ST. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM: CATECHETICAL LECTURES, PROLOGUE AND LECTURES I TO IV

PROCATECHESIS,

OR,

PROLOGUE TO THE CATECHETICAL LECTURES OF OUR HOLY FATHER, CYRIL, ARCHBISHOP OF JERUSALEM.

1. ALREADY there is an odour of blessedness upon you, O ye who are soon to be enlightened[1]: already ye are gathering the spiritual[2] flowers, to weave heavenly crowns: already the fragrance of the Holy Spirit has breathed upon you: already ye have gathered round the vestibule of the King's palace[3]; may ye be led in also by the King! For blossoms now have appeared upon the trees[4]; may the fruit also be found perfect! Thus far there has been an inscription of your names[5], and a call to service, and torches[6] of the bridal train, and a longing for heavenly citizenship, and a good purpose, and hope attendant thereon. For he lieth not who said, that to them that love God all things work together for good. God is lavish in beneficence, yet He waits for each man's genuine will: therefore the Apostle added and said, to them that are called according to a purpose[7]. The honesty of purpose makes thee called: for if thy body be here but not thy mind, it profiteth thee nothing.

2. Even Simon Magus once came to the Laver[8]: he was baptized, but was not enlightened; and though he dipped his body in water, he enlightened not his heart with the Spirit: his body went down and came up, but his soul was not buried with Christ, nor raised with Him[9]. Now I mention the statements[1] of (men's) falls, that thou mayest not fall: for these things happened to them by way of example, and they are written for the admonition[2] of those who to this day draw near. Let none of you be found tempting His grace, lest any root of bitterness spring up and trouble you[3]. Let none of you enter saying, Let us see what the faithful[4] are doing: let me go in and see, that I may learn what is being done. Dost thou expect to see, and not expect to be seen? And thinkest thou, that whilst thou art searching out what is going on, God is not searching thy heart?

3. A certain man in the Gospels once pried into the marriage feasts, and took an unbecoming garment, and came in, sat down, and ate: for the bridegroom permitted it. But when he saw them all clad in white[6], he ought to have assumed a garment of the same kind himself: whereas he partook of the like food, but was unlike them in fashion and in purpose. The bridegroom, however, though bountiful, was not undiscerning: and in going round to each of the guests and observing them (for his care was not for their eating, but for their seemly behaviour), he saw a stranger not having on a wedding garment, and said to. him, Friend, how camest thou in hither? In what a colour[7]! With what a conscience! What though the door-keeper forbade thee not, because of the bountifulness of the entertainer? what though thou weft ignorant in what fashion thou shouldest come in to the banquet?--thou didst come in, and didst see the glittering fashions of the guests: shouldest thou not have been taught even by what was before thine eyes? Shouldest thou not have retired in good season, that thou mightest enter in good season again? But now thou hast come in unseasonably, to be unseasonably cast out. So he commands the servants, Bind his feet, which daringly intruded: bind his hands, which knew not how to put a bright garment around him: and cast him into the outer darkness; for he is unworthy of the wedding torches[8]. Thou seest what happened to that man: make thine own condition safe.

4. For we, the ministers of Christ, have admitted every one, and occupying, as it were, the place of door-keepers we left the door open: and possibly thou didst enter with thy soul bemired with sins, and with a will defiled. Enter thou didst, and wast allowed: thy name was inscribed. Tell me, dost thou behold this venerable constitution of the Church? Dost thou view her order and discipline[9] the reading of Scriptures[1], the presence of the ordained[2], the course of instruction[3]? Be abashed at the place, and be taught by what thou seest[4]. Go out opportunely now, and enter most opportunely to-morrow.

If the fashion of thy soul is avarice, put on another fashion and come in. Put off thy former fashion, cloke it not up. Put off, I pray thee, fornication and uncleanness, and put on the brightest robe of chastity. This charge I give thee, before Jesus the Bridegroom of souls come in and see their fashions. A long notice s is allowed thee; thou hast forty[6] days for repentance: thou hast full opportunity both to put off, and wash, and to put on and enter. But if thou persist in an evil purpose, the speaker is blameless, but thou must not look for the grace: for the water will receive, but the Spirit will not accept thee[7]. If any one is conscious of his wound, let him take the salve; if any has fallen, let him arise. Let there be no Simon among you, no hypocrisy, no idle curiosity about the matter.

5. Possibly too thou art come on another pretext. It is possible that a man is wishing to pay court to a woman, and came hither on that account[8]. The remark applies in like manner to women also in their turn. A slave also perhaps wishes to please his master, and a friend his friend. I accept this bait for the hook, and welcome thee, though thou camest with an evil purpose, yet as one to be saved by a good hope. Perhaps thou knewest not whither thou wert coming, nor in what kind of net thou art taken. Thou art come within the Church's nets[9]: be taken alive, flee not: for Jesus is angling for thee, not in order to kill, but by killing to make alive: for thou must die and rise again. For thou hast heard the Apostle say, Dead indeed unto sin, but living unto righteousness[1]. Die to thy sins, and live to righteousness, live from this very day.

6. See, I pray thee, how great a dignity Jesus bestows on thee. Thou weft called a Catechumen, while the word echoed[2] round thee from without; hearing of hope, and knowing it not; hearing mysteries, and not understanding them; hearing Scriptures, and not knowing their depth. The echo is no longer around thee, but within thee; for the indwelling Spirit[3] henceforth makes thy mind a house of God. When thou shalt have heard what is written concerning the mysteries, then wilt thou understand things which thou knewest not. And think not that thou receivest a small thing: though a miserable man, thou receivest one of God's titles. Hear St. Paul saying, God is faithful[4]. Hear another Scripture saying, God is faithful and just[5]. Foreseeing this, the Psalmist, because men are to receive a title of God, spoke thus in the person of God: I said, Ye are Gods, and are all sons of the Most High[6]. But beware lest thou have the title of "faithful," but the will of the faithless. Thou hast entered into a contest, toil on through the race: another such opportunity thou canst not have[7]. Were it thy wedding-day before thee, wouldest thou not have disregarded all else, and set about the preparation for the feast? And on the eve of consecrating thy soul to the heavenly Bridegroom, wilt thou not cease from carnal things, that thou mayest win spiritual?

7. We may not receive Baptism twice or thrice; else it might be said, Though I have failed once, I shall set it right a second time: whereas if thou fail once, the thing cannot be set right; for there is one Lord, and one faith, and one baptism[8]: for only the heretics are re-baptized[9], because the former was no baptism.

8. For God seeks nothing else from us, save a good purpose. Say not, How are my sins blotted out? I tell thee, By willing, by believing[1]. What can be shorter than this? But if, while thy lips declare thee willing, thy heart be silent, He knoweth the heart, who judgeth thee. Cease from this day from every evil deed. Let not thy tongue speak unseemly words, let thine eye abstain from sin, and from roving[2] after things unprofitable.

9. Let thy feet hasten to the catechisings; receive with earnestness the exorcisms[3]: whether thou be breathed upon or exorcised, the act is to thee salvation. Suppose thou hast gold unwrought and alloyed, mixed with various substances, copper, and tin, and iron, and lead: we seek to have the gold alone; can gold be purified from the foreign substances without fire? Even so without exorcisms the soul cannot be purified; and these exorcisms are divine, having been collected out of the divine Scriptures. Thy face has been veiled[4], that thy mind may henceforward be free, lest the eye by roving make the heart rove also. But when thine eyes are veiled, thine ears are not hindered from receiving the means of salvation. For in like manner as those who are skilled in the goldsmith's craft throw in their breath upon the fire through certain delicate instruments, and blowing up the gold which is hidden in the crucible stir the flame which surrounds it, and so find what they are seeking; even so when the exorcists inspire terror by the Spirit of God, and set the soul, as it were, on fire in the crucible of the body, the hostile demon tees away, and there abide salvation and the hope of eternal life, and the soul henceforth is cleansed from its sins and hath salvation. Let us then, brethren, abide in hope, and surrender ourselves, and hope, in order that the God of all may see our purpose, and cleanse us from our sins, and impart to us good hopes of our estate, and grant us repentance that bringeth salvation. God hath called, and His call is to thee.

10. Attend closely to the catechisings, and though we should prolong our discourse, let not thy mind be wearied out. For thou art receiving armour against the adverse power, armour against heresies, against Jews, and Samaritans[5], and Gentiles. Thou hast many enemies; take to thee many darts, for thou hast many to hurl them at: and thou hast need to learn how to strike down the Greek, how to contend against heretic, against Jew and Samaritan. And the armour is ready, and most ready the sword of the Spirit[6]: but thou also must stretch forth thy right hand with good resolution, that thou mayest war the Lord's warfare, and overcome adverse powers, and become invincible against every heretical attempt.

11. Let me give thee this charge also. Study our teachings and keep them for ever. Think not that they are the ordinary homilies[7]; for though they also are good and trustworthy, yet if we should neglect them to-day we may study them to-morrow. But if the teaching concerning the layer of regeneration delivered in a consecutive course be neglected to-day, when shall it be made right? Suppose it is the season for planting trees: if we do not dig, and dig deep, when else can that be planted rightly which has once been planted ill? Suppose, pray, that the Catechising is a kind of building: if we do not bind the house together by regular bonds in the building, lest some gap be found, and the building become unsound, even our former labour is of no use. But stone must follow stone by course, and corner match with corner, and by our smoothing off inequalities the building must thus rise evenly. In like manner we are bringing to thee stones, as it were, of knowledge. Thou must hear concerning the living God, thou must hear of Judgment, must hear of Christ, and of the Resurrection. And many things there are to be discussed in succession, which though now dropped one by one are afterwards to be presented in harmonious connexion. But unless thou fit them together in the one whole, and remember what is first, and what is second, the builder may build, but thou wilt find the building unsound.

12. When, therefore, the Lecture is delivered, if a Catechumen ask thee what the teachers have said, tell nothing to him that is without[8]. For we deliver to thee a mystery, and a hope of the life to come. Guard the mystery for Him who gives the reward. Let none ever say to thee, What harm to thee, if I also know it? So too the sick ask for wine; but if it be given at a wrong time it causes delirium, and two evils arise; the sick man dies, and the physician is blamed. Thus is it also with the Catechumen, if he hear anything from the believer: both the Catechumen becomes delirious (for he understands not what he has heard, and finds fault with the thing, and scoffs at what is said), and the believer is condemned as a traitor. But thou art now standing on the border: take heed, pray, to tell nothing out; not that the things spoken are not worthy to be told, but because his ear is unworthy to receive. Thou wast once thyself a Catechumen, and I described not what lay before thee. When by experience thou hast learned how high are the matters of our teaching, then thou wilt know that the Catechumens are not worthy to hear them.

13. Ye who have been enrolled are become sons and daughters of one Mother. When ye have come in before the hour of the exorcisms, let each one of you speak things tending to godliness: and if any of your number be not present, seek for him. If thou wert called to a banquet, wouldest thou not wait for thy fellow guest? If thou hadst a brother, wouldest thou not seek thy brother's good?

Afterwards busy not thyself about unprofitable matters: neither, what the city has done, nor the village, nor the King[9], nor the Bishop, nor the Presbyter. Look upward; that is what thy present hour needeth. Be still[10], and know that I am God. If thou seest the believers ministering, and shewing no care, they enjoy security, they know what they have received, they are in possession of grace. But thou standest just now in the turn of the scale, to be received or not: copy not those who have freedom from anxiety, but cherish fear.

14. And when the Exorcism has been done, until the others who are being exorcised have come[11], let men be with men, and women with women. For now I need the example of Noah's ark: in which were Noah and his sons, and his wife and his sons' wives. For though the ark was one, and the door was shut, yet had things been suitably arranged. If the Church is shut, and you are all inside, yet let there be a separation, men with men, and women with women[1]: lest the pretext of salvation become an occasion of destruction. Even if there be a fair pretext for sitting near each other, let passions be put away. Further, let the men when sitting have a useful book; and let one read, and another listen: and if there be no book, let one pray, and another speak something useful. And again let the party of young women sit together in like manner, either singing or reading quietly, so that their lips speak, but others' ears catch not the sound: for I suffer not a woman to speak in the Church[2]. And let the married woman also follow the same example, and pray; and let her lips move, but her voice be unheard, that a Samuel[3] may come, and thy barren soul give birth to the salvation of "God who hath heard thy prayer;" for this is the interpretation of the name Samuel.

15. I shall observe each man's earnestness, each woman's reverence. Let your mind be refined as by fire unto reverence; let your soul be forged as metal: let the stubbornness of unbelief be hammered out: let the superfluous scales of the iron drop off, and what is pure remain; let the rust of the iron be rubbed off, and the true metal remain. May God sometime shew you that night, the darkness which shines like the day, concerning which it is said, The darkness shall not be hidden from thee. and the night shall shine as the day[4]. Then may the gate of Paradise be opened to every man and every woman among you. Then may you enjoy the Christ-hearing waters in their fragrance[5]. Then may you receive the name of Christ[6], and the power of things divine. Even now, I beseech you, lift up the eye of the mind: even now imagine the choirs of Angels, and God the Lord of all there sitting, and His Only-begotten Son sitting with Him on His right hand, and the Spirit present with them; and Thrones and Dominions doing service, and every man of you and every woman receiving salvation. Even now let your ears ring, as it were, with that glorious sound, when over your salvation the angels shall chant, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered[7]: when like stars of the Church you shall enter in, bright in the body and radiant in the soul.

16. Great is the Baptism that lies before you[8]: a ransom to captives; a remission of offences; a death of sin; a new-birth of the soul; a garment of light; a holy indissoluble seal; a chariot to heaven; the delight of Paradise; a welcome into the kingdom; the gift of adoption! But there is a serpent by the wayside watching those who pass by: beware lest he bite thee with unbelief. He sees so many receiving salvation, and is seeking whom he may devour[9]. Thou art coming in unto the Father of Spirits, but thou art going past that serpent. How then mayest thou pass him? Have thy feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace[1]; that even if he bite, he may not hurt thee. Have faith in-dwelling, stedfast hope, a strong sandal, that thou mayest pass the enemy, and enter the presence of thy Lord. Prepare thine own heart for reception of doctrine, for fellowship in holy mysteries. Pray more frequently, that God may make thee worthy of the heavenly and immortal mysteries. Cease not day nor night: but when sleep is banished from thine eyes, then let thy mind be free for prayer. And if thou find any shameful thought rise up in thy mind, turn to meditation upon Judgment to remind thee of Salvation. Give thy mind wholly to study, that it may forget base things. If thou find any one saying to thee, Art thou then going in, to descend into the water? Has the city just now no baths? take notice that it is the dragon of the sea[2] who is laying these plots against thee. Attend not to the lips of the talker, but to God who worketh in thee. Guard thine own soul, that thou be not ensnared, to the end that abiding in hope thou mayest become an heir of everlasting salvation.

17. We for our part as men charge and teach you thus: but make not ye our building hay and stubble and chaff, lest we suffer loss, from our work being burnt up: but make ye our work gold, and silver, and pre-dons stones[3]! For it lies in me to speak, but in thee to set thy mind[4] upon it, and in God to make perfect. Let us nerve our minds, and brace up our souls, and prepare our hearts. The race is for our soul: our hope is of things eternal: and God, who knoweth your hearts, and observeth who is sincere, and who a hypocrite, is able both to guard the sincere, and to give faith to the hypocrite: for even to the unbeliever, if only he give his heart, God is able to give faith. So may He blot out the handwriting that is against you[5], and grant you forgiveness of your former trespasses; may He plant you into His Church, and enlist you in His own service, and put on you the armour of righteousness[6]: may He fill you with the heavenly things of the New Covenant, and give you the seal of the Holy Spirit indelible throughout all ages, in Christ Jesus Our Lord: to whom be the glory for ever and ever! Amen.

(To the Reader [7].)

These Catechetical Lectures for those who are to be enlightened thou mayest lend to candidates for Baptism, and to believers who are already baptized, to read, but give not at all[8], neither to Catechumens, nor to any others who are not Christians, as thou shalt answer to the Lord. And if thou make a copy, write this in the beginning, as in the sight of the Lord.

FIRST CATECHETICAL LECTURE

OF

OUR HOLY FATHER CYRIL,

ARCHBISHOP OF JERUSALEM,

TOTHOSE WHO ARE TO BE ENLIGHTENED, DELIVERED EXTEMPORE AT JERUSALEM, AS AN INTRODUCTORY LECTURE TO THOSE WHO HAD COME FORWARD FOR BAPTISM[1]:

WITH A READING FROM ISAIAH,

Wash you, make you clean; put away your iniquities from your souls, from before mine eyes, and the rest[2].

1. DISCIPLES of the New Testament and partakers of the mysteries of Christ, as yet by calling only, but ere long by grace also, make you a new heart and a news spirit[3], that there may be gladness among the inhabitants of heaven: for if over one sinner that repenteth there is joy, according to the Gospel[4], how much more shall the salvation of so many souls move the inhabitants of heaven to gladness. As ye have entered upon a good and most glorious path, run with reverence the race of godliness. For the Only-begotten Son of God is present here most ready to redeem you, saying, Come unto Me all that labour and are heavy, laden, and l will give you rest[5]. Ye that are clothed with the rough garment[6] of your offences, who are holden with the cards of your own sins, hear the voice of the Prophet saying, Wash you, make you clean, put away your iniquities from before Mine eyes[7]: that the choir of Angels may chant over you, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered[8]. Ye who have just lighted the torches of faith[9], guard them carefully in your hands unquenched; that He, who erewhile on this all-holy Golgotha opened Paradise to the robber on account of his faith, may grant to you to sing the bridal song.

2. If any here is a slave of sin, let him promptly prepare himself through faith for the new birth into freedom and adoption; and having put off the miserable bondage of his sins, and taken on him the most blessed bondage of the Lord, so may he be counted worthy to inherit the kingdom of heaven. Put off, by confession[1], the old man, which waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit, that ye may put on the new man, which is renewed according to knowledge of Him that created him[2]. Get you the earnest of the Holy Spirit[3] through faith, that ye may be able to be received into the everlasting habitations[4]. Come for the mystical Seal, that ye may be easily recognised by the Master; be ye numbered among the holy and spiritual flock of Christ, to be set apart on His right hand, and inherit the life prepared for you. For they to whom the rough garment s of their sins still clings are found on the left hand, because they came not to the grace of God which is given through Christ at the new birth of Baptism: new birth I mean not of bodies, but the spiritual new birth of the soul. For our bodies are begotten by parents who are seen, but our souls are begotten anew through faith: for the Spirit bloweth where it listeth[6]: and then, if thou be found worthy, thou mayest hear, Well done, good and faithful servant[7], when thou art found to have no defilement of hypocrisy in thy conscience.

3. For if any of those who are present should think to tempt God's grace, he deceives himself, and knows not its power. Keep thy soul free from hypocrisy, O man, because of Him who searcheth hearts and reins[8]. For as those who are going to make a levy for war examine the ages and the bodies of those who are taking service, so also the Lord in enlisting souls examines their purpose: and if any has a secret hypocrisy, He rejects the man as unfit for His true service; but if He finds one worthy, to him He readily gives His grace. He gives not holy things to the dogs[9]; but where He discerns the good conscience, there He gives the Seal of salvation, that wondrous Seal, which devils tremble at, and Angels recognise; that the one may be driven to flight, and the others may watch around it as kindred to themselves. Those therefore who receive this spiritual and saving Seal, have need also of the disposition akin to it. For as a writing-reed or a dart has need of one to use it, so grace also has need of believing minds.

4. Thou art receiving not a perishable but a spiritual shield. Henceforth thou art planted in the invisible[1] Paradise. Thou receivest a new name, which thou hadst not before. Heretofore thou wast a Catechumen, but now thou wilt be called a Believer. Thou art transplanted henceforth among the spiritual[2] olive-trees, being grafted from the wild into the good olive-tree[3], from sins into righteousness, from pollutions into purity. Thou art made partaker of the Holy Vine[4]. Well then, if thou abide in the Vine, thou growest as a fruitful branch; but if thou abide not, thou wilt be consumed by the fire. Let us therefore bear fruit worthily. God forbid that in us should be done what befell that barren fig-tree[5]. that Jesus come not even now and curse us for our barrenness. But may all be able to use that other saying, But I am like a fruitful olive-free in the house of God: I hare trusted in the mercy of God far ever[6],--an olive-tree not to be perceived by sense, but by the mind[7], and full of light. As then it is His part to plant and to water[8], so it is thine to bear fruit: it is God's to grant grace, but thine to receive and guard it. Despise not the grace because it is freely given, but receive and treasure it devoutly.

5. The present is the season of confession: confess what thou hast done in word or in deed, by night or by day; confess in an acceptable time, and in the day of salvation[9] receive the heavenly treasure. Devote thy time to the Exorcisms: be assiduous at the Catechisings, and remember the things that shall be spoken, for they are spoken not for thine ears only, but that by faith thou mayest seal them up in the memory. Blot out from thy mind all earthly[1] care: for thou art running for thy soul. Thou art utterly forsaking the things of the world: little are the things which thou art forsaking, great what the Lord is giving. Forsake things present, and put thy trust in things to come. Hast thou run so many circles of the years busied in vain about the world, and hast thou not forty days to be free (for prayer[2]), for thine own soul's sake? Be still[3], and know that I am God, saith the Scripture. Excuse thyself from talking many idle words: neither backbite, nor lend a willing ear to backbiters; but rather be prompt to prayer. Shew in ascetic exercise that thy heart is nerved[4]. Cleanse thy vessel, that thou mayest receive grace more abundantly. For though remission of sins is given equally to all, the communion of the Holy Ghost is bestowed in proportion to each man's faith. If thou hast laboured little, thou receivest little; but if thou hast wrought much, the reward is great. Thou art running for thyself, see to thine own interest.

6. If thou hast aught against any man, forgive it: thou comest here to receive forgiveness of sins, and thou also must forgive him that hath sinned against thee. Else with what face wilt thou say to the Lord, Forgive me my many sins, if thou hast not thyself forgiven thy fellow-servant even his little sins. Attend diligently the Church assemblies[5]; not only now when diligent attendance is required of thee by the Clergy, but also after thou hast received the grace. For if, before thou hast received it, the practice is good, is it not also good after the bestowal? If before thou be grafted in, it is a safe course to be watered and tended, is it not far better after the planting? Wrestle for thine own soul, especially in such days as these. Nourish thy soul with sacred readings; for the Lord hath prepared for thee a spiritual table; therefore say thou also after the Psalmist, The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall lack nothing: in a place of grass, there hath He made me rest; He hath fed me beside the waters of comfort, He hath converted my saul[6]:--that Angels also may share your joy, and Christ Himself the great High Priest, having accepted your resolve, may present you all to the Father, saying, Behold, I and the children whom God hath given Me[7]. May He keep you all well-pleasing in His sight! To whom be the glory, and the power unto the endless ages of eternity. Amen.

LECTURE II.

ON REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS, AND CONCERNING THE ADVERSARY.

EZEKIEL xviii. 20--23.

The rightheousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins, $c.

1. A FEARFUL thing is sin, and the sorest disease of the soul is transgression, secretly cutting its sinews, and becoming also the cause of eternal fire; an evil of a man's own choosing, an offspring of the will[1] For that we sin of our own free will the Prophet says plainly in a certain place: Yet I planted thee a fruitful vine, wholly true: how art thou turned to bitterness, (and become) the strange vine[2]? The planting was good, the fruit coming from the will is evil; and therefore the planter is blameless, but the vine shall be burnt with fire since it was planted for good, and bore fruit unto evil of its own will. For God, according to the Preacher, made man upright, and they have themselves sought out many inventions[3]. For we are His workmakship, says the Apostle, created unto good works, which God afore prepared, that we should walk in them[4]. So then the Creator, being good, created for good works; but the creature turned of its own free will to wickedness. Sin then is, as we have said, a fearful evil, but not incurable; fearful for him who clings to it, but easy of cure for him who by repentance puts it from him. For suppose that a man is holding fire in his hand; as long as he holds fast the live coal he is sure to be burned, but should he put away the coal, he would have cast away the flame also with it. If however any one thinks that he is not being burned when sinning, to him the Scripture saith, Shall a man wrap up fire in his bosom, and not burn his clothes[5]? For sin burns the sinews of the soul, [and breaks the spiritual bones of the mind, and darkens the light of the heart[6]].

2. But some one will say, What can sin be? Is it a living thing? Is it an angel? Is it a demon? What is this which works within us? It is not an enemy, O man, that assails thee from without, but an evil shoot growing up out of thyself. Loook right on with thine eyes[7], and there is no lust. [Keep thine own, and[8]] seize not the things of others, and robbery has ceased[9]. Remember the Judgment, and neither fornication, nor adultery, nor murder, nor any transgression of the law shall prevail with thee. But whenever thou forgettest God, forthwith thou beginnest to devise wickedness and to commit iniquity.

3. Yet thou art not the sole author of the evil, but there is also another most wicked prompter, the devil. He indeed suggests, but does not get the mastery by force over those who do not consent. Therefore saith the Preacher, If the spirit of him that hath power rise up against thee, quit not thy place[1]. Shut thy door, and put him far from thee, and he shall not hurt thee. But if thou indifferently admit the thought of lust, it strikes root in thee by its suggestions, and enthrals thy mind, and drags thee down into a pit of evils.

But perhaps thou sayest, I am a believer, and lust does not gain the ascendant over me, even if I think upon it frequently. Knowest thou not that a root breaks even a rock by long persistence? Admit not the seed, since it will rend thy faith asunder: tear out the evil by the root before it blossom, lest from being careless at the beginning thou have afterwards to seek for axes and fire. When thine eyes begin to be diseased, get them cured in good time, lest thou become blind, and then have to seek the physician.

4. The devil then is the first author of sin, and the father of the wicked: and this is the Lord's saying, not mine, that the devil sinneth from the beginning[2]: none sinned before him. But he sinned, not as having received necessarily from nature the propensity to sin, since then the cause of sin is traced back again to Him that made him so; but having been created good, he has of his own free will become a devil, and received that name from his action. For being an Archangel[3] he was afterwards called a devil from his slandering: from being a good servant of God he has become rightly named Satan; for "Satan" is interpreted the adversary[4]. And this is not my teaching, but that of the inspired prophet Ezekiel: for he takes up a lamentation over him and says, Thou wast a seal of likeness, and a crown of beauty; in the Paradise of God wast thou barn[5]: and soon after, Thou wast barn blameless in thy days, from the day in which thou wast created, until thine iniquities were found in thee. Very rightly hath he said, were found in thee; for they were not brought in from without, but thou didst thyself beget the evil. The cause also he mentions forthwith: Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty: for the multitude of thy sins wast thou wounded, and I did cast thee to the ground. In agreement with this the Lord says again in the Gospels: I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.[6] Thou seest the harmony of the Old Testament with the New. He when cast out drew many away with him. It is he that puts lusts into them that listen to him: from him come adultery, fornication, and every kind of evil. Through him our forefather Adam was east out for disobedience, and exchanged a Paradise bringing forth wondrous fruits of its own accord for the ground which bringeth forth thorns.

5. What then? some one will say. We have been beguiled and are lost. Is there then no salvation left? We have fallen: Is it not possible to rise again? We have been blinded: May we not recover our sight? We have become crippled: Can we never walk upright? In a word, we are dead: May we not rise again? He that woke Lazarus who was four days dead and already stank, shall He not, O man, much more easily raise thee who art alive? He who shed His precious blood for us, shall Himself deliver us from sin. Let us not despair of ourselves, brethren; let us not abandon ourselves to a hopeless condition. For it is a fearful thing not to believe in a hope of repentance. For he that looks not for salvation spares not to add evil to evil: but to him that hopes for cure, it is henceforth easy to be careful over himself. The robber who looks not for pardon grows desperate; but, if he hopes for forgiveness, often comes to repentance. What then, does the serpent cast its slough[7], and shall not we cast off our sin? Thorny ground also, if cultivated well, is turned into fruitful; and is salvation to us irrecoverable? Nay rather, our nature admits of salvation, but the will also is required.

6. God is loving to man, and loving in no small measure. For say not, I have committed fornication and adultery: I have done dreadful things, and not once only, but often: will He forgive? Will He grant pardon? Hear what the Psalmist says: How great is the multitude of Thy goodness, O Lord[8]! Thine accumulated offences surpass not the multitude of God's mercies: thy wounds surpass not the great Physician's skill. Only give thyself up in faith: tell the Physician thine ailment: say thou also, like David: I said, I will confess me my sin unto the Lord: and the same shall be done in thy case, which he says forthwith: And thou forgavest the wickedness of my heart[9].

7. Wouldest thou see the loving-kindness of God, O thou that art lately come to the catechising? Wouldest thou see the loving-kindness of God, and the abundance of Has long-suffering? Hear about Adam. Adam, God's first-formed man, transgressed: could He not at once have brought death upon him? But see what the Lord does, in His great love towards man. He casts him out from Paradise, for because of sin he was unworthy to live there; but He puts him to dwell over against Paradise[1]: that seeing whence he had fallen, and from what and into what a state he was brought down, he might afterwards be saved by repentance. Cain the first-born man became his brother's murderer, the inventor of evils, the first author of murders, and the first envious man. Yet after slaying his brother to what is he condemned? Groaning and trembling shalt thou be upon the earth[2]. How great the offence, the sentence how light!

8. Even this then was truly loving-kindness in God, but little as yet in comparison with what follows. For consider what happened in the days of Noe. The giants sinned, and much wickedness was then spread over the earth, and because of this the flood was to come upon them: and in the five hundredth year God utters His threatening; but in the six hundredth He brought the flood upon the earth. Seest thou the breadth of God's loving-kindness extending to a hundred years? Could He not have done immediately what He did then after the hundred years? But He extended (the time) on purpose, granting a respite for repentance. Seest thou God's goodness? And if the men of that time had repented, they would not have missed the loving-kindness of God.

9. Come with me now to the other class, those who were saved by repentance. But perhaps even among women some one will say, I have committed fornication, and adultery, I have defiled my body by excesses of all kinds: is there salvation for me? Turn thine eyes, O woman, upon Rahab, and look thou also for salvation; for if she who had been openly and publicly a harlot was saved by repentance, is not she who on some one occasion before receiving grace committed fornication to be saved by repentance and fasting? For inquire how she was saved: this only she said: For your God is God in heaven and upon earth[3]. Your God; for her own she did not dare to say, because of her wanton life. And if you wish to receive Scriptural testimony of her having been saved, you have it written in the Psalms: I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon among them that know me[4]. O the greatness of God's loving-kindness, making mention even of harlots in the Scriptures: nay, not simply I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon, but with the addition. among them that know me. There is then in the case both of men and of women alike the salvation which is ushered in by repentance.

10. Nay more, if a whole people sin, this surpasses not the loving-kindness of God. The people made a calf, yet God ceased not from His loving-kindness. Men denied God, but God denied not Himself[5]. These be thy gods, O Israel[6], they said: yet again, as He was wont, the God of Israel became their Saviour. And not only the people sinned, but also Aaron the High Priest. For it is Moses that says: And the anger of the Lord came upon Aaron: and l prayed for him, saith he, and God forgave him[7]. What then, did Moses praying for a High Priest that sinned prevail with God, and shall not Jesus, His Only-begotten, prevail with God when He prays for us? And if He did not hinder Aaron, because of his offence, from entering upon the High Priesthood, will He hinder thee, who art come out from the Gentiles, from entering into salvation? Only, O man, repent thou also in like manner, and grace is not forbidden thee. Render thy way of life henceforth unblameable; for God is truly loving unto man, nor can all time[8] worthily tell out His loving kindness; nay, not if all the tongues of men unite together will they be able even so to declare any considerable part of His loving-kindness. For we tell some part of what is written concerning His loving-kindness to men, but how much He forgave the Angels we know not: for them also He forgives, since One alone is without sin, even Jesus who purgeth our sins. And of them we have said enough.

11. But if concerning us men thou wilt have other examples also set before thee[9], come on to the blessed David, and take him for an example of repentance. Great as he was, he fell: after his sleep, walking in the eventide on the housetop, he cast a careless look, and felt a human passion. His sin was completed, but there died not with it his candour concerning the confession of his fault. Nathan the Prophet came, a swift accuser, and a healer of the wound. The Lord is wroth, he says, and thou hast sinned[1]. So spoke the subject to the reigning king. But David the king[2] was not indignant, for he regarded not the speaker, but God who had sent him. He was not puffed up[3] by the array of soldiers standing round: for he had seen in thought the angel-host of the Lord, and he trembled as seeing Him who is invisible[4]; and to the messenger, or rather by him in answer to God who sent him, he said, I have sinned against the Lords. Seest thou the humility of the king? Seest thou his confession? For had he been convicted by any one? Were many privy to the matter? The deed was quickly done, and straightway the Prophet appeared as accuser, and the offender confesses the fault. And because he candidly confessed, he received a most speedy cure. For Nathan the Prophet who had uttered the threat, said immediately, The Lord also hath put away thy sin. Thou seest the swift relenting of a merciful God. He says, however, Thou hast greatly provoked the enemies of the Lord. Though thou hadst many enemies because of thy righteousness, thy self-control protected thee; but now that thou hast surrendered thy strongest armour, thine enemies are risen up, and stand ready against thee.

12. Thus then did the Prophet comfort him, but the blessed David, for all he heard it said, The LORD hath put away thy sin, did not cease from repentance, king though he was, but put on sackcloth instead of purple, and instead of a golden throne, he sat, a king, in ashes on the ground; nay, not only sat in ashes, but also had ashes for his food, even as he saith himself, I have eaten ashes as it were bread[6]. His lustful eye he wasted away with tears saying, Every night will I wash my couch, and water my bed with my tears[7]. When his officers besought him to eat bread he would not listen. He prolonged his fast unto seven whole days. If a king thus made confession oughtest not thou, a private person, to confess? Again, after Absalom's insurrection, though there were many roads for him to escape, he chose to flee by the Mount of Olives, in thought, as it were, invoking the Redeemer who was to go up thence into the heavens[8]. And when Shimei cursed him bitterly, he said, Let him alone, for he knew that "to him that forgiveth it shall be forgiven[9]."

13. Thou seest that it is good to make confession. Thou seest that there is salvation for them that repent. Solomon also fell but what saith he? Afterwards I repented[10]. Ahab, too, the King of Samaria, became a most wicked idolater, an outrageous man, the murderer of the Prophets[1], a stranger to godliness, a coveter of other men's fields and vineyards. Yet when by Jezebel's means he had slain Naboth, and the Prophet Elias came and merely threatened him, he rent his garments, and put on sackcloth. And what saith the merciful God to Elias? Hast than seen how, Ahab is pricked in the heart before Me[2]? I as if almost He would persuade the fiery zeal of the Prophet to condescend to the penitent. For He saith, I will not bring the evil in his days. And though after this forgiveness he was sure not to depart from his wickedness, nevertheless the forgiving God forgave him, not as being ignorant of the future, but as granting a forgiveness corresponding to his present season of repentance. For it is the part of a righteous judge to give sentence according to each case that has occurred.

14. Again, Jeroboam was standing at the altar sacrificing to the idols: his band became withered, because he commanded the Prophet who reproved him to be seized: but having by experience learned the power of the man before him, he says, Entreat the face of the Lord thy God [3]; and because of this saying his hand was restored again. If the Prophet healed Jeroboam, is Christ not able to heal and deliver thee from thy sins? Manasses also was utterly wicked, who sawed Isaiah asunder[4], and was defiled with all kinds of idolatries, and filled Jerusalem with innocent blood[5]; but having been led captive to Babylon he used his experience of misfortune for a healing course of repentance: for the Scripture saith that Manasses humbled himself before the Lord, and prayed, and the Lord heard him, and brought trim back to his kingdom. If He who sawed the Prophet asunder was saved by repentance, shall not thou then, having done no such great wickedness, be saved?

15. Take heed lest without reason thou mistrust the power of repentance. Wouldst thou know what power repentance has? Wouldst thou know the strong weapon of salvation, and learn what the force of confession is? Hezekiah by means of confession routed a hundred and fourscore and five thousand of his enemies. A great thing verily was this, but still small in comparison with what remains to be told: the same king by repentance obtained the recall of a divine sentence which had already gone forth. For when he had fallen sick, Esaias said to him, Set thine house in order; for thou shall die, and not live[6]. What expectation remained, what hope of recovery, when the Prophet said, for thou shalt die? Yet Hezekiah did not desist from repentance; but remembering what is written, When thou shalt turn and lament, then shalt thou be saved[7], he turned to the wall, and from his bed lifting his mind to heaven (for thickness of walls is no hindrance to prayers sent up with devotion), he said, "Remember me, O Lord, for it is sufficient for my healing that Thou remember me. Thou art not subject to times, but art Thyself the giver of the law of life. For our life depends not on a nativity, nor on a conjunction of stars, as some idly talk; but both of life and its duration. Then art Thyself the Lawgiver according to Thy Will." And he, who could not hope to live because of the prophetic sentence, had fifteen years added to his life, and for the sign the sun ran backward in his course Well then, for Ezekias' sake the sun turned back but for Christ the sun was eclipsed, not retracing his steps, but suffering eclipse[8], and therefore shewing the difference between them, I mean between Ezekias and Jesus. The former prevailed to the cancelling of God's decree, and cannot Jesus grant remission of sins? Turn and bewail thyself, shut thy door, and pray to be forgiven, pray that He may remove from thee the burning flames. For confession has power to quench even fire, power to tame even lions[9].

16. But if thou disbelieve, consider what befel Ananias and his companions. What streams did they pour out[1]? How many vessels[2] of water could quench the flame that rose up forty-nine cubits high[3]? Nay, but where the flame mounted up a little[4] too high, faith was there poured out as a river, and there spoke they the spell against all ills[5]: Righteous art Thou, O Lord, in all the things that Thou hast done to us: for we have sinned, and transgressed Thy law[6]. And their repentance quelled the flames[7]. If thou believest not that repentance is able to quench the fire of hell, learn it from what happened in regard to Ananias[8]. But some keen hearer will say, Those men God rescued justly in that case: because they refused to commit idolatry, God gave them that power. And since this thought has occurred, I come next to a different example of penitence[9].

17. What thinkest thou of Nabuchodonosor? Hast thou not heard out of the Scriptures that he was bloodthirsty, fierce[1], lion-like in disposition? Hast thou not heard that he brought out the bones of the kings from their graves into the light[2]? Hast thou not heard[3] that he carried the people away captive? Hast thou not heard that he put out the eyes of the king, after he had already seen his children slain[4]? Hast thou not heard that he brake in pieces [5] the Cherubim? I do riot mean the invisible[6] beings;--away with such a thought, O man[7],--but the sculptured images, and the mercy-seat, in the midst of which God spoke with His voice[8]. The veil of the Sanctuary[9] he trampled under foot: the altar of incense he took and carried away to an idol-temple[1]: all the offerings he took away: the Temple he burned from the foundations[2]. How great punishments did he deserve, for slaying kings, for setting fire to the Sanctuary, for taking the people captive, for setting the sacred vessels in the house of idols? Did he not deserve ten thousand deaths?

18. Thou hast seen the greatness of his evil deeds: come now to God's loving-kindness. He was turned into a wild beast[3], he abode in the wilderness, he was scourged, that he might be saved. He had claws as a lion[4]; for he was a ravager of the Sanctuary. He had a lion's mane: for he was a ravening and a roaring lion. He ate grass like an ox: for a brute beast he was, not knowing Him who had given him the kingdom. His body was wet from the dew; because after seeing the fire quenched by the dew he believed not[5]. And what happened[6]? After this, saith he, I, Nabuchodonosor, lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and I blessed the Most High, and to Him that liveth for ever I gave praise and glory[7]. When, therefore, he recognised the Most High[8], and sent up these words of thankfulness to God, and repented himself for what he had done, and recognised his own weakness, then God gave back to him the honour of the kingdom.

19. What then[9]? When Nabuchodonosor, after having done such deeds, had made confession, did God give him pardon and the kingdom, and when thou repentest shall He not give thee the remission of sins, and the kingdom of heaven, if thou live a worthy life? The LORD is loving unto man, and swift to pardon, but slow to punish. Let no man therefore despair of his own salvation. Peter, the chiefest and foremost of the Apostles, denied the Lord thrice before a little maid: but he repented himself, and wept bitterly. Now weeping shews the repentance of the heart: and therefore he not only received forgiveness for his denial, but also held his Apostolic dignity unforfeited.

20. Having therefore, brethren, many examples of those who have sinned and repented and been saved, do ye also heartily make confession unto the Lord, that ye may beth receive the forgiveness of your former sins, and be counted worthy of the heavenly gift, and inherit the heavenly kingdom with all the saints in Christ Jesus; to Whom is the glory for ever and ever. Amen[1].

LECTURE III.

ON BAPTISM.

Romans vi. 3, 4.

Or know ye not that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? were buried therefore with Him by our baptism into death, &c.

1. Rejoice, ye heavens, and let the earth be glad[1], for those who are to be sprinkled with hyssop, and cleansed with the spiritual[2] hyssop, the power of Him to whom at His Passion drink was offered on hyssop and a reed[3]. And while the Heavenly Powers rejoice, let the souls that are to be united to the spiritual Bridegroom make themselves ready. For the voice is heard of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord[4]. For this is no light matter, no ordinary and indiscriminate union according to the flesh[5], but the All-searching Spirit's election according to faith. For the intermarriages and contracts of the world are not made altogether with judgment: but wherever there is wealth or beauty, there the bridegroom speedily approves: but here it is not beauty of person, but the soul's clear conscience; not the condemned Mammon, but the wealth of the soul in godliness.

2. Listen then, O ye children of righteousness, to John's exhortation when he says, Make straight the way of the Lord. Take away all obstacles and stumbling-blocks, that ye may walk straight onward to eternal life. Make ready the vessels[6] of the soul, cleansed by unfeigned faith, for reception of the Holy Ghost. Begin at once to wash your robes in repentance, that when called to the bride-chamber ye may be found clean. For the Bridegroom invites all without distinction, because His grace is bounteous; and the cry of loud-voiced heralds assembles them all: but the same Bridegroom afterwards separates those who have come in to the figurative marriage. O may none of those whose names have now been enrolled hear the words, Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment[7]? But may you all hear, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou wast faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord[8].

For now meanwhile thou standest outside the door: but God grant that you all may say, The King hath brought me into His chamber[9]. Let my soul rejoice in the Lord: for He hath me with a garment of salvation, and a robe of gladness: He hath crowned me with a garland as a bridegroom[1], and decked me with ornaments as a bride: that the soul of every one of you may be found not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing[2]; I do not mean before you have received the grace, for how could that be? since it is for remission of sins that ye have been called; but that, when the grace is to be given, your conscience being found uncondemned may concur with the grace.

3. This is in truth a serious matter, brethren, and you must approach it with good heed. Each one of you is about to be presented to God before tens of thousands of the Angelic Hosts: the Holy Ghost is about to seal[3] your souls: ye are to be enrolled in the army of the Great King. Therefore make you ready, and equip yourselves, by putting on I mean, not bright apparel[4], but piety of soul with a good conscience. Regard not the Layer as simple water, but rather regard the spiritual grace that is given with the water. For just as the offerings brought to the heathen altars[5], though simple in their nature, become defiled by the invocation of the idols[6], so contrariwise the simple water having received the invocation of the Holy Ghost, and of Christ, and of the Father, acquires a new power of holiness.

4. For since man is of twofold nature. soul and body, the purification also is twofold, the one incorporeal for the incorporeal part, and the other bodily for the body: the water cleanses the body, and the Spirit seals the soul; that we may draw near unto God. having our heart sprinkled by the Spirit, and our body washed with pure water[7]. When going down, therefore, into the water, think not of the bare element, but look for salvation by the power of the Holy Ghost: for without both thou canst not possibly be made perfect[8]. It is not I that say this, but the Lord Jesus Christ, who has the power in this matter: for He saith, Except a man be born anew (and He adds the words) of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God[9]. Neither doth he that is baptized with water, but not found worthy of the Spirit, receive the grace in perfection; nor if a man be virtuous in his deeds, but receive not the seal by water, shall he enter into the kingdom of heaven. A bold saying, but not mine, for it is Jesus who hath declared it: and here is the proof of the statement from Holy Scripture. Cornelius was a just man, who was honoured with a vision of Angels, and had set up his prayers and alms-deeds as a good memorial[1] before God in heaven. Peter came, and the Spirit was poured out upon them that believed, and they spoke with other tongues, and prophesied: and after the grace of the Spirit the Scripture saith that Peter commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ[2]; in order that, the soul having been born again by faith[3], the body also might by the water partake of the grace.

5. But if any one wishes to know why the grace is given by water and not by a different element, let him take up the Divine Scriptures and he shall learn. For water is a grand thing, and the noblest of the four visible elements of the world. Heaven is the dwelling-place of Angels, but the heavens are from the waters[4]: the earth is the place of men, but the earth is from the waters: and before the whole six days' formation of the things that were made, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the water[5]. The water was the beginning of the world, and Jordan the beginning of the Gospel tidings: for Israel deliverance from Pharaoh was through the sea, and for the world deliverance from sins by the was of water with the word[6] of God. Where a covenant is made with any, there is water also. After the flood, a covenant was made with Noah: a covenant for Israel from Mount Sinai, but with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop[7]. Elias is taken up, but not apart from water: for first he crosses the Jordan, then in a chariot mounts the heaven. The high-priest is first washed, then offers incense; for Aaron first washed, then was made high-priest: for how could one who had not yet been purified by water pray for the rest? Also as a symbol of Baptism there was a layer set apart within the Tabernacle.

6. Baptism is the end of the Old Testament, and beginning of the New. For its author was John, than whom was none greater among them that are born of women. The end he was of the Prophets: for all the Prophets and the law were until John[8]: but of the Gospel history he was the first-fruit. For it saith, The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, &c.: John came baptising in the wilderness[9]. You may mention Elias the Tishbite who was taken up into heaven, yet he is not greater than John: Enoch was translated, but he is not greater than John: Moses was a very great lawgiver, and all the Prophets were admirable, but not greater than John. It is not I that dare to compare Prophets with Prophets: but their Master and ours, the Lord Jesus, declared it: Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John[1]: He saith not "among them that are born of virgins," but of women[2]. The comparison is between the great servant and his fellow-servants: but the pre-eminence and the grace of the Son is beyond comparison with servants. Seest thou how great a man God chose as the first minister of this grace?--a man possessing nothing, and a lover of the desert, yet no hater of mankind: who ate locusts, and winged his soul for heaven[3]: feeding upon honey, and speaking things both sweeter and more salutary than honey: clothed with a garment of camel's hair, and shewing in himself the pattern of the ascetic life; who also was sanctified by the Holy Ghost while yet he was carried in his mother's womb. Jeremiah was sanctified, but did not prophesy, in the womb[4]: John alone while carried in the womb leaped for joy[5], and though he saw not with the eyes of flesh, knew his Master by the Spirit: for since the grace of Baptism was great, it required greatness in its founder also.

7. This man was baptizing in Jordan, and there went out unto hint all Jerusalem[6], to enjoy the first-fruits of baptisms: for in Jerusalem is the prerogative of all things good. But learn, O ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, how they that came out were baptized by him: confessing their sins, it is said[7]. First they shewed their wounds, then he applied the remedies, and to them that believed gave redemption from eternal fire. And if thou wilt be convinced of this very point, that the baptism of John is a redemption from the threat of the fire, hear how he says, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come[8]? Be not then henceforth a viper, but as thou hast been formerly a viper's brood, put off, saith he, the slough[9] of thy former sinful life. For every serpent creeps into a hole and casts its old slough, and having rubbed off the old skin, grows young again in body. In like manner enter thou also through the strait and narrow gate[1]: rub off thy former self by fasting, and drive out that which is destroying thee. Put off the old man with his doings[2], and quote that saying in the Canticles, I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on[3]?

But there is perhaps among you some hypocrite, a man-pleaser, and one who makes a pretence of piety, but believes not from the heart; having the hypocrisy of Simon Magus; one who has come hither not in order to receive of the grace, but to spy out what is given: let him also learn from John: And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees, Every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire[4]. The Judge is inexorable; put away thine hypocrisy.

8. What then must you do? And what are the fruits of repentance? Let him that hath two coats give to him that hath none[5]: the teacher was worthy of credit, since he was also the first to practise what he taught: he was not ashamed to speak, for conscience hindered not his tongue: and he that hath meat, let hive do likewise. Wouldst thou enjoy the grace of the Holy Spirit, yet judges the poor not worthy of bodily food? Seekest thou the great gifts, and imparrest not of the small? Though thou be a publican, or a fornicator, have hope of salvation: the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you[6]. Paul also is witness, saying, Neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor the rest, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified[7]. He said not, such are same of you, but such were some of you. Sin committed in the state of ignorance is pardoned, but persistent wickedness is condemned.

9. Thou hast as the glory of Baptism the Son Himself, the Only-begotten of God. For why should I speak any more of man? John was great, but what is he to the Lord? His was a loud-sounding voice, but what in comparison with the Word? Very noble was the herald, but what in comparison with the King? Noble was he that baptized with water, but what to Him that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost and with fire[8]? The Saviour baptized the Apostles with the Holy Ghost and with fire, when suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire: and it sat upon each one of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost[9].

10. If any man receive not Baptism, he hath not salvation; except only Martyrs, who even without the water receive the kingdom. For when the Saviour, in redeeming the world by His Cross, was pierced in the side, He shed forth blood and water; that men, living in times of peace, might be baptized in water, and, in times of persecution, in their own blood. For martyrdom also the Saviour is wont to call a baptism, saying, Can ye drink rite cup which I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with[1]? And the Martyrs confess, by being made a spectacle unto the world, and to Angels, and to men[2]; and thou wilt soon confess:--but it is not yet the time for thee to hear of this.

11. Jesus sanctified Baptism by being Himself baptized. If the Son of God was baptized, what godly man is he that despiseth Baptism? But He was baptized not that He might receive remission of sins, for He was sinless; but being sinless, He was baptized, that He might give to them that are baptized a divine and excellent grace. For since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise partook of the same[3], that having been made partakers of His presence in the flesh we might be made partakers also of His Divine grace: thus Jesus was baptized, that thereby we again by our participation might receive both salvation and honour. According to Job, there was in the waters the dragon that draweth, up Jordan into his mouth[4]. Since, therefore, it was necessary to break the heads of the dragon in pieces s[5] He went down and bound the strong one in the waters, that we might receive power to tread upon serpents and scorpions[6]. The beast was great and terrible. No fishing-vessel was able to carry one scale of his tail[7]: destruction ran before him[8], ravaging all that met him. The Life encountered him, that the mouth of Death might henceforth be stopped, and all we that are saved might say, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory[9]?The sting of death is drawn by Baptism.

12. For thou goest down into the water, bearing thy sins, but the invocation of grace[1], having sealed thy soul, suffereth thee not afterwards to be swallowed up by the terrible dragon. Having gone down dead in sins, thou comest up quickened in righteousness. For if thou hast been united with the likeness of the Saviour's death[2], thou shall also be deemed worthy of His Resurrection. For as Jesus took upon Him the sins of the world, and died, that by putting sin to death He might rise again in righteousness; so thou by going down into the water, and being in a manner buried in the waters, as He was in the rock art raised again walking in newness of life[3].

13. Moreover, when thou hast been deemed worthy of the grace, He then giveth thee strength to wrestle against the adverse powers. For as after His Baptism He was tempted forty days (not that He was unable to gain the victory before, but because He wished to do all things in due order and succession), so thou likewise, though not daring before thy baptism to wrestle with the adversaries, yet after thou hast received the grace and art henceforth confident in the armour of righteousness[4], must then do battle, and preach the Gospel, if thou wilt.

14. Jesus Christ was the Son of God, yet He preached not the Gospel before His Baptism. If the Master Himself followed the right time in due order, ought we, His servants, to venture out of order? From that time Jesus began to preach[5], when the Holy Spirit had descended upon Him in a bodily shape, like a dove[6]; not that Jesus might see Him first, for He knew Him even before He came in a bodily shape, but that John, who was baptizing Him, might behold Him. For I, saith he, knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, He said unto me, Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending and abiding on Him, that is He[7]. If thou too hast unfeigned piety, the Holy Ghost cometh down on thee also, and a Father's voice sounds over thee from on high--not, "This is My Son," but, "This has now been made My son;" for the "is" belongs to Him alone, because In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God[8]. To Him belongs the "is," since He is always the Son of God: but to thee "has now been made:" since thou hast not the sonship by nature, but receivest it by adoption. He eternally "is;" but thou receivest the grace by advancement.

15. Make ready then the vessel of thy soul, that thou mayest become a son of God, and an heir of God, and joint-heir with Christ[9]; if, indeed, thou art preparing thyself that thou mayest receive; if thou art drawing nigh in faith that thou mayest be made faithful; if of set purpose thou art putting off the old man. For all things whatsoever thou hast done shall be forgiven thee, whether it be fornication, or adultery, or any other such form of licentiousness. What can be a greater sin than to crucify Christ? Yet even of this Baptism can purify. For so spoke Peter to the three thousand who came to him, to those who had crucified the Lord, when they asked him, saying, Men and brethren, what shall we do[1]? For the wound is great. Thou hast made us think of our fall, O Peter, by saying, Ye killed the Prince of Life[2]. What salve is there for so great a wound? What cleansing for such foulness? What is the salvation for such perdition? Repent, saith he, and be baptized every one aryan in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost[3]. O unspeakable loving-kindness of God! They have no hope of being saved, and yet they are thought worthy of the Holy Ghost. Thou seest the power of Baptism! If any of you has crucified the Christ by blasphemous words; if any of you in ignorance has denied Him before men; if any by wicked works has caused the doctrine to be blasphemed; let him repent and be of good hope, for the same grace is present even now.

16. Be of good courage, O Jerusalem; the Lord will take away all thine iniquities[4]. The Lord will wash away the filth of His sons and of His daughters by the Spirit of judgment, and by the Spirit of burning[5]. He will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be cleansed from all your sin[6]. Angels shall dance around you, and say, Who is this that cometh up in white array, leaning upon her beloved[7]? For the soul that was formerly a slave has now adopted her Master Himself as her kinsman: and He accepting the unfeigned purpose will answer: Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair: thy teeth are like flocks of sheep new shorn, (because of the confession of a good conscience: and further) which have all of them twins[8]; because of the twofold grace, I mean that which is perfected of water and of the Spirit[9], or that which is announced by the Old and by the New Testament. And God grant that all of you when you have finished the course of the fast, may remember what I say, and bringing forth fruit in good works, may stand blameless beside the Spiritual Bridegroom, and obtain the remission of your sins from God; to whom with the Son and Holy Spirit be the glory for ever. Amen.

LECTURE IV

ON THE TEN[1] POINTS OF DOCTRINE.

COLOSSIANS ii. 8.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, &c.

1. VICE mimics virtue, and the tares strive to be thought wheat, growing like the wheat in appearance, but being detected by good judges from the taste. The devil also transfigures himself into an angel of light[2]; not that he may reascend to where he was, for having made his heart hard as an anvil[3], he has henceforth a will that cannot repent; but in order that he may envelope those who are living an Angelic life in a mist of blindness, and a pestilent condition of unbelief. Many wolves are going about in sheeps' clothing[4], their clothing being that of sheep, not so their claws and teeth: but clad in their soft skin, and deceiving the innocent by their appearance, they shed upon them from their fangs the destructive poison of ungodliness. We have need therefore of divine grace, and of a sober mind, and of eyes that see, lest from eating tares as wheat we suffer harm from ignorance, and lest from taking the wolf to be a sheep we become his prey, and from supposing the destroying Devil to be a beneficent Angel we be devoured: for, as the Scripture saith, he goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour[5]. This is the cause of the Church's admonitions, the cause of the present instructions, and of the lessons which are read.

2. For the method of godliness consists of these two things, pious doctrines, and virtuous practice: and neither are the doctrines acceptable to God apart from good works, nor does God accept the works which are not perfected with pious doctrines. For what profit is it, to know well the doctrines concerning God, and yet to be a vile fornicator? And again, what profit is it, to be nobly temperate, and an impious blasphemer? A most precious possession therefore is the knowledge of doctrines: also there is need of a wakeful soul, since there are many that make spoil through philosophy and vain deceit[6]. The Greeks on the one hand draw men away by their smooth tongue, for honey droppeth from a harlot's lips[7]: whereas they of the Circumcision deceive those who come to them by means of the Divine Scriptures, which they miserably misinterpret though studying them from childhood to all age[8], and growing old in ignorance. But the children of heretics, by their good words and smooth tongue, deceive the hearts of the innocent[9], disguising with the name of Christ as it were with honey the poisoned arrows[10] of their impious doctrines: concerning all of whom together the Lord saith, Take heed lest any man mislead you[1]. This is the reason for the teaching of the Creed and for expositions upon it.

3. But before delivering you over to the Creed[2], I think it is well to make use at present of a short summary of necessary doctrines; that the multitude of things to be spoken, and the long interval of the days of all this holy Lent, may not cause forgetfulness in the mind of the more simple among you; but that, having strewn some seeds now in a summary way, we may not forget the same when afterwards more widely tilled. But let those here present whose habit of mind is mature, and who have their senses already exercised to discern good and evil[3], endure patiently to listen to things fitted rather for children, and to an introductory course, as it were, of milk: that at the same time both those who have need of the instruction may be benefited, and those who have the knowledge may rekindle the remembrance of things which they already know.

I. OF GOD.

4. First then let there be laid as a foundation in your soul the doctrine concerning God that God is One, alone unbegotten, without beginning, change, or variation[4]; neither begotten of another, nor having another to succeed Him in His life; who neither began to live in time, nor endeth ever: and that He is both good and just; that if ever thou hear a heretic say, that there is one God who is just, and another who is good[5], thou mayest immediately remember, and discern the poisoned arrow of heresy. For some have impiously dared to divide the One God in their teaching: and some have said that one is the Creator and Lord of the soul, and another of the body[6]; a doctrine at once absurd and impious. For how can a man become the one servant of two masters, when our Lord says in the Gospels, No man can serve two masters[7]? There is then One Only God, the Maker both of souls and bodies: One the Creator of heaven and earth, the Maker of Angels anti Archangels: of many the Creator, but of One only the Father before all ages,--of One only, His Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom He made all things visible and invisible[8].

5. This Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is not circumscribed in any place[9], nor is He less than the heaven; but the heavens are the works of His fingers[10], and the whale earth is held in His grasp[11]: He is in all things and around all. Think not that the sun is brighter than He[1], or equal to Him: for He who at first formed the sun must needs be incomparably greater and brighter. He foreknoweth the things that shall be, and is mightier than all, knowing all things and doing as He will; not being subject to any necessary sequence of events, nor to nativity, nor chance, nor fate; in all things perfect, and equally possessing everyabsolute form[2] of virtue, neither diminishing nor increasing, but in mode and conditions ever the same; who hath prepared punishment for sinners, and a crown for the righteous.

6. Seeing then that many have gone astray in divers ways from the One God, some having deified the sun, that when the sun sets they may abide in the night season without God; others the moon, to have no God by day[3]; others the other parts of the world[4]; others the arts[5]; others their various kinds of food[6]; others their pleasures[7]; while some, mad after women, have set up on high an image of a naked woman, and called it Aphrodite[8], and worshipped their own lust in a visible form; and others dazzled by the brightness of gold have deified it[9] and the other kinds of matter;--whereas if one lay as a first foundation in his heart the doctrine of the unity[10] of God, and trust to Him, he roots out at once the whole crop[1] of the evils of idolatry, and of the error of the heretics: lay thou, therefore, this first doctrine of religion as a foundation in thy soul by faith.

OF CHRIST.

7. Believe also in the Son of God, One and Only, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was begotten God of God, begotten Life of Life, begotten Light of Light[2], Who is in all things likes to Him that begat, Who received not His being in time, but was before all ages eternally and incomprehensibly begotten of the Father: The Wisdom and the Power of God, and His Righteousness personally subsisting[4]: Who sitteth on the right hand of the Father before all ages.

For the throne at God's right hand He received not, as some have thought, because of His patient endurance, being crowned as it were by God after His Passion; but throughout His being,--a being by eternal generation[5],--He holds His royal dignity, and shares the Father's seat, being God and Wisdom and Power, as hath been said; reigning together with the Father, and creating all things for the Father, yet lacking nothing in the dignity of Godhead, and knowing Him that hath begotten Him, even as He is known of Him that hath begotten; and to speak briefly, remember thou what is written in the Gospels, that none knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any the Father save the Son[6].

8. Further, do thou neither separate[7] the Son from the Father, nor by making a confusion believe in a Son-Fatherhood[8]; but believe that of One God there is One Only-begotten Son, who is before all ages God the Word; not the uttered[9] word diffused into the air, nor to be likened to impersonal words[1]; but the Word the Son, Maker of all who partake of reason, the Word who heareth the Father, and Himself speaketh. And on these points, should God permit, we will speak more at large in due season; for we do not forget our present purpose to give a summary introduction to the Faith.

CONCERNING HIS BIRTH OF THE VIRGIN.

9. Believe then that this Only-begotten Son of God for our sins came down from heaven upon earth, and took upon Him this human nature of like passions[2] with us, and was begotten of the Holy Virgin and of the Holy Ghost, and was made Man, not in seeming and mere show[3], but in truth; nor yet by passing through the Virgin as through a channel[4]; but was of her made truly flesh, [and truly nourished with milk[5]], and did truly eat as we do, and truly drink as we do. For if the Incarnation was a phantom, salvation is a phantom also. The Christ was of two natures, Man in what was seen, but God in what was not seen; as Man truly eating like us, for He had the like feeling of the flesh with us; but as God feeding the five thousand from five loaves; as Man truly dying, but as God raising him that had been dead four days; truly sleeping in the ship as Man, and walking upon the waters as God.

OF THE CROSS.

10. He was truly crucified for our sins. For if thou wouldest deny it, the place refutes thee visibly, this blessed Golgotha[6], in which we are now assembled for the sake of Him who was here crucified; and the whole world has since been filled with pieces of the wood of the Cross[7]. But He was crucified not for sins of His own, but that we might be delivered from our sins. And though as Man He was at that time despised of men, and was buffeted, yet He was acknowledged by the Creation as God: for when the sun saw his Lord dis-honoured, he grew dim and trembled, not enduring the sight.

OF HIS BURIAL.

11. He was truly laid as Man in a tomb of rock; but rocks were rent asunder by terror because of Him. He went down into the regions beneath the earth, that thence also He might redeem the righteous[8]. For, tell me, couldst thou wish the living only to enjoy His grace, and that, though most of them are unholy; and not wish those who from Adam had for a long while been imprisoned to have now gained their liberty? Esaias the Prophet proclaimed with loud voice so many things concerning Him; wouldst thou not wish that the King should go down and redeem His herald? David was there, and Samuel, and all the Prophets[9], John himself also, who by his messengers said, Art thou He that should come, or look we for another[10]? Wouldst thou not wish that He should descend and redeem such as these?

OF THE RESURRECTION.

12. But He who descended into the regions beneath the earth came up again; and Jesus, who was buffed, truly rose again the third day. And if the Jews ever worry thee, meet them at once by asking thus: Did Jonah come forth from the whale on the third day, and bath not Christ then risen from the earth on the third day? Is a dead man raised to life on touching the bones of Elisha, and is it not much easier for the Maker of mankind to be raised by the power of the Father? Well then, He truly rose, and after He had risen was seen again of the disciples: and twelve disciples were witnesses of His Resurrection, who bare witness not in pleasing words, but contended even unto torture and death for the truth of the Resurrection. What then, shall every word be established at the mouth of two of three witnesses[1], according to the Scripture, and, though twelve bear witness to the Resurrection of Christ, art thou still incredulous in regard to His Resurrection?

CONCERNING THE ASCENSION.

13. But when Jesus had finished His course of patient endurance, and had redeemed mankind from their sins, He ascended again into the heavens, a cloud receiving Him up: and as He went up Angels were beside Him, and Apostles were beholding. But if any man disbelieves the words which I speak, let him believe the act teal power of the things now seen. All kings when they die have their power extinguished with their life: but Christ crucified is worshipped by the whole world. We proclaim The Crucified, and the devils tremble now. Many have been crucified at various times; but of what other who was crucified did the invocation ever drive the devils away?

14. Let us, therefore, not be ashamed of the Cross of Christ; but though another hide it, do thou openly seal it upon thy forehead, that the devils may behold the royal sign and flee trembling far away[2]. Make then this sign at eating and drinking, at sitting, at lying down, at rising up, at speaking, at walking: in a word, at every act[3]. For He who was here crucified is in heaven above. If after being crucified and buried He had remained in the tomb, we should have had cause to be ashamed; but, in fact, He who was crucified on Golgotha here, has ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives on the East. For after having gone down hence into Hades, and come up again to us, He ascended again from us into heaven, His Father addressing Him, and saying, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool[4].

OF JUDGMENT TO COME.

15. This Jesus Christ who is gone up shall come again, not from earth but from heaven: and I say, "not from earth," because there are many Antichrists to come at this time from earth. For already, as thou base seen, many have begun to say, I am the Christ[5]: and the abomination of desolation[6] is yet to come, assuming to himself the false title of Christ. But look thou for the true Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, coming henceforth no more from earth, but from heaven, appearing to all more bright than any lightning and bril-liancy of light, with angel guards attended, that He may judge both quick and dead, and reign in a heavenly, eternal kingdom, which shall have no end. For on this point also, I pray thee, make thyself sure, since there are many who say that Christ's Kingdom hath an end[7].

OF THE HOLY GHOST.

16. Believe thou also in the Holy Ghost, and hold the same opinion concerning Him, which thou hast received to hold concerning the Father and the Son, and follow not those who teach blasphemous things of Him[8]. But learn thou that this Holy Spirit is One, indivisible, of manifold power; having many operations, yet not Himself divided; Who knoweth the mysteries, Who searcheth all things, even the deep things of God[9]: Who descended upon the Lord Jesus Christ in form of a dove; Who wrought in the Law and in the Prophets; Who now also at the season of Baptism sealeth thy soul; of Whose holiness also every intellectual nature hath need: against Whom if any dare to blaspheme, he hath no forgiveness, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come[1]: "Who with the Father and the Son together[2]" is honoured with the glory of the Godhead: of Whom also thrones, and dominions, principalities, and powers have need[3]. For there is One God, the Father of Christ; and One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of the Only God; and One Holy Ghost, the sanctifier and deifier of all[4], Who spoke in the Law and in the Prophets, in the Old and in the New Testament.

17. Have thou ever in thy mind this seal[5], which for the present has been lightly touched in my discourse, by way of summary, but shall be stated, should the Lord permit, to the best of my power with the proof from the Scriptures. For concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell thee these things, give not absolute credence, unless thou receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning[6], but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures.

OF THE SOUL.

18. Next to the knowledge of this venerable and glorious and all-holy Faith, learn further what thou thyself art: that as man thou art of a two-fold nature, consisting of soul and body; and that, as was said a short time ago, the same God is the Creator both of soul and body[7]. Know also that thou hast a soul self-governed, the noblest work of God, made after the image of its Creator[8]: immortal because of God that gives it immortality; a living being, rational, imperishable, because of Him that bestowed these gifts: having free power to do what it willeth[9]. For it is not according to thy nativity that thou sinnest, nor is it by the power of chance that thou committest fornication, nor, as some idly talk, do the conjunctions of the stars compel thee to give thyself to wantonness[1]. Why dost thou shrink from confessing thine own evil deeds, and ascribe the blame to the innocent stars? Give no more heed, pray, to astrologers; for of these the divine Scripture saith, Let the stargazers of the heaven stand up and save thee, and what follows: Behold, they all shall be consumed as stubble on the fire, and shall not deliver their soul from the flame[2].

19. And learn this also, that the soul, before it came into this world, had committed no sin[3], but having come in sinless, we now sin of our free-will. Listen not, I pray thee, to any one perversely interpreting the words, But if I do that which I would not[4]: but remember Him who saith, If ye be willing, and hearken unto Me, ye shall eat the good things of the land: but if ye be not willing, neither hearken unto Me, the sword shall devour you, &c.[5]: and again, As ye presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness unto sanctification[6]. Remember also the Scripture, which saith, seven as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge[7]: and, That which may be known of God is manifest in them[8]; and again, their eyes they have dosed[9]. Also remember how God again accuseth them, and saith, Yet I planted thee a fruitful vine, wholly true: how art thou turned to bitterness, thou the strange vine[1]?

20. The soul is immortal, and all souls are alike both of men and women; for only the members of the body are distinguished[2]. There is not a class of souls sinning by nature, and a class of souls practising righteousness by nature[3]: but both act from choice, the substance of their souls being of one kind only, and alike in all. I know, however, that I am talking much, and that the time is already long: but what is more precious than salvation? Art thou not willing to take trouble in getting provisions for the way against the heretics? And wilt thou not learn the bye-paths of the road, lest from ignorance thou fall down a precipice? If thy teachers think it no small gain for thee to learn these things, shouldest not thou the learner gladly receive the multitude of things told thee?

21. The soul is self-governed: and though the devil can suggest, he has not the power to compel against the will. He pictures to thee the thought of fornication: if thou wilt, thou acceptest it; if thou wilt not, thou rejectest. For if thou were a fornicator by necessity, then for what cause did God prepare hell? If thou were a doer of righteousness by nature and not by will, wherefore did God prepare crowns of ineffable glory? The sheep is gentle, but never was it crowned for its gentleness: since its gentle quality belongs to it not from choice but by nature.

OF THE BODY.

22. Thou hast learned, beloved, the nature of the soul, as far as there is time at present now do thy best to receive the doctrine of the body also. Suffer none of those who say that this body is no work of God[4]: for they who believe that the body is independent of God, and that the soul dwells in it as in a strange vessel, readily abuse it to fornication[5]. And yet what fault have they found in this wonderful body? For what is lacking in comeliness? And what in its structure is not full of skill? Ought they not to have observed the luminous

construction of the eyes? And how the ears being set obliquely receive the sound unhindered? And how the smell is able to distinguish scents, and to perceive exhalations? And how the tongue ministers to two purposes, the sense of taste, and the power of speech? How the lungs placed out of sight are unceasing in their respiration of the air? Who imparted the incessant pulsation of the heart? Who made the distribution into so many veins and arteries? Who skilfully knitted together the bones with the sinews? Who assigned a part of the food to our substance, and separated a part for decent secretion, and hid away the unseemly members in more seemly places? Who when the human race must have died out, rendered it by a simple intercourse perpetual?

23. Tell me not that the body is a cause of sin[6]. For if the body is a cause of sin, why does not a dead body sin? Put a sword in the right hand of one just dead, and no murder takes place. Let beauties of every kind pass before a youth just dead, and no impure desire arises. Why? Because the body sins not of itself, but the soul through the body. The body is an instrument, and, as it were, a garment and robe of the soul: and if by this latter it be given over to fornication, it becomes defiled: but if it dwell with a holy soul, it becomes a temple of the Holy Ghost. It is not I that say this, but the Apostle Paul hath said, Know ye not, that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you[7]? Be tender, therefore, of thy body as being a temple of the Holy Ghost. Pollute not thy flesh in fornication: defile not this thy fairest robe: and if ever thou hast defiled it, now cleanse it by repentance: get thyself washed, while time permits.

24. And to the doctrine of chastity let the first to give heed be the order of Solitaries[8] and of Virgins, who maintain the angelic life in the world; and let the rest of the Church's people follow them. For you, brethren, a great crown is laid up: barter not away a great dignity for a petty pleasure: listen to the Apostle speaking: Lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one mess of meat sold his own birthright[9]. Enrolled henceforth in the Angelic books for thy profession of chastity, see that thou be not blotted out again for thy practice of fornication.

25. Nor again, on the other hand, in maintaining thy chastity be thou puffed up against those who walk in the humbler path of matrimony. For as the Apostle saith, Let marriage be had in honour among all, and let the bed be undefiled[1]. Thou too who ratainest thy chastity, wast thou not begotten of those who had married? Because thou hast a possession of gold, do not on that account reprobate the silver. But let those also be of good cheer, who being married use marriage lawfully; who make a marriage according to God's ordinance, and not of wantonness for the sake of unbounded license; who recognise seasons of abstinence, that they may give themselves unto prayer[2]; who in our assemblies bring clean bodies as welt as clean garments into the Church; who have entered upon matrimony for the procreation of children, but not for indulgence.

26. Let those also who marry but once not reprobate those who have consented to a second marriages: for though continence is a noble and admirable thing, yet it is also permissible to enter upon a second marriage, that the weak may not fall into fornication. For it is good for them, saith the Apostle, if they abide even as I. But if they have not continency, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn[4]. But let all the other practices be banished afar, fornication, adultery, and every kind of licentiousness: and let the body be kept pure for the Lord, that the Lord also may have respect unto the body. And let the body be nourished with food, that it may live, and serve without hindrance; not, however, that it may be given up to luxuries.

CONCERNING MEATS.

27. And concerning food let these be your ordinances, since in regard to meats also many stumble. For some deal indifferently with things offered to idols[5], while others discipline themselves, but condemn those that eat: and in different ways men's souls are defiled in the matter of meats, from ignorance of the useful reasons for eating and not eating. For we fast by abstaining from wine and flesh, not because we abhor them as abominations, but because we look for our reward; that having scorned things sensible, we may enjoy a spiritual and intellectual feast; and that having now sawn in tears we may reap in joy[6] in the world to come. Despise not therefore them that eat, and because of the weakness of their bodies partake of food: nor yet blame these who use a little wine for their stomach's sake and their often infirmities[7]: and neither condemn the men as sinners, nor abhor the flesh as strange food; for the Apostle knows some of this sort, when he says: forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain firm meats, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by them that believe[8]. In abstaining then from these things, abstain not as from things abominable[9], else thou hast no reward: but as being good things disregard them for the sake of the better spiritual things set before thee.

28. Guard thy soul safely, lest at any time thou eat of things offered to idols: for concerning meats of this kind, not only I at this time, but ere now Apostles also, and James the bishop of this Church, have had earnest care: and the Apostles and Elders write a Catholic epistle to all the Gentiles, that they should abstain first from things offered to idols, and then strata blood also and from things strangled[1]. For many men being of savage nature, and living like dogs, both lap up blood[2], in imitation of the manner of the fiercest beasts, and greedily devour things strangled. But do thou, the servant of Christ, in eating observe to eat with reverence. And so enough concerning meats.

OF APPAREL.

29. But let thine apparel be plain, not for adornment, but for necessary covering: not to minister to thy vanity, but to keep thee worth in winter, and to hide the unseemliness of the body: lest under pretence of hiding the unseemliness, thou fall into another kind of unseemliness by thy extravagant dress.

OF THE RESURRECTION.

30. Be tender, I beseech thee, of this body, and understand that thou wilt be raised from the dead, to be judged with this body. But if there steal into thy mind any thought of unbelief, as though the thing were impossible, judge of the things unseen by what happens to thyself. For tell me; a hundred years ago or more, think where wast thou thyself: and from what a most minute and mean substance thou art come to so great a stature, and so much dignity of beauty[3]. What then? Cannot He who brought the non-existent into being, raise up again that which already exists and has decayed[4]? He who raises the corn, which is sown for our sakes, as year by year it dies,--will He base difficulty in raising us up, for whose sakes that corn also has been raised[5]? Seest thou how the trees stand now for many months without either fruit or leaves: but when the winter is past they spring up whole into life again as if from the dead[6]: shall not we much rather and more easily return to life? The rod of Moses was transformed by the will of God into the unfamiliar nature of a serpent: and cannot a man, who has fallen into death, be restored to himself again?

31. Heed not those who say that this body is not raised; for it is raised: and Esaias is witness, when he says: The dead shall arise, and they that are in the tombs shall awake[7]: and according to Daniel, Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting shame[8]. But though to rise again is common to all men, yet the resurrection is not alike to all: for the bodies received by us all are eternal, but not like bodies by all: for the just receive them, that through eternity they may join the Choirs of Angels; but the sinners, that they may endure for ever the torment of their sins.

OF THE LAVER.

32. For this cause the Lord, preventing us according to His loving-kindness, has granted repentance at Baptism[9], in order that we may cast off the chief--nay rather the whole burden of our sins, and having received the seal by the Holy Ghost, may be made heirs of eternal life. But as we have spoken sufficiently concerning the Layer the day before yesterday, let us now return to the remaining subjects of our introductory teaching.

OF THE DIVINE SCRIPTURES.

33. Now these the divinely-inspired Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament teach us. For the God of the two Testaments is One, Who in the Old Testament foretold the Christ Who appeared in the New; Who by the Law and the Prophets led us to Christ's school. For before faith came, we were kept in ward under the law, and, the law hath been our tutor to bring us unto Christ[1]. And if ever thou hear any of the heretics speaking evil of the Law or the Prophets, answer in the sound of the Saviour's voice, saying, Jesus came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it[2]. Learn also diligently, and from the Church, what are the books of the Old Testament, and what those of the New. And, pray, read none of the apocryphal writings[3]: for why dose thou, who knowest not those which are acknowledged among all, trouble thyself in vain about those which are disputed? Read the Divine Scriptures, the twenty-two books of the Old Testament, these that have been translated by the Seventy-two Interpreters[4].

34. For after the death of Alexander, the king of the Macedonians, and the division of his kingdom into four principalities, into Babylonia, and Macedonia, and Asia, and Egypt, one of those who reigned over Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphus, being a king very fond of learning, while collecting the books that were in every place, heard from Demetrius Phalereus, the curator of his library, of the Divine Scriptures of the Law and the Prophets, and judged it much nobler, not to get the books from the possessors by force against their will, but rather to propitiate them by gifts and friendship; and knowing that what is extorted is often adulterated, being given unwillingly, while that which is willingly supplied is freely given with all sincerity, he sent to Eleazar, who was then High Priest, a great many gifts for the Temple here at Jerusalem, and caused him to send him six interpreters from each of the twelve tribes of Israel for the translation[5]. Then, further, to make experiment whether the books were Divine or not, he took precaution that those who had been sent should not combine among themselves, by assigning to each of the interpreters who had come his separate chamber in the island called Pharos, which lies over against Alexandria, and committed to each the whole Scriptures to translate. And when they had fulfilled the task in seventy-two days, he brought together all their translations, which they had made in different chambers without sending them one to another, and found that they agreed not only in the sense but even in words. For the process was no word-craft, nor contrivance of human devices: but the translation of the Divine Scriptures, spoken by the Holy Ghost, was of the Holy Ghost accomplished.

35. Of these read the two and twenty books, but have nothing to do with the apocryphal writings. Study earnestly these only which we read openly in the Church. Far wiser and more pious than thyself were the Apostles, and the bishops of old time, the presidents of the Church who handed down these books. Being therefore a child of the Church, trench[6] thou not upon its statutes. And of the Old Testament, as we have said, study the two and twenty books, which, if thou art desirous of learning, strive to remember by name, as I recite them. For of the Law the books of Moses are the first five, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. And next, Joshua the son of Nave[7], and the book of Judges, including Ruth, counted as seventh. And of the other historical books, the first and second books of the Kings[8] are among the Hebrews one book; also the third and fourth one book. And in like manner, the first and second of Chronicles are with them one book; and the first and second of Esdras are counted one. Esther is the twelfth book; and these are the Historical writings. But those which are written in verses are five, Job, and the book of Psalms, and Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs, which is the seventeenth book. And after these come the five Prophetic books: of the Twelve Prophets one book, of Isaiah one, of Jeremiah one, including Baruch and Lamentations and the Epistle[9]; then Ezekiel, and the Book of Daniel, the twenty-second of the Old Testament.

36. Then of the New Testament there are the four Gospels only, for the rest have false titles[1] and are mischievous. The Manichaeans also wrote a Gospel according to Thomas, which being tinctured with the fragrance of the evangelic title corrupts the souls of the simple sort. Receive also the Acts of the Twelve Apostles; and in addition to these the seven Catholic Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude; and as a seal upon them all, and the last work of the disciples, the fourteen Epistles of Paul[2]. But let all the rest be put aside in a secondary rank. And whatever books are not read in Churches, these read not even by thyself, as thou hast heard me say. Thus much of these subjects.

37. But shun thou every diabolical operation, and believe not the apostate Serpent, whose transformation from a good nature was of his own free choice: who can over-persuade the willing, but can compel no one. Also give heed neither to observations of the stars nor auguries, nor omens, nor to the fabulous divinations of the Greeks[3]. Witchcraft, and enchantment, and the wicked practices of necromancy, admit not even to a hearing. From every kind of intemperance stand aloof, giving thyself neither to gluttony nor licentiousness, rising superior to all covetousness and usury. Neither venture thyself at heathen assemblies for public spectacles, nor ever use amulets in sicknesses; shun also all the vulgarity of tavern-haunting. Fall not away either into the sect of the Samaritans, or into Judaism: for Jesus Christ henceforth hath ransomed thee. Stand aloof from all observance of Sabbaths[4], and from calling any indifferent meats common or unclean. But especially abhor all the assemblies of wicked heretics; and in every way make thine own soul safe, by fastings, prayers, almsgivings, and reading the oracles of God; that having lived the rest of thy life in the flesh in soberness and godly doctrine, thou mayest enjoy the one salvation which flows from Baptism; and thus enrolled in the armies of heaven by God and the Father, mayest also be deemed worthy of the heavenly crowns, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to Whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.