rider).

But that which is done right, in obedience to reason, the followers of the Stoics call proshkon and kaqhkon, that is, incumbent and fitting. What is fitting is incumbent. And obedience is founded on commands. And these being, as they are, the same as counsels – having truth for their aim, train up to the ultimate goal of aspiration, which is conceived of as the end (teloj). And the end of piety is eternal rest in God. And the beginning of eternity is our end. The right operation of piety perfects duty by works; from which, according to just reasoning, duties consist in actions, not in sayings. And Christian conduct is the Operation of the rational soul in accordance with a correct judgment and aspiration after the truth, which attains its destined end through the body, the soul's consort and ally. Virtue is a will in conformity to God and Christ in life, rightly adjusted to life everlasting. For the life of Christians, in which we are now trained, is a system of reasonable actions – that is, of those things taught by the Word – an unfailing energy which we have called faith. The system is the commandments of the Lord, which, being divine statues and spiritual counsels, have been written for ourselves, being adapted for ourselves and our neighbours. Moreover, they turn back on us, as the ball rebounds on him that throws it by the repercussion. On this account also duties are essential for divine discipline, as being enjoined by God, and furnished for our salvation. And since, of those things which are necessary, some relate only to life here, and others, which relate to the blessed life yonder, wing us for flight hence; so, in an analogous manner, of duties, some are ordained with reference to life, others for the blessed life. The commandments issued with respect to natural life are published to the multitude; but those that are suited for living well, and from which eternal life springs, we have to consider, as in a sketch, as we read them out of the Scriptures.

Book 2. Christian morality; simple and honest life-style, aware of the call to holiness

Chapter 1.The ideal is to eat, simply that we may live

Keeping, then, to our aim, and selecting the Scriptures which bear on the usefulness of training for life, we must now compendiously describe what the man who is called a Christian ought to be during the whole of his life. We must accordingly begin with ourselves, and how we ought to regulate ourselves. We have therefore, preserving a due regard to the symmetry of this work, to say how each of us ought to conduct himself in respect to his body, or rather how to regulate the body itself. For whenever anyone, who has been brought away by the Word from external things, and from attention to the body itself to the mind, acquires a clear view of what happens according to nature in man, he will know that he is not to be earnestly occupied about external things, but about what is proper and peculiar to man – to purge the eye of the soul, and to sanctify also his flesh. For he that is clean rid of those things which constitute him still dust, what else has he more serviceable than himself for walking in the way which leads to the comprehension of God.

Some men, in truth, live that they may eat, as the irrational creatures, "whose life is their belly, and nothing else." But the Instructor enjoins us to eat that we may live. For neither is food our business, nor is pleasure our aim; but both are on account of our life here, which the Word is training up to immortality. Therefore also there is discrimination to be employed in reference to food. And it is to be simple, truly plain, suiting precisely simple and artless children – as ministering to life, not to luxury. And the life to which it conduces consists of two things – health and strength; to which plainness of fare is most suitable, being conducive both to digestion and lightness of body, from which come growth, and health, and right strength, not strength that is wrong or dangerous and wretched, as is that of athletes produced by compulsory feeding. We must therefore reject different varieties, which engender various mischiefs, such as a depraved habit of body and disorders of the stomach, the taste being vitiated by an unhappy are – that of cookery, and the useless are of making pastry. For people dare to call by the name of food their dabbling in luxuries, which glides into mischievous pleasures. Antiphanes, the Delian physician, said that this variety of viands was the one cause of disease; there being people who dislike the truth, and through various absurd notions abjure moderation of diet, and put themselves to a world of trouble to procure dainties from beyond seas. For my part, I am sorry for this disease, while they are not ashamed to sing the praises of their delicacies, giving themselves great trouble to get lampreys in the Straits of Sicily, the eels of the Maeander, and the kids found in Melos, and the mullets in Sciathus, and the mussels of Pelorus, the oysters of Abydos, not omitting the sprats found in Lipara, and the Mantinican turnip; and furthermore, the beetroot that grows among the Ascraeans: they seek out the cockles of Methymna, the turbots of Attica, and the thrushes of Daphnis, and the reddish-brown dried figs, on account of which the ill-starred Persian marched into Greece with five hundred thousand men. Besides these, they purchase birds from Phasis, the Egyptian snipes, and the Median peafowl. Altering these by means of condiments, the gluttons gape for the sauces. "Whatever earth and the depths of the sea, and the unmeasured space of the air produce," they cater for their gluttony. In their greed and solicitude, the gluttons seem absolutely to sweep the world with a drag-net to gratify their luxurious tastes. These gluttons, surrounded with the sound of hissing frying-pans, and wearing their whole life away at the pestle and mortar, cling to matter like fire. More than that, they emasculate plain food, namely bread, by straining off the nourishing part of the grain, so that the necessary part of food becomes matter of reproach to luxury. There is no limit to epicurism among men. For it has driven them to sweetmeats, and honey-cakes, and sugar-plums; inventing a multitude of desserts, hunting after all way of dishes. A man like this seems to me to be all jaw, and nothing else. "Desire not," says the Scripture, "rich men's dainties;" for they belong to a false and base life. They partake of luxurious dishes, which a little after go to the dunghill. But we who seek the heavenly bread must role the belly, which is beneath heaven, and much more the things which are agreeable to it, which "God shall destroy," says the apostle, justly execrating gluttonous desires. For "meats are for the belly," for on them depends this truly carnal and destructive life; on this account some, speaking with unbridled tongue, dare to apply the name agaph, to pitiful suppers, redolent of savour and sauces. Dishonouring the good and saving work of the Word, the consecrated agaph, with pots and pouring of sauce; and by drink and delicacies and smoke desecrating that name, they are deceived in their idea, having expected that the promise of God might be bought with suppers. Gatherings for the sake of mirth, and such entertainments as are called by ourselves, we name rightly suppers, dinners, and banquets, after the example of the Lord. But such entertainments the Lord has not called agaph. He says accordingly somewhere, "When you are called to a wedding, recline not on the highest couch; but when you are called, fall into the lowest place;" and elsewhere, "When you make a dinner or a supper;" and again, "But when you make an entertainment, call the poor," for whose sake chiefly a supper ought to be made. And further, "A certain man made a great supper, and called many." But I perceive the source from which the specious appellation of suppers flowed: "from the gullets and furious love for suppers" – according to the comic poet. For, in truth, "to many, many things are on account of the supper." For they have not yet learned that God has provided for his creature (man I mean) food and drink, for sustenance, not for pleasure; since the body derives no advantage from extravagance in viands. For, quite the contrary, those who use the most frugal fare are the strongest and the healthiest, and the noblest; as domestics are healthier and stronger than their masters, and gardeners than the proprietors; and not only more robust, but wiser, as philosophers are wiser than rich men. For they have not buried the mind beneath food, nor deceived it with pleasures. But love (agaph) is in truth celestial food, the banquet of reason. "It bears all things, endures all things, hopes all things. Love never fails." "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God." But the hardest of all cases is for charity, which fails not, to be cast from heaven above to the ground into the midst of sauces. And do you imagine that I am thinking of a supper that is to be done away with? "For if," it is said, "I bestow all my goods, and have not love, I am nothing." On this love alone depend the Law and the Word; and if "you shall love the Lord your God and your neighbour," this is the celestial festival in the heavens. But the earthly is called a supper, as has been shown from Scripture. For the supper is made for love, but the supper is not love (agaph); only a proof of mutual and reciprocal kindly feeling. "Let not, then, your good be evil spoken of; for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink," says the apostle, in order that the meal spoken of may not be conceived as ephemeral, "but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit." He who eats of this meal, the best of all, shall possess the kingdom of God, fixing his regards here on the holy assembly of love, the heavenly Church. Love, then, is something pure and worthy of God, and its work is communication. "And the care of discipline is love," as Wisdom says; "and love is the keeping of the law." And these joys have an inspiration of love from the public nourishment, which accustoms to everlasting dainties. Love (agaph), then, is not a supper. But let the entertainment depend on love. For it is said, "Let the children whom you have loved, O Lord, learn that it is not the products of fruits that nourish man; but it is your word which preserves those who believe on you." "For the righteous shall not live by bread." But let our diet be light and digestible, and suitable for keeping awake, unmixed with different varieties. Nor is this a point which is beyond the sphere of discipline. For love is a good nurse for communication; having as its rich provision sufficiency, which, presiding over diet measured in due quantity, and treating the body in a healthful way, distributes something from its resources to those near us, But the diet which exceeds sufficiency injures a man, deteriorates his spirit, and renders his body prone to disease. Besides, those dainty tastes, which trouble themselves about rich dishes drive to practices of ill-repute, daintiness, gluttony, greed, voracity, insatiability. Appropriate designations of such people as so indulge are flies, weasels, flatterers, gladiators, and the monstrous tribes of parasites – the one class surrendering reason, the other friendship, and the other life, for the gratification of the belly; crawling on their bellies, beasts in human shape after the image of their father, the voracious beast. People first called the abandoned aswtouj, and so appear to me to indicate their end, understanding them as those who are (aswstouj) unsaved, excluding the "s".

For those that are absorbed in pots, and exquisitely prepared niceties of condiments, are they not plainly abject, earth-born, leading an ephemeral kind of life, as if they were not to live (hereafter)? Those the Holy Spirit, by Isaiah, denounces as wretched, depriving them tacitly of the name of love (agaph), since their feasting was not in accordance with the word. "But they made mirth, killing calves, and sacrificing sheep, saying, Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." And that he reckons such luxury to be sin, is shown by what he adds, "And your sin shall not be forgiven you until you die," – not conveying the idea that death, which deprives of sensation, is the forgiveness of sin, but meaning that death of salvation which is the recompense of sin. "Take no pleasure in abominable delicacies," says Wisdom. At this point, too, we have to advert to what are called things sacrificed to idols, in order to show how we are enjoined to abstain from them. Polluted and abominable those things seem to me, to the blood of which, fly "Souls from Erebus of inanimate corpses."

" For I would not that you should have fellowship with demons," says the apostle; since the food of those who are saved and those who perish is separate. We must therefore abstain from these viands not for fear (because there is no power in them); but on account of our conscience, which is holy, and out of detestation of the demons to which they are dedicated, are we to loathe them; and further, on account of the instability of those who regard many things in a way that makes them prone to fall, "whose conscience, being weak, is defiled: for meat commends us not to God." "For it is not that which enters in that defiles a man, but that which goes out of his mouth." The natural use of food is then indifferent. "For neither if we eat are we the better," it is said, "nor if we eat not are we the worse." But it is inconsistent with reason, for those that have been made worthy to share divine and spiritual food, to partake of the tables of demons. "Have we not power to eat and to drink," says the apostle, "and to lead about wives"? But by keeping pleasures under command we prevent lusts. See, then, that this power of yours never "become a stumbling-block to the weak."

For it would not be proper that we, after the fashion of the rich man's son in the Gospel, should, as prodigals, abuse the Father's gifts; but we should use them, without undue attachment to them, as having command over ourselves. For we are enjoined to reign and rule over meats, not to be slaves to them. It is an admirable thing, therefore, to raise our eyes aloft to what is true, to depend on that divine food above, and to satiate ourselves with the exhaustless contemplation of that which truly exists, and so taste of the only sure and pure delight. For such is the agaph, which, the food that comes from Christ shows that we ought to partake of. But totally irrational, futile, and not human is it for those that are of the earth, fattening themselves like cattle, to feed themselves up for death; looking downwards on the earth, and bending ever over tables; leading a life of gluttony; burying all the good of existence here in a life that by and by will end; courting voracity alone, in respect to which cooks are held in higher esteem than gardeners. For we do not abolish social intercourse, but look with suspicion on the snares of custom, and regard them as a calamity. Therefore daintiness is to be shunned, and we are to partake of few and necessary things. "And if one of the unbelievers call us to a feast, and we determine to go" (for it is a good thing not to mix with the dissolute), the apostle bids us "eat what is set before us, asking no questions for conscience sake." Similarly he has enjoined to purchase "what is sold in the shambles," without curious questioning? We are not, then, to abstain wholly from various kinds of food, but only are not to be taken up about them. We are to partake of what is set before us, as becomes a Christian, out of respect to him who has invited us, by a harmless and moderate participation in the social meeting; regarding the sumptuousness of what is put on the table as a matter of indifference, despising the dainties, as after a little destined to perish. "Let him who eats, not despise him who eats not; and let him who eats not, not judge him who eats." And a little way on he explains the reason of the command, when he says, "He that eats, eats to the Lord, and gives God thanks; and he that eats not, to the Lord he eats not, and gives God thanks." So that the right food is thanksgiving. And he who gives thanks does not occupy his time in pleasures. And if we would persuade any of our fellow-guests to virtue, we are all the more on this account to abstain from those dainty dishes; and so exhibit ourselves as a bright pattern of virtue, such as we ourselves have in Christ. "For if any of such meats make a brother to stumble, I shall not eat it as long as the world lasts," he says, "that I may not make my brother stumble." I gain the man by a little self-restraint. "Have we not power to eat and to drink?" And "we know" – he says the truth – "that an idol is nothing in the world; but we have only one true God, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus. But," he says, "through your knowledge your weak brother perishes, for whom Christ died; and those who wound the conscience of the weak brethren sin against Christ." So the apostle, in his solicitude for us, discriminates in the case of entertainments, saying, that "if anyone called a brother be found a fornicator, or an adulterer, or an idolater, with such a person not to eat;" neither in discourse or food are we to join, looking with suspicion on the pollution thence proceeding, as on the tables of the demons. "It is good, then, neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine," as both he and the Pythagoreans acknowledge. For this is rather characteristic of a beast; and the fumes arising from them being dense, darken the soul. If one partakes of them, he does not sin. Only let him partake temperately, not dependent on them, nor gaping after fine fare. For a voice will whisper to him, saying, "Destroy not the work of God for the sake of food." For it is the mark of a silly mind to be amazed and stupefied at what is presented at vulgar banquets, after the rich fare which is in the Word; and much sillier to make one's eyes the slaves of the delicacies, so that one's greed is, so to speak, carried round by the servants. And how foolish for people to raise themselves on the couches, all but pitching their faces into the dishes, stretching out from the couch as from a nest, according to the common saying, "that they may catch the wandering steam by breathing it in!" And how senseless, to besmear their hands with the condiments, and to be constantly reaching to the sauce, cramming themselves immoderately and shamelessly, not like people tasting, but ravenously seizing! For you may see such people, liker swine or dogs for gluttony than men, in such a hurry to feed themselves full, that both jaws are stuffed out at once, the veins about the face raised, and besides, the perspiration running all over, as they are tightened with their insatiable greed, and panting with their excess; the food pushed with unsocial eagerness into their stomach, as if they were stowing away their victuals for provision for a journey, not for digestion. Excess, which in all things is an evil, is very highly reprehensible in the matter of food. Gluttony is nothing but excess in the use of relishes (oyon); and laimargia is insanity with respect to the gullet; and gastrimargia is excess with respect to food, with reference to the belly, as the name implies; for margoj is a madman. The apostle, checking those that transgress in their conduct at entertainments, says: "For everyone takes beforehand in eating his own supper; and one is hungry, and another drunken. Have you not houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise you the Church of God, and shame those who have not?" And among those who have, they, who eat shamelessly and are insatiable, shame themselves. And both act badly; the one by paining those who have not, the other by exposing their own greed in the presence of those who have. Necessarily, therefore, against those who have cast off shame and unsparingly abuse meals, the insatiable to whom nothing is sufficient, the apostle, in continuation, again breaks forth in a voice of displeasure: "So that, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. And if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, that you come not together to condemnation."

From all slavish habits" and excess we must abstain, and touch what is set before us in a decorous way; keeping the hand and couch and chin free of stains; preserving the grace of the countenance undisturbed, and committing no indecorum in the act of swallowing; but stretching out the hand at intervals in an orderly manner. We must guard against speaking anything while eating: for the voice becomes disagreeable and inarticulate when it is confined by full jaws; and the tongue, pressed by the food and impeded in its natural energy; gives forth a compressed utterance. Nor is it suitable to eat and to drink simultaneously. For it is the very extreme of intemperance to confound the times whose uses are discordant. And "whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God," aiming after true frugality, which the Lord also seems to me to have hinted at when he blessed the loaves and the cooked fishes with which he feasted the disciples, introducing a beautiful example of simple food. That fish then which, at the command of the Lord, Peter caught, points to digestible and God-given and moderate food. And by those who rise from the water to the bait of righteousness, he admonishes us to take away luxury and avarice, as the coin from the fish; in order that he might displace vainglory; and by giving the stater to the tax-gatherers, and "rendering to Caesar the things which are Caesar's," might preserve "to God the things which are God's." The staler is capable of other explanations not unknown to us, but the present is not a suitable occasion for their treatment. Let the mention we make for our present purpose suffice, as it is not unsuitable to the flowers of the Word; and we have often done this, drawing to the urgent point of the question the most beneficial fountain, in order to water those who have been planted by the Word. "For if it is lawful for me to partake of all things, yet all things are not expedient." For those that do all that is lawful, quickly fall into doing what is unlawful. And just as righteousness is not attained by avarice, nor temperance by excess; so neither is the regimen of a Christian formed by indulgence; for the table of truth is far from lascivious dainties. For though it was chiefly for men's sake that all things were made, yet it is not good to use all things, nor at all times. For the occasion, and the time, and the mode, and the intention, materially turn the balance with reference to what is useful, in the view of one who is rightly instructed; and this is suitable, and has influence in putting a stop to a life of gluttony, which wealth is prone to choose, not that wealth which sees clearly, but that abundance which makes a man blind with reference to gluttony. No one is poor as regards necessaries, and a man is never overlooked. For there is one God who feeds the fowls and the fishes, and, in a word, the irrational creatures; and not one thing whatever is wanting to them, though "they take no thought for their food." And we are better than they, being their lords, and more closely allied to God, as being wiser; and we were made, not that we might eat and drink, but that we might devote ourselves to the knowledge of God. "For the just man who eats is satisfied in his soul, but the belly of the wicked shall want," filled with the appetites of insatiable gluttony. Now lavish expense is adapted not for enjoyment alone, but also for social communication. Therefore we must guard against those articles of food which persuade us to eat when we are not hungry, bewitching the appetite. For is there not within a temperate simplicity a wholesome variety of eatables? Bulbs, olives, certain herbs, milk, cheese, fruits, all kinds of cooked food without sauces; and if flesh is wanted, let roast rather than boiled be set down. Have you anything to eat here? said the Lord to the disciples after the resurrection; and they, as taught by him to practice frugality, "gave him a piece of broiled fish;" and having eaten before them, says Luke, he spoke to them what he spoke. And in addition to these, it is not to be overlooked that those who feed according to the Word are not debarred from dainties in the shape of honey-combs. For of articles of food, those are the most suitable which are fit for immediate use without fire, since they are readiest; and second to these are those which are simplest, as we said before. But those who bend around inflammatory tables, nourishing their own diseases, are ruled by a most lickerish demon, whom I shall not blush to call the Belly-demon, and the worst and most abandoned of demons. He is therefore exactly like the one who is called the Ventriloquist-demon. It is far better to be happy than to have a demon dwelling with us. And happiness is found in the practice of virtue. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, and nuts, and vegetables, without flesh. And John, who carded temperance to the extreme, "ate locusts and wild honey." Peter abstained from swine; "but a trance fell on him," as is written in the Acts of the Apostles, "and he saw heaven opened, and a vessel let down on the earth by the four corners, and all the four-looted beasts and creeping things of the earth and the birds of heaven in it; and there came a voice to him, Rise, and slay, and eat. And Peter said, Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten what is common or unclean. And the voice came again to him the second time, what God has cleansed, call not you common." The use of them is accordingly indifferent to us. "For not what enters into the mouth defiles the man," but the vain opinion respecting uncleanness. For God, when he created man, said, "All things shall be to you for meat." "And herbs, with love, are better than a calf with fraud." This well reminds us of what was said above, that herbs are not love, but that our meals are to be taken with love; and in these the medium state is good. In all things, indeed, this is the case, and not least in the preparation made for feasting, since the extremes are dangerous, and middle courses good. And to be in no want of necessaries is the medium. For the desires which are in accordance with nature are bounded by sufficiency. The Jews had frugality enjoined on them by the Law in the most systematic manner. For the Instructor, by Moses, deprived them of the use of innumerable things, adding reasons – the spiritual ones hidden; the carnal ones apparent, to which indeed they have trusted; in the case of some animals, because they did not part the hoof, and others because they did not ruminate their food, and others because alone of aquatic animals they were devoid of scales; so that altogether but a few were left appropriate for their food. And of those that he permitted them to touch, he prohibited such as had died, or were offered to idols, or had been strangled; for to touch these was unlawful. For since it is impossible for those who use dainties to abstain from partaking of them, he appointed the opposite mode of life, until he should break down the propensity to indulgence arising from habit. Pleasure has often produced in men harm and pain; and full feeding begets in the soul uneasiness, and forgetfulness, and foolishness. And they say that the bodies of children, when shooting up to their height, are made to grow right by deficiency in nourishment. For then the spirit, which pervades the body in order to its growth, is not checked by abundance of food obstructing the freedom of its course. Therefore that truth-seeking philosopher Plato, fanning the spark of the Hebrew philosophy when condemning a life of luxury, says: "On my coming here, the life which is here called happy, full of Italian and Syracusan tables, pleased me not by any means, (consisting as it did) in being filled twice a day, and never sleeping by night alone, and whatever other accessories attend the mode of life. For not one man under heaven, if brought up from his youth in such practices, will ever turn out a wise man, with however admirable a natural genius he may be endowed." For Plato was not unacquainted with David, who "placed the sacred ark in his city in the midst of the tabernacle;" and bidding all his subjects rejoice "before the Lord, divided to the whole host of Israel, man and woman, to each a loaf of bread, and baked bread, and a cake from the frying-pan." This was the sufficient sustenance of the Israelites. But that of the Gentiles was over-abundant. No one who uses it will ever study to become temperate, burying as he does his mind in his belly, very like the fish called ass, which, Aristotle says, alone of all creatures has its heart in its stomach. This fish Epicharmus the comic poet calls "monster-paunch." Such are the men who believe in their belly, "whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things." To them the apostle predicted no good when he said, "whose end is destruction."

Chapter 2. A little wine is good: but within the limits of sobriety

"Use a little wine," says the apostle to Timothy, who drank water, "for your stomach's sake;" most properly applying its aid as a strengthening tonic suitable to a sickly body enfeebled with watery humors; and specifying "a little," for fear that the remedy should, on account of its quantity, unobserved, create the necessity of other treatment. The natural, temperate, and necessary beverage, therefore, for the thirsty is water. This was the simple drink of sobriety, which, flowing from the smitten rock, was supplied by the Lord to the ancient Hebrews. It was most required that in their wanderings they should be temperate. Afterwards the sacred vine produced the prophetic cluster. This was a sign to them, when trained from wandering to their rest; representing the great cluster the Word, bruised for us. For the blood of the grape – that is, the Word – desired to be mixed with water, as his blood is mingled with salvation.

And the blood of the Lord is twofold. For there is the blood of his flesh, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and the spiritual, that by which we are anointed. And to drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord's immortality; the Spirit being the energetic principle of the Word, as blood is of flesh.

Accordingly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. And the one, the mixture of wine and water, nourishes to faith; while the other, the Spirit, conducts to immortality.

And the mixture of both – of the water and of the Word – is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul. For the divine mixture, man, the Father's will has mystically compounded by the Spirit and the Word. For, in truth, the spirit is joined to the soul, which is inspired by it; and the flesh, by reason of which the Word became flesh, to the Word. I therefore admire those who have adopted an austere life, and who are fond of water, the medicine of temperance, and flee as far as possible from wine, shunning it as they would the danger of fire. It is proper, therefore, that boys and girls should keep as much as possible away from this medicine. For it is not right to pour into the burning season of life the hottest of all liquids – wine – adding, so to speak, fire to fire. For hence wild impulses and burning lusts and fiery habits are kindled; and young men inflamed from within become prone to the indulgence of vicious propensities; so that signs of injury appear in their body, the members of lust coming to maturity sooner than they ought. The breasts and organs of generation, inflamed with wine, expand and swell in a shameful way, already exhibiting beforehand the image of fornication; and the body compels the wound of the soul to inflame, and shameless pulsations follow abundance, inciting the man of correct behaviour to transgression; and hence the voluptuousness of youth overpasses the bounds of modesty. And we must, as far as possible, try to quench the impulses of youth by removing the Bacchic fuel of the threatened danger; and by pouring the antidote to the inflammation, so keep down the burning soul, and keep in the swelling members, and allay the agitation of lust when it is already in commotion. And in the case of grown-up people, let those with whom it agrees sometimes partake of dinner, tasting bread only, and let them abstain wholly from drink; in order that their superfluous moisture may be absorbed and drunk up by the eating of dry food. For constant spitting and wiping off perspiration, and hastening to evacuations, is the sign of excess, from the immoderate use of liquids supplied in excessive quantity to the body. And if thirst come on, let the appetite be satisfied with a little water. For it is not proper that water should be supplied in too great profusion; in order that the food may not be drowned, but ground down in order to digestion; and this takes place when the victuals are collected into a mass, and only a small portion is evacuated. And, besides, it suits divine studies not to be heavy with wine. "For unmixed wine is far from compelling a man to be wise, much less temperate," according to the comic poet. But towards evening, about supper-time, wine may be used, when we are no longer engaged in more serious readings. Then also the air becomes colder than it is during the day; so that the failing natural warmth requires to be nourished by the introduction of heat. But even then it must only be a little wine that is to be used; for we must not go on to intemperate potations. Those who are already advanced in life may partake more cheerfully of the draught, to warm by the harmless medicine of the vine the chill of age, which the decay of time has produced. For old men's passions are not, for the most part, stirred to such agitation as to drive them to the shipwreck of drunkenness. For being moored by reason and time, as by anchors, they stand with greater ease the storm of passions which rushes down from intemperance. They also may be permitted to indulge in pleasantry at feasts. But to them also let the limit of their potations be the point up to which they keep their reason unwavering, their memory active, and their body unmoved and unshaken by wine. People in such a state are called by those who are skillful in these matters, acrothorakes. It is well, therefore, to leave off betimes, for fear of tripping.

One Artorius, in his book On Long Life (for so I remember), thinks that drink should be taken only till the food be moistened, that we may attain to a longer life. It is fitting, then, that some apply wine by way of physic, for the sake of health alone, and others for purposes of relaxation and enjoyment. For first wine makes the man who has drunk it more benignant than before, more agreeable to his boon companions, kinder to his domestics, and more pleasant to his friends. But when intoxicated, he becomes violent instead. For wine being warm, and having sweet juices when duly mixed, dissolves the foul excrementitious matters by its warmth, and mixes the acrid and base humors with the agreeable scents. It has therefore been well said, "A joy of the soul and heart was wine created from the beginning, when drunk in moderate sufficiency." And it is best to mix the wine with as much water as possible, and not to have recourse to it as to water, and so get enervated to drunkenness, and not pour it in as water from love of wine. For both are works of God; and so the mixture of both, of water and of wine, conduces together to health, because life consists of what is necessary and of what is useful. With water, then, which is the necessary of life, and to be used in abundance, there is also to be mixed the useful.

By an immoderate quantity of wine the tongue is impeded; the lips are relaxed; the eyes roll wildly, the sight, so to speak, swimming through the quantity of moisture; and compelled to deceive, they think that everything is revolving round them, and cannot count distant objects as single. "And, in truth, I think I see two suns," said the Theban old man in his cups. For the sight, being disturbed by the heat of the wine, frequently fancies the substance of one object to be manifold. And there is no difference between moving the eye or the object seen. For both have the same effect on the sight, which, on account of the fluctuation, cannot accurately obtain a perception of the object. And the feet are carried from beneath the man as by a flood, and hiccuping and vomiting and maudlin nonsense follow; "for every intoxicated man," according to the tragedy, – "Is conquered by anger, and empty of sense, And likes to pour forth much silly speech; And can often hear unwillingly, what evil words he with his will has said."

And before tragedy, wisdom cried, "Much wine drunk abounds in irritation and all way of mistakes." Therefore most people say that you ought to relax over your cups, and postpone serious business till morning. I however think that then especially ought reason to be introduced to mix in the feast, to act the part of director (paedagogue) to wine-drinking, for fear that conviviality imperceptibly degenerate to drunkenness. For as no sensible man ever thinks it required to shut his eyes before going to sleep, so neither can anyone rightly wish reason to be absent from the festive board, or can well study to lull it asleep till business is begun. But the Word can never quit those who belong to him, not even if we are asleep; for he ought to be invited even to our sleep. For perfect wisdom, which is knowledge of things divine and human, which comprehends all that relates to the oversight of the flock of men, becomes, in reference to life, art; and so, while we live, is constantly, with us, always accomplishing its own proper work, the product of which is a good life. But the miserable wretches who expel temperance from conviviality, think excess in drinking to be the happiest life; and their life is nothing but revel, debauchery, baths, excess, urinals, idleness, drink. You may see some of them, half-drunk, staggering, with crowns round their necks like wine jars, vomiting drink on one another in the name of good fellowship; and others, full of the effects of their debauch, dirty, pale in the face, livid, and still above yesterday's bout pouring another bout to last till next morning. It is well, my friends, it is well to make our acquaintance with this picture at the greatest possible distance from it, and to frame ourselves to what is better, dreading for fear that we also become a like spectacle and laughing-stock to others.

It has been appropriately said, "As the furnace proverb the steel blade in the process of dipping, so wine proves the heart of the haughty." A debauch is the immoderate use of wine, intoxication the disorder that results from such use; crapulousness (kraipalh) is the discomfort and nausea that follow a debauch; so called from the head shaking (kara pallein).

Such a life as this (if life it must be called, which is spent in idleness, in agitation about voluptuous indulgences, and in the hallucinations of debauchery) the divine Wisdom looks on with contempt, and commands her children, "Be not a wine-bibber, nor spend your money in the purchase of flesh; for every drunkard and fornicator shall come to beggary, and every sluggard shall be clothed in tatters and rags." For everyone who is not awake to wisdom, but is steeped in wine, is a sluggard. "And the drunkard," he says, "shall be clothed in rags, and be ashamed of his drunkenness in the presence of onlookers." For the wounds of the sinner are the rents of the garment of the flesh, the holes made by lusts, through which the shame of the soul within is seen – namely sin, by reason of which it will not be easy to save the garment, that has been torn away all round, that has rotted away in many lusts, and has been rent asunder from salvation.

So he adds these most monitory words. "Who has woes, who has clamour, who has contentions, who has disgusting babblings, who has unavailing remorse?" you see, in all his raggedness, the lover of wine, who despises the Word himself, and has abandoned and given himself to drunkenness. You see what threatening Scripture has pronounced against him. And to its threatening it adds again: "Whose are red eyes? Those, is it not, who delay long at their wine, and hunt out the places where drinking goes on?" Here he shows the lover of drink to be already dead to the Word, by the mention of the bloodshot eyes, – a mark which appears on corpses, announcing to him death in the Lord. For forgetfulness of the things which tend to true life turns the scale towards destruction. With reason therefore, the Instructor, in his solicitude for our salvation, forbids us, "Drink not wine to drunkenness." Therefore? You will ask. Because, he says, "your mouth will then speak perverse things, and you lie down as in the heart of the sea, and as the steersman of a ship in the midst of huge billows." Hence, too, poetry comes to our help, and says: "Let wine which has strength equal to fire come to men. Then will it agitate them, as the north or south wind agitates the Libyan waves." And further: "Wine wandering in speech shows all secrets. Soul-deceiving wine is the ruin of those who drink it." And so on.

You see the danger of shipwreck. The heart is drowned in much drink. The excess of drunkenness is compared to the danger of the sea, in which when the body has once been sunken like a ship, it descends to the depths of turpitude, overwhelmed in the mighty billows of wine; and the helmsman, the human mind, is tossed about on the surge of drunkenness, which swells aloft; and buried in the trough of the sea, is blinded by the darkness of the tempest, having drifted away from the haven of truth, till, dashing on the rocks beneath the sea, it perishes, driven by itself into voluptuous indulgences.

With reason, therefore, the apostle enjoins, "Be not drunk with wine, in which there is much excess;" by the term excess (aswtia) intimating the inconsistence of drunkenness with salvation (to aswston). For if he made water wine at the marriage, he did not give permission to get drunk. He gave life to the watery element of the meaning of the law, filling with his blood the doer of it who is of Adam, that is, the whole world; supplying piety with drink from the vine of truth, the mixture of the old law and of the new word, in order to the fulfillment of the predestined time. The Scripture, accordingly, has named wine the symbol of the sacred blood; but reproving the base tippling with the dregs of wine, it says: "Intemperate is wine, and insolent is drunkenness." It is agreeable, therefore, to right reason, to drink on account of the cold of winter, till the numbness is dispelled from those who are subject to feel it; and on other occasions as a medicine for the intestines. For, as we are to use food to satisfy hunger, so also are we to use drink to satisfy thirst, taking the most careful precautions against a slip: "for the introduction of wine is perilous." And so shall our soul be pure, and dry, and luminous; and the soul itself is wisest and best when dry. And so, too, is it fit for contemplation, and is not humid with the exhalations, that rise from wine, forming a mass like a cloud. We must not therefore trouble ourselves to procure Chian wine if it is absent, or Ariousian when it is not at hand. For thirst is a sensation of want, and craves means suitable for supplying the want, and not sumptuous liquor. Importations of wines from beyond seas are for an appetite enfeebled by excess, where the soul even before drunkenness is insane in its desires. For there are the fragrant Thasian wine, and the pleasant-breathing Lesbian, and a sweet Cretan wine, and sweet Syracusan wine, and Mendusian, an Egyptian wine, and the insular Naxian, the "highly perfumed and flavoured," another wine of the land of Italy. These are many names. For the temperate drinker, one wine suffices, the product of the cultivation of the one God. For why should not the wine of their own country satisfy men's desires, unless they were to import water also, like the foolish Persian kings? The Choaspes, a river of India so called, was that from which the best water for drinking – the Choaspian – was got. As wine, when taken, makes people lovers of it, so does water too. The Holy Spirit, uttering his voice by Amos, pronounces the rich to be wretched on account of their luxury: "Those that drink strained wine, and recline on an ivory couch," he says; and what else similar he adds by way of reproach.

Especial regard is to be paid to decency (as the myth represents Athene, whoever she was, out of regard to it, giving up the pleasure of the flute because of the unseemliness of the sight): so that we are to drink without contortions of the face, not greedily grasping the cup, nor before drinking making the eyes roll with improper motion; nor from intemperance are we to drain the cup at a draught; nor besprinkle the chin, nor splash the garments while gulping down all the liquor at once, – our face all but filling the bowl, and drowned in it. For the gurgling occasioned by the drink rushing with violence, and by its being drawn in with a great deal of breath, as if it were being poured into an earthenware vessel, while the throat makes a noise through the speed of swallowing, is a shameful and improper spectacle of intemperance. In addition to this, eagerness in drinking is a practice injurious to the partaker. Do not haste to mischief, my friend. Your drink is not being taken from you. It is given you, and waits for you. Be not eager to burst, by draining it down with gaping throat. Your thirst is satiated, even if you drink slower, observing decorum, by taking the beverage in small portions, in an orderly way. For that which intemperance greedily seizes, is not taken away by taking time. "Be not mighty," he says, "at wine; for wine has overcome many." The Scythians, the Celts, the Iberians, and the Thracians, all of them warlike races, are greatly addicted to intoxication, and think that it is an honourable, happy pursuit to engage in. But we, the people of peace, feasting for lawful enjoyment, not to wantonness, drink sober cups of friendship, that our friendships may be shown in a way truly appropriate to the name. How do you think the Lord drank when he became man for our sakes? As shamelessly as we? Was it not with decorum and propriety? Was it not deliberately? For rest assured, he himself also partook of wine; for He, too, was man. And he blessed the wine, saying, "Take, drink: this is my blood" – the blood of the vine. He figuratively calls the Word "shed for many, for the remission of sins" – the holy stream of gladness. And that he who drinks ought to observe moderation, he clearly showed by what he taught at feasts. For he did not teach affected by wine. And that it was wine which was the thing blessed, he showed again, when he said to his disciples, "I will not drink of the fruit of this vine, till I drink it with you in the kingdom of my Father." But that it was wine which was drunk by the Lord, he tells us again, when he spoke concerning himself, reproaching the Jews for their hardness of heart: "For the Son of man," he says, "came, and they say, Behold a glutton and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans." Let this be held fast by us against those that are called Encratites.

But some women, though they profess to value gracefulness, so that their lips may not be rent apart by stretching them on broad drinking cups, and so widening the mouth, drinking in an improper way out of alabastra quite too narrow in the mouth, throw back their heads and bare their necks indecently, as I think; and distending the throat in swallowing, gulp down the liquor as if to make bare all they can to their boon companions; and drawing hiccups like men, or rather like slaves, revel in luxurious riot. For nothing disgraceful is proper for man, who is endowed with reason; much less for woman to whom it brings modesty even to reflect of what nature she is.

"An intoxicated woman is a great wrath," it is said, as if a drunken woman were the wrath of God. Why? "Because she will not conceal her shame." For a woman is quickly drawn down to licentiousness, if she only set her choice on pleasures. And we have not prohibited drinking from alabastra; but we forbid studying to drink from them alone, as arrogant; counseling women to use with indifference what comes in the way, and cutting up by the roots the dangerous appetites that are in them. Let the rush of air, then, which regurgitates so as to produce hiccup, be emitted silently. But by no way of means are women to be allotted to uncover and exhibit any part of their person, for fear that both fall, – the men by being excited to look, they by drawing on themselves the eyes of the men. But always must we conduct ourselves as in the Lord's presence, for fear that he say to us, as the apostle in indignation said to the Corinthians, "When you come together, this is not to eat the Lord's supper." To me, the star called by the mathematicians Acephalus (headless), which is numbered before the wandering star, his head resting on his breast, seems to be a type of the gluttonous, the voluptuous, and those that are prone to drunkenness. For in such the faculty of reasoning is not situated in the head, but among the intestinal appetites, enslaved to lust and anger. For just as Elpenor broke his neck through intoxication, so the brain, dizzied by drunkenness, falls down from above, with a great fall to the liver and the heart, that is, to voluptuousness and anger: as the sons of the poets say Hephaestus was hurled by Zeus from heaven to earth. "The trouble of sleeplessness, and bile, and indigestion, are with an insatiable man," it is said.

Therefore also Noah's intoxication was recorded in writing, that, with the clear and written description of his transgression before us, we might guard with all our might against drunkenness. For which cause they who covered the shame of his drunkenness are blessed by the Lord. The Scripture accordingly, giving a most comprehensive compend, has expressed all in one word: "To an instructed man sufficiency is wine, and he will rest in his bed."

Chapter 3.The vanity of costly, luxurious table-vessels

And so the use of cups made of silver and gold, and of tohers inlaid with precious stones, is out of place, being only a deception of the vision. For if you pour any warm liquid into them, the vessels becoming hot, to touch them is painful. On the other hand, if you pour in what is cold, the material changes its quality, injuring the mixture, and the rich potion is hurtful. Away, then, with Thericleian cups and Antigonides, and Canthari, and goblets, and Lepastae, and the endless shapes of drinking vessels, and wine-coolers, and wine-pourers also. For, on the whole, gold and silver, both publicly and privately, are an invidious possession when they exceed what is necessary, seldom to be acquired, difficult to keep, and not adapted for use. The elaborate vanity, too, of vessels in glass chased, more apt to break on account of the art, teaching us to fear while we drink, is to be banished from our well-ordered constitution. And silver couches, and pans and vinegar-saucers, and trenchers and bowls; and besides these, vessels of saver and gold, some for serving food, and others for other uses which I am ashamed to name, of easily cleft cedar and thyine wood, and ebony, and tripods fashioned of ivory, and couches with silver feet and inlaid with ivory, and folding-doors of beds studded with gold and variegated with tortoise-shell, and bed-clothes of purple and other colours difficult to produce, proofs of tasteless luxury, cunning devices of envy and effeminacy, – are all to be relinquished, as having nothing whatever worth our pains. "For the time is short," as says the apostle. This then remains that we do not make a ridiculous figure, as some are seen in the public spectacles outwardly anointed strikingly for imposing effect, but wretched within. Explaining this more clearly, he adds," It remains that those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who buy as though they possessed not." And if he speaks so of marriage, in reference to which God says, "Multiply," how do you not think that senseless display is by the Lord's authority to be banished? Therefore also the Lord says, "Sell what you have, and give to the poor; and come, follow me."

Follow God, stripped of arrogance, stripped of fading display, possessed of that which is your own, which is good, what alone cannot be taken away – faith towards God, confession towards him who suffered, beneficence towards men, which is the most precious of possessions. For my part, I approve of Plato, who plainly lays it down as a law, that a man is not to labour for wealth of gold or silver, nor to possess a useless vessel which is not for some necessary purpose, and moderate; so that the same thing may serve for many purposes, and the possession of a variety of things may be done away with. Excellently, therefore, the Divine Scripture, addressing boasters and lovers of their own selves, says, "Where are the rulers of the nations, and the lords of the wild beasts of the earth, who sport among the birds of heaven, who treasured up silver and gold, in whom men trusted, and there was no end of their substance, who fashioned silver and gold, and were full of care? There is no finding of their works. They have vanished, and gone down to Hades." Such is the reward of display. For though such of us as cultivate the soil need a mattock and plough, none of us will make a pickaxe of silver or a sickle of gold, but we employ the material which is serviceable for agriculture, not what is costly. What prevents those who are capable of considering what is similar from entertaining the same sentiments with respect to household utensils, of which let use, not expense, be the measure? For tell me, does the table-knife not cut unlest it be studded with silver, and have its handle made of ivory? Or must we forge Indian steel in order to divide meat, as when we call for a weapon for the fight? What if the basin be of earthenware? Will it not receive the dirt of the hands? or the footpan the dirt of the foot? Will the table that is fashioned with ivory feet be indignant at bearing a three-halfpenny loaf? Will the lamp not dispense light because it is the work of the potter, not of the goldsmith? I affirm that truckle-beds afford no worse repose than the ivory couch; and the goatskin coverlet being amply sufficient to spread on the bed, there is no need, of purple or scarlet coverings. Yet to condemn, notwithstanding, frugality, through the stupidity of luxury, the author of mischief, what a prodigious error, what senseless conceit! See. The Lord ate from a common bowl, and made the disciples recline on the grass on the ground, and washed their feet, girded with a linen towel – He, the lowly-minded God, and Lord of the universe. He did not bring down a silver foot-bath from heaven. He asked to drink of the Samaritan woman, who drew the water from the well in an earthenware vessel, not seeking regal gold, but teaching us how to quench thirst easily. For he made use, not extravagance his aim. And he ate and drank at feasts, not digging metals from the earth, nor using vessels of gold and silver, that is, vessels exhaling the odour of rust – such fumes as the rust of smoking metal gives off. For in fine, in food, and clothes, and vessels, and everything else belonging to the house, I say comprehensively, that one must follow the institutions of the Christian man, as is serviceable and suitable to one's person, age, pursuits, time of life. For it becomes those that are servants of one God, that their possessions and furniture should exhibit the tokens of one beautiful life; and that each individually should be seen in faith, which shows no difference, practicing all other things which are conformable to this uniform mode of life, and harmonious with this one scheme. What we acquire without difficulty, and use with ease, we praise, keep easily, and communicate freely. The things which are useful are preferable, and consequently cheap things are better than dear. In fine, wealth, when not properly governed, is a stronghold of evil, about which many casting their eyes, they will never reach the kingdom of heaven, sick for the things of the world, and living proudly through luxury. But those who are in earnest about salvation must settle this beforehand in their mind, "that all that we possess is given to us for use, and use for sufficiency, which one may attain to by a few things." For silly are they who, from greed, take delight in what they have hoarded up. "He that gathers wages," it is said, "gathers into a bag with holes." Such is he who gathers corn and shuts it up; and he who gives to no one, becomes poorer.

It is a farce, and a thing to make one laugh outright, for men to bring in silver urinals and crystal vases de nuit, as they usher in their counselors, and for silly rich women to get gold receptacles for excrements made; so that being rich, they cannot even ease themselves except in superb way. I would wish that in their whole life they deemed gold fit for dung. But now love of money is found to be the stronghold of evil, which the apostle says "is the root of all evils, which, while some coveted, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." But the best riches is poverty of desires; and the true magnanimity is not to be proud of wealth, but to despise it. Boasting about one's plate is utterly base. For it is plainly wrong to care much about what anyone who likes may buy from the market. But wisdom is not bought with coin of earth, nor is it sold in the market-place, but in heaven. And it is sold for true coin, the immortal Word, the regal gold.

Chapter 4.How to conduct ourselves at feasts

Let revelry keep away from our rational entertainments, and foolish vigils, too, that revel in intemperance. For revelry is an inebriating pipe, the chain of an amatory bridge, that is, of sorrow. And let love, and intoxication, and senseless passions, be removed from our choir. Burlesque singing is the boon companion of drunkenness. A night spent over drink invites drunkenness, rouses lust, and is audacious in deeds of shame. For if people occupy their time with pipes, and psalteries, and choirs, and dances, and Egyptian clapping of hands, and such disorderly frivolities, they become quite immodest and intractable, beat on cymbals and drums, and make a noise on instruments of delusion; for plainly such a banquet, as seems to me, is a theatre of drunkenness. For the apostle decrees that, "putting off the works of darkness, we should put on the armor of light, walking honestly as in the day, not spending our time in rioting and drunkenness, in chambering and wantonness." Let the pipe be resigned to the shepherds, and the flute to the superstitious who are engrossed in idolatry. For, in truth, such instruments are to be banished from the temperate banquet, being more suitable to beasts than men, and the more irrational portion of mankind. For we have heard of stags being charmed by the pipe, and seduced by music into the toils, when hunted by the huntsmen. And when mares are being covered, a tune is played on the flute – a nuptial song, so to speak. And every improper sight and sound, to speak in a word, and every shameful sensation of licentiousness – which, in truth, is privation of sensation – must by all means be excluded; and we must be on our guard against whatever pleasure titillates eye and ear, and effeminates. For the various spells of the broken strains and plaintive numbers of the Carian muse corrupt men's morals, drawing to perturbation of mind, by the licentious and mischievous are of music. The Spirit, distinguishing from such revelry the divine service, sings, "Praise him with the sound of trumpet;" for with sound of trumpet he shall raise the dead. "Praise him on the psaltery;" for the tongue is the psaltery of the Lord. "And praise him on the lyre." By the lyre is meant the mouth struck by the Spirit, so to speak by a plectrum. "Praise with the timbrel and the dance," refers to the Church meditating on the resurrection of the dead in the resounding skin. "Praise him on the chords and organ." Our body he calls an organ, and its nerves are the strings, by which it has received harmonious tension, and when struck by the Spirit, it gives forth human voices. "Praise him on the clashing cymbals." He calls the tongue the cymbal of the mouth, which resounds with the pulsation of the lips. Therefore he cried to humanity, "Let every breath praise the Loan," because he cares for every breathing thing which he has made. For man is truly a pacific instrument; while other instruments, if you investigate, you will find to be warlike, inflaming to lusts, or kindling up amours, or rousing wrath.

In their wars, therefore, the Etruscans use the trumpet, the Arcadians the pipe, the Sicilians the pectides, the Cretans the lyre, the Lacedaemonians the flute, the Thracians the horn, the Egyptians the drum, and the Arabians the cymbal. The one instrument of peace, the Word alone by which we honour God, is what we employ. We no longer employ the ancient psaltery, and trumpet, and timbrel, and flute, which those expert in war and despisers of the fear of God were wont to make use of also in the choruses at their festive assemblies; that by such strains they might raise their dejected minds. But let our genial feeling in drinking be twofold, in accordance with the law. For "if you shall love the Lord try God," and then "your neighbour," let its first manifestation be towards God in thanksgiving and psalmody, and the second toward our neighbour in decorous fellowship. For says the apostle, "Let the Word of the Lord dwell in you richly." And this Word suits and conforms himself to seasons, to persons, to places.

In the present instance he is a guest with us. For the apostle adds again, "Teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to God." And again, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and his Father." This is our thankful revelry. And even if you wish to sing and play to the harp or lyre, there is no blame. You shall imitate the righteous Hebrew king in his thanksgiving to God. "Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous; praise is comely to the upright," says the prophecy. "Confess to the Lord on the harp; play to him on the psaltery of ten strings. Sing to him a new song." And does not the ten-stringed psaltery indicate the Word Jesus, who is manifested by the element of the decade? And as it is befitting, before partaking of food, that we should bless the Creator of all; so also in drinking it is suitable to praise him on partaking of his creatures. For the psalm is a melodious and sober blessing. The apostle calls the psalm "a spiritual song." Finally, before partaking of sleep, it is a sacred duty to give thanks to God, having enjoyed his grace and love, and so go straight to sleep. "And confess to him in songs of the lips," he says, "because in his command all his good pleasure is done, and there is no deficiency in his salvation." Further, among the ancient Greeks, in their banquets over the brimming cups, a song was sung called a skolion, after the way of the Hebrew psalms, all together raising the paean with the voice, and sometimes also taking turns in the song while they drank healths round; while those that were more musical than the rest sang to the lyre. But let amatory songs be banished far away, and let our songs be hymns to God. "Let them praise," it is said, "his name in the dance, and let them play to him on the timbrel and psaltery." And what is the choir which plays? The Spirit will show you: "Let his praise be in the congregation (church) of the saints; let them be joyful in their King." And again he adds, "The Lord will take pleasure in his people." For temperate harmonies are to be admitted; but we are to banish as far as possible from our robust mind those liquid harmonies, which, through pernicious arts in the modulations of tones, train to effeminacy and scurrility. But grave and modest strains say farewell to the turbulence of drunkenness. Chromatic harmonies are therefore to be abandoned to immodest revels, and to florid and meretricious music.

Chapter 5.On keeping our laughter in check

People who are imitators of ludicrous sensations, or rather of such as deserve derision, are to be driven from our polity. For since all forms of speech flow from mind and manners, ludicrous expressions could not be uttered, did they not proceed from ludicrous practices. For the saying, "It is not a good tree which produces corrupt fruit, nor a corrupt tree which produces good fruit," is to be applied in this case. For speech is the fruit of the mind. If, then, wags are to be ejected from our society, we ourselves must by no way of means be allowed to stir up laughter. For it would be absurd to be found imitators of things of which we are prohibited to be listeners; and still more absurd for a man to set about making himself a laughing-stock, that is, the but of insult and derision. For if we could not endure to make a ridiculous figure, such as we see some do in processions, how could we with any propriety bear to have the inner man made a ridiculous figure of, and that to one's face? Therefore we ought never of our own accord to assume a ludicrous character. And how, then, can we devote ourselves to being and appearing ridiculous in our conversation, thereby travestying speech, which is the most precious of all human endowments? It is therefore disgraceful to set one's self to do this; since the conversation of wags of this description is not fit for our ears, inasmuch as by the very expressions used it familiarizes us with shameful actions.

Pleasantry is allowable, not waggery. Besides, even laughter must be kept in check; for when given vent to in the right manner it indicates orderliness, but when it issues differently it shows a want of restraint. For, in a word, whatever things are natural to men we must not eradicate from them, but rather impose on them limits and suitable times. For man is not to laugh on all occasions because he is a laughing animal, any more than the horse neighs on all occasions because he is a neighing animal. But as rational beings, we are to regulate ourselves suitably, harmoniously relaxing the austerity and over-tension of our serious pursuits, not inharmoniously breaking them up altogether.

For the proper relaxation of the countenance in a harmonious manner – as of a musical instrument – is called a smile. So also is laughter on the face of well-regulated men termed. But the discordant relaxation of countenance in the case of women is called a giggle, and is meretricious laughter; in the case of men, a guffaw, and is savage arid insulting laughter. "A fool raises his voice in laughter," says the Scripture; but a clever man smiles almost imperceptibly. The clever man in this case he calls wise, inasmuch as he is differently affected from the fool. But, on the other hand, one needs not be gloomy, only grave. For I certainly prefer a man to smile who has a stern countenance than the reverse; for so his laughter will be less apt to become the object of ridicule.

Smiling even requires to be made the subject of discipline. If it is at what is disgraceful, we ought to blush rather than smile, for fear that we seem to take pleasure in it by sympathy; if at what is painful, it is fitting to look sad rather than to seem pleased. For to do the former is a sign of rational human thought; the other infers suspicion of cruelty. We are not to laugh perpetually, for that is going beyond bounds; nor in the presence of elderly persons, or others worthy of respect, unless they indulge in pleasantry for our amusement. Nor are we to laugh before all and sundry, nor in every place, nor to everyone, nor about everything. For to children and women especially laughter is the cause of slipping into scandal. And even to appear stem serves to keep those about us at their distance. For gravity can ward off the approaches of licentiousness by a mere look. All senseless people, to speak in a word, wine "Commands both to laugh luxuriously and to dance," changing effeminate manners to softness. We must consider, too, how consequently freedom of speech leads impropriety on to filthy speaking. "And he uttered a word which had been better unsaid." Especially, therefore, in liquor crafty men's characters tend to be seen through, stripped as they are of their mask through the caitiff license of intoxication, through which reason, weighed down in the soul itself by drunkenness, is lulled to sleep, and unruly passions are roused, which overmaster the feebleness of the mind.

Chapter 6.Against filthy talk

From filthy speaking we ourselves must entirely abstain, and stop the mouths of those who practice it by stern looks and averting the face, and by what we call making a mock of one: often also by a harsher mode of speech. "For what proceeds out of the mouth," he says, "defiles a man," – shows him to be unclean, and heathenish, and untrained, and licentious, and not select, and proper, and honourable, and temperate. And as a similar rule holds with regard to hearing and seeing in the case of what is obscene, the divine Instructor, following the same course with both, arrays those children who are engaged in the struggle in words of modesty, as ear-guards, so that the pulsation of fornication may not penetrate to the bruising of the soul; and he directs the eyes to the sight of what is honourable, saying that it is better to make a slip with the feet than with the eyes. This filthy speaking the apostle beats off, saying, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good." And again, "As becomes saints, let not filthiness be named among you, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which things are not proper, but rather giving of thanks." And if "he that calls his brother a fool be in danger of the judgment," what shall we pronounce regarding him who speaks what is foolish? Is it not written respecting such: "Whosoever shall speak an idle word, shall give an account to the Lord in the day of judgment?" And again, "By your speech you shall be justified," he says, "and by your speech you shall be condemned." What, then, are the salutary ear-guards, and what the regulations for slippery eyes? Conversations with the righteous, preoccupying and forearming the ears against those that would lead away from the truth. "Evil communications corrupt good manners," says Poetry. More nobly the apostle says, "Be haters of the evil; cleave to the good." For he who associates with the saints shall be sanctified. From shameful things addressed to the ears, and words and sights, we must entirely abstain. And much more must we keep pure from shameful deeds: on the one hand, from exhibiting and exposing parts of the body which we ought not; and on the other, from seeing what is forbidden. For the modest son could not bear to look on the shameful exposure of the righteous man; and modesty covered what intoxication exposed – the spectacle of the transgression of ignorance. No less ought we to keep pure from calumnious reports, to which the ears of those who have believed in Christ ought to be inaccessible.

It is on this account, as appears to me, that the Instructor does not permit us to give utterance to anything improper, fortifying us at an early stage against licentiousness. For he is admirable always at cutting out the roots of sins, such as, "You shall not commit adultery," by "You shall not lust." For adultery is the fruit of lust, which is the evil root. And so likewise also in this instance the Instructor censures license in names, and so cuts off the licentious intercourse of excess. For license in names produces the desire of being indecorous in conduct; and the observance of modesty in names is a training in resistance to lasciviousness. We have shown in a more exhaustive treatise, that neither in the names nor in the members to which appellations not in common use are applied, is there the designation of what is really obscene.

For neither are knee and leg, and such other members, nor are the names applied to them, and the activity put forth by them, obscene. And even the pudenda are to be regarded as objects suggestive of modesty, not shame. It is their unlawful activity that is shameful, and deserving ignominy, and reproach, and punishment. For the only thing that is in reality shameful is wickedness, and what is done through it. In accordance with these remarks, conversation about deeds of wickedness is appropriately, termed filthy (shameful) speaking, as talk about adultery and pederasty and the like. Frivolous prating, too, is to be put to silence. "For," it is said, "in much speaking you shall not escape sin." "Sins of the tongue, therefore, shall be punished." "There is he who is silent, and is found wise; and there is that is hated for much speech." But still more, the prater makes himself the object of disgust. "For he that multiplies speech abominates his own soul."

Chapter 7.On living peacefully together

Let us keep away from us jibing, the originator of insult, from which strifes and contentions and enmities burst forth. Insult, we have said, is the servant of drunkenness. A man is judged, not from his deeds alone, but from his words. "In a banquet," it is said, "reprove not your neighbour, nor say to him a word of reproach." For if we are commanded especially to associate with saints, it is a sin to jibe at a saint: "For from the mouth of the foolish," says the Scripture, "is a staff of insult," – meaning by staff the prop of insult, on which insult leans and rests. Therefore I admire the apostle, who, in reference to this, exhorts us not to utter "scurrilous nor unsuitable words." For if the assemblies at festivals take place on account of affection, and the end of a banquet is friendliness towards those who meet, and meat and drink accompany affection, how should not conversation be conducted in a rational manner, and puzzling people with questions be avoided from affection? For if we meet together for the purpose of increasing our good-will to each other, why should we stir up enmity by jibing? It is better to be silent than to contradict, and thereby add sin to ignorance. "Blessed," in truth, "is the man who has not made a slip with his mouth, and has not been pierced by the pain of sin;" or has repented of what he has said amiss, or has spoken so as to wound no one. On the whole, let young men and young women altogether keep away from such festivals, that they may not make a slip in respect to what is unsuitable. For things to which their ears are unaccustomed, and improper sights, inflame the mind, while faith within them is still wavering; and the instability of their age conspires to make them easily carried away by lust. Sometimes also they are the cause of others stumbling, by displaying the dangerous charms of their time of life. For Wisdom appears to require well: "Sit not at all with a married woman, and recline not on the elbow with her;" that is, do not sup nor eat with her frequently. Therefore he adds, "And do not join company with her in wine, for fear that your heart incline to her, and by your blood slide to ruin." For the license of intoxication is dangerous, and prone to deflower; And he names "a married woman," because the danger is greater to him who attempts to break the connubial bond.

But if any necessity arises, commanding the presence of married women, let them be well clothed – without by clothing, within by modesty. But as for such as are unmarried, it is the extremest scandal for them to be present at a banquet of men, especially men under the influence of wine. And let the men, fixing their eyes on the couch, and leaning without moving on their elbows, be present with their ears alone; and if they sit, let them not have their feet crossed, nor place one thigh on another, nor apply the hand to the chin. For it is vulgar not to bear one's self without support, and consequently a fault in a young man. And perpetually moving and changing one's position is a sign of frivolousness. It is the part of a temperate man also, in eating and drinking, to take a small portion, and deliberately, not eagerly, both at the beginning and during the courses and to leave off betimes, and so show his indifference. "Eat," it is said, "like a man what is set before you. Be the first to stop for the sake of regimen; and, if seated in the midst of several people, do not stretch out your hand before them." you must never rush forward under the influence of gluttony; nor must you, though desirous, reach out your hand till some time, inasmuch as by greed one shows an uncontrolled appetite. Nor are you, in the midst of the repast, to exhibit yourselves hugging your food like wild beasts; nor helping yourselves to too much sauce, for man is not by nature a sauce-consumer, but a bread-eater. A temperate man, too, must rise before the general company, and retire quietly from the banquet. "For at the time for rising," it is said, "be not the last; haste home." The twelve, having called together the multitude of the disciples, said, "It is not right for us to leave the word of God and serve tables." If they avoided this, much more did they shun gluttony. And the apostles themselves, writing to the brethren at Antioch, and in Syria and Cilicia, said: "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay on you no other burden than these necessary things, to abstain from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication, from which, if you keep yourselves, you shall do well." But we must guard against drunkenness as against hemlock; for both drag down to death. We must also check excessive laughter and immoderate tears. For often people under the influence of wine, after laughing immoderately, then are, I do not know how, by some impulse of intoxication moved to tears; for both effiminacy and violence are discordant with the word. And elderly people, looking on the young as children, may, though but very rarely, be playful with them, joking with them to train them in good behaviour. For example, before a bashful and silent youth, one might by way of pleasantry speak so: "This son of mine" (meaning a person who is silent) "is forever talking." For a joke such as this enhances the youth's modesty, by showing the good qualities that belong to him playfully, by censure of the bad qualities, which do not. For this device is instructive, confirming as it does what is present by what is not present. Such, certainly, is the intention of him who says that a water-drinker and a sober man gets intoxicated and drunk. But if there are those who like to jest at people, we must be silent, and dispense with superfluous words like full cups. For such sport is dangerous. "The mouth of the impetuous approaches to contrition." "You shall not receive a foolish report, nor shall you agree with an unjust person to be an unjust witness," neither in calumnies nor in injurious speeches, much less evil practices. I also should think it right to impose a limit on the speech of rightly regulated persons, who are impelled to speak to one who maintains a conversation with them. "For silence is the excellence of women, and the safe prize of the young; but good speech is characteristic of experienced, mature age. Speak, old man, at a banquet, for it is becoming to you. But speak without embarrassment, and with accuracy of knowledge. Youth, wisdom also commands you. Speak, if you must, with hesitation, on being twice asked; sum up your discourse in a few words." But let both speakers regulate their discourse according to just proportion. For loudness of utterance is most insane; while an inaudible utterance is characteristic of a senseless man, for people will not hear: the one is the mark of pusillanimity, the other of arrogance. Let contentiousness in words, for the sake of a useless triumph, be banished; for our aim is to be free from perturbation. Such is the meaning of the phrase, "Peace to you." Answer not a word before you hear. An enervated voice is the sign of effeminacy. But modulation in the voice is characteristic of a wise man, who keeps his utterance from loudness, from drawling, from rapidity, from prolixity. For we ought not to speak long or much, nor ought we to speak frivolously. Nor must we converse rapidly and rashly. For the voice itself, so to speak, ought to receive its just dues; and those who are vociferous and clamourous ought to be silenced. For this reason, the wise Ulysses chastised Thersites with stripes: "Only Thersites, with unmeasured words, Of which he had good store, to rate the chiefs, Not over-proper, but with which he thought To move the crowd to laughter, brawled aloud."

"For dreadful in his destruction is a loquacious man." And it is with triflers as with old shoes: all the rest is worn away by evil; the tongue only is left for destruction. Therefore Wisdom gives these most useful exhortations: "Do not talk trifles in the multitude of the elders." Further, eradicating frivolousness, beginning with God, it lays down the Law for our regulation somewhat so: "Do not repeat your words in your prayer." Chirruping and whistling, and sounds made through the fingers, by which domestics are called, being irrational signs, are to be given up by rational men. Frequent spitting, too, and violent clearing of the throat, and wiping one's nose at an entertainment, are to be shunned. For respect is assuredly to be had to the guests, for fear that they turn in disgust from such filthiness, which argues want of restraint. For we are not to copy oxen and asses, whose manger and dunghill are together. For many wipe their noses and spit even while supping.

If anyone is attacked with sneezing, just as in the case of hiccup, he must not startle those near him with the explosion, and so give proof of his bad breeding; but the hiccup is to be quietly transmitted with the expiration of the breath, the mouth being composed becomingly, and not gaping and yawning like the tragic masks. So the disturbance of hiccup may be avoided by making the respirations gently; for so the threatening symptoms of the ball of wind will be dissipated in the most proper way, by managing its egress so as also to conceal anything which the air forcibly expelled may bring up with it. To wish to add to the noises, instead of diminishing them, is the sign of arrogance and disorderliness. Those, too, who scrape their teeth, bleeding the wounds, are disagreeable to themselves and detestable to their neighbours. Scratching the ears and the irritation of sneezing are swinish itchings, and attend unbridled fornication. Both shameful sights and shameful conversation about them are to be shunned. Let the look be steady, and the turning and movement of the neck, and the motions of the hands in conversation, be decorous. In a word, the Christian is characterized by composure, tranquillity, calmness, and peace.

Chapter 8.On the sinful use of ointments & adornments

The use of crowns and ointments is not necessary for us; for it impels to pleasures and indulgences, especially on the approach of night. I know that the woman brought to the sacred supper "an alabaster box of ointment," and anointed the feet of the Lord, and refreshed him; and I know that the ancient kings of the Hebrews were crowned with gold and precious stones. But the woman not having yet received the Word (for she was still a sinner), honoured the Lord with what she thought the most precious thing in her possession – the ointment; and with the ornament of her person, with her hair, she wiped off the superfluous ointment, while she expended on the Lord tears of repentance: "therefore her sins are forgiven."

This may be a symbol of the Lord's teaching, and of his suffering. For the feet anointed with fragrant ointment mean divine instruction traveling with renown to the ends of the earth. "For their sound has gone forth to the ends of the earth." And if I seem not to insist too much, the feet of the Lord which were anointed are the apostles, having, according to prophecy, received the fragrant unction of the Holy Spirit. Those, therefore, who traveled over the world and preached the Gospel, are figuratively called the feet of the Lord, of whom also the Holy Spirit foretells in the psalm, "Let us adore at the place where his feet stood," that is, where the apostles, his feet, arrived; since, preached by them, he came to the ends of the earth. And tears are repentance; and the loosened hair proclaimed deliverance from the love of finery, and the affliction in patience which, on account of the Lord, attends preaching, the old vainglory being done away with by reason of the new faith.

Besides, it shows the Lord's passion, if you understand it mystically so: the oil (elaion) is the Lord himself, from whom comes the mercy (eleoj) which reaches us. But the ointment, which is adulterated oil, is the traitor Judas, by whom the Lord was anointed on the feet, being released from his sojourn in the world. For the dead are anointed. And the tears are we repentant sinners, who have believed in him, and to whom he has forgiven our sins. And the disheveled hair is mourning Jerusalem, the deserted, for whom the prophetic lamentations were uttered. The Lord himself shall teach us that Judas the deceitful is meant: "He that dips with me in the dish, the same shall betray me." you see the treacherous guest, and this same Judas betrayed the Master with a kiss. For he was a hypocrite, giving a treacherous kiss, in imitation of another hypocrite of old. And he reproves that people respecting whom it was said, "This people honour me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." It is not improbable, therefore, that by the oil he means that disciple to whom was shown mercy, and by the tainted and poisoned oil the traitor. This was, then, what the anointed feet prophesied – the treason of Judas, when the Lord went to his passion. And the Saviour himself washing the feet of the disciples, and despatching them to do good deeds, pointed out their pilgrimage for the benefit of the nations, making them beforehand fair and pure by his power. Then the ointment breathed on them its fragrance, and the work of sweet savour reaching to all was proclaimed; for the passion of the Lord has filled us with sweet fragrance, and the Hebrews with guilt. This the apostle most clearly showed, when he said, "thanks be to God, who always makes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are to God a sweet savour of the Lord, in those who are saved, and those who are lost; to one a savour of death to death, to the other a savour of life to life." And the kings of the Jews using gold and precious stones and a variegated crown, the anointed ones wearing Christ symbolically on the head, were unconsciously adorned with the head of the Lord. The precious stone, or pearl, or emerald, points out the Word himself. The gold, again, is the incorruptible Word, who admits not the poison of corruption. The Magi, accordingly, brought to him on his birth, gold, the symbol of royalty. And this crown, after the image of the Lord, fades not as a flower. I know, too, the words of Aristippus the Cyrenian. Aristippus was a luxurious man. He asked an answer to a sophistical proposition in the following terms: "A horse anointed with ointment is not injured in his excellence as a horse, nor is a dog which has been anointed, in his excellence as a dog; no more is a man," he added, and so finished. But the dog and horse take no account of the ointment, while in the case of those whose perceptions are more rational, applying girlish scents to their persons, its use is more censurable. Of these ointments there are endless varieties, such as the Brenthian, the Metallian, and the royal; the Plangonian and the Psagdian of Egypt. Simonides is not ashamed in Iambic lines to say, – "I was anointed with ointments and perfumes, And with nard."

For a merchant was present. They use, too, the unguent made from lilies, and that from the cypress. Nard is in high estimation with them, and the ointment prepared from roses and the others which women use besides, both moist and dry, scents for rubbing and for fumigating; for day by day their thoughts are directed to the gratification of insatiable desire, to the exhaustless variety of fragrance. Therefore also they are redolent of an excessive luxuriousness. And they fumigate and sprinkle their clothes, their bed-clothes, and their houses. Luxury all but compels vessels for the meanest uses to smell of perfume.

There are some who, annoyed at the attention bestowed on this, appear to me to be rightly so averse to perfumes on account of their rendering manhood effeminate, as to banish their compounders and vendors from well-regulated states, and banish, too, the dyers of flower-coloured wools. For it is not right that ensnaring garments and unguents should be admitted into the city of truth; but it is highly required for the men who belong to us to give forth the odour not of ointments, but of nobleness and goodness. And let woman breathe the odour of the true royal ointment, that of Christ, not of unguents and scented powders; and let her always be anointed with the ambrosial chrism of modesty, and find delight in the holy unguent, the Spirit. This ointment of pleasant fragrance Christ prepares for his disciples, compounding the ointment of celestial aromatic ingredients. Therefore also the Lord himself is anointed with an ointment, as is mentioned by David: "Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows; myrrh, and stacte, and cassia from your garments." But let us not unconsciously abominate unguents, like vultures or like beetles (for these, they say, when smeared with ointment, die); and let a few unguents be selected by women, such as will not be overpowering to a husband. For excessive anointings with unguents savour of a funeral and not of connubial life. Yet oil itself is inimical to bees and insects; and some men it benefits, and some it summons to the fight; and those who were formerly friends, when anointed with it, it turns out to deadly combat.

Ointment being smooth oil, do you not think that it is calculated to render noble manners effeminate? Certainly. And as we have abandoned luxury in taste, so certainly do we renounce voluptuousness in sights and odors; for fear that through the senses, as through unwatched doors, we unconsciously give access into the soul to that excess which we have driven away. If, then, we say that the Lord the great high priest offers to God the incense of sweet fragrance, let us not imagine that this is a sacrifice and sweet fragrance of incense; but let us understand it to mean, that the Lord lays the acceptable offering of love, the spiritual fragrance, on the altar. To resume: oil itself suffices to lubricate the skin, and relax the nerves, and remove any heavy smell from the body, if we require oil for this purpose. But attention to sweet scents is a bait which draws us in to sensual lust. For the licentious man is led on every hand, both by his food, his bed, his conversation, by his eyes, his ears, his jaws, and by his nostrils too. As oxen are pulled by rings and ropes, so is the voluptuary by fumigations and unguents, and the sweet scents of crowns. But since we assign no place to pleasure which is linked to no use serviceable to life, come let us also distinguish here too, selecting what is useful. For there are sweet scents which neither make the head heavy nor provoke love, and are not redolent of embraces and licentious companionship, but, along with moderation, are salutary, nourishing the brain when labouring under indisposition, and strengthening the stomach. One must not therefore refrigerate himself with flowers when he wishes to supple his nerves. For their use is not wholly to be laid aside, but ointment is to be employed as a medicine and help in order to bring up the strength when enfeebled, and against catarrhs, and colds, and ennui, as the comic poet says: "The nostrils are anointed; it being a most essential thing for health to fill the brain with good odors." The rubbing of the feet also with the fatness of warming or cooling unguents is practiced on account of its beneficial effects; so consequently, in the case of those who are so saturated, an attraction and flow take place from the head to the inferior members. But pleasure to which no utility attaches, induces the suspicion of meretricious habits, and is a drug provocative of the passions. Rubbing one's self with ointment is entirely different from anointing one's self with ointment. The former is effeminate, while anointing with ointment is in some cases beneficial. Aristippus the philosopher, accordingly, when anointed with ointment, said "that the wretched Cinoedi deserved to perish miserably for bringing the utility of ointment into bad repute." "Honour the physician for his usefulness," says the Scripture, "for the Most High made him; and the art of healing is of the Lord." Then he adds, "And the compounder of unguents will make the mixture," since unguents have been given manifestly for use, not for voluptuousness. For we are by no means to care for the exciting properties of unguents, but to choose what is useful in them, since God has permitted the production of oil for the mitigation of men's pains. And silly women, who dye their gray hair and anoint their locks, grow speedily grayer by the perfumes they use, which are of a drying nature. Therefore also those that anoint themselves become drier, and the dryness makes them grayer. For if grayness is an exsiccation of the hair, or defect of heat, the dryness drinking up the moisture which is the natural nourishment of the hair, and making it gray, how can we any longer retain a liking for unguents, through which ladies, in trying to escape gray hair, become gray? And as dogs with fine sense of smell track the wild beasts by the scent, so also the temperate scent the licentious by the superfluous perfume of unguents.

Such a use of crowns, also, has degenerated to scenes of revelry and intoxication. Do not encircle my head with a crown, for in the springtime it is delightful to while away the time on the dewy meads, while soft and many-coloured flowers are in bloom, and, like the bees, enjoy a natural and pure fragrance. But to adorn one's self with "a crown woven from the fresh mead," and wear it at home, were unfit for a man of temperance. For it is not suitable to fill the wanton hair with rose-leaves, or violets, or lilies, or other such flowers, stripping the sward of its flowers. For a crown encircling the head cools the hair, both on account of its moisture and its coolness. Accordingly, physicians, determining by physiology that the brain is cold, approve of anointing the breast and the points of the nostrils, so that the warm exhalation passing gently through, may salutarily warm the chill. A man ought not therefore to cool himself with flowers. Besides, those who crown themselves destroy the pleasure there is in flowers: for they enjoy neither the sight of them, since they wear the crown above their eyes; nor their fragrance, since they put the flowers away above the organs of respiration. For the fragrance ascending and exhaling naturally, the organ of respiration is left destitute of enjoyment, the fragrance being carried away. As beauty, so also the flower delights when looked at; and it is proper to glorify the Creator by the enjoyment of the sight of beautiful objects. The use of them is injurious, and passes swiftly away, avenged by remorse. Very soon their evanescence is proved; for both fade, both the flower and beauty. Further, whoever touches them is cooled by the former, inflamed by the latter. In one word, the enjoyment of them except by sight is a crime, and not luxury. It becomes us who truly follow the Scripture to enjoy ourselves temperately, as in Paradise. We must regard the woman's crown to be her husband, and the husband's crown to be marriage; and the flowers of marriage the children of both, which the divine farmer plucks from meadows of flesh. "Children's children are the crown of old men." And the glory of children is their fathers, it is said; and our glory is the Father of all; and the crown of the whole church is Christ. As roots and plants, so also have flowers their individual properties, some beneficial, some injurious, some also dangerous. The ivy is cooling; nux emits a stupefying effluvium, as the etymology shows. The narcissus is a flower with a heavy odor; the name evinces this, and it induces a torpor (narkhn) in the nerves. And the effluvia of roses and violets being mildly cool, relieve and prevent headaches. But we who are not only not permitted to drink with others to intoxication, but not even to indulge in much wine? do not need the crocus or the flower of the cypress to lead us to an easy sleep. Many of them also, by their odors, warm the brain, which is naturally cold, volatilizing the effusions of the head. The rose is hence said to have received its name (rodon) because it emits a abundant stream (reuma) of odour (odwdh). Therefore also it quickly fades.

But the use of crowns did not exist at all among the ancient Greeks; for neither the suitors nor the luxurious Phaeacians used them. But at the games there was at first the gift to the athletes; second, the rising up to applaud; third, the strewing with leaves; lastly, the crown, Greece after the Median war having given herself up to luxury.

Those, then, who are trained by the Word are restrained from the use of crowns; and do not think that this Word, which has its seat in the brain, ought to be bound about, not because the crown is the symbol of the recklessness of revelry, but because it has been dedicated to idols. Sophocles accordingly called the narcissus "the ancient coronet of the great gods," speaking of the earth-born divinities; and Sappho crowns the Muses with the rose: "For you do not share in roses from Pieria."

They say, too, that Hera delights in the lily, and Artemis in the myrtle. For if the flowers were made especially for man, and senseless people have taken them not for their own proper and grateful use, but have abused them to the thankless service of demons, we must keep from them for conscience sake. The crown is the symbol of untroubled tranquillity. For this reason they crown the dead, and idols, too, on the same account, by this fact giving testimony to their being dead. For revelers do not without crowns celebrate their orgies; and when once they are encircled with flowers, at last they are inflamed excessively. We must have no communion with demons. Nor must we crown the living image of God after the way of dead idols. For the fair crown of amaranth is laid up for those who have lived well. This flower the earth is unable to bear; heaven alone is competent to produce it. Further, it were irrational in us, who have heard that the Lord was crowned with thorns, to crown ourselves with flowers, insulting so the sacred passion of the Lord. For the Lord's crown prophetically pointed to us, who once were barren, but are placed around him through the Church of which he is the Head. But it is also a type of faith, of life in respect of the substance of the wood, of joy in respect of the appellation of crown, of danger in respect of the thorn, for there is no approaching to the Word without blood. But this platted crown fades, and the plait of perversity is untied, and the flower withers. For the glory of those who have not believed on the Lord fades. And they crowned Jesus raised aloft, testifying to their own ignorance. For being hard of heart, they did not understand that this very thing, which they called the disgrace of the Lord, was a prophecy wisely uttered: "The Lord was not known by the people" which erred, which was not circumcised in understanding, whose darkness was not enlightened, which knew not God, denied the Lord, forfeited the place of the true Israel, persecuted God, hoped to reduce the Word to disgrace; and him whom they crucified as a malefactor they crowned as a king. Therefore the Man on whom they believed not, they shall know to be the loving God the Lord, the Just. Whom they provoked to show himself to be the Lord, to him when lifted up they bore witness, by encircling him, who is exalted above every name, with the diadem of righteousness by the ever-blooming thorn. This diadem, being hostile to those who plot against him, coerces them; and friendly to those who form the Church, defends them. This crown is the flower of those who have believed on the glorified One but covers with blood and chastises those who have not believed. It is a symbol, too, of the Lord's successful work, he having borne on his head, the princely part of his body, all our iniquities by which we were pierced. For he by his. Own passion rescued us from offences, and sins, and such like thorns; and having destroyed the devil, deservedly said in triumph, "O Death, where is your sting?" And we eat grapes from thorns, and figs from thistles; while those to whom he stretched forth his hands – the disobedient and unfruitful people – he lacerates into wounds. I can also show you another mystic meaning in it. For when the Almighty Lord of the universe began to legislate by the Word, and wished his power to be manifested to Moses, a godlike vision of light that had assumed a shape was shown him in the burning bush (the bush is a thorny plant); but when the Word ended the giving of the Law and his stay with men, the Lord was again mystically crowned with thorn. On his departure from this world to the place from which he came, he repeated the beginning of his old descent, in order that the Word beheld at first in the bush, and afterwards taken up crowned by the thorn, might show the whole to be the work of one power, he himself being one, the Son of the Father, who is truly one, the beginning and the end of time.

But I have made a digression from the paedagogic style of speech, and introduced the didactic. I return accordingly to my subject. To resume, then: we have showed that in the department of medicine, for healing, and sometimes also for moderate recreation, the delight derived from flowers, and the benefit derived from unguents and perfumes, are not to be overlooked. And if some say, what pleasure, then, is there in flowers to those that do not use them? let them know, then, that unguents are prepared from them, and are most useful. The Susinian ointment is made from various kinds of lilies; and it is warming, aperient, drawing, moistening, abstergent, subtle, antibilious, emollient. The Narcissinian is made from the narcissus, and is equally beneficial with the Susinian. The Myrsinian, made of myrtle and myrtle berries, is a styptic, stopping effusions from the body; and that from roses is refrigerating. For, in a word, these also were created for our use. "Hear me," it is said, "and grow as a rose planted by the streams of waters, and give forth a sweet fragrance like frankincense, and bless the Lord for his works." We should have much to say respecting them, were we to speak of flowers and odors as made for necessary purposes, and not for the excesses of luxury. And if a concession must be made, it is enough for people to enjoy the fragrance of flowers; but let them not crown themselves with them. For the Father takes great care of man, and gives to him alone his own art. The Scripture therefore says, "Water, and fire, and iron, and milk, and fine flour of wheat, and honey, the blood of the grape, and oil, and clothing, – all these things are for the good of the godly."

Chapter 9. On simplicity and frugality in bed ("not sleeping on downy feathers")

How, in due course, we are to go to sleep, in memory of the precepts of temperance, we must now say. For after the repast, having given thanks to God for our participation in our enjoyments, and for the (happy) passing of the day, our talk must be turned to sleep. Magnificence of bed-clothes, gold-embroidered carpets, and smooth carpets worked with gold, and long fine robes of purple, and costly fleecy cloaks, and manufactured rugs of purple, and mantles of thick pile, and couches softer than sleep, are to be banished.

For, besides the reproach of voluptuousness, sleeping on downy feathers is injurious, when our bodies fall down as into a yawning hollow, on account of the softness of the bedding.

For they are not convenient for sleepers turning in them, on account of the bed rising into a hill on either side of the body. Nor are they suitable for the digestion of the food, but rather for burning it up, and so destroying the nourishment. But stretching one's self on even couches, affording a kind of natural gymnasium for sleep, contributes to the digestion of the food. And those that can roll on other beds, having this, so to speak, for a natural gymnasium for sleep, digest food more easily, and render themselves fitter for emergencies. Moreover, silver-footed couches argue great ostentation; and the ivory on beds, the body having left the soul, is not permissible for holy men, being a lazy contrivance for rest. We must not occupy our thoughts about these things, for the use of them is not forbidden to those who possess them; but solicitude about them is prohibited, for happiness is not to be found in them. On the other hand, it savours of cynic vanity for a man to act as Diomede, – "And he stretched himself under a wild bull's hide," – unless circumstances compel.

Ulysses rectified the unevenness of the nuptial couch with a stone. Such frugality and self-help was practiced not by private individuals alone, but by the chiefs of the ancient Greeks. But why speak of these? Jacob slept on the ground, and a stone served him for a pillow; and then was he counted worthy to behold the vision – that was above man. And in conformity with reason, the bed which we use must be simple and frugal, and so constructed that, by avoiding the extremes (of too much indulgence and too much endurance), it may be comfortable: if it is warm, to protect us; if cold, to warm us. But let not the couch be elaborate, and let it have smooth feet; for elaborate turnings form occasionally paths for creeping things which twine themselves about the incisions of the work, and do not slip off.

Especially is a moderate softness in the bed suitable for manhood; for sleep ought not to be for the total enervation of the body, but for its relaxation. Therefore I say that it ought not to be allowed to come on us for the sake of indulgence, but in order to rest from action. We must therefore sleep so as to be easily awaked. For it is said, "Let your loins be girt about, and your lamps burning; and you yourselves like to men that watch for their Lord, that when he returns from the marriage, and comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when he comes, shall find watching." For there is no use of a sleeping man, as there is not of a dead man. Therefore we ought often to rise by night and bless God. For blessed are they who watch for him, and so make themselves like the angels, whom we call "watchers." But a man asleep is worth nothing, any more than if he were not alive. But he who has the light watches, "and darkness seizes not on him," nor sleep, since darkness does not. He that is illuminated is therefore awake towards God; and such a person lives. "For what was made in him was life." "Blessed is the man," says Wisdom, "who shall hear me, and the man who shall keep my ways, watching at my doors, daily observing the posts of my entrances." "Let us not then sleep, as do others, but let us watch," says the Scripture, "and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep in the night; and those who be drunken, are drunken in the night," that is, in the darkness of ignorance. "But let us who are of the day be sober. For you are all children of the light, and children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of the darkness." But whoever of us is most solicitous for living the true life, and for entertaining noble sentiments, will keep awake for as long time as possible, reserving to himself only what in this respect is conducive to his own health; and that is not very usual. But devotion to activity begets an everlasting vigil after toils. Let not food weigh us down, but lighten us; that we may be injured as little as possible by sleep, as those that swim with weights hanging to them are weighed down. But, on the other hand, let temperance raise us as from the abyss beneath to the enterprises of wakefulness. For the oppression of sleep is like death, which forces us into insensibility, cutting off the light by the closing of the eyelids. Let not us, then, who are sons of the true light, close the door against this light; but turning in on ourselves, illumining the eyes of the hidden man, and gazing on the truth itself, and receiving its streams, let us clearly and intelligibly reveal such dreams as are true. But the hiccuping of those who are loaded with wine, and the snortings of those who are stuffed with food, and the snoring rolled in the bed-clothes, and the rumblings of pained stomachs, cover over the clear-seeing eye of the soul, by filling the mind with ten thousand fantasies. And the cause is too much food, which drags the rational part of man down to a condition of stupidity. For much sleep brings advantage neither to our bodies nor our souls; nor is it suitable at all to those processes which have truth for their object, although agreeable to nature.

Now, just Lot (for I pass over at present the account of the economy of regeneration) would not have been drawn into that unhallowed intercourse, had he not been intoxicated by his daughters, and overpowered by sleep. If, therefore, we cut off the causes of great tendency to sleep, we shall sleep the more soberly. For those who have the sleepless Word dwelling in them, ought not to sleep the livelong night; but they ought to rise by night, especially when the days are coming to an end, and one devote himself to literature, another begin his art, the women handle the distaff, and all of us should, so to speak, fight against sleep, accustoming ourselves to this gently and gradually, so that through wakefulness we may partake of life for a longer period. We, then, who assign the best part of the night to wakefulness, must by no way of means sleep by day; and fits of uselessness, and napping and stretching one's self, and yawning, are manifestations of frivolous uneasiness of soul. And in addition to all, we must know this, that the need of sleep is not in the soul. For it is ceaselessly active. But the body is relieved by being resigned to rest, the soul while not acting through the body, but exercising intelligence within itself. So also, such dreams as are true, in the view of him who reflects rightly, are the thoughts of a sober soul, undistracted for the time by the affections of the body, and counseling with itself in the best manner. For the soul to cease from activity within itself, were destruction to it. Therefore always contemplating God, and by perpetual converse with him inoculating the body with wakefulness, it raises man to equality with angelic grace, and from the practice of wakefulness it grasps the eternity of life.

Chapter 10.On the procreation of children

Quaenam de procreatione liberorum tractanda sint. (The Edinburgh authors quaintly leave this section in Latin, which runs roughly so:)

The opportune time for sexual intercourse refers only to those who are joined in matrimony. It is proper and correct, for those who are married, but its purpose is begetting by free people, so that good people may be free – just as the farmer's seed must be sown in order for him to produce food; for harvesting a crop is the purpose of farming.

It is better for the farmer to sow in fruitful soil; let him come seeking food at the proper time. I forbid that all should do it all the time; but let him carry out the farmer's duty with care. One is forbidden on his own account; another on account of God. Let a man plant and sow. For God said, "Multiply", by which is meant, "Man becomes God's image, by cooperating in the generating of other people.” Not all soil is fitting to receive seed; and even if she is, not from the same farmer. Nor is it right to sow the seed on a rock, nor to treat it with contempt, since it is the leader and prince of generation; it is a substance that has in itself nature's own purpose.

What things are according to nature, it is very wrong to treat with contempt, sowing (the seed) in unnatural fashion. You see how the all-wise Moses once symbolically rejects such fruitless sowing. "You shall not eat of the rabbit or the hyena" he says. He does not wish people to share in the properties of those animals, nor to taste of lust like them. For these are creatures driven by an unhealthy mania for venereal intercourse. Indeed, they say that the rabbit's genitals swell year by year, from the number of times it is penetrated. And the prohibiting of eating rabbit he was also urging against the love of boys. The hyena often changes from masculine to feminine sex; abstaining from the hyena also means avoiding adultery.

(Tempus autem opportunum conjunctionis solis iis relinquitur considerandum, qui juncti sunt matrimonio; qui autem matrimonio juncti sunt, iis scopus est et institutum, liberorum susceptio finis autem, ut boni sint liberi: quemadmodum agricolae seminis quidem dejectionis causa est, quod nutrimenti habendi curam gerat; agriculturae autem finis est, fructuum perceptio. Multo autem melior est agricola, qui terram colit animatam: ille enim ad tempus alimentum expetens, hic veto ut universum permanent, curam gerens, agricolae officio fungitur: et ille quidem propter se, hic veto propter Deum plantat ac seminat. Dixit enim: "Multiplicemini;" ubi hoc subaudiendum est: "Et ea ratione fit homo Dei imago, quatenus homo co-operatur ad generationem hominis." Non est quaelibet terra apta ad suscipienda semina: quod si etiam sit quaelibet, non tamen eidem agricolae. Neque veto seminandum est supra petram, neque semen est contumlia afficiendum, quod quidem dux est et princeps generationis, estque substantia, quae simul habet insitas naturae rationes.

Quae sunt autem secundum naturam rationes, absque ratione praeternaturalibus mandando meatibus, ignominia afficere, valde est impium. Videte itaque quomodo sapientissimus Moyses infrugiferam aliquando sationem symbolice repulerit: "Non comedes, inquiens, leporem, nec hyaenam." Non vult homines esse qualitatis eorum participes, neque eis aequalem gustare libidinem: haec enim animalia ad explendum coitum venereum feruntur insano quodam furore. Ac leporem quidem dicunt quotannis multiplicare anum, pro numero annorum, quos vixit, habentem foramina: et ea ratione dum leporis esum prohibet, significat se dehortari puerorum amorem. Hyaenam autem vicissim singulis annis masculinum sexum mutare in femininum: significare autem non esse illi ad adulteria prorumpendum, qui ab hyaena abstinet.)

Well, I also agree that the consummately wise Moses confessedly indicates by the prohibition before us, that we must not resemble these animals; but I do not assent to the explanation of what has been symbolically spoken. For nature never can be forced to change. What once has been impressed on it, may not be transformed into the opposite by passion. For passion is not nature, and passion can often deface the form, not to cast it into a new shape. Though many birds are said to change with the seasons, both in colour and voice, as the blackbird (kossufos), which

Becomes yellow from black, and a chatterer from a singing-bird. Similarly also the nightingale changes by turns both its colour and note. But they do not alter their nature itself, so as in the transformation to become female from male. But the new crop of feathers, like new clothes, produces a kind of colouring of the feathers, and a little after it evaporates in the rig-our of winter, as a flower when its colour fades. And in the same way the voice itself, injured by the cold, is enfeebled. For, in consequence of the outer skin being thickened by the surrounding air, the arteries about the neck being compressed and filled, press hard on the breath; which being very much confined, emits a stifled sound. When, again, the breath is assimilated to the surrounding air and relaxed in spring, it is freed from its confined condition, and is carried through the dilated, though till then obstructed arteries, it warbles no longer a dying melody, but now gives forth a shrill note; and the voice flows wide, and spring now becomes the song of the voice of birds.

Nequaquam ergo credendum est, hyaenam unquam mutare naturam: idem enim animal non habet simul ambo pudenda maris et feminae, sicut nonnulli existimarunt, qui prodigiose hermaphroditos finxerunt, et inter marem et feminam, hanc masculo-feminam naturam innovarunt. Valde autem falluntur, ut qui non animadverterint, quam sit filiorum amans omnium mater et genetrix Natura: quoniam enim hoc animal, hyaena inquam, est salacissimum, sub cauda ante excrementi meatum, adnatum est ei quoddam carneum tuberculum, feminino pudendo figura persimile. Nullum autem meatum habet haec figura carnis, qui in utilem aliquam desinat partem, vel in matricem inquam, vel in rectum intestinum: tantum habet magnam concavitatem, quae inanem excipiat libidinem, quando aversi fuerint meatus, qui in concipiendo fetu occupati sunt. Hoc ipsum autem et masculo et feminae hyaenae adnatum est, quod sit insigniter pathica: masculus enim vicissim et agit, et patitur: unde etiam rarissime inveniri potest hyaena femina: non enim frequenter concipit hoc animal, cum in eis largiter redundet ea, quae praeter naturam est, satio. Hac etiam ratione mihi videtur Plato in Phoedro, amorem puerorum repellens, eum appellate bestiam, quod frenum mordentes, qui se voluptatibus dedunt, libidinosi, quadrupedum coeunt more, et filios seminare conantur. Impios "autem tradidit Deus," ut air Apostolus, "in perturbationes ignominiae: nam et feminae eorum mutaverunt naturalem usum in eum, qui est procter naturam: similiter autem et masculi eorum, relicto usu naturali, exarserunt in desiderio sui inter se invicem, masculi in masculos turpitudinem operantes, et mercedem, quam oportuit, erroris sui in se recipientes." At vero ne libidinosissimis quidem animantibus concessit natura in excrementi meatum semen immittere: urina enim in vesicam excernitur, humefactum alimentum in ventrum, lacryma vero in oculum, sanguis in venas, sordes in aures, mucus in hares defertur: fini autem recti intestini, sedes cohaeret, per quam excrementa exponuntur. Sola ergo varia in hyaenis natura, superfluo coitui superfluam hanc partem excogitavit, et ideo est etiam aliquantisper concavum, ut prurientibus partibus inserviat, exinde autem excaecatur concavitas: non fuit enim res fabricata ad generationem. Hinc nobis manifestum atque adeo inconfesso est, vitandos esse cum masculis concubitus, et infrugiferas sationes, et Venerem praeposteram, et quae natura coalescere non possunt, androgynorum conjunctiones, ipsam naturam sequentibus, quae id per partium prohibet constitutionem, ut quae masculum non ad semen suscipiendum, sed ad id effundendum fecerit. Jeremias autem, hoc est, per ipsum loquens Spiritus, quando dicit: "Spelunca hyaenae facta est domus mea," id quod ex mortuis constabat corporibus detestans alimentum, sapienti allegoria reprehendit cultum simulacrorum: vere enim oportet ab idolis esse puram domum Dei viventis. Rursus Moyses lepore quoque vesci prohibet. Omni enim tempore coit lepus, et salit, assidente femina, earn a tergo aggrediens: est enim ex iis, quae retro insiliunt. Concipit autem singulis mensibus, et superfetat; init autem, et parit; postquam autem peperit, statim a quovis initur lepore (neque enim uno contenta est matrimonio) et rursus concipit, adhuc lactans: habet enim matricem, cui sunt duo sinus, et non unus solus matricis vacuus sinus, est ei sufficiens sedes ad receptaculure coitus (quidquid enim est vacuum, desiderat repleri); verum accidit, ut cure uterum gerunt, altera pars matricis desiderio teneatur et libidine furiat; quocirca fiunt eis superfetationes. A vehementibus ergo appetitionibus, mutuisque congressionibus, et cure praegnantibus feminis conjunctionibus, alternisque initibus, puerorumque stupris, adulteriis et libidine abstinere, hujus nos aenigmatis adhortata est prohibitio. Idcirco aperte, et non per renigmata Moyses prohibuit, "Non fornicaberis; non moechaberis; pueris stuprum non inferes," inquiens. Logi itaque praescriptum totis viribus observandum, neque quidquam contra leges ullo modo faciendum est, neque mandata sunt infirmanda. Malae enim. Cupiditati nomen est ubrij, "petulantia;" et equum cupiditatis, "petulantem" vocavit Plato, cure legissit, "Facti estis mihi equi furentes in feminas." Libidines autem supplicium notum nobis facient illi, qui Sodomam accesserunt, angeli. Li eos, qui probro illos afficere voluerunt, una cum ipsa civitate combusserunt, evidenti hoc indicio ignem, qui est fructus libidinis, describentes. Quae enim veteribus acciderunt, sicut ante diximus, ad nos admonendos scripta sunt, ne eisdem teneamur vitiis, et caveamus, ne in poenas similes incidamus. Oportet autem filios existimare, pueros; uxores autem alienas intueri tanquam proprias filias: voluptates quippe continere, ventrique et iis quae sunt infra ventrem, dominari, est maximi imperii. Si enim ne digitum quidem temere movere permittit sapienti ratio, ut confitentur Stoici, quomodo non multo magis iis, qui sapientiam persequuntur, in eam, qua coitur, particulam dominatus est obtinendus? Atque hac quidem de causa videtur esse nominatum pudendum, quod hac corporis parte magis, quam qualibet alia, cum pudore utendum sit; natura enim sicut alimentis, ita etiam legitimis nuptiis, quantum convenit, utile est, et decet, nobis uti permisit: permisit autem appetere liberorum procreationem. Quicumque autem, quod modum excedit, persequuntur, labuntur in eo quod est secundum naturam, per congressus, qui sunt praeter leges, seipsos laedentes. Ante omnia enim recte habet, ut nunquam cure adolescentibus perinde ac cum feminis, Veneris utamur consuetudine. Et ideo "non esse in petris et lapidibus seminandum" dicit, qui a Moyse factus est philosophus, "quoniam nunquam actis radicibus genitalem sit semen naturam suscepturum." Logos itaque per Moysen appertissime praecepit: "Et cure masculo non dormies feminino concubitu: est enim abominatio." Accedit his, quod "ab omni quoque arvo feminino esse abstinendum" praeterquam a proprio, ex divinis Scripturis colligens praeclarus Plato consuluit lege illinc accepta: "Et uxori proximi tui non dabis concubitum seminis, ut polluaris apud ipsam. Irrita autem sunt et adulterina concubinarum semina. Ne semina, ubi non vis tibi nasci quod seminatum est. Neque ullam omnino tange mulierem, praeterquam tuam ipsius uxorem," ex qua sola tibi licet carnis voluptates percipere ad suscipiendam legitimam successionem. Haec enim Logo sola sunt legitima. Eis quidem certe, qui divini muneris in producendo opificio sunt participes, semen non est abjiciendum, neque injuria afficiendum, neque tanquam si cornibus semen mandes seminandum est. Hic ipse ergo Moyses cum ipsis quoque prohibet uxoribus congredi, si forte eas detineant purgationes menstruae. Non enim purgamento corporis genitale semen, et quod mox homo futurum est, polluere est aequum, nec sordido materiae profluvio, et, quae expurgantur, inquinamentis inundare ac obruere; semen autem generationis degenerat, ineptumque redditur, si matricis sulcis privetur. Neque vero ullum unquam induxit veterum Hebraeorum coeuntem cum sua uxore praegnante. Sola enim voluptas, si quis ea etiam utatur in conjugio, est praeter leges, et injusta, eta ratione aliena. Rursus autem Moyses abducit viros a praegnantibus, quousque pepererint. Revera enim matrix sub vesica quidem collocata, super intestinum autem, quod rectum appellatur, posita, extendit collum inter humeros in vesica; et os colli, in quod venit semen, impletum occluditur, illa autem rursus inanis redditur, cum partu purgata fuerit: fructu autem deposito, deinde semen suscipit. Neque vero nobis turpe est ad auditorum utilitatem nominare partes, in quibus fit fetus conceptio, quae quidem Deum fabricari non puduit. Matrix itaque sitiens filiorum procreationem, semen suscipit, probrosumque et vituperandum negat coitum, post sationem ore clauso omnino jam libidinem excludens. Ejus autem appetitiones, quae prius in amicis versabantur complexibus, intro conversae, in procreatione sobolis occupatae, operantur una cum Opifice. Nefas est ergo operantem jam naturam adhuc molestia afficere, superflue ad petulantem prorumpendo libidinem. Petulantia autem, quae multa quidem habet nomina, et multas species, cure ad hanc veneream intemperantiam deflexerit, lagneia, id est "lascivia," dicitur; quo nomine significatur libidinosa, publica, et incesta in coitum propensio: quae cum aucta fuerit, magna simul morborum convenit multitudo, obsoniorum desiderium, vinolentia et amor in mulieres; luxus quoque, et simul universarum voluptatum studium; in quae omnia tyrannidem obtinet cupidity. His autem cognatae innumerabiles augentur affectiones, ex quibus mores intemperantes ad summum provehuntur. Dicit autem Scriptura: "Parantur intemperantibus flagella, et supplicia humeris insipientium:" vires intemperantiae, ejusque constantem tolerantiam, vocans "humeros insipientium." Quocirca, "Amove a servis tuis spes inanes, et indecoras," inquit, "cupiditates averte a me. Ventris appetitio et coitus ne me apprehendant." Longe ergo sunt arcenda multifaria insidiatorum maleficia; non ad solam enim Cratetis Peram, sed etiam ad nostram civitatem non navigat stultus parasitus, nec scortator libidinosus, qui posteriori delectatur parte: non dolosa meretrix, nec ulla ejusmodi alia voluptatis bellua. Multa ergo nobis per totam vitam seminetur, quae bona sit et honesta, occupatio. In summa ergo, vel jungi matrimonio, vel omnino a matrimonio purum esse oportet; in quaestione enim id versatur, et hoc nobis declaratum est in libro De continentia. Quod si hoc ipsum, an ducenda sit uxor. Veniat in considerationem: quomodo libere permittetur, quemadmodum nutrimento, ita etiam coitu semper uti, tanquam re necessaria? Ex eo ergo videri possunt nervi tanquam stamina distrahi, et in vehementi congressus intensione disrumpi. Jam vero offundit etiam caliginem sensibus, et vires enervat. Patet hoc et in animantibus rationis expertibus, et in iis, quae in exercitatione versantur, corporibus; quorum hi quidem, qui abstinent, in certaminibus superant adversarios; illa vero a coitu abducta circumaguntur, et tantum non trahuntur, omnibus viribus et omni impetu tandem quasi enervata. "Parvam epilepsiam" dicebat "coitum" sophista Abderites morbum immedicabilem existimans. Annon enim consequuntur resolutiones, quae exinanitionis ejusque, quod abscedit, magnitudini ascribuntur? "homo enim ex homine nascitur et evellitur." Vide damni magnitudinem: totus homo per exinanitionem coitus abstrahitur. Dicit enim: "Hoc nunc os ex ossibus meis, et caro ex came mea." Homo ergo tantum exinanitur semine, quantus videtur corpore; est enim generationis initium id, quod recedit: quin etiam conturbat ebullitio materiae et compagem corporis labefactat et commovet. Lepide ergo ille, qui interroganti, "Quomodo adhuc se haberet ad res venereas," respondit: "Bona verba, quaeso: ego vero lubentissime isthinc, tanquam ab agresti et insano domino, profugi." Verum concedatur quidem et admittatur matrimonium: vult enim Dominus humanum genus repleri; seal non dicit, Estote libidinosi: nec vos, tanquam ad coitum natos, voluit esse deditos voluptati. Pudore autem nos afficiat Paedagogus, clamans per Ezechielem: "Circumcidamini fornicationem vestram." Aliquod tempus ad seminandum opportunum habent quoque rationis expertia animantia. Aliter autem coire, quam ad liberorum procreationem, est facere injuriam naturae; qua quidem oportet magistra, quas prudenter introducit temporis commoditates, diligenter observare, senectutem, inquam, et puerilem aetatem. His enim nondum concessit, illos autem non vult amplius uxores ducere. Seal non vult homines semper dare operam matrimonio. Matrimonium autem est filiorum procreationis appetitio, non inordinata seminis excretio, quae est et praeter leges eta ratione aliena. Secundum naturam autem nobis vita universa processerit, si et ab initio cupiditates contineamus, et hominum genus, quod ex divina providentia nascitur, improbis et malitiosis non tollamus artibus: eae enim, ut fornicatiohem celent, exitialia medicamenta adhibentes, quae prorsus in perniciem ducunt, simul cum fetu omnem humanitatem perdunt. Caeterum, quibus uxores ducere concessum est, iis Paedagogo opus fuerit, ut non interdiu mystica naturae celebrentur orgia, nec ut aliquis ex ecclesia, verbi gratia, aut ex foro mane rediens, galli more coeat, quando orationis, et lectionis, et eorum quae interdiu facere convenit, operum tempus est. Vespere autem oportet post convivium quiescere, et post gratiarum actionem, quae fit Deo pro bonis quae percepimus. Non semper autem concedit tempus natura, ut peragatur congressus matrimonii; est enim eo desiderabilior conjunctio, quo diuturnior. Neque vero noctu, tanquam in tenebris, immodeste sese ac intemperanter gerere oportet, sed verecundia, ut quae sit lux rationis, in animo est includenda. Nihil enim a Penelope telam texente differemus, si interdiu quidem texamus dogmata temperantiae; noctu autem ea resolvamus, cum in cubile venerimus. Si enim honestatem exercere oportet, multo magis tuae uxori honestas est ostendenda, inhonestas vitando conjunctiones: et quod caste cum proximis verseris, fide dignum e domo adsit testimonium. Non enim potest aliquid honestum ab ea existimari, apud quam honestas in acribus illis non probatur certo quasi testimonio voluptatibus. Benevolentia autem quae praeceps fertur ad congressionem, exiguo tempore floret, et cum corpore consenescit; nonnunquam autem etiam praesenescit, flaccescente jam libidine, quando matrimonialem temperantiam meretriciae vitiaverint libidines. Amantium enim corda sunt volucria, amorisque irritamenta exstinguuntur saepe poenitentia; amorque saepe vertitur in odium, quando reprehensionera senserit satietas. Impudicorum vero verborum, et turpium figurarum, meretriciorumque osculum, et hujusmodi lasciviarum nomina ne sunt quidem memoranda, beatum sequentibus Apostolum, qui aperte dicit: "Fornicatio autem et omnis immunditia, vel plura habendi cupiditas, ne nominetur quidem in vobis, sicut decet saneros." Recte ergo videtur dixisse quispiam: "Nulli quidem profuit coitus, recte autem cum eo agitur, quem non laeserit." Nam et qui legitimus, est periculosus, nisi quatenus in liberorum procreatione versatur. De eo autem, qui est praeter leges, dicit Scriptura: "Mulier meretrix apro similis reputabitur. Quae autem viro subjecta est, turris est mortis iis, qui ea utuntur." Capro, vel apro, meretricis comparavit affectionem. "Mortem" autem dixit "quaesitam," adulterium, quod committitur in meretrice, quae custoditur. "Domum" autem, et "urbem," in qua suam exercent intemperantiam. Quin etiam quae est apud vos poetica, quodammodo ea exprobrans, scribit: -

Tecum et adulterium est, tecum coitusque nefandus, Foedus, femineusque, urbs pessima, plane impura. Econtra autem pudicos admiratur: Quos desiderium tenuit nec turpe cubilis Alterius, nec tetra invisaque stupra rulerunt Ulla unquam maribus.

For many think such things to be pleasures only which are against nature, such as these sins of theirs. And those who are better than they, know them to be sins, but are overcome by pleasures, and darkness is the veil of their vicious practices. For he violates his marriage adulterously who uses it in a meretricious way, and hears not the voice of the Instructor, crying, "The man who ascends his bed, who says in his soul, who sees me? darkness is around me, and the walls are my covering, and no one sees my sins. Why do I fear for fear that the Highest will remember?" Most wretched is such a man, dreading men's eyes alone, and thinking that he will escape the observation of God. "For he knows not," says the Scripture, "that brighter ten thousand times than the sun are the eyes of the Most High, which look on all the ways of men, and cast their glance into hidden parts." So again the Instructor threatens them, speaking by Isaiah: "Woe be to those who take counsel in secret, and say, who sees us?" For one may escape the light of sense, but that of the mind it is impossible to escape. For how, says Heraclitus, can one escape the notice of that which never sets? Let us by no means, then, veil our selves with the darkness; for the light dwells in us. "For the darkness," it is said, "comprehends it not." And the very night itself is illuminated by temperate reason. The thoughts of good men Scripture has named "sleepless lamps;" although for one to attempt even to practice concealment, with reference to what he does, is confessedly to sin. And everyone who sins, directly wrongs not so much his neighbour if he commits adultery, as himself, because he has committed adultery, besides making himself worse and less thought of. For he who sins, in the degree in which he sins, becomes worse and is of less estimation than before; and he who has been overcome by base pleasures, has now licentiousness wholly attached to him. Therefore he who commits fornication is wholly dead to God, and is abandoned by the Word as a dead body by the spirit. For what is holy, as is right, abhors to be polluted. But it is always lawful for the pure to touch the pure. Do not, I pray, put off modesty at the same time that you put off your clothes; because it is never right for the just man to rid himself of continence. For, see, this mortal shall put on immortality; when the insatiableness of desire, which rushes into licentiousness, being trained to self-restraint, and made free from the love of corruption, shall consign the man to everlasting chastity. "For in this world they marry and are given in marriage." But after doing with the works of the flesh, and having been clothed with immortality, the flesh itself being pure, we pursue after that which is according to the measure of the angels.

So in the Philebus, Plato, who had been the disciple of the barbarian philosophy, mystically called those Atheists who destroy and pollute, as far as in them lies, the Deity dwelling in them – that is, the Logos – by association with their vices. Those, therefore, who are consecrated to God must never live mortally. "Nor," as Paul says, "is it fitting to make the members of Christ the members of a harlot; nor must the temple of God be made the temple of base affections." Remember the four and twenty thousand that were rejected for fornication. But the experiences of those who have committed fornication, as I have already said, are types which correct our lusts. Moreover, the Paedagogue warns us most distinctly: "Go not after your lusts, and abstain from your appetites; for wine and women will remove the wise; and he that cleaves to harlots will become more daring. Corruption and the worm shall inherit him, and he shall be held up as public example to greater shame." And again – for he wearies not of doing good "He who averts his eyes from pleasure crowns his life."

Non est ergo justum vinci a rebus venereis, nec libidinibus stolide inhiare, nec a ratione alienis appetitionibus moveri, nec desiderare pollui. Ei autem soli, qui uxorem duxit, ut qui tune sit agricola, serere permissum est; quando tempus sementem admittit. Adversus aliam autem intemperantiam, optimum quidem est medicamentum, ratio. Fert etiam auxilium penuria satietatis, per quam accensae libidines prosiliunt ad voluptates.

Chapter 11.We should no more require costly clothing than variety of food.

The Lord himself, therefore, dividing his precepts into what relates to the body, the soul, and thirdly, external things, counsels us to provide external things on account of the body; and manages the body by the soul (psyche), and disciplines the soul, saying, "Do not worry about your life what you are to eat; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on; for the life is more than meat, and the body more than clothing." And he adds a plain example of instruction: "Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them." "Are you not better than the fowls?" So far as to food. Similarly he enjoins with respect to clothing, which belongs to the third division, that of things external, saying, "Consider the lilies, how they spin not, nor weave. But I say to you, that not even Solomon was arrayed as one of these." And Solomon the king plumed himself exceedingly on his riches.

What, I ask, more graceful, more gay-coloured, than flowers? What, I say, more delightful than lilies or roses? "And if God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!" Here the particle what (ti) banishes variety in food. For this is shown from the Scripture, "Take no thought what things you shall eat, or what things you shall drink." For to take thought of these things argues greed and luxury. Now eating, considered merely by itself, is the sign of necessity; repletion, as we have said, of want. Whatever is beyond that, is the sign of superfluity. And what is superfluous, scripture declares to be of the devil. The subjoined expression makes the meaning plain. For after saying, "Do not worry about what you are to eat, or what you shall drink," he added, "Neither be of doubtful (or lofty) mind." Now pride and luxury make men waverers (or raise them aloft) from the truth; and the voluptuousness, which indulges in superfluities, leads away from the truth. Therefore he says very beautifully, "And all these things do the nations of the world seek after." The nations are the dissolute and the foolish. And what are these things which he specifies? Luxury, voluptuousness, rich cooking, dainty feeding, gluttony. These are the "What?" And of bare sustenance, dry and moist, as being necessaries he says, "Your Father knows that you need these." And if, in a word, we are naturally given to seeking, let us not destroy the faculty of seeking by directing it to luxury, but let us excite it to the discovery of truth. For he says, "Seek you the kingdom of God, and the materials of sustenance shall be added to you."

If, then, he takes away anxious care for clothes and food, and superfluities in general, as unnecessary; what are we to imagine ought to be said of love of ornament, and dyeing of wool, and variety of colours, and fastidiousness about gems, and exquisite working of gold, and still more, of artificial hair and wreathed curls; and furthermore, of staining the eyes, and plucking out hairs, and painting with rouge and white lead, and dyeing of the hair, and the wicked arts that are employed in such deceptions? May we not very well suspect, that what was quoted a little above respecting the grass, has been said of those unornamental lovers of ornaments? For the field is the world, and we who are bedewed by the grace of God are the grass; and though cut down, we spring up again, as will be shown at greater length in the book On the Resurrection. But hay figuratively designates the vulgar rabble, attached to ephemeral pleasure, flourishing for a little, loving ornament, loving praise, and being everything but truth-loving, good for nothing but to be burned with fire. "There was a certain man," said the Lord, narrating, "very rich, who was clothed in purple and scarlet, enjoying himself splendidly every day." This was the hay. "And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at the rich man's gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table." This is the grass. Well, the rich man was punished in Hades, being made par-taker of the fire; while the other flourished again in the Father's bosom. I admire that ancient city of the Lacedaemonians which permitted harlots alone to wear flowered clothes, and ornaments of gold, interdicting respectable women from love of ornament, and allowing courtesans alone to deck themselves. On the other hand, the archons of the Athenians, who affected a polished mode of life, forgetting their manhood, wore tunics reaching to the feet, and had on the crobulus – a kind of knot of the hair – adorned with a fastening of gold grasshoppers, to show their origin from the soil, indeed, in the ostentation of licentiousness. Now rivalry of these archons extended also to the other Ionians, whom Homer, to show their effeminancy, calls "Long-robed." Those, therefore, who are devoted to the image of the beautiful, that is, love of finery, not the beautiful itself, and who under a fair name again practice idolatry, are to be banished far from the truth, as those who by opinion, not knowledge, dream of the nature of the beautiful; and so life here is to them only a deep sleep of ignorance; from which it becomes us to rouse ourselves and haste to that which is truly beautiful and comely, and desire to grasp this alone, leaving the ornaments of earth to the world, and bidding them farewell before we fall quite asleep. I say, then, that man requires clothes for nothing else than the covering of the body, for defence against excess of cold and intensity of heat, for fear that the inclemency of the air injure us. And if this is the object of clothing, see that one kind be not assigned to men and another to women. For it is common to both to be covered, as it is to eat and drink. The necessity, then, being common, we judge that the provision ought to be similar. For as it is common to both to require things to cover them, so also their coverings ought to be similar; although such a covering ought to be assumed as is required for covering the eyes of women. For if the female sex, on account of their weakness, desire more, we ought to blame the habit of that evil training, by which often men reared up in bad habits become more effeminate than women. But this must not be yielded to. And if some accommodation is to be made, they may be permitted to use softer clothes, provided they put out of the way fabrics foolishly thin, and of curious texture in weaving; bidding farewell to embroidery of gold and Indian silks and elaborate Bombyces (silks), which is at first a worm, then from it is produced a hairy caterpillar; after which the creature suffers a new transformation into a third form which they call lava, from which a long filament is produced, as the spider's thread from the spider. For these superfluous and diaphanous materials are the proof of a weak mind, covering as they do the shame of the body with a slender veil. For luxurious clothing, which cannot conceal the shape of the body, is no more a covering. For such clothing, falling close to the body, takes its form more easily, and adhering so to speak to the flesh, receives its shape, and marks out the woman's figure, so that the whole make of the body is visible to spectators, though not seeing the body itself.

Dyeing of clothes is also to be rejected. For it is remote both from necessity and truth, in addition to the fact that reproach in manners spring from it. For the use of colours is not beneficial, for they are of no service against cold; nor has it anything for covering more than other clothing, except the opprobrium alone. And the agreeableness of the colour afflicts greedy eyes, inflaming them to senseless blindness. But for those who are white and unstained within, it is most suitable to use white and simple garments. Clearly and plainly, therefore, Daniel the prophet says, "Thrones were set, and on them sat one like the Ancient of days, and his vesture was white as snow." The Apocalypse says also that the Lord himself appeared wearing such a robe. It says also, "I saw the souls of those that had witnessed, beneath the altar, and there was given to each a white robe." And if it were necessary to seek for any other colour, the natural colour of truth should suffice. But garments which are like flowers are to be abandoned to Bacchic fooleries, and to those of the rites of initiation, along with purple and silver plate, as the comic poet says: "Useful for tragedians, not far life."

And our life ought to be anything rather than a pageant. Therefore the dye of Sardis, and another of olive, and another green, a rose-coloured, and scarlet, and ten thousand other dyes, have been invented with much trouble for mischievous voluptuousness. Such clothing is for looking at, not for covering. Garments, too, variegated with gold, and those that are purple, and that piece of luxury which has its name from beasts (figured on it), and that saffron-coloured ointment-dipped robe, and those costly and many-coloured garments of flaring membranes, we are to bid farewell to, with the art itself. "For what prudent thing can these women have done," says the comedy, "who sit covered with flowers, wearing a saffron-coloured dress, painted?"

The Instructor expressly admonishes, "Boast not of the clothing of your garment, and be not elated on account of any glory, as it is unlawful." Accordingly, deriding those who are clothed in luxurious garments, he says in the Gospel: "See, they who live in gorgeous apparel and luxury are in earthly palaces." He says in perishable palaces, where are love of display, love of popularity, and flattery and deceit. But those that wait at the court of heaven around the King of all, are sanctified in the immortal vesture of the Spirit, that is, the flesh, and so put on incorruptibility. As therefore she who is unmarried devotes herself to God alone, and her care is not divided, but the chaste married woman divides her life between God and her husband, while she who is otherwise disposed is devoted entirely to marriage, that is, to passion: in the same way I think the chaste wife, when she devotes herself to her husband, sincerely serves God; but when she becomes fond of finery, she falls away from God and from chaste wedlock, exchanging her husband for the world, after the fashion of that Argive courtesan, I mean Eriphyle, -

"Who received gold prized above her dear husband." Therefore I admire the Ceian sophist, who delineated like and suitable images of Virtue and Vice, representing the former of these, that is Virtue, standing simply, white-robed and pure, adorned with modesty alone (for such ought to be the true wife, dowered with modesty). But the other, that is Vice, on the contrary, he introduces dressed in superfluous attire, brightened up with colour not her own; and her gait and mien are depicted as studiously framed to give pleasure, forming a sketch of wanton women. But he who follows the Word will not addict himself to any base pleasure; therefore also what is useful in the article of dress is to be preferred. And if the Word, speaking of the Lord by David, sings, "The daughters of kings made you glad by honour; the queen stood at your right hand, clad in cloth of gold, girt with golden fringes," it is not luxurious clothing that he indicates; but he shows the immortal adornment, woven of faith, of those that have found mercy, that is, the Church; in which the guileless Jesus shines conspicuous as gold, and the elect are the golden tassels. And if such must be woven for the women, let us weave apparel pleasant and soft to the touch, not flowered, like pictures, to delight the eye. For the picture fades in course of time, and the washing and steeping in the medicated juices of the dye wear away the wool, and render the fabrics of the garments weak; and this is not favourable to economy. It is the height of foolish ostentation to be in a flutter about peploi, and xystides, and ephaptides, and "cloaks," and tunics, and "what covers shame," says Homer. For, in truth, I am ashamed when I see so much wealth lavished on the covering of the nakedness. For primeval man in Paradise provided a covering for his shame of branches and leaves; and now, since sheep have been created for us, let us not be as silly as sheep, but trained by the Word, let us condemn sumptuousness of clothing, saying, "You are sheep's wool." Though Miletus boast, and Italy be praised, and the wool, about which many rave, be protected beneath skins, yet are we not to set our hearts on it.

The blessed John, despising the locks of sheep as savouring of luxury, chose "camel's hair," and was clad in it, making himself an example of frugality and simplicity of life. For he also "ate locusts and wild honey," sweet and spiritual fare; preparing, as he was, the lowly and chaste ways of the Lord. For how possibly could he have worn a purple robe, who turned away from the pomp of cities, and retired to the solitude of the desert, to live in calmness with God, far from all frivolous pursuits – from all false show of good – from all meanness? Elias used a sheepskin mantle, and fastened the sheepskin with a girdle made of hair. And Isaiah, another prophet, was naked and barefooted, and often was clad in sackcloth, the garb of humility. And if you call Jeremiah, he had only "a linen girdle."

For as well-nurtured bodies, when stripped, show their vigour more manifestly, so also beauty of character shows its magnanimity, when not involved in ostentatious fooleries. But to drag one's clothes, letting them down to the soles of his feet, is a piece of consummate foppery, impeding activity in walking, the garment sweeping the surface dirt of the ground like a broom; since even those emasculated creatures the dancers, who transfer their dumb shameless profligacy to the stage, do not despise the dress which flows away to such indignity; whose curious vestments, and appendages of fringes, and elaborate motions of figures, show the trailing of sordid effeminacy.

If one should adduce the garment of the Lord reaching down to the foot, that many-flowered coat shows the flowers of wisdom, the varied and unfading Scriptures, the oracles of the Lord, resplendent with the rays of truth. In such another robe the Spirit arrayed the Lord through David, when he sang so: "You were clothed with confession and comeliness, putting on light as a garment."

As, then, in the fashioning of our clothes, we must keep clear of all strangeness, so in the use of them we must beware of extravagance. For neither is it proper for the clothes to be above the knee, as they say was the case with the Lacedaemonian virgins; nor is it becoming for any part of a woman to be exposed. Though you may with great propriety use the language addressed to him who said, "Your arm is beautiful; yes, but it is not for the public gaze. Your thighs are beautiful; but, was the reply, for my husband alone. And your face is comely. Yes; but only for him who has married me." But I do not wish chaste women to afford cause for such praises to those who, by praises, hunt after grounds of censure; and not only because it is prohibited to expose the ankle, but because it has also been enjoined that the head should be veiled and the face covered; for it is a wicked thing for beauty to be a snare to men. Nor is it proper for a woman to wish to make herself conspicuous, by using a purple veil. Would it were possible to abolish purple in dress, so as not to turn the eyes of spectators on the face of those that wear it! But the women, in the manufacture of all the rest of their dress, have made everything of purple, so inflaming the lusts. And, in truth, those women who are crazy about these stupid and luxurious purples, "purple (dark) death has seized," according to the poetic saying. On account of this purple, then, Tyre and Sidon, and the vicinity of the Lacedaemonian Sea, are very much desired; and their dyers and purple-fishers, and the purple fishes themselves, because their blood produces purple, are held in high esteem. But crafty women and effeminate men, who blend these deceptive dyes with dainty fabrics, carry their insane desires beyond all bounds, and export their fine linens no longer from Egypt, but some other kinds from the land of the Hebrews and the Cilicians. I say nothing of the linens made of Amorgos and Byssus. Luxury has outstripped nomenclature.

The covering ought, in my judgment, to show that which is covered to be better than itself, as the image is superior to the temple, the soul to the body, and the body to the clothes. But now, quite the contrary, the body of these ladies, if sold, would never fetch a thousand Attic drachms. Buying, as they do, a single dress at the price of ten thousand talents, they prove themselves to be of less use and less value than cloth. Why in the world do you seek after what is rare and costly, in preference to what is at hand and cheap? It is because you do not know what is really beautiful, what is really good, and seek with eagerness shows instead of realities from fools who, like people out of their wits, imagine black to be white.

Chapter 12.Women's extravagant love for multiple pairs of shoes

Women fond of display act in the same manner with regard to shoes, showing also in this matter great luxuriousness. Base, in truth, are those sandals on which golden ornaments are fastened; but they are thought worth having nails driven into the soles in winding rows. Many, too, carve on them amorous embraces, as if they would by their walk communicate to the earth harmonious movement, and impress on it the wantonness of their spirit. Farewell, therefore, must be said to gold-plated and jewelled mischievous devices of sandals, and Attic and Sicyonian half-boots, and Persian and Tyrrhenian buskins; and setting before us the right aim, as is the habit with our truth, we are bound to select what is in accordance with nature.

For the use of shoes is partly for covering, partly for defence in case of stumbling against objects, and for saving the sole of the foot from the roughness of hilly paths.

Women, are to be allowed a white shoe, except when on a journey, and then a greased shoe must be used. When on a journey, they require nailed shoes. Further, they ought for the most part to wear shoes; for it is not suitable for the foot to be shown naked: besides, woman is a tender thing, easily hurt. But for a man bare feet are quite in keeping, except when he is on military service. "For being shod is near neighbour to being bound." To go with bare feet is most suitable for exercise, and best adapted for health and ease, unless where necessity prevents. But if we are not on a journey, and cannot endure bare feet, we may use slippers or white shoes; dusty-foots the Attics called them, on account of their bringing the feet near the dust, as I think. As a witness for simplicity in shoes let John suffice, who avowed that "he was not worthy to unloose the latchet of the Lord's shoes." For he who exhibited to the Hebrews the type of the true philosophy wore no elaborate shoes. What else this may imply, will be shown elsewhere.

Chapter 13.Highly-priced pearls have invaded to an extravagant extent.

It is childish to admire excessively dark or green stones, and things cast out by the sea on foreign shores, particles of the earth. For to rush after stones that are pellucid and of peculiar colours, and stained glass, is only characteristic of silly people, who are attracted by things that have a striking show. So children, on seeing the fire, rush to it, attracted by its brightness; not understanding through senselessness the danger of touching it. Such is the case with the stones which silly women wear fastened to chains and set in necklaces, amethysts, ceraunites, jaspers, topaz, and the Milesian "Emerald, most precious ware."

And the highly prized pearl has invaded the woman's apartments to an extravagant extent. This is produced in a kind of oyster like mussels, and is about the bigness of a fish's eye of large size. And the wretched creatures are not ashamed at having bestowed the greatest pains about this little oyster, when they might adorn themselves with the sacred jewel, the Word of God, whom the Scripture has somewhere called a pearl, the pure and pellucid Jesus, the eye that watches in the flesh, – the transparent Word, by whom the flesh, regenerated by water, becomes precious. For that oyster that is in the water covers the flesh all round, and out of it is produced the pearl.

We have heard, too, that the Jerusalem above is walled with sacred stones; and we allow that the twelve gates of the celestial city, by being made like precious stones, indicate the transcendent grace of the apostolic voice. For the colours are laid on in precious stones, and these colours are precious; while the other parts remain of earthy material. With these symbolically, as is proper, the city of the saints, which is spiritually built, is walled. By that brilliancy of stones, therefore, is meant the inimitable brilliancy of the spirit, the immortality and sanctity of being. But these women, who comprehend not the symbolism of Scripture, gape all they can for jewels, adducing the astounding apology, "Why may I not use what God has exhibited?" and, "I have it by me, why may I not enjoy it?" and., "For whom were these things made, then, if not for us?" Such are the utterances of those who are totally ignorant of the will of God. For first necessaries, such as water and air, he supplies free to all; and what is not necessary he has hid in the earth and water. Therefore ants dig, and griffins guard gold, and the sea hides the pearl-stone. But you busy yourselves about what you need not. Behold, the whole heaven is lighted up, and you seek not God; but gold which is hidden, and jewels, are dug up by those among us who are condemned to death.

But you also oppose Scripture, seeing it expressly cries "Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added to you." But if all things have been conferred on you, and all things allowed you, and "if all things are lawful, yet all things are not expedient," says the apostle. God brought our race into communion by first imparting what was his own, when he gave his own Word, common to all, and made all things for all. All things therefore are common, and not for the rich to appropriate an undue share. That expression, therefore, "I possess, and possess in abundance: why then should I not enjoy?" is suitable neither to the man, nor to society. But more worthy of love is that: "I have: why should I not give to those who need?" For such a person – one who fulfills the command, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself" – is perfect. For this is the true luxury – the treasured wealth. But that which is squandered on foolish lusts is to be reckoned waste, not expenditure. For God has given to us, I know well, the liberty of use, but only so far as necessary; and he has determined that the use should be common. And it is monstrous for one to live in luxury, while many are in want. How much more glorious is it to do good to many, than to live sumptuously! How much wiser to spend money on human being, than on jewels and gold! How much more useful to acquire decorous friends, than lifeless ornaments! Whom have lands ever benefited so much as conferring favours has? It remains for us, therefore, to do away with this allegation: who, then, will have the more sumptuous things, if all select the simpler? Men, I would say, if they make use of them impartially and indifferently. But if it be impossible for all to exercise self-restraint, yet, with a view to the use of what is necessary, we must seek after what can be most readily procured, bidding a long farewell to these superfluities. In fine, they must accordingly utterly cast off ornaments as girls' gewgaws, rejecting adornment itself entirely. For they ought to be adorned within, and show the inner woman beautiful. For in the soul alone are beauty and deformity shown. Therefore also only the virtuous man is really beautiful and good. And it is laid down as a dogma, that only the beautiful is good. And excellence alone appears through the beautiful body, and blossoms out in the flesh, exhibiting the amiable comeliness of self-control, whenever the character like a beam of light gleams in the form. For the beauty of each plant and animal consists in its individual excellence. And the excellence of man is righteousness, and temperance, and manliness, and godliness. The beautiful man is, then, he who is just, temperate, and in a word, good, not he who is rich. But now even the soldiers wish to be decked with gold, not having read that poetical saying: "With childish folly to the war he came, Laden with store of gold."

But the love of ornament, which is far from caring for virtue, but claims the body for itself, when the love of the beautiful has changed to empty show, is to be utterly expelled. For applying things unsuitable to the body, as if they were suitable, begets a practice of lying and a habit of falsehood; and shows not what is decorous, simple, and truly childlike, but what is pompous, luxurious, and effeminate. But these women obscure true beauty, shading it with gold. And they do not know how great is their transgression, in fastening around themselves ten thousand rich chains; as they say that among the barbarians malefactors are bound with gold. The women seem to me to emulate these rich prisoners. For is not the golden necklace a collar, and do not the necklets which they call catheters occupy the place of chains? mid indeed among the Attics they are called by this very name. The ungraceful things round the feet of women, Philemon in the Synephebus called ankle-fetters: "Conspicuous garments, and a kind of a golden fetter." What else, then, is this coveted adorning of yourselves, O ladies, but the exhibiting of yourselves fettered? For if the material does away with the reproach, the endurance (of your fetters) is a thing indifferent. To me, then, those who voluntarily put themselves into bonds seem to glory in rich calamities.

Perhaps also it is such chains that the poetic fable says were thrown around Aphrodite when committing adultery, referring to ornaments as nothing but the badge of adultery. For Homer called those, too, golden chains. But new women are not ashamed to wear the most manifest badges of the evil one. For as the serpent deceived Eve, so also has ornament of gold maddened other women to vicious practices, using as a bait the form of the serpent, and by fashioning lampreys and serpents for decoration. Accordingly the comic poet Nicostratus says, "Chains, collars; rings, bracelets, serpents, anklets, earrings."

In terms of strongest censure, therefore, Aristophanes in the Thesmophoriazousae exhibits the whole array of female ornament in a catalogue: "Snoods, fillets, natron, and steel; Pumice-stone, band, back-band, Back-veil, paint, necklaces, Paints for the eyes, soft garment, hair-net, Girdle, shawl, finBut I have not yet mentioned the principal of them. Then what? "Ear-pendants, jewelry, ear-rings; Mallow-coloured cluster-shaped anklets; Buckles, clasps, necklets, Fetters, seals, chains, rings, powders, Bosses, bands, olisbi, sardian stones, Fans, helicters."

I am weary and vexed at enumerating the multitude of ornaments; and I am compelled to wonder how those who bear such a burden are not worried to death. O foolish trouble! O silly craze for display! They squander meretriciously wealth on what is disgraceful; and in their love for ostentation disfigure God's gifts, emulating the art of the evil one. The rich man hoarding up in his barns, and saying to himself, "You have much goods laid up for many years; eat, drink, be merry," the Lord in the Gospel plainly called "fool." "For this night they shall take of you your soul; whose then will those things which you have prepared be?" Apelles, the painter, seeing one of his pupils painting a figure loaded with gold colour to represent Helen, said to him, "Boy, being incapable of painting her beautiful, you have made her rich."

Such Helens are the ladies of the present day, not truly beautiful, but richly got up. To these the Spirit prophesies by Zephaniah: "And their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's anger."

But for those women who have been trained under Christ, it is suitable to adorn themselves not with gold, but with the Word, through whom alone the gold comes to light.

Happy, then, would have been the ancient Hebrews, had they cast away their women's ornaments, or only melted them; but having cast their gold into the form of an ox, and paid it idolatrous worship, they consequently reap no advantage either from their art or their attempt. But they taught our women most expressively to keep clear of ornaments. The lust which commits fornication with gold becomes an idol, and is tested by fire; for which alone luxury is reserved, as being an idol, not a reality. Hence the Word, rebuking the Hebrews by the prophet, says, "They made to Baal things of silver and gold," that is, ornaments. And most distinctly threatening, he says, "I will punish her for the days of Baalim, in which they offered sacrifice for her, and she put on her earrings and her necklaces." And he subjoined the cause of the adornment, when he said, "And she went after her lovers, but forgot me, says the Lord. Resigning, therefore, these baubles to the wicked master of cunning himself, let us not take part in this meretricious adornment, nor commit idolatry through a specious pretext. Most admirably, therefore, the blessed Peter says, "In the same way also, that women adorn themselves not with braids, or gold, or costly array, but (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works." For it is with reason that he bids decking of themselves to be kept far from them. For, granting that they are beautiful, nature suffices. Let not are contend against nature; that is, let not falsehood strive with truth. And if they are by nature ugly, they are convicted, by the things they apply to themselves, of what they do not possess (i.e., of the want of beauty). It is suitable, therefore, for women who serve Christ to adopt simplicity. For in reality simplicity provides for sanctity, by reducing redundancies to equality, and by furnishing from whatever is at hand the enjoyment sought from superfluities. For simplicity, as the name shows, is not conspicuous, is not inflated or puffed up in anything, but is altogether even, and gentle, and equal, and free of excess, and so is sufficient. And sufficiency is a condition which reaches its proper end without excess. Or defect. The mother of these is Justice, and their nurse "Independence;" and this is a condition which is satisfied with what is necessary, and by itself furnishes what contributes to the blessed life.

Let there, then, be in the fruits of your hands, sacred order, generous communication, and acts of economy. "For he that gives to the poor, lends to God." "And the hands of the manly shall be enriched." Manly he calls those who despise wealth, and are free in bestowing it. And on your feet let active readiness to well-doing appear, and a journeying to righteousness. Modesty and chastity are collars and necklaces; such are the chains which God forges. "Happy is the man who has found wisdom, and the mortal who knows understanding," says the Spirit by Solomon: "for it is better to buy her than treasures of gold and silver; and she is more valuable than precious stones." For she is the true decoration. And let not their ears be pierced, contrary to nature, in order to attach to them ear-rings and ear-drops. For it is not right to force nature against her wishes. Nor could there be any better ornament for the ears than true instruction, which finds its way naturally into the passages of hearing. And eyes anointed by the Word, and ears pierced for perception, make a man a hearer and contemplator of divine and sacred things, the Word truly exhibiting the true beauty "which eye has not seen nor ear heard before."

Book 3. Practical aspects of Christian moral behaviour

Chapter 1.On true Beauty: chaste control of the appetites

It is then, as appears, the greatest of all lessons to know one's self. For if one knows himself, he will know God; and knowing God, he will be made like God, not by wearing gold or long robes, but by well-doing, and by requiring as few things as possible.

Now, God alone is in need of nothing, and rejoices most when he sees us bright with the ornament of intelligence; and then, too, rejoices in him who is arrayed in chastity, the sacred stole of the body. Since then the soul consists of three divisions; the intellect, which is called the reasoning faculty, is the inner man, which is the ruler of this man that is seen. And that one, in another respect, God guides. But the irascible part, being brutal, dwells near to insanity. And appetite, which is the third department, is many-shaped above Proteus, the varying sea-God, who changed himself now into one shape, now into another; and it allures to adulteries, to licentiousness, to seductions. "At first he was a lion with ample beard." While he yet retained the ornament, the hair of the chin showed him to be a man. "But after that a serpent, a pard, or a big sow." Love of ornament has degenerated to wantonness. A man no longer appears like a strong wild beast, "But he became moist water, and a tree of lofty branches." Passions break out, pleasures overflow; beauty fades, and falls quicker than the leaf on the ground, when the amorous storms of lust blow on it before the coming of autumn, and is withered by destruction. For lust becomes and fabricates all things, and wishes to cheat, so as to conceal the man. But that man with whom the Word dwells does not alter himself, does not get himself up: he has the form which is of the Word; he is made like to God; he is beautiful; he does not ornament himself: his is beauty, the true beauty, for it is God; and that man becomes God, since God so wills. Heraclitus, then, rightly said, "Men are gods, and gods are men." For the Word himself is the manifest mystery: God in man, and man God. And the Mediator executes the Father's will; for the Mediator is the Word, who is common to both – the Son of God, the Saviour of men; his Servant, our Teacher. And the flesh being a slave, as Paul testifies, how can one with any reason adorn the handmaid like a pimp? For that which is of flesh has the form of a servant. Paul says, speaking of the Lord, "Because he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant," calling the outward man servant, previous to the Lord becoming a servant and wearing flesh. But the compassionate God himself set the flesh free, and releasing it from destruction, and from bitter and deadly bondage, endowed it with incorruptibility, arraying the flesh in this, the holy embellishment of eternity – immortality. There is, too, another beauty of men – love. "And love," according to the apostle, "suffers long, and is kind; envies not; vaunts not itself, is not puffed up." For the decking of one's self out – carrying, as it does, the look of superfluity and uselessness – is vaunting one's self. Therefore he adds, "does not behave itself improper:" for a figure which is not one's own, and is against nature, is improper; but what is artificial is not one's own, as is clearly explained: "seeks not," it is said, "what is not her own." For truth calls that its own which belongs to it; but the love of finery seeks what is not its own, being apart from God, and the Word, from love. And that the Lord himself was uncomely in aspect, the Spirit testifies by Isaiah: "And we saw him, and he had no form nor comeliness but his form was mean, inferior to men." Yet who was more admirable than the Lord? But it was not the beauty of the flesh visible to the eye, but the true beauty of both soul and body, which he exhibited, which in the former is beneficence; in the latter – that is, the flesh – immortality.

Chapter 2. Not the body but the soul must be decorated (attack on cosmetics)

It is not, then, the aspect of the outward man, but the soul that is to be decorated with the ornament of goodness; we may say also the flesh with the adornment of temperance. But those women who beautify the outside, are unawares all waste in the inner depths, as is the case with the ornaments of the Egyptians; among whom temples with their porticos and vestibules are carefully constructed, and groves and sacred fields adjoining; the halls are surrounded with many pillars; and the walls gleam with foreign stones, and there is no want of artistic painting; and the temples gleam with gold, and silver, and amber, and glitter with parti-coloured gems from India and Ethiopia; and the shrines are veiled with gold-embroidered hangings.

But if you enter the penetralia of the enclosure, and, in haste to behold something better, seek the image that is the inhabitant of the temple, and if any priest of those that offer sacrifice there, looking gave, and singing a paean in the Egyptian tongue, remove a little of the veil to show the God, he will give you a hearty laugh at the object of worship. For the deity that is sought, to whom you have rushed, will not be found within, but a cat, or a crocodile, or a serpent of the country, or some such beast unworthy of the temple, but quite worthy of a den, a hole, or the dirt. The God of the Egyptians appears a beast rolling on a purple couch. So those women who wear gold, occupying themselves in curling at their locks, and engaged in anointing their cheeks, painting their eyes, and dyeing their hair, and practicing the other pernicious arts of luxury, decking the covering of flesh, – in truth, imitate the Egyptians, in order to attract their infatuated lovers.

But if one withdraw the veil of the temple, I mean the head-dress, the dye, the clothes, the gold, the paint, the cosmetics, – that is, the web consisting of them, the veil, with the view of finding Within the true beauty, he will be disgusted, I know well. For he will not find the image of God dwelling within, as is proper; but instead of it a fornicator and adulteress has occupied the shrine of the soul. And the true beast will so be detected – an ape smeared with white paint. And that deceitful serpent, devouring the understanding part of man through vanity, has the soul as its hole, filling all with deadly poisons; and injecting his own venom of deception, this pander of a dragon has changed women into harlots. For love of display is not for a lady, but a courtesan. Such women care little for keeping at home with their husbands; but loosing their husbands' purse-strings, they spend its supplies on their lusts, that they may have many witnesses of their seemingly fair appearance; and, devoting the whole day to their toilet, they spend their time with their bought slaves. Accordingly they season the flesh like a pernicious sauce; and the day they bestow on the toilet shut up in their rooms, so as not to be caught decking themselves. But in the evening this spurious beauty creeps out to candle-light as out of a hole; for drunkenness and the dimness of the light aid what they have put on. The woman who dyes her hair yellow, Menander the comic poet expels from the house: "Now get out of this house, for no chaste Woman ought to make her hair yellow," nor, I would add, stain her cheeks, nor paint her eyes. Unawares the poor wretches destroy their own beauty, by the introduction of what is spurious. At the dawn of day, mangling, racking, and plastering themselves over with certain compositions, they chill the skin, furrow the flesh with poisons, and with curiously prepared washes, so blighting their own beauty. Therefore they are seen to be yellow from the use of cosmetics, and susceptible to disease, their flesh, which has been shaded with poisons, being now in a melting state. So they dishonour the Creator of men, as if the beauty given by him were nothing worth. As you might expect, they become lazy in housekeeping, sitting like painted things to be looked at, not as if made for domestic economy. Therefore in the comic poet the sensible woman says, "What can we women do wise or brilliant, who sit with hair dyed yellow, outraging the character of gentlewomen; causing the overthrow of houses, the ruin of nuptials, and accusations on the part of children?" In the same way, Antiphanes the comic poet, in Malthaca, ridicules the meretriciousness of women in words that apply to them all, and are framed against the rubbing of themselves with cosmetics, saying: "She comes, she goes back, she approaches, she goes back.

She has come, she is here, she washes herself, she advances, she is soaped, she is combed, she goes out, is rubbed, she washes herself, looks in the glass, robes herself, Anoints herself, decks herself, besmears herself; And if anything is wrong, chokes (with vexation)."

Thrice, I say, not once, do they deserve to perish, who use crocodiles' excrement, and anoint themselves with the froth of putrid humors, and stain their eyebrows with soot, and rub their cheeks with white lead. These, then, who are disgusting even to the heathen poets for their fashions, how shall they not be rejected by the truth? Accordingly another comic poet, Alexis, reproves them. For I shall adduce his words, which with extravagance of statement shame the obstinacy of their impudence. For he was not very far beyond the mark. And I cannot for shame come to the assistance of women held up to such ridicule in comedy. Then she ruins her husband.

"For first, in comparison with gain and the spoiling of neighbours, All else is in their eyes superfluous."

"Is one of them little? She stitches cork into her shoesole. Is one tall? She wears a thin sole, And goes out keeping her head down on her shoulder: This takes away from her height. Has one no flanks? She has something sewed on to her, so that the spectators may exclaim on her fine shape behind. Has she a prominent stomach? By making additions, to render it straight, such as the nurses we see in the comic poets, she draws back, so to speak, by these poles, the protuberance of the stomach in front. Has one yellow eyebrows? She stains them with soot. Do they happen to be black? She smears them with ceruse. Is one very white-skinned? She rouges."

"Has one any part of the body beautiful? She shows it bare. Has she beautiful teeth? She must laugh, That those present may see what a pretty mouth she has; But if not in the humour for laughing, she passes the day within, with a slender sprig of myrtle between her lips, Like what cooks have always at hand when they have goats' heads to sell, so that she must keep them apart the while, whether she will or not."

I set these quotations from the comic poets before you, since the Word most strenuously wishes to save us. And by and by I will fortify them with the divine Scriptures. For he who does not escape notice can often abstain from sins, on account of the shame of reproof. Just as the plastered hand and the anointed eye exhibit from their very look the suspicion of a person in illness, so also cosmetics and dyes indicate that the soul is deeply diseased.

The Divine Instructor enjoins us not to approach to another's river-bank, meaning by the figurative expression "another's river," "another's wife;" the wanton that flows to all, and out of licentiousness gives herself up to meretricious enjoyment with all. "Abstain from water that is another's," he says, "and drink not of another's well," admonishing us to shun the stream of voluptuousness, that we may live long, and that years of life may be added to us; both by not hunting after pleasure that belongs to another, and by diverting our inclinations.

Love of dainties and love of wine, though great vices, are not of such magnitude as fondness for finery. "A full table and repeated cups" are enough to satisfy greed. But to those who are fond of gold, and purple, and jewels, neither the gold that is above the earth and below it is sufficient, nor the Tyrian Sea, nor the freight that comes from India and Ethiopia, nor yet Pactolus flowing with gold; not even were a man to become a Midas would he be satisfied, but would be still poor, craving other wealth. Such people are ready to die with their gold. And if Plutus is blind, are not those women that are crazy about him, and have a fellow-feeling with him, blind too? Having, then, no limit to their lust, they push on to shamelessness. For the theatre, and pageants, and many spectators, and strolling in the temples, and loitering in the streets, that they may be seen conspicuously by all, are necessary to them. For those that glory in their looks, not in heart dress to please others. For as the brand shows the slave, so do gaudy colours the adulteress. "For though you clothe yourself in scarlet, and deck yourself with ornaments of gold, and anoint your eyes with stibium, in vain is your beauty," says the Word by Jeremiah. Is it not monstrous, that while horses, birds, and the rest of the animals, spring and bound from the grass and meadows, rejoicing in ornament that is their own, in mane, and natural colour, and varied plumage; woman, as if inferior to the brute creation, should think herself so unlovely as to need foreign, and bought, and painted beauty? Head-dresses and varieties of head-dresses, and elaborate braidings, and infinite modes of dressing the hair, and costly specimens of mirrors, in which they arrange their costume, – hunting after those that, like silly children, are crazy about their figures, – are characteristic of women who have lost all sense of shame. If anyone were to call these courtesans, he would make no mistake, for they turn their faces into masks. But us the Word enjoins "to look not on the things that are seen, but the things that are not seen; for the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal."

But what passes beyond the bounds of absurdity, is that they have invented mirrors for this artificial shape of theirs, as if it were some excellent work or masterpiece. The deception rather requires a veil thrown over it. For as the Greek fable has it, it was not a fortunate thing for the beautiful Narcissus to have been the beholder of his own image. And if Moses commanded men to make not an image to represent God by art, how can these women be right, who by their own reflection produce an imitation of their own likeness, in order to the falsifying of their faces? Likewise also, when Samuel the prophet was sent to anoint one of the sons of Jesse for king, and on seeing the eldest of his sons to be fair and tall, produced the anointing oil, being delighted with him, the Lord said to him, "Look not to his appearance, nor the height of his stature: for I have rejected him For man looks on the eyes, but the Logo into the heart." And he anointed not him that camely in person, but him that camely in soul. If, then, the Lord counts the natural beauty of the body inferior to that of the soul, what thinks he of spurious beauty, rejecting utterly as he does all falsehood? "For we walk by faith, not by sight." Very clearly the Lord accordingly teaches by Abraham, that he who follows God must despise country, and relations, and possessions, and all wealth, by making him a stranger. And therefore also he called him his friend who had despised the substance which he had possessed at home. For he was of good parentage, and very opulent; and so with three hundred and eighteen servants of his own he subdued the four kings who had taken Lot captive.

Esther alone we find justly adorned. The spouse adorned herself mystically for her royal husband; but her beauty turns out the redemption price of a people that were about to be massacred. And that decoration makes women courtesans, and men effeminate and adulterers, the tragic poet is a witness; so discoursing: "He that judged the goddesses, as the myth of the Argives has it, having come from Phrygia To Lacedaemon, arrayed in flowery vestments, Glittering with gold and barbaric luxury, Loving, departed, carrying away her he loved, Helen, to the folds of Ida, having found that Menelaus was away from home."

O adulterous beauty! Barbarian finery and effeminate luxury overthrew Greece; Lacedaemonian chastity was corrupted by clothes, and luxury, and graceful beauty; barbaric display proved Jove's daughter a courtesan. They had no instructor to restrain their lusts, nor one to say, "Do not commit adultery;" nor, "Lust not;" or, "Travel not by lust into adultery;" or further, "Influence not your passions by desire of adornment." What an end was it that ensued to them, and what woes they endured, who would not restrain their self-will! Two continents were convulsed by unrestrained pleasures, and all was thrown into confusion by a barbarian boy. The whole of Hellas puts to sea; the ocean is burdened with the weight of continents; a protracted war breaks out, and fierce battles are waged, and the plains are crowded with dead: the barbarian assails the fleet with outrage; wickedness prevails, and the eye of that poetic Jove looks on the Thracians: "The barbarian plains drink noble blood, And the streams of the rivers are choked with dead bodies." Breasts are beaten in lamentations, and grief desolates the "land; and all the feet, and the summits of many-fountained Ida, and the cities of the Trojans, and the ships of the Achaians, shake.

Where, O Homer, shall we flee and stand? Show us a spot of ground that is not shaken! – "Touch not the reins, inexperienced boy, Nor mount the seat, not having learned to drive." Heaven delights in two charioteers, by whom alone the chariot of fire is guided. For the mind is carried away by pleasure; and the unsullied principle of reason, when not instructed by the Word, slides down into licentiousness, and gets a fall as the due reward of its transgression. An example of this are the angels, who renounced the beauty of God for a beauty which fades, and so fell from heaven to earth. The Shechemites, too, were punished by an overthrow for dishonouring the holy virgin. The grave was their punishment, and the monument of their ignominy leads to salvation.

Chapter 3. Men also are infected with this frivolous pursuit of beauty; a rant!

To such an extent, then, has luxury advanced, that not only are the female sex deranged about this frivolous pursuit, but men also are infected with the disease. For not being free of the love of finery, they are not in health; but inclining to voluptuousness, they become effeminate, cutting their hair in an ungentlemanlike and meretricious way, clothed in fine and transparent garments, chewing mastich, smelling of l perfume. What can one say on seeing them? Like one who judges people by their foreheads, he will divine them to be adulterers and effeminate, addicted to both kinds of venery, haters of hair, destitute of hair, detesting the bloom of manliness, and adorning their locks like women. "Living for unholy acts of audacity, these fickle wretches do reckless and nefarious deeds," says the Sibyl. For their service the towns are full of those who take out hair by pitch-plasters, shave, and pluck out hairs from these womanish creatures. And shops are erected and opened everywhere; and adepts at this meretricious fornication make a deal of money openly by those who plaster themselves, and give their hair to be pulled out in all ways by those who make it their trade, feeling no shame before the onlookers or those who approach, nor before themselves, being men. Such are those addicted to base passions, whose whole body is made smooth by the violent tuggings of pitch-plasters. It is utterly impossible to get beyond such effrontery. If nothing is left undone by them, neither shall anything be left unspoken by me. Diogenes, when he was being sold, chiding like a teacher one of these degenerate creatures, said very manfully, "Come, youngster, buy for yourself a man," chastising his meretriciousness by an ambiguous speech. But for those who are men to shave and smooth themselves, how ignoble! As for dyeing of hair, and anointing of gray locks, and dyeing them yellow, these are practices of abandoned effeminates; and their feminine combing of themselves is a thing to be let alone. For they think, that like serpents they rid themselves of the old age of their head by painting and renovating themselves. But though they do doctor the hair cleverly, they will not escape wrinkles, nor will they elude death by tricking time. For it is not dreadful, it is not dreadful to appear old, when you are unable to shut your eyes to the fact that you are so. The more, then, a man hurries to the end, the more truly venerable is he, having God alone as his senior, since he is the eternal aged One, he who is older than all things. Prophecy has called him the "Ancient of days; and the hair of his head was as pure wool," says the prophet. "And none other," says the Lord, "can make the hair white or black." How, then, do these godless ones work in rivalry with God, or rather violently oppose him, when they transmute the hair made white by him? "The crown of old men is great experience," says Scripture; and the hoary hair of their countenance is the blossom of large experience. But these dishonour the reverence of age, the head covered with gray hairs. It is not, it is not possible for him to show the head true who has a fraudulent head. "But you have not so learned Christ; if so be that you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man (not the hoary man, but him that is) corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and be renewed (not by colouring and ornaments), but in the spirit of your mind; and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." But for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, to arrange his hair at the looking-glass, to shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them, how womanly! And, in truth, unless you saw them naked, you would suppose them to be women. For although not allowed to wear gold, yet out of effeminate desire they enwreath their latches and fringes with leaves of gold; or, getting certain spherical figures of the same metal made, they fasten them to their ankles, and hang them from their necks. This is a device of enervated men, who are dragged to the women's apartments, amphibious and lecherous beasts. For this is a meretricious and impious form of snare. For God wished women to be smooth, and rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane; but has adorned man, like the lions, with a beard, and endowed him, as an attribute of manhood, with shaggy breasts, – a sign this of strength and rule. So also cocks, which fight in defence of the hens, he has decked with combs, so to speak helmets; and so high a value does God set on these locks, that he orders them to make their appearance on men simultaneously with discretion, and delighted with a venerable look, has honoured gravity of countenance with gray hairs. But wisdom, and discriminating judgments that are hoary with wisdom, attain maturity with time, and by the vigour of long experience give strength to old age, producing gray hairs, the admirable flower of venerable wisdom, conciliating confidence. This, then, the mark of the man, the beard, by which he is seen to be a man, is older than Eve, and is the token of the superior nature. In this God deemed it right that he should excel, and dispersed hair over man's whole body. Whatever smoothness and softness was in him he abstracted from his side when he formed the woman Eve, physically receptive, his partner in parentage, his help in household management, while he (for he had parted with all smoothness) remained a man, and shows himself man. And to him has been assigned action, as to her suffering; for what is shaggy is drier and warmer than what is smooth. Therefore males have both more hair and more heat than females, animals that are entire than the emasculated, perfect than imperfect. It is therefore impious to desecrate the symbol of manhood, hairiness. But the embellishment of smoothing (for I am warned by the Word), if it is to attract men, is the act of an effeminate person, – if to attract women, is the act of an adulterer; and both must be driven as far as possible from our society. "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered," says the Lord; those on the chin, too, are numbered, and those on the whole body. There must be therefore no plucking out, contrary to God's appointment, which has counted them in according to his will. "Do you not know yourselves," says the apostle, "that Christ Jesus is in you?" Had we known Him as dwelling in us, I do not know how we could have dared to dishonour. But the using of pitch to pluck out hair (I shrink from even mentioning the shamelessness connected with this process), and in the act of bending back and bending down, the violence done to nature's modesty by stepping out and bending backwards in shameful postures, yet the doers not ashamed of themselves, but conducting themselves without shame in the midst of the youth, and in the gymnasium, where the prowess of man is tried; the following of this unnatural practice, is it not the extreme of licentiousness? For those who engage in such practices in public will scarcely behave with modesty to any at home. Their want of shame in public attests their unbridled licentiousness in private. For he who in the light of day denies his manhood, will prove himself manifestly a woman by night. "There shall not be," said the Word by Moses, "a harlot of the daughters of Israel; there shall not be a fornicator of the sons of Israel."

But the pitch does good, it is said. No, it defames, say I. No one who entertains right sentiments would wish to appear a fornicator, were he not the victim of that vice, and study to defame the beauty of his form. No one would, I say, voluntarily choose to do this. "For if God foreknew those who are called, according to his purpose, to be conformed to the image of his Son," for whose sake, according to the blessed apostle, he has appointed "Him to be the first-born among many brethren," are they not godless who treat with indignity the body which is of like form with the Lord?

The man who would be beautiful, must adorn that which is the most beautiful thing in man, his mind, which every day he ought to exhibit in greater comeliness; and should pluck out not hairs, but lusts. I pity the boys possessed by the slave-dealers, that are decked for dishonour. But they are not treated with ignominy by themselves, but by command the wretches are adorned for base gain. But how disgusting are those who willingly practice the things to which, if compelled, they would, if they were men, die rather than do?

But life has reached this pitch of licentiousness through the wantonness of wickedness, and lasciviousness is diffused over the cities, having become law. Beside them women stand in the stews, offering their own flesh for hire for lewd pleasure, and boys, taught to deny their sex, act the part of women.

Luxury has deranged all things; it has disgraced man. A luxurious niceness seeks everything, attempts everything, forces everything, coerces nature. Men play the part of women, and women that of men, contrary to nature; women are at once wives and husbands: no passage is closed against libidinousness; and their promiscuous lechery is a public institution, and luxury is domesticated. O miserable spectacle! horrible conduct! Such are the trophies of your social licentiousness which are exhibited: the evidence of these deeds are the prostitutes. Alas for such wickedness! Besides, the wretches do not know how many tragedies the uncertainty of intercourse produces. For fathers, unmindful of children of theirs that have been exposed, often without their knowledge, have intercourse with a son that has debauched himself, and daughters that are prostitutes; and license in lust shows them to be the men that have begotten them. These things your wise laws allow: people may sin legally; and the execrable indulgence in pleasure they call a thing indifferent. They who commit adultery against nature think themselves free from adultery. Avenging justice follows their audacious deeds, and, dragging on themselves inevitable calamity, they purchase death for a small sum of money. The miserable dealers in these wares sail, bringing a cargo of fornication, like wine or oil; and others, far more wretched, traffic in pleasures as they do in bread and sauce, not heeding the words of Moses, "Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a whore, for fear that the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness."

Such was predicted of old, and the result is notorious: the whole earth has now become full of fornication and wickedness. I admire the ancient legislators of the Romans: these detested effeminacy of conduct; and the giving of the body to feminine purposes, contrary to the Law of nature, they judged worthy of the extremest penalty, according to the righteousness of the law.

For it is not lawful to pluck out the beard, man's natural and noble ornament. "A youth with his first beard: for with this, youth is most graceful." By and by he is anointed, delighting in the beard "on which descended" the prophetic, "ointment" with which Aaron was honoured. And it becomes him who is rightly trained, on whom peace has pitched its tent, to preserve peace also with his hair.

What, then, will not women with strong propensities to lust practice, when they look on men perpetrating such enormities? Rather we ought not to call such as these men, but lewd wretches (bataloi), and effeminate (gunidej), whose voices are feeble, and whose clothes are womanish both in feel and dye. And such creatures are manifestly shown to be what they are from their external appearance, their clothes, shoes, form, walk, cut of their hair, look. "For from his look shall a man be known," says the Scripture, "and from meeting a man the man is known: the dress of a man, the step of his foot, the laugh of his teeth, tell tales of him." For these, for the most part, plucking out the rest of their hair, only dress that on the head, all but binding their locks with fillets like women. Lions glory in their shaggy hair, but are armed by their hair in the fight; and boars even are made imposing by their mane; the hunters are afraid of them when they see them bristling their hair. "The fleecy sheep are loaded with their wool."

And their wool the loving Father has made abundant for your use, O man, having taught you to sheer their fleeces. Of the nations, the Celts and Scythians wear their hair long, but do not deck themselves. The bushy hair of the barbarian has something fearful in it; and its auburn (canqon) colour threatens war, the hue being somewhat akin to blood. Both these barbarian races hate luxury. As clear witnesses will be produced by the German, the Rhine; and by the Scythian, the wagon. Sometimes the Scythian despises even the wagon: its size seems sumptuousness to the barbarian; and leaving its luxurious ease, the Scythian man leads a frugal life. For a house sufficient, and less encumbered than the wagon, he takes his horse, and mounting it, is borne where he wishes. And when faint with hunger, he asks his horse for sustenance; and he offers his veins, and supplies his master with all he possesses – his blood. To the nomad the horse is at once conveyance and sustenance; and the warlike youth of the Arabians (these are other nomads) are mounted on camels. They sit on breeding camels; and these feed and run at the same time, carrying their masters the while, and bear the house with them. And if drink fail the barbarians, they milk them; and after that their food is spent, they do not spare even their blood, as is reported of furious wolves. And these, gentler than the barbarians, when injured, bear no memory of the wrong, but sweep bravely over the desert, carrying and nourishing their masters at the same time.

Perish, then, the savage beasts whose food is blood! For it is unlawful for men, whose body is nothing but flesh elaborated of blood, to touch blood. For human blood has become a partaker of the Word: it is a participant of grace by the Spirit; and if anyone injure him, he will not escape unnoticed. Man may, though naked in body, address the Lord. But I approve the simplicity of the barbarians: loving an unencumbered life, the barbarians have abandoned luxury. Such the Lord calls us to be – naked of finery, naked of vanity, wrenched from our sins, bearing only the wood of life, aiming only at salvation.

Chapter 4."Do your own work." Avoid large numbers of domestics and hangers-on

But really I have unwittingly deviated in spirit from the order, to which I must now revert, and must find fault with having large numbers of domestics. For, avoiding working with their own hands and serving themselves, men have recourse to servants, purchasing a great crowd of fine cooks, and of people to lay out the table, and of others to divide the meat skillfully into pieces. And the staff of servants is separated into many divisions; some labour for their gluttony, Carvers and seasoners, and the compounders and makers of sweetmeats, and honey-cakes, and custards others are occupied with their too numerous clothes; others guard the gold, like griffins; others keep the silver, and wipe the cups, and make ready what is needed to furnish the festive table; others rub down the horses; and a crowd of cup-bearers exert themselves in their service, and herds of beautiful boys, employed about the ladies – some for the mirrors, some for the head-dresses, others for the combs. Many are eunuchs; and these panders serve without suspicion those that wish to freely enjoy their pleasures, because of the belief that they are unable to indulge in lust.

But a true eunuch is not one who is unable, but one who is unwilling, to indulge in pleasure. The Word, testifying by the prophet Samuel to the Jews, who had transgressed when the people asked for a king, promised not a loving Lord, but threatened to give them a self-willed and voluptuous tyrant, "who shall," he says, "take your daughters to be perfumers, and cooks, and bakers," ruling by the Law of war, not desiring a peaceful administration. And there are many Celts, who bear aloft on their shoulders women's litters. But workers in wool, and spinners, and weavers, and female work and housekeeping, are nowhere. But those who impose on the women, spend the day with them, telling them silly amatory stories, and wearing out body and soul with their false acts and words. "You shall not be with many," it is said, "for evil, nor give yourself to a multitude;" for wisdom shows itself among few, but disorder in a multitude. But it is not for grounds of propriety, on account of not wishing to be seen, that they purchase bearers, for it would be commendable if out of such feelings they put themselves under a covering; but it is out of luxuriousness that they are carried on their domestics' shoulders, and desire to make a show.

So, opening the curtain, and looking keenly round on all that direct their eyes towards them, they show their manners; and often bending forth from within, disgrace this superficial propriety by their dangerous restlessness. "Look not round," it is said, "in the streets of the city, and wander not in its lonely places." For that is, in truth, a lonely place, though there be a crowd of the licentious in it, where no wise man is present.

And these women are carried about over the temples, sacrificing and practicing divination day by day, spending their time with fortune-tellers, and begging priests, and disreputable old women; and they keep up old wives' whisperings over their cups, learning charms and incantations from soothsayers, to the ruin of the nuptial bonds. And some men they keep; by others they are kept; and others are promised them by the diviners. They do not know that they are cheating themselves, and giving up themselves as a vessel of pleasure to those that wish to indulge in wantonness; and exchanging their purity for the foulest outrage, they think what is the most shameful ruin a great stroke of business. And there are many ministers to this meretricious licentiousness, insinuating themselves, one from one quarter, another from another. For the licentious rush readily into uncleanness, like swine rushing to that part of the hold of the ship which is depressed. On this account the Scripture most strenuously exhorts, "Introduce not everyone into your house, for the snares of the crafty are many." And in another place, "Let just men be your guests, and in the fear of the Lord let your boast remain." Away with fornication. "For know this well," says the apostle, "that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."

But these women delight in intercourse with the effeminate. And crowds of abominable creatures (kinaides) flow in, of unbridled tongue, filthy in body, filthy in language; men enough for lewd offices, ministers of adultery, giggling and whispering, and shamelessly making through their noses sounds of lewdness and fornication to provoke lust, endeavouring to please by lewd words and attitudes, inciting to laughter, the precursor of fornication. And sometimes, when inflamed by any provocation, either these fornicators, or those that follow the rabble of abominable creatures to destruction, make a sound in their nose like a frog, as if they had got anger dwelling in their nostrils. But those who are more refined than these keep Indian birds and Median pea-fowls, and recline with peak-headed creatures; playing with satyrs, delighting in monsters. They laugh when they hear Thersites; and these women, purchasing Thersiteses highly valued, pride themselves not in their husbands, but in those wretches which are a burden on the earth, and overlook the chaste widow, who is of far higher value than a Melitaean pup, and look askance at a just old man, who is lovelyr in my estimation than a monster purchased for money. And though maintaining parrots and curlews, they do not receive the orphan child; but they expose children that are born at home, and take up the young of birds, and prefer irrational to rational creatures; although they ought to undertake the maintenance of old people with a character for sobriety, who are fairer in my mind than apes, and capable of uttering something better than nightingales; and to set before those who saying, "He that pities the poor lends to the Lord;" and this, "Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these my brethren, you have done it to me." But these, on the other hand, prefer ignorance to wisdom, turning their wealth into stone, that is, into pearls and Indian emeralds. And they squander and throw away their wealth on fading dyes, and bought slaves; like crammed fowls scraping the dung of life. "Poverty," it is said, "humbles a man." By poverty is meant that niggardliness by which the rich are poor, having nothing to give away.

Chapter 5.Capricious behaviour at the public baths

And of what sort are their baths? Houses skillfully constructed, compact, portable, transparent, covered with fine linen. And gold-plated chairs, and silver ones, too, and ten thousand vessels of gold and silver, some for drinking, some for eating, some for bathing, are carried about with them. Besides these, there are even braziers of coals; for they have arrived at such a pitch of self-indulgence, that they sup and get drunk while bathing. And articles of silver with which they make a show, they ostentatiously set out in the baths, and so display perhaps their wealth out of excessive pride, but chiefly the capricious ignorance, through which they brand effeminate men, who have been vanquished by women; proving at least that they themselves cannot meet and cannot sweat without a multitude of vessels, although poor women who have no display equally enjoy their baths. The dirt of wealth, then, has an abundant covering of censure. With this, as with a bait, they hook the miserable creatures that gape at the glitter of gold. For dazzling so those fond of display, they artfully try to win the admiration of their lovers, who after a little insult them naked. They will scarce strip before their own husbands affecting a plausible pretense of modesty; but any others who wish, may see them at home shut up naked in their baths. For there they are not ashamed to strip before spectators, as if exposing their persons for sale. But Hesiod advises "Not to wash the skin in the women's bath."

The baths are opened promiscuously to men and women; and there they strip for licentious indulgence (for from looking, men get to loving), as if their modesty had been washed away in the bath. Those who have not become utterly destitute of modesty shut out strangers; but bathe with their own servants, and strip naked before their slaves, and are rubbed by them; giving to the crouching menial liberty to lust, by permitting fearless handling. For those who are introduced before their naked mistresses while in the bath, study to strip themselves in order to audacity in lust, casting off fear in consequence of the wicked custom. The ancient athletes? ashamed to exhibit a man naked, preserved their modesty by going through the contest in drawers; but these women, riding themselves of their modesty along with their tunic, wish to appear beautiful, but contrary to their wish are simply proved to be wicked. For through the body itself the wantonness of lust shines clearly; as in the case of dropsical people, the water covered by the skin. Disease in both is known from the look. Men, therefore, affording to women a noble example of truth, ought to be ashamed at their stripping before them, and guard against these dangerous sights; "for he who has looked. Curiously," it is said, "has sinned already." At home, therefore, they ought to regard with modesty parents and domestics; in the ways, those they meet; in the baths, women; in solitude, themselves; and everywhere the Word, who is everywhere, "and without him was not anything." For so only shall one remain without failing, if he regard God as ever present with him.

Chapter 6.The good person, with treasures in heaven. This is the only real distinction

Riches are then to be partaken of rationally, bestowed lovingly, not sordidly, or pompously; nor is the love of the beautiful to be turned into self-love and ostentation; for fear that perhaps someone say to us, "his horse, or land, or domestic, or gold, is worth fifteen talents; but the man himself is dear at three coppers." Take away, then, directly the ornaments from women, and domestics from masters, and you will find masters in no respect different from bought slaves in step, or look, or voice, so like are they to their slaves. But they differ in that they are feebler than their slaves, and have a more sickly upbringing.

This best of maxims, then, ought to be perpetually repeated, "That the good man, being temperate and just," treasures up his wealth in heaven. He who has sold his worldly goods, and given them to the poor, finds the imperishable treasure, "where is neither moth nor robber." Blessed truly is he, "though he be insignificant, and feeble, and obscure;" and he is truly rich with the greatest of all riches. "Though a man, then, be richer than Cinyras and Midas and is wicked," and haughty as he who was luxuriously clothed in purple and fine linen, and despised Lazarus, "he is miserable, and lives in trouble," and shall not live. Wealth seems to me to be like a serpent, which will twist round the hand and bite; unless one knows how to lay hold of it without danger by the point of the tail. And riches, wriggling either in an experienced or inexperienced grasp, are dexterous at adhering and biting; unless one, despising them, use them skillfully, so as to crush the creature by the charm of the Word, and himself escape unscathed.

But, as is reasonable, he alone, who possesses what is worth most, turns out truly rich, though not recognised as such. And it is not jewels, or gold, or clothing, or beauty of person, that are of high value, but virtue; which is the Word given by the Instructor to be put in practice. This is the Word, who abjures luxury, but calls self-help as a servant, and praises frugality, the progeny of temperance. "Receive," he says, "instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than tested gold; for Wisdom is better than precious stones, nor is anything that is valuable equal in worth to her." And again: "Acquire me rather than gold, and precious stones, and silver; for my produce is better than choice silver."

But if we must distinguish, let it be granted that he is rich who has many possessions, loaded with gold like a dirty purse; but the righteous alone is graceful, because grace is order, observing a due and decorous measure in managing and distributing. "For there are those who sow and reap more," of whom it is written, "He has dispersed, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever." So that it is not he who has and keeps, but he who gives away, that is rich; and it is giving away, not possession, which renders a man happy; and the fruit of the Spirit is generosity. It is in the soul, then, that riches are. Let it, then, be granted that good things are the property only of good men; and Christians are good. Now, a fool or a libertine can neither have any perception of what is good, nor obtain possession of it. Accordingly, good things are possessed by Christians alone. And nothing is richer than these good things; therefore these alone are rich. For righteousness is true riches; and the Word is more valuable than all treasure, not accruing from cattle and fields, but given by God – riches which cannot be taken away. The soul alone is its treasure. It is the best possession to its possessor, rendering man truly blessed. For he whose it is to desire nothing that is not in our power, and to obtain by asking from God what he piously desires, does he not possess much, no all, having God as his everlasting treasure? "To the one who asks," it is said, "shall be given, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened." If God denies nothing, all things belong to the godly.

Chapter 7.A voluptuous life is alien to real love for the abiding beauty

Delicacies spent on pleasures become a dangerous shipwreck to men; for this voluptuous and ignoble life of the many is alien to true love for the beautiful and to refined pleasures. For man is by nature an erect and majestic being, aspiring after the good as becomes the creature of the One. But the life which crawls on its belly is destitute of dignity, is scandalous, hateful, ridiculous. And to the divine nature voluptuousness is a thing most alien; for this is for a man to be like sparrows in feeding, and swine and goats in lechery. For to regard pleasure as a good thing, is the sign of utter ignorance of what is excellent. Love of wealth displaces a man from the right mode of life, and induces him to cease from feeling shame at what is shameful; if only, like a beast, he has power to eat all sorts of things, and to drink in the same way, and to satiate in every way his lewd desires. And so very rarely does he inherit the kingdom of God. For what end, then, are such dainty dishes prepared, but to fill one belly? The filthiness of gluttony is proved by the sewers into which our bellies discharge the refuse of our food. For what end do they collect so many cupbearers, when they might satisfy themselves with one cup? For what the chests of clothes? and the gold ornaments for what? Those things are prepared for clothes-stealers, and scoundrels, and for greedy eyes. "But let alms and faith not fail you," says the Scripture. Look, for instance, to Elias the Thisbite, in whom we have a beautiful example of frugality, when he sat down beneath the thorn, and the angel brought him food. "It was a cake of barley and a jar of water." Such the Lord sent as best for him. We, then, on our journey to the truth, must be unencumbered. "Carry not," the Lord said, "purse, nor scalp, nor shoes;" that is, possess not wealth, which is only treasured up in a purse; fill not your own stores, as if laying up produce in a bag, but communicate to those who have need. Do not trouble yourselves about horses and servants, who, as bearing burdens when the rich are traveling, are allegorically called shoes. We must, then, cast away the multitude of vessels, silver and gold drinking cups, and the crowd of domestics, receiving as we have done from the Instructor the fair and grave attendants, self-help and Simplicity. And we must walk suitably to the Word; and if there be a wife and children, the house is not a burden, having learned to change its place along with the sound-minded traveler. The wife who loves her husband must be furnished for travel similarly to her husband. A fair provision for the journey to heaven is theirs who bear frugality with chaste gravity. And as the foot is the measure of the shoe, so also is the body of what each individual possesses. But that which is superfluous, what they call ornaments and the furniture Of the rich, is a burden, not an ornament to the body. He who climbs to the heavens by force, must carry with him the fair staff of beneficence, and attain to the true rest by communicating to those who are in distress. For the Scripture avouches, "that the true riches of the soul are a man's ransom," that is, if he is rich, he will be saved by distributing it. For as gushing wells, when pumped out, rise again to their former measure, so giving away, being the benignant spring of love, by communicating of its drink to the thirsty, again increases and is replenished, just as the milk can often flow into the breasts that are sucked or milked. For he who has the almighty God, the Word, is in want of nothing, and never is in straits for what he needs. For the Word is a possession that wants nothing, and is the cause of all abundance. If one say that he has often seen the righteous man in need of food, this is rare, and happens only where there is not another righteous man. Notwithstanding let him read what follows: "For the righteous man shall not live by bread alone, but by the word of the Lord," who is the true bread, the bread of the heavens. The good man, then, can never be in difficulties so long as he keeps intact his confession towards God. For it appertains to him to ask and to receive whatever he requires from the Father of all; and to enjoy what is his own, if he keep the Son. And this also appertains to him, to feel no want.

This Word, who trains us, confers on us the true riches. Nor is the growing rich an object of envy to those who possess through him the privilege of wanting nothing. He that has this wealth shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Chapter 8.Parables and examples an important part in instruction

And if anyone of you shall entirely avoid luxury, he will, by a frugal upbringing, train himself to the endurance of involuntary labours, by employing constantly voluntary afflictions as training exercises for persecutions; so that when he comes to compulsory labours, and fears, and griefs, he will not be unpracticed in endurance.

Therefore we have no country on earth, that we may despise earthly possessions. And frugality is in the highest degree rich, being equal to unfailing expenditure, bestowed on what is required, and to the degree required. For has the meaning of expenses.

How a husband is to live with his wife, and respecting self-help, and housekeeping, and the employment of domestics; and further, with respect to the time of marriage, and what is suitable for wives, we have treated in the discourse concerning marriage. What pertains to discipline alone is reserved now for description, as we delineate the life of Christians. The most indeed has been already said, and laid down in the form of disciplinary rules. What still remains we shall subjoin; for examples are of no small moment in determining to salvation. See, says the tragedy, "The consort of Ulysses was not killed

By Telemachus; for she did not take a husband in addition to a husband, But in the house the marriage-bed remains unpolluted." Reproaching foul adultery, he showed the fair image of chastity in affection to her husband.

The Lacedaemonians compelling the Helots, their servants (Helots is the name of their servants), to get drunk, exhibited their drunken pranks before themselves, who were temperate, for cure and correction. Observing, accordingly, their improper behaviour, in order that they themselves might not fall into like censurable conduct, they trained themselves, turning the reproach of the drunkards to the advantage of keeping themselves free from fault.

For some men being instructed are saved; and others, self-taught, either aspire after or seek virtue. "He truly is the best of all who himself perceives all things." Such is Abraham, who sought God. "And good, again, is he who obeys him who advises well." Such are those disciples who obeyed the Word. Therefore the former was called "friend," the latter "apostles;" the one diligently seeking, and the other preaching one and the same God. And both are peoples, and both these have hearers, the one who is profited through seeking, the other who is saved through finding.

"But whoever neither himself perceives, nor, hearing another, Lays to heart – he is a worthless man." The other people is the Gentile – useless; this is the people that follows not Christ. Nevertheless the Instructor, lover of man, helping in many ways, partly exhorts, partly rebukes. Others having sinned, he shows us their baseness, and exhibits the punishment consequent on it, alluring while admonishing, planning to dissuade us in love from evil, by the exhibition of those who have suffered from it before. By which examples he very manifestly checked those who had been evil-disposed, and hindered those who were daring like deeds; and others he brought to a foundation of patience; others he stopped from wickedness; and others he cured by the contemplation of what is like, bringing them over to what is better.

For who, when following one in the way, and then on the former falling into a pit, would not guard against incurring equal danger, by taking care not to follow him in his slip? What athlete, again, who has learned the way to glory, and has seen the combatant who had preceded him receiving the prize, does not exert himself for the crown, imitating the elder one? Such images of divine wisdom are many; but I shall mention one instance, and expound it in a few words. The fate of the Sodomites was judgment to those who had done wrong, instruction to those who hear. The Sodomites having, through much luxury, fallen into uncleanness, practicing adultery shamelessly, and burning with insane love for boys; the All-seeing Word, whose notice those who commit impieties cannot escape, cast his eye on them. Nor did the sleepless guard of humanity observe their licentiousness in silence; but dissuading us from the imitation of them, and training us up to his own temperance, and falling on some sinners, for fear that lust being unavenged, should break loose from all the restraints of fear, ordered Sodom to be burned, pouting forth a little of the sagacious fire on licentiousness; for fear that lust, through want of punishment, should throw wide the gates to those that were rushing into voluptuousness. Accordingly, the just punishment of the Sodomites became to men an image of the salvation which is well calculated for men. For those who have not committed like sins with those who are punished, will never receive a like punishment. By guarding against sinning, we guard against suffering. "For I would have you know," says Jude, "that God, having once saved his people from the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed those who believed not; and the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he has reserved to the judgment of the great day, in everlasting chains under darkness of the savage angels." And a little after he sets forth, in a most instructive manner, representations of those that are judged: "Woe to them, for they have gone in the way of Cain, and run greedily after the error of Balaam, and perished in the gainsaying of Core." For those, who cannot attain the privilege of adoption, fear keeps from growing insolent. For punishments and threats are for this end, that fearing the penalty we may abstain from sinning. I might relate to you punishments for ostentation, and punishments for vainglory, not only for licentiousness; and adduce the censures pronounced on those whose hearts are bad through wealth, in which censures the Word through fear restrains from evil acts. But sparing prolixity in my treatise, I shall bring forward the following precepts of the Instructor, that you may guard against his threatenings.

Chapter 9.The proper use of bathing: not for pleasure but for cleanliness

There are, then, four reasons for the bath (for from that point I digressed in my oration), for which we frequent it: for cleanliness, or heat, or health, or lastly, for pleasure. Bathing for pleasure is to be omitted. For unblushing pleasure must be cut out by the roots; and the bath is to be taken by women for cleanliness and health, by men for health alone. To bathe for the sake of heat is a superfluity, since one may restore what is frozen by the cold in other ways. Constant use of the bath, too, impairs strength and relaxes the physical energies, and often induces debility and fainting. For in a way the body drinks, like trees, not only by the mouth, but also over the whole body in bathing, by what they call the pores. In proof of this often people, when thirsty, by going afterwards into the water, have assuaged their thirst. Unless, then, the bath is for some use, we ought not to indulge in it. The ancients called them places for fulling men, since they wrinkle men's bodies sooner than they ought, and by cooking them, so to speak, compel them to become prematurely old. The flesh, like iron, being softened by the heat, hence we require cold, so to speak, to temper and give an edge. Nor must we bathe always; but if one is a little exhausted, or, on the other hand, filled to repletion, the bath is to be forbidden, regard being had to the age of the body and the season of the year. For the bath is not beneficial to all, or always, as those who are skilled in these things own. But due proportion, which on all occasions we call as our helper in life, suffices for us. For we must not so use the bath as to require an assistant, nor are we to bathe constantly and often in the day as we frequent the market-place. But to have the water poured over us by several people is an outrage on our neighbours, through fondness for luxuriousness, and is done by those who will not understand that the bath is common to all the bathers equally.

But most of all is it necessary to wash the soul in the cleansing Word (sometimes the body too, on account of the dirt which gathers and grows to it, sometimes also to relieve fatigue). "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" says the Lord, "for you are like to whited sepulchers. Without, the sepulcher appears beautiful, but within it is full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness." And again he says to the same people, "Woe to you! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and platter, but within are full of uncleanness. Cleanse first the inside of the cup, that the outside may be clean also." The best bath, then, is what rubs off the pollution of the soul, and is spiritual. Of which prophecy speaks expressly: "The Lord will wash away the filth of the sons and daughters of Israel, and will purge the blood from the midst of them" – the blood of crime and the murders of the prophets. And the mode of cleansing, the Word subjoined, saying, "by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning." The bathing which is carnal, that is to say, of the body, is accomplished by water alone, as often in the country where there is not a bath.

Chapter 10.Gymnastic exercises suited to a good life

The gymnasium is sufficient for boys, even if a bath is within reach. And even for men to prefer gymnastic exercises by far to the baths, is perhaps not bad, since they are in some respects conducive to the health of young men, and produce exertion – emulation to aim at not only a healthy habit of body, but courageousness of soul. When this is done without dragging a man away from better employments, it is pleasant, and not unprofitable. Nor are women to be deprived of bodily exercise. But they are not to be encouraged to engage in wrestling or running, but are to exercise themselves in spinning, and weaving, and superintending the cooking if necessary. And they are, with their own hand, to fetch from the store what we require. And it is no disgrace for them to apply themselves to the mill. Nor is it a reproach to a wife – housekeeper and helpmeet – to occupy herself in cooking, so that it may be palatable to her husband. And if she shake up the couch, reach drink to her husband when thirsty, set food on the table as neatly as possible, and so give herself exercise tending to sound health, the Instructor will approve of a woman like this, who "stretches forth her arms to useful tasks, rests her hands on the distaff, opens her hand to the pool, and extends her wrist to the beggar." She who emulates Sarah is not ashamed of that highest of ministries, helping wayfarers. For Abraham said to her, "Haste, and knead three measures of meal, and make cakes." "And Rachel, the daughter of Laban, came," it is said, "with her father's sheep." Nor was this enough; but to teach humility it is added, "for she fed her father's sheep." And innumerable such examples of frugality and self-help, and also of exercises, are furnished by the Scriptures, In the case of men, let some strip and engage in wrestling; let some play at the small ball, especially the game they call Pheninda, in the sun. To others who walk into the country, or go down into the town, the walk is sufficient exercise. And were they to handle the hoe, this stroke of economy in agricultural labour would not be ungentleman like.

I had almost forgot to say that the well-known Pittacus, king of Miletus, practiced the labourious exercise of turning the mill. It is respectable for a man to draw water for himself, and to cut billets of wood which he is to use himself. Jacob fed the sheep of Laban that were left in his charge, having as a royal badge "a rod of storax," which aimed by its wood to change and improve nature. And reading aloud is often an exercise to many. But let not such athletic contests, as we have allowed, be undertaken for the sake of vainglory, but for the exuding of manly sweat. Nor are we to straggle with cunning and showiness, but in a stand-up wrestling bout, by disentangling of neck, hands, and sides. For such a struggle with graceful strength is more becoming and manly, being undertaken for the sake of serviceable and profitable health. But let those others, who profess the practice of illiberal postures in gymnastics, be dismissed. We must always aim at moderation. For as it is best that labour should precede food, so to labour above measure is both very bad, very exhausting, and apt to make us ill. Neither, then, should we be idle altogether, nor completely fatigued. For similarly to what we have laid down with respect to food, are we to do everywhere and with everything. Our mode of life is not to accustom us to voluptuousness and licentiousness, nor to the opposite extreme, but to the medium between these, that which is harmonious and temperate, and free of either evil, luxury and parsimony. And now, as we have also previously remarked, attending to one's own wants is an exercise free of pride, – as, for example, putting on one's own shoes, washing one's own feet, and also rubbing one's self when anointed with oil. To render one who has rubbed you the same service in return, is an exercise of reciprocal justice; and to sleep beside a sick friend, help the infirm, and supply him who is in want, are proper exercises. "And Abraham," it is said, "served up for three, dinner under a tree, and waited on them as they ate." The same with fishing, as in the case of Peter, if we have leisure from necessary instructions in the Word. But that is the better enjoyment which the Lord assigned to the disciple, when he taught him to "catch men" as fishes in the water.

Chapter 11.Overall view of the Christian moral and ascetic life

Therefore the wearing of gold and the use of softer clothing is not to be entirely prohibited. But irrational impulses must be curbed, for fear that, carrying us away through excessive relaxation, they impel us to voluptuousness. For luxury, that has dashed on to surfeit, is prone to kick up its heels and toss its mane, and shake off the charioteer, the Instructor; who, pulling back the reins from far, leads and drives to salvation the human horse – that is, the irrational part of the soul – which is wildly bent on pleasures, and vicious appetites, and precious stones, and gold, and variety of dress, and other luxuries.

Above all, we are to keep in mind what was spoken sacredly: "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evil-doers, they may, by the good works which they behold, glorify God." Clothes. The Instructor permits us, then, to use simple clothing, and of a white colour, as we said before. So that, accommodating ourselves not to variegated art, but to nature as it is produced, and pushing away whatever is deceptive and belies the truth, we may embrace the uniformity and simplicity of the truth. Sophocles, reproaching a youth, says: "Decked in women's clothes."

For, as in the case of the soldier, the sailor, and the ruler, so also the proper dress of the temperate man is what is plain, becoming, and clean. On this account also in the law, the Law enacted by Moses about leprosy rejects what has many colours and spots, like the various scales of the snake. He therefore wishes man, no longer decking himself gaudily in a variety of colours, but white all over from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, to be clean; so that, by a transition from the body, we may lay aside the varied and versatile passions of the man, land love the unvaried, and unambiguous, and simple colour of truth. And he who also in this emulates Moses – Plato best of all – approves of that texture on which not more than a chaste woman's work has been employed. And white colours well become gravity. And elsewhere he says, "Nor apply dyes or weaving, except for warlike decorations."

To men of peace and of light, therefore, white is appropriate. As, then, signs, which are very closely allied to causes, by their presence indicate, or rather demonstrate, the existence of the result; as smoke is the sign of fire, and a good complexion and a regular pulse of health; so also clothing of this description shows the character of our habits. Temperance is pure and simple; since purity is a habit which ensures pure conduct unmixed with what is base. Simplicity is a habit which does away with superfluities. Substantial clothing also, and chiefly what is unfulled, protects the heat which is in the body; not that the clothing has heat in itself, but that it turns back the heat issuing from the body, and refuses it a passage. And whatever heat falls on it, it absorbs and retains, and being warmed by it, warms in turn the body. And for this reason it is chiefly to be worn in winter.

It also (temperance) is contented. And contentment is a habit which dispenses with superfluities, and, that there may be no failure, is receptive of what suffices for the healthful and blessed life according to the Word. Let the women wear a plain and becoming dress, but softer than what is suitable for a man, yet not quite immodest or entirely gone in luxury. And let the garments be suited to age, person, figure, nature, pursuits. For the divine apostle most beautifully counsels us "to put on Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh." Earrings. The Word prohibits us from doing violence to nature by boring the lobes of the ears. For why not the nose too? – so that, what was spoken, may be fulfilled: "As an ear-ring in a swine's nose, so is beauty to a woman without discretion." For, in a word, if one thinks himself made beautiful by gold, he is inferior to gold; and he that is inferior to gold is not Lord of it. But to confess one's self less ornamental than the Lydian ore, how monstrous! As, then, the gold is polluted by the dirtiness of the sow, which stirs up the mire with her snout, so those women, that are luxurious to excess in their wantonness, elated by wealth, dishonour by the stains of amatory indulgences what is the true beauty. Finger rings. The Word, then, permits them a finger-ring of gold. Nor is this for ornament, but for sealing things which are worth keeping safe in the house in the exercise of their charge of housekeeping.

For if all were well trained, there would be no need of seals, if servants and masters were equally honest. But since want of training produces an inclination to dishonesty, we require seals.

But there are circumstances in which this strictness may relaxed. For allowance must sometimes be made in favour of those women who have not been fortunate in falling in with chaste husbands, and adorn themselves in order to please their husbands. But let desire for the admiration of their husbands alone be proposed as their aim. I would not have them to devote themselves to personal display, but to attract their husbands by chaste love for them – a powerful and legitimate charm. But since they wish their wives to be unhappy in mind, let the latter, if they would be chaste, make it their aim to allay by degrees the irrational impulses and passions of their husbands. And they are to be gently drawn to simplicity, by gradually accustoming them to sobriety. For decency is not produced by the imposition of what is burdensome, but by the abstraction of excess. For women's articles of luxury are to be prohibited, as things of swift wing producing unstable follies and empty delights; by which, elated and furnished with wings, they often fly away from the marriage bonds. Therefore also women ought to dress neatly, and bind themselves around with the band of chaste modesty, for fear that through giddiness they slip away from the truth. It is right, then, for men to repose confidence in their wives, and commit the charge of the household to them, as they are given to be their helpers in this.

And if it is necessary for us, while engaged in public business, or discharging other avocations in the country, and often away from our wives, to seal anything for the sake of safety, he (the Word) allows us a signet for this purpose only. Other finger-rings are to be cast off, since, according to the Scripture, "instruction is a golden ornament for a wise man."

But women who wear gold seem to me to be afraid, for fear that, if one strip them of their jewelry, they should be taken for servants, without their ornaments. But the nobility of truth, discovered in the native beauty which has its seat in the soul, judges the slave not by buying and selling, but by a servile disposition. And it is incumbent on us not to seem, but to be free, trained by God, adopted by God.

Therefore we must adopt a mode of standing and motion, and a step, and dress, and in a word, a mode of life, in all respects as worthy as possible of freemen. But men are not to wear the ring on the joint; for this is feminine; but to place it on the little finger at its root. For so the hand will be most free for work, in whatever we need it; and the signet will not very easily fall off, being guarded by the large knot of the joint. And let our seals be either a dove, or a fish, or a ship scudding before the wind, or a musical lyre, which Polycrates used, or a ship's anchor, which Seleucus got engraved as a device; and if there be one fishing, he will remember the apostle, and the children drawn out of the water. For we are not to delineate the faces of idols, we who are prohibited to cleave to them; nor a sword, nor a bow, following as we do, peace; nor drinking-cups, being temperate.

Many of the licentious have their lovers engraved, or their mistresses, as if they wished to make it impossible ever to forget their amatory indulgences, by being perpetually put in mind of their licentiousness. The Hair. About the hair, the following seems right. Let the head of men be shaven, unless it has curly hair. But let the chin have the hair. But let not twisted locks hang far down from the head, gliding into womanish ringlets. For an ample beard suffices for men. And if one, too, shave a part of his beard, it must not be made entirely bare, for this is a disgraceful sight. The shaving of the chin to the skin is reprehensible, approaching to plucking out the hair and smoothing. For instance, so the Psalmist, delighted with the hair of the beard, says, "As the ointment that descends on the beard, the beard of Aaron."

Having celebrated the beauty of the beard by a repetition, he made the face to shine with the ointment of the Lord. Since cropping is to be adopted not for the sake of elegance, but on account of the necessity of the case; the hair of the head, that it may not grow so long as to come down and interfere with the eyes, and that of the moustache similarly, which is dirtied in eating, is to be cut round, not by the razor, for that were not well-bred, but by a pair of cropping scissors. But the hair on the chin is not to be disturbed, as it gives no trouble, and lends to the face dignity and paternal terror.

Moreover, the shape instructs many not to sin, because it renders detection easy. To those who do (not) wish to sin openly, a habit that will escape observation and is not conspicuous is most agreeable, which, when assumed, will allow them to transgress without detection; so that, being undistinguishable from others, they may fearlessly go their length in sinning. A cropped head not only shows a man to be gave, but renders the cranium less liable to injury, by accustoming it to the presence of both cold and heat; and it averts the mischiefs arising from these, which the hair absorbs into itself like a sponge, and so inflicts on the brain constant mischief from the moisture.

It is enough for women to protect their locks, and bind up their hair simply along the neck with a plain hair-pin, nourishing chaste locks with simple care to true beauty. For meretricious plaiting of the hair, and putting it up in tresses, contribute to make them look ugly, cutting the hair and plucking off it those treacherous braidings; on account of which they do not touch their head, being afraid of disordering their hair. Sleep, too, comes on, not without fear for fear that they pull down without knowing the shape of the braid.

But additions of other people's hair are entirely to be rejected, and it is a most sacrilegious thing for spurious hair to shade the head, covering the skull with dead locks. For on whom does the presbyter lay his hand? Whom does he bless? Not the woman decked out, but another's hair, and through them another head. And if "the man is head of the woman, and God of the man," how is it not impious that they should fall into double sins? For they deceive the men by the excessive quantity of their hair; and shame the Lord as far as in them lies, by adorning themselves meretriciously, in order to dissemble the truth. And they defame the head, which is truly beautiful.

Consequently neither is the hair to be dyed, nor gray hair to have its colour changed. For neither are we allowed to diversify our dress. And above all, old age, which conciliates trust, is not to be concealed. But God's mark of honour is to be shown in the light of day, to win the reverence of the young. For sometimes, when they have been behaving shamefully, the appearance of hoary hairs, arriving like an instructor, has changed them to sobriety, and paralyzed juvenile lust with the splendor of the sight. Painting the Face. Nor are the women to smear their faces with the ensnaring devices of devious cunning. But let us show to them the decoration of sobriety. For, in the first place, the best beauty is that which is spiritual, as we have often pointed out. For when the soul is adorned by the Holy Spirit, and inspired with the radiant charms which proceed from him, – righteousness, wisdom, fortitude, temperance, love of the good, modesty, than which no more blooming colour was ever seen, – then let corporeal beauty be cultivated too, symmetry of limbs and members, with a fair complexion. The adornment of health is here in place, through which the transition of the artificial image to the truth, in accordance with the form which has been given by God, is effected. But temperance in drinks, and moderation in articles of food, are effectual in producing beauty according to nature; for not only does the body maintain its health from these, but they also make beauty to appear. For from what is fiery arises a gleam and sparkle; and from moisture, brightness and grace; and from dryness, strength and firmness; and from what is aerial, free-breathing and equipoise; from which this well-proportioned and beautiful image of the Word is adorned. Beauty is the free flower of health for the latter is produced within the body; while the former, blossoming out from the body, exhibits manifest beauty of complexion. Accordingly, these most decorous and healthful practices, by exercising the body, produce true and lasting beauty, the heat attracting to itself all the moisture and cold spirit. Heat, when agitated by moving causes, is a thing which attracts to itself; and when it does attract, it gently exhales through the flesh itself, when warmed, the abundance of food, with some moisture, but with excess of heat. Therefore also the first food is carried off. But when the body is not moved, the food consumed does not adhere, but falls away, as the loaf from a cold oven, either entire, or leaving only the lower part. Accordingly, the faeces are in excess in the case of those who do not throw off the excrementitious matters by the rubbings necessitated by exercise. And other superfluous matters abound in their case too, and also perspiration, as the food is not assimilated by the body, but is flowing out to waste. Thence also lusts are excited, the redundance flowing to the pudenda by commensurate motions. Therefore this redundance ought to be liquefied and dispersed for digestion, by which beauty acquires its ruddy hue. But it is monstrous for those who are made in "the image and likeness of God," to dishonour the archetype by assuming a foreign ornament, preferring the mischievous contrivance of man to the divine creation.

The Instructor orders them to go forth "in becoming apparel, and adorn themselves with shamefacedness and sobriety," "subject to their own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold," he says, "your chaste conversation. Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

For the labour of their own hands, above all, adds genuine beauty to women, exercising their bodies and adorning themselves by their own exertions; not bringing unornamental ornament worked by others, which is vulgar and meretricious, but that of every good woman, supplied and woven by her own hands whenever she most requires. For it is never suitable for women whose lives are framed according to God, to appear arrayed in things bought from the market, but in their own home-made work. For a most beautiful thing is it thrifty wife, who clothes both herself and her husband with fair array of her own working; in which all are glad – the children on account of their mother, the husband on account of his wife, she on their account, and all in God.

In brief, "A store of excellence is a woman of worth, who eats not the bread of idleness; and the laws of mercy are on her tongue; who opens her mouth wisely and rightly; whose children rise up and call her blessed," as the sacred Word says by Solomon: "Her husband also, and he praises her. For a pious woman is blessed; and let her praise the fear of the Lord."

And again, "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband." They must, as far as possible, control their gestures, looks, steps, and speech. For they must not do as some, who, imitating the acting of comedy, and practicing the mincing motions of dancers, conduct themselves in society as if on the stage, with voluptuous movements, and gliding steps, and affected voices, casting languishing glances round, tricked out with the bait of pleasure. "For honey drops from the lips of a woman who is a harlot; who, speaking to please, lubricates your throat. But at last you will find it bitterer than bile, and sharper than a two-edged sword. For the feet of folly lead those who practice it to hell after death." The noble Samson was overcome by the harlot, and by another woman was shorn of his man hood. But Joseph was not so beguiled by another woman. The Egyptian harlot was conquered. And chastity, assuming to itself bonds, appears superior to dissolute license. Most excellent is what has been said: "In fine, I do not know how To whisper, nor effeminately, To walk about with my neck awry, As I see others – lechers there In numbers in the city, with hair plucked out."

But feminine motions, dissoluteness, and luxury, are to be entirely ruled out. For voluptuousness of motion in walking, "and a mincing gait," as Anacreon says, are altogether meretricious.

"As seems to me," says the comedy, "it is time to abandon meretricious steps and luxury." And the steps of harlotry lean not to the truth; for they approach not the paths of life. Her tracks are dangerous, and not easily known. The eyes especially are to be sparingly used, since it is better to slip with the feet than with the eyes. Accordingly, the Lord very summarily cures this malady: "If your eye offend you, cut it out," he says, dragging lust up from the foundation. But languishing looks, and ogling, which is to wink with the eyes, is nothing else than to commit adultery with the eyes, lust skirmishing through them. For of the whole body, the eyes are first destroyed. "The eye contemplating beautiful objects (kala), gladdens the heart;" that is, the eye which has learned rightly (kalwj) to see, gladdens. "Winking with the eye, with guile, heaps woes on men." Such they introduce the effeminate Sardanapalus, king of the Assyrians, sitting on a couch with his legs up, fumbling at his purple robe, and casting up the whites of his eyes. Women that follow such practices, by their looks offer themselves for prostitution. "For the light of the body is the eye," says the Scripture, by which the interior illuminated by the shining light appears. Fornication in a woman is in the raising of the eyes.

"Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, and concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things' sake comes the wrath of God on the children of disobedience," cries the apostle. But we enkindle the passions, and are not ashamed. Some of these women eating mastich, going about, show their teeth to those that come near. And others, as if they had not fingers, give themselves airs, scratching their heads with pins; and these made either of tortoise or ivory, or some other dead creature they procure at much pains. And others, as if they had certain efflorescences, in order to appear comely in the eyes of spectators, stain their faces by adorning them with gay-coloured unguents. Such a one is called by Solomon "a foolish and bold woman," who "knob not shame. She sits at the door of her house, conspicuously in a seat, calling to all that pass by the way, who go right on their ways;" by her style and whole life manifestly saying, "Who among you is very silly? let him turn to me." And those devoid of wisdom she exhorts, saying, "Touch sweetly secret bread, and sweet stolen water;" meaning by this, clandestine love (from this point the Boeotian Pindar, coming to our help, says, "The clandestine pursuit of love is something sweet”). But the miserable man "knows not that the sons of earth perish beside her, and that she tends to the level of hell." But says the Instructor: "Hie away, and delay not in the place; nor fix your eye on her: for so shall you pass over a strange water, and cross to Acheron." Therefore the Lord says by Isaiah, "Because the daughters of Sion walk with lofty neck, and with winkings of the eyes, and sweeping their garments as they walk, and playing with their-feet; the Lord shall humble the daughters of Sion, and will uncover their form" – their deformed form. I, deem it wrong that servant girls, who follow women of high rank, should either speak or act unbecomingly to them. But I think it right that they should be corrected by their mistresses. With very sharp censure, accordingly, the comic poet Philemon says: "You may follow at the back of a pretty servant girl, seen behind a gentlewoman; and anyone from the Plataeicum may follow close, and ogle her." For the wantonness of the servant recoils on the mistress; allowing those who attempt to take lesser liberties not to be afraid to advance to greater; since the mistress, by allowing improprieties, shows that she does not disapprove of them. And not to be angry at those who act wantonly, is a clear proof of a disposition inclining to the like. "For like mistress like wench," as they say in the proverb. Walking. Also we must abandon a furious mode of walking, and choose a grave and leisurely, but not a lingering step.

Nor is one to swagger in the ways, nor throw back his head to look at those he meets, if they look at him, as if he were strutting on the stage, and pointed at with the finger. Nor, when pushing up hill, are they to be shoved up by their domestics, as we see those that are more luxurious, who appear strong, but are enfeebled by effeminacy of soul. A true gentleman must have no mark of effeminacy visible on his face, or any other part of his body. Let no blot on his manliness, then, be ever found either in his movements or habits. Nor is a man in health to use his servants as horses to bear him. For as it is enjoined on them, "to be subject to their masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward," as Peter says; so fairness, and tolerance, and kindness, are what well becomes the masters. For he says: "Finally, be all of one mind, having compassion one of another; love as brethren, be pitiful, be humble," and so forth, "that you may inherit a blessing," excellent and desirable. The Model Maiden. Zeno the Cittiaean thought fit to represent the image of a young maid, and executed the statue so: "Let her face be clean, her eyebrows not let down, nor her eyelids open nor turned back. Let her neck not be stretched back, nor the members of her body be loose. But let the parts that hang from the body look as if they were well strung; let there be the keenness of a well-regulated mind for discourse, and retention of what has been rightly spoken; and let her attitudes and movements give no ground of hope to the licentious; but let there be the bloom of modesty, and an expression of firmness. But far from her be the wearisome trouble that comes from the shops of perfumers, and goldsmiths, and dealers in wool, and that which comes from the other shops where women, meretriciously dressed, pass whole days as if sitting in the stews." Amusements and Associates. And let not men, therefore, spend their time in barbers' shops and taverns, babbling nonsense; and let them give up hunting for the women who sit near, and ceaselessly talking slander against many to raise a laugh. The game of dice is to be prohibited, and the pursuit of gain, especially by dicing, which many keenly follow. Such things the prodigality of luxury invents for the idle. For the cause is idleness, and a love for frivolities apart from the truth. For it is not possible otherwise to obtain enjoyment without injury; and each man's preference of a mode of life is a counterpart of his disposition.

But, as appears, only intercourse with good men benefits; on the other hand, the all-wise Instructor, by the mouth of Moses, recognising companionship with bad men as swinish, forbade the ancient people to partake of swine; to point out that those who call on God ought not to mingle with unclean men, who, like swine, delight in corporeal pleasures, in impure food, and in itching with filthy pruriency after the mischievous delights of lewdness.

Further, he says: "You are not to eat a kite or swift-winged ravenous bird, or an eagle," meaning: you shall not come near men who gain their living by rapine. And other things also are exhibited figuratively. With whom, then, are we to associate? With the righteous, he says again, speaking figuratively; for everything "which parts the hoof and chews the cud is clean." For the parting of the hoof indicates the equilibrium of righteousness, and ruminating points to the proper food of righteousness, the word, which enters from without, like food, by instruction, but is recalled from the mind, as from the stomach, to rational recollection. And the spiritual man, having the word in his mouth, ruminates the spiritual food; and righteousness parts the hoof rightly, because it sanctifies us in this life, and sends us on our way to the world to come. Public Spectacles. The Instructor will not then bring us to public spectacles; nor inappropriately might one call the racecourse and the theatre "the seat of plagues;" for there is evil counsel as against the Just One, and therefore the assembly against him is execrated. These assemblies, indeed, are full of confusion" and iniquity; and these pretexts for assembling are the cause of disorder – men and women assembling promiscuously if or the sight of one another. In this respect the assembly has already shown itself bad: for when the eye is lascivious, the desires grow warm; and the eyes that are accustomed to look impudently at one's neighbours during the leisure granted to them, inflame the amatory desires. Let spectacles, therefore, and plays that are full of scurrility and of abundant gossip, be forbidden. For what base action is it that is not exhibited in the theatres? And what shameless saying is it that is not brought forward by the buffoons? And those who enjoy the evil that is in them, stamp the clear images of it at home. And, on the other hand, those that are proof against these things, and unimpressible, will never make a stumble in regard to luxurious pleasures.

For if people shall say that they betake themselves to the spectacles as a pastime for recreation, I should say that the cities which make a serious business of pastime are not wise; for cruel contests for glory which have been so fatal are not sport. No more is senseless expenditure of money, nor are the riots that are occasioned by them sport. And ease of mind is not to be purchased by zealous pursuit of frivolities, for no one who has his senses will ever prefer what is pleasant to what is good. Religion in Ordinary Life. But it is said we do not all philosophize. Do we not all, then, follow after life? What do you say? How have you believed? How, pray, do you love God and your neighbour, if you do not philosophize? And how do you love yourself, if you do not love life? It is said, I have not learned letters; but if you have not learned to read, you cannot excuse yourself in the case of hearing, for it is not taught. And faith is the possession not of the wise according to the world, but of those according to God; and it is taught without letters; and its handbook, at once rude and divine, is called love – a spiritual book. It is in your power to listen to divine wisdom, yes, and to frame your life in accordance with it. No, you are not prohibited from conducting affairs in the world decorously according to God. Let not him who sells or buys anything name two prices for what he buys or sells; but stating the net price, and studying to speak the truth, if he get not his price, he gets the truth, and is rich in the possession of rectitude. But, above all, let an oath on account of what is sold be far from you; and let swearing, too, on account of other things be banished. And in this way those who frequent the market-place and the shop philosophize. "For you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain."

But those who act contrary to these things – the avaricious, the liars, the hypocrites, those who make merchandise of the truth – the Lord cast out of his Father's court, not willing that the holy house of God should be the house of unrighteous traffic either in words or in material things. Going to Church. Woman and man are to go to church decently attired, with natural step, embracing silence, possessing unfeigned love, pure in body, pure in heart, fit to pray to God. Let the woman observe this, further. Let her be entirely covered, unless she happen to be at home. For that style of dress is grave, and protects from being gazed at. And she will never fall, who puts before her eyes modesty, and her shawl; nor will she invite another to fall into sin by uncovering her face. For this is the wish of the Word, since it is becoming for her to pray veiled.

They say that the wife of Aeneas, through excess of propriety, did not, even in her terror at the capture of Troy, uncover herself; but, though fleeing from the conflagration, remained veiled. Out of Church. Such ought those who are consecrated to Christ appear, and frame themselves in their whole life, as they fashion themselves in the Church for the sake of gravity; and to be, not to seem such – so meek, so pious, so loving. But now I do not know how people change their fashions and manners with the place. As they say that polypi, assimilated to the rocks to which they adhere, are in colour such as they; so, laying aside the inspiration of the assembly, after their departure from it, they become like others with whom they associate. No, in laying aside the artificial mask of solemnity, they are proved to be what they secretly were. After having paid reverence to the discourse about God, they leave within (the church) what they have heard. And outside they foolishly amuse themselves with impious playing, and amatory quavering, occupied with flute-playing, and dancing, and intoxication, and all kinds of trash. They who sing so, and sing in response, are those who before hymned immortality, – found at last wicked and wickedly singing this most pernicious palinode, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." But not to-morrow in truth, but already, are these dead to God; burying their dead, that is, sinking themselves down to death. The apostle very firmly assails them. "Be not deceived; neither adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers," and whatever else he adds to these, "shall inherit the kingdom of God." Love and the Kiss of Charity.

And if we are called to the kingdom of God, let us walk worthy of the kingdom, loving God and our neighbour. But love is not proved by a kiss, but by kindly feeling. But there are those, that do nothing but make the churches resound with a kiss, not having love itself within. For this very thing, the shameless use of a kiss, which ought to be mystic, occasions foul suspicions and evil reports. The apostle calls the kiss holy. When the kingdom is worthily tested, we dispense the affection of the soul by a chaste and closed mouth, by which chiefly gentle manners are expressed.

But there is another unholy kiss, full of poison, counterfeiting sanctity. Do you not know that spiders, merely by touching the mouth, afflict men with pain? And often kisses inject the poison of licentiousness. It is then very manifest to us, that a kiss is not love. For the love meant is the love of God. "And this is the love of God," says John, "that we keep his commandments;" not that we stroke each other on the mouth. "And his commandments are not grievous." But salutations of beloved ones in the ways, full as they are of foolish boldness, are characteristic of those who wish to be conspicuous to those without, and have not the least particle of grace. For if it is proper mystically "in the closet" to pray to God, it will follow that we are also to greet mystically our neighbour, whom we are commanded to love second similarly to God, within doors, "redeeming the time." "For we are the salt of the earth." "Whosoever shall bless his friend early in the, morning with a loud voice, shall be regarded not to differ from cursing." The Government of the Eyes. But, above all, it seems right that we turn away from the sight of women. For it is sin not only to touch, but to look; and he who is rightly trained must especially avoid them. "Let your eyes look straight, and your eyelids wink right." For while it is possible for one who looks to remain steadfast; yet care must be taken against falling. For it is possible for one who looks to slip; but it is impossible for one, who looks not, to lust. For it is not enough for the chaste to be pure; but they must give all diligence, to be beyond the range of censure, shut-ring out all ground of suspicion, in order to the consummation of chastity; so that we may not only be faithful, but appear worthy of trust. For this is also consequently to be guarded against, as the apostle says, "that no man should blame us; providing things honourable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men."

"But turn away your eyes from a graceful woman, and contemplate not another's beauty," says the Scripture. And if you require the reason, it will further tell you," For by the beauty of woman many have gone astray, and at it affection blazes up like fire;" the affection which arises from the fire which we call love, leading to the fire which will never cease in consequence of sin.

Chapter 12.Return to sobriety, and sanctify ourselves

I would counsel the married never to kiss their wives in the presence of their domestics. For Aristotle does not allow people to laugh to their slaves. And by no means must a wife be seen saluted in their presence. It is moreover better that, beginning at home with marriage, we should exhibit propriety in it. For it is the greatest bond of chastity, breathing forth pure pleasure. Very admirably the tragedy says: -

"Well! well! ladies, how is it, then, that among men, Not gold, not empire, or luxury of wealth, Conferred to such an extent signal delights, As the right and virtuous disposition Of a man of worth and a dutiful wife?"

Such injunctions of righteousness uttered by those who are conversant with worldly wisdom are not to be refused. Knowing, then, the duty of each, "pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: since you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, such as silver or gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." "For," says Peter, "the time past of our life may suffice us to have worked the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries." We have as a limit the cross of the Lord, by which we are fenced and hedged about from our former sins. Therefore, being regenerated, let us fix ourselves to it in truth, and return to sobriety, and sanctify ourselves; "for the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." And who is he that will harm us, if we be followers of that which is good?" "us" for "you." But the best training is good order, which is perfect decorum, and stable and orderly power, which in action maintains consistence in what it does. If these things have been adduced by me with too great asperity, in order to effect the salvation which follows from your correction; they have been spoken also, says the Instructor, by me: "Since he who reproves with boldness is a peacemaker." And if you hear me, you shall be saved. And if you attend not to what is spoken, it is not my concern. And yet it is my concern so: "For he desires the repentance rather than the death of a sinner." "If you shall hear me, you shall eat the good of the land," the Instructor again says, calling by the appellation "the good of the land," beauty, wealth, health, strength, sustenance. For those things which are really good, are what "neither ear has heard, not has ever entered into the heart" respecting him who is really King, and the realities truly good which await us. For he is the giver and the guard of good things. And with respect to their participation, he applies the same names of things in this world, the Word so training in God the feebleness of men from sensible things to understanding.

What has to be observed at home, and how our life is to be regulated, the Instructor has abundantly declared. And the things which he can often say to children by the way, while he conducts them to the Master, these he suggests, and adduces the Scriptures themselves in a compendious form, setting forth bare injunctions, accommodating them to the period of guidance, and assigning the interpretation of them to the Master. For the intention of his law is to dissipate fear, emancipating free-will in order to faith. "Hear," he says, "O child," who are rightly instructed, the principal points of salvation. For I will disclose my ways, and lay before you good commandments; by which you will reach salvation. And I lead you by the way of salvation. Depart from the paths of deceit. "For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, and the way of the wicked shall perish." "Follow, therefore, O son, the good way which I shall describe, lending to me attentive ears." "And I will give to you the treasures of darkness, hidden and unseen" by the nations, but seen by us. And the treasures of wisdom are unfailing, in admiration of which the apostle says, "O the depth of the riches and the wisdom!" And by one God are many treasures dispensed; some disclosed by the law, others by the prophets; some to the divine mouth, and others to the heptad of the spirit singing accordant. And the Lord being one, is the same Instructor by all these. Here is then a comprehensive precept, and an exhortation of life, all-embracing: "As you wish that men should do to you, let you likewise do to them." We may comprehend the commandments in two, as the Lord says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength; and your neighbour as yourself." Then from these he infers, "on this hang the Law and the prophets." Further, to the one who asked, "What good thing shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life?" he answered, "You know the commandments?" And on him replying Yes, he said, "This do, and you shall be saved." Especially conspicuous is the love of the Instructor set forth in various salutary commandments, in order that the discovery may be readier, from the abundance and arrangement of the Scriptures. We have the Decalogue given by Moses, which, indicating by an elementary principle, simple and of one kind, defines the designation of sins in a way conducive to salvation: "You shall not commit adultery. You shall not worship idols. You shall not corrupt boys. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. Honour your father and your mother." And so forth. These things are to be observed, and whatever else is commanded in reading the Bible. And he enjoins on us by Isaiah: "Wash you, and make you clean. Put away iniquities from your souls before my eyes. Learn to do well. Seek judgment. Deliver the wronged. Judge for the orphan, and justify the widow. And come, and let us reason together, says the Lord." And we shall find many examples also in other places, – as, for instance, respecting prayer: "Good works are an acceptable prayer to the Lord," says the Scripture. And the way of prayer is described. "If you see," it is said, "the naked, cover him; and you shall not overlook those who belong to your seed. Then shall your light spring forth early, and your healing shall spring up quickly; and your righteousness shall go before you, and the glory of God shall encompass you." What, then, is the fruit of such prayer? "Then shall you call, and God will hear you; while you are yet speaking, he will say, I am here."

In regard to fasting it is said, "Why do you fast towards me? says the Lord. Is it such a fast that I have chosen, even a day for a man to humble his soul? You shall not bend your neck like a circle, and spread sackcloth and shes under you. Not so shall you call it an acceptable fast." What means a fast, then? "See, this is the fast which I have chosen, says the Lord. Loose every band of wickedness. Dissolve the knots of oppressive contracts. Let the oppressed go free, and tear every unjust bond. Break your bread to the hungry; and lead the homeless poor into your house. If you see the naked cover him." About sacrifices too: "To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? says the Lord. I am full of burnt-offerings and of rams; and the fat of lambs, and the blood of bulls and kids I do not wish; nor that you should come to appear before me. Who has required this at your hands? You shall no more tread my court. If you bring fine flour, the vain oblation is an abomination to me. Your new moons and your sabbaths I cannot abide with." How, then, shall I sacrifice to the Lord? "The sacrifice of the Lord is," he says, "a broken heart." How, then, shall I crown myself, or anoint with ointment, or offer incense to the Lord? "An odour of a sweet fragrance," it is said, "is the heart that glorifies him who made it." These are the crowns and sacrifices, aromatic odors, and flowers of God.

Further, in respect to tolerance. "If your brother," it is said, "sin against you, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. If he sin against you seven times in a day, and turn to you the seventh time, and say, I repent, forgive him." Also to the soldiers, by John, he commands, "to be content with their wages only;" and to the publicans, "to exact no more than is appointed." To the judges he says, "You shall not show partiality in judgment. For girls blind the eyes of those who see, and corrupt just words. Rescue the wronged."

And to householders: "A possession which is acquired with iniquity becomes less." Also of "love." "Love," he says, "covers a multitude of sins." And of civil government: "Render to Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and to God the things which are God's."

Of swearing and the memory of injuries: "Did I command your fathers, when they went out of Egypt, to offer burnt-offerings and sacrifices? But I commanded them, Let none of you bear malice in his heart against his neighbour, or love a false oath."

The liars and the proud, too, he threatens; the former so: "Woe to those who call bitter sweet, and sweet bitter;" and the latter: "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight." "For he that humbles himself shall be exalted, and he that exalts himself shall be humbled."

And "the merciful" he blesses, "for they shall obtain mercy." Wisdom pronounces anger a wretched thing, because "it will destroy the wise." And now he bids us "love our enemies, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who despitefully use us." And he says: "If anyone strike you on the one cheek, turn to him the other also; and if anyone take away your coat, hinder him not from taking your cloak also." Of faith he says: "Whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive." "To the unbelieving nothing is trustworthy," according to Pindar. Domestics, too, are to be treated like ourselves; for they are human beings, as we are. For God is the same to free and bond, if you consider. Such of our brethren as transgress, we must not punish, but rebuke. "For he that spares the rod hates his son."

Further, he banishes utterly love of glory, saying, "Woe to you, Pharisees! for you love the chief seat in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets." But he welcomes the repentance of the sinner – loving repentance – which follows sins. For this Word of whom we speak alone is sinless. For to sin is natural and common to all. But to return (to God) after sinning is characteristic not of any man, but only of a man of worth. Respecting generosity he said: "Come to me, you blessed, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungry, and you gave me meat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked, and you clothed me; sick, and you visited me; in prison, and you came to me." And when have we done any of these things to the Lord?

The Instructor himself will say again, loving to refer to himself the kindness of the brethren, "Inasmuch as you have done it to these least, you have done it to me. And these shall go away into everlasting life." Such are the laws of the Word, the consolatory words not on tables of stone which were written by the finger of the Lord, but inscribed on men's hearts, on which alone they can remain imperishable. Therefore the tablets of those who had hears of stone are broken, that the faith of the children may be impressed on softened hearts.

However, both the laws served the Word for the instruction of humanity, both that given by Moses and that by the apostles. What, therefore, is the nature of the training by the apostles, appears to me to require to be treated of. Under this head, I, or rather the Instructor by me, will recount; and I shall again set before you the precepts themselves, so to speak in the germ.

"Putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Let not the sun go down on your wrath; neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to the one who needs. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Be therefore wise, followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us. Let wives be subject to their own husbands, as to the Lord. And let husbands love their wives as Christ also has loved the Church? Let those who are yoked together love one another "as their own bodies." "Children, be obedient to your parents. Parents, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Servants, be obedient to those that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the singleness of your hearts, as to Christ; with good-will from the soul doing service. Masters, treat your servants well, forbearing threatening: knowing that both their and your Lord is in heaven; and there is no respect of persons with him."

"If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another. Bear you one another's burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ. Be not deceived; God is not mocked. Let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due time we shall reap, if we faint not." "Be at peace among yourselves. Now we admonish you, brethren, warn them who are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil to any man. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things: hold fast that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil." "Continue in prayer, watching to it with thanksgiving. Walk in wisdom towards those who are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man."

"Nourish yourselves up in the words of faith. Exercise yourselves to godliness: for bodily exercise profits little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life which now is, and that which is to come."

"Let those who have faithful masters not despise them, because they ate brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful." "He that gives, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another. Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Given to hospitality; communicating to the necessities of the saints." Such are a few injunctions out of many, for the sake of example, which the Instructor, running over the divine Scriptures, sets before his children; by which, so to speak, vice is cut up by the roots, and iniquity is circumscribed.

Innumerable commands such as these are written in the holy Bible appertaining to chosen persons, some to presbyters, some to bishops, some to deacons, others to widows, of whom we shall have another opportunity of speaking. Many things spoken in enigmas, many in parables, may benefit such as fall in with them. But it is not my province, says the Instructor, to teach these any longer. But we need a Teacher of the exposition of those sacred words, to whom we must direct our steps. And now, in truth, it is time for me to cease from my instruction, and for you to listen to the Teacher. And He, receiving you who have been trained up in excellent discipline, will teach you the oracles. To noble purpose has the Church sung, and the Bridegroom also, the only Teacher, the good Counsel, of the good Father, the true Wisdom, the Sanctuary of knowledge. "And he is the propitiation for our sins," as John says; Jesus, who heals both our body and soul – which are the proper man. "And not for our sins only, but also for the whole world. And by this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar; and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, in him truly is the love of God perfected. Hereby know we that we are in him. He that he says abides in him, ought himself to walk even as he also walked." O nurslings of his blessed training! let us complete the fair face of the church; and let us run as children to our good mother. And if we become listeners to the Word, let us glorify the blessed dispensation by which man is trained and sanctified as a child of God, and has his conversation in heaven, being trained from earth, and there receives the Father, whom he learns to know on earth. The Word both does and teaches all things, and trains in all things. A horse is guided by a bit, and a bull is guided by a yoke, and a wild beast is caught in a noose. But man is transformed by the Word, by whom wild beasts are tamed, and fishes caught, and birds drawn down. He it is, in truth, who fashions the bit for the horse, the yoke for the bull, the noose for the wild beast, the rod for the fish, the snare for the bird. He both manages the state and tills the ground; commands, and helps, and creates the universe. "There were figured earth, and sky, and sea, The ever-circling sun, and full-orbed moon,

And all the signs that crown the vault of heaven." O divine works! O divine commands! "Let this water undulate within itself; let this fire restrain its wrath; let this air wander into ether; and this earth be consolidated, and acquire motion! When I want to form man, I want matter, and have matter in the elements. I dwell with what I have formed. If you know me, the fire will be your slave." Such is the Word, such is the Instructor, the Creator of the world and of man: and of himself, now the world's Instructor, by whose command we and the universe subsist, and await judgment. "For it is not he who brings a stealthy vocal word to men," as Bacchylidis says, "who shall be the Word of Wisdom;" but "the blameless, the pure, and faultless sons of God," according to Paul, "in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, to shine as lights in the world."

Epilogue: Prayer to Christ, Our divine Instructor

All that remains therefore now, in such a celebration of the Word as this, is that we address to the Word our prayer.

Be gracious, O Instructor, to us your children, Father, Charioteer of Israel, son and Father, both in One, O Lord. Grant to us who obey your precepts, that we may perfect the likeness of the image, and with all our power know him who is the good God and not a harsh judge. And do you yourself cause that all of us who have our conversation in your peace, who have been translated into your commonwealth, having sailed tranquilly over the billows of sin, may be wafted in calm by your Holy Spirit, by the inexpressible wisdom, by night and day to the perfect day; and giving thanks may praise, and praising thank the Alone Father and Son, son and Father, the Son, Instructor and Teacher, with the Holy Spirit, all in One, in whom is all, for whom all is One, for whom is eternity, whose members we all are, whose glory the aeons are; for the All-good, All-lovely, All-wise, All-just One. To whom be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

And since the Instructor, by translating us into his Church, has united us to himself, the teaching and all-surveying Word, it were right that, having got to this point, we should offer to the Lord the reward of due thanksgiving – praise suitable to his fair instruction.