The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 6
Chapter I.--Plan. 
The sixth and also the seventh Miscellany of gnostic notes, in
accordance with the true philosophy, having delineated as well as
possible the ethical argument conveyed in them, and having exhibited
what the Gnostic is in his life, proceed to show the philosophers that
he is by no means impious, as they suppose, but that he alone is truly
pious, by a compendious exhibition of the Gnostic's form of religion,
as far as it is possible, without danger, to commit it to writing in a
book of reference. For the Lord enjoined "to labour for the meat which
endureth to eternity."  And the prophet says, "Blessed is he that
soweth into all waters, whose ox and ass tread,"  [that is,] the
people, from the Law and from the Gentiles, gathered into one faith.
"Now the weak eateth herbs," according to the noble apostle.  The
Instructor, divided by us into three books, has already exhibited the
training and nurture up from the state of childhood, that is, the
course of life which from elementary instruction grows by faith; and in
the case of those enrolled in the number of men, prepares beforehand
the soul, endued with virtue, for the reception of gnostic knowledge.
The Greeks, then, clearly learning, from what shall be said by us in
these pages, that in profanely persecuting the God-loving man, they
themselves act impiously; then, as the notes advance, in accordance
with the style of the Miscellanies, we must solve the difficulties
raised both by Greeks and Barbarians with respect to the coming of the
In a meadow the flowers blooming variously, and in a park the
plantations of fruit trees, are not separated according to their
species from those of other kinds. If some, culling varieties, have
composed learned collections, Meadows, and Helicons, and Honeycombs,
and Robes; then, with the things which come to recollection by
haphazard, and are expurgated neither in order nor expression, but
purposely scattered, the form of the Miscellanies is promiscuously
variegated like a meadow. And such being the case, my notes shall serve
as kindling sparks; and in the case of him, who is fit for knowledge,
if he chance to fall in with them, research made with exertion will
turn out to his benefit and advantage. For it is right that labour
should precede not only food but also, much more knowledge, in the case
of those that are advancing to the eternal and blessed salvation by the
"strait and narrow way," which is truly the Lord's.
Our knowledge, and our spiritual garden, is the Saviour Himself; into
whom we are planted, being transferred and transplanted, from our old
life, into the good land. And transplanting contributes to
fruitfulness. The Lord, then, into whom we have been transplanted, is
the Light and the true Knowledge.
Now knowledge is otherwise spoken of in a twofold sense: that, commonly
so called, which appears in all men (similarly also comprehension and
apprehension), universally, in the knowledge of individual objects; in
which not only the rational powers, but equally the irrational, share,
which I would never term knowledge, inasmuch as the apprehension of
things through the senses comes naturally. But that which par
excellence is termed knowledge, bears the impress of judgment and
reason, in the exercise of which there will be rational cognitions
alone, applying purely to objects of thought, and resulting from the
bare energy of the soul. "He is a good man," says David,  "who
pities" (those ruined through error), "and lends" (from the
communication of the word of truth) not at haphazard, for "he will
dispense his words in judgment:" with profound calculation, "he hath
dispersed, he hath given to the poor."
 [On Clement's plan, see Elucidation I. p. 342, supra.]
 John vi. 27.
 Isa. xxxii. 20.
 Rom. xiv. 2.
 Ps. cxii. 5, 9.
Chapter II.--The Subject of Plagiarisms Resumed. The Greeks Plagiarized from One Another.
Before handling the point proposed, we must, by way of preface, add to
the close of the fifth book what is wanting. For since we have shown
that the symbolical style was ancient, and was employed not only by our
prophets, but also by the majority of the ancient Greeks, and by not a
few of the rest of the Gentile Barbarians, it was requisite to proceed
to the mysteries of the initiated. I postpone the elucidation of these
till we advance to the confutation of what is said by the Greeks on
first principles; for we shall show that the mysteries belong to the
same branch of speculation. And having proved that the declaration of
Hellenic thought is illuminated all round by the truth, bestowed on us
in the Scriptures, taking it according to the sense, we have proved,
not to say what is invidious, that the theft of the truth passed to
Come, and let us adduce the Greeks as witnesses against themselves to
the theft. For, inasmuch as they pilfer from one another, they
establish the fact that they are thieves; and although against their
will, they are detected, clandestinely appropriating to those of their
own race the truth which belongs to us. For if they do not keep their
hands from each other, they will hardly do it from our authors. I shall
say nothing of philosophic dogmas, since the very persons who are the
authors of the divisions into sects, confess in writing, so as not to
be convicted of ingratitude, that they have received from Socrates the
most important of their dogmas. But after availing myself of a few
testimonies of men most talked of, and of repute among the Greeks, and
exposing their plagiarizing style, and selecting them from various
periods, I shall turn to what follows.
Orpheus, then, having composed the line:--
"Since nothing else is more shameless and wretched than woman,"
Homer plainly says:--
"Since nothing else is more dreadful and shameless than a woman."
And Musaeus having written:--
"Since art is greatly superior to strength,"--
"By art rather than strength is the woodcutter greatly superior."
Again, Musaeus having composed the lines:--
"And as the fruitful field produceth leaves,
And on the ash trees some fade, others grow,
So whirls the race of man its leaf,"  --
"Some of the leaves the wind strews on the ground.
The budding wood bears some; in time of spring,
They come. So springs one race of men, and one departs." 
Again, Homer having said:--
"It is unholy to exult over dead men," 
Archilochus and Cratinus write, the former:--
"It is not noble at dead men to sneer;"
and Cratinus in the Lacones:--
"For men 'tis dreadful to exult
Much o'er the stalwart dead."
Again, Archilochus, transferring that Homeric line:--
"I erred, nor say I nay: instead of many"  --
"I erred, and this mischief hath somehow seized another."
As certainly also that line:--
"Even-handed  war the slayer slays." 
He also, altering, has given forth thus:--
"I will do it.
For Mars to men in truth is evenhanded." 
Also, translating the following:--
"The issues of victory among men depend on the gods," 
he openly encourages youth, in the following iambic:--
"Victory's issues on the gods depend."
Again, Homer having said:--
"With feet unwashed sleeping on the ground," 
Euripides writes in Erechtheus:--
"Upon the plain spread with no couch they sleep,
Nor in the streams of water lave their feet."
Archilochus having likewise said:--
"But one with this and one with that
His heart delights,"--
in correspondence with the Homeric line:--
"For one in these deeds, one in those delights,"  --
Euripides says in OEneus:--
"But one in these ways, one in those, has more delight."
And I have heard AEschylus saying:--
"He who is happy ought to stay at home;
There should he also stay, who speeds not well."
And Euripides, too, shouting the like on the stage:--
"Happy the man who, prosperous, stays at home."
Menander, too, on comedy, saying:--
"He ought at home to stay, and free remain,
Or be no longer rightly happy."
Again, Theognis having said:--
"The exile has no comrade dear and true,"--
Euripides has written:--
"Far from the poor flies every friend."
And Epicharmus, saying:--
"Daughter, woe worth the day!
Thee who art old I marry to a youth;" 
"For the young husband takes some other girl,
And for another husband longs the wife,"--
Euripides  writes:--
"'Tis bad to yoke an old wife to a youth;
For he desires to share another's bed,
And she, by him deserted, mischief plots."
Euripides having, besides, said in the Medea:--
"For no good do a bad man's gifts,"--
Sophocles in Ajax Flagellifer utters this iambic:--
"For foes' gifts are no gifts, nor any boon." 
Solon having written:--
"For surfeit insolence begets,
When store of wealth attends."
Theognis writes in the same way:--
"For surfeit insolence begets,
When store of wealth attends the bad."
Whence also Thucydides, in the Histories, says: "Many men, to whom in a
great degree, and in a short time, unlooked-for prosperity comes, are
wont to turn to insolence." And Philistus  likewise imitates the
same sentiment, expressing himself thus: "And the many things which
turn out prosperously to men, in accordance with reason, have an
incredibly dangerous  tendency to misfortune. For those who meet
with unlooked success beyond their expectations, are for the most part
wont to turn to insolence." Again, Euripides having written:--
"For children sprung of parents who have led
A hard and toilsome life, superior are;"
Critias writes: "For I begin with a man's origin: how far the best and
strongest in body will he be, if his father exercises himself, and eats
in a hardy way, and subjects his body to toilsome labour; and if the
mother of the future child be strong in body, and give herself
Again, Homer having said of the Hephaestus-made shield:--
"Upon it earth and heaven and sea he made,
And Ocean's rivers' mighty strength portrayed,"
Pherecydes of Syros says:--"Zas makes a cloak large and beautiful, and
works on it earth and Ogenus, and the palace of Ogenus."
And Homer having said:--
"Shame, which greatly hurts a man or helps,"  --
Euripides writes in Erechtheus:--
"Of shame I find it hard to judge;
'Tis needed. 'Tis at times a great mischief."
Take, by way of parallel, such plagiarisms as the following, from those
who flourished together, and were rivals of each other. From the
Orestes of Euripides:--
"Dear charm of sleep, aid in disease."
From the Eriphyle of Sophocles:--
"Hie thee to sleep, healer of that disease."
And from the Antigone of Sophocles:--
"Bastardy is opprobrious in name; but the nature is equal;" 
And from the Aleuades of Sophocles:--
"Each good thing has its nature equal."
Again, in the Ctimenus  of Euripides:--
"For him who toils, God helps;"
And in the Minos of Sophocles;
"To those who act not, fortune is no ally;"
And from the Alexander of Euripides:--
"But time will show; and learning, by that test,
I shall know whether thou art good or bad;"
And from the Hipponos of Sophocles:--
"Besides, conceal thou nought; since Time,
That sees all, hears all, all things will unfold."
But let us similarly run over the following; for Eumelus having
composed the line,
"Of Memory and Olympian Zeus the daughters nine,"
Solon thus begins the elegy:--
"Of Memory and Olympian Zeus the children bright."
Again, Euripides, paraphrasing the Homeric line:--
"What, whence art thou? Thy city and thy parents, where?" 
employs the following iambics in AEgeus:--
"What country shall we say that thou hast left
To roam in exile, what thy land--the bound
Of thine own native soil? Who thee begat?
And of what father dost thou call thyself the son?"
And what? Theognis  having said:--
"Wine largely drunk is bad; but if one use
It with discretion, 'tis not bad, but good,"--
does not Panyasis write?
"Above the gods' best gift to men ranks wine,
In measure drunk; but in excess the worst."
Hesiod, too, saying:--
"But for the fire to thee I'll give a plague, 
For all men to delight themselves withal,"--
"And for the fire
Another fire greater and unconquerable,
Sprung up in the shape of women" 
And in addition, Homer, saying:--
"There is no satiating the greedy paunch,
Baneful, which many plagues has caused to men." 
"Dire need and baneful paunch me overcome;
From which all evils come."
Besides, Callias the comic poet having written:--
"With madmen, all men must be mad, they say,"--
Menander, in the Poloumenoi, expresses himself similarly, saying:--
"The presence of wisdom is not always suitable:
One sometimes must with others play  the fool."
And Antimachus of Teos having said:--
"From gifts, to mortals many ills arise,"--
Augias composed the line:--
"For gifts men's mind and acts deceive."
And Hesiod having said:--
"Than a good wife, no man a better thing
Ere gained; than a bad wife, a worse,"--
"A better prize than a good wife no man
Ere gained, than a bad one nought worse."
Again, Epicharmas having said:--
"As destined long to live, and yet not long,
Think of thyself."--
"Why? seeing the wealth we have uncertain is,
Why don't we live as free from care, as pleasant
As we may?"
Similarly also, the comic poet Diphilus having said:--
"The life of men is prone to change,"--
"No man of mortal mould his life has passed
From suffering free. Nor to the end again
Has continued prosperous."
Similarly  speaks to thee Plato, writing of man as a creature
subject to change. Again, Euripides having said:--
"Oh life to mortal men of trouble full,
How slippery in everything art thou!
Now grow'st thou, and thou now decay'st away.
And there is set no limit, no, not one,
For mortals of their course to make an end,
Except when Death's remorseless final end
Comes, sent from Zeus,"--
"There is no life which has not its own ills,
Pains, cares, thefts, and anxieties, disease;
And Death, as a physician, coming, gives
Rest to their victims in his quiet sleep." 
Furthermore, Euripides having said:--
"Many are fortune's shapes,
And many things contrary to expectation the gods perform,"--
The tragic poet Theodectes similarly writes:--
"The instability of mortals' fates."
And Bacchylides having said:--
"To few  alone of mortals is it given
To reach hoary age, being prosperous all the while,
And not meet with calamities,"--
Moschion, the comic poet, writes:--
"But he of all men is most blest,
Who leads throughout an equal life."
And you will find that, Theognis having said:--
"For no advantage to a man grown old
A young wife is, who will not, as a ship
The helm, obey,"--
Aristophanes, the comic poet, writes:--
"An old man to a young wife suits but ill."
For Anacreon, having written:--
"Luxurious love I sing,
With flowery garlands graced,
He is of gods the king,
He mortal men subdues,--
"For love not only men attacks,
And women; but disturbs
The souls of gods above, and to the sea
But not to protract the discourse further, in our anxiety to show the
propensity of the Greeks to plagiarism in expressions and dogmas, allow
us to adduce the express testimony of Hippias, the sophist of Elea, who
discourses on the point in hand, and speaks thus: "Of these things some
perchance are said by Orpheus, some briefly by Musaeus; some in one
place, others in other places; some by Hesiod, some by Homer, some by
the rest of the poets; and some in prose compositions, some by Greeks,
some by Barbarians. And I from all these, placing together the things
of most importance and of kindred character, will make the present
discourse new and varied."
And in order that we may see that philosophy and history, and even
rhetoric, are not free of a like reproach, it is right to adduce a few
instances from them. For Alcmaeon of Crotona having said, "It is easier
to guard against a man who is an enemy than a friend," Sophocles wrote
in the Antigone:--
"For what sore more grievous than a bad friend?"
And Xenophon said: "No man can injure enemies in any way other than by
appearing to be a friend."
And Euripides having said in Telephus:--
"Shall we Greeks be slaves to Barbarians?"--
Thrasymachus, in the oration for the Larissaeans, says: "Shall we be
slaves to Archelaus--Greeks to a Barbarian?"
And Orpheus having said:--
"Water is the change for soul, and death for water;
From water is earth, and what comes from earth is again water,
And from that, soul, which changes the whole ether;"
and Heraclitus, putting together the expressions from these lines,
"It is death for souls to become water, and death for
water to become earth; and from earth comes water,
and from water soul."
And Athamas the Pythagorean having said, "Thus was produced the
beginning of the universe; and there are four roots--fire, water, air,
earth: for from these is the origination of what is
produced,"--Empedocles of Agrigentum wrote:--
"The four roots of all things first do thou hear--
Fire, water, earth, and ether's boundless height:
For of these all that was, is, shall be, comes."
And Plato having said, "Wherefore also the gods, knowing men, release
sooner from life those they value most," Menander wrote:--
"Whom the gods love, dies young."
And Euripides having written in the OEnomaus:--
"We judge of things obscure from what we see;"
and in the Phoenix:--
"By signs the obscure is fairly grasped,"--
Hyperides says, "But we must investigate things unseen by learning from
signs and probabilities." And Isocrates having said, "We must
conjecture the future by the past," Andocides does not shrink from
saying, "For we must make use of what has happened previously as signs
in reference to what is to be." Besides, Theognis having said:--
"The evil of counterfeit silver and gold is not intolerable,
O Cyrnus, and to a wise man is not difficult of detection;
But if the mind of a friend is hidden in his breast,
If he is false,  and has a treacherous heart within,
This is the basest thing for mortals, caused by God,
And of all things the hardest to detect,"--
"Oh Zeus, why hast thou given to men clear tests
Of spurious gold, while on the body grows
No mark sufficing to discover clear
The wicked man?"
Hyperides himself also says, "There is no feature of the mind impressed
on the countenance of men."
Again, Stasinus having composed the line:--
"Fool, who, having slain the father, leaves the children,"--
Xenophon  says, "For I seem to myself to have acted in like
manner, as if one who killed the father should spare his children." And
Sophocles having written in the Antigone:--
"Mother and father being in Hades now,
No brother ever can to me spring forth,"--
Herodotus says, "Mother and father being no more, I shall not have
another brother." In addition to these, Theopompus having written:--
"Twice children are old men in very truth;"
And before him Sophocles in Peleus:--
"Peleus, the son of AEacus, I, sole housekeeper,
Guide, old as he is now, and train again,
For the aged man is once again a child,"--
Antipho the orator says, "For the nursing of the old is like the
nursing of children." Also the philosopher Plato says, "The old man
then, as seems, will be twice a child." Further, Thucydides having
said, "We alone bore the brunt at Marathon,"  --Demosthenes said,
"By those who bore the brunt at Marathon." Nor will I omit the
following. Cratinus having said in the Pytine:  --
"The preparation perchance you know,"
Andocides the orator says, "The preparation, gentlemen of the jury, and
the eagerness of our enemies, almost all of you know." Similarly also
Nicias, in the speech on the deposit, against Lysias, says, "The
preparation and the eagerness of the adversaries, ye see, O gentlemen
of the jury." After him AEschines says, "You see the preparation, O men
of Athens, and the line of battle." Again, Demosthenes having said,
"What zeal and what canvassing, O men of Athens, have been employed in
this contest, I think almost all of you are aware;" and Philinus
similarly, "What zeal, what forming of the line of battle, gentlemen of
the jury, have taken place in this contest, I think not one of you is
ignorant." Isocrates, again, having said, "As if she were related to
his wealth, not him," Lysias says in the Orphics, "And he was plainly
related not to the persons, but to the money." Since Homer also having
"O friend, if in this war, by taking flight,
We should from age and death exemption win,
I would not fight among the first myself,
Nor would I send thee to the glorious fray;
But now--for myriad fates of death attend
In any case, which man may not escape
Or shun--come on. To some one we shall bring
Renown, or some one shall to us,"  --
Theopompus writes, "For if, by avoiding the present danger, we were to
pass the rest of our time in security, to show love of life would not
be wonderful. But now, so many fatalities are incident to life, that
death in battle seems preferable." And what? Child the sophist having
uttered the apophthegm, "Become surety, and mischief is at hand," did
not Epicharmus utter the same sentiment in other terms, when he said,
"Suretyship is the daughter of mischief, and loss that of suretyship?"
 Further, Hippocrates the physician having written, "You must
look to time, and locality, and age, and disease," Euripides says in
Hexameters:  --
"Those who the healing art would practice well,
Must study people's modes of life, and note
The soil, and the diseases so consider."
Homer again, having written:--
"I say no mortal man can doom escape,"--
Archinus says, "All men are bound to die either sooner or later;" and
Demosthenes, "To all men death is the end of life, though one should
keep himself shut up in a coop."
And Herodotus, again, having said, in his discourse about Glaucus the
Spartan, that the Pythian said, "In the case of the Deity, to say and
to do are equivalent," Aristophanes said:--
"For to think and to do are equivalent."
And before him, Parmenides of Elea said:--
"For thinking and being are the same."
And Plato having said, "And we shall show, not absurdly perhaps, that
the beginning of love is sight; and hope diminishes the passion, memory
nourishes it, and intercourse preserves it;" does not Philemon the
comic poet write:--
"First all see, then admire;
Then gaze, then come to hope;
And thus arises love?"
Further, Demosthenes having said, "For to all of us death is a debt,"
and so forth, Phanocles writes in Loves, or The Beautiful:--
"But from the Fates' unbroken thread escape
Is none for those that feed on earth."
You will also find that Plato having said, "For the first sprout of
each plant, having got a fair start, according to the virtue of its own
nature, is most powerful in inducing the appropriate end;" the
historian writes, "Further, it is not natural for one of the wild
plants to become cultivated, after they have passed the earlier period
of growth;" and the following of Empedocles:--
"For I already have been boy and girl,
And bush, and bird, and mute fish in the sea,"--
Euripides transcribes in Chrysippus:--
"But nothing dies
Of things that are; but being dissolved,
One from the other,
Shows another form."
And Plato having said, in the Republic, that women were common,
Euripides writes in the Protesilaus:--
"For common, then, is woman's bed."
Further, Euripides having written:--
"For to the temperate enough sufficient is"--
Epicurus expressly says, "Sufficiency is the greatest riches of all."
Again, Aristophanes having written:--
"Life thou securely shalt enjoy, being just
And free from turmoil, and from fear live well,"--
Epicurus says, "The greatest fruit of righteousness is tranquillity."
Let these species, then, of Greek plagiarism of sentiments, being such,
stand as sufficient for a clear specimen to him who is capable of
And not only have they been detected pirating and paraphrasing thoughts
and expressions, as will be shown; but they will also be convicted of
the possession of what is entirely stolen. For stealing entirely what
is the production of others, they have published it as their own; as
Eugamon of Cyrene did the entire book on the Thesprotians from Musaeus,
and Pisander of Camirus the Heraclea of Pisinus of Lindus, and Panyasis
of Halicarnassus, the capture of OEchalia from Cleophilus of Samos.
You will also find that Homer, the great poet, took from Orpheus, from
the Disappearance of Dionysus, those words and what follows verbatim:--
"As a man trains a luxuriant shoot of olive." 
And in the Theogony, it is said by Orpheus of Kronos:--
"He lay, his thick neck bent aside; and him
All-conquering Sleep had seized."
These Homer transferrred to the Cyclops.  And Hesiod writes of
"Gladly to hear, what the immortals have assigned
To men, the brave from cowards clearly marks;"
and so forth, taking it word for word from the poet Musaeus.
And Aristophanes the comic poet has, in the first of the
Thesmophoriazusae, transferred the words from the Empiprameni of
Cratinus. And Plato the comic poet, and Aristophanes in Daedalus, steal
from one another. Cocalus, composed by Araros,  the son of
Aristophanes, was by the comic poet Philemon altered, and made into the
comedy called Hypobolimoens.
Eumelus and Acusilaus the historiographers changed the contents of
Hesiod into prose, and published them as their own. Gorgias of Leontium
and Eudemus of Naxus, the historians, stole from Melesagoras. And,
besides, there is Bion of Proconnesus, who epitomized and transcribed
the writings of the ancient Cadmus, and Archilochus, and Aristotle, and
Leandrus, and Hellanicus, and Hecataeus, and Androtion, and
Philochorus. Dieuchidas of Megara transferred the beginning of his
treatise from the Deucalion of Hellanicus. I pass over in silence
Heraclitus of Ephesus, who took a very great deal from Orpheus.
From Pythagoras Plato derived the immortality of the soul; and he from
the Egyptians. And many of the Platonists composed books, in which they
show that the Stoics, as we said in the beginning, and Aristotle, took
the most and principal of their dogmas from Plato. Epicurus also
pilfered his leading dogmas from Democritus. Let these things then be
so. For life would fail me, were I to undertake to go over the subject
in detail, to expose the selfish plagiarism of the Greeks, and how they
claim the discovery of the best of their doctrines, which they have
received from us.
 Odyss., xi. 427.
 Homer, Iliad, xxiii. 315: meg' ameinon is found in the Iliad as in Musaeus. In the text occurs instead periginetai, which is taken from line 318.
"By art rather than strength is the woodcutter greatly superior;
By art the helmsman on the dark sea
Guides the swift ship when driven by winds;
By art one charioteer excels (periginetai) another. Iliad, xxiii. 315-318.
 phullon, for which Sylburg, suggests phulon.
 Iliad, vi. 147-149.
 Odyss., xxii. 412.
 Iliad, ix. 116.
 Xunos. So Livy, "communis Mars;" and Cicero, "cum omnis belli Mars comunis."
 Iliad, xviii. 309.
 Xunos. So Livy, "communis Mars;" and Cicero, "cum omnis belli Mars comunis."
 The text has: Nikes anthropoisi theon ek peirata keitai. In Iliad, vii. 101, 102, we read:
Nikes peirat' echontai en athanatoisi theoisin.
 Iliad, xvi. 235.
 Odyss., xiv. 228.
 The text is corrupt and unintelligible. It has been restored as above.
 In some lost tragedy.
 Said by Ajax of the sword received from Hector, with which he killed himself.
 The imitator of Thucydides, said to be weaker but clearer than his model. He is not specially clear here.
 The text has, asphalestera para doxan kai kakopragian: for which Lowth reads, episphalestera pros kakopragian, as translated above.
 Iliad, xxiv. 44, 45. Clement's quotation differs somewhat from the passage as it stands in Homer.
 The text has doie, which Stobaeus has changed into d' ise, as above. Stobaeus gives this quotation as follows:-
"The bastard has equal strength with the legitimate;
Each good thing has its nature legitimate."
 As no play bearing this name is mentioned by any one else, various conjectures have been made as to the true reading; among which are Clymene Temenos or Temenides.
 Odyss., xiv. 187.
 [See, supra, book ii. cap. ii. p. 242.] In Theognis the quotation stands thus:--
Hoinon toi pinein poulon kakon en de tis auton
Pine epistamenos, ou kakos all' agathos.
"To drink much wine is bad; but if one drink
It with discretion, 'tis not bad, but good."
 From Jupiter's address (referring to Pandora) to Prometheus, after stealing fire from heaven. The passage in Hesiod runs thus:--
"You rejoice at stealing fire and outwitting my mind:
But I will give you, and to future men, a great plague.
And for the fire will give to them a bane in which
All will delight their heart, embracing their own bane."
 Translated as arranged by Grotius.
 Odyss., xvii. 286.
 summanenai is doubtless here the true reading, for which the text has sumbenai.
 The text has kat' alla. And although Sylburgius very properly remarks, that the conjecture katallela instead is uncertain, it is so suitable to the sense here, that we have no hesitation in adopting it.
 The above is translated as amended by Grotius.
 pauroisi, "few," instead of parhoisi and prassontas instead of prassonta, and duais, "calamities," instead of dua, are adopted from Lyric Fragments.
 psudnos = psudros--which, however, occurs nowhere but here--is adopted as preferable to psednos (bald), which yields no sense, or psuchros. Sylburgius ms. Paris; Ruhnk reads psudros.
 A mistake for Herodotus.
 Instead of Marathonitai, as in the text, we read from Thucydides Marathoni te.
 Putine (not, as in the text, Poitine), a flask covered with plaited osiers. The name of a comedy by Cratinus (Liddell and Scott's Lexicon). [Elucidation I.]
 Iliad, xii. 322, Sarpedon to Glaucus.
 Grotius's correction has been adopted, enguas de zamia, instead of engua de zamias.
 In the text before In Hexameters we have teresei, which has occasioned much trouble to the critics. Although not entirely satisfactory, yet the most probable is the correction thelousi, as above.
 Iliad, xvii. 53.
 i.e., Polyphemus, Odyss., ix. 372.
 According to the correction of Casaubon, who, instead of ararotos of the text, reads Araros. Others ascribed the comedy to Aristophanes himself.
Chapter III.--Plagiarism by the Greeks of the Miracles Related in the Sacred Books of the Hebrews.
And now they are convicted not only of borrowing doctrines from the
Barbarians, but also of relating as prodigies of Hellenic mythology the
marvels found in our records, wrought through divine power from above,
by those who led holy lives, while devoting attention to us. And we
shall ask at them whether those things which they relate are true or
false. But they will not say that they are false; for they will not
with their will condemn themselves of the very great silliness of
composing falsehoods, but of necessity admit them to be true. And how
will the prodigies enacted by Moses and the other prophets any longer
appear to them incredible? For the Almighty God, in His care for all
men, turns some to salvation by commands, some by threats, some by
miraculous signs, some by gentle promises.
Well, the Greeks, when once a drought had wasted Greece for a
protracted period, and a dearth of the fruits of the earth ensued, it
is said, those that survived of them, having, because of the famine,
come as suppliants to Delphi, asked the Pythian priestess how they
should be released from the calamity. She announced that the only help
in their distress was, that they should avail themselves of the prayers
of AEacus. Prevailed on by them, AEacus, ascending the Hellenic hill,
and stretching out pure  hands to heaven, and invoking the common
 God, besought him to pity wasted Greece. And as he prayed,
thunder sounded, out of the usual course of things, and the whole
surrounding atmosphere was covered with clouds. And impetuous and
continued rains, bursting down, filled the whole region. The result was
a copious and rich fertility wrought by the husbandry of the prayers of
"And Samuel called on the Lord," it is said, "and the Lord gave forth
His voice, and rain in the day of harvest."  Do you see that "He
who sendeth His rain on the just and on the unjust"  by the
subject powers is the one God? And the whole of our Scripture is full
of instances of God, in reference to the prayers of the just, hearing
and performing each one of their petitions.
Again, the Greeks relate, that in the case of a failure once of the
Etesian winds, Aristaeus once sacrificed in Ceus to Isthmian Zeus. For
there was great devastation, everything being burnt up with the heat in
consequence of the winds which had been wont to refresh the productions
of the earth, not blowing, and he easily called them back.
And at Delphi, on the expedition of Xerxes against Greece, the Pythian
priestess having made answer:--
"O Delphians, pray the winds, and it will be better,"--
they having erected an altar and performed sacrifice to the winds, had
them as their helpers. For, blowing violently around Cape Sepias, they
shivered the whole preparations of the Persian expedition. Empedocles
of Agrigentum was called "Checker of Winds." Accordingly it is said,
that when, on a time, a wind blew from the mountain of Agrigentum,
heavy and pestiferous for the inhabitants, and the cause also of
barrenness to their wives, he made the wind to cease. Wherefore he
himself writes in the lines:--
"Thou shalt the might of the unwearied winds make still,
Which rushing to the earth spoil mortals' crops,
And at thy will bring back the avenging blasts."
And they say that he was followed by some that used divinations, and
some that had been long vexed by sore diseases.  They plainly,
then, believed in the performance of cures, and signs and wonders, from
our Scriptures. For if certain powers move the winds and dispense
showers, let them hear the psalmist: "How amiable are thy tabernacles,
O Lord of hosts!"  This is the Lord of powers, and
principalities, and authorities, of whom Moses speaks; so that we may
be with Him. "And ye shall circumcise your hard heart, and shall not
harden your neck any more. For He is Lord of lords and God of gods, the
great God and strong,"  and so forth. And Isaiah says, "Lift your
eyes to the height, and see who hath produced all these things." 
And some say that plagues, and hail-storms, and tempests, and the like,
are wont to take place, not alone in consequence of material
disturbance, but also through anger of demons and bad angels. For
instance, they say that the Magi at Cleone, watching the phenomena of
the skies, when the clouds are about to discharge hail, avert the
threatening of wrath by incantations and sacrifices. And if at any time
there is the want of an animal, they are satisfied with bleeding their
own finger for a sacrifice. The prophetess Diotima, by the Athenians
offering sacrifice previous to the pestilence, effected a delay of the
plague for ten years. The sacrifices, too, of Epimenides of Crete, put
off the Persian war for an equal period. And it is considered to be all
the same whether we call these spirits gods or angels. And those
skilled in the matter of consecrating statues, in many of the temples
have erected tombs of the dead, calling the souls of these Daemons, and
teaching them to be worshipped by men; as having, in consequence of the
purity of their life, by the divine foreknowledge, received the power
of wandering about the space around the earth in order to minister to
men. For they knew that some souls were by nature kept in the body. But
of these, as the work proceeds, in the treatise on the angels, we shall
Democritus, who predicted many things from observation of celestial
phenomena, was called "Wisdom" (Sophia). On his meeting a cordial
reception from his brother Damasus, he predicted that there would be
much rain, judging from certain stars. Some, accordingly, convinced by
him, gathered their crops; for being in summer-time, they were still on
the threshing-floor. But others lost all, unexpected and heavy showers
having burst down.
How then shall the Greeks any longer disbelieve the divine appearance
on Mount Sinai, when the fire burned, consuming none of the things that
grew on the mount; and the sound of trumpets issued forth, breathed
without instruments? For that which is called the descent on the mount
of God is the advent of divine power, pervading the whole world, and
proclaiming "the light that is inaccessible." 
For such is the allegory, according to the Scripture. But the fire was
seen, as Aristobulus  says, while the whole multitude, amounting
to not less than a million, besides those under age, were congregated
around the mountain, the circuit of the mount not being less than five
days' journey. Over the whole place of the vision the burning fire was
seen by them all encamped as it were around; so that the descent was
not local. For God is everywhere.
Now the compilers of narratives say that in the island of Britain
 there is a cave situated under a mountain, and a chasm on its
summit; and that, accordingly, when the wind falls into the cave, and
rushes into the bosom of the cleft, a sound is heard like cymbals
clashing musically. And often in the woods, when the leaves are moved
by a sudden gust of wind, a sound is emitted like the song of birds.
Those also who composed the Persics relate that in the uplands, in the
country of the Magi, three mountains are situated on an extended plain,
and that those who travel through the locality, on coming to the first
mountain, hear a confused sound as of several myriads shouting, as if
in battle array; and on reaching the middle one, they hear a clamour
louder and more distinct; and at the end hear people singing a paean,
as if victorious. And the cause, in my opinion, of the whole sound, is
the smoothness and cavernous character of the localities; and the air,
entering in, being sent back and going to the same point, sounds with
considerable force. Let these things be so. But it is possible for God
Almighty,  even without a medium, to produce a voice and vision
through the ear, showing that His greatness has a natural order beyond
what is customary, in order to the conversion of the hitherto
unbelieving soul, and the reception of the commandment given. But there
being a cloud and a lofty mountain, how is it not possible to hear a
different sound, the wind moving by the active cause? Wherefore also
the prophet says, "Ye heard the voice of words, and saw no similitude."
 You see how the Lord's voice, the Word, without shape, the power
of the Word, the luminous word of the Lord, the truth from heaven, from
above, coming to the assembly of the Church, wrought by the luminous
 i.e., washed.
 Eusebius reads, "invoking the common Father, God," viz., Panellenios Zeus, as Pausanias relates.
 1 Sam. xi. 18.
 Matt. v. 45.
 Instead of nouson sideron, the sense requires that we should, with Sylburgius, read nousoisi deron.
 Ps. lxxxiv. 1.
 Deut. x. 16, 17.
 Isa. xl. 26.
 1 Tim. vi. 16.
 [Of this Aristobulus, see 2 Maccab. i. 10, and Euseb., Hist., book vii. cap. 32. Elucidation II.]
 [See the unsatisfactory note in ed. Migne, ad locum.]
 [See interesting remarks of Professor Cook, Religion and Chemistry (first edition), p. 44. This whole passage of our author, on the sounds of Sinai and the angelic trumpets, touches a curious matter, which must be referred, as here, to the unlimited power of God.]
 Deut. iv. 12.
Chapter IV.--The Greeks Drew Many of Their Philosophical Tenets from the Egyptian and Indian Gymnosophists.
We shall find another testimony in confirmation, in the fact that the
best of the philosophers, having appropriated their most excellent
dogmas from us, boast, as it were, of certain of the tenets which
pertain to each sect being culled from other Barbarians, chiefly from
the Egyptians--both other tenets, and that especially of the
transmigration of the soul. For the Egyptians pursue a philosophy of
their own. This is principally shown by their sacred ceremonial. For
first advances the Singer, bearing some one of the symbols of music.
For they say that he must learn two of the books of Hermes, the one of
which contains the hymns of the gods, the second the regulations for
the king's life. And after the Singer advances the Astrologer, 
with a horologe in his hand, and a palm, the symbols of astrology. He
must have the astrological books of Hermes, which are four in number,
always in his mouth. Of these, one is about the order of the fixed
stars that are visible, and another about the conjunctions and luminous
appearances of the sun and moon; and the rest respecting their risings.
Next in order advances the sacred Scribe, with wings on his head, and
in his hand a book and rule, in which were writing ink and the reed,
with which they write. And he must be acquainted with what are called
hieroglyphics, and know about cosmography and geography, the position
of the sun and moon, and about the five planets; also the description
of Egypt, and the chart of the Nile; and the description of the
equipment of the priests and of the places consecrated to them, and
about the measures and the things in use in the sacred rites. Then the
Stole-keeper follows those previously mentioned, with the cubit of
justice and the cup for libations. He is acquainted with all points
called Paedeutic (relating to training) and Moschophatic (sacrificial).
There are also ten books which relate to the honour paid by them to
their gods, and containing the Egyptian worship; as that relating to
sacrifices, first-fruits, hymns, prayers, processions, festivals, and
the like. And behind all walks the Prophet, with the water-vase carried
openly in his arms; who is followed by those who carry the issue of
loaves. He, as being the governor of the temple, learns the ten books
called "Hieratic;" and they contain all about the laws, and the gods,
and the whole of the training of the priests. For the Prophet is, among
the Egyptians, also over the distribution of the revenues. There are
then forty-two books of Hermes indispensably necessary; of which the
six-and-thirty containing the whole philosophy of the Egyptians are
learned by the forementioned personages; and the other six, which are
medical, by the Pastophoroi (image-bearers),--treating of the structure
of the body, and of diseases, and instruments, and medicines, and about
the eyes, and the last about women.  Such are the customs of the
Egyptians, to speak briefly.
The philosophy of the Indians, too, has been celebrated. Alexander of
Macedon, having taken ten of the Indian Gymnosophists, that seemed the
best and most sententious, proposed to them problems, threatening to
put to death him that did not answer to the purpose; ordering one, who
was the eldest of them, to decide.
The first, then, being asked whether he thought that the living were
more in number than the dead, said, The living; for that the dead were
not. The second, on being asked whether the sea or the land maintained
larger beasts, said, The land; for the sea was part of it. And the
third being asked which was the most cunning of animals? The one, which
has not hitherto been known, man. And the fourth being interrogated,
For what reason they had made Sabba, who was their prince, revolt,
answered, Because they wished him to live well rather than die ill. And
the fifth being asked, Whether he thought that day or night was first,
said, One day. For puzzling questions must have puzzling answers. And
the sixth being posed with the query, How shall one be loved most? By
being most powerful; in order that he may not be timid. And the seventh
being asked, How any one of men could become God? said, If he do what
it is impossible for man to do. And the eighth being asked, Which is
the stronger, life or death? said, Life, which bears such ills. And the
ninth being interrogated, Up to what point it is good for a man to
live? said, Till he does not think that to die is better than to live.
And on Alexander ordering the tenth to say something, for he was judge,
he said, "One spake worse than another." And on Alexander saying, Shall
you not, then, die first, having given such a judgment? he said, And
how, O king, wilt thou prove true, after saying that thou wouldest kill
first the first man that answered very badly?
And that the Greeks are called pilferers of all manner of writing, is,
as I think, sufficiently demonstrated by abundant proofs. 
 Oroskoopos. [Elucidation III.]
 [Elucidation IV.]
 [Instructive remarks on the confusions, etc., in Greek authors, may be seen in Schliemann, Mycenoe, p. 36, ed. New York, 1878.]
Chapter V.--The Greeks Had Some Knowledge of the True God.
And that the men of highest repute among the Greeks knew God, not by
positive knowledge, but by indirect expression,  Peter says in
the Preaching: "Know then that there is one God, who made the beginning
of all things, and holds the power of the end; and is the Invisible,
who sees all things; incapable of being contained, who contains all
things; needing nothing, whom all things need, and by whom they are;
incomprehensible, everlasting, unmade, who made all things by the Word
of His power,' that is, according to the gnostic scripture, His Son."
Then he adds: "Worship this God not as the Greeks,"--signifying
plainly, that the excellent among the Greeks worshipped the same God as
we, but that they had not learned by perfect knowledge that which was
delivered by the Son. "Do not then worship," he did not say, the God
whom the Greeks worship, but "as the Greeks,"--changing the manner of
the worship of God, not announcing another God. What, then, the
expression "not as the Greeks" means, Peter himself shall explain, as
he adds: "Since they are carried away by ignorance, and know not God"
(as we do, according to the perfect knowledge); "but giving shape to
the things  of which He gave them the power for use--stocks and
stones, brass and iron, gold and silver--matter;--and setting up the
things which are slaves for use and possession, worship them. 
And what God hath given to them for food--the fowls of the air, and the
fish of the sea, and the creeping things of the earth, and the wild
beasts with the four-footed cattle of the field, weasels and mice, cats
and dogs and apes, and their own proper food--they sacrifice as
sacrifices to mortals; and offering dead things to the dead, as to
gods, are unthankful to God, denying His existence by these things."
And that it is said, that we and the Greeks know the same God, though
not in the same way, he will infer thus: "Neither worship as the Jews;
for they, thinking that they only know God, do not know Him, adoring as
they do angels and archangels, the month and the moon. And if the moon
be not visible, they do not hold the Sabbath, which is called the
first;  nor do they hold the new moon, nor the feast of
unleavened bread, nor the feast, nor the great day."  Then he
gives the finishing stroke to the question: "So that do ye also,
learning holily and righteously what we deliver to you; keep them,
worshipping God in a new way, by Christ." For we find in the
Scriptures, as the Lord says: "Behold, I make with you a new covenant,
not as I made with your fathers in Mount Horeb."  He made a new
covenant with us; for what belonged to the Greeks and Jews is old. But
we, who worship Him in a new way, in the third form, are Christians.
For clearly, as I think, he showed that the one and only God was known
by the Greeks in a Gentile way, by the Jews Judaically, and in a new
and spiritual way by us.
And further, that the same God that furnished both the Covenants was
the giver of Greek philosophy to the Greeks, by which the Almighty is
glorified among the Greeks, he shows. And it is clear from this.
Accordingly, then, from the Hellenic training, and also from that of
the law are gathered into the one race of the saved people those who
accept faith: not that the three peoples are separated by time, so that
one might suppose three natures, but trained in different Covenants of
the one Lord, by the word of the one Lord. For that, as God wished to
save the Jews by giving to them prophets, so also by raising up
prophets of their own in their own tongue, as they were able to receive
God's beneficence, He distinguished the most excellent of the Greeks
from the common herd, in addition to "Peter's Preaching," the Apostle
Paul will show, saying: "Take also the Hellenic books, read the Sibyl,
how it is shown that God is one, and how the future is indicated. And
taking Hystaspes, read, and you will find much more luminously and
distinctly the Son of God described, and how many kings shall draw up
their forces against Christ, hating Him and those that bear His name,
and His faithful ones, and His patience, and His coming." Then in one
word he asks us, "Whose is the world, and all that is in the world? Are
they not God's?"  Wherefore Peter says, that the Lord said to the
apostles: "If any one of Israel then, wishes to repent, and by my name
to believe in God, his sins shall be forgiven him, after twelve years.
Go forth into the world, that no one may say, We have not heard."
 We have the same statement made, Stromata, i. 19, p. 322, ante, Potter p. 372; also v. 14, p. 465, ante, Potter p. 730,--in all of which Lowth adopts periphrasin as the true reading, instead of periphasin. In the first of these passages, Clement instances as one of the circumlocutions or roundabout expressions by which God was known to the Greek poets and philosophers, "The Unknown God." Joannes Clericus proposes to read paraphasin (palpitatio), touching, feeling after. [See Strom., p. 321, and p. 464, note 1.]
 i.e., "The Word of God's power is His Son."
 Instead of hen ... exousias , as in the text, we read on exousian .
 None of the attempts to amend this passage are entirely successful. The translation adopts the best suggestions made.
 [A strange passage; but its "darkness visible" seems to lend some help to the understanding of the puzzle about the second-first Sabbath of Luke vi. 1.]
 i.e., of atonement.
 Jer. xxxi. 31, 32; Heb. viii. 8-10.
 Most likely taken from some apocryphal book bearing the name of Paul.
Chapter VI.--The Gospel Was Preached to Jews and Gentiles in Hades. 
But as the proclamation [of the Gospel] has come now at the fit time,
so also at the fit time were the Law and the Prophets given to the
Barbarians, and Philosophy to the Greeks, to fit their ears for the
Gospel. "Therefore," says the Lord who delivered Israel, "in an
acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I
helped thee. And I have given thee for a Covenant to the nations; that
thou mightest inhabit the earth, and receive the inheritance of the
wilderness; saying to those that are in bonds, Come forth; and to those
that are in darkness, Show yourselves." For if the "prisoners" are the
Jews, of whom the Lord said, "Come forth, ye that will, from your
bonds,"--meaning the voluntary bound, and who have taken on them "the
burdens grievous to be borne"  by human injunction--it is plain
that "those in darkness" are they who have the ruling faculty of the
soul buried in idolatry.
For to those who were righteous according to the law, faith was
wanting. Wherefore also the Lord, in healing them, said, "Thy faith
hath saved thee."  But to those that were righteous according to
philosophy, not only faith in the Lord, but also the abandonment of
idolatry, were necessary. Straightway, on the revelation of the truth,
they also repented of their previous conduct.
Wherefore the Lord preached the Gospel to those in Hades. Accordingly
the Scripture says, "Hades says to Destruction, We have not seen His
form, but we have heard His voice."  It is not plainly the place,
which, the words above say, heard the voice, but those who have been
put in Hades, and have abandoned themselves to destruction, as persons
who have thrown themselves voluntarily from a ship into the sea. They,
then, are those that hear the divine power and voice. For who in his
senses can suppose the souls of the righteous and those of sinners in
the same condemnation, charging Providence with injustice?
But how? Do not [the Scriptures] show that the Lord preached  the
Gospel to those that perished in the flood, or rather had been chained,
and to those kept "in ward and guard"?  And it has been shown
also,  in the second book of the Stromata, that the apostles,
following the Lord, preached the Gospel to those in Hades. For it was
requisite, in my opinion, that as here, so also there, the best of the
disciples should be imitators of the Master; so that He should bring to
repentance those belonging to the Hebrews, and they the Gentiles; that
is, those who had lived in righteousness according to the Law and
Philosophy, who had ended life not perfectly, but sinfully. For it was
suitable to the divine administration, that those possessed of greater
worth in righteousness, and whose life had been pre-eminent, on
repenting of their transgressions, though found in another place, yet
being confessedly of the number of the people of God Almighty, should
be saved, each one according to his individual knowledge.
And, as I think, the Saviour also exerts His might because it is His
work to save; which accordingly He also did by drawing to salvation
those who became willing, by the preaching [of the Gospel], to believe
on Him, wherever they were. If, then, the Lord descended to Hades for
no other end but to preach the Gospel, as He did descend; it was either
to preach the Gospel to all or to the Hebrews only. If, accordingly, to
all, then all who believe shall be saved, although they may be of the
Gentiles, on making their profession there; since God's punishments are
saving and disciplinary, leading to conversion, and choosing rather the
repentance them the death of a sinner;  and especially since
souls, although darkened by passions, when released from their bodies,
are able to perceive more clearly, because of their being no longer
obstructed by the paltry flesh.
If, then, He preached only to the Jews, who wanted the knowledge and
faith of the Saviour, it is plain that, since God is no respecter of
persons, the apostles also, as here, so there preached the Gospel to
those of the heathen who were ready for conversion. And it is well said
by the Shepherd, "They went down with them therefore into the water,
and again ascended. But these descended alive, and again ascended
alive. But those who had fallen asleep, descended dead, but ascended
alive."  Further the Gospel  says, "that many bodies of
those that slept arose,"--plainly as having been translated to a better
state.  There took place, then, a universal movement and
translation through the economy of the Saviour. 
One righteous man, then, differs not, as righteous, from another
righteous man, whether he be of the Law or a Greek. For God is not only
Lord of the Jews, but of all men, and more nearly the Father of those
who know Him. For if to live well and according to the law is to live,
also to live rationally according to the law is to live; and those who
lived rightly before the Law were classed under faith,  and
judged to be righteous,--it is evident that those, too, who were
outside of the Law, having lived rightly, in consequence of the
peculiar nature of the voice,  though they are in Hades and in
ward,  on hearing the voice of the Lord, whether that of His own
person or that acting through His apostles, with all speed turned and
believed. For we remember that the Lord is "the power of God," 
and power can never be weak.
So I think it is demonstrated that the God being good, and the Lord
powerful, they save with a righteousness and equality which extend to
all that turn to Him, whether here or elsewhere. For it is not here
alone that the active power of God is beforehand, but it is everywhere
and is always at work. Accordingly, in the Preaching of Peter, the Lord
says to the disciples after the resurrection, "I have chosen you twelve
disciples, judging you worthy of me," whom the Lord wished to be
apostles, having judged them faithful, sending them into the world to
the men on the earth, that they may know that there is one God, showing
clearly what would take place by the faith of Christ; that they who
heard and believed should be saved; and that those who believed not,
after having heard, should bear witness, not having the excuse to
allege, We have not heard.
What then? Did not the same dispensation obtain in Hades, so that even
there, all the souls, on hearing the proclamation, might either exhibit
repentance, or confess that their punishment was just, because they
believed not? And it were the exercise of no ordinary arbitrariness,
for those who had departed before the advent of the Lord (not having
the Gospel preached to them, and having afforded no ground from
themselves, in consequence of believing or not) to obtain either
salvation or punishment. For it is not right that these should be
condemned without trial, and that those alone who lived after the
advent should have the advantage of the divine righteousness. But to
all rational souls it was said from above, "Whatever one of you has
done in ignorance, without clearly knowing God, if, on becoming
conscious, he repent, all his sins will be forgiven him."  "For,
behold," it is said, "I have set before your face death and life, that
ye may choose life."  God says that He set, not that He made
both, in order to the comparison of choice. And in another Scripture He
says, "If ye hear Me, and be willing, ye shall eat the good of the
land. But if ye hear Me not, and are not willing, the sword shall
devour you: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken these things." 
Again, David expressly (or rather the Lord in the person of the saint,
and the same from the foundation of the world is each one who at
different periods is saved, and shall be saved by faith) says, "My
heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced, and my flesh shall still rest
in hope. For Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell, nor wilt Thou give
Thine holy one to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the paths
of life, Thou wilt make me full of joy in Thy presence."  As,
then, the people was precious to the Lord, so also is the entire holy
people; he also who is converted from the Gentiles, who was prophesied
under the name of proselyte, along with the Jew. For rightly the
Scripture says, that "the ox and the bear shall come together." 
For the Jew is designated by the ox, from the animal under the yoke
being reckoned clean, according to the law; for the ox both parts the
hoof and chews the cud. And the Gentile is designated by the bear,
which is an unclean and wild beast. And this animal brings forth a
shapeless lump of flesh, which it shapes into the likeness of a beast
solely by its tongue. For he who is convened from among the Gentiles is
formed from a beastlike life to gentleness by the word; and, when once
tamed, is made clean, just as the ox. For example, the prophet says,
"The sirens, and the daughters of the sparrows, and all the beasts of
the field, shall bless me."  Of the number of unclean animals,
the wild beasts of the field are known to be, that is, of the world;
since those who are wild in respect of faith, and polluted in life, and
not purified by the righteousness which is according to the law, are
called wild beasts. But changed from wild beasts by the faith of the
Lord, they become men of God, advancing from the wish to change to the
fact. For some the Lord exhorts, and to those who have already made the
attempt he stretches forth His hand, and draws them up. "For the Lord
dreads not the face of any one, nor will He regard greatness; for He
hath made small and great, and cares alike for all."  And David
says, "For the heathen are fixed in the destruction they have caused;
their foot is taken in the snare which they hid."  "But the Lord
was a refuge to the poor, a help in season also in affliction." 
Those, then, that were in affliction had the Gospel seasonably
proclaimed. And therefore it said, "Declare among the heathen his
pursuits,"  that they may not be judged unjustly.
If, then, He preached the Gospel to those in the flesh that they might
not be condemned unjustly, how is it conceivable that He did not for
the same cause preach the Gospel to those who had departed this life
before His advent? "For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness: His
countenance beholdeth uprightness."  "But he that loveth
wickedness hateth his own soul." 
If, then, in the deluge all sinful flesh perished, punishment having
been inflicted on them for correction, we must first believe that the
will of God, which is disciplinary and beneficent,  saves those
who turn to Him. Then, too, the more subtle substance, the soul, could
never receive any injury from the grosser element of water, its subtle
and simple nature rendering it impalpable, called as it is incorporeal.
But whatever is gross, made so in consequence of sin, this is cast away
along with the carnal spirit which lusts against the soul. 
Now also Valentinus, the Coryphaeus of those who herald community, in
his book on The Intercourse of Friends, writes in these words: "Many of
the things that are written, though in common books, are found written
in the church of God. For those sayings which proceed from the heart
are vain. For the law written in the heart is the People  of the
Beloved--loved and loving Him." For whether it be the Jewish writings
or those of the philosophers that he calls "the Common Books," he makes
the truth common. And Isidore,  at once son and disciple to
Basilides, in the first book of the Expositions of the Prophet Parchor,
writes also in these words: "The Attics say that certain things were
intimated to Socrates, in consequence of a daemon attending on him. And
Aristotle says that all men are provided with daemons, that attend on
them during the time they are in the body,--having taken this piece of
prophetic instruction and transferred it to his own books, without
acknowledging whence he had abstracted this statement." And again, in
the second book of his work, he thus writes: "And let no one think that
what we say is peculiar to the elect, was said before by any
philosophers. For it is not a discovery of theirs. For having
appropriated it from our prophets, they attributed it to him who is
wise according to them." Again, in the same: "For to me it appears that
those who profess to philosophize, do so that they may learn what is
the winged oak,  and the variegated robe on it, all of which
Pherecydes has employed as theological allegories, having taken them
from the prophecy of Cham."
 [The ideas on which our author bases his views of Christ's descent into the invisible world, are well expounded by Kaye, p. 189.]
 Matt. xxiii. 4; Luke xi. 46.
 Matt. ix. 22, etc.
 The passage which seems to be alluded to here is Job xxviii. 22, "Destruction and Death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears."
 euengelisthai used actively for euangelisai, as also immediately after euengelismenoi for euangelisamenoi.
 1 Pet. iii. 19, 20.
 Potter, p. 452. [See ii. p. 357, supra.]
 Ezek. xviii. 23, 32; xxxiii. 11, etc.
 Hermas, book iii. chap. xvi. p. 49. Quoted also in Stromata, ii. p. 357, ante, from which the text here is corrected; Potter, 452.
 Matt. xxvii. 52.
 [In connection with John v. 25, we may suppose that the opening of the graves, at the passion and resurrection, is an intimation of some sublime mystery, perhaps such as here intimated.]
 Rom. iii. 29, x. 12, etc.
 Apparently God's voice to them. Sylburgius proposes to read phuseos instead of phones here.
 1 Pet. iii. 19.
 1 Cor. i. 24.
 Alluding apparently to such passages as Acts iii. 17, 19, and xvii. 30.
 Deut. xxx. 15, 19.
 Isa. i. 19, 20.
 Ps. xvi. 9-11; Acts ii. 26-28.
 Isa. xi. 7.
 Isa. xliii. 20.
 Wisd. vi. 7.
 Ps. ix. 15.
 Ps. ix. 9.
 Ps. ix. 11.
 Ps. xi. 7.
 Ps. xi. 6, Septuagint version.
 Sylburgius' conjecture, euergetikon, seems greatly preferable to the reading of the text, energetikon.
 [Kaye, p. 189.]
 Grabe reads logos for laos, "Word of the Beloved," etc.
 [See Epiphan, Opp., ii. 391, ed. Oehler, Berlin, 1859: also Mosheim, First Three Centuries, vol. i. p. 434.]
 Grabe suggests, instead of drus here, druops, a kind of woodpecker, mentioned by Aristophanes.
Chapter VII.--What True Philosophy Is, and Whence So Called.
As we have long ago pointed out, what we propose as our subject is not
the discipline which obtains in each sect, but that which is really
philosophy, strictly systematic Wisdom, which furnishes acquaintance
with the things which pertain to life. And we define Wisdom to be
certain knowledge, being a sure and irrefragable apprehension of things
divine and human, comprehending the present, past, and future, which
the Lord hath taught us, both by His advent and by the prophets. And it
is irrefragable by reason, inasmuch as it has been communicated. And so
it is wholly true according to [God's] intention, as being known
through means of the Son. And in one aspect it is eternal, and in
another it becomes useful in time. Partly it is one and the same,
partly many and indifferent--partly without any movement of passion,
partly with passionate desire--partly perfect, partly incomplete.
This wisdom, then--rectitude of soul and of reason, and purity of
life--is the object of the desire of philosophy, which is kindly and
lovingly disposed towards wisdom, and does everything to attain it.
Now those are called philosophers, among us, who love Wisdom, the
Creator and Teacher of all things, that is, the knowledge of the Son of
God; and among the Greeks, those who undertake arguments on virtue.
Philosophy, then, consists of such dogmas found in each sect (I mean
those of philosophy) as cannot be impugned, with a corresponding life,
collected into one selection; and these, stolen from the Barbarian
God-given grace, have been adorned by Greek speech. For some they have
borrowed, and others they have misunderstood. And in the case of
others, what they have spoken, in consequence of being moved, they have
not yet perfectly worked out; and others by human conjecture and
reasoning, in which also they stumble. And they think that they have
hit the truth perfectly; but as we understand them, only partially.
They know, then, nothing more than this world. And it is just like
geometry, which treats of measures and magnitudes and forms, by
delineation on plane-surfaces; and just as painting appears to take in
the whole field of view in the scenes represented. But it gives a false
description of the view, according to the rules of the art, employing
the signs that result from the incidents of the lines of vision. By
this means, the higher and lower points in the view, and those between,
are preserved; and some objects seem to appear in the foreground, and
others in the background, and others to appear in some other way, on
the smooth and level surface. So also the philosophers copy the truth,
after the manner of painting. And always in the case of each one of
them, their self-love is the cause of all their mistakes. Wherefore one
ought not, in the desire for the glory that terminates in men, to be
animated by self-love; but loving God, to become really holy with
wisdom. If, then, one treats what is particular as universal, and
regards that, which serves, as the Lord, he misses the truth, not
understanding what was spoken by David by way of confession: "I have
eaten earth [ashes] like bread."  Now, self-love and self-conceit
are, in his view, earth and error. But if so, science and knowledge are
derived from instruction. And if there is instruction, you must seek
for the master. Cleanthes claims Zeno, and Metrodorus Epicurus, and
Theophrastus Aristotle, and Plato Socrates. But if I come to
Pythagoras, and Pherecydes, and Thales, and the first wise men, I come
to a stand in my search for their teacher. Should you say the
Egyptians, the Indians, the Babylonians, and the Magi themselves, I
will not stop from asking their teacher. And I lead you up to the first
generation of men; and from that point I begin to investigate Who is
their teacher. No one of men; for they had not yet learned. Nor yet any
of the angels: for in the way that angels, in virtue of being angels,
speak, men do not hear; nor, as we have ears, have they a tongue to
correspond; nor would any one attribute to the angels organs of speech,
lips I mean, and the parts contiguous, throat, and windpipe, and chest,
breath and air to vibrate. And God is far from calling aloud in the
unapproachable sanctity, separated as He is from even the archangels.
And we also have already heard that angels learned the truth, and their
rulers over them;  for they had a beginning. It remains, then,
for us, ascending to seek their teacher. And since the unoriginated
Being is one, the Omnipotent God; one, too, is the First-begotten, "by
whom all things were made, and without whom not one thing ever was
made."  "For one, in truth, is God, who formed the beginning of
all things;" pointing out "the first-begotten Son," Peter writes,
accurately comprehending the statement, "In the beginning God made the
heaven and the earth."  And He is called Wisdom by all the
prophets. This is He who is the Teacher of all created beings, the
Fellow-counsellor of God, who foreknew all things; and He from above,
from the first foundation of the world, "in many ways and many times,"
 trains and perfects; whence it is rightly said, "Call no man
your teacher on earth." 
You see whence the true philosophy has its handles; though the Law be
the image and shadow of the truth: for the Law is the shadow of the
truth. But the self-love of the Greeks proclaims certain men as their
teachers. As, then, the whole family runs back to God the Creator;
 so also all the teaching of good things, which justifies, does
to the Lord, and leads and contributes to this.
But if from any creature they received in any way whatever the seeds of
the Truth, they did not nourish them; but committing them to a barren
and rainless soil, they choked them with weeds, as the Pharisees
revolted from the Law, by introducing human teachings,--the cause of
these being not the Teacher, but those who choose to disobey. But those
of them who believed the Lord's advent and the plain teaching of the
Scriptures, attain to the knowledge of the law; as also those addicted
to philosophy, by the teaching of the Lord, are introduced into the
knowledge of the true philosophy: "For the oracles of the Lord are pure
oracles, melted in the fire, tried in the earth,  purified seven
times."  Just as silver often purified, so is the just man
brought to the test, becoming the Lord's coin and receiving the royal
image. Or, since Solomon also calls the "tongue of the righteous man
gold that has been subjected to fire,"  intimating that the
doctrine which has been proved, and is wise, is to be praised and
received, whenever it is amply tried by the earth: that is, when the
gnostic soul is in manifold ways sanctified, through withdrawal from
earthy fires. And the body in which it dwells is purified, being
appropriated to the pureness of a holy temple. But the first
purification which takes place in the body, the soul being first, is
abstinence from evil things, which some consider perfection, and is, in
truth, the perfection of the common believer--Jew and Greek. But in the
case of the Gnostic, after that which is reckoned perfection in others,
his righteousness advances to activity in well-doing. And in whomsoever
the increased force  of righteousness advances to the doing of
good, in his case perfection abides in the fixed habit of well-doing
after the likeness of God. For those who are the seed of Abraham, and
besides servants of God, are "the called;" and the sons of Jacob are
the elect--they who have tripped up the energy of wickedness.
If; then, we assert that Christ Himself is Wisdom, and that it was His
working which showed itself in the prophets, by which the gnostic
tradition may be learned, as He Himself taught the apostles during His
presence; then it follows that the gnosis, which is the knowledge and
apprehension of things present, future, and past, which is sure and
reliable, as being imparted and revealed by the Son of God, is wisdom.
And if, too, the end of the wise man is contemplation, that of those
who are still philosophers aims at it, but never attains it, unless by
the process of learning it receives the prophetic utterance which has
been made known, by which it grasps both the present, the future, and
the past--how they are, were, and shall be.
And the gnosis itself is that which has descended by transmission to a
few, having been imparted unwritten by the apostles. Hence, then,
knowledge or wisdom ought to be exercised up to the eternal and
unchangeable habit of contemplation.
 Ps. cii. 9. The text reads, gen spodon. Clement seems to have read in Ps. cii. 9, gen and spodon. The reading of the Septuagint may have crept into the text from the margin. [Elucidation V.]
 [See the interesting passage in Justin Martyr (and note), vol. i. p. 164, this series.]
 John i. 3.
 Gen. i. 1.
 Heb. i. 1.
 Matt. xxiii. 8-10.
 Eph. iii. 14, 15.
 "Tried in a furnace of earth;" Jerome, "tried in the fire, separated from earth."
 Ps. xii. 6.
 Prov. x. 20.
 The Latin translator appears to have read what seems the true reading, epitasis, and not, as in the text, epistasis.
Chapter VIII.--Philosophy is Knowledge Given by God.
For Paul too, in the Epistles, plainly does not disparage philosophy;
but deems it unworthy of the man who has attained to the elevation of
the Gnostic, any more to go back to the Hellenic "philosophy,"
figuratively calling it "the rudiments of this world,"  as being
most rudimentary, and a preparatory training for the truth. Wherefore
also, writing to the Hebrews, who were declining again from faith to
the law, he says, "Have ye not need again of one to teach you which are
the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have
need of milk, and not of strong meat?"  So also to the
Colossians, who were Greek converts, "Beware lest any man spoil you by
philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the
rudiments of this world, and not after Christ,"  --enticing them
again to return to philosophy, the elementary doctrine.
And should one say that it was through human understanding that
philosophy was discovered by the Greeks, still I find the Scriptures
saying that understanding is sent by God. The psalmist, accordingly,
considers understanding as the greatest free gift, and beseeches,
saying, "I am Thy servant; give me understanding."  And does not
David, while asking the abundant experience of knowledge, write, "Teach
me gentleness, and discipline, and knowledge: for I have believed in
Thy commandments?"  He confessed the covenants to be of the
highest authority, and that they were given to the more excellent.
Accordingly the psalm again says of God, "He hath not done thus to any
nation; and He hath not shown His judgments to them."  The
expression "He hath not done so" shows that He hath done, but not
"thus." The "thus," then, is put comparatively, with reference to
pre-eminence, which obtains in our case. The prophet might have said
simply, "He hath not done," without the "thus."
Further, Peter in the Acts says, "Of a truth, I perceive that God is no
respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth Him, and
worketh righteousness, is accepted by Him." 
The absence of respect of persons in God is not then in time, but from
eternity. Nor had His beneficence a beginning; nor any more is it
limited to places or persons. For His beneficence is not confined to
parts. "Open ye the gates of righteousness," it is said; "entering into
them, I will confess to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord. The
righteous shall enter by it."  Explaining the prophet's saying,
Barnabas adds, "There being many gates open, that which is in
righteousness is the gate which is in Christ, by which all who enter
are blessed." Bordering on the same meaning is also the following
prophetic utterance: "The Lord is on many waters;"  not the
different covenants alone, but the modes of teaching, those among the
Greek and those among the Barbarians, conducing to righteousness. And
already clearly David, bearing testimony to the truth, sings, "Let
sinners be turned into Hades, and all the nations that forget God."
 They forget, plainly, Him whom they formerly remembered, and
dismiss Him whom they knew previous to forgetting Him. There was then a
dim knowledge of God also among the nations. So much for those points.
Now the Gnostic must be erudite. And since the Greeks say that
Protagoras having led the way, the opposing of one argument by another
was invented, it is fitting that something be said with reference to
arguments of this sort. For Scripture says, "He that says much, shall
also hear in his turn."  And who shall understand a parable of
the Lord, but the wise, the intelligent, and he that loves his Lord?
Let such a man be faithful; let him be capable of uttering his
knowledge; let him be wise in the discrimination of words; let him be
dexterous in action; let him be pure. "The greater he seems to be, the
more humble should he be," says Clement in the Epistle to the
Corinthians,--"such an one as is capable of complying with the precept,
And some pluck from the fire, and on others have compassion, making a
The pruning-hook is made, certainly, principally for pruning; but with
it we separate twigs that have got intertwined, cut the thorns which
grow along with the vines, which it is not very easy to reach. And all
these things have a reference to pruning. Again, man is made
principally for the knowledge of God; but he also measures land,
practices agriculture, and philosophizes; of which pursuits, one
conduces to life, another to living well, a third to the study of the
things which are capable of demonstration. Further, let those who say
that philosophy took its rise from the devil know this, that the
Scripture says that "the devil is transformed into an angel of light."
 When about to do what? Plainly, when about to prophesy. But if
he prophesies as an angel of light, he will speak what is true. And if
he prophesies what is angelical, and of the light, then he prophesies
what is beneficial when he is transformed according to the likeness of
the operation, though he be different with respect to the matter of
apostasy. For how could he deceive any one, without drawing the lover
of knowledge into fellowship, and so drawing him afterwards into
falsehood? Especially he will be found to know the truth, if not so as
to comprehend it, yet so as not to be unacquainted with it.
Philosophy is not then false, though the thief and the liar speak
truth, through a transformation of operation. Nor is sentence of
condemnation to be pronounced ignorantly against what is said, on
account of him who says it (which also is to be kept in view, in the
case of those who are now alleged to prophesy); but what is said must
be looked at, to see if it keep by the truth.
And in general terms, we shall not err in alleging that all things
necessary and profitable for life came to us from God, and that
philosophy more especially was given to the Greeks, as a covenant
peculiar to them--being, as it is, a stepping-stone to the philosophy
which is according to Christ--although those who applied themselves to
the philosophy of the Greeks shut their ears voluntarily to the truth,
despising the voice of Barbarians, or also dreading the danger
suspended over the believer, by the laws of the state.
And as in the Barbarian philosophy, so also in the Hellenic, "tares
were sown" by the proper husbandman of the tares; whence also heresies
grew up among us along with the productive wheat; and those who in the
Hellenic philosophy preach the impiety and voluptuousness of Epicurus,
and whatever other tenets are disseminated contrary to right reason,
exist among the Greeks as spurious fruits of the divinely bestowed
husbandry. This voluptuous and selfish philosophy the apostle calls
"the wisdom of this world;" in consequence of its teaching the things
of this world and about it alone, and its consequent subjection, as far
as respects ascendancy, to those who rule here. Wherefore also this
fragmentary philosophy is very elementary, while truly perfect science
deals with intellectual objects, which are beyond the sphere of the
world, and with the objects still more spiritual than those which "eye
saw not, and ear heard not, nor did it enter into the heart of men,"
till the Teacher told the account of them to us; unveiling the holy of
holies; and in ascending order, things still holier than these, to
those who are truly and not spuriously heirs of the Lord's adoption.
For we now dare aver (for here is the faith that is characterized by
knowledge  ) that such an one knows all things, and comprehends
all things in the exercise of sure apprehension, respecting matters
difficult for us, and really pertaining to the true gnosis  such
as were James, Peter, John, Paul, and the rest of the apostles. For
prophecy is full of knowledge (gnosis), inasmuch as it was given by the
Lord, and again explained by the Lord to the apostles. And is not
knowledge (gnosis) an attribute of the rational soul, which trains
itself for this, that by knowledge it may become entitled to
immortality? For both are powers of the soul, both knowledge and
impulse. And impulse is found to be a movement after an assent. For he
who has an impulse towards an action, first receives the knowledge of
the action, and secondly the impulse. Let us further devote our
attention to this. For since learning is older than action; (for
naturally, he who does what he wishes to do learns it first; and
knowledge comes from learning, and impulse follows knowledge; after
which comes action;) knowledge turns out the beginning and author of
all rational action. So that rightly the peculiar nature of the
rational soul is characterized by this alone; for in reality impulse,
like knowledge, is excited by existing objects. And knowledge (gnosis)
is essentially a contemplation of existences on the part of the soul,
either of a certain thing or of certain things, and when perfected, of
all together. Although some say that the wise man is persuaded that
there are some things incomprehensible, in such wise as to have
respecting them a kind of comprehension, inasmuch as he comprehends
that things incomprehensible are incomprehensible; which is common, and
pertains to those who are capable of perceiving little. For such a man
affirms that there are some things incomprehensible.
But that Gnostic of whom I speak, himself comprehends what seems to be
incomprehensible to others; believing that nothing is incomprehensible
to the Son of God, whence nothing incapable of being taught. For He who
suffered out of His love for us, would have suppressed no element of
knowledge requisite for our instruction. Accordingly this faith becomes
sure demonstration; since truth follows what has been delivered by God.
But if one desires extensive knowledge, "he knows things ancient, and
conjectures things future; he understands knotty sayings, and the
solutions of enigmas. The disciple of wisdom foreknows signs and omens,
and the issues of seasons and of times." 
 Col. ii. 8. [This is an interesting comment on the apostles' system, and very noteworthy.]
 Heb. v. 12.
 Col. ii. 8.
 Ps. cxix. 125.
 Ps. cxix. 66.
 Ps. cxlvii. 20.
 Acts x. 34, 35.
 Ps. cxviii. 19, 20.
 Ps. xxix. 3.
 Ps. ix. 17.
 Job xi. 2.
 Jude 22, 23.
 2 Cor. xi. 14.
 gnostikon, for which Hervetus, reading gnostikon, has translated, "qui vere est cognitione praeditus." This is suitable and
easier, but doubtful.
 Wisd. vii. 17, 18.
Chapter IX.--The Gnostic Free of All Perturbations of the Soul.
The Gnostic is such, that he is subject only to the affections that
exist for the maintenance of the body, such as hunger, thirst, and the
like. But in the case of the Saviour, it were ludicrous [to suppose]
that the body, as a body, demanded the necessary aids in order to its
duration. For He ate, not for the sake of the body, which was kept
together by a holy energy, but in order that it might not enter into
the minds of those who were with Him to entertain a different opinion
of Him; in like manner as certainly some afterwards supposed that He
appeared in a phantasmal shape (dokesei). But He was entirely
impassible (apathes); inaccessible to any movement of feeling--either
pleasure or pain. While the apostles, having most gnostically mastered,
through the Lord's teaching, anger and fear, and lust, were not liable
even to such of the movements of feeling, as seem good, courage, zeal,
joy, desire, through a steady condition of mind, not changing a whit;
but ever continuing unvarying in a state of training after the
resurrection of the Lord.
And should it be granted that the affections specified above, when
produced rationally, are good, yet they are nevertheless inadmissible
in the case of the perfect man, who is incapable of exercising courage:
for neither does he meet what inspires fear, as he regards none of the
things that occur in life as to be dreaded; nor can aught dislodge him
from this--the love he has towards God. Nor does he need cheerfulness
of mind; for he does not fall into pain, being persuaded that all
things happen well. Nor is he angry; for there is nothing to move him
to anger, seeing he ever loves God, and is entirely turned towards Him
alone, and therefore hates none of God's creatures. No more does he
envy; for nothing is wanting to him, that is requisite to assimilation,
in order that he may be excellent and good. Nor does he consequently
love any one with this common affection, but loves the Creator in the
creatures. Nor, consequently, does he fall into any desire and
eagerness; nor does he want, as far as respects his soul, aught
appertaining to others, now that he associates through love with the
Beloved One, to whom he is allied by free choice, and by the habit
which results from training, approaches closer to Him, and is blessed
through the abundance of good things.
So that on these accounts he is compelled to become like his Teacher in
impassibility. For the Word of God is intellectual, according as the
image of mind is seen  in man alone. Thus also the good man is
godlike in form and semblance as respects his soul. And, on the other
hand, God is like man. For the distinctive form of each one is the mind
by which we are characterized. Consequently, also, those who sin
against man are unholy and impious. For it were ridiculous to say that
the gnostic and perfect man must not eradicate anger and courage,
inasmuch as without these he will not struggle against circumstances,
or abide what is terrible. But if we take from him desire, he will be
quite overwhelmed by troubles, and therefore depart from this life very
basely. Unless possessed of it, as some suppose, he will not conceive a
desire for what is like the excellent and the good. If, then, all
alliance with what is good is accompanied with desire, how, it is said,
does he remain impassible who desires what is excellent?
But these people know not, as appears, the divinity of love. For love
is not desire on the part of him who loves; but is a relation of
affection, restoring the Gnostic to the unity of the
faith,--independent of time and place. But he who by love is already in
the midst of that in which he is destined to be, and has anticipated
hope by knowledge, does not desire anything, having, as far as
possible, the very thing desired. Accordingly, as to be expected, he
continues in the exercise of gnostic love, in the one unvarying state.
Nor will he, therefore, eagerly desire to be assimilated to what is
beautiful, possessing, as he does, beauty by love. What more need of
courage and of desire to him, who has obtained the affinity to the
impassible God which arises from love, and by love has enrolled himself
among the friends of God?
We must therefore rescue the gnostic and perfect man from all passion
of the soul. For knowledge (gnosis) produces practice, and practice
habit or disposition; and such a state as this produces impassibility,
not moderation of passion. And the complete eradication of desire reaps
as its fruit impassibility. But the Gnostic does not share either in
those affections that are commonly celebrated as good, that is, the
good things of the affections which are allied to the passions: such, I
mean, as gladness, which is allied to pleasure; and dejection, for this
is conjoined with pain; and caution, for it is subject to fear. Nor yet
does he share in high spirit, for it takes its place alongside of
wrath; although some say that these are no longer evil, but already
good. For it is impossible that he who has been once made perfect by
love, and feasts eternally and insatiably on the boundless joy of
contemplation, should delight in small and grovelling things. For what
rational cause remains any more to the man who has gained "the light
inaccessible,"  for revering to the good things of the world?
Although not yet true as to time and place, yet by that gnostic love
through which the inheritance and perfect restitution follow, the giver
of the reward makes good by deeds what the Gnostic, by gnostic choice,
had grasped by anticipation through love.
For by going away to the Lord, for the love he bears Him, though his
tabernacle be visible on earth, he does not withdraw himself from life.
For that is not permitted to him. But he has withdrawn his soul from
the passions. For that is granted to him. And on the other hand he
lives, having put to death his lusts, and no longer makes use of the
body, but allows it the use of necessaries, that he may not give cause
How, then, has he any more need of fortitude, who is not in the midst
of dangers, being not present, but already wholly with the object of
love? And what necessity for self-restraint to him who has not need of
it? For to have such desires, as require self-restraint in order to
their control, is characteristic of one who is not yet pure, but
subject to passion. Now, fortitude is assumed by reason of fear and
cowardice. For it were no longer seemly that the friend of God, whom
"God hath fore-ordained before the foundation of the world"  to
be enrolled in the highest "adoption," should fall into pleasures or
fears, and be occupied in the repression of the passions. For I venture
to assert, that as he is predestinated through what he shall do, and
what he shall obtain, so also has he predestinated himself by reason of
what he knew and whom he loved; not having the future indistinct, as
the multitude live, conjecturing it, but having grasped by gnostic
faith what is hidden from others. And through love, the future is for
him already present. For he has believed, through prophecy and the
advent, on God who lies not. And what he believes he possesses, and
keeps hold of the promise. And He who hath promised is truth. And
through the trustworthiness of Him who has promised, he has firmly laid
hold of the end of the promise by knowledge. And he, who knows the sure
comprehension of the future which there is in the circumstances, in
which he is placed, by love goes to meet the future. So he, that is
persuaded that he will obtain the things that are really good, will not
pray to obtain what is here, but that he may always cling to the faith
which hits the mark and succeeds. And besides, he will pray that as
many as possible may become like him, to the glory of God, which is
perfected through knowledge. For he who is made like the Saviour is
also devoted to saving; performing unerringly the commandments as far
as the human nature may admit of the image. And this is to worship God
by deeds and knowledge of the true righteousness. The Lord will not
wait for the voice of this man in prayer. "Ask," He says, "and I will
do it; think, and I will give." 
For, in fine, it is impossible that the immutable should assume
firmness and consistency in the mutable. But the ruling faculty being
in perpetual change, and therefore unstable, the force of habit is not
maintained. For how can he who is perpetually changed by external
occurrences and accidents, ever possess habit and disposition, and in a
word, grasp of scientific knowledge (episteme)? Further, also, the
philosophers regard the virtues as habits, dispositions, and sciences.
And as knowledge (gnosis) is not born with men, but is acquired, 
and the acquiring of it in its elements demands application, and
training, and progress; and then from incessant practice it passes into
a habit; so, when perfected in the mystic habit, it abides, being
infallible through love. For not only has he apprehended the first
Cause, and the Cause produced by it, and is sure about them, possessing
firmly firm and irrefragable and immoveable reasons; but also
respecting what is good and what is evil, and respecting all
production, and to speak comprehensively, respecting all about which
the Lord has spoken, he has learned, from the truth itself, the most
exact truth from the foundation of the world to the end. Not preferring
to the truth itself what appears plausible, or, according to Hellenic
reasoning, necessary; but what has been spoken by the Lord he accepts
as clear and evident, though concealed from others; and he has already
received the knowledge of all things. And the oracles we possess give
their utterances respecting what exists, as it is; and respecting what
is future, as it shall be; and respecting what is past, as it was.
In scientific matters, as being alone possessed of scientific
knowledge, he will hold the preeminence, and will discourse on the
discussion respecting the good, ever intent on intellectual objects,
tracing out his procedure in human affairs from the archetypes above;
as navigators direct the ship according to the star; prepared to hold
himself in readiness for every suitable action; accustomed to despise
all difficulties and dangers when it is necessary to undergo them;
never doing anything precipitate or incongruous either to himself or
the common weal; foreseeing; and inflexible by pleasures both of waking
hours and of dreams. For, accustomed to spare living and frugality, he
is moderate, active, and grave; requiring few necessaries for life;
occupying himself with nothing superfluous. But desiring not even these
things as chief, but by reason of fellowship in life, as necessary for
his sojourn in life, as far as necessary.
 Adopting the various reading kath' o, and the conjecture horatai, instead of kath' on and horasei in the text, as suggested by Sylburgius.
 1 Tim. vi. 16.
 Eph. i. 4, 5.
 Quoted afterwards, chap. xii., and book vii. chap. ii.
 The text has epimiktos, which on account of its harshness has been rejected by the authorities for epiktetos.
Chapter X.--The Gnostic Avails Himself of the Help of All Human Knowledge.
For to him knowledge (gnosis) is the principal thing. Consequently,
therefore, he applies to the subjects that are a training for
knowledge, taking from each branch of study its contribution to the
truth. Prosecuting, then, the proportion of harmonies in music; and in
arithmetic noting the increasing and decreasing of numbers, and their
relations to one another, and how the most of things fall under some
proportion of numbers; studying geometry, which is abstract essence, he
perceives a continuous distance, and an immutable essence which is
different from these bodies. And by astronomy, again, raised from the
earth in his mind, he is elevated along with heaven, and will revolve
with its revolution; studying ever divine things, and their harmony
with each other; from which Abraham starting, ascended to the knowledge
of Him who created them. Further, the Gnostic will avail himself of
dialectics, fixing on the distinction of genera into species, and will
master  the distinction of existences, till he come to what are
primary and simple.
But the multitude are frightened at the Hellenic philosophy, as
children are at masks, being afraid lest it lead them astray. But if
the faith (for I cannot call it knowledge) which they possess be such
as to be dissolved by plausible speech, let it be by all means
dissolved,  and let them confess that they will not retain the
truth. For truth is immoveable; but false opinion dissolves. We choose,
for instance, one purple by comparison with another purple. So that, if
one confesses that he has not a heart that has been made right, he has
not the table of the money-changers or the test of words.  And
how can he be any longer a money-changer, who is not able to prove and
distinguish spurious coin, even offhand?
Now David cried, "The righteous shall not be shaken for ever;" 
neither, consequently, by deceptive speech nor by erring pleasure.
Whence he shall never be shaken from his own heritage. "He shall not be
afraid of evil tidings;"  consequently neither of unfounded
calumny, nor of the false opinion around him. No more will he dread
cunning words, who is capable of distinguishing them, or of answering
rightly to questions asked. Such a bulwark are dialectics, that truth
cannot be trampled under foot by the Sophists. "For it behoves those
who praise in the holy name of the Lord," according to the prophet, "to
rejoice in heart, seeking the Lord. Seek then Him, and be strong. Seek
His face continually in every way."  "For, having spoken at
sundry times and in divers manners,"  it is not in one way only
that He is known.
It is, then, not by availing himself of these as virtues that our
Gnostic will be deeply learned. But by using them as helps in
distinguishing what is common and what is peculiar, he will admit the
truth. For the cause of all error and false opinion, is inability to
distinguish in what respect things are common, and in what respects
they differ. For unless, in things that are distinct, one closely watch
speech, he will inadvertently confound what is common and what is
peculiar. And where this takes place, he must of necessity fall into
pathless tracts and error.
The distinction of names and things also in the Scriptures themselves
produces great light in men's souls. For it is necessary to understand
expressions which signify several things, and several expressions when
they signify one thing. The result of which is accurate answering. But
it is necessary to avoid the great futility which occupies itself in
irrelevant matters; since the Gnostic avails himself of branches of
learning as auxiliary preparatory exercises, in order to the accurate
communication of the truth, as far as attainable and with as little
distraction as possible, and for defence against reasonings that plot
for the extinction of the truth. He will not then be deficient in what
contributes to proficiency in the curriculum of studies and the
Hellenic philosophy; but not principally, but necessarily, secondarily,
and on account of circumstances. For what those labouring in heresies
use wickedly, the Gnostic will use rightly.
Therefore the truth that appears in the Hellenic philosophy, being
partial, the real truth, like the sun glancing on the colours both
white and black, shows what like each of them is. So also it exposes
all sophistical plausibility. Rightly, then, was it proclaimed also by
the Greeks:--"Truth the queen is the beginning of great virtue." 
 Our choice lies between the reading of the text, prosisetai; that of Hervetus, prosoisetai; the conjecture of Sylburgius, proseisetai, or prosesetai, used a little after in the phrase prosesetai ten aletheian.
 There is some difficulty in the sentence as it stands. Hervetus omits in his translation the words rendered here, "let it be by all means dissolved." We have omitted dia toutous, which follows immediately after, but which is generally retained and translated "by these," i.e., philosophers.
 ton logon, Sylburgius; ton logon is the reading of the text.
 Ps. cxii. 6.
 Ps. cxii. 7.
 Ps. cv. 3, 4.
 Heb. i. 1.
Chapter XI.--The Mystical Meanings in the Proportions of Numbers, Geometrical Ratios, and Music.
As then in astronomy we have Abraham as an instance, so also in
arithmetic we have the same Abraham. "For, hearing that Lot was taken
captive, and having numbered his own servants, born in his house, 318
(tie  )," he defeats a very great number of the enemy.
They say, then, that the character representing 300 is, as to shape,
the type of the Lord's sign,  and that the Iota and the Eta
indicate the Saviour's name; that it was indicated, accordingly, that
Abraham's domestics were in salvation, who having fled to the Sign and
the Name became lords of the captives, and of the very many unbelieving
nations that followed them.
Now the number 300 is, 3 by 100. Ten is allowed to be the perfect
number. And 8 is the first cube, which is equality in all the
dimensions--length, breadth, depth. "The days of men shall be," it is
said, "120 (rk) years."  And the sum is made up of the numbers
from 1 to 15 added together.  And the moon at 15 days is full.
On another principle, 120 is a triangular  number, and consists
of the equality  of the number 64, [which consists of eight of
the odd numbers beginning with unity],  the addition of which (1,
3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15) in succession generate squares;  and of
the inequality of the number 56, consisting of seven of the even
numbers beginning with 2 (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14), which produce the
numbers that are not squares. 
Again, according to another way of indicating, the number 120 consists
of four numbers--of one triangle, 15; of another, a square, 25; of a
third, a pentagon, 35; and of a fourth, a hexagon, 45. The 5 is taken
according to the same ratio in each mode. For in triangular numbers,
from the unity 5 comes 15; and in squares, 25; and of those in
succession, proportionally. Now 25, which is the number 5 from unity,
is said to be the symbol of the Levitical tribe. And the number 35
depends also on the arithmetic, geometric, and harmonic scale of
doubles--6, 8, 9, 12; the addition of which makes 35. In these days,
the Jews say that seven months' children are formed. And the number 45
depends on the scale of triples--6, 9, 12, 18--the addition of which
makes 45; and similarly, in these days they say that nine months'
children are formed.
Such, then, is the style of the example in arithmetic. And let the
testimony of geometry be the tabernacle that was constructed, and the
ark that was fashioned,--constructed in most regular proportions, and
through divine ideas, by the gift of understanding, which leads us from
things of sense to intellectual objects, or rather from these to holy
things, and to the holy of holies. For the squares of wood indicate
that the square form, producing right angles, pervades all, and points
out security. And the length of the structure was three hundred cubits,
and the breadth fifty, and the height thirty; and above, the ark ends
in a cubit, narrowing to a cubit from the broad base like a pyramid,
the symbol of those who are purified and tested by fire. And this
geometrical proportion has a place, for the transport of those holy
abodes, whose differences are indicated by the differences of the
numbers set down below.
And the numbers introduced are sixfold, as three hundred is six times
fifty; and tenfold, as three hundred is ten times thirty; and
containing one and two-thirds (epidimoiroi), for fifty is one and
two-thirds of thirty.
Now there are some who say that three hundred cubits are the symbol of
the Lord's sign;  and fifty, of hope and of the remission given
at Pentecost; and thirty, or as in some, twelve, they say points out
the preaching [of the Gospel]; because the Lord preached in His
thirtieth year; and the apostles were twelve. And the structure's
terminating in a cubit is the symbol of the advancement of the
righteous to oneness and to "the unity of the faith." 
And the table which was in the temple was six cubits;  and its
four feet were about a cubit and a half.
They add, then, the twelve cubits, agreeably to the revolution of the
twelve months, in the annual circle, during which the earth produces
and matures all things; adapting itself to the four seasons. And the
table, in my opinion, exhibits the image of the earth, supported as it
is on four feet, summer, autumn, spring, winter, by which the year
travels. Wherefore also it is said that the table has "wavy chains;"
 either because the universe revolves in the circuits of the
times, or perhaps it indicated the earth surrounded with ocean's tide.
Further, as an example of music, let us adduce David, playing at once
and prophesying, melodiously praising God. Now the Enarmonic 
suits best the Dorian harmony, and the Diatonic the Phrygian, as
Aristoxenus says. The harmony, therefore, of the Barbarian psaltery,
which exhibited gravity of strain, being the most ancient, most
certainly became a model for Terpander, for the Dorian harmony, who
sings the praise of Zeus thus:--
"O Zeus, of all things the Beginning, Ruler of all;
O Zeus, I send thee this beginning of hymns."
The lyre, according to its primary signification, may by the psalmist
be used figuratively for the Lord; according to its secondary, for
those who continually strike the chords of their souls under the
direction of the Choir-master, the Lord. And if the people saved be
called the lyre, it will be understood to be in consequence of their
giving glory musically, through the inspiration of the Word and the
knowledge of God, being struck by the Word so as to produce faith. You
may take music in another way, as the ecclesiastical symphony at once
of the law and the prophets, and the apostles along with the Gospel,
and the harmony which obtained in each prophet, in the transitions of
But, as seems, the most of those who are inscribed with the Name,
 like the companions of Ulysses, handle the word unskilfully,
passing by not the Sirens, but the rhythm and the melody, stopping
their ears with ignorance; since they know that, after lending their
ears to Hellenic studies, they will never subsequently be able to
retrace their steps.
But he who culls what is useful for the advantage of the catechumens,
and especially when they are Greeks (and the earth is the Lord's, and
the fulness thereof  ), must not abstain from erudition, like
irrational animals; but he must collect as many aids as possible for
his hearers. But he must by no means linger over these studies, except
solely for the advantage accruing from them; so that, on grasping and
obtaining this, he may be able to take his departure home to the true
philosophy, which is a strong cable for the soul, providing security
Music is then to be handled for the sake of the embellishment and
composure of manners. For instance, at a banquet we pledge each other
while the music is playing;  soothing by song the eagerness of
our desires, and glorifying God for the copious gift of human
enjoyments, for His perpetual supply of the food necessary for the
growth of the body and of the soul. But we must reject superfluous
music, which enervates men's souls, and leads to variety,--now
mournful, and then licentious and voluptuous, and then frenzied and
The same holds also of astronomy. For treating of the description of
the celestial objects, about the form of the universe, and the
revolution of the heavens, and the motion of the stars, leading the
soul nearer to the creative power, it teaches to quickness in
perceiving the seasons of the year, the changes of the air, and the
appearance of the stars; since also navigation and husbandry derive
from this much benefit, as architecture and building from geometry.
This branch of learning, too, makes the soul in the highest degree
observant, capable of perceiving the true and detecting the false, of
discovering correspondences and proportions, so as to hunt out for
similarity in things dissimilar; and conducts us to the discovery of
length without breadth, and superficial extent without thickness, and
an indivisible point, and transports to intellectual objects from those
The studies of philosophy, therefore, and philosophy itself, are aids
in treating of the truth. For instance, the cloak was once a fleece;
then it was shorn, and became warp and woof; and then it was woven.
Accordingly the soul must be prepared and variously exercised, if it
would become in the highest degree good. For there is the scientific
and the practical element in truth; and the latter flows from the
speculative; and there is need of great practice, and exercise, and
But in speculation, one element relates to one's neighbours and another
to one's self. Wherefore also training ought to be so moulded as to be
adapted to both. He, then, who has acquired a competent acquaintance
with the subjects which embrace the principles which conduce to
scientific knowledge (gnosis), may stop and remain for the future in
quiet, directing his actions in conformity with his theory.
But for the benefit of one's neighbours, in the case of those who have
proclivities for writing, and those who set themselves to deliver the
word, both is other culture beneficial, and the reading of the
Scriptures of the Lord is necessary, in order to the demonstration of
what is said, and especially if those who hear are accessions from
Such David describes the Church: "The queen stood on thy right hand,
enveloped in a golden robe, variegated;"  and with Hellenic and
superabundant accomplishments, "clothed variegated with gold-fringed
garments."  And the Truth says by the Lord, "For who had known
Thy counsel, hadst Thou not given wisdom, and sent Thy Holy Spirit from
the Highest; and so the ways of those on earth were corrected, and men
learned Thy decrees, and were saved by wisdom?" For the Gnostic knows
things ancient by the Scripture, and conjectures things future: he
understands the involutions of words and the solutions of enigmas. He
knows beforehand signs and wonders, and the issues of seasons and
periods, as we have said already. Seest thou the fountain of
instructions that takes its rise from wisdom? But to those who object,
What use is there in knowing the causes of the manner of the sun's
motion, for example, and the rest of the heavenly bodies, or in having
studied the theorems of geometry or logic, and each of the other
branches of study?--for these are of no service in the discharge of
duties, and the Hellenic philosophy is human wisdom, for it is
incapable of teaching  the truth--the following remarks are to be
made. First, that they stumble in reference to the highest of
things--namely, the mind's free choice. "For they," it is said, "who
keep holy holy things, shall be made holy; and those who have been
taught will find an answer."  For the Gnostic alone will do
holily, in accordance with reason all that has to be done, as he hath
learned through the Lord's teaching, received through men.
Again, on the other hand, we may hear: "For in His hand, that is, in
His power and wisdom, are both we and our words, and all wisdom and
skill in works; for God loves nothing but the man that dwells with
wisdom."  And again, they have not read what is said by Solomon;
for, treating of the construction of the temple, he says expressly,
"And it was Wisdom as artificer that framed it; and Thy providence, O
Father, governs throughout."  And how irrational, to regard
philosophy as inferior to architecture and shipbuilding! And the Lord
fed the multitude of those that reclined on the grass opposite to
Tiberias with the two fishes and the five barley loaves, indicating the
preparatory training of the Greeks and Jews previous to the divine
grain, which is the food cultivated by the law. For barley is sooner
ripe for the harvest than wheat; and the fishes signified the Hellenic
philosophy that was produced and moved in the midst of the Gentile
billow, given, as they were, for copious food to those lying on the
ground, increasing no more, like the fragments of the loaves, but
having partaken of the Lord's blessing, and breathed into them the
resurrection of Godhead  through the power of the Word. But if
you are curious, understand one of the fishes to mean the curriculum of
study, and the other the philosophy which supervenes. The gatherings
 point out the word of the Lord.
"And the choir of mute fishes rushed to it,"
says the Tragic Muse somewhere.
"I must decrease," said the prophet John,  and the Word of the
Lord alone, in which the law terminates, "increase." Understand now for
me the mystery of the truth, granting pardon if I shrink from advancing
further in the treatment of it, by announcing this alone: "All things
were made by Him, and without Him was not even one thing." 
Certainly He is called "the chief corner stone; in whom the whole
building, fitly joined together, groweth into an holy temple of God,"
 according to the divine apostle.
I pass over in silence at present the parable which says in the Gospel:
"The kingdom of heaven is like a man who cast a net into the sea and
out of the multitude of the fishes caught, makes a selection of the
better ones." 
And now the wisdom which we possess announces the four virtues 
in such a way as to show that the sources of them were communicated by
the Hebrews to the Greeks. This may be learned from the following: "And
if one loves justice, its toils are virtues. For temperance and
prudence teach justice and fortitude; and than these there is nothing
more useful in life to men."
Above all, this ought to be known, that by nature we are adapted for
virtue; not so as to be possessed of it from our birth, but so as to be
adapted for acquiring it.
 Gen. xiv. 14. In Greek numerals.
 The Lord's sign is the cross, whose form is represented by T; Ie (the other two letters of tie, 318) are the first two letters of the name Iesous (Jesus).
 Gen. vi. 3.
 The sum of the numbers from 1 to 15 inclusive is 120.
 "Triangular numbers are those which can be disposed in a triangle, as 3 ?, 6, etc, being represented by the formula (x^2 + x)/2" (Liddell and Scott's Lexicon). Each side of the triangle of courses contains an equal number of units, the sum of which amounts to the number. [Elucidation VI.]
 This number is called equality, because it is composed of eight numbers, an even number; as fifty-six is called inequality, because it is composed of seven numbers, an odd number.
 The clause within brackets has been suggested by Hervetus to complete the sense.
 That is, 1+3+5+7+11+13+15=120; and 1+3=4+5=9+7=16+9=25+11=36+13=49+15=64, giving us the numbers 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, the squares of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
 eteromekeis, the product of two unequal factors, i.e., 2+4+6+8+10+12+14=56; and 2+4=6=3 x 2, 6+4=10=5 x 2, and so on.
 The cross.
 Eph. iv.13.
 Ex. xxv. 23. The table is said to be two cubits in length, a cubit in breadth, and a cubit and a half in height; therefore it was six cubits round.
 Ex. xxv. 24.
 The three styles of Greek music were the enarmonikon, diatonon, and chromatikon.
 i.e., of Christ.
 1 Cor. x. 26, etc.
 psallontes is substituted by Lowth for psallein of the text; en to psallein has also been proposed.
 Ps. xlv. 9.
 Ps. xlv. 14. [Elucidation VII.]
 didaktiken, proposed by Sylburgius, seems greatly preferable to the reading of the text, didakten, and has been adopted above.
 Wisd. vi. 10.
 Wisd. vii. 16.
 Wisd. xiv. 2, 3.
 That is, resurrection effected by divine power.
 Such seems the only sense possible of this clause,--obtained, however, by substituting for sunalogoi logou k.t.l., sullogoi logon k.t.l.
 John iii. 30.
 John i. 3.
 Eph. ii. 20, 21.
 Matt. xiii. 47, 48.
 Prudence, fortitude, justice, temperance. [Known as the philosophical virtues.]
Chapter XII.--Human Nature Possesses an Adaptation for Perfection; The Gnostic Alone Attains It.
By which consideration  is solved the question propounded to us
by the heretics, Whether Adam was created perfect or imperfect? Well,
if imperfect, how could the work of a perfect God--above all, that work
being man--be imperfect? And if perfect, how did he transgress the
commandments? For they shall hear from us that he was not perfect in
his creation, but adapted to the reception of virtue. For it is of
great importance in regard to virtue to be made fit for its attainment.
And it is intended that we should be saved by ourselves. This, then, is
the nature of the soul, to move of itself. Then, as we are rational,
and philosophy being rational, we have some affinity with it. Now an
aptitude is a movement towards virtue, not virtue itself. All, then, as
I said, are naturally constituted for the acquisition of virtue.
But one man applies less, one more, to learning and training. Wherefore
also some have been competent to attain to perfect virtue, and others
have attained to a kind of it. And some, on the other hand, through
negligence, although in other respects of good dispositions, have
turned to the opposite. Now much more is that knowledge which excels
all branches of culture in greatness and in truth, most difficult to
acquire, and is attained with much toil. "But, as seems, they know not
the mysteries of God. For God created man for immortality, and made him
an image of His own nature;"  according to which nature of Him
who knows all, he who is a Gnostic, and righteous, and holy with
prudence, hastes to reach the measure of perfect manhood. For not only
are actions and thoughts, but words also, pure in the case of the
Gnostic: "Thou hast proved mine heart; Thou hast visited me by night,"
it is said; "Thou hast subjected me to the fire, and unrighteousness
was not found in me: so that my mouth shall not speak the works of
And why do I say the works of men? He recognises sin itself, which is
not brought forward in order to repentance (for this is common to all
believers); but what sin is. Nor does he condemn this or that sin, but
simply all sin; nor is it what one has done ill that he brings up, but
what ought not to be done. Whence also repentance is twofold: that
which is common, on account of having transgressed; and that which,
from learning the nature of sin, persuades, in the first instance, to
keep from sinning, the result of which is not sinning.
Let them not then say, that he who does wrong and sins transgresses
through the agency of demons; for then he would be guiltless. But by
choosing the same things as demons, by sinning; being unstable, and
light, and fickle in his desires, like a demon, he becomes a demoniac
man. Now he who is bad, having become, through evil, sinful by nature,
becomes depraved, having what he has chosen; and being sinful, sins
also in his actions. And again, the good man does right. Wherefore we
call not only the virtues, but also right actions, good. And of things
that are good we know that some are desirable for themselves, as
knowledge; for we hunt for nothing from it when we have it, but only
[seek] that it be with us, and that we be in uninterrupted
contemplation, and strive to reach it for its own sake. But other
things are desirable for other considerations, such as faith, for
escape from punishment, and the advantage arising from reward, which
accrue from it. For, in the case of many, fear is the cause of their
not sinning; and the promise is the means of pursuing obedience, by
which comes salvation. Knowledge, then, desirable as it is for its own
sake, is the most perfect good; and consequently the things which
follow by means of it are good. And punishment is the cause of
correction to him who is punished; and to those who are able to see
before them he becomes an example, to prevent them falling into the
Let us then receive knowledge, not desiring its results, but embracing
itself for the sake of knowing. For the first advantage is the habit of
knowledge (gnostike), which furnishes harmless pleasures and exultation
both for the present and the future. And exultation is said to be
gladness, being a reflection of the virtue which is according to truth,
through a kind of exhilaration and relaxation of soul. And the acts
which partake of knowledge are good and fair actions. For abundance in
the actions that are according to virtue, is the true riches, and
destitution in decorous  desires is poverty. For the use and
enjoyment of necessaries are not injurious in quality, but in quantity,
when in excess. Wherefore the Gnostic circumscribes his desires in
reference both to possession and to enjoyment, not exceeding the limit
of necessity. Therefore, regarding life in this world as necessary for
the increase of science (episteme) and the acquisition of knowledge
(gnosis), he will value highest, not living, but living well. He will
therefore prefer neither children, nor marriage, nor parents, to love
for God, and righteousness in life. To such an one, his wife, after
conception, is as a sister, and is judged as if of the same father;
then only recollecting her husband, when she looks on the children; as
being destined to become a sister in reality after putting off the
flesh, which separates and limits the knowledge of those who are
spiritual by the peculiar characteristics of the sexes. For souls,
themselves by themselves, are equal. Souls are neither male nor female,
when they no longer marry nor are given in marriage. And is not woman
translated into man, when she is become equally unfeminine, and manly,
and perfect? Such, then, was the laughter of Sarah  when she
received the good news of the birth of a son; not, in my opinion, that
she disbelieved the angel, but that she felt ashamed of the intercourse
by means of which she was destined to become the mother of a son.
And did not Abraham, when he was in danger on account of Sarah's
beauty, with the king of Egypt, properly call her sister, being of the
same father, but not of the same mother? 
To those, then, who have repented and not firmly believed, God grants
their requests through their supplications. But to those who live
sinlessly and gnostically, He gives, when they have but merely
entertained the thought. For example, to Anna, on her merely conceiving
the thought, conception was vouchsafed of the child Samuel. 
"Ask," says the Scripture, "and I will do. Think, and I will give." For
we have heard that God knows the heart, not judging  the soul
from [external] movement, as we men; nor yet from the event. For it is
ridiculous to think so. Nor was it as the architect praises the work
when accomplished that God, on making the light and then seeing it,
called it good. But He, knowing before He made it what it would be,
praised that which was made, He having potentially made good, from the
first by His purpose that had no beginning, what was destined to be
good actually. Now that which has future He already said beforehand was
good, the phrase concealing the truth by hyperbaton. Therefore the
Gnostic prays in thought during every hour, being by love allied to
God. And first he will ask forgiveness of sins; and after, that he may
sin no more; and further, the power of well-doing and of comprehending
the whole creation and administration by the Lord, that, becoming pure
in heart through the knowledge, which is by the Son of God, he may be
initiated into the beatific vision face to face, having heard the
Scripture which says, "Fasting with prayer is a good thing." 
Now fastings signify abstinence from all evils whatsoever, both in
action and in word, and in thought itself. As appears, then,
righteousness is quadrangular;  on all sides equal and like in
word, in deed, in abstinence from evils, in beneficence, in gnostic
perfection; nowhere, and in no respect halting, so that he does not
appear unjust and unequal. As one, then, is righteous, so certainly is
he a believer. But as he is a believer, he is not yet also righteous--I
mean according to the righteousness of progress and perfection,
according to which the Gnostic is called righteous.
For instance, on Abraham becoming a believer, it was reckoned to him
for righteousness, he having advanced to the greater and more perfect
degree of faith. For he who merely abstains from evil conduct is not
just, unless he also attain besides beneficence and knowledge; and for
this reason some things are to be abstained from, others are to be
done. "By the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the
left,"  the apostle says, the righteous man is sent on to the
inheritance above,--by some [arms] defended, by others putting forth
his might. For the defence of his panoply alone, and abstinence from
sins, are not sufficient for perfection, unless he assume in addition
the work of righteousness--activity in doing good.
Then our dexterous man and Gnostic is revealed in righteousness already
even here, as Moses, glorified in the face of the soul,  as we
have formerly said, the body bears the stamp of the righteous soul. For
as the mordant of the dyeing process, remaining in the wool, produces
in it a certain quality and diversity from other wool; so also in the
soul the pain is gone, but the good remains; and the sweet is left, but
the base is wiped away. For these are two qualities characteristic of
each soul, by which is known that which is glorified, and that which is
And as in the case of Moses, from his righteous conduct, and from his
uninterrupted intercourse with God, who spoke to him, a kind of
glorified hue settled on his face; so also a divine power of goodness
clinging to the righteous soul in contemplation and in prophecy, and in
the exercise of the function of governing, impresses on it something,
as it were, of intellectual radiance, like the solar ray, as a visible
sign of righteousness, uniting the soul with light, through unbroken
love, which is God-bearing and God-borne. Thence assimilation to God
the Saviour arises to the Gnostic, as far as permitted to human nature,
he being made perfect "as the Father who is in heaven." 
It is He Himself who says, "Little children, a little while I am still
with you."  Since also God Himself remains blessed and immortal,
neither molested nor molesting another;  not in consequence of
being by nature good, but in consequence of doing good in a manner
peculiar to Himself. God being essentially, and proving Himself
actually, both Father and good, continues immutably in the self-same
goodness. For what is the use of good that does not act and do good?
 i.e., that mentioned in the last sentence of chap xi., which would more appropriately be transferred to chap. xii.
 Wisd. ii. 22, 25.
 Ps. xvii. 3, 4.
 Sylburgius proposes kosmikas, worldly, instead of kosmias, decorous; in which case the sentence would read: "and [true] poverty, destitution in worldly desires."
 Gen. xviii. 12.
 The reading of the text has, "not of the same mother, much less of the same father," which contradicts Gen. xx. 12, and has been therefore amended as above.
 1 Sam. i. 13.
 Or, "judging from the motion of the soul;" the text reading here ou kinematos psuches, for which, as above, is proposed, ouk ek kinematos psuchen.
 Tob. xii. 8.
 Metaphorical expression for perfect. The phrase "a quadrangular man" is found in Plato and Aristotle. [The proverbial tetragonos aneu psogou, of the Nicomach. Ethics, i. 10, and of Plato in the Protagoras, p. 154. Ed. Bipont, 1782.]
 2 Cor. vi. 7.
 Ex. xxxiv. 29.
 Matt. v. 48.
 John xiii. 33.
 This is cited by Diogenes Laertius as the first dictum of Epicurus. It is also referred to as such by Cicero, De Natura Deorum, and by others.
Chapter XIII.--Degrees of Glory in Heaven Corresponding with the Dignities of the Church Below.
He, then, who has first moderated his passions and trained himself for
impassibility, and developed to the beneficence of gnostic perfection,
is here equal to the angels. Luminous already, and like the sun shining
in the exercise of beneficence, he speeds by righteous knowledge
through the love of God to the sacred abode, like as the apostles. Not
that they became apostles through being chosen for some distinguished
peculiarity  of nature, since also Judas was chosen along with
them. But they were capable of becoming apostles on being chosen by Him
who foresees even ultimate issues. Matthias, accordingly, who was not
chosen along with them, on showing himself worthy of becoming an
apostle, is substituted for Judas.
Those, then, also now, who have exercised themselves in the Lord's
commandments, and lived perfectly and gnostically according to the
Gospel, may be enrolled in the chosen body of the apostles. Such an one
is in reality a presbyter of the Church, and a true minister (deacon)
of the will of God, if he do and teach what is the Lord's; not as being
ordained  by men, nor regarded righteous because a presbyter, but
enrolled in the presbyterate  because righteous. And although
here upon earth he be not honoured with the chief seat,  he will
sit down on the four-and-twenty thrones,  judging the people, as
John says in the Apocalypse.
For, in truth, the covenant of salvation, reaching down to us from the
foundation of the world, through different generations and times, is
one, though conceived as different in respect of gift. For it follows
that there is one unchangeable gift of salvation given by one God,
through one Lord, benefiting in many ways. For which cause the middle
wall  which separated the Greek from the Jew is taken away, in
order that there might be a peculiar people. And so both meet in the
one unity of faith; and the selection out of both is one. And the
chosen of the chosen are those who by reason of perfect knowledge are
called [as the best] from the Church itself, and honoured with the most
august glory--the judges and rulers--four-and-twenty (the grace being
doubled) equally from Jews and Greeks. Since, according to my opinion,
the grades  here in the Church, of bishops, presbyters, deacons,
are imitations of the angelic glory, and of that economy which, the
Scriptures say, awaits those who, following the footsteps of the
apostles, have lived in perfection of righteousness according to the
Gospel. For these taken up in the clouds, the apostle  writes,
will first minister [as deacons], then be classed in the presbyterate,
by promotion in glory (for glory differs  from glory) till they
grow into "a perfect man." 
 In opposition to the heretical opinion, that those who are saved have an innate original excellence, on account of which they are saved. [Elucidation VIII.]
 Or, "elected"--cheirotonoumenos. Acts xiv. 23, "And when they had ordained (cheirotonesantes) them elders in every church." A different verb (kathistemi) is used in Tit. i. 5.
 Presbytery or eldership.
 psotokathedria, Mark xii. 39, Luke xx. 46.
 Rev. iv. 4, xi. 16.
 Eph ii. 14, 15, 16, iv. 13.
 prokopai. [Book vii. cap. i, infra.]
 1 Thess. iv. 17.
 1 Cor. xv. 41.
 Eph. iv. 13.
Chapter XIV.--Degrees of Glory in Heaven.
Such, according to David, "rest in the holy hill of God,"  in the
Church far on high, in which are gathered the philosophers of God, "who
are Israelites indeed, who are pure in heart, in whom there is no
guile;"  who do not remain in the seventh seat, the place of
rest, but are promoted, through the active beneficence of the divine
likeness, to the heritage of beneficence which is the eighth grade;
devoting themselves to the pure vision  of insatiable
"And other sheep there are also," saith the Lord, "which are not of
this fold"  --deemed worthy of another fold and mansion, in
proportion to their faith. "But My sheep hear My voice," 
understanding gnostically the commandments. And this is to be taken in
a magnanimous and worthy acceptation, along with also the recompense
and accompaniment of works. So that when we hear, "Thy faith hath saved
thee,"  we do not understand Him to say absolutely that those who
have believed in any way whatever shall be saved, unless also works
follow. But it was to the Jews alone that He spoke this utterance, who
kept the law and lived blamelessly, who wanted only faith in the Lord.
No one, then, can be a believer and at the same time be licentious; but
though he quit the flesh, he must put off the passions, so as to be
capable of reaching his own mansion.
Now to know is more than to believe, as to be dignified with the
highest honour after being saved is a greater thing than being saved.
Accordingly the believer, through great discipline, divesting himself
of the passions, passes to the mansion which is better than the former
one, viz., to the greatest torment, taking with him the characteristic
of repentance from the sins he has committed after baptism. He is
tortured then still more--not yet or not quite attaining what he sees
others to have acquired. Besides, he is also ashamed of his
transgressions. The greatest torments, indeed, are assigned to the
believer. For God's righteousness is good, and His goodness is
righteous. And though the punishments cease in the course of the
completion of the expiation and purification of each one, yet those
have very great and permanent grief who  are found worthy of the
other fold, on account of not being along with those that have been
glorified through righteousness.
For instance, Solomon, calling the Gnostic, wise, speaks thus of those
who admire the dignity of his mansion: "For they shall see the end of
the wise, and to what a degree the Lord has established him." 
And of his glory they will say, "This was he whom we once held up to
derision, and made a byword of reproach; fools that we were! We thought
his life madness, and his end dishonourable. How is he reckoned among
the sons of God, and his inheritance among the saints?" 
Not only then the believer, but even the heathen, is judged most
righteously. For since God knew in virtue of His prescience that he
would not believe, He nevertheless, in order that he might receive his
own perfection gave him philosophy, but gave it him previous to faith.
And He gave the sun, and the moon, and the stars to be worshipped;
"which God," the Law says,  made for the nations, that they might
not become altogether atheistical, and so utterly perish. But they,
also in the instance of this commandment, having become devoid of
sense, and addicting themselves to graven images, are judged unless
they repent; some of them because, though able, they would not believe
God; and others because, though willing, they did not take the
necessary pains to become believers. There were also, however, those
who, from the worship of the heavenly bodies, did not return to the
Maker of them. For this was the sway given to the nations to rise up to
God, by means of the worship of the heavenly bodies. But those who
would not abide by those heavenly bodies assigned to them, but fell
away from them to stocks and stones, "were counted," it is said, "as
chaff-dust and as a drop from a jar,"  beyond salvation, cast
away from the body.
As, then, to be simply saved is the result of medium  actions,
but to be saved rightly and becomingly  is right action, so also
all action of the Gnostic may be called right action; that of the
simple believer, intermediate action, not yet perfected according to
reason, not yet made right according to knowledge; but that of every
heathen again is sinful. For it is not simply doing well, but doing
actions with a certain aim, and acting according to reason, that the
Scriptures exhibit as requisite. 
As, then, lyres ought not to be touched by those who are destitute of
skill in playing the lyre, nor flutes by those who are unskilled in
flute-playing, neither are those to put their hand to affairs who have
not knowledge, and know not how to use them in the whole  of
The struggle for freedom, then, is waged not alone by the athletes of
battles in wars, but also in banquets, and in bed, and in the
tribunals, by those who are anointed by the word, who are ashamed to
become the captives of pleasures.
"I would never part with virtue for unrighteous gain." But plainly,
unrighteous gain is pleasure and pain, toil and fear; and, to speak
comprehensively, the passions of the soul, the present of which is
delightful, the future vexatious. "For what is the profit," it is said,
"if you gain the world and lose the soul?"  It is clear, then,
that those who do not perform good actions, do not know what is for
their own advantage. And if so, neither are they capable of praying
aright, so as to receive from God good things; nor, should they receive
them, will they be sensible of the boon; nor, should they enjoy them,
will they enjoy worthily what they know not; both from their want of
knowledge how to use the good things given them, and from their
excessive stupidity, being ignorant of the way to avail themselves of
the divine gifts.
Now stupidity is the cause of ignorance. And it appears to me that it
is the vaunt of a boastful soul, though of one with a good conscience,
to exclaim against what happens through circumstances:--
"Therefore let them do what they may; 
For it shall be well with me; and Right
Shall be my ally, and I shall not be caught doing evil."
But such a good conscience preserves sanctity towards God and justice
towards men; keeping the soul pure with grave thoughts, and pure words,
and just deeds. By thus receiving the Lord's power, the soul studies to
be God; regarding nothing bad but ignorance, and action contrary to
right reason. And giving thanks always for all things to God, by
righteous hearing and divine reading, by true investigation, by holy
oblation, by blessed prayer; lauding, hymning, blessing, praising, such
a soul is never at any time separated from God.  Rightly then is
it said, "And they who trust in Him shall understand the truth, and
those faithful in love shall abide by Him."  You see what
statements Wisdom makes about the Gnostics.
Conformably, therefore, there are various abodes, according to the
worth of those who have believed.  To the point Solomon says,
"For there shall be given to him the choice grace of faith, and a more
pleasant lot in the temple of the Lord."  For the comparative
shows that there are lower parts in the temple of God, which is the
whole Church. And the superlative remains to be conceived, where the
Lord is. These chosen abodes, which are three, are indicated by the
numbers in the Gospel--the thirty, the sixty, the hundred.  And
the perfect inheritance belongs to those who attain to "a perfect man,"
according to the image of the Lord. And the likeness is not, as some
imagine, that of the human form; for this consideration is impious. Nor
is the likeness to the first cause that which consists in virtue. For
this utterance is also impious, being that of those who have imagined
that virtue in man and in the sovereign God is the same. "Thou hast
supposed iniquity," He says, "[in imagining] that I will be like to
thee."  But "it is enough for the disciple to become as the
Master,"  saith the Master. To the likeness of God, then, he that
is introduced into adoption and the friendship of God, to the just
inheritance of the lords and gods is brought; if he be perfected,
according to the Gospel, as the Lord Himself taught.
 Ps. xv. i.
 John i. 47; Matt v. 8.
 epopteia, the third and highest grade of initiation of the Eleusinian mysteries (Liddell and Scott's Lexicon).
 John x. 16.
 John x. 27.
 Mark v. 34, etc.
 The text here has oti, for which has been substituted (Potter and Sylb.) oi, as above; ten after aules (fold) requires to be omitted also in rendering the sentence as we have done.
 Wisd. iv. 17.
 Wisd. v. 3-5.
 Deut. iv. 19.
 Isa. xl. 15.
 The author reckons three kinds of actions, the first of which is katorthoma, right or perfect action, which is characteristic of the perfect man and Gnostic alone, and raises him (eis ten anotato doxan) to the height of glory. The second is the class of ton meson, medium, or intermediate actions, which are done by less perfect believers, and procure a lower grade of glory. In the third place he reckons sinful actions (amartetikas), which are done by those who fall away from salvation (Potter).
 [2 Pet. i. 11.]
 To produce this sense, katheken of the text is by Potter changed into kathekein.
 On the authority of one of the ms., Sylburgius reads olon instead of logon in the text.
 Matt. viii. 26; Mark viii. 36; Luke ix. 25.
 From the Acharneis of Aristophanes, quoted also by Cicero; with various readings in each. Heinsius substitutes palamasthon for palamasthai of the text.
 [Bunsen, Hippol., iii. p. 141.]
 Wisd. iii. 9.
 [1 Cor. xv. 41.]
 Wisd. iii. 14.
 Matt. xiii. 8.
 Ps. l. 21.
 Matt. xxv. 10.
Chapter XV.--Different Degrees of Knowledge.
The Gnostic, then, is impressed with the closest likeness, that is,
with the mind of the Master; which He being possessed of, commanded and
recommended to His disciples and to the prudent. Comprehending this, as
He who taught wished, and receiving it in its grand sense, he teaches
worthily "on the housetops"  those capable of being built to a
lofty height; and begins the doing of what is spoken, in accordance
with the example of life. For He enjoined what is possible. And, in
truth, the kingly man and Christian ought to be ruler and leader. For
we are commanded to be lords over not only the wild beasts without us,
but also over the wild passions within ourselves.
Through the knowledge, then, as appears, of a bad and good life is the
Gnostic saved, understanding and executing "more than the scribes and
Pharisees."  "Exert thyself, and prosper, and reign" writes
David, "because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness; and thy
right hand shall guide thee marvellously,"  that is, the Lord.
"Who then is the wise? and he shall understand these things. Prudent?
and he shall know them. For the ways of the Lord are right," 
says the prophet, showing that the Gnostic alone is able to understand
and explain the things spoken by the Spirit obscurely. "And he who
understands in that time shall hold his peace,"  says the
Scripture, plainly in the way of declaring them to the unworthy. For
the Lord says, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear," 
declaring that hearing and understanding belong not to all. To the
point David writes: "Dark water is in the clouds of the skies. At the
gleam before Him the clouds passed, hail and coals of fire;" 
showing that the holy words are hidden. He intimates that transparent
and resplendent to the Gnostics, like the innocuous hail, they are sent
down from God; but that they are dark to the multitude, like
extinguished coals out of the fire, which, unless kindled and set on
fire, will not give forth fire or light. "The Lord, therefore," it is
said, "gives me the tongue of instruction, so as to know in season when
it is requisite to speak a word;"  not in the way of testimony
alone, but also in the way of question and answer. "And the instruction
of the Lord opens my mouth."  It is the prerogative of the
Gnostic, then, to know how to make use of speech, and when, and how,
and to whom. And already the apostle, by saying, "After the rudiments
of the world, and not after Christ,"  makes the asseveration that
the Hellenic teaching is elementary, and that of Christ perfect, as we
have already intimated before.
"Now the wild olive is inserted into the fatness of the olive," 
and is indeed of the same species as the cultivated olives. For the
graft uses as soil the tree in which it is engrafted. Now all the
plants sprouted forth simultaneously in consequence of the divine
order. Wherefore also, though the wild olive be wild, it crowns the
Olympic victors. And the elm teaches the vine to be fruitful, by
leading it up to a height. Now we see that wild trees attract more
nutriment, because they cannot ripen. The wild trees, therefore, have
less power of secretion than those that are cultivated. And the cause
of their wildness is the want of the power of secretion. The engrafted
olive accordingly receives more nutriment from its growing in the wild
one; and it gets accustomed, as it were, to secrete the nutriment,
becoming thus assimilated  to the fatness of the cultivated tree.
So also the philosopher, resembling the wild olive, in having much that
is undigested, on account of his devotion to the search, his propensity
to follow, and his eagerness to seize the fatness of the truth; if he
get besides the divine power, through faith, by being transplanted into
the good and mild knowledge, like the wild olive, engrafted in the
truly fair and merciful Word, he both assimilates the nutriment that is
supplied, and becomes a fair and good olive tree. For engrafting makes
worthless shoots noble, and compels the barren to be fruitful by the
art of culture and by gnostic skill.
Different modes of engrafting illustrative of different kinds of
They say that engrafting is effected in four modes: one, that in which
the graft must be fitted in between the wood and the bark; resembling
the way in which we instruct plain people belonging to the Gentiles,
who receive the word superficially. Another is, when the wood is cleft,
and there is inserted in it the cultivated branch. And this applies to
the case of those who have studied philosophy; for on cutting through
their dogmas, the acknowledgment of the truth is produced in them. So
also in the case of the Jews, by opening up the Old Testament, the new
and noble plant of the olive is inserted. The third mode of engrafting
applies to rustics and heretics, who are brought by force to the truth.
For after smoothing off both suckers with a sharp pruning-hook, till
the pith is laid bare, but not wounded, they are bound together. And
the fourth is that form of engrafting called budding. For a bud (eye)
is cut out of a trunk of a good sort, a circle being drawn round in the
bark along with it, of the size of the palm. Then the trunk is
stripped, to suit the eye, over an equal circumference. And so the
graft is inserted, tied round, and daubed with clay, the bud being kept
uninjured and unstained. This is the style of gnostic teaching, which
is capable of looking into things themselves. This mode is, in truth,
of most service in the case of cultivated trees. And "the engrafting
into the good olive" mentioned by the apostle, may be [engrafting into]
Christ Himself; the uncultivated and unbelieving nature being
transplanted into Christ--that is, in the case of those who believe in
Christ. But it is better [to understand it] of the engrafting  of
each one's faith in the soul itself. For also the Holy Spirit is thus
somehow transplanted by distribution, according to the circumscribed
capacity of each one, but without being circumscribed.
Knowledge and love.
Now, discoursing on knowledge, Solomon speaks thus: "For wisdom is
resplendent and fadeless, and is easily beheld by those who love her.
She is beforehand in making herself known to those who desire her. He
that rises early for her shall not toil wearily. For to think about her
is the perfection of good sense. And he that keeps vigils for her shall
quickly be relieved of anxiety. For she goes about, herself seeking
those worthy of her (for knowledge belongs not to all); and in all ways
she benignly shows herself to them."  Now the paths are the
conduct of life, and the variety that exists in the covenants.
Presently he adds: "And in every thought she meets them,"  being
variously contemplated, that is, by all discipline. Then he subjoins,
adducing love, which perfects by syllogistic reasoning and true
propositions, drawing thus a most convincing and true inference, "For
the beginning of her is the truest desire of instruction," that is, of
knowledge; "prudence is the love of instruction, and love is the
keeping of its laws; and attention to its laws is the confirmation of
immortality; and immortality causes nearness to God. The desire of
wisdom leads, then, to the kingdom." 
For he teaches, as I think, that true instruction is desire for
knowledge; and the practical exercise of instruction produces love of
knowledge. And love is the keeping of the commandments which lead to
knowledge. And the keeping of them is the establishment of the
commandments, from which immortality results. "And immortality brings
us near to God."
True knowledge found in the teaching of Christ alone.
If, then, the love of knowledge produces immortality, and leads the
kingly man near to God the King, knowledge ought to be sought till it
is found. Now seeking is an effort at grasping, and finds the subject
by means of certain signs. And discovery is the end and cessation of
inquiry, which has now its object in its grasp. And this is knowledge.
And this discovery, properly so called, is knowledge, which is the
apprehension of the object of search. And they say that a proof is
either the antecedent, or the coincident, or the consequent. The
discovery, then, of what is sought respecting God, is the teaching
through the Son; and the proof of our Saviour being the very Son of God
is the prophecies which preceded His coming, announcing Him; and the
testimonies regarding Him which attended His birth in the world; in
addition, His powers proclaimed and openly shown after His ascension.
The proof of the truth being with us, is the fact of the Son of God
Himself having taught us. For if in every inquiry these universals are
found, a person and a subject, that which is truly the truth is shown
to be in our hands alone. For the Son of God is the person of the truth
which is exhibited; and the subject is the power of faith, which
prevails over the opposition of every one whatever, and the assault of
the whole world.
But since this is confessedly established by eternal facts and reasons,
and each one who thinks that there is no Providence has already been
seen to deserve punishment and not contradiction, and is truly an
atheist, it is our aim to discover what doing, and in what manner
living, we shall reach the knowledge of the sovereign God, and how,
honouring the Divinity, we may become authors of our own salvation.
Knowing and learning, not from the Sophists, but from God Himself, what
is well-pleasing to Him, we endeavour to do what is just and holy. Now
it is well-pleasing to Him that we should be saved; and salvation is
effected through both well-doing and knowledge, of both of which the
Lord is the teacher.
If, then, according to Plato, it is only possible to learn the truth
either from God or from the progeny of God, with reason we, selecting
testimonies from the divine oracles, boast of learning the truth by the
Son of God, prophesied at first, and then explained.
Philosophy and heresies, aids in discovering the truth.
But the things which co-operate in the discovery of truth are not to be
rejected. Philosophy, accordingly, which proclaims a Providence, and
the recompense of a life of felicity, and the punishment, on the other
hand, of a life of misery, teaches theology comprehensively; but it
does not preserve accuracy and particular points; for neither
respecting the Son of God, nor respecting the economy of Providence,
does it treat similarly with us; for it did not know the worship of
Wherefore also the heresies of the Barbarian philosophy, although they
speak of one God, though they sing the praises of Christ, speak without
accuracy, not in accordance with truth; for they discover another God,
and receive Christ not as the prophecies deliver. But their false
dogmas, while they oppose the conduct that is according to the truth,
are against us. For instance, Paul circumcised Timothy because of the
Jews who believed, in order that those who had received their training
from the law might not revolt from the faith through his breaking such
points of the law as were understood more carnally, knowing right well
that circumcision does not justify; for he professed that "all things
were for all" by conformity, preserving those of the dogmas that were
essential, "that he might gain all."  And Daniel, under the king
of the Persians, wore "the chain,"  though he despised not the
afflictions of the people.
The liars, then, in reality are not those who for the sake of the
scheme of salvation conform, nor those who err in minute points, but
those who are wrong in essentials, and reject the Lord, and as far as
in them lies deprive the Lord of the true teaching; who do not quote or
deliver the Scriptures in a manner worthy of God and of the Lord;
 for the deposit rendered to God, according to the teaching of
the Lord by His apostles, is the understanding and the practice of the
godly tradition. "And what ye hear in the ear"--that is, in a hidden
manner, and in a mystery (for such things are figuratively said to be
spoken in the ear)--"proclaim," He says, "on the housetops,"
understanding them sublimely, and delivering them in a lofty strain,
and according to the canon of the truth explaining the Scriptures; for
neither prophecy nor the Saviour Himself announced the divine mysteries
simply so as to be easily apprehended by all and sundry, but express
them in parables. The apostles accordingly say of the Lord, that "He
spake all things in parables, and without a parable spake He nothing
unto them;"  and if "all things were made by Him, and without Him
was not anything made that was made,"  consequently also prophecy
and the law were by Him, and were spoken by Him in parables. "But all
things are right," says the Scripture,  "before those who
understand," that is, those who receive and observe, according to the
ecclesiastical rule, the exposition of the Scriptures explained by Him;
and the ecclesiastical rule is the concord and harmony of the law and
the prophets in the covenant delivered at the coming of the Lord.
Knowledge is then followed by practical wisdom, and practical wisdom by
self-control: for it may be said that practical wisdom is divine
knowledge, and exists in those who are deified; but that self-control
is mortal, and subsists in those who philosophize, and are not yet
wise. But if virtue is divine, so is also the knowledge of it; while
self-control is a sort of imperfect wisdom which aspires after wisdom,
and exerts itself laboriously, and is not contemplative. As certainly
righteousness, being human, is, as being a common thing, subordinate to
holiness, which subsists through the divine righteousness;  for
the righteousness of the perfect man does not rest on civil contracts,
or on the prohibition of law, but flows from his own spontaneous action
and his love to God.
Reasons for the meaning of Scripture being veiled.
For many reasons, then, the Scriptures hide the sense. First, that we
may become inquisitive, and be ever on the watch for the discovery of
the words of salvation. Then it was not suitable for all to understand,
so that they might not receive harm in consequence of taking in another
sense the things declared for salvation by the Holy Spirit. Wherefore
the holy mysteries of the prophecies are veiled in the
parables--preserved for chosen men, selected to knowledge in
consequence of their faith; for the style of the Scriptures is
parabolic. Wherefore also the Lord, who was not of the world, came as
one who was of the world to men. For He was clothed with all virtue;
and it was His aim to lead man, the foster-child of the world, up to
the objects of intellect, and to the most essential truths by
knowledge, from one world to another.
Wherefore also He employed metaphorical description; for such is the
parable,--a narration based on some subject which is not the principal
subject, but similar to the principal subject, and leading him who
understands to what is the true and principal thing; or, as some say, a
mode of speech presenting with vigour, by means of other circumstances,
what is the principal subject.
And now also the whole economy which prophesied of the Lord appears
indeed a parable to those who know not the truth, when one speaks and
the rest hear that the Son of God--of Him who made the
universe--assumed flesh, and was conceived in the virgin's womb (as His
material body was produced), and subsequently, as was the case,
suffered and rose again, being "to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to
the Greeks foolishness," as the apostle says.
But on the Scriptures being opened up, and declaring the truth to those
who have ears, they proclaim the very suffering endured by the flesh,
which the Lord assumed, to be "the power and wisdom of God." And
finally, the parabolic style of Scripture being of the greatest
antiquity, as we have shown, abounded most, as was to be expected, in
the prophets, in order that the Holy Spirit might show that the
philosophers among the Greeks, and the wise men among the Barbarians
besides, were ignorant of the future coming of the Lord, and of the
mystic teaching that was to be delivered by Him. Rightly then,
prophecy, in proclaiming the Lord, in order not to seem to some to
blaspheme while speaking what was beyond the ideas of the multitude,
embodied its declarations in expressions capable of leading to other
conceptions. Now all the prophets who foretold the Lord's coming, and
the holy mysteries accompanying it, were persecuted and killed. As also
the Lord Himself, in explaining the Scriptures to them, and His
disciples who preached the word like Him, and subsequently to His life,
used parables.  Whence also Peter, in his Preaching, speaking of
the apostles, says: "But we, unrolling the books of the prophets which
we possess, who name Jesus Christ, partly in parables, partly in
enigmas, partly expressly and in so many words, find His coming and
death, and cross, and all the rest of the tortures which the Jews
inflicted on Him, and His resurrection and assumption to heaven
previous to the capture  of Jerusalem. As it is written, These
things are all that He behoves to suffer, and what should be after Him.
Recognising them, therefore, we have believed in God in consequence of
what is written respecting Him."
And after a little again he draws the inference that the Scriptures
owed their origin to the divine providence, asserting as follows: "For
we know that God enjoined these things, and we say nothing apart from
Now the Hebrew dialect, like all the rest, has certain properties,
consisting in a mode of speech which exhibits the national character.
Dialect is accordingly defined as a style of speech produced by the
national character. But prophecy is not marked by those dialects. For
in the Hellenic writings, what are called changes of figures purposely
produce obscurations, deduced after the style of our prophecies. But
this is effected through the voluntary departure from direct speech
which takes place in metrical or offhand diction. A figure, then, is a
form of speech transferred from what is literal to what is not literal,
for the sake of the composition, and on account of a diction useful in
But prophecy does not employ figurative forms in the expressions for
the sake of beauty of diction. But from the fact that truth appertains
not to all, it is veiled in manifold ways, causing the light to arise
only on those who are initiated into knowledge, who seek the truth
through love. The proverb, according to the Barbarian philosophy, is
called a mode of prophecy, and the parable is so called, and the enigma
in addition. Further also, they are called "wisdom;" and again, as
something different from it, "instruction and words of prudence," and
"turnings of words," and "true righteousness;" and again, "teaching to
direct judgment," and "subtlety to the simple," which is the result of
training, "and perception and thought," with which the young catechumen
is imbued.  "He who hears these prophets, being wise, will be
wiser. And the intelligent man will acquire rule, and will understand a
parable and a dark saying, the words and enigmas of the wise." 
And if it was the case that the Hellenic dialects received their
appellation from Hellen, the son of Zeus, surnamed Deucalion, from the
chronology which we have already exhibited, it is comparatively easy to
perceive by how many generations the dialects that obtained among the
Greeks are posterior to the language of the Hebrews.
But as the work advances, we shall in each section, noting the figures
of speech mentioned above by the prophet,  exhibit the gnostic
mode of life, showing it systematically according to the rule of the
Did not the Power also, that appeared to Hermas in the Vision, in the
form of the Church, give for transcription the book which she wished to
be made known to the elect? And this, he says, he transcribed to the
letter, without finding how to complete the syllables.  And this
signified that the Scripture is clear to all, when taken according to
the bare reading; and that this is the faith which occupies the place
of the rudiments. Wherefore also the figurative expression is employed,
"reading according to the letter;" while we understand that the gnostic
unfolding of the Scriptures, when faith has already reached an advanced
state, is likened to reading according to the syllables.
Further, Esaias the prophet is ordered to take "a new book, and write
in it"  certain things: the Spirit prophesying that through the
exposition of the Scriptures there would come afterwards the sacred
knowledge, which at that period was still unwritten, because not yet
known. For it was spoken from the beginning to those only who
understand. Now that the Saviour has taught the apostles, the unwritten
rendering  of the written [Scripture] has been handed down also
to us, inscribed by the power of God on hearts new, according to the
renovation of the book. Thus those of highest repute among the Greeks,
dedicate the fruit of the pomegranate to Hermes, who they say is
speech, on account of its interpretation. For speech conceals much.
Rightly, therefore, Jesus the son of Nave saw Moses, when taken up [to
heaven], double,--one Moses with the angels, and one on the mountains,
honoured with burial in their ravines. And Jesus saw this spectacle
below, being elevated by the Spirit, along also with Caleb. But both do
not see similarly. But the one descended with greater speed, as if the
weight he carried was great; while the other, on descending after him,
subsequently related the glory which he beheld, being able to perceive
more than the other as having grown purer; the narrative, in my
opinion, showing that knowledge is not the privilege of all. Since some
look at the body of the Scriptures, the expressions and the names as to
the body of Moses; while others see through to the thoughts and what it
is signified by the names, seeking the Moses that is with the angels.
Many also of those who called to the Lord said, "Son of David, have
mercy on me."  A few, too, knew Him as the Son of God; as Peter,
whom also He pronounced blessed, "for flesh and blood revealed not the
truth to him, but His Father in heaven,"  --showing that the
Gnostic recognises the Son of the Omnipotent, not by His flesh
conceived in the womb, but by the Father's own power. That it is
therefore not only to those who read simply that the acquisition of the
truth is so difficult, but that not even to those whose prerogative the
knowledge of the truth is, is the contemplation of it vouch-safed all
at once, the history of Moses teaches, until, accustomed to gaze, at
the Hebrews on the glory of Moses, and the prophets of Israel on the
visions of angels, so we also become able to look the splendours of
truth in the face.
 Matt. x. 27; Luke xii. 3.
 Matt. v. 20.
 Ps. xlv. 4.
 Hos. xiv. 9.
 Amos. v. 13.
 Matt. xi. 15.
 Ps. xviii. 11, 12.
 Isa. l. 4.
 Isa. l. 5.
 Col. ii. 8.
 Rom. xii. 17.
 i.e., the graft is assimilated; so the Latin translator. But in the text we have sunexomoioumene, dative, agreeing with fatness, which seems to be a mistake.
 Or inoculation (enophthalmismos).
 Wisd. vi. 12-15.
 Wisd. ii. 16.
 Wisd. vi. 17-20.
 1 Cor. ix. 19. [Note ta kuria ton dogmaton.]
 Dan. v. 7, 29. [Note ta kuria ton dogmaton.]
 [The Scriptures the authority; the canon of interpretation is the harmony of law and Gospel as first opened by Christ Himself in the walk to Emmaus. Luke xxiv. 31.]
 Matt. xiii. 34.
 John i. 3.
 Prov. viii. 9.
 Heinsius, in a note, remarks that Plato regarded hosiotes and dikaiosune as identical, while others ascribe the former to the immortals (as also themis); hosiotes, as the greater, comprehends dikaiosune. He also amends the text. Instead of koinon he reads os koinon ti, supplies kata before theian dikaiosunen, and changes uparchousan into uparchouse.
 met' auton to zen parebalonto. The translation of Hervetus, which we have followed, supposes the reading autou instead of auton. Others, retaining the latter, translated to zen parebalonto (sacrificed life). But the former is most to the author's purpose.
 If we retain the reading of the text, we must translate "founding," and understand the reference to be to the descent of the new Jerusalem. But it seems better to change the reading as above.
 Prov. i. 1-4.
 Prov. i. 5, 6. [Elucidation IX.]
 i.e., Solomon.
 [This volume, p. 11, supra.]
 Isa. viii. 1.
 [In the walk to Emmaus, and by the Spirit bringing all things to remembrance. John xiv. 26.]
 Mark x. 48, etc.
 Matt. xvi. 17.
Chapter XVI.--Gnostic Exposition of the Decalogue.
Let the Decalogue be set forth cursorily by us as a specimen for
The number "Ten."
That ten is a sacred number, it is superfluous to say now. And if the
tables that were written were the work of God, they will be found to
exhibit physical creation. For by the "finger of God" is understood the
power of God, by which the creation of heaven and earth is
accomplished; of both of which the tables will be understood to be
symbols. For the writing and handiwork of God put on the table is the
creation of the world.
And the Decalogue, viewed as an image of heaven, embraces sun and moon,
stars, clouds, light, wind, water, air, darkness, fire. This is the
physical Decalogue of the heaven.
And the representation of the earth contains men, cattle, reptiles,
wild beasts; and of the inhabitants of the water, fishes and whales;
and again, of the winged tribes, those that are carnivorous, and those
that use mild food; and of plants likewise, both fruit-bearing and
barren. This is the physical Decalogue of the earth.
And the ark which held them  will then be the knowledge of divine
and human things and wisdom. 
And perhaps the two tables themselves may be the prophecy of the two
covenants. They were accordingly mystically renewed, as ignorance along
with sin abounded. The commandments are written, then, doubly, as
appears, for twofold spirits, the ruling and the subject. "For the
flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh."
And there is a ten in man himself: the five senses, and the power of
speech, and that of reproduction; and the eighth is the spiritual
principle communicated at his creation; and the ninth the ruling
faculty of the soul; and tenth, there is the distinctive characteristic
of the Holy Spirit, which comes to him through faith.
Besides, in addition to these ten human parts, the law appear to give
its injunctions  to sight, and hearing, and smell, and touch, and
taste, and to the organs subservient to these, which are double--the
hands and the feet. For such is the formation of man. And the soul is
introduced, and previous to it the ruling faculty, by which we reason,
not produced in procreation; so that without it there is made up the
number ten, of the faculties by which all the activity of man is
carried out. For in order, straightway on man's entering existence, his
life begins with sensations. We accordingly assert that rational and
ruling power is the cause of the constitution of the living creature;
also that this, the irrational part, is animated, and is a part of it.
Now the vital force, in which is comprehended the power of nutrition
and growth, and generally of motion, is assigned to the carnal spirit,
which has great susceptibility of motion, and passes in all directions
through the senses and the rest of the body, and through the body is
the primary subject of sensations. But the power of choice, in which
investigation, and study, and knowledge, reside, belongs to the ruling
faculty. But all the faculties are placed in relation to one--the
ruling faculty: it is through that man lives, and lives in a certain
Through the corporeal spirit, then, man perceives, desires, rejoices,
is angry, is nourished, grows. It is by it, too, that thoughts and
conceptions advance to actions. And when it masters the desires, the
ruling faculty reigns.
The commandment, then, "Thou shalt not lust," says, thou shalt not
serve the carnal spirit, but shall rule over it; "For the flesh lusteth
against the Spirit,"  and excites to disorderly conduct against
nature; "and the Spirit against the flesh" exercises sway, in order
that the conduct of the man may be according to nature.
Is not man, then, rightly said "to have been made in the image of
God?"--not in the form of his [corporeal] structure; but inasmuch as
God creates all things by the Word (logo), and the man who has become a
Gnostic performs good actions by the faculty of reason (to logiko),
properly therefore the two tables are also said to mean the
commandments that were given to the twofold spirits,--those
communicated before the law to that which was created, and to the
ruling faculty; and the movements of the senses are both copied in the
mind, and manifested in the activity which proceeds from the body. For
apprehension results from both combined. Again, as sensation is related
to the world of sense, so is thought to that of intellect. And actions
are twofold--those of thought, those of act.
The First Commandment.
The first commandment of the Decalogue shows that there is one only
Sovereign God;  who led the people from the land of Egypt through
the desert to their fatherland; that they might apprehend His power, as
they were able, by means of the divine works, and withdraw from the
idolatry of created things, putting all their hope in the true God.
The Second Commandment.
The second word  intimated that men ought not to take and confer
the august power of God (which is the name, for this alone were many
even yet capable of learning), and transfer His title to things created
and vain, which human artificers have made, among which "He that is" is
not ranked. For in His uncreated identity, "He that is" is absolutely
The Fourth Commandment.
And the fourth  word is that which intimates that the world was
created by God, and that He gave us the seventh day as a rest, on
account of the trouble that there is in life. For God is incapable of
weariness, and suffering, and want. But we who bear flesh need rest.
The seventh day, therefore, is proclaimed a rest--abstraction from
ills--preparing for the Primal Day,  our true rest; which, in
truth, is the first creation of light, in which all things are viewed
and possessed. From this day the first wisdom and knowledge illuminate
us. For the light of truth--a light true, casting no shadow, is the
Spirit of God indivisibly divided to all, who are sanctified by faith,
holding the place of a luminary, in order to the knowledge of real
existences. By following Him, therefore, through our whole life, we
become impassible; and this is to rest. 
Wherefore Solomon also says, that before heaven, and earth, and all
existences, Wisdom had arisen in the Almighty; the participation of
which--that which is by power, I mean, not that by essence--teaches a
man to know by apprehension things divine and human. Having reached
this point, we must mention these things by the way; since the
discourse has turned on the seventh and the eighth. For the eighth may
possibly turn out to be properly the seventh, and the seventh
manifestly the sixth, and the latter properly the Sabbath, and the
seventh a day of work. For the creation of the world was concluded in
six days. For the motion of the sun from solstice to solstice is
completed in six months--in the course of which, at one time the leaves
fall, and at another plants bud and seeds come to maturity. And they
say that the embryo is perfected exactly in the sixth month, that is,
in one hundred and eighty days in addition to the two and a half, as
Polybus the physician relates in his book On the Eighth Month, and
Aristotle the philosopher in his book On Nature. Hence the
Pythagoreans, as I think, reckon six the perfect number, from the
creation of the world, according to the prophet, and call it Meseuthys
 and Marriage, from its being the middle of the even numbers,
that is, of ten and two. For it is manifestly at an equal distance from
And as marriage generates from male and female, so six is generated
from the odd number three, which is called the masculine number, and
the even number two, which is considered the feminine. For twice three
Such, again, is the number of the most general motions, according to
which all origination takes place--up, down, to the right, to the left,
forward, backward. Rightly, then, they reckon the number seven
motherless and childless, interpreting the Sabbath, and figuratively
expressing the nature of the rest, in which "they neither marry nor are
given in marriage any more."  For neither by taking from one
number and adding to another of those within ten is seven produced; nor
when added to any number within the ten does it make up any of them.
And they called eight a cube, counting the fixed sphere along with the
seven revolving ones, by which is produced "the great year," as a kind
of period of recompense of what has been promised.
Thus the Lord, who ascended the mountain, the fourth,  becomes
the sixth, and is illuminated all round with spiritual light, by laying
bare the power proceeding from Him, as far as those selected to see
were able to behold it, by the Seventh, the Voice, proclaimed to be the
Son of God; in order that they, persuaded respecting Him, might have
rest; while He by His birth, which was indicated by the sixth
conspicuously marked, becoming the eighth, might appear to be God in a
body of flesh, by displaying His power, being numbered indeed as a man,
but being concealed as to who He was. For six is reckoned in the order
of numbers, but the succession of the letters acknowledges the
character which is not written. In this case, in the numbers
themselves, each unit is preserved in its order up to seven and eight.
But in the number of the characters, Zeta becomes six and Eta seven.
And the character  having somehow slipped into writing, should we
follow it out thus, the seven became six, and the eight seven.
Wherefore also man is said to have been made on the sixth day, who
became faithful to Him who is the sign (to episemo  ), so as
straightway to receive the rest of the Lord's inheritance. Some such
thing also is indicated by the sixth hour in the scheme of salvation,
in which man was perfected. Further, of the eight, the intermediates
are seven; and of the seven, the intervals are shown to be six. For
that is another ground, in which seven glorifies eight, and "the
heavens declare to the heavens the glory of God." 
The sensible types of these, then, are the sounds we pronounce. Thus
the Lord Himself is called "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the
end,"  "by whom all things were made, and without whom not even
one thing was made."  God's resting is not, then, as some
conceive, that God ceased from doing. For, being good, if He should
ever cease from doing good, then would He cease from being God, which
it is sacrilege even to say. The resting is, therefore, the ordering
that the order of created things should be preserved inviolate, and
that each of the creatures should cease from the ancient disorder. For
the creations on the different days followed in a most important
succession; so that all things brought into existence might have honour
from priority, created together in thought, but not being of equal
worth. Nor was the creation of each signified by the voice, inasmuch as
the creative work is said to have made them at once. For something must
needs have been named first. Wherefore those things were announced
first, from which came those that were second, all things being
originated together from one essence by one power. For the will of God
was one, in one identity. And how could creation take place in time,
seeing time was born along with things which exist.
And now the whole world of creatures born alive, and things that grow,
revolves in sevens. The first-born princes of the angels, who have the
greatest power, are seven.  The mathematicians also say that the
planets, which perform their course around the earth, are seven; by
which the Chaldeans think that all which concerns mortal life is
effected through sympathy, in consequence of which they also undertake
to tell things respecting the future.
And of the fixed stars, the Pleiades are seven. And the Bears, by the
help of which agriculture and navigation are carried through, consist
of seven stars. And in periods of seven days the moon undergoes its
changes. In the first week she becomes half moon; in the second, full
moon; and in the third, in her wane, again half moon; and in the fourth
she disappears. Further, as Seleucus the mathematician lays down, she
has seven phases. First, from being invisible she becomes
crescent-shaped, then half moon, then gibbous and full; and in her wane
again gibbous, and in like manner half moon and crescent-shaped.
"On a seven-stringed lyre we shall sing new hymns,"
writes a poet of note, teaching us that the ancient lyre was
seven-toned. The organs of the senses situated on our face are also
seven--two eyes, two passages of hearing, two nostrils, and the seventh
And that the changes in the periods of life take place by sevens, the
Elegies of Solon teach thus:--
"The child, while still an infant, in seven years,
Produces and puts forth its fence of teeth;
And when God seven years more completes,
He shows of puberty's approach the signs;
And in the third, the beard on growing cheek
With down o'erspreads the bloom of changing skin;
And in the fourth septenniad, at his best
In strength, of manliness he shows the signs;
And in the fifth, of marriage, now mature,
And of posterity, the man bethinks;
Nor does he yet desire vain works to see.
The seventh and eighth septenniads see him now
In mind and speech mature, till fifty years;
And in the ninth he still has vigour left,
But strength and body are for virtue great
Less than of yore; when, seven years more, God brings
To end, then not too soon may he submit to die."
Again, in diseases the seventh day is that of the crisis; and the
fourteenth, in which nature struggles against the causes of the
diseases. And a myriad such instances are adduced by Hermippus of
Berytus, in his book On the Number Seven, regarding it as holy. 
And the blessed David delivers clearly to those who know the mystic
account of seven and eight, praising thus: "Our years were exercised
like a spider. The days of our years in them are seventy years; but if
in strength, eighty years. And that will be to reign."  That,
then, we may be taught that the world was originated, and not suppose
that God made it in time, prophecy adds: "This is the book of the
generation: also of the things in them, when they were created in the
day that God made heaven and earth."  For the expression "when
they were created" intimates an indefinite and dateless production. But
the expression "in the day that God made," that is, in and by which God
made "all things," and "without which not even one thing was made,"
points out the activity exerted by the Son. As David says, "This is the
day which the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice in it;" 
that is, in consequence of the knowledge  imparted by Him, let us
celebrate the divine festival; for the Word that throws light on things
hidden, and by whom each created thing came into life and being, is
And, in fine, the Decalogue, by the letter Iota,  signifies the
blessed name, presenting Jesus, who is the Word.
The Fifth Commandment.
Now the fifth in order is the command on the honour of father and
mother. And it clearly announces God as Father and Lord. Wherefore also
it calls those who know Him sons and gods. The Creator of the universe
is their Lord and Father; and the mother is not, as some say, the
essence from which we sprang, nor, as others teach, the Church, but the
divine knowledge and wisdom, as Solomon says, when he terms wisdom "the
mother of the just," and says that it is desirable for its own sake.
And the knowledge of all, again, that is lovely and venerable, proceeds
from God through the Son.
The Sixth Commandment.
Then follows the command about murder. Now murder is a sure
destruction. He, then, that wishes to extirpate the true doctrine of
God and of immortality, in order to introduce falsehood, alleging
either that the universe is not under Providence, or that the world is
uncreated, or affirming anything against true doctrine, is most
The Seventh Commandment.
This is followed by the command respecting adultery. Now it is
adultery, if one, abandoning the ecclesiastical and true knowledge, and
the persuasion respecting God, accedes to false and incongruous
opinion, either by deifying any created object, or by making an idol of
anything that exists not, so as to overstep, or rather step from,
knowledge. And to the Gnostic false opinion is foreign, as the true
belongs to him, and is allied with him. Wherefore the noble apostle
calls one of the kinds of fornication, idolatry,  in following
the prophet, who says: "[My people] hath committed fornication with
stock and stone. They have said to the stock, Thou art my father; and
to the stone, Thou hast begotten me." 
The Eighth Commandment.
And after this is the command respecting theft. As, then, he that
steals what is another's, doing great wrong, rightly incurs ills
suitable to his deserts; so also does he, who arrogates to himself
divine works by the art of the statuary or the painter, and pronounces
himself to be the maker of animals and plants. Likewise those, too, who
mimic the true philosophy are thieves. Whether one be a husbandman or
the father of a child, he is an agent in depositing seeds. But it is
God who, ministering the growth and perfection of all things, brings
the things produced to what is in accordance with their nature. But the
most, in common also with the philosophers, attribute growth and
changes to the stars as the primary cause, robbing the Father of the
universe, as far as in them lies, of His tireless might.
The elements, however, and the stars--that is, the administrative
powers--are ordained for the accomplishment of what is essential to the
administration, and are influenced and moved by what is commanded to
them, in the way in which the Word of the Lord leads, since it is the
nature of the divine power to work all things secretly. He,
accordingly, who alleges that he has conceived or made anything which
pertains to creation, will suffer the punishment of his impious
The Tenth Commandment. 
And the tenth is the command respecting all lusts. As, then, he who
entertains unbecoming desires is called to account; in the same way he
is not allowed to desire things false, or to suppose that, of created
objects, those that are animate have power of themselves, and that
inanimate things can at all save or hurt. And should one say that an
antidote cannot heal or hemlock kill, he is unwittingly deceived. For
none of these operates except one makes use of the plant and the drug;
just as the axe does not without one to cut with it, or a saw without
one sawing with it. And as they do not work by themselves, but have
certain physical qualities which accomplish their proper work by the
exertion of the artisan; so also, by the universal providence of God,
through the medium of secondary causes, the operative power is
propagated in succession to individual objects.
 i.e., the Commandments.
 For perfect wisdom, which is knowledge of things divine and human, which comprehends all that relates to the oversight of the flock of men, becomes, in reference to life, art (Instructor, book ii. chap. ii. p. 244, supra).
 Gal. v. 17.
 The text reads entolais, which, however, Hervetus, Heinsius, and Sylburgius, all concur in changing to the accusative, as above.
 Gal. v. 17.
 Ex. xx. 2, 3.
 i.e., commandment. The Decalogue is in Hebrew called "the ten words."
 The text has tritos, but Sylburgius reads tetartos, the third being either omitted, or embraced in what is said of the second. The next mentioned is the fifth.
 i.e., Christ. [And the first day, or the Christian Sabbath.]
 [Barnabas, vol. i. chap. xv. p. 146, this series.]
 meseuthus, mesos and euthus, between the even ones, applied by the Pythagoreans to 6, a half-way between 2 and 10, the first and the last even numbers of the dinary scale.
 Luke xx. 35.
 i.e., with the three disciples.
 The numeral s = 6. This is said to be the Digamma in its original place in the alphabet, and afterwards used in mss. and old editions as a short form of st (Liddell and Scott's Lexicon).
 That is, Christ, who answers to the numeral six.
 Ps. xix. 1.
 Rev. xxi. 6.
 John i. 3.
 [By Rabbinical tradition. But see Calmet, Dict. Bib., p. 78.]
 [The honour put upon this number in the Holy Scriptures is obvious to all, and it seems to be wrought into nature by the author of Scripture. But see Dan. viii. 13, the original, and (Palmoni) Eng. margin.]
 Ps. xc. 9, 10.
 Gen. ii. 4.
 Ps. cxviii. 24.
 [1 Cor. v. 7.]
 The first letter of the name of Jesus, and used as the sign of ten.
 In close conjunction with idolatry, fornication is mentioned, Col. iii. 5, Gal. v. 20, 1 Pet. iv. 3.
 Jer. ii. 27, iii. 9.
 [The ninth is not altogether omitted, but is supposed to be included in the eighth. False testimony is theft of another's credit, or of another's truth. Migne, Strom., vi. 361. Elucidation X.]
Chapter XVII.--Philosophy Conveys Only an Imperfect Knowledge of God.
But, as appears, the philosophers of the Greeks, while naming God, do
not know Him. But their philosophical speculations, according to
Empedocles, "as passing over the tongue of the multitude, are poured
out of mouths that know little of the whole." For as art changes the
light of the sun into fire by passing it through a glass vessel full of
water, so also philosophy, catching a spark from the divine Scripture,
is visible in a few. Also, as all animals breathe the same air, some in
one way, others in another, and to a different purpose; so also a
considerable number of people occupy themselves with the truth, or
rather with discourse concerning the truth. For they do not say aught
respecting God, but expound Him by attributing their own affections to
God. For they spend life in seeking the probable, not the true. But
truth is not taught by imitation, but by instruction. For it is not
that we may seem good  that we believe in Christ, as it is not
alone for the purpose of being seen, while in the sun, that we pass
into the sun. But in the one case for the purpose of being warmed; and
in the other, we are compelled to be Christians in order to be
excellent and good. For the kingdom belongs pre-eminently to the
violent,  who, from investigation, and study, and discipline,
reap this fruit, that they become kings.
He, then, who imitates opinion shows also preconception. When then one,
having got an inkling of the subject, kindles it within in his soul by
desire and study, he sets everything in motion afterwards in order to
know it. For that which one does not apprehend, neither does he desire
it, nor does he embrace the advantage flowing from it. Subsequently,
therefore, the Gnostic at last imitates the Lord, as far as allowed to
men, having received a sort of quality akin to the Lord Himself, in
order to assimilation to God. But those who are not proficient in
knowledge cannot judge the truth by rule. It is not therefore possible
to share in the gnostic contemplations, unless we empty ourselves of
our previous notions. For the truth in regard to every object of
intellect and of sense is thus simply universally declared. For
instance, we may distinguish the truth of painting from that which is
vulgar, and decorous music from licentious. There is, then, also a
truth of philosophy as distinct from the other philosophies, and a true
beauty as distinct from the spurious. It is not then the partial
truths, of which truth is predicated, but the truth itself, that we are
to investigate, not seeking to learn names. For what is to be
investigated respecting God is not one thing, but ten thousand. There
is a difference between declaring God, and declaring things about God.
And to speak generally, in everything the accidents are to be
distinguished from the essence.
Suffice it for me to say, that the Lord of all is God; and I say the
Lord of all absolutely, nothing being left by way of exception.
Since, then, the forms of truth are two--the names and the things--some
discourse of names, occupying themselves with the beauties of words:
such are the philosophers among the Greeks. But we who are Barbarians
have the things. Now it was not in vain that the Lord chose to make use
of a mean form of body; so that no one praising the grace and admiring
the beauty might turn his back on what was said, and attending to what
ought to be abandoned, might be cut off from what is intellectual. We
must therefore occupy ourselves not with the expression, but the
To those, then, who are not gifted  with the power of
apprehension, and are not inclined to knowledge, the word is not
entrusted; since also the ravens imitate human voices, having no
understanding of the thing which they say. And intellectual
apprehension depends on faith. Thus also Homer said:--
"Father of men and gods,"  --
knowing not who the Father is, or how He is Father.
And as to him who has hands it is natural to grasp, and to him who has
sound eyes to see the light; so it is the natural prerogative of him
who has received faith to apprehend knowledge, if he desires, on "the
foundation" laid, to work, and build up "gold, silver, precious
Accordingly he does not profess to wish to participate, but begins to
do so. Nor does it belong to him to intend, but to be regal, and
illuminated, and gnostic. Nor does it appertain to him to wish to grasp
things in name, but in fact.
For God, being good, on account of the principal part of the whole
creation, seeing He wishes to save it, was induced to make the rest
also; conferring on them at the beginning this first boon, that of
existence. For that to be is far better than not to be, will be
admitted by every one. Then, according to the capabilities of their
nature, each one was and is made, advancing to that which is better.
So there is no absurdity in philosophy having been given by Divine
Providence as a preparatory discipline for the perfection which is by
Christ; unless philosophy is ashamed at learning from Barbarian
knowledge how to advance to truth.  But if "the very hairs are
numbered, and the most insignificant motions," how shall not philosophy
be taken into account? For to Samson power was given in his hair, in
order that he might perceive that the worthless arts that refer to the
things in this life, which lie and remain on the ground after the
departure of the soul, were not given without divine power.
But it is said Providence, from above, from what is of prime
importance, as from the head, reaches to all, "as the ointment," it is
said, "which descends to Aaron's beard, and to the skirt of his
garment"  (that is, of the great High Priest, "by whom all things
were made, and without whom not even one thing was made"  ); not
to the ornament of the body; for Philosophy is outside of the People,
like raiment.  The philosophers, therefore, who, trained to their
own peculiar power of perception by the spirit of perception, when they
investigate, not a part of philosophy, but philosophy absolutely,
testify to the truth in a truth-loving and humble spirit; if in the
case of good things said by those even who are of different sentiments
they advance to understanding, through the divine administration, and
the ineffable Goodness, which always, as far as possible, leads the
nature of existences to that which is better. Then, by cultivating the
acquaintance not of Greeks alone, but also of Barbarians, from the
exercise common to their proper intelligence, they are conducted to
Faith. And when they have embraced the foundation of truth, they
receive in addition the power of advancing further to investigation.
And thence they love to be learners, and aspiring after knowledge,
haste to salvation.
Thus Scripture says, that "the spirit of perception" was given to the
artificers from God.  And this is nothing else than
Understanding, a faculty of the soul, capable of studying
existences,--of distinguishing and comparing what succeeds as like and
unlike,--of enjoining and forbidding, and of conjecturing the future.
And it extends not to the arts alone, but even to philosophy itself.
Why, then, is the serpent called wise? Because even in its wiles there
may be found a connection, and distinction, and combination, and
conjecturing of the future. And so very many crimes are concealed;
because the wicked arrange for themselves so as by all means to escape
And Wisdom being manifold, pervading the whole world, and all human
affairs, varies its appellation in each case. When it applies itself to
first causes, it is called Understanding (noesis). When, however, it
confirms this by demonstrative reasoning, it is termed Knowledge, and
Wisdom, and Science. When it is occupied in what pertains to piety, and
receives without speculation the primal Word  in consequence of
the maintenance of the operation in it, it is called Faith. In the
sphere of things of sense, establishing that which appears as being
truest, it is Right Opinion. In operations, again, performed by skill
of hand, it is Art. But when, on the other hand, without the study of
primary causes, by the observation of similarities, and by
transposition, it makes any attempt or combination, it is called
Experiment. But belonging to it, and supreme and essential, is the Holy
Spirit, which above all he who, in consequence of [divine] guidance,
has believed, receives after strong faith. Philosophy, then, partaking
of a more exquisite perception, as has been shown from the above
statements, participates in Wisdom.
Logical discussion, then, of intellectual subjects, with selection and
assent, is called Dialectics; which establishes, by demonstration,
allegations respecting truth, and demolishes the doubts brought
Those, then, who assert that philosophy did not come hither from God,
all but say that God does not know each particular thing, and that He
is not the cause of all good things; if, indeed, each of these belongs
to the class of individual things. But nothing that exists could have
subsisted at all, had God not willed. And if He willed, then philosophy
is from God, He having willed it to be such as it is, for the sake of
those who not otherwise than by its means would abstain from what is
evil. For God knows all things--not those only which exist, but those
also which shall be--and how each thing shall be. And foreseeing the
particular movements, "He surveys all things, and hears all things,"
seeing the soul naked within; and possesses from eternity the idea of
each thing individually. And what applies to theatres, and to the parts
of each object, in looking at, looking round, and taking in the whole
in one view, applies also to God. For in one glance He views all things
together, and each thing by itself; but not all things, by way of
Now, then, many things in life take their rise in some exercise of
human reason, having received the kindling spark from God. For
instance, health by medicine, and soundness of body through gymnastics,
and wealth by trade, have their origin and existence in consequence of
Divine Providence indeed, but in consequence, too, of human
co-operation. Understanding also is from God.
But God's will is especially obeyed by the free-will of good men. Since
many advantages are common to good and bad men: yet they are
nevertheless advantageous only to men of goodness and probity, for
whose sake God created them. For it was for the use of good men that
the influence which is in God's gifts was originated. Besides, the
thoughts of virtuous men are produced through the inspiration  of
God; the soul being disposed in the way it is, and the divine will
being conveyed to human souls, particular divine ministers contributing
to such services. For regiments of angels are distributed over the
nations and cities.  And, perchance, some are assigned to
The Shepherd, then, cares for each of his sheep; and his closest
inspection is given to those who are excellent in their natures, and
are capable of being most useful. Such are those fit to lead and teach,
in whom the action of Providence is conspicuously seen; whenever either
by instruction, or government, or administration, God wishes to
benefit. But He wishes at all times. Wherefore He moves those who are
adapted to useful exertion in the things which pertain to virtue, and
peace, and beneficence. But all that is characterized by virtue
proceeds from virtue, and leads back to virtue. And it is given either
in order that men may become good, or that those who are so may make
use of their natural advantages. For it co-operates both in what is
general and what is particular. How absurd, then, is it, to those who
attribute disorder and wickedness to the devil, to make him the
bestower of philosophy, a virtuous thing! For he is thus all but made
more benignant to the Greeks, in respect of making men good, than the
divine providence and mind.
Again, I reckon it is the part of law and of right reason to assign to
each one what is appropriate to him, and belongs to him, and falls to
him. For as the lyre is only for the harper, and the flute for the
flute-player; so good things are the possessions of good men. As the
nature of the beneficent is to do good, as it is of the fire to warm,
and the light to give light, and a good man will not do evil, or light
produce darkness, or fire cold; so, again, vice cannot do aught
virtuous. For its activity is to do evil, as that of darkness to dim
Philosophy is not, then, the product of vice, since it makes men
virtuous; it follows, then, that it is the work of God, whose work it
is solely to do good. And all things given by God are given and
Further, if the practice of philosophy does not belong to the wicked,
but was accorded to the best of the Greeks, it is clear also from what
source it was bestowed--manifestly from Providence, which assigns to
each what is befitting in accordance with his deserts." 
Rightly, then, to the Jews belonged the Law, and to the Greeks
Philosophy, until the Advent; and after that came the universal calling
to be a peculiar people of righteousness, through the teaching which
flows from faith, brought together by one Lord, the only God of both
Greeks and Barbarians, or rather of the whole race of men. We have
often called by the name philosophy that portion of truth attained
through philosophy, although but partial. 
Now, too what is good in the arts as arts,  have their beginning
from God. For as the doing of anything artistically is embraced in the
rules of art, so also acting sagaciously is classed under the head of
sagacity (phronesis). Now sagacity is virtue, and it is its function to
know other things, but much more especially what belongs to itself. And
Wisdom (Sophia) being power, is nothing but the knowledge of good
things, divine and human.
But "the earth is God's, and the fulness thereof,"  says the
Scripture, teaching that good things come from God to men; it being
through divine power and might that the distribution of them comes to
the help of man.
Now the modes of all help and communication from one to another are
three. One is, by attending to another, as the master of gymnastics, in
training the boy. The second is, by assimilation, as in the case of one
who exhorts another to benevolence by practising it before. The one
co-operates with the learner, and the other benefits him who receives.
The third mode is that by command, when the gymnastic master, no longer
training the learner, nor showing in his own person the exercise for
the boy to imitate, prescribes the exercise by name to him, as already
proficient in it.
The Gnostic, accordingly, having received from God the power to be of
service, benefits some by disciplining them, by bestowing attention on
them; others, by exhorting them, by assimilation; and others, by
training and teaching them, by command. And certainly he himself is
equally benefited by the Lord. Thus, then, the benefit that comes from
God to men becomes known--angels at the same time lending
encouragement.  For by angels, whether seen or not, the divine
power bestows good things. Such was the mode adopted in the advent of
the Lord. And sometimes also the power "breathes" in men's thoughts and
reasonings, and "puts in" their hearts "strength" and a keener
perception, and furnishes "prowess" and "boldness of alacrity" 
both for researches and deeds.
But exposed for imitation and assimilation are truly admirable and holy
examples of virtue in the actions put on record. Further, the
department of action is most conspicuous both in the testaments of the
Lord, and in the laws in force among the Greeks, and also in the
precepts of philosophy.
And to speak comprehensively, all benefit appertaining to life, in its
highest reason, proceeding from the Sovereign God, the Father who is
over all, is consummated by the Son, who also on this account "is the
Saviour of all men," says the apostle, "but especially of those who
believe."  But in respect of its immediate reason, it is from
those next to each, in accordance with the command and injunction of
Him who is nearest the First Cause, that is, the Lord.
 agathoi heis are supplied here to complete.
 [Matt. xi. 4.]
 ouk hantileptikois is substituted here for oun antileptois of the text.
 Iliad, i. 544.
 1 Cor. iii. 12.
 [See p. 303, supra, this volume.]
 Ps. cxxxiii. 2.
 John i. 3.
 i.e., the body is the Jewish people, and philosophy is something external to it, like the garment.
 Ex. xxviii. 3.
 Lowth proposes to read kata tous epi merous instead of kai ton, etc.; and Montfaucon, instead of eniois anois for anthropois. But the sense is, in any case, as given above.
 [Here I venture to commend, as worthy of note, the speculations of Edward King, on Matt. xxv. 32. Morsels of Criticism, vol. i. p. 333. Ed. London, 1788.]
 [Cap. xviii., infra.]
 For hos en technais it is proposed to read os an ai technai.
 Ps. xxiv. 1; 1 Cor. x. 26.
 [See supra, this chapter; and, infra, book vii. cap. i.]
 "Blue-eyed Athene inspired him with prowess."--Iliad, x. 482. "And put excessive boldness in his breast."--Iliad, xvii. 570. "To Diomeded son of Tydeus Pallas Athene gave strength and boldness."--Iliad, v. 1, 2.
 1 Tim. iv. 10.
Chapter XVIII.--The Use of Philosophy to the Gnostic.
Greek philosophy the recreation of the Gnostic.
Now our Gnostic always occupies himself with the things of highest
importance. But if at any time he has leisure and time for relaxation
from what is of prime consequence, he applies himself to Hellenic
philosophy in preference to other recreation, feasting on it as a kind
of dessert at supper.  Not that he neglects what is superior; but
that he takes this in addition, as long as proper, for the reasons I
mentioned above. But those who give their mind to the unnecessary and
superfluous points of philosophy, and addict themselves to wrangling
sophisms alone, abandon what is necessary and most essential, pursuing
plainly the shadows of words.
It is well indeed to know all. But the man whose soul is destitute of
the ability to reach to acquaintance with many subjects of study, will
select the principal and better subjects alone. For real science
(episteme, which we affirm the Gnostic alone possesses) is a sure
comprehension (katalepsis), leading up through true and sure reasons to
the knowledge (gnosis) of the cause. And he, who is acquainted with
what is true respecting any one subject, becomes of course acquainted
with what is false respecting it.
For truly it appears to me to be a proper point for discussion, Whether
we ought to philosophize: for its terms are consistent.
But if we are not to philosophize, what then? (For no one can condemn a
thing without first knowing it): the consequence, even in that case, is
that we must philosophize. 
First of all, idols are to be rejected.
Such, then, being the case, the Greeks ought by the Law and the
Prophets to learn to worship one God only, the only Sovereign; then to
be taught by the apostle, "but to us an idol is nothing in the world,"
 since nothing among created things can be a likeness of God; and
further, to be taught that none of those images which they worship can
be similitudes: for the race of souls is not in form such as the Greeks
fashion their idols. For souls are invisible; not only those that are
rational, but those also of the other animals. And their bodies never
become parts of the souls themselves, but organs--partly as seats,
partly as vehicles--and in other cases possessions in various ways. But
it is not possible to copy accurately even the likenesses of the
organs; since, were it so, one might model the sun, as it is seen, and
take the likeness of the rainbow in colours.
After abandoning idols, then, they will hear the Scripture, "Unless
your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and
Pharisees"  (who justified themselves in the way of abstinence
from what was evil),--so as, along with such perfection as they
evinced, and "the loving of your neighbour," to be able also to do
good, you shall not "be kingly." 
For intensification of the righteousness which is according to the law
shows the Gnostic. So one who is placed in the head, which is that
which rules its own body--and who advances to the summit of faith,
which is the knowledge (gnosis) itself, for which all the organs of
perception exist--will likewise obtain the highest inheritance.
The primacy of knowledge the apostle shows to those capable of
reflection, in writing to those Greeks of Corinth, in the following
terms: "But having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be
magnified in you according to our rule abundantly, to preach the Gospel
beyond you."  He does not mean the extension of his preaching
locally: for he says also that in Achaia faith abounded; and it is
related also in the Acts of the Apostles that he preached the word in
Athens.  But he teaches that knowledge (gnosis), which is the
perfection of faith, goes beyond catechetical instruction, in
accordance with the magnitude of the Lord's teaching and the rule of
the Church.  Wherefore also he proceeds to add, "And if I am rude
in speech, yet I am not in knowledge." 
Whence is the knowledge of truth?
But let those who vaunt on account of having apprehended the truth tell
us from whom they boast of having heard it. They will not say from God,
but will admit that it was from men. And if so, it is either from
themselves that they have learned it lately, as some of them arrogantly
boast, or from others like them. But human teachers, speaking of God,
are not reliable, as men. For he that is man cannot speak worthily the
truth concerning God: the feeble and mortal [cannot speak worthily] of
the Unoriginated and Incorruptible--the work, of the Workman. Then he
who is incapable of speaking what is true respecting himself, is he not
much less reliable in what concerns God? For just as far as man is
inferior to God in power, so much feebler is man's speech than Him;
although he do not declare God, but only speak about God and the divine
word. For human speech is by nature feeble, and incapable of uttering
God. I do not say His name. For to name it is common, not to
philosophers only, but also to poets. Nor [do I say] His essence; for
this is impossible, but the power and the works of God.
Those even who claim God as their teacher, with difficulty attain to a
conception of God, grace aiding them to the attainment of their modicum
of knowledge; accustomed as they are to contemplate the will [of God]
by the will, and the Holy Spirit by the Holy Spirit. "For the Spirit
searches the deep things of God. But the natural man receiveth not the
things of the Spirit." 
The only wisdom, therefore, is the God-taught wisdom we possess; on
which depend all the sources of wisdom, which make conjectures at the
Intimations of the Teacher's advent
Assuredly of the coming of the Lord, who has taught us, to men, there
were a myriad indicators, heralds, preparers, precursors, from the
beginning, from the foundation of the world, intimating beforehand by
deeds and words, prophesying that He would come, and where, and how,
what should be the signs. From afar certainly Law and Prophecy kept Him
in view beforehand. And then the precursor pointed Him out as present.
After whom the heralds point out by their teaching the virtue of His
Universal diffusion of the Gospel a contrast to philosophy.
The philosophers, however, chose to [teach philosophy] to the Greeks
alone,  and not even to all of them; but Socrates to Plato, and
Plato to Xenocrates, Aristotle to Theophrastus, and Zeno to Cleanthes,
who persuaded their own followers alone.
But the word of our Teacher remained not in Judea alone, as philosophy
did in Greece; but was diffused over the whole world, over every
nation, and village, and town, bringing already over to the truth whole
houses, and each individual of those who heard it by him himself, and
not a few of the philosophers themselves.
And if any one ruler whatever prohibit the Greek philosophy, it
vanishes forthwith.  But our doctrine on its very first
proclamation was prohibited by kings and tyrants together, as well as
particular rulers and governors, with all their mercenaries, and in
addition by innumerable men, warring against us, and endeavouring as
far as they could to exterminate it. But it flourishes the more. For it
dies not, as human doctrine dies, nor fades as a fragile gift. For no
gift of God is fragile. But it remains unchecked, though prophesied as
destined to be persecuted to the end. Thus Plato writes of poetry: "A
poet is a light and a sacred thing, and cannot write poetry till he be
inspired and lose his senses." And Democritus similarly: "Whatever
things a poet writes with divine afflatus, and with a sacred spirit,
are very beautiful." And we know what sort of things poets say. And
shall no one be amazed at the prophets of God Almighty becoming the
organs of the divine voice?
Having then moulded, as it were, a statue of the Gnostic, we have now
shown who he is; indicating in outline, as it were, both the greatness
and beauty of his character. What he is as to the study of physical
phenomena shall be shown afterwards, when we begin to treat of the
creation of the world.
 [The proportion to be observed between the study of what is secular and that of the Scriptures, according to Clement.]
 The author's meaning is, that it is only by a process of philosophical reasoning that you can decide whether philosophy is possible, valid, or useful. You must philosophize in order to decide whether you ought or ought not to philosophize.
 1 Cor. viii. 4.
 Matt. v. 20; Jas. ii. 8.
 basilikoi, Jas. ii. 8 (royal law).
 2 Cor. x. 15, 16.
 Acts xvii.
 [Canon-law referred to as already recognised. And see 2 Cor. x. 13-15 (Greek), as to a certain ecclesiastical rule or canon observed by the apostles. It may refer, primarily, to (Gal. ii. 9) limitations of apostolic work and jurisdiction. See Bunsen, iii. 217.]
 2 Cor. xi. 6.
 1 Cor. ii. 10, 14.
 Following Hervetus, the Latin translator, who interpolates into the text here, as seems necessary, hoi philosophoi tois Hellesi.
 [The imperishable nature of the Gospel, forcibly contrasted with the evanescence of philosophy.]
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
Share & Connect
bakersfieldCATHOLIC - Copyright © 2013 - 2022 breakthrough - All Rights Reserved.
If you are seeking the website for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, please use the following URL: www.dioceseoffresno.org