The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 5
Chap. I.--On Faith.
Of the Gnostic so much has been cursorily, as it were, written. We
proceed now to the sequel, and must again contemplate faith; for there
are some that draw the distinction, that faith has reference to the
Son, and knowledge to the Spirit. But it has escaped their notice that,
in order to believe truly in the Son, we must believe that He is the
Son, and that He came, and how, and for what, and respecting His
passion; and we must know who is the Son of God. Now neither is
knowledge without faith, nor faith without knowledge. Nor is the Father
without the Son; for the Son is with the Father. And the Son is the
true teacher respecting the Father; and that we may believe in the Son,
we must know the Father, with whom also is the Son. Again, in order
that we may know the Father, we must believe in the Son, that it is the
Son of God who teaches; for from faith to knowledge by the Son is the
Father. And the knowledge of the Son and Father, which is according to
the gnostic rule--that which in reality is gnostic--is the attainment
and comprehension of the truth by the truth.
We, then, are those who are believers in what is not believed, and who
are Gnostics as to what is unknown; that is, Gnostics as to what is
unknown and disbelieved by all, but believed and known by a few; and
Gnostics, not describing actions by speech, but Gnostics in the
exercise of contemplation. Happy is he who speaks in the ears of the
hearing. Now faith is the ear of the soul. And such the Lord intimates
faith to be, when He says, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear;"
 so that by believing he may comprehend what He says, as He says
it. Homer, too, the oldest of the poets, using the word "hear" instead
of "perceive"--the specific for the generic term--writes:--
"Him most they heard." 
For, in fine, the agreement and harmony of the faith of both 
contribute to one end--salvation. We have in the apostle an unerring
witness: "For I desire to see you, that I may impart unto you some
spiritual gift, in order that ye may be strengthened; that is, that I
may be comforted in you, by the mutual faith of you and me."  And
further on again he adds, "The righteousness of God is revealed from
faith to faith."  The apostle, then, manifestly announces a
twofold faith, or rather one which admits of growth and perfection; for
the common faith lies beneath as a foundation.  To those,
therefore, who desire to be healed, and are moved by faith, He added,
"Thy faith hath saved thee."  But that which is excellently built
upon is consummated in the believer, and is again perfected by the
faith which results from instruction and the word, in order to the
performance of the commandments. Such were the apostles, in whose case
it is said that "faith removed mountains and transplanted trees."
 Whence, perceiving the greatness of its power, they asked "that
faith might be added to them;"  a faith which salutarily bites
the soil "like a grain of mustard," and grows magnificently in it, to
such a degree that the reasons of things sublime rest on it. For if one
by nature knows God, as Basilides thinks, who calls intelligence of a
superior order at once faith and kingship, and a creation worthy of the
essence of the Creator; and explains that near Him exists not power,
but essence and nature and substance; and says that faith is not the
rational assent of the soul exercising free-will, but an undefined
beauty, belonging immediately to the creature;--the precepts both of
the Old and of the New Testament are, then, superfluous, if one is
saved by nature, as Valentinus would have it, and is a believer and an
elect man by nature, as Basilides thinks; and nature would have been
able, one time or other, to have shone forth, apart from the Saviour's
appearance. But were they to say that the visit of the Saviour was
necessary, then the properties of nature are gone from them, the elect
being saved by instruction, and purification, and the doing of good
works. Abraham, accordingly, who through hearing believed the voice,
which promised under the oak in Mamre, "I will give this land to thee,
and to thy seed," was either elect or not. But if he was not, how did
he straightway believe, as it were naturally? And if he was elect,
their hypothesis is done away with, inasmuch as even previous to the
coming of the Lord an election was found, and that saved: "For it was
reckoned to him for righteousness."  For if any one, following
Marcion, should dare to say that the Creator (Demiourgon) saved the man
that believed on him, even before the advent of the Lord, (the election
being saved with their own proper salvation); the power of the good
Being will be eclipsed; inasmuch as late only, and subsequent to the
Creator spoken of by them in words of good omen, it made the attempt to
save, and by instruction, and in imitation of him. But if, being such,
the good Being save, according to them; neither is it his own that he
saves, nor is it with the consent of him who formed the creation that
he essays salvation, but by force or fraud. And how can he any more be
good, acting thus, and being posterior? But if the locality is
different, and the dwelling-place of the Omnipotent is remote from the
dwelling-place of the good God; yet the will of him who saves, having
been the first to begin, is not inferior to that of the good God. From
what has been previously proved, those who believe not are proved
senseless: "For their paths are perverted, and they know not peace,"
saith the prophet.  "But foolish and unlearned questions" the
divine Paul exhorted to "avoid, because they gender strifes." 
And AEschylus exclaims:--
"In what profits not, labour not in vain."
For that investigation, which accords with faith, which builds, on the
foundation of faith,  the august knowledge of the truth, we know
to be the best. Now we know that neither things which are clear are
made subjects of investigation, such as if it is day, while it is day;
nor things unknown, and never destined to become clear, as whether the
stars are even or odd in number; nor things convertible; and those are
so which can be said equally by those who take the opposite side, as if
what is in the womb is a living creature or not. A fourth mode is,
when, from either side of those, there is advanced an unanswerable and
irrefragable argument. If, then, the ground of inquiry, according to
all of these modes, is removed, faith is established. For we advance to
them the unanswerable consideration, that it is God who speaks and
comes to our help in writing, respecting each one of the points
regarding which I investigate. Who, then, is so impious as to
disbelieve God, and to demand proofs from God as from men? Again, some
questions demand the evidence of the senses,  as if one were to
ask whether the fire be warm, or the snow white; and some admonition
and rebuke, as the question if you ought to honour your parents. And
there are those that deserve punishment, as to ask proofs of the
existence of Providence. There being then a Providence, it were impious
to think that the whole of prophecy and the economy in reference to a
Saviour did not take place in accordance with Providence. And perchance
one should not even attempt to demonstrate such points, the divine
Providence being evident from the sight of all its skilful and wise
works which are seen, some of which take place in order, and some
appear in order. And He who communicated to us being and life, has
communicated to us also reason, wishing us to live rationally and
rightly. For the Word of the Father of the universe is not the uttered
word (logos prophorikos), but the wisdom and most manifest kindness of
God, and His power too, which is almighty and truly divine, and not
incapable of being conceived by those who do not confess--the
all-potent will. But since some are unbelieving, and some are
disputatious, all do not attain to the perfection of the good. For
neither is it possible to attain it without the exercise of free
choice; nor does the whole depend on our own purpose; as, for example,
what is defined to happen. "For by grace we are saved:" not, indeed,
without good works; but we must, by being formed for what is good,
acquire an inclination for it. And we must possess the healthy mind
which is fixed on the pursuit of the good; in order to which we have
the greatest need of divine grace, and of right teaching, and of holy
susceptibility, and of the drawing of the Father to Him. For, bound in
this earthly body, we apprehend the objects of sense by means of the
body; but we grasp intellectual objects by means of the logical faculty
itself. But if one expect to apprehend all things by the senses, he has
fallen far from the truth. Spiritually, therefore, the apostle writes
respecting the knowledge of God, "For now we see as through a glass,
but then face to face."  For the vision of the truth is given but
to few. Accordingly, Plato says in the Epinomis, "I do not say that it
is possible for all to be blessed and happy; only a few. Whilst we
live, I pronounce this to be the case. But there is a good hope that
after death I shall attain all." To the same effect is what we find in
Moses: "No man shall see My face, and live."  For it is evident
that no one during the period of life has been able to apprehend God
clearly. But "the pure in heart shall see God,"  when they arrive
at the final perfection. For since the soul became too enfeebled for
the apprehension of realities, we needed a divine teacher. The Saviour
is sent down--a teacher and leader in the acquisition of the good--the
secret and sacred token of the great Providence. "Where, then, is the
scribe? where is the searcher of this world? Hath not God made foolish
the wisdom of this world?"  it is said. And again, "I will
destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding
of the prudent,"  plainly of those wise in their own eyes, and
disputatious. Excellently therefore Jeremiah says, "Thus saith the
Lord, Stand in the ways, and ask for the eternal paths, what is the
good way, and walk in it, and ye shall find expiation for your souls."
 Ask, he says, and inquire of those who know, without contention
and dispute. And on learning the way of truth, let us walk on the right
way, without turning till we attain to what we desire. It was therefore
with reason that the king of the Romans (his name was Numa), being a
Pythagorean, first of all men, erected a temple to Faith and Peace.
"And to Abraham, on believing, righteousness was reckoned."  He,
prosecuting the lofty philosophy of aerial phenomena, and the sublime
philosophy of the movements in the heavens, was called Abram, which is
interpreted "sublime father."  But afterwards, on looking up to
heaven, whether it was that he saw the Son in the spirit, as some
explain, or a glorious angel, or in any other way recognised God to be
superior to the creation, and all the order in it, he receives in
addition the Alpha, the knowledge of the one and only God, and is
called Abraam, having, instead of a natural philosopher, become wise,
and a lover of God. For it is interpreted, "elect father of sound." For
by sound is the uttered word: the mind is its father; and the mind of
the good man is elect. I cannot forbear praising exceedingly the poet
of Agrigentum, who celebrates faith as follows:--
"Friends, I know, then, that there is truth in the myths
Which I will relate. But very difficult to men,
And irksome to the mind, is the attempt of faith." 
Wherefore also the apostle exhorts, "that your faith should not be in
the wisdom of men," who profess to persuade, "but in the power of God,"
 which alone without proofs, by mere faith, is able to save. "For
the most approved of those that are reputable knows how to keep watch.
And justice will apprehend the forgers and witnesses of lies," says the
Ephesian.  For he, having derived his knowledge from the
barbarian philosophy, is acquainted with the purification by fire of
those who have led bad lives, which the Stoics afterwards called the
Conflagration (ekpurosis), in which also they teach that each will
arise exactly as he was, so treating of the resurrection; while Plato
says as follows, that the earth at certain periods is purified by fire
and water: "There have been many destructions of men in many ways; and
there shall be very great ones by fire and water; and others briefer by
innumerable causes." And after a little he adds: "And, in truth, there
is a change of the objects which revolve about earth and heaven; and in
the course of long periods there is the destruction of the objects on
earth by a great conflagration." Then he subjoins respecting the
deluge: "But when, again, the gods deluge the earth to purify it with
water, those on the mountains, herdsmen and shepherds, are saved; those
in your cities are carried down by the rivers into the sea." And we
showed in the first Miscellany  that the philosophers of the
Greeks are called thieves, inasmuch as they have taken without
acknowledgment their principal dogmas from Moses and the prophets. To
which also we shall add, that the angels who had obtained the superior
rank, having sunk into pleasures, told to the women  the secrets
which had come to their knowledge; while the rest of the angels
concealed them, or rather, kept them against the coming of the Lord.
Thence emanated the doctrine of providence, and the revelation of high
things; and prophecy having already been imparted to the philosophers
of the Greeks, the treatment of dogma arose among the philosophers,
sometimes true when they hit the mark, and sometimes erroneous, when
they comprehended not the secret of the prophetic allegory. And this it
is proposed briefly to indicate in running over the points requiring
mention. Faith, then, we say, we are to show must not be inert and
alone, but accompanied with investigation. For I do not say that we are
not to inquire at all. For "Search, and thou shalt find,"  it is
"What is sought may be captured,
But what is neglected escapes,"
according to Sophocles.
The like also says Menander the comic poet:--
"All things sought,
The wisest say, need anxious thought.
But we ought to direct the visual faculty of the soul aright to
discovery, and to clear away obstacles; and to cast clean away
contention, and envy, and strife, destined to perish miserably from
For very beautifully does Timon of Phlius write:--
"And Strife, the Plague of Mortals, stalks vainly shrieking,
The sister of Murderous Quarrel and Discord,
Which rolls blindly over all things. But then
It sets its head towards men, and casts them on hope."
Then a little below he adds:--
"For who hath set these to fight in deadly strife?
A rabble keeping pace with Echo; for, enraged at those silent,
It raised an evil disease against men, and many perished;"
of the speech which denies what is false, and of the dilemma, of that
which is concealed, of the Sorites, and of the Crocodilean, of that
which is open, and of ambiguities and sophisms. To inquire, then,
respecting God, if it tend not to strife, but to discovery, is
salutary. For it is written in David, "The poor eat, and shall be
filled; and they shall praise the Lord that seek Him. Your heart shall
live for ever."  For they who seek Him after the true search,
praising the Lord, shall be filled with the gift that comes from God,
that is, knowledge. And their soul shall live; for the soul is
figuratively termed the heart, which ministers life: for by the Son is
the Father known.
We ought not to surrender our ears to all who speak and write rashly.
For cups also, which are taken hold of by many by the ears, are
dirtied, and lose the ears; and besides, when they fall they are
broken. In the same way also, those, who have polluted the pure hearing
of faith by many trifles, at last becoming deaf to the truth, become
useless and fall to the earth. It is not, then, without reason that we
commanded boys to kiss their relations, holding them by the ears;
indicating this, that the feeling of love is engendered by hearing. And
"God," who is known to those who love, "is love,"  as "God," who
by instruction is communicated to the faithful, "is faithful;" 
and we must be allied to Him by divine love: so that by like we may see
like, hearing the word of truth guilelessly and purely, as children who
obey us. And this was what he, whoever he was, indicated who wrote on
the entrance to the temple at Epidaurus the inscription:--
"Pure he must be who goes within
The incense-perfumed fane."
And purity is "to think holy thoughts." "Except ye become as these
little children, ye shall not enter," it is said, "into the kingdom of
heaven."  For there the temple of God is seen established on
three foundations--faith, hope, and love.
 Matt. xi. 15.
 Odyss., vi. 185.
 Teacher and scholar.
 Rom. i. 11, 12.
 Rom. i. 17.
 ["The common faith" (he koine pistis) is no "secret," then, and cannot be in its nature.]
 Matt. ix. 22.
 Matt. xvii. 20; Luke xvii. 6; 1 Cor. xiii. 2.
 Luke xvii. 5.
 Gen. xv. 6; Rom. iv. 3.
 Isa. lix. 8.
 2 Tim. ii. 23.
 [All such expressions noteworthy for manifold uses among divines.]
 [Fatal to not a little of the scholastic theology, and the Trent dogmas.]
 1 Cor. xiii. 12.
 Ex. xxxiii. 20.
 Matt. v. 8.
 1 Cor. i. 20.
 1 Cor. i. 19.
 Jer. vi. 16.
 Rom. iv. 3, 5, 9, 22.
 Philo Judaeus, De Abrahame, p. 413, vol. ii. Bohn. [But see Elucidation I.]
 1 Cor. ii. 5.
 [See p. 318, supra.]
 [See vol. i. p. 190, this series.]
 Matt. vii. 7.
 Ps. xxii. 26.
 1 John iv. 16.
 1 Cor. i. 9, x. 13.
 Matt. xviii. 3. [Again this tender love of children.]
Chap. II.--On Hope.
Respecting faith we have adduced sufficient testimonies of writings
among the Greeks. But in order not to exceed bounds, through eagerness
to collect a very great many also respecting hope and love, suffice it
merely to say that in the Crito Socrates, who prefers a good life and
death to life itself, thinks that we have hope of another life after
Also in the Phoedrus he says, "That only when in a separate state can
the soul become partaker of the wisdom which is true, and surpasses
human power; and when, having reached the end of hope by philosophic
love, desire shall waft it to heaven, then," says he, "does it receive
the commencement of another, an immortal life." And in the Symposium he
says, "That there is instilled into all the natural love of generating
what is like, and in men of generating men alone, and in the good man
of the generation of the counterpart of himself. But it is impossible
for the good man to do this without possessing the perfect virtues, in
which he will train the youth who have recourse to him." And as he says
in the Theoetetus,"He will beget and finish men. For some procreate by
the body, others by the soul;" since also with the barbarian
philosophers to teach and enlighten is called to regenerate; and "I
have begotten you in Jesus Christ,"  says the good apostle
Empedocles, too, enumerates friendship among the elements, conceiving
it as a combining love:--
"Which do you look at with your mind; and don't sit gaping with your
Parmenides, too, in his poem, alluding to hope, speaks thus:--
"Yet look with the mind certainly on what is absent as present,
For it will not sever that which is from the grasp it has of that which
Not, even if scattered in every direction over the world or combined."
 1 Cor. iv. 15.
Chapter III.--The Objects of Faith and Hope Perceived by the Mind Alone.
For he who hopes, as he who believes, sees intellectual objects and
future things with the mind. If, then, we affirm that aught is just,
and affirm it to be good, and we also say that truth is something, yet
we have never seen any of such objects with our eyes, but with our mind
alone. Now the Word of God says, "I am the truth."  The Word is
then to be contemplated by the mind. "Do you aver," it was said, 
"that there are any true philosophers?" "Yes," said I, "those who love
to contemplate the truth." In the Phoedrus also, Plato, speaking of the
truth, shows it as an idea. Now an idea is a conception of God; and
this the barbarians have termed the Word of God. The words are as
follow: "For one must then dare to speak the truth, especially in
speaking of the truth. For the essence of the soul, being colourless,
formless, and intangible, is visible only to God,  its guide."
Now the Word issuing forth was the cause of creation; then also he
generated himself, "when the Word had become flesh,"  that He
might be seen. The righteous man will seek the discovery that flows
from love, to which if he hastes he prospers. For it is said, "To him
that knocketh, it shall be opened: ask, and it shall be given to you."
 "For the violent that storm the kingdom"  are not so in
disputatious speeches; but by continuance in a right life and unceasing
prayers, are said "to take it by force," wiping away the blots left by
their previous sins.
"You may obtain wickedness, even in great abundance. 
And him who toils God helps;
For the gifts of the Muses, hard to win,
Lie not before you, for any one to bear away."
The knowledge of ignorance is, then, the first lesson in walking
according to the Word. An ignorant man has sought, and having sought,
he finds the teacher; and finding has believed, and believing has
hoped; and henceforward having loved, is assimilated to what was
loved--endeavouring to be what he first loved. Such is the method
Socrates shows Alcibiades, who thus questions: "Do you not think that I
shall know about what is right otherwise?" "Yes, if you have found
out." "But you don't think I have found out?" "Certainly, if you have
"Then you don't think that I have sought?" "Yes, if you think you do
not know."  So with the lamps of the wise virgins, lighted at
night in the great darkness of ignorance, which the Scripture signified
by "night." Wise souls, pure as virgins, understanding themselves to be
situated amidst the ignorance of the world, kindle the light, and rouse
the mind, and illumine the darkness, and dispel ignorance, and seek
truth, and await the appearance of the Teacher.
"The mob, then," said I, "cannot become philosopher." 
"Many rod-bearers there are, but few Bacchi," according to Plato. "For
many are called, but few chosen."  "Knowledge is not in all,"
 says the apostle. "And pray that we may be delivered from
unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith."  And
the Poetics of Cleanthes, the Stoic, writes to the following effect:--
"Look not to glory, wishing to be suddenly wise,
And fear not the undiscerning and rash opinion of the many;
For the multitude has not an intelligent, or wise, or right judgment,
And it is in few men that you will find this." 
And more sententiously the comic poet briefly says:--
"It is a shame to judge of what is right by much noise."
For they heard, I think, that excellent wisdom, which says to us,
"Watch your opportunity in the midst of the foolish, and in the midst
of the intelligent continue."  And again, "The wise will conceal
sense."  For the many demand demonstration as a pledge of truth,
not satisfied with the bare salvation by faith.
"But it is strongly incumbent to disbelieve the dominant wicked,
And as is enjoined by the assurance of our muse,
Know by dissecting the utterance within your breast."
"For this is habitual to the wicked," says Empedocles, "to wish to
overbear what is true by disbelieving it." And that our tenets are
probable and worthy of belief, the Greeks shall know, the point being
more thoroughly investigated in what follows. For we are taught what is
like by what is like. For says Solomon, "Answer a fool according to his
folly."  Wherefore also, to those that ask the wisdom that is
with us, we are to hold out things suitable, that with the greatest
possible ease they may, through their own ideas, be likely to arrive at
faith in the truth. For "I became all things to all men, that I might
gain all men."  Since also "the rain" of the divine grace is sent
down "on the just and the unjust."  "Is He the God of the Jews
only, and not also of the Gentiles? Yes, also of the Gentiles: if
indeed He is one God,"  exclaims the noble apostle.
 John xiv. 6.
 By Plato.
 In Plato we have no instead of Theo.
 John i. 14.
 Matt. vii. 7.
 Matt. xi. 12.
 Hesiod, first line, Works and Days, 285. The other three are variously ascribed to different authors.
 Plato, Alcibiades, book i.
 Plato, Republic, vi. p. 678.
 Matt. xx. 16.
 1 Cor. viii. 7.
 2 Thess. iii. 1, 2.
 Quoted by Socrates in the Phaedo, p. 52.
 Ecclus. xxvii. 12.
 Prov. x. 14.
 Prov. xxvi. 5.
 1 Cor. ix. 22.
 Matt. v. 45.
 Rom. iii. 29, 30.
Chapter IV.--Divine Things Wrapped Up in Figures Both in the Sacred and in Heathen Writers.
But since they will believe neither in what is good justly nor in
knowledge unto salvation, we ourselves reckoning what they claim as
belonging to us, because all things are God's; and especially since
what is good proceeded from us to the Greeks, let us handle those
things as they are capable of hearing. For intelligence or rectitude
this great crowd estimates not by truth, but by what they are delighted
with. And they will be pleased not more with other things than with
what is like themselves. For he who is still blind and dumb, not having
understanding, or the undazzled and keen vision of the contemplative
soul, which the Saviour confers, like the uninitiated at the mysteries,
or the unmusical at dances, not being yet pure and worthy of the pure
truth, but still discordant and disordered and material, must stand
outside of the divine choir. "For we compare spiritual things with
spiritual."  Wherefore, in accordance with the method of
concealment, the truly sacred Word, truly divine and most necessary for
us, deposited in the shrine of truth, was by the Egyptians indicated by
what were called among them adyta, and by the Hebrews by the veil. Only
the consecrated--that is, those devoted to God, circumcised in the
desire of the passions for the sake of love to that which is alone
divine--were allowed access to them. For Plato also thought it not
lawful for "the impure to touch the pure."
Thence the prophecies and oracles are spoken in enigmas, and the
mysteries are not exhibited incontinently to all and sundry, but only
after certain purifications and previous instructions.
"For the Muse was not then
Greedy of gain or mercenary;
Nor were Terpsichore's sweet,
Honey-toned, silvery soft-voiced
Strains made merchandise of."
Now those instructed among the Egyptians learned first of all that
style of the Egyptian letters which is called Epistolographic; and
second, the Hieratic, which the sacred scribes practice; and finally,
and last of all, the Hieroglyphic, of which one kind which is by the
first elements is literal (Kyriologic), and the other Symbolic. Of the
Symbolic, one kind speaks literally by imitation, and another writes as
it were figuratively; and another is quite allegorical, using certain
Wishing to express Sun in writing, they makea circle; and Moon, a
figure like the Moon, like its proper shape. But in using the
figurative style, by transposing and transferring, by changing and by
transforming in many ways as suits them, they draw characters. In
relating the praises of the kings in theological myths, they write in
anaglyphs.  Let the following stand as a specimen of the third
species--the Enigmatic. For the rest of the stars, on account of their
oblique course, they have figured like the bodies of serpents; but the
sun, like that of a beetle, because it makes a round figure of ox-dung,
 and rolls it before its face. And they say that this creature
lives six months under ground, and the other division of the year above
ground, and emits its seed into the ball, and brings forth; and that
there is not a female beetle. All then, in a word, who have spoken of
divine things, both Barbarians and Greeks, have veiled the first
principles of things, and delivered the truth in enigmas, and symbols,
and allegories, and metaphors, and such like tropes.  Such also
are the oracles among the Greeks. And the Pythian Apollo is called
Loxias. Also the maxims of those among the Greeks called wise men, in a
few sayings indicate the unfolding of matter of considerable
importance. Such certainly is that maxim, "Spare Time:" either because
life is short, and we ought not to expend this time in vain; or, on the
other hand, it bids you spare your personal expenses; so that, though
you live many years, necessaries may not fail you. Similarly also the
maxim "Know thyself" shows many things; both that thou art mortal, and
that thou wast born a human being; and also that, in comparison with
the other excellences of life, thou art of no account, because thou
sayest that thou art rich or renowned; or, on the other hand, that,
being rich or renowned, you are not honoured on account of your
advantages alone. And it says, Know for what thou wert born, and whose
image thou art; and what is thy essence, and what thy creation, and
what thy relation to God, and the like. And the Spirit says by Isaiah
the prophet, "I will give thee treasures, hidden, dark."  Now
wisdom, hard to hunt, is the treasures of God and unfailing riches. But
those, taught in theology by those prophets, the poets, philosophize
much by way of a hidden sense. I mean Orpheus, Linus, Musaeus, Homer,
and Hesiod, and those in this fashion wise. The persuasive style of
poetry is for them a veil for the many. Dreams and signs are all more
or less obscure to men, not from jealousy (for it were wrong to
conceive of God as subject to passions), but in order that research,
introducing to the understanding of enigmas, may haste to the discovery
of truth. Thus Sophocles the tragic poet somewhere says:--
"And God I know to be such an one,
Ever the revealer of enigmas to the wise,
But to the perverse bad, although a teacher in few words,"--
putting bad instead of simple. Expressly then respecting all our
Scripture, as if spoken in a parable, it is written in the Psalms,
"Hear, O My people, My law: incline your ear to the words of My mouth.
I will open My mouth in parables, I will utter My problems from the
beginning."  Similarly speaks the noble apostle to the following
effect: "Howbeit we speak wisdom among those that are perfect; yet not
the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come
to nought. But we speak the wisdom of God hidden in a mystery; which
none of the princes of this world knew. For had they known it, they
would not have crucified the Lord of glory." 
The philosophers did not exert themselves in contemning the appearance
of the Lord. It therefore follows that it is the opinion of the wise
among the Jews which the apostle inveighs against. Wherefore he adds,
"But we preach, as it is written, what eye hath not seen, and ear hath
not heard, and hath not entered into the heart of man, what God hath
prepared for them that love Him. For God hath revealed it to us by the
Spirit. For the Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of
God."  For he recognises the spiritual man and the Gnostic as the
disciple of the Holy Spirit dispensed by God, which is the mind of
Christ. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit,
for they are foolishness to him."  Now the apostle, in
contradistinction to gnostic perfection, calls the common faith 
the foundation, and sometimes milk, writing on this wise: "Brethren, I
could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal, to babes in
Christ. I have fed you with milk, not with meat: for ye were not able.
Neither yet are ye now able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there
is among you envy and strife, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
 Which things are the choice of those men who are sinners. But
those who abstain from these things give their thoughts to divine
things, and partake of gnostic food. "According to the grace," it is
said, "given to me as a wise master builder, I have laid the
foundation. And another buildeth on it gold and silver, precious
stones."  Such is the gnostic superstructure on the foundation of
faith in Christ Jesus. But "the stubble, and the wood, and the hay,"
are the additions of heresies. "But the fire shall try every man's
work, of what sort it is." In allusion to the gnostic edifice also in
the Epistle to the Romans, he says, "For I desire to see you, that I
may impart unto you a spiritual gift, that ye may be established."
 It was impossible that gifts of this sort could be written
 1 Cor. ii. 13.
 Bas relief.
 [Elucidation II.]
 [Prov. i. 6.]
 Isa. xlv. 3.
 Ps. lxxviii. 1, 2.
 1 Cor. ii. 6-8.
 1 Cor. ii. 9, 10.
 1 Cor. ii. 14.
 [See cap. i. p. 444, note 6, supra.]
 1 Cor. iii. 1-3.
 1 Cor. iii. 10-13.
 Rom. i. 11.
Chapter V.--On the Symbols of Pythagoras.
Now the Pythagorean symbols were connected with the Barbarian
philosophy in the most recondite way. For instance, the Samian counsels
"not to have a swallow in the house;" that is, not to receive a
loquacious, whispering, garrulous man, who cannot contain what has been
communicated to him. "For the swallow, and the turtle, and the sparrows
of the field, know the times of their entrance,"  says the
Scripture; and one ought never to dwell with trifles. And the
turtle-dove murmuring shows the thankless slander of fault-finding, and
is rightly expelled the house.
"Don't mutter against me, sitting by one in one place, another in
The swallow too, which suggests the fable of Pandion, seeing it is
right to detest the incidents reported of it, some of which we hear
Tereus suffered, and some of which he inflicted. It pursues also the
musical grasshoppers, whence he who is a persecutor of the word ought
to be driven away.
"By sceptre-bearing Here, whose eye surveys Olympus,
I have a rusty closet for tongues,"
says Poetry. AEschylus also says:--
"But, I, too, have a key as a guard on my tongue."
Again Pythagoras commanded, "When the pot is lifted off the fire, not
to leave its mark in the ashes, but to scatter them;" and "people on
getting up from bed, to shake the bed-clothes." For he intimated that
it was necessary not only to efface the mark, but not to leave even a
trace of anger; and that on its ceasing to boil, it was to be composed,
and all memory of injury to be wiped out. "And let not the sun," says
the Scripture, "go down upon your wrath."  And he that said,
"Thou shall not desire,"  took away all memory of wrong; for
wrath is found to be the impulse of concupiscence in a mild soul,
especially seeking irrational revenge. In the same way "the bed is
ordered to be shaken up," so that there may be no recollection of
effusion in sleep,  or sleep in the day-time; nor, besides, of
pleasure during the night. And he intimated that the vision of the dark
ought to be dissipated speedily by the light of truth. "Be angry, and
sin not," says David, teaching us that we ought not to assent to the
impression, and not to follow it up by action, and so confirm wrath.
Again, "Don't sail on land" is a Pythagorean saw, and shows that taxes
and similar contracts, being troublesome and fluctuating, ought to be
declined. Wherefore also the Word says that the tax-gatherers shall be
saved with difficulty. 
And again, "Don't wear a ring, nor engrave on it the images of the
gods," enjoins Pythagoras; as Moses ages before enacted expressly, that
neither a graven, nor molten, nor moulded, nor painted likeness should
be made; so that we may not cleave to things of sense, but pass to
intellectual objects: for familiarity with the sight disparages the
reverence of what is divine; and to worship that which is immaterial by
matter, is to dishonour it by sense.  Wherefore the wisest of the
Egyptian priests decided that the temple of Athene should be
hypaethral, just as the Hebrews constructed the temple without an
image. And some, in worshipping God, make a representation of heaven
containing the stars; and so worship, although Scripture says, "Let Us
make man in Our image and likeness."  I think it worth while also
to adduce the utterance of Eurysus the Pythagorean, which is as
follows, who in his book On Fortune, having said that the "Creator, on
making man, took Himself as an exemplar," added, "And the body is like
the other things, as being made of the same material, and fashioned by
the best workman, who wrought it, taking Himself as the archetype."
And, in fine, Pythagoras and his followers, with Plato also, and most
of the other philosophers, were best acquainted with the Lawgiver, as
may be concluded from their doctrine. And by a happy utterance of
divination, not without divine help, concurring in certain prophetic
declarations, and, seizing the truth in portions and aspects, in terms
not obscure, and not going beyond the explanation of the things, they
honoured it on as certaining the appearance of relation with the truth.
Whence the Hellenic philosophy is like the torch of wick which men
kindle, artificially stealing the light from the sun. But on the
proclamation of the Word all that holy light shone forth. Then in
houses by night the stolen light is useful; but by day the fire blazes,
and all the night is illuminated by such a sun of intellectual light.
Now Pythagoras made an epitome of the statements on righteousness in
Moses, when he said, "Do not step over the balance;" that is, do not
transgress equality in distribution, honouring justice so.
"Which friends to friends for ever, binds,
To cities, cities--to allies, allies,
For equality is what is right for men;
But less to greater ever hostile grows,
And days of hate begin,"
as is said with poetic grace.
Wherefore the Lord says, "Take My yoke, for it is gentle and light."
 And on the disciples, striving for the pre-eminence, He enjoins
equality with simplicity, saying "that they must become as little
children."  Likewise also the apostle writes, that "no one in
Christ is bond or free, or Greek or Jew. For the creation in Christ
Jesus is new, is equality, free of strife--not grasping--just." For
envy, and jealousy, and bitterness, stand without the divine choir.
Thus also those skilled in the mysteries forbid "to eat the heart;"
teaching that we ought not to gnaw and consume the soul by idleness and
by vexation, on account of things which happen against one's wishes.
Wretched, accordingly, was the man whom Homer also says, wandering
alone, "ate his own heart." But again, seeing the Gospel supposes two
ways--the apostles, too, similarly with all the prophets--and seeing
they call that one "narrow and confined" which is circumscribed
according to the commandments and prohibitions, and the opposite one,
which leads to perdition, "broad and roomy," open to pleasures and
wrath, and say, "Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of
the ungodly, and standeth not in the way of sinners."  Hence also
comes the fable of Prodicus of Ceus about Virtue and Vice.  And
Pythagoras shrinks not from prohibiting to walk on the public
thoroughfares, enjoining the necessity of not following the sentiments
of the many, which are crude and inconsistent. And Aristocritus, in the
first book of his Positions against Heracliodorus, mentions a letter to
this effect: "Atoeeas king of the Scythians to the people of Byzantium:
Do not impair my revenues in case my mares drink your water;" for the
Barbarian indicated symbolically that he would make war on them.
Likewise also the poet Euphorion introduces Nestor saying,--
"We have not yet wet the Achaean steeds in Simois."
Therefore also the Egyptians place Sphinxes  before their
temples, to signify that the doctrine respecting God is enigmatical and
obscure; perhaps also that we ought both to love and fear the Divine
Being: to love Him as gentle and benign to the pious; to fear Him as
inexorably just to the impious; for the sphinx shows the image of a
wild beast and of a man together.
 Jer. viii. 6.
 Iliad, ix. 311.
 Eph. iv. 26.
 Ex. xx. 17.
 [Jude 23.]
 It is so said of the rich; Matt. xix. 23; Mark x. 23; Luke xviii. 24.
 [Against images. But see Catechism of the Council of Trent, part iii. cap. 2, quaest. xxiv.]
 Gen. i. 26.
 Matt. xi. 29, 30.
 Matt. xviii. 3.
 Ps. i. 1.
 [See Paedogogue, ii. 11, p. 265, supra.]
 [Rawlinson, Herod., ii. 223.]
Chapter VI.--The Mystic Meaning of the Tabernacle and Its Furniture.
It were tedious to go over all the Prophets and the Law, specifying
what is spoken in enigmas; for almost the whole Scripture gives its
utterances in this way. It may suffice, I think, for any one possessed
of intelligence, for the proof of the point in hand, to select a few
Now concealment is evinced in the reference of the seven circuits
around the temple, which are made mention of among the Hebrews; and the
equipment on the robe, indicating by the various symbols, which had
reference to visible objects, the agreement which from heaven reaches
down to earth. And the covering and the veil were variegated with blue,
and purple, and scarlet, and linen. And so it was suggested that the
nature of the elements contained the revelation of God. For purple is
from water, linen from the earth; blue, being dark, is like the air, as
scarlet is like fire.
In the midst of the covering and veil, where the priests were allowed
to enter, was situated the altar of incense, the symbol of the earth
placed in the middle of this universe; and from it came the fumes of
incense. And that place intermediate between the inner veil, where the
high priest alone, on prescribed days, was permitted to enter, and the
external court which surrounded it--free to all the Hebrews--was, they
say, the middlemost point of heaven and earth. But others say it was
the symbol of the intellectual world, and that of sense. The covering,
then, the barrier of popular unbelief, was stretched in front of the
five pillars, keeping back those in the surrounding space.
So very mystically the five loaves are broken by the Saviour, and fill
the crowd of the listeners. For great is the crowd that keep to the
things of sense, as if they were the only things in existence. "Cast
your eyes round, and see," says Plato, "that none of the uninitiated
listen." Such are they who think that nothing else exists, but what
they can hold tight with their hands; but do not admit as in the
department of existence, actions and processes of generation, and the
whole of the unseen. For such are those who keep by the five senses.
But the knowledge of God is a thing inaccessible to the ears and like
organs of this kind of people. Hence the Son is said to be the Father's
face, being the revealer of the Father's character to the five senses
by clothing Himself with flesh. "But if we live in the Spirit, let us
also walk in the Spirit."  "For we walk by faith, not by sight,"
 the noble apostle says. Within the veil, then, is concealed the
sacerdotal service; and it keeps those engaged in it far from those
Again, there is the veil of the entrance into the holy of holies. Four
pillars there are, the sign of the sacred tetrad of the ancient
covenants.  Further, the mystic name of four letters which was
affixed to those alone to whom the adytum was accessible, is called
Jave, which is interpreted, "Who is and shall be." The name of God,
too, among the Greeks contains four letters.
Now the Lord, having come alone into the intellectual world, enters by
His sufferings, introduced into the knowledge of the Ineffable,
ascending above every name which is known by sound. The lamp, too, was
placed to the south of the altar of incense; and by it were shown the
motions of the seven planets, that perform their revolutions towards
the south. For three branches rose on either side of the lamp, and
lights on them; since also the sun, like the lamp, set in the midst of
all the planets, dispenses with a kind of divine music the light to
those above and to those below.
The golden lamp conveys another enigma as a symbol of Christ, not in
respect of form alone, but in his casting light, "at sundry times and
divers manners,"  on those who believe on Him and hope, and who
see by means of the ministry of the First-born. And they say that the
seven eyes of the Lord "are the seven spirits resting on the rod that
springs from the root of Jesse." 
North of the altar of incense was placed a table, on which there was
"the exhibition of the loaves;" for the most nourishing of the winds
are those of the north. And thus are signified certain seats of
churches conspiring so as to form one body and one assemblage. 
And the things recorded of the sacred ark signify the properties of the
world of thought, which is hidden and closed to the many.
And those golden figures, each of them with six wings, signify either
the two bears, as some will have it, or rather the two hemispheres. And
the name cherubim meant "much knowledge." But both together have twelve
wings, and by the zodiac and time, which moves on it, point out the
world of sense. It is of them, I think, that Tragedy, discoursing of
"Unwearied Time circles full in perennial flow,
Producing itself. And the twin-bears
On the swift wandering motions of their wings,
Keep the Atlantean pole."
And Atlas,  the unsuffering pole, may mean the fixed sphere, or
better perhaps, motionless eternity. But I think it better to regard
the ark, so called from the Hebrew word Thebotha,  as signifying
something else. It is interpreted, one instead of one in all places.
Whether, then, it is the eighth region and the world of thought, or
God, all-embracing, and without shape, and invisible, that is
indicated, we may for the present defer saying. But it signifies the
repose which dwells with the adoring spirits, which are meant by the
For He who prohibited the making of a graven image, would never Himself
have made an image in the likeness of holy things.  Nor is there
at all any composite thing, and creature endowed with sensation, of the
sort in heaven. But the face is a symbol of the rational soul, and the
wings are the lofty ministers and energies of powers right and left;
and the voice is delightsome glory in ceaseless contemplation. Let it
suffice that the mystic interpretation has advanced so far.
Now the high priest's robe is the symbol of the world of sense. The
seven planets are represented by the five stones and the two
carbuncles, for Saturn and the Moon. The former is southern, and moist,
and earthy, and heavy; the latter aerial, whence she is called by some
Artemis, as if AErotomos (cutting the air); and the air is cloudy. And
cooperating as they did in the production of things here below, those
that by Divine Providence are set over the planets are rightly
represented as placed on the breast and shoulders; and by them was the
work of creation, the first week. And the breast is the seat of the
heart and soul.
Differently, the stones might be the various phases of salvation; some
occupying the upper, some the lower parts of the entire body saved. The
three hundred and sixty bells, suspended from the robe, is the space of
a year, "the acceptable year of the Lord," proclaiming and resounding
the stupendous manifestation of the Saviour. Further, the broad gold
mitre indicates the regal power of the Lord, "since the Head of the
Church" is the Saviour.  The mitre that is on it [i.e., the head]
is, then, a sign of most princely rule; and otherwise we have heard it
said, "The Head of Christ is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ."  Moreover, there was the breastplate, comprising the
ephod, which is the symbol of work, and the oracle (logion); and this
indicated the Word (logos) by which it was framed, and is the symbol of
heaven, made by the Word,  and subjected to Christ, the Head of
all things, inasmuch as it moves in the same way, and in a like manner.
The luminous emerald stones, therefore, in the ephod, signify the sun
and moon, the helpers of nature. The shoulder, I take it, is the
commencement of the hand.
The twelve stones, set in four rows on the breast, describe for us the
circle of the zodiac, in the four changes of the year. It was otherwise
requisite that the law and the prophets should be placed beneath the
Lord's head, because in both Testaments mention is made of the
righteous. For were we to say that the apostles were at once prophets
and righteous, we should say well, "since one and the self-same Holy
Spirit works in all."  And as the Lord is above the whole world,
yea, above the world of thought, so the name engraven on the plate has
been regarded to signify, above all rule and authority; and it was
inscribed with reference both to the written commandments and the
manifestation to sense. And it is the name of God that is expressed;
since, as the Son sees the goodness of the Father, God the Saviour
works, being called the first principle of all things, which was imaged
forth from the invisible God first, and before the ages, and which
fashioned all things which came into being after itself. Nay more, the
oracle  exhibits the prophecy which by the Word cries and
preaches, and the judgment that is to come; since it is the same Word
which prophesies, and judges, and discriminates all things.
And they say that the robe prophesied the ministry in the flesh, by
which He was seen in closer relation to the world. So the high priest,
putting off his consecrated robe (the universe, and the creation in the
universe, were consecrated by Him assenting that, what was made, was
good), washes himself, and puts on the other tunic--a holy-of-holies
one, so to speak--which is to accompany him into the adytum;
exhibiting, as seems to me, the Levite and Gnostic, as the chief of
other priests (those bathed in water, and clothed in faith alone, and
expecting their own individual abode), himself distinguishing the
objects of the intellect from the things of sense, rising above other
priests, hasting to the entrance to the world of ideas, to wash himself
from the things here below, not in water, as formerly one was cleansed
on being enrolled in the tribe of Levi. But purified already by the
gnostic Word in his whole heart, and thoroughly regulated, and having
improved that mode of life received from the priest to the highest
pitch, being quite sanctified both in word and life, and having put on
the bright array of glory, and received the ineffable inheritance of
that spiritual and perfect man, "which eye hath not seen and ear hath
not heard, and it hath not entered into the heart of man;" and having
become son and friend, he is now replenished with insatiable
contemplation face to face. For there is nothing like hearing the Word
Himself, who by means of the Scripture inspires fuller intelligence.
For so it is said, "And he shall put off the linen robe, which he had
put on when he entered into the holy place; and shall lay it aside
there, and wash his body in water in the holy place, and put on his
robe."  But in one way, as I think, the Lord puts off and puts on
by descending into the region of sense; and in another, he who through
Him has believed puts off and puts on, as the apostle intimated, the
consecrated stole. Thence, after the image of the Lord the worthiest
were chosen from the sacred tribes to be high priests, and those
elected to the kingly office and to prophecy were anointed.
 Gal. v. 25.
 2 Cor. v. 7.
 [Elucidation III.]
 Heb. i. 1.
 Rev. v. 6; Isa. xi. 10. [Elucidation IV.]
 ["The communion of saints."]
 Ha--tlas, unsuffering.
 The Chaldaic tyvvch'. The Hebrew is t?vh, Sept. kibotos, Vulg. arca.
 [Elucidation V.]
 Eph. v. 23.
 1 Cor. xi. 3; 2 Cor. xi. 31.
 And the whole place is very correctly called the Logeum (loge ion), since everything in heaven has been created and arranged in accordance with right reason (logois) and proportion (Philo, vol. iii. p. 195, Bohn's translation).
 1 Cor. xii. 11.
 i.e., the oracular breastplate.
 Lev. xvi. 23, 24.
Chapter VII.--The Egyptian Symbols and Enigmas of Sacred Things.
Whence also the Egyptians did not entrust the mysteries they possessed
to all and sundry, and did not divulge the knowledge of divine things
to the profane; but only to those destined to ascend the throne, and
those of the priests that were judged the worthiest, from their
nurture, culture, and birth. Similar, then, to the Hebrew enigmas in
respect to concealment, are those of the Egyptians also. Of the
Egyptians, some show the sun on a ship, others on a crocodile. And they
signify hereby, that the sun, making a passage through the delicious
and moist air, generates time; which is symbolized by the crocodile in
some other sacerdotal account. Further, at Diospolis in Egypt, on the
temple called Pylon, there was figured a boy as the symbol of
production, and an old man as that of decay. A hawk, on the other hand,
was the symbol of God, as a fish of hate; and, according to a different
symbolism, the crocodile of impudence. The whole symbol, then, when put
together, appears to teach this: "Oh ye who are born and die, God hates
And there are those who fashion ears and eyes of costly material, and
consecrate them, dedicating them in the temples to the gods--by this
plainly indicating that God sees and hears all things. Besides, the
lion is with them the symbol of strength and prowess, as the ox clearly
is of the earth itself, and husbandry and food, and the horse of
fortitude and confidence; while, on the other hand, the sphinx, of
strength combined with intelligence--as it had a body entirely that of
a lion, and the face of a man. Similarly to these, to indicate
intelligence, and memory, and power, and art, a man is sculptured in
the temples. And in what is called among them the Komasiae of the gods,
they carry about golden images--two dogs, one hawk, and one ibis; and
the four figures of the images they call four letters. For the dogs are
symbols of the two hemispheres, which, as it were, go round and keep
watch; the hawk, of the sun, for it is fiery and destructive (so they
attribute pestilential diseases to the sun); the ibis, of the moon,
likening the shady parts to that which is dark in plumage, and the
luminous to the light. And some will have it that by the dogs are meant
the tropics, which guard and watch the sun's passage to the south and
north. The hawk signifies the equinoctial line, which is high and
parched with heat, as the ibis the ecliptic. For the ibis seems, above
other animals, to have furnished to the Egyptians the first rudiments
of the invention of number and measure, as the oblique line did of
Chapter VIII.--The Use of the Symbolic Style by Poets and Philosophers.
But it was not only the most highly intellectual of the Egyptians, but
also such of other barbarians as prosecuted philosophy, that affected
the symbolical style. They say, then, that Idanthuris king of the
Scythians, as Pherecydes of Syros relates, sent to Darius, on his
passing the Ister in threat of war, a symbol, instead of a letter,
consisting of a mouse, a frog, a bird, a javelin, a plough. And there
being a doubt in reference to them, as was to be expected, Orontopagas
the Chiliarch said that they were to resign the kingdom; taking
dwellings to be meant by the mouse, waters by the frog, air by the
bird, land by the plough, arms by the javelin. But Xiphodres
interpreted the contrary; for he said, "If we do not take our flight
like birds, or like mice get below the earth, or like frogs beneath the
water, we shall not escape their arrows; for we are not lords of the
It is said that Anacharsis the Scythian, while asleep, covered the
pudenda with his left hand, and his mouth with his right, to intimate
that both ought to be mastered, but that it was a greater thing to
master the tongue than voluptuousness.
And why should I linger over the barbarians, when I can adduce the
Greeks as exceedingly addicted to the use of the method of concealment?
Androcydes the Pythagorean says the far-famed so-called Ephesian
letters were of the class of symbols. For he said that askion
(shadowless) meant darkness, for it has no shadow; and kataskion
(shadowy) light, since it casts with its rays the shadow; and lix if is
the earth, according to an ancient appellation; and tetras is the year,
in reference to the seasons; and damnameneus is the sun, which
overpowers (damazon); and ta aisia is the true voice. And then the
symbol intimates that divine things have been arranged in harmonious
order--darkness to light, the sun to the year, and the earth to
nature's processes of production of every sort. Also Dionysius Thrax,
the grammarian, in his book, Respecting the Exposition of the
Symbolical Signification in Circles, says expressly, "Some signified
actions not by words only, but also by symbols: by words, as is the
case of what are called the Delphic maxims, Nothing in excess,' Know
thyself,' and the like; and by symbols, as the wheel that is turned in
the temples of the gods, derived from the Egyptians, and the branches
that are given to the worshippers. For the Thracian Orpheus says:--
"Whatever works of branches are a care to men on earth,
Not one has one fate in the mind, but all things
Revolve around; and it is not lawful to stand at one point,
But each one keeps an equal part of the race as they began."
The branches either stand as the symbol of the first food, or they are
that the multitude may know that fruits spring and grow universally,
remaining a very long time; but that the duration of life allotted to
themselves is brief. And it is on this account that they will have it
that the branches are given; and perhaps also that they may know, that
as these, on the other hand, are burned, so also they themselves
speedily leave this life, and will become fuel for fire.
Very useful, then, is the mode of symbolic interpretation for many
purposes; and it is helpful to the right theology, and to piety, and to
the display of intelligence, and the practice of brevity, and the
exhibition of wisdom. "For the use of symbolical speech is
characteristic of the wise man," appositely remarks the grammarian
Didymus, "and the explanation of what is signified by it." And indeed
the most elementary instruction of children embraces the interpretation
of the four elements; for it is said that the Phrygians call water
Bedu, as also Orpheus says:  --
"And bright water is poured down, the Bedu of the nymphs."
Dion Thytes also seems to write similarly:--
And taking Bedu, pour it on your hands, and turn to divination."
On the other hand, the comic poet, Philydeus, understands by Bedu the
air, as being (Biodoros) life-giver, in the following lines:--
"I pray that I may inhale the salutary Bedu,
Which is the most essential part of health;
Inhale the pure, the unsullied air."
In the same opinion also concurs Neanthes of Cyzicum, who writes that
the Macedonian priests invoke Bedu, which they interpret to mean the
air, to be propitious to them and to their children. And Zaps some have
ignorantly taken for fire (from zesin, boiling); for so the sea is
called, as Euphorion, in his reply to Theoridas:--
"And Zaps, destroyer of ships, wrecked it on the rocks."
And Dionysius Iambus similarly:--
"Briny Zaps moans about the maddened deep."
Similarly Cratinus the younger, the comic poet:--
"Zaps casts forth shrimps and little fishes."
And Simmias of Rhodes:--
"Parent of the Ignetes and the Telchines briny Zaps was born." 
And chthon is the earth (kechumene) spread forth to bigness. And
Plectron, according to some, is the sky (polos), according to others,
it is the air, which strikes (plessonta) and moves to nature and
increase, and which fills all things. But these have not read Cleanthes
the philosopher, who expressly calls Plectron the sun; for darting his
beams in the east, as if striking the world, he leads the light to its
harmonious course. And from the sun it signifies also the rest of the
And the Sphinx is not the comprehension  of the universe, and the
revolution of the world, according to the poet Aratus; but perhaps it
is the spiritual tone which pervades and holds together the universe.
But it is better to regard it as the ether, which holds together and
presses all things; as also Empedocles says:--
"But come now, first will I speak of the Sun, the first principle of
From which all, that we look upon, has sprung,
Both earth, and billowy deep, and humid air;
Titan and Ether too, which binds all things around."
And Apollodorus of Corcyra says that these lines were recited by
Branchus the seer, when purifying the Milesians from plague; for he,
sprinkling the multitude with branches of laurel, led off the hymn
somehow as follows:--
"Sing Boys Hecaergus and Hecaerga."
And the people accompanied him, saying, "Bedu,  Zaps, Chthon,
Plectron, Sphinx, Cnaxzbi, Chthyptes, Phlegmos, Drops." Callimachus
relates the story in iambics. Cnaxzbi is, by derivation, the plague,
from its gnawing (knaiein) and destroying (diaphtheirein), and thupsai
is to consume with a thunderbolt. Thespis the tragic poet says that
something else was signified by these, writing thus: "Lo, I offer to
thee a libation of white Cnaxzbi, having pressed it from the yellow
nurses. Lo, to thee, O two-horned Pan, mixing Chthyptes cheese with red
honey, I place it on thy sacred altars. Lo, to thee I pour as a
libation the sparkling gleam of Bromius." He signifies, as I think, the
soul's first milk-like nutriment of the four-and-twenty elements, after
which solidified milk comes as food. And last, he teaches of the blood
of the vine of the Word, the sparkling wine, the perfecting gladness of
instruction. And Drops is the operating Word, which, beginning with
elementary training, and advancing to the growth of the man, inflames
and illumines man up to the measure of maturity.
The third is said to be a writing copy for children--marptes, sphinx,
klops, zunchthedon. And it signifies, in my opinion, that by the
arrangement of the elements and of the world, we must advance to the
knowledge of what is more perfect, since eternal salvation is attained
by force and toil; for marpsai is to grasp. And the harmony of the
world is meant by the Sphinx; and zunchthedon means difficulty; and
klopss means at once the secret knowledge of the Lord and day. Well!
does not Epigenes, in his book on the Poetry of Orpheus, in exhibiting
the peculiarities found in Orpheus,  say that by "the curved
rods" (keraisi) is meant "ploughs;" and by the warp (stemosi), the
furrows; and the woof (mitos) is a figurative expression for the seed;
and that the tears of Zeus signify a shower; and that the "parts"
(moirai) are, again, the phases of the moon, the thirtieth day, and the
fifteenth, and the new moon, and that Orpheus accordingly calls them
"white-robed," as being parts of the light? Again, that the Spring is
called "flowery," from its nature; and Night "still," on account of
rest; and the Moon "Gorgonian," on account of the face in it; and that
the time in which it is necessary to sow is called Aphrodite by the
"Theologian."  In the same way, too, the Pythagoreans
figuratively called the planets the "dogs of Persephone;" and to the
sea they applied the metaphorical appellation of "the tears of Kronus."
Myriads on myriads of enigmatical utterances by both poets and
philosophers are to be found; and there are also whole books which
present the mind of the writer veiled, as that of Heraclitus On Nature,
who on this very account is called "Obscure." Similar to this book is
the Theology of Pherecydes of Syrus; for Euphorion the poet, and the
Causes of Callimachus, and the Alexandra of Lycophron, and the like,
are proposed as an exercise in exposition to all the grammarians.
It is, then, proper that the Barbarian philosophy, on which it is our
business to speak, should prophesy also obscurely and by symbols, as
was evinced. Such are the injunctions of Moses: "These common things,
the sow, the hawk, the eagle, and the raven, are not to be eaten."
 For the sow is the emblem of voluptuous and unclean lust of
food, and lecherous and filthy licentiousness in venery, always
prurient, and material, and lying in the mire, and fattening for
slaughter and destruction.
Again, he commands to eat that which parts the hoof and ruminates;
"intimating," says Barnabas, "that we ought to cleave to those who fear
the Lord, and meditate in their heart on that portion of the word which
they have received, to those who speak and keep the Lord's statutes, to
those to whom meditation is a work of gladness, and who ruminate on the
word of the Lord. And what is the parted hoof? That the righteous walks
in this world, and expects the holy eternity to come." Then he adds,
"See how well Moses enacted. But whence could they understand or
comprehend these things? We who have rightly understood speak the
commandments as the Lord wished; wherefore He circumcised our ears and
hearts, that we may comprehend these things. And when he says, Thou
shalt not eat the eagle, the hawk, the kite, and the crow;' he says,
Thou shalt not adhere to or become like those men who know not how to
procure for themselves subsistence by toil and sweat, but live by
plunder, and lawlessly.' For the eagle indicates robbery, the hawk
injustice, and the raven greed. It is also written, With the innocent
man thou wilt be innocent, and with the chosen choice, and with the
perverse thou shall pervert.'  It is incumbent on us to cleave to
the saints, because they that cleave to them shall be sanctified."
Thence Theognis writes:--
"For from the good you will learn good things;
But if you mix with the bad, you will destroy any mind you may have."
And when, again, it is said in the ode, "For He hath triumphed
gloriously: the horse and his rider hath He cast into the sea;" 
the many-limbed and brutal affection, lust, with the rider mounted, who
gives the reins to pleasures, "He has cast into the sea," throwing them
away into the disorders of the world. Thus also Plato, in his book On
the Soul, says that the charioteer and the horse that ran off--the
irrational part, which is divided in two, into anger and
concupiscence--fall down; and so the myth intimates that it was through
the licentiousness of the steeds that Phaethon was thrown out. Also in
the case of Joseph: the brothers having envied this young man, who by
his knowledge was possessed of uncommon foresight, stripped off the
coat of many colours, and took and threw him into a pit (the pit was
empty, it had no water), rejecting the good man's varied knowledge,
springing from his love of instruction; or, in the exercise of the bare
faith, which is according to the law, they threw him into the pit empty
of water, selling him into Egypt, which was destitute of the divine
word. And the pit was destitute of knowledge; into which being thrown
and stript of his knowledge, he that had become unconsciously wise,
stript of knowledge, seemed like his brethren. Otherwise interpreted,
the coat of many colours is lust, which takes its way into a yawning
pit. "And if one open up or hew out a pit," it is said, "and do not
cover it, and there fall in there a calf or ass, the owner of the pit
shall pay the price in money, and give it to his neighbour; and the
dead body shall be his.  Here add that prophecy: "The ox knoweth
his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel hath not
understood Me."  In order, then, that none of those, who have
fallen in with the knowledge taught by thee, may become incapable of
holding the truth, and disobey and fall away, it is said, Be thou sure
in the treatment of the word, and shut up the living spring in the
depth from those who approach irrationally, but reach drink to those
that thirst for truth. Conceal it, then, from those who are unfit to
receive the depth of knowledge, and so cover the pit. The owner of the
pit, then, the Gnostic, shall himself be punished, incurring the blame
of the others stumbling, and of being overwhelmed by the greatness of
the word, he himself being of small capacity; or transferring the
worker into the region of speculation, and on that account dislodging
him from off-hand faith. "And will pay money," rendering a reckoning,
and submitting his accounts to the "omnipotent Will."
This, then, is the type of "the law and the prophets which were until
John;"  while he, though speaking more perspicuously as no longer
prophesying, but pointing out as now present, Him, who was proclaimed
symbolically from the beginning, nevertheless said, "I am not worthy to
loose the latchet of the Lord's shoe."  For he confesses that he
is not worthy to baptize so great a Power; for it behooves those, who
purify others, to free the soul from the body and its sins, as the foot
from the thong. Perhaps also this signified the final exertion of the
Saviour's power toward us--the immediate, I mean--that by His presence,
concealed in the enigma of prophecy, inasmuch as he, by pointing out to
sight Him that had been prophesied of, and indicating the Presence
which had come, walking forth into the light, loosed the latchet of the
oracles of the [old] economy, by unveiling the meaning of the symbols.
And the observances practiced by the Romans in the case of wills have a
place here; those balances and small coins to denote justice, and
freeing of slaves, and rubbing of the ears. For these observances are,
that things may be transacted with justice; and those for the
dispensing of honour; and the last, that he who happens to be near, as
if a burden were imposed on him, should stand and hear and take the
post of mediator.
 [Kaye, p. 181.]
 This line has given commentators considerable trouble. Diodorus says that the Telchimes--fabled sons of Ocean--were the first inhabitants of Rhodes.
 sunesis. Sylburgius, with much probability, conjectures sundesis, binding together.
 Bedu, Zaps, Chthon, Plektron, Sphinx, Knaxzbi, Chthuptes, Phlegmos, Drops. On the interpretation of which, much learning and ingenuity have been expended.
 [See valuable references and note on the Sibylline and Orphic sayings. Leighton, Works, vol. vi. pp. 131, 178.]
 Lev. xi; Deut. xiv.
 Ps. xviii. 25, 26.
 [Epistle of Barnabas, vol. i, p. 143, 144. S.]
 Ex. xv. 1.
 Ex. xxi. 33, 36.
 Isa. i. 3.
 Matt. xi. 13; Luke xvi. 16.
 Mark i. 7; Luke iii. 16; John i. 27.
Chapter IX.--Reasons for Veiling the Truth in Symbols.
But, as appears, I have, in my eagerness to establish my point,
insensibly gone beyond what is requisite. For life would fail me to
adduce the multitude of those who philosophize in a symbolical manner.
For the sake, then, of memory and brevity, and of attracting to the
truth, such are the Scriptures of the Barbarian philosophy.
For only to those who often approach them, and have given them a trial
by faith and in their whole life, will they supply the real philosophy
and the true theology. They also wish us to require an interpreter and
guide. For so they considered, that, receiving truth at the hands of
those who knew it well, we would be more earnest and less liable to
deception, and those worthy of them would profit. Besides, all things
that shine through a veil show the truth grander and more imposing; as
fruits shining through water, and figures through veils, which give
added reflections to them. For, in addition to the fact that things
unconcealed are perceived in one way, the rays of light shining round
reveal defects. Since, then, we may draw several meanings, as we do
from what is expressed in veiled form, such being the case, the
ignorant and unlearned man fails. But the Gnostior apprehends. Now,
then, it is not wished that all things should be exposed
indiscriminately to all and sundry, or the benefits of wisdom
communicated to those who have not even in a dream been purified in
soul, (for it is not allowed to hand to every chance comer what has
been procured with such laborious efforts); nor are the mysteries of
the word to be expounded to the profane.
They say, then, that Hipparchus the Pythagorean, being guilty of
writing the tenets of Pythagoras in plain language, was expelled from
the school, and a pillar raised for him as if he had been dead.
Wherefore also in the Barbarian philosophy they call those dead who
have fallen away from the dogmas, and have placed the mind in
subjection to carnal passions. "For what fellowship hath righteousness
and iniquity?" according to the divine apostle. "Or what communion hath
light with darkness? or what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what
portion hath the believer with the unbeliever?"  For the honours
of the Olympians and of mortals lie apart. "Wherefore also go forth
from the midst of them, and be separated, saith the Lord, and touch not
the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be to you for a
Father, and ye shall be my sons and daughters." 
It was not only the Pythagoreans and Plato then, that concealed many
things; but the Epicureans too say that they have things that may not
be uttered, and do not allow all to peruse those writings. The Stoics
also say that by the first Zeno things were written which they do not
readily allow disciples to read, without their first giving proof
whether or not they are genuine philosophers. And the disciples of
Aristotle say that some of their treatises are esoteric, and others
common and exoteric. Further, those who instituted the mysteries, being
philosophers, buried their doctrines in myths, so as not to be obvious
to all. Did they then, by veiling human opinions, prevent the ignorant
from handling them; and was it not more beneficial for the holy and
blessed contemplation of realities to be concealed? But it was not only
the tenets of the Barbarian philosophy, or the Pythagorean myths. But
even those myths in Plato (in the Republic, that of Hero the Armenian;
and in the Gorgias, that of AEacus and Rhadamanthus; and in the Phaedo,
that of Tartarus; and in the Protagoras, that of Prometheus and
Epimetheus; and besides these, that of the war between the Atlantini
and the Athenians in the Atlanticum) are to be expounded allegorically,
not absolutely in all their expressions, but in those which express the
general sense. And these we shall find indicated by symbols under the
veil of allegory. Also the association of Pythagoras, and the twofold
intercourse with the associates which designates the majority, hearers
(akousmatikoi), and the others that have a genuine attachment to
philosophy, disciples (mathematikoi), yet signified that something was
spoken to the multitude, and something concealed from them. Perchance,
too, the twofold species of the Peripatetic teaching--that called
probable, and that called knowable--came very near the distinction
between opinion on the one hand, and glory and truth on the other.
"To win the flowers of fair renown from men,
Be not induced to speak aught more than right."
The Ionic muses accordingly expressly say, "That the majority of
people, wise in their own estimation, follow minstrels and make use of
laws, knowing that many are bad, few good; but that the best pursue
glory: for the best make choice of the everlasting glory of men above
all. But the multitude cram themselves like brutes, measuring happiness
by the belly and the pudenda, and the basest things in us." And the
great Parmenides of Elea is introduced describing thus the teaching of
the two ways:--
"The one is the dauntless heart of convincing truth;
The other is in the opinions of men, in whom is no true faith."
 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15.
 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18.
Chapter X.--The Opinion of the Apostles on Veiling the Mysteries of the Faith.
Rightly, therefore, the divine apostle says, "By revelation the mystery
was made known to me (as I wrote before in brief, in accordance with
which, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of
Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as
it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets."  For there
is an instruction of the perfect, of which, writing to the Colossians,
he says, "We cease not to pray for you, and beseech that ye may be
filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual
understanding; that ye may walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing;
being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of
God; strengthened with all might according to the glory of His power."
 And again he says, "According to the disposition of the grace of
God which is given me, that ye may fulfil the word of God; the mystery
which has been hid from ages and generations, which now is manifested
to His saints: to whom God wished to make known what is the riches of
the glory of this mystery among the nations."  So that, on the
one hand, then, are the mysteries which were hid till the time of the
apostles, and were delivered by them as they received from the Lord,
and, concealed in the Old Testament, were manifested to the saints.
And, on the other hand, there is "the riches of the glory of the
mystery in the Gentiles," which is faith and hope in Christ; which in
another place he has called the "foundation."  And again, as if
in eagerness to divulge this knowledge, he thus writes: "Warning every
man in all wisdom, that we may present every man (the whole man)
perfect in Christ;" not every man simply, since no one would be
unbelieving. Nor does he call every man who believes in Christ perfect;
but he  says all the man, as if he said the whole man, as if
purified in body and soul. For that the knowledge does not appertain to
all, he expressly adds: "Being knit together in love, and unto all the
riches of the full assurance of knowledge, to the acknowledgment of the
mystery of God in Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom
and of knowledge."  "Continue in prayer, watching therein with
thanksgiving."  And thanksgiving has place not for the soul and
spiritual blessings alone, but also for the body, and for the good
things of the body. And he still more clearly reveals that knowledge
belongs not to all, by adding: "Praying at the same time for you, that
God would open to us a door to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I
am bound; that I may make it known as I ought to speak."  For
there were certainly, among the Hebrews, some things delivered
unwritten. "For when ye ought to be teachers for the time," it is said,
as if they had grown old in the Old Testament, "ye have again need that
one teach you which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and
are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. For every
one that partaketh of milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness;
for he is a babe, being instructed with the first lessons. But solid
food belongs to those who are of full age, who by reason of use have
their senses exercised so as to distinguish between good and evil.
Wherefore, leaving the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, let
us go on to perfection." 
Barnabas, too, who in person preached the word along with the apostle
in the ministry of the Gentiles, says, "I write to you most simply,
that ye may understand." Then below, exhibiting already a clearer trace
of gnostic tradition, he says, "What says the other prophet Moses to
them? Lo, thus saith the Lord God, Enter ye into the good land which
the Lord God sware, the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and ye
received for an inheritance that land, flowing with milk and honey."
 What says knowledge? Learn, hope, it says, in Jesus, who is to
be manifested to you in the flesh. For man is the suffering land; for
from the face of the ground was the formation of Adam. What, then, does
it say in reference to the good land, flowing with milk and honey?
Blessed be our Lord, brethren, who has put into our hearts wisdom, and
the understanding of His secrets. For the prophet says, "Who shall
understand the Lord's parable but the wise and understanding, and he
that loves his Lord?" It is but for few to comprehend these things. For
it is not in the way of envy that the Lord announced in a Gospel, "My
mystery is to me, and to the sons of my house;" placing the election in
safety, and beyond anxiety; so that the things pertaining to what it
has chosen and taken may be above the reach of envy. For he who has not
the knowledge of good is wicked: for there is one good, the Father; and
to be ignorant of the Father is death, as to know Him is eternal life,
through participation in the power of the incorrupt One. And to be
incorruptible is to participate in divinity; but revolt from the
knowledge of God brings corruption. Again the prophet says: "And I will
give thee treasures, concealed, dark, unseen; that they may know that I
am the Lord."  Similarly David sings: "For, lo, Thou hast loved
truth; the obscure and hidden things of wisdom hast Thou showed me."
 "Day utters speech to day"  (what is clearly written),
"and night to night proclaims knowledge" (which is hidden in a mystic
veil); "and there are no words or utterances whose voices shall not be
heard" by God, who said, "Shall one do what is secret, and I shall not
Wherefore instruction, which reveals hidden things, is called
illumination, as it is the teacher only who uncovers the lid of the
ark, contrary to what the poets say, that "Zeus stops up the jar of
good things, but opens that of evil." "For I know," says the apostle,
"that when I come to you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing
of Christ;"  designating the spiritual gift, and the gnostic
communication, which being present he desires to impart to them present
as "the fulness of Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery
sealed in the ages of eternity, but now manifested by the prophetic
Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God, made known to
all the nations, in order to the obedience of faith," that is, those of
the nations who believe that it is. But only to a few of them is shown
what those things are which are contained in the mystery.
Rightly then, Plato, in the Epistles, treating of God, says: "We must
speak in enigmas; that should the tablet come by any mischance on its
leaves either by sea or land, he who reads may remain ignorant." For
the God of the universe, who is above all speech, all conception, all
thought, can never be committed to writing, being inexpressible even by
His own power. And this too Plato showed, by saying: "Considering,
then, these things, take care lest some time or other you repent on
account of the present things, departing in a manner unworthy. The
greatest safeguard is not to write, but learn; for it is utterly
impossible that what is written will not vanish."
Akin to this is what the holy Apostle Paul says, preserving the
prophetic and truly ancient secret from which the teachings that were
good were derived by the Greeks: "Howbeit we speak wisdom among them
who are perfect; but not the wisdom of this world, or of the princes of
this world, that come to nought; but we speak the wisdom of God hidden
in a mystery."  Then proceeding, he thus inculcates the caution
against the divulging of his words to the multitude in the following
terms: "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as
to carnal, even to babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, not with
meat: for ye were not yet able; neither are ye now able. For ye are yet
If, then, "the milk" is said by the apostle to belong to the babes, and
"meat" to be the food of the full-grown, milk will be understood to be
catechetical instruction--the first food, as it were, of the soul. And
meat is the mystic contemplation; for this is the flesh and the blood
of the Word, that is, the comprehension of the divine power and
essence. "Taste and see that the Lord is Christ,"  it is said.
For so He imparts of Himself to those who partake of such food in a
more spiritual manner; when now the soul nourishes itself, according to
the truth-loving Plato. For the knowledge of the divine essence is the
meat and drink of the divine Word. Wherefore also Plato says, in the
second book of the Republic, "It is those that sacrifice not a sow, but
some great and difficult sacrifice," who ought to inquire respecting
God. And the apostle writes, "Christ our passover was sacrificed for
us;"  --a sacrifice hard to procure, in truth, the Son of God
consecrated for us.
 Eph. iii. 3-5.
 Col. i. 9-11.
 Col. i. 25-27.
 Col. i. 27.
 [Elucidation VI.]
 Col. ii. 2, 3.
 Col. iv. 2.
 Col. iv. 3, 4.
 Heb. v. 12, 13, 14; vi. 1.
 [Ex. xxxiii. 1; Lev. xx. 24. S.]
 Isa. xlv. 3.
 Ps. li. 6, Sept.
 Ps. xix. 2, 3.
 Rom. xv. 29.
 1 Cor. ii. 6, 7.
 1 Cor. iii. 1-3.
 Ps. xxxiv. 8; according to the reading Christos for chrestos.
 1 Cor. v. 7.
Chapter XI.--Abstraction from Material Things Necessary in Order to Attain to the True Knowledge of God.
Now the sacrifice which is acceptable to God is unswerving abstraction
from the body and its passions. This is the really true piety. And is
not, on this account, philosophy rightly called by Socrates the
practice of Death? For he who neither employs his eyes in the exercise
of thought, nor draws aught from his other senses, but with pure mind
itself applies to objects, practices the true philosophy. This is,
then, the import of the silence of five years prescribed by Pythagoras,
which he enjoined on his disciples; that, abstracting themselves from
the objects of sense, they might with the mind alone contemplate the
Deity. It was from Moses that the chief of the Greeks drew these
philosophical tenets.  For he commands holocausts to be skinned
and divided into parts. For the gnostic soul must be consecrated to the
light, stript of the integuments of matter, devoid of the frivolousness
of the body and of all the passions, which are acquired through vain
and lying opinions, and divested of the lusts of the flesh. But the
most of men, clothed with what is perishable, like cockles, and rolled
all round in a ball in their excesses, like hedgehogs, entertain the
same ideas of the blessed and incorruptible God as of themselves. But
it has escaped their notice, though they be near us, that God has
bestowed on us ten thousand things in which He does not share: birth,
being Himself unborn; food, He wanting nothing; and growth, He being
always equal; and long life and immortality, He being immortal and
incapable of growing old. Wherefore let no one imagine that hands, and
feet, and mouth, and eyes, and going in and coming out, and resentments
and threats, are said by the Hebrews to be attributes of God. By no
means; but that certain of these appellations are used more sacredly in
an allegorical sense, which, as the discourse proceeds, we shall
explain at the proper time.
"Wisdom of all medicines is the Panacea,"  writes Callimachus in
the Epigrams. "And one becomes wise from another, both in past times
and at present," says Bacchylides in the Poeans; "for it is not very
easy to find the portals of unutterable words." Beautifully, therefore,
Isocrates writes in the Panathenaic, having put the question, "Who,
then, are well trained?" adds, "First, those who manage well the things
which occur each day, whose opinion jumps with opportunity, and is able
for the most part to hit on what is beneficial; then those who behave
becomingly and rightly to those who approach them, who take lightly and
easily annoyances and molestations offered by others, but conduct
themselves as far as possible, to those with whom they have
intercourse, with consummate care and moderation; further, those who
have the command of their pleasures, and are not too much overcome by
misfortunes, but conduct themselves in the midst of them with
manliness, and in a way worthy of the nature which we share;
fourth--and this is the greatest--those who are not corrupted by
prosperity, and are not put beside themselves, or made haughty, but
continue in the class of sensible people." Then he puts on the
top-stone of the discourse: "Those who have the disposition of their
soul well suited not to one only of these things, but to them
all--those I assert to be wise and perfect men, and to possess all the
Do you see how the Greeks deify the gnostic life (though not knowing
how to become acquainted with it)? And what knowledge it is, they know
not even in a dream. If, then, it is agreed among us that knowledge is
the food of reason, "blessed truly are they," according to the
Scripture, "who hunger and thirst after truth: for they shall be
filled" with everlasting food. In the most wonderful harmony with these
words, Euripides, the philosopher of the drama, is found in the
following words,--making allusion, I know not how, at once to the
Father and the Son:--
"To thee, the Lord of all, I bring
Cakes and libations too, O Zeus,
Or Hades would'st thou choose be called;
Do thou accept my offering of all fruits,
Rare, full, poured forth."
For a whole burnt-offering and rare sacrifice for us is Christ. And
that unwittingly he mentions the Saviour, he will make plain, as he
"For thou who, 'midst the heavenly gods,
Jove's sceptre sway'st, dost also share
The rule of those on earth."
Then he says expressly:--
"Send light to human souls that fain would know
Whence conflicts spring, and what the root of ills,
And of the blessed gods to whom due rites
Of sacrifice we needs must pay, that so
We may from troubles find repose."
It is not then without reason that in the mysteries that obtain among
the Greeks, lustrations hold the first place; as also the laver among
the Barbarians. After these are the minor  mysteries, which have
some foundation of instruction and of preliminary preparation for what
is to come after; and the great mysteries, in which nothing remains to
be learned of the universe, but only to contemplate and comprehend
nature and things.
We shall understand the mode of purification by confession, and that of
contemplation by analysis, advancing by analysis to the first notion,
beginning with the properties underlying it; abstracting from the body
its physical properties, taking away the dimension of depth, then that
of breadth, and then that of length. For the point which remains is a
unit, so to speak, having position; from which if we abstract position,
there is the conception of unity.
If, then, abstracting all that belongs to bodies and things called
incorporeal, we cast ourselves into the greatness of Christ, and thence
advance into immensity by holiness, we may reach somehow to the
conception of the Almighty, knowing not what He is, but what He is not.
And form and motion, or standing, or a throne, or place, or right hand
or left, are not at all to be conceived as belonging to the Father of
the universe, although it is so written. But what each of these means
will be shown in its proper place. The First Cause is not then in
space, but above both space, and time, and name, and conception.
Wherefore also Moses says, "Show Thyself to me,"  --intimating
most clearly that God is not capable of being taught by man, or
expressed in speech, but to be known only by His own power. For inquiry
was obscure and dim; but the grace of knowledge is from Him by the Son.
Most clearly Solomon shall testify to us, speaking thus: "The prudence
of man is not in me: but God giveth me wisdom, and I know holy things."
 Now Moses, describing allegorically the divine prudence, called
it the tree of life planted in Paradise; which Paradise may be the
world in which all things proceeding from creation grow. In it also the
Word blossomed and bore fruit, being "made flesh," and gave life to
those "who had tasted of His graciousness;" since it was not without
the wood of the tree that He came to our knowledge. For our life was
hung on it, in order that we might believe. And Solomon again says:
"She is a tree of immortality to those who take hold of her." 
"Behold, I set before thy face life and death, to love the Lord thy
God, and to walk in His ways, and hear His voice, and trust in life.
But if ye transgress the statutes and the judgments which I have given
you, ye shall be destroyed with destruction. For this is life, and the
length of thy days, to love the Lord thy God." 
Again: "Abraham, when he came to the place which God told him of on the
third day, looking up, saw the place afar off."  For the first
day is that which is constituted by the sight of good things; and the
second is the soul's  best desire; on the third, the mind
perceives spiritual things, the eyes of the understanding being opened
by the Teacher who rose on the third day. The three days may be the
mystery of the seal,  in which God is really believed. It is
consequently afar off that he sees the place. For the region of God is
hard to attain; which Plato called the region of ideas, having learned
from Moses that it was a place which contained all things universally.
But it is seen by Abraham afar off, rightly, because of his being in
the realms of generation, and he is forthwith initiated by the angel.
Thence says the apostle: "Now we see as through a glass, but then face
to face," by those sole pure and incorporeal applications of the
intellect. In reasoning, it is possible to divine respecting God, if
one attempt without any of the senses, by reason, to reach what is
individual; and do not quit the sphere of existences, till, rising up
to the things which transcend it, he apprehends by the intellect itself
that which is good, moving in the very confines of the world of
thought, according to Plato.
Again, Moses, not allowing altars and temples to be constructed in many
places, but raising one temple of God, announced that the world was
only-begotten, as Basilides says, and that God is one, as does not as
yet appear to Basilides. And since the gnostic Moses does not
circumscribe within space Him that cannot be circumscribed, he set up
no image in the temple to be worshipped; showing that God was
invisible, and incapable of being circumscribed; and somehow leading
the Hebrews to the conception of God by the honour for His name in the
temple. Further, the Word, prohibiting the constructing of temples and
all sacrifices, intimates that the Almighty is not contained in
anything, by what He says: "What house will ye build to Me? saith the
Lord. Heaven is my throne,"  and so on. Similarly respecting
sacrifices: "I do not desire the blood of bulls and the fat of lambs,"
 and what the Holy Spirit by the prophet in the sequel forbids.
Most excellently, therefore, Euripides accords with these, when he
"What house constructed by the workmen's hands,
With folds of walls, can clothe the shape divine?"
And of sacrifices he thus speaks:--
"For God needs nought, if He is truly God.
These of the minstrels are the wretched myths."
"For it was not from need that God made the world; that He might reap
honours from men and the other gods and demons, winning a kind of
revenue from creation, and from us, fumes, and from the gods and
demons, their proper ministries," says Plato. Most instructively,
therefore, says Paul in the Acts of the Apostles: "The God that made
the world, and all things in it, being the Lord of heaven and earth,
dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped by men's
hands, as if He needed anything; seeing that it is He Himself that
giveth to all breath, and life, and all things."  And Zeno, the
founder of the Stoic sect, says in this book of the Republic, "that we
ought to make neither temples nor images; for that no work is worthy of
the gods." And he was not afraid to write in these very words: "There
will be no need to build temples. For a temple is not worth much, and
ought not to be regarded as holy. For nothing is worth much, and holy,
which is the work of builders and mechanics." Rightly, therefore, Plato
too, recognising the world as God's temple, pointed out to the citizens
a spot in the city where their idols were to be laid up. "Let not,
then, any one again," he says, "consecrate temples to the gods. For
gold and silver in other states, in the case of private individuals and
in the temples, is an invidious possession; and ivory, a body which has
abandoned the life, is not a sacred votive offering; and steel and
brass are the instruments of wars; but whatever one wishes to dedicate,
let it be wood of one tree, as also stone for common temples." Rightly,
then, in the great Epistle he says: "For it is not capable of
expression, like other branches of study. But as the result of great
intimacy with this subject, and living with it, a sudden light, like
that kindled by a coruscating fire, arising in the soul, feeds itself."
Are not these statements like those of Zephaniah the prophet? "And the
Spirit of the Lord took me, and brought me up to the fifth heaven, and
I beheld angels called Lords; and their diadem was set on in the Holy
Spirit; and each of them had a throne sevenfold brighter than the light
of the rising sun; and they dwelt in temples of salvation, and hymned
the ineffable, Most High God." 
 [See p. 316, note 4, supra.]
 [Analogies in Bunsen, Hippol., iii. 75, and notes, p. 123.]
 [Analogies in Bunsen, Hippol., iii. 75, and notes, p. 123.]
 Ex. xxxiii. 18.
 Prov. xxx. 2.
 Prov. iii. 18.
 Deut. xxx. 15, 16, etc.
 Gen. xxii. 3, 4.
 Or, "the desire of a very good soul," according to the text which reads He psuches aristes. The other reading is ariste.
 Baptism. [Into the Triad.]
 Isa. lxvi. 1.
 Ps. l. 13.
 Acts xvii. 24, 25.
 From some apocryphal writing.
Chapter XII.--God Cannot Be Embraced in Words or by the Mind.
"For both is it a difficult task to discover the Father and Maker of
this universe; and having found Him, it is impossible to declare Him to
all. For this is by no means capable of expression, like the other
subjects of instruction," says the truth-loving Plato. For he that had
heard right well that the all-wise Moses, ascending the mount for holy
contemplation, to the summit of intellectual objects, necessarily
commands that the whole people do not accompany him. And when the
Scripture says, "Moses entered into the thick darkness where God was,"
this shows to those capable of understanding, that God is invisible and
beyond expression by words. And "the darkness"--which is, in truth, the
unbelief and ignorance of the multitude--obstructs the gleam of truth.
And again Orpheus, the theologian, aided from this quarter, says:--
"One is perfect in himself, and all things are made the progeny of
or, "are born;" for so also is it written. He adds:--
No one of mortals has seen, but He sees all."
And he adds more clearly:--
"Him see I not, for round about, a cloud
Has settled; for in mortal eyes are small,
And mortal pupils--only flesh and bones grow there."
To these statements the apostle will testify: "I know a man in Christ,
caught up into the third heaven, and thence into Paradise, who heard
unutterable words which it is not lawful for a man to
speak,"--intimating thus the impossibility of expressing God, and
indicating that what is divine is unutterable by human  power;
if, indeed, he begins to speak above the third heaven, as it is lawful
to initiate the elect souls in the mysteries there. For I know what is
in Plato (for the examples from the barbarian philosophy, which are
many, are suggested now by the composition which, in accordance with
promises previously given, waits the suitable time). For doubting, in
Timaeus, whether we ought to regard several worlds as to be understood
by many heavens, or this one, he makes no distinction in the names,
calling the world and heaven by the same name. But the words of the
statement are as follows: "Whether, then, have we rightly spoken of one
heaven, or of many and infinite? It were more correct to say one, if
indeed it was created according to the model." Further, in the Epistle
of the Romans to the Corinthians  it is written, "An ocean
illimitable by men and the worlds after it." Consequently, therefore,
the noble apostle exclaims, "Oh the depth of the riches both of the
wisdom and the knowledge of God!" 
And was it not this which the prophet meant, when he ordered unleavened
cakes  to be made, intimating that the truly sacred mystic word,
respecting the unbegotten and His powers, ought to be concealed? In
confirmation of these things, in the Epistle to the Corinthians the
apostle plainly says: "Howbeit we speak wisdom among those who are
perfect, but not the wisdom of this world, or of the princes of this
world, that come to nought. But we speak the wisdom of God hidden in a
mystery."  And again in another place he says: "To the
acknowledgment of the mystery of God in Christ, in whom are hid all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge."  These things the Saviour
Himself seals when He says: "To you it is given to know the mysteries
of the kingdom of heaven."  And again the Gospel says that the
Saviour spake to the apostles the word in a mystery. For prophecy says
of Him: "He will open His mouth in parables, and will utter things kept
secret from the foundation of the world."  And now, by the
parable of the leaven, the Lord shows concealment; for He says, "The
kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three
measures of meal, till the whole was leavened."  For the
tripartite soul is saved by obedience, through the spiritual power
hidden in it by faith; or because the power of the word which is given
to us, being strong  and powerful, draws to itself secretly and
invisibly every one who receives it, and keeps it within himself, and
brings his whole system into unity.
Accordingly Solon has written most wisely respecting God thus:--
"It is most difficult to apprehend the mind's invisible measure
Which alone holds the boundaries of all things."
For "the divine," says the poet of Agrigenturn,  --
"Is not capable of being approached with our eyes,
Or grasped with our hands; but the highway
Of persuasion, highest of all, leads to men's minds."
And John the apostle says: "No man hath seen God at any time. The
only-begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared
Him,"  --calling invisibility and ineffableness the bosom of God.
Hence some have called it the Depth, as containing and embosoming all
things, inaccessible and boundless.
This discourse respecting God is most difficult to handle. For since
the first principle of everything is difficult to find out, the
absolutely first and oldest principle, which is the cause of all other
things being and having been, is difficult to exhibit. For how can that
be expressed which is neither genus, nor difference, nor species, nor
individual, nor number; nay more, is neither an event, nor that to
which an event happens? No one can rightly express Him wholly. For on
account of His greatness He is ranked as the All, and is the Father of
the universe. Nor are any parts to be predicated of Him. For the One is
indivisible; wherefore also it is infinite, not considered with
reference to inscrutability, but with reference to its being without
dimensions, and not having a limit. And therefore it is without form
and name. And if we name it, we do not do so properly, terming it
either the One, or the Good, or Mind, or Absolute Being, or Father, or
God, or Creator, or Lord. We speak not as supplying His name; but for
want, we use good names, in order that the mind may have these as
points of support, so as not to err in other respects. For each one by
itself does not express God; but all together are indicative of the
power of the Omnipotent. For predicates are expressed either from what
belongs to things themselves, or from their mutual relation. But none
of these are admissible in reference to God. Nor any more is He
apprehended by the science of demonstration. For it depends on primary
and better known principles. But there is nothing antecedent to the
It remains that we understand, then, the Unknown, by divine grace, and
by the word alone that proceeds from Him; as Luke in the Acts of the
Apostles relates that Paul said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all
things ye are too superstitious.  For in walking about, and
beholding the objects of your worship, I found an altar on which was
inscribed, To the Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship,
Him declare I unto you." 
 hagia is the reading of the text. This is with great probability supposed to be changed from ane, a usual contraction for anthropine.
 [i.e., as written by St. Clement of Rome. See vol. i, p. 10. S.]
 Rom. xi. 33.
 Alluding to Gen. xviii. 6; the word used is enkruphiai, which Clement, following Philo, from its derivation, takes to signify occult mysteries.
 1 Cor. ii. 6, 7.
 Col. ii. 2, 3.
 Matt. xiii. 11; Mark iv. 11; Luke viii. 10.
 Ps. lxxviii. 2.
 Matt. xiii. 33.
 According to the conjecture of Sylburgius, suntonos is adopted for suntomos.
 John. i. 18.
 [Elucidation VII.]
 Acts xvii. 22, 23.
Chapter XIII.--The Knowledge of God a Divine Gift, According to the Philosophers.
Everything, then, which falls under a name, is originated, whether they
will or not. Whether, then, the Father Himself draws to Himself
everyone who has led a pure life, and has reached the conception of the
blessed and incorruptible nature; or whether the free-will which is in
us, by reaching the knowledge of the good, leaps and bounds over the
barriers, as the gymnasts say; yet it is not without eminent grace that
the soul is winged, and soars, and is raised above the higher spheres,
laying aside all that is heavy, and surrendering itself to its kindred
Plato, too, in Meno, says that virtue is God-given, as the following
expressions show: "From this argument then, O Meno, virtue is shown to
come to those, in whom it is found, by divine providence." Does it not
then appear that "the gnostic disposition" which has come to all is
enigmatically called "divine providence?" And he adds more explicitly:
"If, then, in this whole treatise we have investigated well, it results
that virtue is neither by nature, nor is it taught, but is produced by
divine providence, not without intelligence, in those in whom it is
found." Wisdom which is God-given, as being the power of the Father,
rouses indeed our free-will, and admits faith, and repays the
application of the elect with its crowning fellowship.
And now I will adduce Plato himself, who clearly deems it fit to
believe the children of God. For, discoursing on gods that are visible
and born, in Timaeus, he says: "But to speak of the other demons, and
to know their birth, is too much for us. But we must credit those who
have formerly spoken, they being the offspring of the gods, as they
said, and knowing well their progenitors, although they speak without
probable and necessary proofs." I do not think it possible that clearer
testimony could be borne by the Greeks, that our Saviour, and those
anointed to prophesy (the latter being called the sons of God, and the
Lord being His own Son), are the true witnesses respecting divine
things. Wherefore also they ought to be believed, being inspired, he
added. And were one to say in a more tragic vein, that we ought not to
"For it was not Zeus that told me these things,"
yet let him know that it was God Himself that promulgated the
Scriptures by His Son. And he, who announces what is his own, is to be
believed. "No one," says the Lord, "hath known the Father but the Son,
and he to whom the Son shall reveal Him."  This, then, is to be
believed, according to Plato, though it is announced and spoken
"without probable and necessary proofs," but in the Old and New
Testament. "For except ye believe," says the Lord, "ye shall die in
your sins."  And again: "He that believeth hath everlasting
life."  "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him."
 For trusting is more than faith. For when one has believed
 that the Son of God is our teacher, he trusts  that his
teaching is true. And as "instruction," according to Empedocles, "makes
the mind grow," so trust in the Lord makes faith grow.
We say, then, that it is characteristic of the same persons to vilify
philosophy, and run down faith, and to praise iniquity and felicitate a
libidinous life. But now faith, if it is the voluntary assent of the
soul, is still the doer of good things, the foundation of right
conduct; and if Aristotle defines strictly when he teaches that poiein
is applied to the irrational creatures and to inanimate things, while
prattein is applicable to men only, let him correct those who say that
God is the maker (poietes) of the universe. And what is done (prakton),
he says, is as good or as necessary. To do wrong, then, is not good,
for no one does wrong except for some other thing; and nothing that is
necessary is voluntary. To do wrong, then, is voluntary, so that it is
not necessary. But the good differ especially from the bad in
inclinations and good desires. For all depravity of soul is accompanied
with want of restraint; and he who acts from passion, acts from want of
restraint and from depravity.
I cannot help admiring in every particular that divine utterance:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not in by the door
into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief
and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of
the sheep. To him the porter openeth." Then the Lord says in
explanation, "I am the door of the sheep."  Men must then be
saved by learning the truth through Christ, even if they attain
philosophy. For now that is clearly shown "which was not made known to
other ages, which is now revealed to the sons of men."  For there
was always a natural manifestation of the one Almighty God, among all
right-thinking men; and the most, who had not quite divested themselves
of shame with respect to the truth, apprehended the eternal beneficence
in divine providence. In fine, then, Xenocrates the Chalcedonian was
not quite without hope that the notion of the Divinity existed even in
the irrational creatures. And Democritus, though against his will, will
make this avowal by the consequences of his dogmas; for he represents
the same images as issuing, from the divine essence, on men and on the
irrational animals.  Far from destitute of a divine idea is man,
who, it is written in Genesis, partook of inspiration, being endowed
with a purer essence than the other animate creatures. Hence the
Pythagoreans say that mind comes to man by divine providence, as Plato
and Aristotle avow; but we assert that the Holy Spirit inspires him who
has believed. The Platonists hold that mind is an effluence of divine
dispensation in the soul, and they place the soul in the body. For it
is expressly said by Joel, one of the twelve prophets, "And it shall
come to pass after these things, I will pour out of My Spirit on all
flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy."  But it
is not as a portion of God that the Spirit is in each of us. But how
this dispensation takes place, and what the Holy Spirit is, shall be
shown by us in the books on prophecy, and in those on the soul. But
"incredulity is good at concealing the depths of knowledge," according
to Heraclitus; "for incredulity escapes from ignorance."
 Matt. xi. 27; Luke x. 22.
 John viii. 24.
 John iii. 15, 16, 36, v. 24.
 Ps. ii. 12.
 The text epistetai, but the sense seems to require episteuse.
 pepoithen, has confidence.
 John x. 1-3, 7.
 Eph. iii. 5.
 [Elucidation VIII.]
 Joel ii. 28.
Chapter XIV.--Greek Plagiarism from the Hebrews.
Let us add in completion what follows, and exhibit now with greater
clearness the plagiarism of the Greeks from the Barbarian philosophy.
Now the Stoics say that God, like the soul, is essentially body and
spirit. You will find all this explicitly in their writings. Do not
consider at present their allegories as the gnostic truth presents
them; whether they show one thing and mean another, like the dexterous
athletes. Well, they say that God pervades all being; while we call Him
solely Maker, and Maker by the Word. They were misled by what is said
in the book of Wisdom: "He pervades and passes through all by reason of
His purity;"  since they did not understand that this was said of
Wisdom, which was the first of the creation of God.
So be it, they say. But the philosophers, the Stoics, and Plato, and
Pythagoras, nay more, Aristotle the Peripatetic, suppose the existence
of matter among the first principles; and not one first principle. Let
them then know that what is called matter by them, is said by them to
be without quality, and without form, and more daringly said by Plato
to be non-existence. And does he not say very mystically, knowing that
the true and real first cause is one, in these very words: "Now, then,
let our opinion be so. As to the first principle or principles of the
universe, or what opinion we ought to entertain about all these points,
we are not now to speak, for no other cause than on account of its
being difficult to explain our sentiments in accordance with the
present form of discourse." But undoubtedly that prophetic expression,
"Now the earth was invisible and formless," supplied them with the
ground of material essence.
And the introduction of "chance" was hence suggested to Epicurus, who
misapprehended the statement, "Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity."
And it occurred to Aristotle to extend Providence as far as the moon
from this psalm: "Lord, Thy mercy is in the heavens; and Thy truth
reacheth to the clouds."  For the explanation of the prophetic
mysteries had not yet been revealed previous to the advent of the Lord.
Punishments after death, on the other hand, and penal retribution by
fire, were pilfered from the Barbarian philosophy both by all the
poetic Muses and by the Hellenic philosophy. Plato, accordingly, in the
last book of the Republic, says in these express terms: "Then these men
fierce and fiery to look on, standing by, and hearing the sound, seized
and took some aside; and binding Aridaeus and the rest hand, foot, and
head, and throwing them down, and flaying them, dragged them along the
way, tearing their flesh with thorns." For the fiery men are meant to
signify the angels, who seize and punish the wicked. "Who maketh," it
is said, "His angels spirits; His ministers flaming fire."  It
follows from this that the soul is immortal. For what is tortured or
corrected being in a state of sensation lives, though said to suffer.
Well! Did not Plato know of the rivers of fire and the depth of the
earth, and Tartarus, called by the Barbarians Gehenna, naming, as he
does prophetically,  Cocytus, and Acheron, and Pyriphlegethon,
and introducing such corrective tortures for discipline?
But indicating "the angels" as the Scripture says, "of the little ones,
and of the least, which see God," and also the oversight reaching to us
exercised by the tutelary angels,  he shrinks not from writing,
"That when all the souls have selected their several lives, according
as it has fallen to their lot, they advance in order to Lachesis; and
she sends along with each one, as his guide in life, and the joint
accomplisher of his purposes, the demon which he has chosen." Perhaps
also the demon of Socrates suggested to him something similar.
Nay, the philosophers. having so heard from Moses, taught that the
world was created.  And so Plato expressly said, "Whether was it
that the world had no beginning of its existence, or derived its
beginning from some beginning? For being visible, it is tangible; and
being tangible, it has a body." Again, when he says, "It is a difficult
task to find the Maker and Father of this universe," he not only showed
that the universe was created, but points out that it was generated by
him as a son, and that he is called its father, as deriving its being
from him alone, and springing from non-existence. The Stoics, too, hold
the tenet that the world was created.
And that the devil so spoken of by the Barbarian philosophy, the prince
of the demons, is a wicked spirit, Plato asserts in the tenth book of
the Laws, in these words: "Must we not say that spirit which pervades
the things that are moved on all sides, pervades also heaven? Well,
what? One or more? Several, say I, in reply for you. Let us not suppose
fewer than two--that which is beneficent, and that which is able to
accomplish the opposite." Similarly in the Phoedrus he writes as
follows: "Now there are other evils. But some demon has mingled
pleasure with the most things at present." Further, in the tenth book
of the Laws, he expressly emits that apostolic sentiment,  "Our
contest is not with flesh and blood, but principalities, with powers,
with the spiritual things of those which are in heaven;" writing thus:
"For since we are agreed that heaven is full of many good beings; but
it is also full of the opposite of these, and more of these; and as we
assert such a contest is deathless, and requiring marvellous
Again the Barbarian philosophy knows the world of thought and the world
of sense--the former archetypal, and the latter the image of that which
is called the model; and assigns the former to the Monad, as being
perceived by the mind, and the world of sense to the number six. For
six is called by the Pythagoreans marriage, as being the genital
number; and he places in the Monad the invisible heaven and the holy
earth, and intellectual light. For "in the beginning," it is said, "God
made the heaven and the earth; and the earth was invisible." And it is
added, "And God said, Let there be light; and there was light." 
And in the material cosmogony He creates a solid heaven (and what is
solid is capable of being perceived by sense), and a visible earth, and
a light that is seen. Does not Plato hence appear to have left the
ideas of living creatures in the intellectual world, and to make
intellectual objects into sensible species according to their genera?
Rightly then Moses says, that the body which Plato calls "the earthly
tabernacle" was formed of the ground, but that the rational soul was
breathed by God into man's face. For there, they say, the ruling
faculty is situated; interpreting the access by the senses into the
first man as the addition of the soul.
Wherefore also man is said "to have been made in [God's] image and
likeness." For the image of God is the divine and royal Word, the
impassible man; and the image of the image is the human mind. And if
you wish to apprehend the likeness by another name, you will find it
named in Moses, a divine correspondence. For he says, "Walk after the
Lord your God, and keep His commandments."  And I reckon all the
virtuous, servants and followers of God. Hence the Stoics say that the
end of philosophy is to live agreeable to nature; and Plato, likeness
to God, as we have shown in the second Miscellany. And Zeno the Stoic,
borrowing from Plato, and he from the Barbarian philosophy, says that
all the good are friends of one another. For Socrates says in the
Phoedrus, "that it has not been ordained that the bad should be a
friend to the bad, nor the good be not a friend to the good;" as also
he showed sufficiently in the Lysis, that friendship is never preserved
in wickedness and vice. And the Athenian stranger similarly says, "that
there is conduct pleasing and conformable to God, based on one ancient
ground-principle, That like loves like, provided it be within measure.
But things beyond measure are congenial neither to what is within nor
what is beyond measure. Now it is the case that God is the measure to
us of all things." Then proceeding, Plato  adds: "For every good
man is like every other good man; and so being like to God, he is liked
by every good man and by God." At this point I have just recollected
the following. In the end of the Timaeus he says: "You must necessarily
assimilate that which perceives to that which is perceived, according
to its original nature; and it is by so assimilating it that you attain
to the end of the highest life proposed by the gods to men,  for
the present or the future time." For those have equal power with these.
He, who seeks, will not stop till he find; and having found, he will
wonder; and wondering, he will reign; and reigning, he will rest. And
what? Were not also those expressions of Thales derived from these? The
fact that God is glorified for ever, and that He is expressly called by
us the Searcher of hearts, he interprets. For Thales being asked, What
is the divinity? said, What has neither beginning nor end. And on
another asking, "If a man could elude the knowledge of the Divine Being
while doing aught?" said, "How could he who cannot do so while
Further, the Barbarian philosophy recognises good as alone excellent,
and virtue as sufficient for happiness, when it says, "Behold, I have
set before your eyes good and evil, life and death, that ye may choose
life."  For it calls good, "life," and the choice of it
excellent, and the choice of the opposite "evil." And the end of good
and of life is to become a lover of God: "For this is thy life and
length of days," to love that which tends to the truth. And these
points are yet clearer. For the Saviour, in enjoining to love God and
our neighbour, says, "that on these two commandments hang the whole law
and the prophets." Such are the tenets promulgated by the Stoics; and
before these, by Socrates, in the Phoedrus, who prays, "O Pan, and ye
other gods, give me to be beautiful within." And in the Theoetetus he
says expressly, "For he that speaks well (kalos) is both beautiful and
good." And in the Protagoras he avers to the companions of Protagoras
that he has met with one more beautiful than Alcibiades, if indeed that
which is wisest is most beautiful. For he said that virtue was the
soul's beauty, and, on the contrary, that vice was the soul's
deformity. Accordingly, Antipatrus the Stoic, who composed three books
on the point, "That, according to Plato, only the beautiful is good,"
shows that, according to him, virtue is sufficient for happiness; and
adduces several other dogmas agreeing with the Stoics. And by
Aristobulus, who lived in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, who is
mentioned by the composer of the epitome of the books of the Maccabees,
there were abundant books to show that the Peripatetic philosophy was
derived from the law of Moses and from the other prophets. Let such be
Plato plainly calls us brethren, as being of one God and one teacher,
in the following words: "For ye who are in the state are entirely
brethren (as we shall say to them, continuing our story). But the God
who formed you, mixed gold in the composition of those of you who are
fit to rule, at your birth, wherefore you are most highly honoured; and
silver in the case of those who are helpers; and steel and brass in the
case of farmers and other workers." Whence, of necessity, some embrace
and love those things to which knowledge pertains; and others matters
of opinion. Perchance he prophesies of that elect nature which is bent
on knowledge; if by the supposition he makes of three natures he does
not describe three politics, as some supposed: that of the Jews, the
silver; that of the Greeks, the third; and that of the Christians, with
whom has been mingled the regal gold, the Holy Spirit, the golden.
And exhibiting the Christian life, he writes in the Theaetetus in these
words: "Let us now speak of the highest principles. For why should we
speak of those who make an abuse of philosophy? These know neither the
way to the forum, nor know they the court or the senate-house, or any
other public assembly of the state. As for laws and decrees spoken or
 written, they neither see nor hear them. But party feelings of
political associations and public meetings, and revels with musicians
[occupy them]; but they never even dream of taking part in affairs. Has
any one conducted himself either well or ill in the state, or has aught
evil descended to a man from his forefathers?--it escapes their
attention as much as do the sands of the sea. And the man does not even
know that he does not know all these things; but in reality his body
alone is situated and dwells in the state,  while the man himself
flies, according to Pindar, beneath the earth and above the sky,
astronomizing, and exploring all nature on all sides.
Again, with the Lord's saying, "Let your yea be yea, and your nay nay,"
may be compared the following: "But to admit a falsehood, and destroy a
truth, is in nowise lawful." With the prohibition, also, against
swearing agrees the saying in the tenth book of the Laws: "Let praise
and an oath in everything be absent."
And in general, Pythagoras, and Socrates, and Plato say that they hear
God's voice while closely contemplating the fabric of the universe,
made and preserved unceasingly by God. For they heard Moses say, "He
said, and it was done," describing the word of God as an act.
And founding on the formation of man from the dust, the philosophers
constantly term the body earthy. Homer, too, does not hesitate to put
the following as an imprecation:--
"But may you all become earth and water."
As Esaias says, "And trample them down as clay." And Callimachus
"That was the year in which
Birds, fishes, quadrupeds,
Spoke like Prometheus' clay."
And the same again:--
"If thee Prometheus formed,
And thou art not of other clay."
Hesiod says of Pandora:--
"And bade Hephaestus, famed, with all his speed,
Knead earth with water, and man's voice and mind
The Stoics, accordingly, define nature to be artificial fire, advancing
systematically to generation. And God and His Word are by Scripture
figuratively termed fire and light. But how? Does not Homer himself, is
not Homer himself, paraphrasing the retreat of the water from the land,
and the clear uncovering of the dry land, when he says of Tethys and
"For now for a long time they abstain from
Each other's bed and love?" 
Again, power in all things is by the most intellectual among the Greeks
ascribed to God; Epicharmus--he was a Pythagorean--saying:--
"Nothing escapes the divine. This it behoves thee to know.
He is our observer. To God nought is impossible."
And the lyric poet:--
"And God from gloomy night
Can raise unstained light,
And can in darksome gloom obscure
The day's refulgence pure."
He alone who is able to make night during the period of day is God.
In the Phoenomena Aratus writes thus:--
"With Zeus let us begin; whom let us ne'er,
Being men, leave unexpressed. All full of Zeus,
The streets, and throngs of men, and full the sea,
And shores, and everywhere we Zeus enjoy."
"For we also are
His offspring; . . . . "
that is, by creation.
"Who, bland to men,
Propitious signs displays, and to their tasks
Arouses. For these signs in heaven He fixed,
The constellations spread, and crowned the year
With stars; to show to men the seasons' tasks,
That all things may proceed in order sure.
Him ever first, Him last too, they adore:
Hail Father, marvel great--great boon to men."
And before him, Homer, framing the world in accordance with Moses on
the Vulcan-wrought shield, says:--
"On it he fashioned earth, and sky, and sea,
And all the signs with which the heaven is crowned." 
For the Zeus celebrated in poems and prose compositions leads the mind
up to God. And already, so to speak, Democritus writes, "that a few men
are in the light, who stretch out their hands to that place which we
Greeks now call the air. Zeus speaks all, and he hears all, and
distributes and takes away, and he is king of all." And more mystically
the Boeotian Pindar, being a Pythagorean, says:--
"One is the race of gods and men,
And of one mother both have breath;"
that is, of matter: and names the one creator of these things, whom he
calls Father, chief artificer, who furnishes the means of advancement
on to divinity, according to merit.
For I pass over Plato; he plainly, in the Epistle to Erastus and
Coriscus, is seen to exhibit the Father and Son somehow or other from
the Hebrew Scriptures, exhorting in these words: "In invoking by oath,
with not illiterate gravity, and with culture, the sister of gravity,
God the author of all, and invoking Him by oath as the Lord, the Father
of the Leader, and author; whom if ye study with a truly philosophical
spirit, ye shall know." And the address in the Timoeus calls the
creator, Father, speaking thus: "Ye gods of gods, of whom I am Father;
and the Creator of your works." So that when he says, "Around the king
of all, all things are, and because of Him are all things; and he [or
that] is the cause of all good things; and around the second are the
things second in order; and around the third, the third," I understand
nothing else than the Holy Trinity to be meant; for the third is the
Holy Spirit, and the Son is the second, by whom all things were made
according to the will of the Father. 
And the same, in the tenth book of the Republic, mentions Eros the son
of Armenius, who is Zoroaster. Zoroaster, then, writes: "These were
composed by Zoroaster, the son of Armenius, a Pamphylian by birth:
having died in battle, and been in Hades, I learned them of the gods."
This Zoroaster, Plato says, having been placed on the funeral pyre,
rose again to life in twelve days. He alludes perchance to the
resurrection, or perchance to the fact that the path for souls to
ascension lies through the twelve signs of the zodiac; and he himself
says, that the descending pathway to birth is the same. In the same way
we are to understand the twelve labours of Hercules, after which the
soul obtains release from this entire world.
I do not pass over Empedocles, who speaks thus physically of the
renewal of all things, as consisting in a transmutation into the
essence of fire, which is to take place. And most plainly of the same
opinion is Heraclitus of Ephesus, who considered that there was a world
everlasting, and recognised one perishable--that is, in its
arrangement, not being different from the former, viewed in a certain
aspect. But that he knew the imperishable world which consists of the
universal essence to be everlastingly of a certain nature, he makes
clear by speaking thus: "The same world of all things, neither any of
the gods, nor any one of men, made. But there was, and is, and will be
ever-living fire, kindled according to measure,  and quenched
according to measure." And that he taught it to be generated and
perishable, is shown by what follows: "There are transmutations of
fire,--first, the sea; and of the sea the half is land, the half fiery
vapour." For he says that these are the effects of power. For fire is
by the Word of God, which governs all things, changed by the air into
moisture, which is, as it were, the germ of cosmical change; and this
he calls sea. And out of it again is produced earth, and sky, and all
that they contain. How, again, they are restored and ignited, he shows
clearly in these words: "The sea is diffused and measured according to
the same rule which subsisted before it became earth." Similarly also
respecting the other elements, the same is to be understood. The most
renowned of the Stoics teach similar doctrines with him, in treating of
the conflagration and the government of the world, and both the world
and man properly so called, and of the continuance of our souls.
Plato, again, in the seventh book of the Republic, has called "the day
here nocturnal," as I suppose, on account of "the world-rulers of this
darkness;"  and the descent of the soul into the body, sleep and
death, similarly with Heraclitus. And was not this announced,
oracularly, of the Saviour, by the Spirit, saying by David, "I slept,
and slumbered; I awoke: for the Lord will sustain me;"  For He
not only figuratively calls the resurrection of Christ rising from
sleep; but to the descent of the Lord into the flesh he also applies
the figurative term sleep. The Saviour Himself enjoins, "Watch;" 
as much as to say, "Study how to live, and endeavour to separate the
soul from the body."
And the Lord's day Plato prophetically speaks of in the tenth book of
the Republic, in these words: "And when seven days have passed to each
of them in the meadow, on the eighth they are to set out and arrive in
four days."  By the meadow is to be understood the fixed sphere,
as being a mild and genial spot, and the locality of the pious; and by
the seven days each motion of the seven planets, and the whole
practical art which speeds to the end of rest. But after the wandering
orbs the journey leads to heaven, that is, to the eighth motion and
day. And he says that souls are gone on the fourth day, pointing out
the passage through the four elements. But the seventh day is
recognised as sacred, not by the Hebrews only, but also by the Greeks;
according to which the whole world of all animals and plants revolve.
Hesiod says of it:--
"The first, and fourth, and seventh day were held sacred."
"And on the seventh the sun's resplendent orb."
"And on the seventh then came the sacred day."
"The seventh was sacred."
"It was the seventh day, and all things were accomplished."
"And on the seventh morn we leave the stream of Acheron."
Callimachus the poet also writes:--
"It was the seventh morn, and they had all things done."
"Among good days is the seventh day, and the seventh race."
"The seventh is among the prime, and the seventh is perfect."
"Now all the seven were made in starry heaven,
In circles shining as the years appear."
The Elegies of Solon, too, intensely deify the seventh day.
And how? Is it not similar to Scripture when it says, "Let us remove
the righteous man from us, because he is troublesome to us?" 
when Plato, all but predicting the economy of salvation, says in the
second book of the Republic as follows: "Thus he who is constituted
just shall be scourged, shall be stretched on the rack, shall be bound,
have his eyes put out; and at last, having suffered all evils, shall be
And the Socratic Antisthenes, paraphrasing that prophetic utterance,
"To whom have ye likened me? saith the Lord,"  says that "God is
like no one; wherefore no one can come to the knowledge of Him from an
Xenophon too, the Athenian, utters these similar sentiments in the
following words: "He who shakes all things, and is Himself immoveable,
is manifestly one great and powerful. But what He is in form, appears
not. No more does the sun, who wishes to shine in all directions, deem
it right to permit any one to look on himself. But if one gaze on him
audaciously, he loses his eyesight."
"What flesh can see with eyes the Heavenly, True,
Immortal God, whose dwelling is the poles?
Not even before the bright beams of the sun
Are men, as being mortal, fit to stand,"--
the Sibyl had said before. Rightly, then, Xenophanes of Colophon,
teaching that God is one and incorporeal, adds:--
"One God there is 'midst gods and men supreme;
In form, in mind, unlike to mortal men."
"But men have the idea that gods are born,
And wear their clothes, and have both voice and shape."
"But had the oxen or the lions hands,
Or could with hands depict a work like men,
Were beasts to draw the semblance of the gods,
The horses would them like to horses sketch,
To oxen, oxen, and their bodies make
Of such a shape as to themselves belongs."
Let us hear, then, the lyric poet Bacchylides speaking of the divine:--
"Who to diseases dire  never succumb,
And blameless are; in nought resembling men."
And also Cleanthes, the Stoic, who writes thus in a poem on the Deity:
"If you ask what is the nature of the good, listen--
That which is regular, just, holy, pious,
Self-governing, useful, fair, fitting,
Grave, independent, always beneficial,
That feels no fear or grief, profitable, painless,
Helpful, pleasant, safe, friendly,
Held in esteem, agreeing with itself: honourable,
Humble, careful, meek, zealous,
Perennial, blameless, ever-during."
And the same, tacitly vilifying the idolatry of the multitude, adds:--
"Base is every one who looks to opinion,
With the view of deriving any good from it."
We are not, then, to think of God according to the opinion of the
"For I do not think that secretly,
Imitating the guise of a scoundrel,
He would go to thy bed as a man,"
says Amphion to Antiope. And Sophocles plainly writes:--
"His mother Zeus espoused,
Not in the likeness of gold, nor covered
With swan's plumage, as the Pleuronian girl
He impregnated; but an out and out man."
He further proceeds, and adds:--
"And quick the adulterer stood on the bridal steps."
Then he details still more plainly the licentiousness of the fabled
"But he nor food nor cleansing water touched,
But heart-stung went to bed, and that whole night
But let these be resigned to the follies of the theatre.
Heraclius plainly says: "But of the word which is eternal men are not
able to understand, both before they have heard it, and on first
hearing it." And the lyrist Melanippides says in song:--
"Hear me, O Father, Wonder of men,
Ruler of the ever-living soul."
And Parmenides the great, as Plato says in the Sophist, writes of God
"Very much, since unborn and indestructible He is,
Whole, only-begotten, and immoveable, and unoriginated."
Hesiod also says:--
"For He of the immortals all is King and Lord.
With God  none else in might may strive."
Nay more, Tragedy, drawing away from idols, teaches to look up to
heaven. Sophocles, as Hecataeus, who composed the histories in the work
about Abraham and the Egyptians, says, exclaims plainly on the stage:--
"One in very truth, God is One,
Who made the heaven and the far-stretching earth,
The Deep's blue billow, and the might of winds.
But of us mortals, many erring far
In heart, as solace for our woes, have raised
Images of gods--of stone, or else of brass,
Or figures wrought of gold or ivory;
And sacrifices and vain festivals
To these appointing, deem ourselves devout."
And Euripides on the stage, in tragedy, says:--
"Dost thou this lofty, boundless Ether see,
Which holds the earth around in the embrace
Of humid arms? This reckon Zeus,
And this regard as God."
And in the drama of Pirithous, the same writes those lines in tragic
"Thee, self-sprung, who on Ether's wheel
Hast universal nature spun,
Around whom Light and dusky spangled Night,
The countless host of stars, too, ceaseless dance."
For there he says that the creative mind is self-sprung. What follows
applies to the universe, in which are the opposites of light and
AEschylus also, the son of Euphorion, says with very great solemnity of
"Ether is Zeus, Zeus earth, and Zeus the heaven;
The universe is Zeus, and all above."
I am aware that Plato assents to Heraclitus, who writes: "The one thing
that is wise alone will not be expressed, and means the name of Zeus."
And again, "Law is to obey the will of one." And if you wish to adduce
that saying, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear," you will find
it expressed by the Ephesian  to the following effect: "Those
that hear without understanding are like the deaf. The proverb
witnesses against them, that when present they are absent."
But do you want to hear from the Greeks expressly of one first
principle? Timaeus the Locrian, in the work on Nature, shall testify in
the following words: "There is one first principle of all things
unoriginated. For were it originated, it would be no longer the first
principle; but the first principle would be that from which it
originated." For this true opinion was derived from what follows:
"Hear," it is said, "O Israel; the Lord thy God is one, and Him only
shalt thou serve." 
"Lo  He all sure and all unerring is,"
says the Sibyl.
Homer also manifestly mentions the Father and the Son by a happy hit of
divination in the following words:--
"If Outis,  alone as thou art, offers thee violence,
And there is no escaping disease sent by Zeus,--
For the Cyclopes heed not AEgis-bearing Zeus." 
And before him Orpheus said, speaking of the point in hand:--
"Son of great Zeus, Father of AEgis-bearing Zeus."
And Xenocrates the Chalcedonian, who mentions the supreme Zeus and the
inferior Zeus, leaves an indication of the Father and the Son. Homer,
while representing the gods as subject to human passions, appears to
know the Divine Being, whom Epicurus does not so revere. He says
"Why, son of Peleus, mortal as thou art,
With swift feet me pursuest, a god
Immortal? Hast thou not yet known
That I am a god?" 
For he shows that the Divinity cannot be captured by a mortal, or
apprehended either with feet, or hands, or eyes, or by the body at all.
"To whom have ye likened the Lord? or to what likeness have ye likened
Him?" says the Scripture.  Has not the artificer made the image?
or the goldsmith, melting the gold, has gilded it, and what follows.
The comic poet Epicharmus speaks in the Republic clearly of the Word in
the following terms:--
"The life of men needs calculation and number alone,
And we live by number and calculation, for these save mortals." 
He then adds expressly:--
"Reason governs mortals, and alone preserves manners."
"There is in man reasoning; and there is a divine Reason. 
Reason is implanted in man to provide for life and sustenance,
But divine Reason attends the arts in the case of all,
Teaching them always what it is advantageous to do.
For it was not man that discovered art, but God brought it;
And the Reason of man derives its origin from the divine Reason."
The Spirit also cries by Isaiah: "Wherefore the multitude of
sacrifices? saith the Lord. I am full of holocausts of rams, and the
fat of lambs and the blood of bulls I wish not;" and a little after
adds: "Wash you, and be clean. Put away wickedness from your souls,"
 and so forth.
Menander, the comic poet, writes in these very words:--
"If one by offering sacrifice, a crowd
Of bulls or kids, O Pamphilus, by Zeus.
Or such like things; by making works of art,
Garments of gold or purple, images
Of ivory or emerald, deems by these
God can be made propitious, he does err,
And has an empty mind. For the man must prove
A man of worth, who neither maids deflowers,
Nor an adulterer is, nor steals, nor kills
For love of worldly wealth, O Pamphilus.
Nay, covet not a needle's thread. For God
Thee sees, being near beside thee." . . . 
"I am a God at hand," it is said by Jeremiah,  "and not a God
afar off. Shall a man do aught in secret places, and I shall not see
And again Menander, paraphrasing that Scripture, "Sacrifice a sacrifice
of righteousness, and trust in the Lord,"  thus writes:--
"And not a needle even that is
Another's ever covet, dearest friend;
For God in righteous works delights, and so
Permits him to increase his worldly wealth,
Who toils, and ploughs the land both night and day.
But sacrifice to God, and righteous be,
Shining not in bright robes, but in thy heart;
And when thou hear'st the thunder, do not flee,
Being conscious to thyself of nought amiss,
Good sir, for thee God ever present sees." 
"Whilst thou art yet speaking," says the Scripture, "I will say, Lo,
here I am." 
Again Diphilus, the comic poet, discourses as, follows on the
"Think'st thou, O Niceratus, that the dead,
Who in all kinds of luxury in life have shared,
Escape the Deity, as if forgot?
There is an eye of justice, which sees all.
For two ways, as we deem, to Hades lead--
One for the good, the other for the bad.
But if the earth hides both for ever, then
Go plunder, steal, rob, and be turbulent.
But err not. For in Hades judgment is,
Which God the Lord of all will execute,
Whose name too dreadful is for me to name,
Who gives to sinners length of earthly life.
If any mortal thinks, that day by day,
While doing ill, he eludes the gods' keen sight,
His thoughts are evil; and when justice has
The leisure, he shall then detected be
So thinking. Look, whoe'er you be that say
That there is not a God. There is, there is.
If one, by nature evil, evil does,
Let him redeem the time; for such as he
Shall by and by due punishment receive." 
And with this agrees the tragedy  in the following lines:--
"For there shall come, shall come  that point of time,
When Ether, golden-eyed, shall ope its store
Of treasured fire; and the devouring flame,
Raging, shall burn all things on earth below,
And all above." ...
And after a little he adds:--
"And when the whole world fades,
And vanished all the abyss of ocean's waves,
And earth of trees is bare; and wrapt in flames,
The air no more begets the winged tribes;
Then He who all destroyed, shall all restore."
We shall find expressions similar to these also in the Orphic hymns,
written as follows:--
"For having hidden all, brought them again
To gladsome light, forth from his sacred heart,
And if we live throughout holily and righteously, we are happy here,
and shall be happier after our departure hence; not possessing
happiness for a time, but enabled to rest in eternity.
"At the same hearth and table as the rest
Of the immortal gods, we sit all free
Of human ills, unharmed,"
says the philosophic poetry of Empedocles. And so, according to the
Greeks, none is so great as to be above judgment, none so insignificant
as to escape its notice.
And the same Orpheus speaks thus:--
"But to the word divine, looking, attend,
Keeping aright the heart's receptacle
Of intellect, and tread the straight path well,
And only to the world's immortal King
Direct thy gaze." 
And again, respecting God, saying that He was invisible, and that He
was known to but one, a Chaldean by race--meaning either by this
Abraham or his son--he speaks as follows:--
"But one a scion of Chaldean race;
For he the sun's path knew right well,
And how the motion of the sphere about
The earth proceeds, in circle moving
Equally around its axis, how the winds
Their chariot guide o'er air and sea."
Then, as if paraphrasing the expression, "Heaven is my throne, and
earth is my footstool,"  he adds:--
"But in great heaven, He is seated firm
Upon a throne of gold, and 'neath His feet
The earth. His right hand round the ocean's bound
He stretches; and the hills' foundations shake
To the centre at His wrath, nor can endure
His mighty strength. He all celestial is,
And all things finishes upon the earth.
He the Beginning, Middle is, and End.
But Thee I dare not speak. In limbs
And mind I tremble. He rules from on high."
And so forth. For in these he indicates these prophetic utterances: "If
Thou openest the heaven, trembling shall seize the mountains from Thy
presence; and they shall melt, as wax melteth before the fire;" 
and in Isaiah, "Who hath measured the heaven with a span, and the whole
earth with His fist?  Again, when it is said:--
"Ruler of Ether, Hades, Sea, and Land,
Who with Thy bolts Olympus' strong-built home
Dost shake. Whom demons dread, and whom the throng
Of gods do fear. Whom, too, the Fates obey,
Relentless though they be. O deathless One,
Our mother's Sire! whose wrath makes all things reel;
Who mov'st the winds, and shroud'st in clouds the world,
Broad Ether cleaving with Thy lightning gleams,--
Thine is the order 'mongst the stars, which run
As Thine unchangeable behests direct.
Before Thy burning throne the angels wait,
Much-working, charged to do all things, for men.
Thy young Spring shines, all prank'd with purple flowers;
Thy Winter with its chilling clouds assails;
Thine Autumn noisy Bacchus distributes."
Then he adds, naming expressly the Almighty God:--
"Deathless Immortal, capable of being
To the immortals only uttered! Come,
Greatest of gods, with strong Necessity.
Dread, invincible, great, deathless One,
Whom Ether crowns." ...
By the expression "Sire of our Mother" (metropator) he not only
intimates creation out of nothing, but gives occasion to those who
introduce emissions of imagining a consort of the Deity. And he
paraphrases those prophetic Scripture--that in Isaiah, "I am He that
fixes the thunder, and creates the wind; whose hands have founded the
host of heaven;"  and that in Moses, "Behold, behold that I am
He, and there is no god beside me: I will kill, and I will make to
live; I will smite, and I will heal: and there is none that shall
deliver out of my hands." 
"And He, from good, to mortals planteth ill,
And cruel war, and tearful woes,"
according to Orpheus.
Such also are the words of the Parian Archilochus.
"O Zeus, thine is the power of heaven, and thou
Inflict'st on men things violent and wrong." 
Again let the Thracian Orpheus sing to us:--
"His right hand all around to ocean's bound
He stretches; and beneath His feet is earth."
These are plainly derived from the following: "The Lord will save the
inhabited cities, and grasp the whole land in His hand like a nest;"
 "It is the Lord that made the earth by His power," as saith
Jeremiah, "and set up the earth by His wisdom."  Further, in
addition to these, Phocylides, who calls the angels demons, explains in
the following words that some of them are good, and others bad (for we
also have learned that some are apostate):--
"Demons there are--some here, some there--set over men;
Some, on man's entrance [into life], to ward off ill."
Rightly, then, also Philemon, the comic poet demolishes idolatry in
"Fortune is no divinity to us:
There's no such god. But what befalls by chance
And of itself to each, is Fortune called."
And Sophocles the tragedian says:--
"Not even the gods have all things as they choose,
Excepting Zeus; for he beginning is and end."
"One Might, the great, the flaming heaven, was
One Deity. All things one Being were; in whom
All these revolve fire, water, and the earth."
And so forth.
Pindar, the lyric poet, as if in Bacchic frenzy, plainly says:--
"What is God? The All."
"God, who makes all mortals."
And when he says,--
"How little, being a man, dost thou expect
Wisdom for man? 'Tis hard for mortal mind
The counsels of the gods to scan; and thou
Wast of a mortal mother born,"
he drew the thought from the following: "Who hath known the mind of the
Lord, or who was His counsellor?"  Hesiod, too, agrees with what
is said above, in what he writes:--
"No prophet, sprung of men that dwell on earth,
Can know the mind of AEgis-bearing Zeus."
Similarly, then, Solon the Athenian, in the Elegies, following Hesiod,
"The immortal's mind to men is quite unknown."
Again Moses, having prophesied that the woman would bring forth in
trouble and pain, on account of transgression, a poet not
"Never by day
From toil and woe shall they have rest, nor yet
By night from groans. Sad cares the gods to men
Further, when Homer says,--
"The Sire himself the golden balance held," 
he intimates that God is just.
And Menander, the comic poet, in exhibiting God, says:--
"To each man, on his birth, there is assigned
A tutelary Demon, as his life's good guide.
For that the Demon evil is, and harms
A good life, is not to be thought."
Then he adds:--
"Hapanta d' hagathon heinai ton Theon,"
meaning either "that every one good is God," or, what is preferable,
"that God in all things is good."
Again, AEschylus the tragedian, setting forth the power of God, does
not shrink from calling Him the Highest, in these words:--
"Place God apart from mortals; and think not
That He is, like thyself, corporeal.
Thou know'st Him not. Now He appears as fire,
Dread force; as water now; and now as gloom;
And in the beasts is dimly shadowed forth,
In wind, and cloud, in lightning, thunder, rain;
And minister to Him the seas and rocks,
Each fountain and the water's floods and streams.
The mountains tremble, and the earth, the vast
Abyss of sea, and towering height of hills,
When on them looks the Sovereign's awful eye:
Almighty is the glory of the Most High God." 
Does he not seem to you to paraphrase that text, "At the presence of
the Lord the earth trembles?"  In addition to these, the most
prophetic Apollo is compelled--thus testifying to the glory of God--to
say of Athene, when the Medes made war against Greece, that she
besought and supplicated Zeus for Attica. The oracle is as follows:--
"Pallas cannot Olympian Zeus propitiate,
Although with many words and sage advice she prays;
But he will give to the devouring fire many temples of the immortals,
Who now stand shaking with terror, and bathed in sweat;" 
and so forth.
Thearidas, in his book On Nature, writes: "There was then one really
true beginning [first principle] of all that exist"--one. For that
Being in the beginning is one and alone."
"Nor is there any other except the Great King,"
says Orpheus. In accordance with whom, the comic poet Diphilus says
very sententiously,  the
"Father of all,
To Him alone incessant reverence pay,
The inventor and the author of such blessings."
Rightly therefore Plato "accustoms the best natures to attain to that
study which formerly we said was the highest, both to see the good and
to accomplish that ascent. And this, as appears, is not the throwing of
the potsherds;  but the turning round of the soul from a
nocturnal day to that which is a true return to that which really is,
which we shall assert to be the true philosophy." Such as are partakers
of this he judges  to belong to the golden race, when he says:
"Ye are all brethren; and those who are of the golden race are most
capable of judging most accurately in every respect." 
The Father, then, and Maker of all things is apprehended by all things,
agreeably to all, by innate power and without teaching,--things
inanimate, sympathizing with the animate creation; and of living beings
some are already immoral, working in the light of day. But of those
that are still mortal, some are in fear, and carried still in their
mother's womb; and others regulate themselves by their own independent
reason. And of men all are Greeks and Barbarians. But no race anywhere
of tillers of the soil, or nomads, and not even of dwellers in cities,
can live, without being imbued with the faith of a superior being.
 Wherefore every eastern nation, and every nation touching the
western shore; or the north, and each one towards the south, 
--all have one and the same preconception respecting Him who hath
appointed government; since the most universal of His operations
equally pervade all. Much more did the philosophers among the Greeks,
devoted to investigation, starting from the Barbarian philosophy,
attribute providence  to the "Invisible, and sole, and most
powerful, and most skilful and supreme cause of all things most
beautiful;"--not knowing the inferences from these truths, unless
instructed by us, and not even how God is to be known naturally; but
only, as we have already often said, by a true periphrasis. 
Rightly therefore the apostle says, "Is He the God of the Jews only,
and not also of the Greeks?"--not only saying prophetically that of the
Greeks believing Greeks would know God;  but also intimating that
in power the Lord is the God of all, and truly Universal King. For they
know neither what He is, nor how He is Lord, and Father, and Maker, nor
the rest of the system of the truth, without being taught by it. Thus
also the prophetic utterances have the same force as the apostolic
word. For Isaiah says, "If ye say, We trust in the Lord our God: now
make an alliance with my Lord the king of the Assyrians." And he adds:
"And now, was it without the Lord that we came up to this land to make
war against it?"  And Jonah, himself a prophet, intimates the
same thing in what he says: "And the shipmaster came to him, and said
to him, Why dost thou snore? Rise, call on thy God, that He may save
us, and that we may not perish."  For the expression "thy God" he
makes as if to one who knew Him by way of knowledge; and the
expression, "that God may save us," revealed the consciousness in the
minds of heathens who had applied their mind to the Ruler of all, but
had not yet believed. And again the same: "And he said to them, I am
the servant of the Lord; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven." And
again the same: "And he said, Let us by no means perish for the life of
this man." And Malachi the prophet plainly exhibits God saying, "I will
not accept sacrifice at your hands. For from the rising of the sun to
its going down, My name is glorified among the Gentiles; and in every
place sacrifice is offered to Me."  And again: "Because I am a
great King, saith the Lord omnipotent; and My name is manifest among
the nations." What name? The Son declaring the Father among the Greeks
who have believed.
Plato in what follows gives an exhibition of free-will: "Virtue owns
not a master; and in proportion as each one honours or dishonours it,
in that proportion he will be a partaker of it. The blame lies in the
exercise of free choice." But God is blameless. For He is never the
author of evil.
"O warlike Trojans," says the lyric poet,  --
"High ruling Zeus, who beholds all things,
Is not the cause of great woes to mortals;
But it is in the power of all men to find
Justice, holy, pure,
Companion of order,
And of wise Themis
The sons of the blessed are ye
In finding her as your associate."
And Pindar expressly introduces also Zeus Soter, the consort of Themis,
proclaiming him King, Saviour, Just, in the following lines:--
"First, prudent Themis, of celestial birth,
On golden steeds, by Ocean's rock,
The Fates brought to the stair sublime,
The shining entrance of Olympus,
Of Saviour Zeus for aye  to be the spouse,
And she, the Hours, gold-diademed, fair-fruited, good, brought forth."
He, then, who is not obedient to the truth, and is puffed up with human
teaching, is wretched and miserable, according to Euripides:--
"Who these things seeing, yet apprehends not God,
But mouthing lofty themes, casts far
Perverse deceits; stubborn in which, the tongue
Its shafts discharges, about things unseen,
Devoid of sense."
Let him who wishes, then, approaching to the true instruction, learn
from Parmenides the Eleatic, who promises:--
"Ethereal nature, then, and all the signs
In Ether thou shall know, and the effects,
All viewless, of the sacred Sun's clear torch
And whence produced. The round-eyed Moon's
Revolving influences and nature thou
Shall learn; and the ensphering heaven shall know;
Whence sprung; and how Necessity took it
And chained so as to keep the starry bounds."
And Metrodorus, though an Epicurean, spoke thus, divinely inspired:
"Remember, O Menestratus, that, being a mortal endowed with a
circumscribed life, thou hast in thy soul ascended, till thou hast seen
endless time, and the infinity of things; and what is to be, and what
has been;" when with the blessed choir, according to Plato, we shall
gaze on the blessed sight and vision; we following with Zeus, and
others with other deities, if we may be permitted so to say, to receive
initiation into the most blessed mystery: which we shall celebrate,
ourselves being perfect and untroubled by the ills which awaited us at
the end of our time; and introduced to the knowledge of perfect and
tranquil visions, and contemplating them in pure sunlight; we ourselves
pure, and now no longer distinguished by that, which, when carrying it
about, we call the body, being bound to it like an oyster to its shell.
The Pythagoreans call heaven the Antichthon [the opposite Earth]. And
in this land, it is said by Jeremiah, "I will place thee among the
children, and give thee the chosen land as inheritance of God
Omnipotent;"  and they who inherit it shall reign over the earth.
Myriads on myriads of examples  rush on my mind which might
adduce. But for the sake of symmetry the discourse must now stop, in
order that we may not exemplify the saying of Agatho the tragedian:--
"Treating our by-work as work,
And doing our work as by-work."
It having been, then, as I think, clearly shown in what way it is to be
understood that the Greeks were called thieves by the Lord, I willingly
leave the dogmas of the philosophers. For were we to go over their
sayings, we should gather together directly such a quantity of notes,
in showing that the whole of the Hellenic wisdom was derived from the
Barbarian philosophy. But this speculation, we shall, nevertheless,
again touch on, as necessity requires, when we collect the opinions
current among the Greeks respecting first principles.
But from what has been said, it tacitly devolves on us to consider in
what way the Hellenic books are to be perused by the man who is able to
pass through the billows in them. Therefore
"Happy is he who possesses the wealth of the divine mind,"
as appears according to Empedocles,
"But wretched he, who cares for dark opinion about the Gods."
He divinely showed knowledge and ignorance to be the boundaries of
happiness and misery. "For it behoves philosophers to be acquainted
with very many things," according to Heraclitus; and truly must
"He, who seeks to be good, err in many things."
It is then now clear to us, from what has been said, that the
beneficence of God is eternal, and that, from an unbeginning principle,
equal natural righteousness reached all, according to the worth of each
several race,--never having had a beginning. For God did not make a
beginning of being Lord and Good, being always what He is. Nor will He
ever cease to do good, although He bring all things to an end. And each
one of us is a partaker of His beneficence, as far as He wills. For the
difference of the elect is made by the intervention of a choice worthy
of the soul, and by exercise.
Thus, then, let our fifth Miscellany of gnostic notes in accordance
with the true philosophy be brought to a close.
 Wisd. vii. 24.
 Ps. xxxvi. 5.
 Ps. civ. 4.
 Eusebius reads poietikos.
 [Guardian angels. Matt. xviii. 10.]
 [Compare Tayler Lewis, Plato against the Atheists, p. 342.]
 Gen. i. 1-3.
 Deut. xiii. 4.
 The text has palin: Eusebius reads Platon.
 The text has anthroto: Plato and Eusebius, anthropois.
 Deut. xxx. 15, 19, 20.
 ten chrusen is supplied, according to a very probably conjecture.
 "Spoken or" supplied from Plato and Eusebius.
 monon en te polei is here supplied from Plato. [Note in Migne.]
 Iliad, xiv. 206.
 Iliad, xviii, 483.
 [On the Faith, see p. 444, note 6, supra.]
 Metra is the reading of the text, but is plainly an error for metro, which is the reading of Eusebius.
 Eph. vi. 12.
 Ps. iii. 5.
 Matt. xxiv. 42, etc.
 [The bearing of this passage on questions of Sabbatical and Dominical observances, needs only to be indicated.]
 Wisd. ii. 12.
 [See Leighton, Works, vol. v. p. 62, the very rich and copious note of the editor, William West, of Nairn, Scotland. Elucidation IX.]
 Isa. xl. 18, 25.
 H. Stephanus, in his Fragments of Bacchylides, reads aikeleion (foul) instead of aei kai lian of the text.
 Quoted in Exhortation to the Heathen, p. 192, ante, and is here corrected from the text there.
 This is quoted in Exhortation to the Heathen, p. 192, ch. vii. The reading varies, and it has been variously amended. Theo is substituted above for seo. Perhaps the simplest of the emendations proposed on this passage is the change of seo into soi, with Thee.
 Deut vi. 4.
 See Exhortation, p. 194, where for "So" read "Lo."
 "Houtis, Noman, Nobody: a fallacious name assumed by Ulysses (with a primary allusion to ms, tis, metis, Odyss., xx. 20), to deceive Polyphemus."--Liddell and Scott. The third line is 274 of same book.
 Odyss., ix. 410.
 Iliad. xxii. 8.
 Isa. xl. 18, 25.
 All these lines from Epicharmus: they have been rendered as amended by Grotius.
 logos [or Word].
 Isa. i. 11, 16.
 This passage, with four more lines, is quoted by Justin Martyr [De Monarchia, vol. i. p. 291, this series], and ascribed by him to Philemon.
 Jer. xxiii. 23, 24.
 Ps. iv. 5.
 In Justin Martyr, in the place above quoted, these lines are joined to the preceding. They are also quoted by Eusebius, but differently arranged. The translation adopts the arrangement of Grotius.
 Isa. lxv. 24.
 These lines are quoted by Justin (De Monarchia [vol. i. p. 291, this series]), but ascribed by him part to Philemon, part to Euripides.
 Ascribed by Justin to Sophocles.
 Adopting the reading keinos instead of kainos in the text.
 Quoted in Exhortation, p. 193.
 Isa. lxvi. 1.
 Isa. lxiv. 1, 2; xl. 12.
 [On the Orphica, see Lewis' Plato cont. Ath., p. 99.]
 Amos iv. 13.
 Deut. xxxii. 39.
 For ouranous oras we read anthropous (which is the reading of Eusebius); and dres (Sylburgius's conjecture), also from Eusebius, instead of ha themis athemista.
 Isa. x. 14.
 Jer. x. 12.
 Isa. xl. 13.
 Iliad, viii. 69.
 These lines of Aeschylus are also quoted by Justyn Martyr (De Monarchia, vol. i. p. 290). Dread force, aplatos horme: Eusebius reads horme, dative. J. Langus has suggested (aplastos) uncreated; aplestos (insatiate) has also been suggested. The epithet of the text, which means primarily unapproachable, then dread or terrible, is applied by Pindar to fire.
 Ps. lxviii. 8. [Comp. Coleridge's Hymn in Chamounix.]
 This Pythian oracle is given by Herodotus, and is quoted also by Eusebius and Theodoret.
 gnomikotata. Eusebius reads geniikotaton, agreeing with patera.
 A game in which a potsherd with a black and white side was cast on a line; and as the black or white turned up, one of the players fled and the other pursued.
 Eusebius has krinei, which we have adopted, for krinein of the text.
 Plato, Rep., book vii.
 [Pearson, On the Creed, p. 47.]
 According to the reading in Eusebius, pan ethnos heoon pan de hesperion eonon, boreion te kai to, k.t.l.
 Instead of pronoian, Eusebius has pronomian (privilege).
 Clement seems to mean that they knew God only in a roundabout and inaccurate way. The text has periphasin; but periphrasin, which is in Eusebius, is preferable.
 [See p. 379, Elucidation I., supra.]
 Isa xxxvi. 7, 8, 10.
 Jonah i. 6, 9, 14.
 Mal. i. 10, 11, 14. [The prophetic present-future.]
 Perhaps Bacchylides.
 The reading of H. Stephanus, agathas Horas, is adopted in the translation. The text has agatha soteras. Some supply Oras, and at the same time retain soteras.
 Jer. iii. 19.
 [This strong testimony of Clement is worthy of special note.]
The Pastor of Hermas - Introductions
The Pastor of Hermas: Book 1
The Pastor of Hermas: Book 2
The Pastor of Hermas: Book 3
Tatian the Assyrian's Address to the Greeks
Fragments - Tatian the Assyrian
Theophilus of Antioch - Introduction
Theophilus of Antioch to Autolycus: Book 1
Theophilus of Antioch to Autolycus: Book 2
Theophilus of Antioch to Autolycus: Book 3
A Plea for Christians by Athenagoras the Athenian: Philosopher and Christian
The Treatise of Athenagoras the Athenian, Philosopher and Christian, on the Resurrection of the Dead
Clement of Alexandria - Introductory Note
Exhortation to the Heathen
The Instructor (Paedagogus) - Book 1
The Instructor (Paedagogus) - Book 2
The Instructor (Paedagogus) - Book 3
Elucidations - Clement of Alexandria
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 1
Elucidations - Purpose of the Stromata
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 2
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 2
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 3
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 4
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 4
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 5
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 5
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 6
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 6
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 7
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 7
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 8
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 8
Fragments of Clemens Alexandrinus
Clemens Alexandrinus on the Salvation of the Rich Man
Elucidations - Clemens Alexandrinus on the Salvation of the Rich Man
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