CHAP. I. THE OFFICE OF THE INSTRUCTOR.
AS there are these three things in the case of man, habits, actions, and passions; habits are the department appropriated by hortatory discourse the guide to piety, which, like the ship's keel, is laid beneath for the building up of faith; in which, rejoicing exceedingly, and abjuring our old opinions, through salvation we renew our youth, singing with the hymning prophecy, "How good is God to Israel, to such as are upright in heart!" All actions, again, are the province of preceptive discourse; while persuasive discourse applies itself to heal the passions. It is, however, one and the self-same word which rescues man from the custom of this world in which he has been reared, and trains him up in the one salvation of faith in God.
When, then, the heavenly guide, the Word, was inviting men to salvation, the appellation of hortatory was properly applied to Him: his same word was called rousing (the whole from a part). For the whole of piety is hortatory, engendering in the kindred faculty of reason a yearning after true life now and to come. But now, being at once curative and preceptive, following in His own steps, He makes what had been prescribed the subject of persuasion, promising the cure of the passions within us. Let us then designate this Word appropriately by the one name Tutor (or Paedagogue, or instructor).
The Instructor being practical, not theoretical, His aim is thus to improve the soul, not to teach, and to train it up to a virtuous, not to an intellectual life. Although this same word is didactic, but not in the present instance. For the word which, in matters of doctrine, explains and reveals, is that whose province it is to teach. But our Educators being practical, first exhorts to the attainment of right dispositions and character, and then persuades us to the energetic practice of our duties, enjoining on us pure commandments, and exhibiting to such as come after representations of those who formerly wandered in error. Both are of the highest utility,--that which assumes the form of counselling to obedience, and that which is presented in the form of example; which latter is of two kinds, corresponding to the former duality,--the one having for its purpose that we should choose and imitate the good, and the other that we should reject and turn away from the opposite.
Hence accordingly ensues the healing of our passions, in consequence of the assuagements of those examples; the Paedagogue strengthening our souls, and by His benign commands, as by gentle medicines, guiding the sick to the perfect knowledge of the truth.
There is a wide difference between health and knowledge; for the latter is produced by learning, the former by healing. One, who is ill, will not therefore learn any branch of instruction till he is quite well. For neither to learners nor to the sick is each injunction invariably expressed similarly; but to the former in such a way as to lead to knowledge, and to the latter to health. As, then, for those of us who are diseased in body a physician is required, so also those who are diseased in soul require a paedagogue to cure our maladies; and then a teacher, to train and guide the soul to all requisite knowledge when it is made able to admit the revelation of the Word. Eagerly desiring, then, to perfect us by a gradation conducive to salvation, suited for efficacious discipline, a beautiful arrangement is observed by the all-benignant Word, who first exhorts, then trains, and finally teaches.
CHAP. II.--OUR INSTRUCTOR'S TREATMENT OF OUR SINS.
Now, O you, my children, our Instructor is like His Father God, whose son He is, sinless, blameless, and with a soul devoid of passion; God in the form of man, stainless, the minister of His Father's will, the Word who is God, who is in the Father, who is at the Father's right hand, and with the form of God is God. He is to us a spotless image; to Him we are to try with all our might to assimilate our souls. He is wholly free from human passions; wherefore also He alone is judge, because He alone is sinless. As far, however, as we can, let us try to sin as little as possible. For nothing is so urgent in the first place as deliverance from passions and disorders, and then the checking of our liability to fall into sins that have become habitual. It is best, therefore, not to sin at all in any way, which we assert to be the prerogative of God alone; next to keep clear of voluntary transgressions, which is characteristic of the wise man; thirdly, not to fall into many involuntary offences, which is peculiar to those who have been excellently trained. Not to continue long in sins, let that be ranked last. But this also is salutary to those who are called back to repentance, to renew the contest.
And the Instructor, as I think, very beautifully says, through Moses: "If any one die suddenly by him, straightway the head of his consecration shall be polluted, and shall be shaved," designating involuntary sin as sudden death. And He says that it pollutes by defiling the soul: wherefore He prescribes the cure with all speed, advising the head to be instantly shaven; that is, counselling the locks of ignorance which shade the reason to be shorn clean off, that reason (whose seat is in the brain), being left bare of the dense stuff of vice, may speed its way to repentance. Then after a few remarks He adds, "The days before are not reckoned irrational," by which manifestly sins are meant which are contrary to reason. The involuntary act He calls "sudden," the sin He calls "irrational." Wherefore the Word, the Instructor, has taken the charge of us, in order to the prevention of sin, which is contrary to reason.
Hence consider the expression of Scripture, "Therefore these things saith the Lord;" the sin that had been committed before is held up to reprobation by the succeeding expression "therefore," according to which the righteous judgment follows. This is shown conspicuously by the prophets, when they said, "Hadst thou not sinned, He would not have uttered these threatenings."
"Therefore thus saith the Lord; "Because thou hast not heard these words, therefore these things the Lord;" and, "Therefore, behold, the Lord saith."
For prophecy is given by reason both of obedience and disobedience: for obedience, that we may be saved; for disobedience, that we may be corrected.
Our Instructor, the Word, therefore cures the unnatural passions of the soul by means of exhortations. For with the highest propriety the help of bodily diseases is called the healing art--an art acquired by human skill. But the paternal Word is the only Paeonian physician of human infirmities, and the holy charmer of the sick soul. "Save," it is said, "Thy servant, O my God, who trusteth in Thee. Pity me, O Lord; for I will cry to Thee all the day." For a while the "physician's art," according to Democritus, "heals the diseases of the body; wisdom frees the soul from passion." But the good Instructor, the Wisdom, the Word of the Father, who made man, cares for the whole nature of His creature; the all-sufficient Physician of humanity, the Saviour, heals both body and soul. "Rise up," He said to the paralytic; "take the bed on which thou liest, and go away home;" and straightway the infirm man received strength. And to the dead He said, "Lazarus, go forth;" and the dead man issued from his coffin such as he was ere he died, having undergone resurrection. Further, He heals the soul itself by precepts and gifts--by precepts indeed, in course of time, but being liberal in His gifts, He says to us sinners, "Thy sins be forgiven thee."
We, however, as soon as He conceived the thought, became His children, having had assigned us the best and most secure rank by His orderly arrangement, which first circles about the world, the heavens, and the sun's circuits, and occupies itself with the motions of the rest of the stars for man's behoof, and then busies itself with man himself, on whom all its care is concentrated; and regarding him as its greatest work, regulated his soul by wisdom and temperance, and tempered the body with beauty and proportion. And whatever in human actions is right and regular, is the result of the inspiration of its rectitude and order.
CHAP. III.--THE PHILANTHROPY OF THE INSTRUCTOR.
The Lord ministers all good and all help, both as man and as God: as God, forgiving our sins; and as man, training us not to sin. Man is therefore justly dear to God, since he is His workmanship. The other works of creation He made by the word of command alone, but man He framed by Himself, by His own hand, and breathed into him what was peculiar to Himself. What, then, was fashioned by Him, and after He likeness, either was created by God Himself as being desirable on its own account, or was formed as being desirable on account of something else. 'If, then, man is an object desirable for itself, then He who is good loved what is good, and the love-charm is within even in man, and is that very thing which is called the inspiration [or breath of God; but if man was a desirable object on account of something else, God had no other reason for creating him, than that unless he came into being, it was not possible for God to be a good Creator, or for man to arrive at the knowledge of God. For God would not have accomplished that on account of which man was created otherwise than by the creation of man; and what hidden power in willing God possessed, He carried fully out by the forth-putting of His might externally in the act of creating, receiving from man what He made man; and whom He had He saw, and what He wished that came to pass; and there is nothing which God cannot do. Man, then, whom God made, is desirable for himself, and that which is desirable on his account is allied to him to whom it is desirable on his account; and this, too, is acceptable and liked.
But what is loveable, and is not also loved by Him? And man has been proved to be loveable; consequently man is loved by God. For how shall he not be loved for whose sake the only-begotten Son is sent from the Father's bosom, the Word of faith, the faith which is superabundant; the Lord Himself distinctly confessing and saying, "For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me;" and again, "And hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me?" What, then, the Master desires and declares, and how He is disposed in deed and word, how He commands what is to be done, and forbids the opposite, has already been shown.
Plainly, then, the other kind of discourse, the didactic, is powerful and spiritual, observing precision, occupied in the contemplation of mysteries. But let it stand over for the present. Now, it is incumbent on us to return His love, who lovingly guides us to that life which is best; and to live in accordance with the injunctions of His will, not only fulfilling what is commanded, or guarding against what is forbidden, but turning away from some examples, and imitating others as much as we can, and thus to perform the works of the Master according to His similitude, and so fulfil what Scripture says as to our being made in His image and likeness. For, wandering in life as in deep darkness, we need a guide that cannot stumble or stray; and our guide is the best, not blind, as the Scripture says, "leading the blind into pits." But the Word is keen-sighted, and scans the recesses of the heart. As, then, that is not light which enlightens not, nor motion that moves not, nor loving which loves not, so neither is that good which profits not, nor guides to salvation. Let us then aim at the fulfilment of the commandments by the works of the Lord; for the Word Himself also, having openly become flesh, exhibited the same virtue, both practical and contemplative. Wherefore let us regard the Word as law, and His commands and counsels as the short and straight paths to immortality; for His precepts are full of persuasion, not of fear.
CHAP. IV.--MEN AND WOMEN ALIKE UNDER THE INSTRUCTOR'S CHARGE.
Let us, then, embracing more and more this good obedience, give ourselves to the Lord; clinging to what is surest, the cable of faith in Him, and understanding that the virtue of man and woman is the same. For if the God of both is one, the master of both is also one; one church, one temperance, one modesty; their food is common, marriage an equal yoke; respiration, sight, hearing, knowledge, hope, obedience, love all alike. And those whose life is common, have common graces and a common salvation; common to them are love and training. "For in this world," he says, "they marry, and are given in marriage," in which alone the female is distinguished from the male; "but in that world it is so no more." There the rewards of this social and holy life, which is based on conjugal union, are laid up, not for male and female, but for man, the sexual desire which divides humanity being removed. Common therefore, too, to men and women, is the name of man. For this reason I think the Attics called, not boys only, but girls, paidarion, using it as a word of common gender; if Menander the comic poet, in Rhapizomena, appears to any one a sufficient authority, who thus speaks:- "My little daughter; for by nature The child (paidarion) is most loving.
Arnes, too, the word for lambs, is a common name of simplicity for the male and female animal.
Now the Lord Himself will feed us as His flock forever. Amen. But without a sheperd, neither can sheep nor any other animal live, nor children without a tutor, nor domestics without a master.
CHAP. V.--ALL WHO WALK ACCORDING TO TRUTH ARE CHILDREN OF GOD.
That, then, Paedagogy is the training of children (paidwn agwgh), is clear from the word itself. It remains for us to consider the children whom Scripture points to; then to give the paedagogue charge of them. We are the children. In many ways Scripture celebrates us, and describes us in manifold figures of speech, giving variety to the simplicity of the faith by diverse names Accordingly, in the Gospel, "the Lord, standing on the shore, says to the disciples"--they happened to be fishing--"and called aloud, Children, have ye any meat?" --addressing those that were already in the position of disciples as children. "And they brought to Him," it is said, "children, that He might put His hands on them and bless them; and when His disciples hindered them, Jesus said, Suffer the children, and forbid them not to come to Me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." What the expression means the Lord Himself shall declare, saying, "Except ye be converted, and become as little chidren, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven; " not in that place speaking figuratively of regeneration, but setting before us, for our imitation, the simplicity that is in children.
The prophetic spirit also distinguishes us as children. "Plucking," it is said, "branches of olives or palms, the children went forth to meet the Lord, and cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; " light, and glory, and praise, with supplication to the Lord: for this is the meaning of the expression Hosanna when rendered in Greek. And the Scripture appears to me, in allusion to the prophecy just mentioned, reproachfully to upbraid the thoughtless: "Have ye never read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?" In this way the Lord in the Gospels spurs on His disciples, urging them to attend to Him, hastening as He was to the Father; rendering His hearers more eager by the intimation that after a little He was to depart, and showing them that it was requisite that they should take more unsparing advantage of the truth than ever before, as the Word was to ascend to heaven. Again, therefore, He calls them children; for He says, "Children, a little while I am with you." And, again, He likens the kingdom of heaven to children sitting in the market-places and saying, "We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned, and ye have not lamented;" and whatever else He added agreeably thereto. And it is not alone the Gospel that holds these sentiments.
Prophecy also agrees with it. David accordingly says, "Praise, O children, the LORD; praise the name of the LORD." It says also by Esaias, "Here am I, and the children that God hath given me." Are you amazed, then, to hear that men who belong to the nations are sons in the Lord's sight? You do not in that case appear to give ear to the Attic dialect, from which you may learn that beautiful, comely, and freeborn young maidens are still called paidiskai, and servant-girls paidiskaria; and that those last also are, on account of the bloom of youth, called by the flattering name of young maidens.
And when He says, "Let my lambs stand on my right,"" He alludes to the simple children, as if they were sheep and lambs in nature, not men; and the lambs He counts worthy of preference, from the superior regard He has to that tenderness and simplicity of disposition in men which constitutes innocence. Again, when He says, "as suckling calves," He again alludes figuratively to us; and "as an innocent and gentle dove," the reference is again to us. Again, by Moses, He commands "two young pigeons or a pair of turtles to be offered for sin;" thus saying, that the harmlessness and innocence and placable nature of these tender young birds are acceptable to God, and explaining that like is an expiation for like. Further, the timorousness of the turtle-doves typifies fear in reference to sin.
And that He calls us chickens the Scripture testifies: "As a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings." Thus are we the Lord's chickens; the Word thus marvellously and mystically describing the simplicity of childhood. For sometimes He calls us children, sometimes chickens, sometimes infants, and at other times sons, and "a new people," and "a recent people." "And my servants shall be called by a new name" (a new name, He says, fresh and eternal, pure and simple, and childlike and true), which shall be blessed on the earth. And again, He figuratively calls us colts unyoked to vice, not broken in by wickedness; but simple, and bounding joyously to the Father alone; not such horses "as neigh after their neighbours' wives, that are under the yoke, and are female-mad;" but free and new-born, jubilant by means of faith, ready to run to the truth, swift to speed to salvation, that tread and stamp under foot the things of the world.
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; tell aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh, just, meek, and bringing salvation; meek truly is He, and riding on a beast of burden, and a young colt." It was not enough to have said colt alone, but He added to it also young, to show the youth of humanity in Christ, and the eternity of simplicity, which shall know no old age. And we who are little ones being such colts, are reared up by our divine colt-tamer. But if the new man in Scripture is represented by the ass, this ass is also a colt. "And he bound," it is said, "the colt to the vine," having bound this simple and childlike people to the word, whom He figuratively represents as a vine. For the vine produces wine, as the Word, produces blood, and both drink for health to men--wine for the body, blood for the spirit.
And that He also calls us lambs, the Spirit by the mouth of Isaiah is an unimpeachable witness: "He will feed His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs with His arm," --using the figurative appellation of lambs, which are still more tender than sheep, to express simplicity. And we also in truth, honouring the fairest and most perfect objects in life with an appellation derived from the word child, have named training paideia, and discipline paidagwgia. Discipline (paidagwgia) we declare to be right guiding from childhood to virtue. Accordingly, our Lord revealed more distinctly to us what is signified by the appellation of children. On the question arising among the apostles, "which of them should be the greater," Jesus placed a little child in the midst, saying, "Whosoever, shall humble himself as this little child, the same shall be the greater in the kingdom of heaven." He does not then use the appellation of children on account of their very limited amount of understanding from their age, as some have thought. Nor, if He says, "Except ye become as these children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of God," are His words to be understood as meaning "without learning." We, then, who are infants, no longer roll on the ground, nor creep on the earth like serpents as before, crawling with the whole body about senseless lusts; but, stretching upwards in soul, loosed from the world and our sins, touching the earth on tiptoe so as to appear to be in the world, we pursue holy wisdom, although this seems folly to those whose wits are whetted for wickedness. Rightly, then, are those called children who know Him who is God alone as their Father, who are simple, and infants, and guileless, who are lovers of the horns of the unicorns.
To those, therefore, that have made progress in the word, He has proclaimed this utterance, bidding them dismiss anxious care of the things of this world, and exhorting them to adhere to the Father alone, in imitation of children. Wherefore also in what follows He says: "Take no anxious thought for the morrow; sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Thus He enjoins them to lay aside the cares of this life, and depend on the Father alone. And he who fulfils this commandment is in reality a child and a son to God and to the world,--to the one as deceived, to the other as beloved. And if we have one Master in heaven, as the Scripture says, then by common consent those on the earth will be rightly called disciples. For so is the truth, that perfection is with the Lord, who is always teaching, and infancy and childishness with us, who are always learning. Thus prophecy hath honoured perfection, by applying to it the appellation man. For instance, by David, He says of the devil: "The LORD abhors the man of blood;" he calls him man, as perfect in wickedness. And the Lord is called man, because He is perfect in righteousness. Directly in point is the instance of the apostle, who says, writing the Corinthians: "For I have espoused you to one man, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ," whether as children or saints, but to the Lord alone. And writing to the Ephesians, he has unfolded in the clearest manner the point in question, speaking to the following effect: "Till we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we be no longer children, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, by the craft of men, by their cunning in stratagems of deceit; but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up to Him in all things," --saying these things in order to the edification of the body of Christ, who is the head and man, the only one perfect in righteousness; and we who are children guarding against the blasts of heresies, which blow to our inflation; and not putting our trust in fathers who teach us otherwise, are then made perfect when we are the church, having received Christ the head. Then it is right to notice, with respect to the appellation of infant (nhpios), that
no nhpion is not predicated of the silly: for the silly man is called nhputios: and nhpios is nehpios (since he that is tender-hearted is called hpios), as being one that has newly become gentle and meek in Conduct. This the blessed Paul most clearly pointed out when he said, "When we might have been burdensome as the apostles of Christ, we were gentle (hpioi) among you, as a nurse cherisheth her children." The child (nhpios) is therefore gentle (hpios), and therefore more tender, delicate, and simple, guileless, and destitute of hypocrisy, straightforward and upright in mind, which is the basis of simplicity and truth. For He says, "Upon whom shall I look, but upon him who is gentle and quiet? " For such is the virgin speech, tender, and free of fraud; whence also a virgin is wont to be called "a tender bride," and a child "tender-hearted." And we are tender who are pliant to the power of persuasion, and are easily drawn to goodness, and are mild, and free of the stain of malice and perverseness, for the ancient race was perverse and hard-hearted; but the band of infants, the new people which we are, i.s delicate as a child. On account of the hearts of the innocent, the apostle, in the Epistle to the Romans, owns that he rejoices, and furnishes a kind of definition of children, so to speak, when he says, "I would have you wise toward good, but simple towards evil." For the name of child, nhpios, is not understood by us privatively, though the sons of the grammarians make the nh a privative particle. For if they call us who follow after childhood foolish, see how they utter blasphemy against the Lord, in regarding those as foolish who have betaken themselves to God. But if, which is rather the true sense, they themselves understand the designation children of simple ones, we glory in the name. For the new minds, which have newly become wise, which have sprung into being according to the new covenant, are infantile in the old folly. Of late, then, God was known by the coming of Christ: "For no man knoweth God but the Son, and he to whom the Son shall reveal Him."
In contradistinction, therefore, to the older people, the new people are called young, having learned the new blessings; and we have the exuberance of life's morning prime in this youth which knows no old age, in which we are always growing to maturity in intelligence, are always young, always mild, always new: for those must necessarily be new, who have become partakers of the new Word. And that which participates in eternity is wont to be assimilated to the incorruptible: so that to us appertains the designation of the age of childhood, a lifelong spring-time, because the truth that is in us, and our habits saturated with the truth, cannot be touched by old age; but Wisdom is ever blooming, ever remains consistent and the same, and never changes. "Their children," it is said, "shall be borne upon their shoulders, and fondled on their knees; as one whom his mother comforteth, so also shall I comfort you." The mother draws the children to herself; and we seek our mother the Church. Whatever is feeble and tender, as needing help on account of its feebleness, is kindly looked on, and is sweet and pleasant, anger changing into help in the case of such: for thus horses' colts, and the little calves of cows, and the lion's whelp, and the stag's fawn, and the child of man, are looked upon with pleasure by their fathers and mothers. Thus also the Father of the universe cherishes affection towards those who have fled to Him; and having begotten them again by His Spirit to the adoption of children, knows them as gentle, and loves those alone, and aids and fights for them; and therefore He bestows on them the name of child. The word Isaac I also connect with child. Isaac means laughter. He was seen sporting with his wife and helpmeet Rebecca by the prying king. The king, whose name was Abimelech, appears to me to represent a supramundane wisdom contemplating the mystery of sport. They interpret Rebecca to mean endurance. O wise sport, laughter also assisted by endurance, and the king as spectator! The spirit of those that are children in Christ, whose lives are ordered in endurance, rejoice. And this is the divine sport. "Such a sport, of his own, Jove sports," says Heraclitus.
For what other employment is seemly for a wise and perfect man, than to sport and be glad in the endurance of what is good-and, in the administration of what is good, hold, ing festival with God? That which is signified by the prophet may be interpreted differently,namely, of our rejoicing for salvation, as Isaac. He also, delivered from death, laughed, sporting and rejoicing with his spouse, who was the type of the Helper of our salvation, the Church, to whom the stable name of endurance is given; for this cause surely, because she alone remains to all generations, rejoicing ever, subsisting as she does by the endurance of us believers, who are the members of Christ. And the witness of those that have endured to the end, and the rejoicing on their account, is the mystic sport, and the salvation accompanied with decorous solace which brings us aid.
The King, then, who is Christ, beholds from above our laughter, and looking through the window, as the Scripture says, views the thanksgiving, and the blessing, and the rejoicing, and the gladness, and furthermore the endurance which works together with them and their embrace: views His Church, showing only His face, which was wanting to the Church, which is made perfect by her royal Head. And where, then, was the door by which the Lord showed Himself? The flesh by which He was manifested. He is Isaac (for the narrative may be interpreted otherwise), who is a type of the Lord, a child as a son; for he was the son of Abraham, as Christ the Son of God, and a sacrifice as the Lord, but he was not immolated as the Lord. Isaac only bore the wood of the sacrifice, as the Lord the wood of the cross. And he laughed mystically, prophesying that the Lord should fill us with joy, who have been redeemed from corruption by the blood of the Lord. Isaac did everything but suffer, as was right, yielding the precedence in suffering to the Word. Furthermore, there is an intimation of the divinity of the Lord in His not being slain. For Jesus rose again after His burial, having suffered no harm, like Isaac released from sacrifice. And in defence of the point to be established, I shall adduce another consideration of the greatest weight. The Spirit calls the Lord Himself a child, thus prophesying by Esaias: "Lo, to us a child has been born, to us a son has been given, on whose own shoulder the government shall be; and His name has been called the Angel of great Counsel." Who, then, is this infant child? He according to whose image we are made little children. By the same prophet is declared His greatness: "Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace; that He might fulfil His discipline: and of His peace there shall be no end." O the great God! O the perfect child! The Son in the Father, and the Father in the Son. And how shall not the discipline of this child be perfect, which extends to all, leading as a schoolmaster us as children who are His little ones? He has stretched forth to us those hands of His that are conspicuously worthy of trust. To this child additional testimony is borne by John, "the greatest prophet among those born of women:" Behold the Lamb of God!" For since Scripture calls the infant children lambs, it has also called Him--God the Word--who became man for our sakes, and who wished in all points to be made like to us--"the Lamb of God"--Him, namely, that is the Son of God, the child of the Father.
CHAP. VI.--THE NAME CHILDREN DOES NOT IMPLY INSTRUCTION IN ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES.
We have ample means of encountering those who are given to carping. For we are not termed children and infants with reference to the childish and contemptible character of our education, as those who are inflated on account of knowledge have calumniously alleged. Straightway, on our regeneration, we attained that perfection after which we aspired. For we were illuminated, which is to know God. He is not then imperfect who knows what is perfect. And do not reprehend me when I profess to know God; for so it was deemed right to speak to the Word, and He is free. For at the moment of the Lord's baptism there sounded a voice from heaven, as a testimony to the Beloved, "Thou art My beloved Son, to-day have I begotten Thee." Let us then ask the wise, Is Christ, begotten to-day, already perfect, or--what were most monstrous--imperfect? If the latter, there is some addition He requires yet to make. But for Him to make any addition to His knowledge is absurd, since He is God. For none can be superior to the Word, or the teacher of the only Teacher. Will they not then own, though reluctant, that the perfect Word born of the perfect Father was begotten in perfection, according to oeconomic fore-ordination? And if He was perfect, why was He, the perfect one, baptized? It was necessary, they say, to fulfil the profession that pertained to humanity. Most excellent. Well, I assert, simultaneously with His baptism by John, He becomes perfect? Manifestly. He did not then learn anything more from him? Certainly not. But He is perfected by the washing--of baptism--alone, and is sanctified by the descent of the Spirit? Such is the case. The same also takes place in our case, whose exemplar Christ became. Being baptized, we are illuminated; illuminated, we become sons; being made sons, we are made perfect; being made perfect, we are made immortal. "I," says He, "have said that ye are gods, and all sons of the Highest." This work is variously called grace, and illumination, and perfection, and washing: washing, by which we cleanse away our sins; grace, by which the penalties accruing to transgressions are remitted; and illumination, by which that holy light of salvation is beheld, that is, by which we see God clearly. Now we call that perfect which wants nothing. For what is yet wanting to him who knows God? For it were truly monstrous that that which is not complete should be called a gift (or act) of God's grace. Being perfect, He consequently bestows perfect gifts. As at
His command all things were made, so on His bare wishing to bestow grace, ensues the perfecting of His grace. For the future of time is anticipated by the power of His volition.
Further release from evils is the beginning of salvation. We then alone, who first have touched the confines of life, are already perfect; and we already live who are separated from death. Salvation, accordingly, is the following of Christ: "For that which is in Him is life. " Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My words, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into condemnation, but hath passed from death to life." Thus believing alone, and regeneration, is perfection in life; for God is never weak. For as His will is work, and this s is named the world; so also His counsel is the salvation of men, and this has been called the church. He knows, therefore, whom He has called, and whom He has saved; and at one and the same time He called and saved them. "For ye are," says the apostle, "taught of God." It is not then allowable to think of what is taught by Him as imperfect; and what is learned from Him is the eternal salvation of the eternal Saviour, to whom be thanks for ever and ever. Amen. And he who is only regenerated--as the name necessarily indicates--and is enlightened, is delivered forthwith from darkness, and on the instant receives the light.
As, then, those who have shaken off sleep forthwith become all awake within; or rather, as those who try to remove a film that is over the eyes, do not supply to them from without the light which they do not possess, but removing the obstacle from the eyes, leave the pupil free; thus also we who are baptized, having wiped off the sins which obscure the light of the Divine Spirit, have the eye of the spirit free, unimpeded, and full of light, by which alone we contemplate the Divine, the Holy Spirit flowing down to us from above. This is the eternal adjustment of the vision, which is able to see the eternal light, since like loves like; and that which is holy, loves that from which holiness proceeds, which has appropriately been termed light. "Once ye were darkness, now are ye light in the Lord." Hence I am of opinion man was called by the ancients fws. But he has not yet received, say they, the perfect gift. I also assent to this; but he is in the light, and the darkness comprehendeth him not. There is nothing intermediate between light and darkness. But the end is reserved till the resurrection of those who believe; and it is not the reception of some other thing, but the obtaining of the promise previously made. For we do not say that both take place together at the same time--both the arrival at the end, and the anticipation of that arrival. For eternity and time are not the same, neither is the attempt and the final result; but both have reference to the same thing, and one and the same person is concerned in both. Faith, so to speak, is the attempt generated in time; the final result is the attainment of the promise, secured for eternity. Now the Lord Himself has most clearly revealed the equality of salvation, when He said: "For this is the will of my Father, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, should have everlasting life; and I will raise him up in the last day." As far as possible in this world, which is what he means by the last day, and which is preserved till the time that it shall end, we believe that we are made perfect. Wherefore He says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." If, then, those who have believed have life, what remains beyond the possession of eternal life?
Nothing is wanting to faith, as it is perfect and complete in itself. If aught is wanting to it, it is not wholly perfect. But faith is not lame in any respect; nor after our departure from this world does it make us who have believed, and received without distinction the earnest of future good, wait; but having in anticipation grasped by faith that which is future, after the resurrection we receive it as present, in order that that may be fulfilled which was spoken, "Be it according to thy faith." And where faith is, there is the promise; and the consummation of the promise is rest. So that in illumination what we receive is knowledge, and the end of knowledge is rest--the last thing conceived as the object of aspiration. As, then, inexperience comes to an end by experience, and perplexity by finding a clear outlet, so by illumination must darkness disappear. The darkness is ignorance, through which we fall into sins, purblind as to the truth. Knowledge, then, is the illumination we receive, which makes ignorance disappear, and endows us with clear vision. Further, the abandonment of what is bad is the adopting of what is better. For what ignorance has bound ill, is by knowledge loosed well; those bonds are with all speed slackened by human faith and divine grace, our transgressions being taken away by one Poeonian medicine, the baptism of the Word. We are washed from all our sins, and are no longer entangled in evil. This is the one grace of illu mination, that our characters are not the same as before our washing. And since knowledge springs up with illumination, shedding its beams around the mind, the moment we hear, we who were untaught become disciples. Does this, I ask, take place on the advent of this instruction? You cannot tell the time. For instruction leads to faith, and faith with baptism is trained by the Holy Spirit. For that faith is the one universal salvation of humanity, and that there is the same equality before the righteous and loving God, and the same fellowship between Him and all, the apostle most clearly showed, speaking to the following effect: "Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed, so that the law became our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith; but after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." Do you not hear that we are no longer under that law which was accompanied with fear, but under the Word, the master of free choice? Then he subjoined the utterance, clear of all partiality: "For ye are all the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." There are not, then, in the same Word some "illuminated (gnostics); and some animal (or natural) men;" but all who have abandoned the desires of the flesh are equal and spiritual before the Lord. And again he writes in another place: "For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free, and we have all drunk of one cup." Nor were it absurd to employ the expressions of those who call the reminiscence of better things the filtration of the spirit, understanding by filtration the separation of what is baser, that results from the reminiscence of what is better. There follows of necessity, in him who has come to the recollection of what is better, repentance for what is worse. Accordingly, they confess that the spirit in repentance retraces its steps. In the same way, therefore, we also, repenting of our sins, renouncing our iniquities, purified by baptism, speed back to the eternal light, children to the Father. Jesus therefore, rejoicing in the spirit, said: "I thank Thee, O Father, God of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes; " the Master and Teacher applying the name babes to us, who are readier to embrace salvation than the wise in the world, who, thinking themselves wise, are inflated with pride. And He exclaims in exultation and exceeding joy, as if lisping with the children, "Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight." Wherefore those things which have been concealed from the wise and prudent of this present world have been revealed to babes. Truly, then, are we the children of God, who have put aside the old man, and stripped off the garment of wickedness, and put on the immortality of Christ; that we may become a new, holy people by regeneration, and may keep the man undefiled. And a babe, as God's little one, is cleansed from fornication and wickedness. With the greatest clearness the blessed Paul has solved for us this question in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, writing thus: "Brethren, be not children in understanding; howbeit in malice be children, but in understanding be men." And the expression, "When I was a child, I thought as a child, I spoke as a child," points out his mode of life according to the law, according to which, thinking childish things, he persecuted, and speaking childish things he blasphemed the Word, not as having yet attained to the simplicity of childhood, but as being in its folly; for the word nhpion has two meanings. "When I became a man," again Paul says, "I put away childish things." It is not incomplete size of stature, nor a definite measure of time, nor additional secret teachings in things that are manly and more perfect, that the apostle, who himself professes to be a preacher of childishness, alludes to when he sends it, as it were, into banishment; but he applies the name "children" to those who are under the law, who are terrified by fear as children are by bugbears; and "men" to us who are obedient to the Word and masters of ourselves, who have believed, and are saved by voluntary choice, and are rationally, not irrationally, frightened by terror. Of this the apostle himself shall testify, calling as he does the Jews heirs according to the first covenant, and us heirs according to promise: "Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors, till the time appointed by the father. So also we, when we were children, were in bondage under the rudiments of the world: but when the fulness of the time was came, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons " by Him. See how He has admitted those to be children who are under fear and sins; but has conferred manhood on those who are under faith, by calling them sons, in contradistinction from the children that are under the law: "For thou art no more a servant," he says, "but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God." What, then, is lacking to the son after inheritance? Wherefore the expression, "When I was a child," may be elegantly expounded thus: that is, when I was a Jew (for he was a Hebrew by extraction) I thought as a child, when I followed the law; but after becoming a man, I no longer entertain the sentiments of a child, that is, of the law, but of a man, that is, of Christ, whom alone the Scripture calls man, as we have said before. "I put away childish things." But the childhood which is in Christ is maturity, as compared with the law. Having reached this point, we must defend our childhood. And we have still to explain what is said by the apostle: "I have fed you with milk (as children in Christ), not with meat; for ye were not able, neither yet are ye now able." For it does not appear to me that the expression is to be taken in a Jewish sense; for I shall oppose to it also that Scripture, "I will bring you into that good land which flows with milk and honey." A very great difficulty arises in reference to the comparison of these Scriptures, when we consider. For if the infancy which is characterized by the milk is the beginning of faith in Christ, then it is disparaged as childish and imperfect. How is the rest that comes after the meat, the rest of the man who is perfect and endowed with knowledge, again distinguished by infant milk? Does not this, as explaining a parable, mean something like this, and is not the expression to be read somewhat to the following effect: "I have fed you with milk in Christ; " and after a slight stop, let us add, "as children," that by separating the words in reading we may make out some such sense as this: I have instructed you in Christ with simple, true, and natural nourishment,--namely, that which is spiritual: for such is the nourishing substance of milk swelling out from breasts of love. So that the whole matter may be conceived thus: As nurses nourish new-born children on milk, so do I also by the Word, the milk of Christ, instilling into you spiritual nutriment.
Thus, then, the milk which is perfect is perfect nourishment, and brings to that consummation which cannot cease. Wherefore also the same milk and honey were promised in the rest. Rightly, therefore, the Lord again promises milk to the righteous, that the Word may be clearly shown to be both, "the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end;" the Word being figuratively represented as milk. Something like this Homer oracularly declares against his will, when he calls righteous men milk-fed (galaktofagoi). So also may we take the Scripture: "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ; " so that the carnal may be understood as those recently instructed, and still babes in Christ. For he called those who had already believed on the Holy Spirit spiritual, and those newly instructed and not yet purified carnal; whom with justice he calls still carnal, as minding equally with the heathen the things of the flesh: "For whereas there is among you envy and strife, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" "Wherefore also I have given you milk to drink," he says; meaning, I have instilled into you the knowledge which, from instruction, nourishes up to life eternal. But the expression, "I have given you to drink" (epotisa), is the symbol of perfect appropriation. For those who are full-grown are said to drink, babes to suck. "For my blood," says the Lord, "is true drink." In saying, therefore, "I have given you milk to drink," has he not indicated the knowledge of the truth, the perfect gladness in the Word, who is the milk? And what follows next, "not meat, for ye were not able," may indicate the clear revelation in the future world, like food, face to face. "For now we see as through a glass," the same apostle says, "but then face to face." Wherefore also he has added, "neither yet are ye now able, for ye are still carnal," minding the things of the flesh,--desiring, loving, feeling jealousy, wrath, envy. "For we are no more in the flesh," as some suppose. For with it [they say], having the face which is like an angel's, we shall see the promise face to face. How then, if that is truly the promise after our departure hence, say they that they know "what eye hath not known, nor hath entered into the mind of man," who have not perceived by the Spirit, but received from instruction "what ear hath not heard," or that ear alone which "was rapt up into the third heaven?" But it even then was commanded to preserve it unspoken.
But if human wisdom, as it remains to understand, is the glorying in knowledge, hear the law of Scripture: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the mighty man glory in his might; but let him that glorieth glory in the Lord." But we are God-taught, and glory in the name of Christ. How then are we not to regard the apostle as attaching this sense to the milk of the babes? And if we who preside over the Churches are shepherds after the image of the good Shepherd, and you the sheep, are we not to regard the Lord as preserving consistency in the use of figurative speech, when He speaks also of the milk of the flock? And to this meaning we may secondly accommodate the expression, "I have given you milk to drink, and not given you food, for ye are not yet able," regarding the meat not as something different from the milk, but the same in substance. For the very same Word is fluid and mild as milk, or solid and compact as meat. And entertaining this view, we may regard the proclamation of the Gospel, which is universally diffused, as milk; and as meat, faith, which from instruction is compacted into a foundation, which, being more substantial than hearing, is likened to meat, and assimilates to the soul itself nourishment of this kind. Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: "Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood; " describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,--of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle.
And when hope expires, it is as if blood flowed forth; and the vitality of faith is destroyed. If, then, some would oppose, saying that by milk is meant the first lessons--as it were, the first food--and that by meat is meant those spiritual cognitions to which they attain by raising themselves to knowledge, let them understand that, in saying that meat is solid food, and the flesh and blood of Jesus, they are brought by their own vainglorious wisdom to the true simplicity. For the blood is found to be an original product in man, and some have consequently ventured to call it the substance of the soul. And this blood, transmuted by a natural process of assimilation in the pregnancy of the mother, through the sympathy of parental affection, effloresces and grows old, in order that there may be no fear for the child. Blood, too, is the moister part of flesh, being a kind of liquid flesh; and milk is the sweeter and finer part of blood. For whether it be the blood supplied to the foetus, and sent through the navel of the mother, or whether it be the menses themselves shut out from their proper passage, and by a natural diffusion, bidden by the all-nourishing and creating God, proceed to the already swelling breasts, and by the heat of the spirits transmuted, [whether it be the one or the other] that is formed, into food desirable for the babe, that which is changed is the blood. For of all the members, the breasts have the most sympathy with the womb. When there is parturition, the vessel by which blood was conveyed to the foetus is cut off: there is an obstruction Of the flow, and the blood receives an impulse towards the breasts; and on a considerable rush taking place, they are distended, and change the blood to milk in a manner analogous to the change of blood into pus in ulceration. Or if, on the other hand, the blood from the veins in the vicinity of the breasts, which have been opened in pregnancy, is poured into the natural hollows of the breasts; and the spirit discharged from the neighbouring arteries being mixed with it, the substance of the blood, still remaining pure, it becomes white by being agitated like a wave; and by an interruption such as this is changed by frothing it, like what takes place with the sea, which at the assaults of the winds, the poets say, "spits forth briny foam." Yet still the essence is supplied by the blood.
In this way also the rivers, borne on with rushing motion, and fretted by contact with the surrounding air, murmur forth foam. The moisture in our mouth, too, is whitened by the breath. What an absurdity is it, then, not to acknowledge that the blood is converted into that very bright and white substance by the breath! The change it suffers is in quality, not in essence.
You will certainly find nothing else more nourishing, or sweeter, or whiter than milk. In every respect, accordingly, it is like spiritual nourishment, which is sweet through grace, nourishing as life, bright as the day of Christ.
The blood of the Word has been also exhibited as milk. Milk being thus provided in parturition, is supplied to the infant; and the breasts, which till then looked straight towards the husband, now bend down towards the child, being taught to furnish the substance elaborated by nature in a way easily received for salutary nourishment. For the breasts are not like fountains full of milk, flowing in ready prepared; but, by effecting a change in the nutriment, form the milk in themselves, and discharge it. And the nutriment suitable and wholesome for the new-formed and new-born babe is elaborated by God, the nourisher and the Father of all that are generated and regenerated,--as manna, the celestial food of angels, flowed down from heaven on the ancient Hebrews. Even now, in fact, nurses call the first-poured drink of milk by the same name as that food--manna. Further, pregnant women, on becoming mothers, discharge milk. But the Lord Christ, the fruit of the Virgin, did not pronounce the breasts of women blessed, nor selected them to give nourishment; but when the kind and loving Father had rained down the Word, Himself became spiritual nourishment to the good. O mystic marvel! The universal Father is one, and one the universal Word; and the Holy Spirit is one and the same everywhere, and one is the only virgin mother. I love to call her the Church. This mother, when alone, had not milk, because alone she was not a woman. But she is once virgin and mother--pure as a virgin, loving as a mother. And calling her children to her, she nurses them with holy milk, viz., with the Word for childhood. Therefore she had not milk; for the milk was this child fair and comely, the body of Christ, which nourishes by the Word the young brood, which the Lord Himself brought forth in throes of the flesh, which the Lord Himself swathed in His precious blood. O amazing birth! O holy swaddling bands! The Word is all to the child, both father and mother and tutor and nurse. "Eat ye my flesh," He says, "and drink my blood." Such is the suitable food which the Lord ministers, and He offers His flesh and pours forth His blood, and nothing is wanting for the children's growth. O amazing mystery l We are enjoined to cast off the old and carnal corruption, as also the old nutriment, receiving in exchange another new regimen, that of Christ, receiving Him if we can, to hide Him within; and that, enshrining the Saviour in our souls, we may correct the affections of our flesh.
But you are not inclined to understand it thus, but perchance more generally. Hear it also in the following way. The flesh figuratively represents to us the Holy Spirit; for the flesh was created by Him. The blood points out to us the Word, for as rich blood the Word has been infused into life; and the union of both is the Lord, the food of the babes--the Lord who is Spirit and Word. The food- that is, the Lord Jesus--that is, the Word of God, the Spirit made flesh, the heavenly flesh sanctified. The nutriment is the milk of the Father, by which alone we infants are nourished. The Word Himself, then, the beloved One, and our nourisher, hath shed His own blood for us, to save humanity; and by Him, we, believing on God, flee to the Word, "the care-soothing breast" of the Father. And He alone, as is befitting, supplies us children with the milk of love, and those only are truly Messed who suck this breast. Wherefore also Peter says: "Laying therefore aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisy, and envy, and evil speaking, as new-born babes, desire the milk of the word, that ye may grow by it to salvation; if ye have tasted that the Lord is Christ." And were one to concede to them that the meat was something different from the milk, then how shall they avoid being transfixed on their own spit, through want of consideration of nature? For in winter, when the air is condensed, and prevents the escape of the heat enclosed within, the food, transmuted and digested and changed into blood, passes into the veins, and these, in the absence of exhalation, are greatly distended, and exhibit strong pulsations; consequently also nurses are then fullest of milk. And we have shown a little above, that on pregnancy blood passes into milk by a change which does not affect its substance, just as in old people yellow hair changes to grey. But again in summer, the body, having its pores more open, affords greater facility for diaphoretic action in the case of the food, and the milk is least abundant, since neither is the blood full, nor is the whole nutriment retained. If, then, the digestion of the food results in the production of blood, and the blood becomes milk, then blood is a preparation for milk, as blood is for a human being, and the grape for the vine. With milk, then, the Lord's nutriment, we are nursed directly we are born; and as soon as we are regenerated, we are honoured by receiving the good news of the hope of rest, even the Jerusalem above, in which it is written that milk and honey fall in showers, receiving through what is material the pledge of the sacred food. "For meats are done away with," as the apostle himself says; but this nourishment on milk leads to the heavens, rearing up citizens of heaven, and members of the angelic choirs. And since the Word is the gushing fountain of life, and has been called a river of olive oil, Paul, using appropriate figurative language, and calling Him milk, adds: "I have given you to drink;" for we drink in the word, the nutriment of the truth. In truth, also liquid food is called drink; and the same thing may somehow be both meat and drink, according to the different aspects in which it is considered, just as cheese is the solidification of milk or milk solidified; for I am not concerned here to make a nice selection of an expression, only to say that one substance supplies both articles of food. Besides, for children at the breast, milk alone suffices; it serves both for meat and drink. "I,"
says the Lord, "have meat to eat that ye know not of. My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me." You see another kind of food which, similarly with milk, represents figuratively the will of God. Besides, also, the completion of His own passion He called catachrestically "a cup," when He alone had to drink and drain it. Thus to Christ the fulfilling of His Father's will was food; and to us infants, who drink the milk of the word of the heavens, Christ Himself is food. Hence seeking is called sucking; for to those babes that seek the Word, the Father's breasts of love supply milk.
Further, the Word declares Himself to be the bread of heaven. "For Moses," He says, "gave you not that bread from heaven, but My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He that cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world. And the bread which I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Here is to be noted the mystery of the bread, inasmuch as He speaks of it as flesh, and as flesh, consequently, that has risen through fire, as the wheat springs up from decay and germination; and, in truth, it has risen through fire for the joy of the Church, as bread baked. But this will be shown by and by more clearly in the chapter on the resurrection. But since He said, "And the bread which I will give is My flesh," and since flesh is moistened with blood, and blood is figuratively termed wine, we are bidden to know that, as bread, crumbled into a mixture of wine and water, seizes on the wine and leaves the watery portion, so also the flesh of Christ, the bread of heaven absorbs the blood; that is, those among men who are heavenly, nourishing them up to immortality, and leaving only to destruction the lusts of the flesh.
Thus in many ways the Word is figuratively described, as meat, and flesh, and food, and bread, and blood, and milk. The Lord is all these, to give enjoyment to us who have believed on Him. Let no one then think it strange, when we say that the Lord's blood is figuratively represented as milk. For is it not figuratively represented as wine? "Who washes," it is said, "His garment in wine, His robe in the blood of the grape." In His Own Spirit He says He will deck the body of the Word; as certainly by His own Spirit He will nourish those who hunger for the Word.
And that the blood is the Word, is testified by the blood of Abel, the righteous interceding with God. For the blood would never have uttered a voice, had it not been regarded as the Word: for the righteous man of old is the type of the new righteous one; and the blood of old that interceded, intercedes in the place of the new blood. And the blood that is the Word cries to God, since it intimated that the Word was to suffer.
Further, this flesh, and the blood in it, are by a mutual sympathy moistened and increased by the milk. And the process of formation of the seed in conception ensues when it has mingled with the pure residue of the menses, which remains. For the force that is in the seed coagulating the substances of the blood, as the rennet curdles milk, effects the essential part of the formative process. For a suitable blending conduces to fruitfulness; but extremes are adverse, and tend to sterility. For when the earth itself is flooded by excessive rain, the seed is swept away, while in consequence of scarcity it is dried up; but when the sap is viscous, it retains the seed, and makes it germinate. Some also hold the hypothesis, that the seed of an animal is in substance the foam of the blood, which being by the natural heat of the male agitated and shaken out is turned into foam, and deposited in the seminal veins. For Diogenes Apollionates will have it, that hence is derived the word aphrodisia.
From all this it is therefore evident, that the essential principle of the human body is blood. The contents of the stomach, too, at first are milky, a coagulation of fluid; then the same coagulated substance is changed into blood; but when it is formed into a compact consistency in the womb, by the natural and warm spirit by which the embryo is fashioned, it becomes a living creature. Further also, the child after birth is nourished by the same blood. For the flow of milk is the product of the blood; and the source of nourishment is the milk; by which a woman is shown to have brought forth a child, and to be truly a mother, by which also she receives a potent charm of affection. Wherefore the Holy Spirit in the apostle, using the voice of the Lord, says mystically, "I have given you milk to drink." For if we have been regenerated unto Christ, He who has regenerated us nourishes us with His own milk, the Word; for it is proper that what has procreated should forthwith supply nourishment to that which has been procreated. And as the regeneration was conformably spiritual, so also was the nutriment of man spiritual. In all respects, therefore, and in all things, we are brought into union with Christ, into relationship through His blood, by which we are redeemed; and into sympathy, in consequence of the nourishment which flows from the Word; and into immortality, through His guidance:- "Among men the bringing up of children Often produces stronger impulses to love than the procreating of them."
The same blood and milk of the Lord is therefore the symbol of the Lord's passion and teaching. Wherefore each of us babes is permitted to make our boast in the Lord, while we proclaim:- "Yet of a noble sire and noble blood I boast me sprung."
And that milk is produced from blood by a change, is already clear; yet we may learn it from the flocks and herds. For these animals, in the time of the year which we call spring, when the air has more humidity, and the grass and meadows are juicy. and moist, are first filled with blood, as is shown by the distension of the veins of the swollen vessels; and from the blood the milk flows more copiously. But in summer again, the blood being burnt and dried up by the heat, prevents the change, and so they have less milk.
Further, milk has a most natural affinity for water, as assuredly the spiritual washing has for the spiritual nutriment. Those, therefore, that swallow a little cold water, in addition to the above-mentioned milk, straightway feel benefit; for the milk is prevented from souring by its combination with water, not in consequence of any antipathy between them, but in consequence of the water taking kindly to the milk while it is undergoing digestion.
And such as is the union of the Word with baptism, is the agreement of milk with water; for it receives it alone of all liquids, and admits of mixture with water, for the purpose of cleansing, as baptism for the remission of sins. And it is mixed naturally with honey also, and this for cleansing along with sweet nutriment. For the Word blended with love at once cures our passions and cleanses our sins; and the saying, "Sweeter than honey flowed the stream of speech," seems to me to have been spoken of the Word, who is honey. And prophecy oft extols Him "above honey and the honeycomb."
Furthermore, milk is mixed with sweet wine; and the mixture is beneficial, as when suffering is mixed in the cup in order to immortality. For the milk is curdled by the wine, and separated, and whatever adulteration is in it is drained off. And in the same way, the spiritual communion of faith with suffering man, drawing off as serous matter the lusts of the flesh, commits man to eternity, along with those who are divine, immortalizing him.
Further, many also use the fat of milk, called butter, for the lamp, plainly indicating by this enigma the abundant unction of the Word, since He alone it is who nourishes the infants, makes them grow, and enlightens them. Wherefore also the Scripture says respecting the Lord," He fed them with the produce of the fields; they sucked honey from the rock, and oil from the solid rock, butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs;" and what follows He gave them. But he that prophesies the birth of the child says: "Butter and honey shall He eat." And it occurs to me to wonder how some dare call themselves perfect and gnostics, with ideas of themselves above the apostle, inflated and boastful, when Paul even owned respecting himself, "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am apprehended of Christ. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forth to those that are before, I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus." And yet he reckons himself perfect, because he has been emancipated from his former life, and strives after the better life, not as perfect in knowledge, but as aspiring after perfection. Wherefore also he adds, "As many of us as are perfect, are thus minded," manifestly describing perfection as the renunciation of sin, and regeneration into the faith of the only perfect One, and forgetting our former sins.
CHAP. VII.--WHO THE INSTRUCTOR IS, AND RESPECTING HIS INSTRUCTION.
Since, then, we have shown that all of us are by Scripture called children; and not only so, but that we who have followed Christ are figuratively called babes; and that the Father of all alone is perfect, for the Son is in Him, and the Father is in the Son; it is time for us in due course to say who our Instructor is.
He is called Jesus: Sometimes He calls Himself a shepherd, and says, "I am the good Shepherd." According to a metaphor drawn from shepherdS, who lead the sheep, is hereby understood the Instructor, who leads the children--the Shepherd who tends the babes. For the babes are simple, being figuratively described as sheep. "And they shall all," it is said, "be one flock, and one shepherd." The Word, then, who leads the children to salvation, is appropriately called the Instructor (Paedagogue).
With the greatest clearness, accordingly, the Word has spoken respecting Himself by Hosea: "I am your Instructor." Now piety is instruction, being the learning of the service of God, and training in the knowledge of the truth, and right guidance which leads to heaven. And the word "instruction" is employed variously. For there is the instruction of him who is led and learns, and that of him who leads and teaches; and there is, thirdly, the guidance itself; and fourthly, what is taught, as the commandments enjoined.
Now the instruction which is of God is the right direction of truth to the contemplation of God, and the exhibition of holy deeds in everlasting perseverance.
As therefore the general directs the phalanx, consulting the safety of his soldiers, and the pilot steers the vessel, desiring to save the passengers; so also the Instructor guides the children to a saving course of conduct, through solicitude for us; and, in general, whatever we ask in accordance with reason from God to be done for us, will happen to those who believe in the Instructor. And just as the helmsman does not always yield to the winds, but sometimes, turning the prow towards them, opposes the whole force of the hurricanes; so the Instructor never yields to the blasts that blow in this world, nor commits the child to them like a vessel to make shipwreck on a wild and licentious course of life; but, wafted on by the favouring breeze of the Spirit of truth, stoutly holds on to the child's helm,--his ears, I mean,--until He bring him safe to anchor in the haven of heaven.
What is called by men an ancestral custom passes away in a moment, but the divine guidance is a possession which abides for ever.
They say that Phoenix was the instructor of Achilles, and Adrastus of the children of Croesus; and Leonides of Alexander, and Nausithous of Philip. But Phoenix was women-mad Adrastus was a fugitive. Leonides did not curtail the pride of Alexander, nor Nausithous reform the drunken Pellaean. No more was the Thracian Zopyrus able to check the fornication of Alcibiades; but Zopyrus was a bought slave, and Sicinnus, the tutor of the children of Themistocles, was a lazy domestic. They say also that he invented the Sicinnian dance. Those have not escaped our attention who are called royal instructors among the Persians; whom, in number four, the kings of the Persians select with the greatest care from all the Persians and set over their sons. But the children only learn the use of the bow, and on reaching maturity have sexual intercourse with sisters, and mothers, and women, wives and courtesans innumerable, practised in intercourse like the wild boars.
But our Instructor is the holy God Jesus, the Word, who is the guide of all humanity. The loving God Himself is our Instructor. Somewhere in song the Holy Spirit says with regard to Him, "He provided sufficiently for the people in the wilderness. He led him about in the thirst of summer heat in a dry land, and instructed him, and kept him as the apple of His eye, as an eagle protects her nest, and shows her fond solicitude for her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, and bears them on her back. The Lord alone led them, and there was no strange god with them." Clearly, I trow, has the Scripture exhibited the Instructor in the account it gives of His guidance.
Again, when He speaks in His own person, He confesses Himself to be the Instructor: "I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt." Who, then, has the power of leading in and out? Is it not the Instructor? This was He who appeared to Abraham, and said to him, "I am thy God, be accepted before Me;" and in a way most befitting an instructor, forms him into a faithful child, saying, "And be blameless; and I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and try seed." There is the communication of the Instructor's friendship. And He most manifestly appears as Jacob's instructor. He says accordingly to him, "Lo, I am with thee, to keep thee in all the way in which thou shalt go; and I will bring thee back into this land: for I will not leave thee till I do what I have told thee." He is said, too, to have wrestled with Him. "And Jacob was left alone, and there wrestled with him a man (the Instructor) till the morning." This was the man who led, and brought, and wrestled with, and anointed the athlete Jacob against evil. Now that the Word was at once Jacob's trainer and the Instructor of humanity [appears from this]--"He asked," it is said, "His name, and said to him, Tell me what is Try name." And he said, "Why is it that thou askest My name?" For He reserved the new name for the new people--the babe; and was as yet unnamed, the Lord God not having yet become man. Yet Jacob called the name of the place, "Face of God." "For I have seen," he says, "God face to face; and my life is preserved." The face of God is the Word by whom God is manifested and made known. Then also was he named Israel, because he saw God the Lord. It was God, the Word, the Instructor, who said to him again afterwards, "Fear not to go down into Egypt." See how the Instructor follows the righteous man, and how He anoints the athlete, teaching him to trip up his antagonist.
It is He also who teaches Moses to act as instructor. For the Lord says, "If any one sin before Me, him will I blot out of My book; but now, go and lead this people into the place which I told thee." Here He is the teacher of the art of instruction. For it was really the Lord that was the instructor of the ancient people by Moses; but He is the instructor of the new people by Himself, face to face. "For behold," He says to Moses, "My angel shall go before thee," representing the evangelical and commanding power of the Word, but guarding the Lord's prerogative. "In the day on which I will visit them," He says, "I will bring their sins on them; that is, on the day on which I will sit as judge I will render the recompense of their sins." For the same who is Instructor is judge, and judges those who disobey Him; and the loving Word will not pass over their transgression in silence. He reproves, that they may repent. For "the Lord willeth the repentance of the sinner rather than his death." And let us as babes, hearing of the sins of others, keep from similar transgressions, through dread of the threatening, that we may not have to undergo like sufferings. What, then, was the sin which they committed? "For in their wrath they slew men, and in their impetuosity they hamstrung bulls. Cursed be their anger." Who, then, would train us more lovingly than He? Formerly the older people had an old covenant, and the law disciplined the people with fear, and the Word was an angel; but to the fresh and new people has also been given a new covenant, and the Word has appeared, and fear is turned to love, and that mystic angel is born--Jesus. For this same Instructor said then, "Thou shalt fear the Lord God;" but to us He has addressed the exhortation, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God." Wherefore also this is enjoined on us: "Cease from your own works, from your old sins;" "Learn to do well;" "Depart from evil, and do good;" "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity." This is my new covenant written in the old letter. The newness of the word must not, then, be made ground of reproach. But the Lord hath also said in Jeremiah: "Say not that I am a youth: before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before I brought thee out of the womb I sanctified thee." Such allusions prophecy can make to us, destined in the eye of God to faith before the foundation of the world; but now babes, through the recent fulfilment of the will of God, according to which we are born now to calling and salvation. Wherefore also He adds, "I have set thee for a prophet to the nations," saying that he must prophesy, so that the appellation of "youth" should not become a reproach to those who are called babes.
Now the law is ancient grace given through Moses by the Word. Wherefore also the Scripture says, "The law was given through Moses," not by Moses, but by the Word, and through Moses His servant. Wherefore it was only temporary; but eternal grace and truth were by Jesus Christ. Mark the expressions of Scripture: of the law only is it said "was given;" but truth being the grace of the Father, is the eternal work of the Word; and it is not said to be given, but to be by Jesus, without whom nothing was. Presently, therefore, Moses prophetically, giving place to the perfect Instructor the Word, predicts both the name and the office of Instructor, and committing to the people the commands of obedience, sets before them the Instructor. "A prophet," says he, "like Me shall God raise up to you of your brethren," pointing out Jesus the Son of God, by an allusion to Jesus the son of Nun; for the name of Jesus predicted in the law was a shadow of Christ. He adds, therefore, consulting the advantage of the people, "Him shall ye hear;" and, "The man who will not hear that Prophet," him He threatens. Such a name, then, he predicts as that of the Instructor, who is the author of salvation. Wherefore prophecy invests Him with a rod, a rod of discipline, of rule, of authority; that those whom the persuasive word heals not, the threatening may heal; and whom the threatening heals not, the rod may heal; and whom the rod heals not, the fire may devour. "There shall come forth," it is said, "a rod out of the root of Jesse."
See the care, and wisdom, and power of the Instructor: "He shall not judge according to opinion, nor according to report; but He shall dispense judgment to the humble, and reprove the sinners of the earth." And by David: "The Lord instructing, hath instructed me, and not given me over to death." For to be chastised of the Lord, and instructed, is deliverance from death. And by the same prophet He says:
"Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron." Thus also the apostle, in the Epistle to the Corinthians, being moved, says, "What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, in the spirit of meekness?" Also, "The Lord shall send the rod of strength out of Sion," He says by another prophet. And this same rod of instruction, "Thy rod and staff have comforted me," said some one else. Such is the power of the Instructor--sacred, soothing, saving.
CHAP. VIII.--AGAINST THOSE WHO THINK THAT WHAT IS JUST IS NOT GOOD.
At this stage some rise up, saying that the Lord, by reason of the rod, and threatening, and fear, is not good; misapprehending, as appears, the Scripture which says, "And he that feareth the Lord will turn to his heart;" and most of all, oblivious of His love, in that for us He became man. For more suitably to Him, the prophet prays in these words: "Remember us, for we are dust;" that: is, Sympathize with us; for Thou knowest from personal experience of suffering the weakness of the flesh. In this respect, therefore, the Lord the Instructor is most good and unimpeachable, sympathizing as He does from the exceeding greatness of His love with the nature of each man. "For there is nothing which the Lord hates." For assuredly He does not hate anything, and yet wish that which He hates to exist Nor does He wish anything not to exist, and yet become the cause of existence to that which He wishes not to exist. Nor does He wish anything not to exist which yet exists. If, then, the Word hates anything, He does not wish it to exist. But nothing exists, the cause of whose existence is not supplied by God. Nothing, then, is hated by God, nor yet by the Word. For both are one--that is, God. For He has said, "In the beginning the Word was in God, and the Word was God." If then He hates none of the things which He has made, it follows that He loves them. Much more than the rest, and with reason, will He love man, the noblest of all objects created by Him, and a God-loving being. Therefore God is loving; consequently the Word is loving.
But he who loves anything wishes to do it good. And that which does good must be every way better than that which does not good. But nothing is better than the Good. The Good, then, does good. And God is admitted to be good. God therefore does good. And the Good, in virtue of its being good, does nothing else than do good. Consequently God does all good. And He does no good to man without caring for him, and He does not care far him without taking care of him. For that which does good purposely, is better than what does not good purposely. But nothing is better than God. And to do good purposely, is nothing else than to take care of man. God therefore cares for man, and takes care of him. And He shows this practically, in instructing him by the Word, who is the true coadjutor of God's love to man. But the good is not said to be good, on account of its being possessed of virtue; as also righteousness is not said to be good on account of its possessing virtue--for it is itself virtue.--but on account of its being in itself and by itself good.
In another way the useful is called good, not on account of its pleasing, but of its doing good. All which, therefore, is righteousness, being a good thing, both as virtue and as desirable for its own sake, and not as giving pleasure; for it does not judge in order to win favour, but dispenses to each according to his merits. And the beneficial follows the useful. Righteousness, therefore, has characteristics corresponding to all the aspects in which goodness is examined, both possessing equal properties equally. And things which are characterized by equal properties are equal and similar to each other. Righteousness is therefore a good thing.
"How then," say they, "if the Lord loves man, and is good, is He angry and punishes?" We must therefore treat of this point with all possible brevity; for this mode of treatment is advantageous to the right training of the children, occupying the place of a necessary help. For many of the passions are cured by punishment, and by the inculcation of the sterner precepts, as also by instruction in certain principles. For reproof is, as it were, the surgery of the passions of the soul; and the passions are, as it were, an abscess of the truth, which must be cut open by an incision of the lancet of reproof.
Reproach is like the application of medicines, dissolving the callosities of the passions, and purging the impurities of the lewdness of the life; and in addition, reducing the excrescences of pride, restoring the patient to the healthy and true state of humanity.
Admonition. is, as it were, the regimen of the diseased soul, prescribing what it must take, and forbidding what it must not. And all these tend to salvation and eternal health.
Furthermore, the general of an army, by inflicting fines and corporeal punishments with chains and the extremest disgrace on offenders, and sometimes even by punishing individuals with death, aims at good, doing so for the admonition of the officers under him.
Thus also He who is our great General, the Word, the Commander-in-chief of the universe by admonishing those who throw off the restraints of His law, that He may effect their release from the slavery, error, and captivity of the adversary, brings them peacefully to the sacred concord of citizenship.
As, therefore in addition to persuasive discourse, there is the hortatory and the consolatory form; so also, in addition to the laudatory, there is the inculpatory and reproachful. And this latter constitutes the art of censure.
Now censure is a mark of good-will, not of ill-will. For both he who is a friend and he who is not, reproach; but the enemy does so in scorn, the friend in kindness. It is not, then, from hatred that the Lord chides men; for He Himself suffered for us, whom He might have destroyed for our faults. For the Instructor also, in virtue of His being good, with consummate art glides into censure by rebuke; rousing the sluggishness of the mind by His sharp words as by a scourge. Again in turn He endeavours to exhort the same persons. For those who are not induced by praise are spurred on by censure; and those whom censure calls not forth to salvation being as dead, are by denunciation roused to the truth. "For the stripes and correction of wisdom are in all time." "For teaching a fool is gluing a potsherd; and sharpening to sense a hopeless blockhead is bringing earth to sensation."' Wherefore He adds plainly, "rousing the sleeper from deep sleep," which of all things else is likest death.
Further, the Lord shows very clearly of HimSelf, when, describing figuratively His manifold and in many ways serviceable culture,--He says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman." Then He adds, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit He pruneth, that it may bring forth more fruit." For the vine that is not pruned grows to wood. So also man. The Word--the knife--clears away the wanton shoots; compelling the impulses of the soul to fructify, not to indulge in lust. Now, reproof addressed to sinners has their salvation for its aim, the word being harmoniously adjusted to each one's conduct; now with tightened, now. with relaxed cords. Accordingly it was very plainly said by Moses," Be of good courage: God has drawn near to try you, that His fear may be among you, that ye sin not." And Plato, who had learned from this source, says beautifully: "For all who suffer punishment are in reality treated well, for they are benefited; since the spirit of those who are justly punished is improved." And if those who are corrected receive good at the hands of justice, and, according to Plato, what is just is acknowledged to be good, fear itself does good, and has been found to be for men's good. "For the soul that feareth the Lord shall live, for their hope is in Him who saveth them." And this same Word who inflicts punishment is judge; regarding whom Esaias also says, "The Lord has assigned Him to our sins," plainly as a corrector and reformer of sins. Wherefore He alone is able to forgive our iniquities, who has been appointed by the Father, Instructor of us all; He alone it is who is able to distinguish between disobedience and obedience. And while He threatens, He manifestly is unwilling to inflict evil to execute His threatenings; but by inspiring men with fear, He cuts off the approach to sin, and shows His love to man, still delaying, and declaring what they shall suffer if they continue sinners, and is not as a serpent, which the moment it fastens on its prey devours it.
God, then, is good. And the Lord speaks many a time and oft before He proceeds to act. "For my arrows," He says, "will make an end of them; they shall be consumed with hunger, and be eaten by birds; and there shall be incurable tetanic incurvature. I will send the teeth of wild beasts upon them, with the rage of serpents creeping on the earth. Without, the sword shall make them childless; and out of their chambers shall be fear." For the Divine Being is not angry in the way that some think; but often restrains, and always exhorts humanity, and shows what ought to be done. And this is a good device, to terrify lest we sin. "For the fear of the Lord drives away sins, and he that is without fear cannot be justified," says the Scripture. And God does not inflict punishment from wrath, but for the ends of justice; since it is not expedient that justice should be neglected on our account. Each one of us, who sins, with his own free-will chooses punishment, and the blame lies with him who chooses. God is without blame. "But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous, who taketh vengeance? God forbid." He says, therefore, threatening," I will sharpen my sword, and my hand shall lay hold on judgment; and I will render justice to mine enemies, and requite those who hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh from the blood of the wounded." It is clear, then, that those who are not at enmity with the truth, and do not hate the Word, will not hate their own salvation, but will escape the punishment of enmity. "The crown of wisdom," then as the book of Wisdom says, "is the fear of the Lord." Very clearly, therefore, by the prophet Amos has the Lord unfolded His method of dealing, saying, "I have overthrown you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah; and ye shall be as a brand plucked from the fire: and yet ye have not returned unto me, saith the LORD."
See how God, through His love of goodness, seeks repentance; and by means of the plan He pursues of threatening silently, shows His own love for man. "I will avert," He says, "My face from them, and show what shall happen to them." For where the face of the Lord looks, there is peace and rejoicing; but where it is averted, there is the introduction of evil. The Lord, accordingly, does not wish to look on evil things; for He is good. But on His looking away, evil arises spontaneously through human unbelief. "Behold, therefore," says Paul, "the goodness and severity of God: on them that fell severity; but upon thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness," that is, in faith in Christ.
Now hatred of evil attends the good man, in virtue of His being in nature good. Wherefore I will grant that He punishes the disobedient (for punishment is for the good and advantage of him who is punished, for it is the correction of a refractory subject); but I will not grant that He wishes to take vengeance. Revenge is retribution for evil, imposed for the advantage of him who takes the revenge. He will not desire us to take revenge, who teaches us "to pray for those that despitefully use us." But that God is good, all willingly admit; and that the same God is just, I require not many more words to prove, after adducing the evangelical utterance of the Lord; He speaks of Him as one, "That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world also may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given them; that they may be one, as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one." God is one, and beyond the one and above the Monad itself. Wherefore also the particle "Thou," having a demonstrative emphasis, points out God, who alone truly is, "who was, and is, and is to come," in which three divisions of time the one name (o wn); "who is," has its place. And that He who alone is God is also alone and truly righteous, our Lord in the Gospel itself shall testify, saying "Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: For Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared to them Thy name, and will declare it." This is He "that visits the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, to them that hate Him, and shows mercy to those that love Him." For He who placed some "on the right hand, and others on the left," conceived as Father, being good, is called that which alone He is--" good;" but as He is the Son in the Father, being his Word, from their mutual relation, the name of power being measured by equality of love, He is called righteous. "He will judge," He says, "a man according to his works," --a good balance, even God having made known to us the face of righteousness in the person of Jesus, by whom also, as by even scales, we know God. Of this also the book of Wisdom plainly says, "For mercy and wrath are with Him, for He alone is Lord of both," Lord of propitiations, and pouring forth wrath according to the abundance of His mercy. "So also is His reproof." For the aim of mercy and of reproof is the salvation of those who are reproved.
Now, that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus is good, the Word Himself will again avouch: "For He is kind to the unthankful and the evil;" and further, when He says," Be merciful, as your Father is merciful." Still further also He plainly says, "None is good, but My Father, who is in heaven." In addition to these, again He says, "My Father makes His sun to shine on all." Here it is to be noted that He proclaims His Father to be good, and to be the Creator. And that the Creator is just, is not disputed: And again he says," My Father sends rain on the just, and on the unjust." In respect of His sending rain, He is the Creator of the waters, and of the clouds. And in respect of His doing so on all, He holds an even balance justly and rightly. And as being good, He does so on just and unjust alike.
Very clearly, then, we conclude Him to be one and the same God, thus. For the Holy Spirit has sung, "I will look to the heavens, the works of Thy hands;" and, "He who created the heavens dwells in the heavens;" and, "Heaven is Thy throne." And the Lord says in His prayer, "Our Father, who art in heaven." And the heavens belong to Him, who created the world. It is indisputable, then, that the Lord is the Son of the Creator. And if, the Creator above all is confessed to be just, and the Lord to be the Son of the Creator; then the Lord is the Son of Him who is just. Wherefore also Paul says, "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested;" and again, that you may better conceive of God, "even the righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus Christ upon all that believe; for there is no difference." And, witnessing further to the truth, he adds after a little, "through the forbearance of God, in order to show that He is just, and that Jesus is the justifier of him who is of faith." And that he knows that what is just is good, appears by his saying, "So that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good," using both names to denote the same power. But "no one is good," except His Father. It is this same Father of His, then who being one is manifested by many powers And this was the import of the utterance, "No man knew the Father," who was Himself everything before the coming of the Son. So that it is veritably clear that the God of all is only one good, just Creator, and the Son in the Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen. But it is not inconsistent with the saving Word, to administer rebuke dictated by solicitude. For this is the medicine of the divine love to man, by which the blush of modesty breaks forth, and shame at sin supervenes. For if one must censure, it is necessary also to rebuke; when it is the time to wound the apathetic soul not mortally, but salutarily, securing exemption from everlasting death by a little pain.
Great is the wisdom displayed in His instruction, and manifold the modes of His dealing in order to salvation. For the Instructor testifies to the good, and summons forth to better things those that are called; dissuades those that are hastening to do wrong from the attempt, and exhorts them to turn to a better life. For the one is not without testimony, when the other has been testified to; and the grace which proceeds from the testimony is very great. Besides, the feeling of anger (if it is proper to call His admonition anger) is full of love to man, God condescending to emotion on man's account; for whose sake also the Word of God became man.
CHAP. IX.--THAT IT IS THE PREROGATIVE OF THE SAME POWER TO BE BENEFICENT AND TO PUNISH JUSTLY. ALSO THE MANNER OF THE INSTRUCTION OF THE LOGOS.
With all His power, therefore, the Instructor of humanity, the Divine Word, using all the resources of wisdom, devotes Himself to the saving of the children, admonishing, upbraiding, blaming, chiding, reproving, threatening, healing, promising, favouring; and as it were, by many reins, curbing the irrational impulses of humanity. To speak briefly, therefore, the Lord acts towards us as we do towards our children. "Hast thou children? correct them," is the exhortation of the book of Wisdom, "and bend them from their youth. Hast thou daughters? attend to their body, and let not thy face brighten towards them," --although we love our children exceedingly, both sons and daughters, above aught else whatever. For those who speak with a man merely to please him, have little love for him, seeing they do not pain him; while those that speak for his good, though they inflict pain for the time, do him good for ever after. It is not immediate pleasure, but future enjoyment, that the Lord has in view.
Let us now proceed to consider the mode of His loving discipline, with the aid of the prophetic testimony.
Admonition, then, is the censure of loving care, and produces understanding. Such is the Instructor in His admonitions, as when He says in the Gospel, "How often would I have gathered thy children, as a bird gathers her young ones under her wings, and ye would not!" And again, the Scripture admonishes, saying, "And they committed adultery with stock and stone, and burnt incense to Baal." For it is a very great proof of His love, that, though knowing well the shamelessness of the people that had kicked and bounded away, He notwithstanding exhorts them to repentance, and says by Ezekiel, "Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of scorpions; nevertheless, speak to them, if peradventure they will hear." Further, to Moses He says, "Go and tell Pharaoh to send My people forth; but I know that he will not send them forth." For He shows both things: both His divinity in His foreknowledge of what would take place, and His love in affording an opportunity for repentance to the self-determination of the soul. He admonishes also by Esaias, in His care for the people, when He says, "This people honour Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me." What follows is reproving censure: "In vain do they worship
Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Here His loving care, having shown their sin, shows salvation side by side.
Upbraiding is censure on account of what is base, conciliating to what is noble. This is shown by Jeremiah: "They were female-mad horses; each one neighed after his neighbour's wife. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?" He everywhere interweaves fear, because "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of sense." And again, by Hosea, He says, "Shall I not visit them? for they themselves were mingled with harlots, and sacrificed with the initiated; and the people that understood embraced a harlot." He shows their offence to be clearer, by declaring that they understood, and thus sinned wilfully.
Understanding is the eye of the soul; wherefore also Israel means, "he that sees God"--that is, he that understands God.
Complaint is censure of those who are regarded as despising or neglecting. He employs this form when He says by Esaias: "Hear, O heaven; and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have begotten and brought up children, but they have disregarded Me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel hath not known Me." For how shall we not regard it fearful, if he that knows God, shall not recognise the Lord; but while the ox and the ass, stupid and foolish animals, will know him who feeds them, Israel is found to be more irrational than these? And having, by Jeremiah, complained against the people on many grounds, He adds: "And they have forsaken Me, saith the LORD."
Invective is a reproachful upbraiding, or chiding censure. This mode of treatment the Instructor employs in Isaiah, when He says, "Woe to you, children revolters. Thus saith the LORD, Ye have taken counsel, but not by Me; and made compacts, but not by My Spirit." He uses the very bitter mordant of fear in each case repressing the people, and at the same time turning them to salvation; as also wool that is undergoing the process of dyeing is wont to be previously treated with mordants, in order to prepare it for taking on a fast colour.
Reproof is the bringing forward of sin, laying it before one. This form of instruction He employs as in the highest degree necessary, by reason of the feebleness of the faith of many. For He says by Esaias, "Ye have forsaken the LORD, and have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger." And He says also by Jeremiah: "Heaven was astonished at this, and the earth shuddered exceedingly. For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and have hewn out to themselves broken cisterns, which will not be able to hold water." And again, by the same: "Jerusalem hath sinned a sin; therefore it became commotion. All that glorified her dishonoured her, when they saw her baseness." And He uses the bitter and biting language of reproof in His consolations by Solomon, tacitly alluding to the love for children that characterizes His instruction: "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the LORD; nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the LORD loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth;" "For a man who is a sinner escapes reproof." Consequently, therefore, the Scripture says, "Let the righteous reprove and correct me; but let not the oil of the sinner anoint my head."
Bringing one to his senses (frenwsis) is censure, which makes a man think. Neither from this form of instruction does he abstain, but says by Jeremiah, "How long shall I cry, and you not hear? So your ears are uncircumcised." O blessed forbearance! And again, by the same: "All the heathen are uncircumcised, but this people is uncircumcised in heart:" "for the people are disobedient; children," says He, "in whom is not faith."
Visitation is severe rebuke. He uses this species in the Gospel: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee!" The reduplication of the name gives strength to the rebuke. For he that knows God, how does he persecute God's servants? Wherefore He says, "Your house is left desolate; for I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall not see Me, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." For if you do not receive His love, ye shall know His power.
Denunciation is vehement speech. And He employs denunciation as medicine, by Isaiah, saying, "Ah, sinful nation, lawless sons, people full of sins, wicked seed!" And in the Gospel by John He says, "Serpents, brood of vipers."
Accusation is censure of wrong-doers. This mode of instruction He employs by David, when He says: "The people whom I knew not served me, and at the hearing of the ear obeyed me. Sons of strangers lied to me, and halted from their ways." And by Jeremiah: "And I gave her a writing of divorcement, and covenant-breaking Judah feared not." And again: "And the house of Israel disregarded Me; and the house of Judah lied to the LORD."
Bewailing one's fate is latent censure, and by artful aid ministers salvation as under a veil. He made use of this by Jeremiah: "How did the city sit solitary that was full of people! She that ruled over territories became as a widow; she came under tribute; weeping, she wept in the night."
Objurgation is objurgatory censure. Of this help the Divine Instructor made use by Jeremiah, saying, "Thou hadst a whore's forehead; thou wast shameless towards all; and didst not call me to the house, who am thy father, and lord of thy virginity." "And a fair and graceful harlot skilled in enchanted potions." With consummate art, after applying to the virgin the opprobrious name of whoredom, He thereupon calls her back to an honourable life by filling her with shame.
Indignation is a rightful upbraiding; or upbraiding on account of ways exalted above what is right. In this way He instructed by Moses, when He said, "Faulty children, a generation crooked and perverse, do ye thus requite the LORD? This people is foolish, and not wise. Is not this thy father who acquired thee?" He says also by Isaiah, "Thy princes are disobedient, companions of thieves, loving gifts, following after rewards, not judging the orphans."
In fine, the system He pursues to inspire fear is the source of salvation. And it is the prerogative of goodness to save: "The mercy of the Lord is on all flesh, while He reproves, corrects, and teaches as a shepherd His flock. He pities those who receive His instruction, and those who eagerly seek union with Him." And with such guidance He guarded the six hundred thousand footmen that were brought together in the hardness of heart in which they were found; scourging, pitying, striking, healing, in compassion and discipline: "For according to the greatness of His mercy, so is His rebuke." For it is indeed noble not to sin; but it is good also for the sinner to repent; just as it is best to be always in good health, but well to recover from disease. So He commands by Solomon: "Strike thou thy son with the rod, that thou mayest deliver his soul from death." And again: "Abstain not from chastising thy son, but correct him with the rod; for he will not die."
For reproof and rebuke, as also the original term implies, are the stripes of the soul, chastizing sins, preventing death, and leading to self-control those carried away to licentiousness. Thus also Plato, knowing reproof to be the greatest power for reformation, and the most sovereign purification, in accordance with what has been said, observes, "that he who is in the highest degree impure is uninstructed and base, by reason of his being unreproved in those respects in which he who is destined to be truly happy ought to be purest and best."
For if rulers are not a terror to a good work, how shall God, who is by nature good, be a terror to him who sins not? "If thou doest evil, be afraid," says the apostle. Wherefore the apostle himself also in every case uses stringent language to the Churches, after the Lord's example; and conscious of his own boldness, and of the weakness of his hearers, he says to the Galatians: "Am I your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Thus also people in health do not require a physician, do not require him as long as they are strong; but those who are ill need his skill. Thus also we who in our lives are ill of shameful lusts and reprehensible excesses, and other inflammatory effects of the passions, need the Saviour. And He administers not only mild, but also stringent medicines. The bitter roots of fear then arrest the eating sores of our sins. Wherefore also fear is salutary, if bitter. Sick, we truly stand in need of the Saviour; having wandered, of one to guide us; blind, of one to lead us to the light; thirsty, "of the fountain of life, of which whosoever partakes, shall no longer thirst;" dead, we need life; sheep, we need a shepherd; we who are children need a tutor, while universal humanity stands in need of Jesus; so that we may not continue intractable and sinners to the end, and thus fall into condemnation, but may be separated from the chaff, and stored up in the paternal garner. "For the fan is in the Lord's hand, by which the chaff due to the fire is separated from the wheat." You may learn, if you will, the crowning wisdom of the all-holy Shepherd and Instructor, of the omnipotent and paternal Word, when He figuratively represents Himself as the Shepherd of the sheep. And He is the Tutor of the children. He says therefore by Ezekiel, directing His discourse to the elders, and setting before them a salutary description of His wise solicitude: "And that which is lame I will bind up, and that which is sick I will heal, and that which has wandered I will turn back; and I will feed them on my holy mountain." Such are the promises of the good Shepherd.
Feed us, the children, as sheep. Yea, Master, fill us with righteousness, Thine own pasture; yea, O Instructor, feed us on Thy holy mountain the Church, which towers aloft, which is above the clouds, which touches heaven. "And I will be," He says, "their Shepherd," and will be near them, as the garment to their skin. He wishes to save my flesh by enveloping it in the robe of immortality, and He hath anointed my body. "They shall call Me," He says, "and I will say, Here am I." Thou didst hear sooner than I expected, Master. "And if they pass over, they shall not slip," saith the Lord. For we who are passing over to immortality shall not fall into corruption, for He shall sustain us. For so He has said, and so He has willed. Such is our Instructor, righteously good. "I came not," He says, "to be ministered unto, but to minister." Wherefore He is introduced in the Gospel "wearied," because toiling for us, and promising "to give His life a ransom for many." For him alone who does so He owns to be the good shepherd. Generous, therefore, is He who gives for us the greatest of all gifts, His own life; and beneficent exceedingly, and loving to men, in that, when He might have been Lord, He wished to be a brother man; and so good was He that He died for us.
Further, His righteousness cried, "If ye come straight to me, I also will come straight to you but if ye walk crooked, I also will walk crooked saith the Lord of hosts;" meaning by the crooked ways the chastisements of sinners. For the straight and natural way which is indicated by the Iota of the name of Jesus is His goodness, which is firm and sure towards those who have believed at hearing: "When I called, ye obeyed not, saith the Lord; but set at nought my counsels, and heeded not my reproofs." Thus the Lord's reproof is most beneficial. David also says of them, "A perverse and provoking race; a race which set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful with God: they kept not the covenant of God, and would not walk in His law."
Such are the causes of provocation for which the Judge comes to inflict punishment on those that would not choose a life of goodness. Wherefore also afterwards He assailed them more roughly; in order, if possible, to drag them back from their impetuous rush towards death. He therefore tells by David the most manifest cause of the threatening: "They believed not in His wonderful works. When He slew them, they sought after Him, and turned and inquired early after God; and remembered that God was their Helper, and God the Most High their Redeemer." Thus He knew that they turned for fear, while they despised His love: for, for the most part, that goodness which is always mild is despised; but He who admonishes by the loving fear of righteousness is reverenced.
There is a twofold species of fear, the one of which is accompanied with reverence, such as citizens show towards good rulers, and we towards God, as also right-minded children towards their fathers. "For an unbroken horse turns out unmanageable, and a son who is let take his own way turns out reckless." The other species of fear is accompanied with hatred, which slaves feel towards hard masters, and the Hebrews felt, who made God a master, not a father. And as far as piety is concerned, that which is voluntary and spontaneous differs much, nay entirely, from what is forced. "For He," it iS said, "is merciful; He will heal their sins, and not destroy them, and fully turn away His anger, and not kindle all His wrath." See how the justice of the Instructor, which deals in rebukes, is shown; and the goodness of God, which deals in compassions. Wherefore David--that is, the Spirit by him--embracing them both, sings of God Himself, "Justice and judgment are the preparation of His throne: mercy and truth shall go before Thy face." He declares that it belongs to the same power both to judge and to do good. For there is power over both together, and judgment separates that which is just from its opposite. And He who is truly God is just and good; who is Himself all, and all is He; for He is God, the only God.
For as the mirror is not evil to an ugly man because it shows him what like he is; and as the physician is not evil to the sick man because he tells him of his fever,--for the physician is not the cause of the fever, but only points out the fever;--so neither is He, that reproves, ill-disposed towards him who is diseased in soul. For He does not put the transgressions on him, but only shows the sins which are there; in order to turn him away from similar practices. So
God is good on His own account, and just also on ours, and He is just because He is good. And His justice is shown to us by His own Word from there from above, whence the Father was. For before He became Creator He was God; He was good. And therefore He wished to be Creator and Father. And the nature of all that love was the source of righteousness--the cause, too, of His lighting up His sun, and sending down His own Son. And He first announced the good righteousness that is from heaven, when He said, "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; nor the Father, but the Son." This mutual and reciprocal knowledge is the symbol of primeval justice. Then justice came down to men both in the letter and in the body, in the Word and in the law, constraining humanity to saving repentance; for it was good. But do you not obey God? Then blame yourself, who drag to yourself the judge.
CHAP. X.--THAT THE SAME GOD, BY THE SAME WORD, RESTRAINS FROM SIN BY
THREATENING, AND SAVES HUMANITY BY EXHORTING.
If, then, we have shown that the plan of dealing stringently with humanity is good and salutary, and necessarily adopted by the Word, and conducive to repentance and the prevention of sins; we shall have now to look in order at the mildness of the Word. For He has been demonstrated to be just. He sets before us His own inclinations which invite to salvation; by which, in accordance with the Father's will, He wishes to make known to us the good and the useful. Consider these. The good (to kalon) belongs to the panegyrical form of speech, the useful to the persuasive. For the hortatory and the de-hortatory are a form of the persuasive, and the laudatory and inculpatory of the panegyrical.
For the persuasive style of sentence in one form becomes hortatory, and in another dehortatory. So also the panegyrical in one form becomes inculpatory, and in another laudatory. And in these exercises the Instructor, the Just One, who has proposed our advantage as His aim, is chiefly occupied. But the inculpatory and dehortatory forms of speech have been already shown us; and we must now handle the persuasive and the laudatory, and, as on a beam, balance the equal scales of justice. The exhortation to what is useful, the Instructor employs by Solomon, to the following effect: "I exhort you, O men; and I utter my voice to the sons of men. Hear me; for I will speak of excellent things; " and so on. And He counsels what is salutary: for counsel has for its end, choosing or refusing a certain course; as He does by David, when He says, "Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsels of the ungodly, and standeth not in the way of sinners, and sitteth not in the chair of pestilences; but his will is in the law of the LORD." And there are three departments of counsel: That which takes examples from past times; as what the Hebrews suffered when they worshipped the golden calf, and what they suffered when they committed fornication, and the like. The second, whose meaning is understood from the present times, as being apprehended by perception; as it was said to those who asked the Lord, "If He was the Christ, or shall we wait for another? Go and tell John, the blind receive their sight, the deaf hear, the lepers are cleansed, the dead are raised up; and blessed is he who shall not be offended in Me." Such was that which David aid when he prophesied, "As we have heard, so have we seen." And the third department of counsel consists of what is future, by which we are bidden guard against what is to happen; as also that was said, "They that fall into sins shall be cast into outer darkness, where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth," and the like. So that from these things it is clear that the Lord, going the round of all the methods of curative treatment, calls humanity to salvation.
By encouragement He assuages sins, reducing lust, and at the same time inspiring hope for salvation. For He says by Ezekiel, "If ye return with your whole heart, and say, Father, I will hear you, as a holy people." And again He says, "Come all to Me, who labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;" and that which is added the Lord speaks in His own person. And very clearly He calls to goodness by Solomon, when He says, "Blessed is the man who hath found wisdom, and the mortal who hath found understanding." "For the good is found by him who seeks it, and is wont to be seen by him who has found it." By Jeremiah, too, He sets forth prudence, when he says, "Blessed are we, Israel; for what is pleasing to God is known by us; --and it is known by the Word, by whom we are blessed and wise. For wisdom and knowledge are mentioned by the same prophet, when he says, "Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life, and give ear to know understanding." By Moses, too, by reason of the love He has to man, He promises a gift to those who hasten to salvation. For He says, "And I will bring you into the good land, which the Lord sware to your fathers. " And further, "And I will bring you into the holy mountain, and make you glad," He says by Isaiah. And still another form of instruction is benediction. "And blessed is he," He saith by David, "who has not sinned; and he shall be as the tree planted near the channels of the waters, which will yield its fruit in its season, and his leaf shall not wither " (by this He made an allusion to the resurrection); "and whatsoever he shall do shall prosper with him." Such He wishes us to be, that we may be blessed. Again, showing the opposite scale of the balance of justice, He says, "But not so the ungodly--not so; but as the dust which the wind sweeps away from the face of the earth." By showing the punishment of sinners, and their easy dispersion, and carrying off by the wind, the Instructor dissuades from crime by means of punishment; and by holding up the merited penalty, shows the benignity of His beneficence in the most skilful way, in order that we may possess and enjoy its blessings. He invites us to knowledge also, when He says by Jeremiah, "Hadst thou walked in the way of God, thou wouldst have dwelt for ever in peace; " for, exhibiting there the reward of knowledge, He calls the wise to the love of it. And, granting pardon to him who has erred, He says, "Turn, turn, as a grape-gatherer to his basket." Do you see the goodness of justice, in that it counsels to repentance? And still further, by Jeremiah, He enlightens in the truth those who have erred. "Thus saith the LORD, Stand in the ways, and look, and ask for the eternal paths of the Lord, what is the good path, and walk in it, and ye shall find purification for your souls." And in order to promote our salvation, He leads us to repentance. Wherefore He says, "If thou repent, the LORD will purify thy heart, and the heart of thy seed." We might have adduced, as supporters on this question, the philosophers who say that only the perfect man is worthy of praise, and the bad man of blame. But since some slander beatitude, as neither itself taking any trouble, nor giving any to any one else, thus not understanding its love to man; on their account, and on account of those who do not associate justice with goodness, the following remarks are added. For it were a legitimate inference to say, that rebuke and censure are suitable to men, since they say that all men are bad; but God alone is wise, from whom cometh wisdom, and alone perfect, and therefore alone worthy of praise. But I do not employ such language. I say, then, that praise or blame, or whatever resembles praise or blame, are medicines most essential of all to men. Some are ill to cure, and, like iron, are wrought into shape with fire, and hammer, and anvil, that is, with threatening, and reproof, and chastisement; while others, cleaving to faith itself, as self-taught, and as acting of their own free-will, grow by praise: "For virtue that is praised Grows like a tree."
And comprehending this, as it seems to me, the Samian Pythagoras gives the injunction :- "When you have done base things, rebuke yourself; But when you have done good things, be glad."
Chiding is also called admonishing; and the etymology of admonishing (nouqethsis) is (nou enqematismos) putting of understanding into one; so that rebuking is bringing one to one's senses.
But there are myriads of injunctions to be found, whose aim is the attainment of what is good, and the avoidance of what is evil. "For there is no peace to the wicked, saith the LORD." Wherefore by Solomon He commands the children to beware: "My son, let not sinners deceive thee, and go not after their ways; and go not, if they entice thee, saying, Come with us, share with us in innocent blood, and let us hide unjustly the righteous man in the earth; let us put him out of sight, all alive as he is into Hades." This is accordingly likewise a prediction concerning the Lord's passion. And by Ezekiel, the life supplies commandments: "The soul that sinneth shall die; but he that doeth righteousness shall be righteous. He eateth not upon the mountains, and hath not set his eyes on the devices of the house of Israel, and will not defile his neighbour's wife, and will not approach to a woman in her separation, and will not oppress a man, and will restore the debtor's pledge, and will not take plunder: he will give his bread to the hungry, and clothe the naked. His money he will not give on usury, and will not take interest; and he will turn away his hand from wrong, and will execute righteous judgment between a man and his neighbour. He has walked in my statutes, and kept my judgments to do them. This is a righteous man. He shall surely live, saith the Lord." These words contain a description of the conduct of Christians, a notable exhortation to the blessed life, which is the reward of a life of goodness--everlasting life.
CHAP, XI.--THAT THE WORD INSTRUCTED BY THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.
The mode of His love and His instruction we have shown as we could. Wherefore He Himself, declaring Himself very beautifully, likened Himself to a grain of mustard-seed; and pointed out the spirituality of the word that is sown, and the productiveness of its nature, and the magnificence and conspicuousness of the power of the word; and besides, intimated that the pungency and the purifying virtue of punishment are profitable on account of its sharpness. By the little grain, as it is figuratively called, He bestows salvation on all humanity abundantly. Honey, being very sweet, generates bile, as goodness begets contempt, which is the cause of sinning. But mustard lessens bile, that is, anger, and stops inflammation, that is, pride. From which Word springs the true health of the soul, and its eternal happy temperament (eukrasia).
Accordingly, of old He instructed by Moses, and then by the prophets. Moses, too, was a prophet. For the law is the training of refractory children. "Having feasted to the full," accordingly, it is said, "they rose up to play; " senseless repletion with victuals being called kortasma (fodder), not brpma (food). And when, having senselessly filled themselves, they senselessly played; on that account the law was given them, and terror ensued for the prevention of transgressions and for the promotion of right actions, securing attention, and so winning to obedience to the true Instructor, being one and the same Word, and reducing to conformity with the urgent demands of the law. For Paul says that it was given to be a "schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." So that from this it is clear, that one alone, true, good, just, in the image and likeness of the Father, His Son Jesus, the Word of God, is our Instructor; to whom God hath entrusted us, as an affectionate father commits his children to a worthy tutor, expressly charging us, "This is my beloved Son: hear Him." The divine Instructor is trustworthy, adorned as He is with three of the fairest ornaments--knowledge, benevolence, and authority of utterance;--with knowledge, for He is the paternal wisdom: "All Wisdom is from the Lord, and with Him for evermore;"--with authority of utterance, for He is God and Creator: "For all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made;" --and with benevolence, for He alone gave Himself a sacrifice for us: "For the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep; " and He has so given it. Now, benevolence is nothing but wishing to do good to one's neighbour for his sake.
CHAP. XII.--THE INSTRUCTOR CHARACTERIZED BY THE SEVERITY AND BENIGNITY OF PATERNAL AFFECTION.
Having now accomplished those things, it were a fitting sequel that our instructor Jesus should draw for us the model of the true life, and train humanity in Christ.
Nor is the cast and character of the life He enjoins very formidable; nor is it made altogether easy by reason of His benignity. He enjoins His commands, and at the same time gives them such a character that they may be accomplished.
The view I take is, that He Himself formed man of the dust, and regenerated him by water; and made him grow by his Spirit; and trained him by His word to adoption and salvation, directing him by sacred precepts; in order that, transforming earth-born man into a holy and heavenly being by His advent, He might fulfil to the utmost that divine utterance, "Let Us make man in Our own image and likeness." And, in truth, Christ became the perfect realization of what God spake; and the rest of humanity is conceived as being created merely in His image.
But let us, O children of the good Father--nurslings of the good Instructor--fulfil the Father's will, listen to the Word, and take on the impress of the truly saving life of our Saviour; and meditating on the heavenly mode of life according to which we have been deified, let us anoint ourselves with the perennial immortal bloom of gladness--that ointment of sweet fragrance--having a clear example of immortality in the walk and conversation of the Lord; and following the footsteps of God, to whom alone it belongs to consider, and whose care it is to see to, the way and manner in which the life of men may be made more healthy. Besides, He makes preparation for a self-sufficing mode of life, for simplicity, and for girding up our loins, and for free and unimpeded readiness of our journey; in order to the attainment of an eternity of beatitude, teaching each one of us to be his own storehouse. For He says, "Take no anxious thought for to-morrow," meaning that the man who has devoted himself to Christ ought to be sufficient to himself, and servant to himself, and moreover lead a life which provides for each day by itself. For it is not in war, but in peace, that we are trained. War needs great preparation, and luxury craves profusion; but peace and love, simple and quiet sisters, require no arms nor excessive preparation. The Word is their sustenance.
Our superintendence in instruction and discipline is the office of the Word, from whom we learn frugality and humility, and all that pertains to love of truth, love of man, and love of excellence. And so, in a word, being assimilated to God by a participation in moral excellence, we must not retrograde into carelessness and sloth. But labour, and faint not. Thou shalt be what thou dost not hope, and canst not conjecture. And as there is one mode of training for philosophers, another for orators, and another for athletes; so is there a generous disposition, suitable to the choice that is set upon moral loveliness, resulting from the training of Christ. And in the case of those who have been trained according to this influence, their gait in walking, their sitting at table, their food, their sleep, their going to bed, their regimen, and the rest of their mode of life, acquire a superior dignity. For such a training as is pursued by the Word is not overstrained, but is of the right tension. Thus, therefore, the Word has been called also the Saviour, seeing He has found out for men those rational medicines which produce vigour of the senses and salvation; and devotes Himself to watching for the favourable moment, reproving evil, exposing the causes of evil affections, and striking at the roots of irrational lusts, pointing out what we ought to abstain from, and supplying all the antidotes of salvation to those who are diseased. For the greatest and most regal work of God is the salvation of humanity. The sick are vexed at a physician, who gives no advice bearing on their restoration to health. But how shall we not acknowledge the highest gratitude to the divine Instructor, who is not silent, who omits not those threatenings that point towards destruction, but discloses them, and cuts off the impulses that tend to them; and who indoctrinates in those counsels which result in the true way of living? We must confess, therefore, the deepest obligations to Him. For what else do we say is incumbent on the rational creature--I mean man--than the contemplation of the Divine? I say, too, that it is requisite to contemplate human nature, and to live as the truth directs, and to admire the Instructor and His injunctions, as suitable and harmonious to each other. According to which image also we ought, conforming ourselves to the Instructor, and making the word and our deeds agree, to live a real life.
CHAP. XIII.--VIRTUE RATIONAL, SIN IRRATIONAL.
Everything that is contrary to right reason is sin. Accordingly, therefore, the philosophers think fit to define the most generic passions thus: lust, as desire disobedient to reason; fear, as weakness disobedient to reason; pleasure, as an elation of the spirit disobedient to reason. If, then, disobedience in reference to reason is the generating cause of sin, how shall we escape the conclusion, that obedience to reason--the Word--which we call faith, will of necessity be the efficacious cause of duty? For virtue itself is a state of the soul rendered harmonious by reason in respect to the whole life. Nay, to crown all, philosophy itself is pronounced to be the cultivation of right reason; so that, necessarily, whatever is done through error of reason is transgression, and is rightly called, (amarthma) sin. Since, then, the first man sinned and disobeyed God, it is said, "And man became like to the beasts:" being rightly regarded as irrational, he is likened to the beasts. Whence Wisdom says: "The horse for covering; the libidinous and the adulturer is become like to an irrational beast." Wherefore also it is added: "He neighs, whoever may be sitting on him." The man, it is meant, no longer speaks; for he who transgresses against reason is no longer rational, but an irrational animal, given up to lusts by which he is ridden (as a horse by his rider).
But that which is done right, in obedience to reason, the followers of the Stoics call proshkon and kaqhkon, that is, incumbent and fitting. What is fitting is incumbent. And obedience is founded on commands. And these being, as they are, the same as counsels--having truth for their aim, train up to the ultimate goal of aspiration, which is conceived of as the end (telos). And the end of piety is eternal rest in God. And the beginning of eternity is our end. The right operation of piety perfects duty by works; whence, according to just reasoning, duties consist in actions, not in sayings. And Christian conduct is the Operation of the rational soul in accordance with a correct judgment and aspiration after the truth, which attains its destined end through the body, the soul's consort and ally. Virtue is a will in conformity to God and Christ in life, rightly adjusted to life everlasting. For the life of Christians, in which we are now trained, is a system of reasonable actions--that is, of those things taught by the Word--an unfailing energy which we have called faith. The system is the commandments of the Lord, which, being divine statues and spiritual counsels, have been written for ourselves, being adapted for ourselves and our neighbours. Moreover, they turn back on us, as the ball rebounds on him that throws it by the repercussion. Whence also duties are essential for divine discipline, as being enjoined by God, and furnished for our salvation. And since, of those things which are necessary, some relate only to life here, and others, which relate to the blessed life yonder, wing us for flight hence; so, in an analogous manner, of duties, some are ordained with reference to life, others for the blessed life. The commandments issued with respect to natural life are published to the multitude; but those that are suited for living well, and from which eternal life springs, we have to consider, as in a sketch, as we read them out of the Scriptures.
CHAP. I.--ON EATING.
KEEPING, then, to our aim, and selecting the Scriptures which bear on the usefulness of training for life, we must now compendiously describe what the man who is called a Christian ought to be during the whole of his life. We must accordingly begin with ourselves, and how we ought to regulate ourselves. We have therefore, preserving a due regard to the symmetry of this work, to say how each of us ought to conduct himself in respect to his body, or rather how to regulate the body itself. For whenever any one, who has been brought away by the Word from external things, and from attention to the body itself to the mind, acquires a clear view of what happens according to nature in man, he will know that he is not to be earnestly occupied about external things, but about what is proper and peculiar to man--to purge the eye of the soul, and to sanctify also his flesh. For he that is clean rid of those things which constitute him still dust, what else has he more serviceable than himself for walking in the way which leads to the comprehension of God.
Some men, in truth, live that they may eat, as the irrational creatures, "whose life is their belly, and nothing else." But the Instructor enjoins us to eat that we may live. For neither is food our business, nor is pleasure our aim; but both are on account of our life here, which the Word is training up to immortality. Wherefore also there is discrimination to be employed in reference to food. And it is to be simple, truly plain, suiting precisely simple and artless children--as ministering to life, not to luxury. And the life to which it conduces consists of two things--health and strength; to which plainness of fare is most suitable, being conducive both to digestion and lightness of body, from which come growth, and health, and right strength, not strength that is wrong or dangerous and wretched, as is that of athletes produced by compulsory feeding.
We must therefore reject different varieties, which engender various mischiefs, such as a depraved habit of body and disorders of the stomach, the taste being vitiated by an unhappy art--that of cookery, and the useless art of making pastry. For people dare to call by the name of food their dabbling in luxuries, which glides into mischievous pleasures. Antiphanes, the Delian physician, said that this variety of viands was the one cause of disease; there being people who dislike the truth, and through various absurd notions abjure moderation of diet, and put themselves to a world of trouble to procure dainties from beyond seas.
For my part, I am sorry for this disease, while they are not ashamed to sing the praises of their delicacies, giving themselves great trouble to get lampreys in the Straits of Sicily, the eels of the Maeander, and the kids found in Melos, and the mullets in Sciathus, and the mussels of Pelorus, the oysters of Abydos, not omitting the sprats found in Lipara, and the Mantinican turnip; and furthermore, the beetroot that grows among the Ascraeans: they seek out the cockles of Methymna, the turbots of Attica, and the thrushes of Daphnis, and the reddish-brown dried figs, on account of which the ill-starred Persian marched into Greece with five hundred thousand men. Besides these, they purchase birds from Phasis, the Egyptian snipes, and the Median peafowl. Altering these by means of condiments, the gluttons gape for the sauces. "Whatever earth and the depths of the sea, and the unmeasured space of the air produce," they cater for their gluttony. In their greed and solicitude, the gluttons seem absolutely to sweep the world with a drag-net to gratify their luxurious tastes. These gluttons, surrounded with the sound of hissing frying-pans, and wearing their whole life away at the pestle and mortar, cling to matter like fire. More than that, they emasculate plain food, namely bread, by straining off the nourishing part of the grain, so that the necessary part of food becomes matter of reproach to luxury. There is no limit to epicurism among men. For it has driven them to sweetmeats, and honey-cakes, and sugar-plums; inventing a multitude of desserts, hunting after all manner of dishes. A man like this seems to me to be all jaw, and nothing else. "Desire not," says the Scripture, "rich men's dainties;" for they belong to a false and base life. They partake of luxurious dishes, which a little after go to the dunghill. But we who seek the heavenly bread must role the belly, which is beneath heaven, and much more the things which are agreeable to it, which "God shall destroy," says the apostle, justly execrating gluttonous desires. For "meats are for the belly," for on them depends this truly carnal and destructive life; whence some, speaking with unbridled tongue, dare to apply the name agape, to pitiful suppers, redolent of savour and sauces. Dishonouring the good and saving work of the Word, the consecrated agape, with pots and pouring of sauce; and by drink and delicacies and smoke desecrating that name, they are deceived in their idea, having expected that the promise of God might be bought with suppers. Gatherings for the sake of mirth, and such entertainments as are called by ourselves, we name rightly suppers, dinners, and banquets, after the example of the Lord. But such entertainments the Lord has not called agapoe. He says accordingly somewhere, "When thou art called to a wedding, recline not on the highest couch; but when thou art called, fall into the lowest place;" and elsewhere, "When thou makest a dinner or a supper;" and again, "But when thou makest an entertainment, call the poor," for whose sake chiefly a supper ought to be made. And further, "A certain man made a great supper, and called many." But I perceive whence the specious appellation of suppers flowed: "from the gullets and furious love for suppers"--according to the comic poet. For, in truth, "to many, many things are on account of the supper." For they have not yet learned that God has provided for His creature (man I mean) food and drink, for sustenance, not for pleasure; since the body derives no advantage from extravagance in viands. For, quite the contrary, those who use the most frugal fare are the strongest and the healthiest, and the noblest; as domestics are healthier and stronger than their masters, and husbandmen than the proprietors; and not only more robust, but wiser, as philosophers are wiser than rich men. For they have not buried the mind beneath food, nor deceived it with pleasures. But love (agape) is in truth celestial food, the banquet of reason. "It beareth all things, endureth all things, hopeth all things. Love never faileth." "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God." But the hardest of all cases is for charity, which faileth not, to be cast from heaven above to the ground into the midst of sauces. And do you imagine that I am thinking of a supper that is to be done away with? "For if," it is said, "I bestow all my goods, and have not love, I am nothing." On this love alone depend the law and the Word; and if "thou shalt love the Lord thy God and thy neighbour," this is the celestial festival in the heavens. But the earthly is called a supper, as has been shown from Scripture. For the supper is made for love, but the supper is not love (agape); only a proof of mutual and reciprocal kindly feeling. "Let not, then, your good be evil spoken of; for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink," says the apostle, in order that the meal spoken of may not be conceived as ephemeral, "but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." He who eats of this meal, the best of all, shall possess the kingdom of God, fixing his regards here on the holy assembly of love, the heavenly Church. Love, then, is something pure and worthy of God, and its work is communication. "And the care of discipline is love," as Wisdom says; "and love is the keeping of the law." And these joys have an inspiration of love from the public nutriment, which accustoms to everlasting dainties. Love (agape), then, is not a supper. But let the entertainment depend on love. For it is said, "Let the children whom Thou hast loved, O Lord, learn that it is not the products of fruits that nourish man; but it is Thy word which preserves those who believe on Thee." "For the righteous shall not live by bread." But let our diet be light and digestible, and suitable for keeping awake, unmixed with diverse varieties. Nor is this a point which is beyond the sphere of discipline. For love is a good nurse for communication; having as its rich provision sufficiency, which, presiding over diet measured in due quantity, and treating the body in a healthful way, distributes something from its resources to those near us, But the diet which exceeds sufficiency injures a man, deteriorates his spirit, and renders his body prone to disease. Besides, those dainty tastes, which trouble themselves about rich dishes drive to practices of ill-repute, daintiness, gluttony, greed, voracity, insatiability. Appropriate designations of such people as so indulge are flies, weasels, flatterers, gladiators, and the monstrous tribes of parasites--the one class surrendering reason, the other friendship, and the other life, for the gratification of the belly; crawling on their bellies, beasts in human shape after the image of their father, the voracious beast. People first called the abandoned aswtous, and so appear to me to indicate their end, understanding them as those who are (aswsous) unsaved, excluding the <s>. For those that are absorbed in pots, and exquisitely prepared niceties of condiments, are they not plainly abject, earth-born, leading an ephemeral kind of life, as if they were not to live [hereafter]? Those the Holy Spirit, by Isaiah, denounces as wretched, depriving them tacitly of the name of love (agape), since their feasting was not in accordance with the word. "But they made mirth, killing calves, and sacrificing sheep, saying, Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." And that He reckons such luxury to be sin, is shown by what He adds, "And your sin shall not be forgiven you till you die," --not conveying the idea that death, which deprives of sensation, is the forgiveness of sin, but meaning that death of salvation which is the recompense of sin. "Take no pleasure in abominable delicacies," says Wisdom. At this point, too, we have to advert to what are called things sacrificed to idols, in order to show how we are enjoined to abstain from them. Polluted and abominable those things seem to me, to the blood of which, fly "Souls from Erebus of inanimate corpses."
" For I would not that ye should have fellowship with demons," says the apostle; since the food of those who are saved and those who perish is separate. We must therefore abstain from these viands not for fear (because there is no power in them); but on account of our conscience, which is holy, and out of detestation of the demons to which they are dedicated, are we to loathe them; and further, on account of the instability of those who regard many things in a way that makes them prone to fall, "whose conscience, being weak, is defiled: for meat commendeth us not to God." "For it is not that which entereth in that defileth a man, but that which goeth out of his mouth." The natural use of food is then indifferent. "For neither if we eat are we the better," it is said, "nor if we eat not are we the worse." But it is inconsistent with reason, for those that have been made worthy to share divine and spiritual food, to partake of the tables of demons. "Have we not power to eat and to drink," says the apostle, "and to lead about wives"? But by keeping pleasures under command we prevent lusts. See, then, that this power of yours never "become a stumbling-block to the weak."
For it were not seemly that we, after the fashion of the rich man's son in the Gospel, should, as prodigals, abuse the Father's gifts; but we should use them, without undue attachment to them, as having command over ourselves. For we are enjoined to reign and rule over meats, not to be slaves to them. It is an admirable thing, therefore, to raise our eyes aloft to what is true, to depend on that divine food above, and to satiate ourselves with the exhaustless contemplation of that which truly exists, and so taste of the only sure and pure delight. For such is the agape, which, the food that comes from Christ shows that we ought to partake of. But totally irrational, futile, and not human is it for those that are of the earth, fattening themselves like cattle, to feed themselves up for death; looking downwards on the earth, and bending ever over tables; leading a life of gluttony; burying all the good of existence here in a life that by and by will end; courting voracity alone, in respect to which cooks are held in higher esteem than husbandmen. For we do not abolish social intercourse, but look with suspicion on the snares of custom, and regard them as a calamity. Wherefore daintiness is to be shunned, and we are to partake of few and necessary things. "And if one of the unbelievers call us to a feast, and we determine to go" (for it is a good thing not to mix with the dissolute), the apostle bids us "eat what is set before us, asking no questions for conscience sake." Similarly he has enjoined to purchase "what is sold in the shambles," without curious questioning?
We are not, then, to abstain wholly from various kinds of food, but only are not to be taken up about them. We are to partake of what is set before us, as becomes a Christian, out of respect to him who has invited us, by a harmless and moderate participation in the social meeting; regarding the sumptuousness of what is put on the table as a matter of indifference, despising the dainties, as after a little destined to perish. "Let him who eateth, not despise him who eateth not; and let him who eateth not, not judge him who eateth." And a little way on he explains the reason of the command, when he says, "He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, and giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks." So that the right food is thanksgiving. And he who gives thanks does not occupy his time in pleasures. And if we would persuade any of our fellow-guests to virtue, we are all the more on this account to abstain from those dainty dishes; and so exhibit ourselves as a bright pattern of virtue, such as we ourselves have in Christ. "For if any of such meats make a brother to stumble, I shall not eat it as long as the world lasts," says he, "that I may not make my brother stumble." I gain the man by a little self-restraint. "Have we not power to eat and to drink?" And "we know"--he says the truth--"that an idol is nothing in the world; but we have only one true God, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus. But," he says, "through thy knowledge thy weak brother perishes, for whom Christ died; and they that wound the conscience of the weak brethren sin against Christ." Thus the apostle, in his solicitude for us, discriminates in the case of entertainments, saying, that "if any one called a brother be found a fornicator, or an adulterer, or an idolater, with such an one not to eat;" neither in discourse or food are we to join, looking with suspicion on the pollution thence proceeding, as on the tables of the demons. "It is good, then, neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine," as both he and the Pythagoreans acknowledge. For this is rather characteristic of a beast; and the fumes arising from them being dense, darken the soul. If one partakes of them, he does not sin. Only let him partake temperately, not dependent on them, nor gaping after fine fare. For a voice will whisper to him, saying, "Destroy not the work of God for the sake of food." For it is the mark of a silly mind to be amazed and stupefied at what is presented at vulgar banquets, after the rich fare which is in the Word; and much sillier to make one's eyes the slaves of the delicacies, so that one's greed is, so to speak, carried round by the servants. And how foolish for people to raise themselves on the couches, all but pitching their faces into the dishes, stretching out from the couch as from a nest, according to the common saying, "that they may catch the wandering steam by breathing it in!" And how senseless, to besmear their hands with the condiments, and to be constantly reaching to the sauce, cramming themselves immoderately and shamelessly, not like people tasting, but ravenously seizing! For you may see such people, liker swine or dogs for gluttony than men, in such a hurry to feed themselves full, that both jaws are stuffed out at once, the veins about the face raised, and besides, the perspiration running all over, as they are tightened with their insatiable greed, and panting with their excess; the food pushed with unsocial eagerness into their stomach, as if they were stowing away their victuals for provision for a journey, not for digestion. Excess, which in all things is an evil, is very highly reprehensible in the matter of food. Gluttony, called oyoFagia, is nothing but excess in the use of relishes (oyon); and laimargia is insanity with respect to the gullet; and gastrimargia is excess with respect to food--insanity in reference to the belly, as the name implies; for margos is a madman. The apostle, checking those that transgress in their conduct at entertainments, says: "For every one taketh beforehand in eating his own supper; and one is hungry, and another drunken. Have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise ye the church of God, and shame those who have not?" And among those who have, they, who eat shamelessly and are insatiable, shame themselves. And both act badly; the one by paining those who have not, the other by exposing their own greed in the presence of those who have. Necessarily, therefore, against those who have cast off shame and unsparingly abuse meals, the insatiable to whom nothing is sufficient, the apostle, in continuation, again breaks forth in a voice of displeasure: "So that, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, wait for one another. And if any one is hungry, let him eat at home, that ye come not together to condemnation."
From all slavish habits" and excess we must abstain, and touch what is set before us in a decorous way; keeping the hand and couch and chin free of stains; preserving the grace of the countenance undisturbed, and committing no indecorum in the act of swallowing; but stretching out the hand at intervals in an orderly manner. We must guard against speaking anything while eating: for the voice becomes disagreeable and inarticulate when it is confined by full jaws; and the tongue, pressed by the food and impeded in its natural energy; gives forth a compressed utterance. Nor is it suitable to eat and to drink simultaneously. For it is the very extreme of intemperance to confound the times whose uses are discordant. And "whether ye eat or drink, do all to the glory of God," aiming after true frugality, which the Lord also seems to me to have hinted at when He blessed the loaves and the cooked fishes with which He feasted the disciples, introducing a beautiful example of simple food. That fish then which, at the command of the Lord, Peter caught, points to digestible and God-given and moderate food. And by those who rise from the water to the bait of righteousness, He admonishes us to take away luxury and avarice, as the coin from the fish; in order that He might displace vainglory; and by giving the stater to the tax-gatherers, and "rendering to Caesar the things which are Caesar's," might preserve "to God the things which are God's." The staler is capable of other explanations not unknown to us, but the present is not a suitable occasion for their treatment. Let the mention we make for our present purpose suffice, as it is not unsuitable to the flowers of the Word; and we have often done this, drawing to the urgent point of the question the most beneficial fountain, in order to water those who have been planted by the Word. "For if it is lawful for me to partake of all things, yet all things are not expedient." For those that do all that is lawful, quickly fall into doing what is unlawful. And just as righteousness is not attained by avarice, nor temperance by excess; so neither is the regimen of a Christian formed by indulgence; for the table of truth is far from lascivious dainties. For though it was chiefly for men's sake that all things were made, yet it is not good to use all things, nor at all times. For the occasion, and the time, and the mode, and the intention, materially turn the balance with reference to what is useful, in the view of one who is rightly instructed; and this is suitable, and has influence in putting a stop to a life of gluttony, which wealth is prone to choose, not that wealth which sees clearly, but that abundance which makes a man blind with reference to gluttony. No one is poor as regards necessaries, and a man is never overlooked. For there is one God who feeds the fowls and the fishes, and, in a word, the irrational creatures; and not one thing whatever is wanting to them, though "they take no thought for their food." And we are better than they, being their lords, and more closely allied to God, as being wiser; and we were made, not that we might eat and drink, but that we might devote ourselves to the knowledge of God. "For the just man who eats is satisfied in his soul, but the belly of the wicked shall want," filled with the appetites of insatiable gluttony. Now lavish expense is adapted not for enjoyment alone, but also for social communication. Wherefore we must guard against those articles of food which persuade us to eat when we are not hungry, bewitching the appetite. For is there not within a temperate simplicity a wholesome variety of eatables? Bulbs, olives, certain herbs, milk, cheese, fruits, all kinds of cooked food without sauces; and if flesh is wanted, let roast rather than boiled be set down. Have you anything to eat here? said the Lord to the disciples after the resurrection; and they, as taught by Him to practise frugality, "gave Him a piece of broiled fish;" and having eaten before them, says Luke, He spoke to them what He spoke. And in addition to these, it is not to be overlooked that those who feed according to the Word are not debarred from dainties in the shape of honey-combs. For of articles of food, those are the most suitable which are fit for immediate use without fire, since they are readiest; and second to these are those which are simplest, as we said before. But those who bend around inflammatory tables, nourishing their own diseases, are ruled by a most lickerish demon, whom I shall not blush to call the Belly-demon, and the worst and most abandoned of demons. He is therefore exactly like the one who is called the Ventriloquist-demon. It is far better to be happy than to have a demon dwelling with us. And happiness is found in the practice of virtue. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, and nuts, and vegetables, without flesh. And John, who carded temperance to the extreme, "ate locusts and wild honey." Peter abstained from swine; "but a trance fell on him," as is written in the Acts of the Apostles, "and he saw heaven opened, and a vessel let down on the earth by the four corners, and all the four-looted beasts and creeping things of the earth and the fowls of heaven in it; and there came a voice to him, Rise, and slay, and eat. And Peter said, Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten what is common or unclean. And the voice came again to him the second time, What God hath cleansed, call not thou common." The use of them is accordingly indifferent to us. "For not what entereth into the mouth defileth the man," but the vain opinion respecting uncleanness. For God, when He created man, said, "All things shall be to you for meat." "And herbs, with love, are better than a calf with fraud." This well reminds us of what was said above, that herbs are not love, but that our meals are to be taken with love; and in these the medium state is good. In all things, indeed, this is the case, and not least in the preparation made for feasting, since the extremes are dangerous, and middle courses good. And to be in no want of necessaries is the medium. For the desires which are in accordance with nature are bounded by sufficiency. The Jews had frugality enjoined on them by the law in the most systematic manner. For the Instructor, by Moses, deprived them of the use of innumerable things, adding reasons--the spiritual ones hidden; the carnal ones apparent, to which indeed they have trusted; in the case of some animals, because they did not part the hoof, and others because they did not ruminate their food, and others because alone of aquatic animals they were devoid of scales; so that altogether but a few were left appropriate for their food. And of those that he permitted them to touch, he prohibited such as had died, or were offered to idols, or had been strangled; for to touch these was unlawful. For since it is impossible for those who use dainties to abstain from partaking of them, he appointed the opposite mode of life, till he should break down the propensity to indulgence arising from habit. Pleasure has often produced in men harm and pain; and full feeding begets in the soul uneasiness, and forgetfulness, and foolishness. And they say that the bodies of children, when shooting up to their height, are made to grow right by deficiency in nourishment. For then the spirit, which pervades the body in order to its growth, is not checked by abundance of food obstructing the freedom of its course. Whence that truth-seeking philosopher Plato, fanning the spark of the Hebrew philosophy when condemning a life of luxury, says: "On my coming hither, the life which is here called happy, full of Italian and Syracusan tables, pleased me not by any means, [consisting as it did] in being filled twice a day, and never sleeping by night alone, and whatever other accessories attend the mode of life. For not one man under heaven, if brought up from his youth in such practices, will ever turn out a wise man, with however admirable a natural genius he may be endowed." For Plato was not unacquainted with David, who "placed the sacred ark in his city in the midst of the tabernacle;" and bidding all his subjects rejoice "before the Lord, divided to the whole host of Israel, man and woman, to each a loaf of bread, and baked bread, and a cake from the frying pan."
This was the sufficient sustenance of the Israelites. But that of the Gentiles was over-abundant. No one who uses it will ever study to become temperate, burying as he does his mind in his belly, very like the fish called ass, which, Aristotle says, alone of all creatures has its heart in its stomach. This fish Epicharmus the comic poet calls "monster-paunch."
Such are the men who believe in their belly, "whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things." To them the apostle predicted no good when he said, "whose end is destruction."
CHAP. II.--ON DRINKING.
"Use a little wine," says the apostle to Timothy, who drank water, "for thy stomach's sake;" most properly applying its aid as a strengthening tonic suitable to a sickly body enfeebled with watery humours; and specifying "a little," lest the remedy should, on account of its quantity, unobserved, create the necessity of other treatment.
The natural, temperate, and necessary beverage, therefore, for the thirsty is water. This was the simple drink of sobriety, which, flowing from the smitten rock, was supplied by the Lord to the ancient Hebrews. It was most requisite that in their wanderings they should be temperate.
Afterwards the sacred vine produced the prophetic cluster. This was a sign to them, when trained from wandering to their rest; representing the great cluster the Word, bruised for us. For the blood of the grape--that is, the Word--desired to be mixed with water, as His blood is mingled with salvation.
And the blood of the Lord is twofold. For there is the blood of His flesh, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and the spiritual, that by which we are anointed. And to drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord's immortality; the Spirit being the energetic principle of the Word, as blood is of flesh.
Accordingly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. And the one, the mixture of wine and water, nourishes to faith; while the other, the Spirit, conducts to immortality.
And the mixture of both--of the water and of the Word--is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul. For the divine mixture, man, the Father's will has mystically compounded by the Spirit and the Word. For, in truth, the spirit is joined to the soul, which is inspired by it; and the flesh, by reason of which the Word became flesh, to the Word.
I therefore admire those who have adopted an austere life, and who are fond of water, the medicine of temperance, and flee as far as possible from wine, shunning it as they would the danger of fire. It is proper, therefore, that boys and girls should keep as much as possible away from this medicine. For it is not right to pour into the burning season of life the hottest of all liquids--wine--adding, as it were, fire to fire. For hence wild impulses and burning lusts and fiery habits are kindled; and young men inflamed from within become prone to the indulgence of vicious propensities; so that signs of injury appear in their body, the members of lust coming to maturity sooner than they ought. The breasts and organs of generation, inflamed with wine, expand and swell in a shameful way, already exhibiting beforehand the image of fornication; and the body compels the wound of the soul to inflame, and shameless pulsations follow abundance, inciting the man of correct behaviour to transgression; and hence the voluptuousness of youth overpasses the bounds of modesty. And we must, as far as possible, try to quench the impulses of youth by removing the Bacchic fuel of the threatened danger; and by pouring the antidote to the inflammation, so keep down the burning soul, and keep in the swelling members, and allay the agitation of lust when it is already in commotion. And in the case of grown-up people, let those with whom it agrees sometimes partake of dinner, tasting bread only, and let them abstain wholly from drink; in order that their superfluous moisture may be absorbed and drunk up by the eating of dry food. For constant spitting and wiping off perspiration, and hastening to evacuations, is the sign of excess, from the immoderate use of liquids supplied in excessive quantity to the body. And if thirst come on, let the appetite be satisfied with a little water. For it is not proper that water should be supplied in too great profusion; in order that the food may not be drowned, but ground down in order to digestion; and this takes place when the victuals are collected into a mass, and only a small portion is evacuated.
And, besides, it suits divine studies not to be heavy with wine. "For unmixed wine is far from compelling a man to be wise, much less temperate," according to the comic poet. But towards evening, about supper-time, wine may be used, when we are no longer engaged in more serious readings. Then also the air becomes colder than it is during the day; so that the failing natural warmth requires to be nourished by the introduction of heat. But even then it must only be a little wine that is to be used; for we must not go on to intemperate potations. Those who are already advanced in life may partake more cheerfully of the draught, to warm by the harmless medicine of the vine the chill of age, which the decay of time has produced. For old men's passions are not, for the most part, stirred to such agitation as to drive them to the shipwreck of drunkenness. For being moored by reason and time, as by anchors, they stand with greater ease the storm of passions which rushes down from intemperance. They also may be permitted to indulge in pleasantry at feasts. But to them also let the limit of their potations be the point up to which they keep their reason unwavering, their memory active, and their body unmoved and unshaken by wine. People in such a state are called by those who are skilful in these matters, acrothorakes. It is well, therefore, to leave off betimes, for fear of tripping.
One Artorius, in his book On Long Life (for so I remember), thinks that drink should be taken only till the food be moistened, that we may attain to a longer life. It is fitting, then, that some apply wine by way of physic, for the sake of health alone, and others for purposes of relaxation and enjoyment.
For first wine makes the man who has drunk it more benignant than before, more agreeable to his boon companions, kinder to his domestics, and more pleasant to his friends. But when intoxicated, he becomes violent instead. For wine being warm, and having sweet juices when duly mixed, dissolves the foul excrementitious matters by its warmth, and mixes the acrid and base humours with the agreeable scents.
It has therefore been well said, "A joy of the soul and heart was wine created from the beginning, when drunk in moderate sufficiency." And it is best to mix the wine with as much water as possible, and not to have recourse to it as to water, and so get enervated to drunkenness, and not pour it in as water from love of wine. For both are works of God; and so the mixture of both, of water and of wine, conduces together to health, because life consists of what is necessary and of what is useful. With water, then, which is the necessary of life, and to be used in abundance, there is also to be mixed the useful.
By an immoderate quantity of wine the tongue is impeded; the lips are relaxed; the eyes roll wildly, the sight, as it were, swimming through the quantity of moisture; and compelled to deceive, they think that everything is revolving round them, and cannot count distant objects as single. "And, in truth, methinks I see two suns," said the Theban old man in his cups. For the sight, being disturbed by the heat of the wine, frequently fancies the substance of one object to be manifold. And there is no difference between moving the eye or the object seen. For both have the same effect on the sight, which, on account of the fluctuation, cannot accurately obtain a perception of the object. And the feet are carried from beneath the man as by a flood, and hiccuping and vomiting and maudlin nonsense follow; "for every intoxicated man," according to the tragedy, - "Is conquered by anger, and empty of sense, And likes to pour forth much silly speech; And is wont to hear unwillingly, What evil words he with his will hath said."
And before tragedy, Wisdom cried, "Much wine drunk abounds in irritation and all manner of mistakes." Wherefore most people say that you ought to relax over your cups, and postpone serious business till morning. I however think that then especially ought reason to be introduced to mix in the feast, to act the part of director (paedagogue) to wine-drinking, lest conviviality imperceptibly degenerate to drunkenness. For as no sensible man ever thinks it requisite to shut his eyes before going to sleep, so neither can any one rightly wish reason to be absent from the festive board, or can well study to lull it asleep till business is begun. But the Word can never quit those who belong to Him, not even if we are asleep; for He ought to be invited even to our sleep. For perfect wisdom, which is knowledge of things divine and human, which comprehends all that relates to the oversight of the flock of men, becomes, in reference to life, art; and so, while we live, is constantly, with us, always accomplishing its own proper work, the product of which is a good life.
But the miserable wretches who expel temperance from conviviality, think excess in drinking to be the happiest life; and their life is nothing but revel, debauchery, baths, excess, urinals, idleness, drink. You may see some of them, half-drunk, staggering, with crowns round their necks like wine jars, vomiting drink on one another in the name of good fellowship; and others, full of the effects of their debauch, dirty, pale in the face, livid, and still above yesterday's bout pouring another bout to last till next morning. It is well, my friends, it is well to make our acquaintance with this picture at the greatest possible distance from it, and to frame ourselves to what is better, dreading lest we also become a like spectacle and laughing-stock to others.
It has been appropriately said, "As the furnace proverb the steel blade in the process of dipping, so wine proveth the heart of the haughty." A debauch is the immoderate use of wine, intoxication the disorder that results from such use; crapulousness (kraipalh) is the discomfort and nausea that follow a debauch; so called from the head shaking (kara pallein).
Such a life as this (if life it must be called, which is spent in idleness, in agitation about voluptuous indulgences, and in the hallucinations of debauchery) the divine Wisdom looks on with contempt, and commands her children, "Be not a wine-bibber, nor spend your money in the purchase of flesh; for every drunkard and fornicator shall come to beggary, and every sluggard shall be clothed in tatters and rags." For every one that is not awake to wisdom, but is steeped in wine, is a sluggard. "And the drunkard," he says, "shall be clothed in rags, and be ashamed of his drunkenness in the presence of onlookers." For the wounds of the sinner are the rents of the garment of the flesh, the holes made by lusts, through which the shame of the soul within is seen--namely sin, by reason of which it will not be easy to save the garment, that has been torn away all round, that has rotted away in many lusts, and has been rent asunder from salvation.
So he adds these most monitory words. "Who has woes, who has clamour, who has contentions, who has disgusting babblings, who has unavailing remorse?" You see, in all his raggedness, the lover of wine, who despises the Word Himself, and has abandoned and given himself to drunkenness. You see what threatening Scripture has pronounced against him. And to its threatening it adds again: "Whose are red eyes? Those, is it not, who tarry long at their wine, and hunt out the places where drinking goes on?" Here he shows the lover of drink to be already dead to the Word, by the mention of the bloodshot eyes,--a mark which appears on corpses, announcing to him death in the Lord. For forgetfulness of the things which tend to true life turns the scale towards destruction. With reason therefore, the Instructor, in His solicitude for our salvation, forbids us, "Drink not wine to drunkenness." Wherefore? you will ask. Because, says He, "thy mouth will then speak perverse things, and thou liest down as in the heart of the sea, and as the steersman of a ship in the midst of huge billows." Hence, too, poetry comes to our help, and says:- "Let wine which has strength equal to fire come to men.
Then will it agitate them, as the north or south wind agitates the Libyan waves."
And further:- "Wine wandering in speech shows all secrets.
Soul-deceiving wine is the ruin of those who drink it."
And so on.
You see the danger of shipwreck. The heart is drowned in much drink. The excess of drunkenness is compared to the danger of the sea, in which when the body has once been sunken like a ship, it descends to the depths of turpitude, overwhelmed in the mighty billows of wine; and the helmsman, the human mind, is tossed about on the surge of drunkenness, which swells aloft; and buried in the trough of the sea, is blinded by the darkness of the tempest, having drifted away from the haven of truth, till, dashing on the rocks beneath the sea, it perishes, driven by itself into voluptuous indulgences.
With reason, therefore, the apostle enjoins, "Be not drunk with wine, in which there is much excess;" by the term excess (aswtia) intimating the inconsistence of drunkenness with salvation (to aswston). For if He made water wine at the marriage, He did not give permission to get drunk. He gave life to the watery element of the meaning of the law, filling with His blood the doer of it who is of Adam, that is, the whole world; supplying piety with drink from the vine of truth, the mixture of the old law and of the new word, in order to the fulfilment of the predestined time. The Scripture, accordingly, has named wine the symbol of the sacred blood; but reproving the base tippling with the dregs of wine, it says: "Intemperate is wine, and insolent is drunkenness." It is agreeable, therefore, to right reason, to drink on account of the cold of winter, till the numbness is dispelled from those who are subject to feel it; and on other occasions as a medicine for the intestines. For, as we are to use food to satisfy hunger, so also are we to use drink to satisfy thirst, taking the most careful precautions against a slip: "for the introduction of wine is perilous." And thus shall our soul be pure, and dry, and luminous; and the soul itself is wisest and best when dry. And thus, too, is it fit for contemplation, and is not humid with the exhalations, that rise from wine, forming a mass like a cloud. We must not therefore trouble ourselves to procure Chian wine if it is absent, or Ariousian when it is not at hand. For thirst is a sensation of want, and craves means suitable for supplying the want, and not sumptuous liquor. Importations of wines from beyond seas are for an appetite enfeebled by excess, where the soul even before drunkenness is insane in its desires. For there are the fragrant Thasian wine, and the pleasant-breathing Lesbian, and a sweet Cretan wine, and sweet Syracusan wine, and Mendusian, an Egyptian wine, and the insular Naxian, the "highly perfumed and flavoured," another wine of the land of Italy. These are many names. For the temperate drinker, one wine suffices, the product of the cultivation of the one God. For why should not the wine of their own country satisfy men's desires, unless they were to import water also, like the foolish Persian kings? The Choaspes, a river of India so called, was that from which the best water for drinking--the Choaspian--was got. As wine, when taken, makes people lovers of it, so does water too. The Holy Spirit, uttering His voice by Amos, pronounces the rich to be wretched on account of their luxury: "Those that drink strained wine, and recline on an ivory couch," he says; and what else similar he adds by way of reproach.
Especial regard is to be paid to decency (as the myth represents Athene, whoever she was, out of regard to it, giving up the pleasure of the flute because of the unseemliness of the sight): so that we are to drink without contortions of the face, not greedily grasping the cup, nor before drinking making the eyes roll with unseemly motion; nor from intemperance are we to drain the cup at a draught; nor besprinkle the chin, nor splash the garments while gulping down all the liquor at once,--our face all but filling the bowl, and drowned in it. For the gurgling occasioned by the drink rushing with violence, and by its being drawn in with a great deal of breath, as if it were being poured into an earthenware vessel, while the throat makes a noise through the rapidity of ingurgitation, is a shameful and unseemly spectacle of intemperance. In addition to this, eagerness in drinking is a practice injurious to the partaker. Do not haste to mischief, my friend. Your drink is not being taken from you. It is given you, and waits you. Be not eager to burst, by draining it down with gaping throat. Your thirst is satiated, even if you drink slower, observing decorum, by taking the beverage in small portions, in an orderly way. For that which intemperance greedily seizes, is not taken away by taking time.
"Be not mighty," he says, "at wine; for wine has overcome many." The Scythians, the Celts, the Iberians, and the Thracians, all of them war like races, are greatly addicted to intoxication, and think that it is an honourable, happy pursuit to engage in. But we, the people of peace, feasting for lawful enjoyment, not to wantonness, drink sober cups of friendship, that our friendships may be shown in a way truly appropriate to the name.
In what manner do you think the Lord drank when He became man for our sakes? As shamelessly as we? Was it not with decorum and propriety? Was it not deliberately? For rest assured, He Himself also partook of wine; for He, too, was man. And He blessed the wine, saying, "Take, drink: this is my blood"--the blood of the vine. He figuratively calls the Word "shed for many, for the remission of sins"--the holy stream of gladness. And that he who drinks ought to observe moderation, He clearly showed by what He taught at feasts. For He did not teach affected by wine. And that it was wine which was the thing blessed, He showed again, when He said to His disciples, "I will not drink of the fruit of this vine, till I drink it with you in the kingdom of my Father." But that it was wine which was drunk by the Lord, He tells us again, when He spake concerning Himself, reproaching the Jews for their hardness of heart: "For the Son of man," He says, "came, and they say, Behold a glutton and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans." Let this be held fast by us against those that are called Encratites.
But women, making a profession, forsooth, of aiming at the graceful, that their lips may not be rent apart by stretching them on broad drinking cups, and so widening the mouth, drinking in an unseemly way out of alabastra quite too narrow: in the mouth, throw back their heads and bare their necks indecently, as I think; and distending the throat in swallowing, gulp down the liquor as if to make bare all they can to their boon companions; and drawing hiccups like men, or rather like slaves, revel in luxurious riot. For nothing disgraceful is proper for man, who is endowed with reason; much less for woman to whom it brings modesty even to reflect of what nature she is.
"An intoxicated woman is great wrath," it is said, as if a drunken woman were the wrath of God. Why? "Because she will not conceal her shame." For a woman is quickly drawn down to licentiousness, if she only set her choice on pleasures. And we have not prohibited drinking from alabastra; but we forbid studying to drink from them alone, as arrogant; counselling women to use with indifference what comes in the way, and cutting up by the roots the dangerous appetites that are in them. Let the rush of air, then, which regurgitates so as to produce hiccup, be emitted silently.
But by no manner of means are women to be allotted to uncover and exhibit any part of their person, lest both fall,--the men by being excited to look, they by drawing on themselves the eyes of the men.
But always must we conduct ourselves as in the Lord's presence, lest He say to us, as the apostle in indignation said to the Corinthians, "When ye come together, this is not to eat the Lord's supper."
To me, the star called by the mathematicians Acephalus (headless), which is numbered before the wandering star, his head resting on his breast, seems to be a type of the gluttonous, the voluptuous, and those that are prone to drunkenness. For in such the faculty of reasoning is not situated in the head, but among the intestinal appetites, enslaved to lust and anger. For just as Elpenor broke his neck through intoxication, so the brain, dizzied by drunkenness, falls down from above, with a great fall to the liver and the heart, that is, to voluptuousness and anger: as the sons of the poets say Hephaestus was hurled by Zeus from heaven to earth. "The trouble of sleeplessness, and bile, and cholic, are with an insatiable man," it is said.
Wherefore also Noah's intoxication was recorded in writing, that, with the clear and written description of his transgression before us, we might guard with all our might against drunkenness. For which cause they who covered the shame of his drunkenness are blessed by the Lord. The Scripture accordingly, giving a most comprehensive compend, has expressed all in one word: "To an instructed man sufficiency is wine, and he will rest in his bed."
CHAP. III.--ON COSTLY VESSELS.
And so the use of cups made of silver and gold, and of tohers inlaid with precious stones, is out of place, being only a deception of the vision. For if you pour any warm liquid into them, the vessels becoming hot, to touch them is painful. On the other hand, if you pour in what is cold, the material changes its quality, injuring the mixture, and the rich potion is hurtful. Away, then, with Thericleian cups and
Antigonides, and Canthari, and goblets, and Lepastae, and the endless shapes of drinking vessels, and wine-coolers, and wine-pourers also. For, on the whole, gold and silver, both publicly and privately, are an invidious possession when they exceed what is necessary, seldom to be acquired, difficult to keep, and not adapted for use. The elaborate vanity, too, of vessels in glass chased, more apt to break on account of the art, teaching us to fear while we drink, is to be banished from our well-ordered constitution. And silver couches, and pans and vinegar-saucers, and trenchers and bowls; and besides these, vessels of saver and gold, some for serving food, and others for other uses which I am ashamed to name, of easily cleft cedar and thyine wood, and ebony, and tripods fashioned of ivory, and couches with silver feet and inlaid with ivory, and folding-doors of beds studded with gold and variegated with tortoise-shell, and bed-clothes of purple and other colours difficult to produce, proofs of tasteless luxury, cunning devices of envy and effeminacy,--are all to be relinquished, as having nothing whatever worth our pains. "For the time is short," as says the apostle. This then remains that we do not make a ridiculous figure, as some are seen in the public spectacles outwardly anointed strikingly for imposing effect, but wretched within. Explaining this more clearly, he adds," It remains that they that have wives be as though they had none, and they that buy as though they possessed not." And ff he speaks thus of marriage, in reference to which God says, "Multiply," how do you not think that senseless display is by the Lord's authority to be banished? Wherefore also the Lord says, "Sell what thou hast, and give to the poor; and come, follow me."
Follow God, stripped of arrogance, stripped of fading display, possessed of that which is thine, which is good, what alone cannot be taken away--faith towards god, confession towards Him who suffered, beneficence towards men, which is the most precious of possessions. For my part, I approve of Plato, who plainly lays it down as a law, that a man is not to labour for wealth of gold or silver, nor to possess a useless vessel which is not for some necessary purpose, and moderate; so that the same thing may serve for many purposes, and the possession of a variety of things may be done away with. Excellently, therefore, the Divine Scripture, addressing boasters and lovers of their own selves, says, "Where are the rulers of the nations, and the lords of the wild beasts of the earth, who sport among the birds of heaven, who treasured up silver and gold, in whom men trusted, and there was no end of their substance, who fashioned silver and gold, and were full of care? There is no finding of their works. They have vanished, and gone down to Hades." Such is the reward of display. For though such of us as cultivate the soil need a mattock and plough, none of us will make a pickaxe of silver or a sickle of gold, but we employ the material which is serviceable for agriculture, not what is costly. What prevents those who are capable of considering what is similar from entertaining the same sentiments with respect to household utensils, of which let use, not expense, be the measure? For tell me, does the table-knife not cut unlest it be studded with silver, and have its handle made of ivory? Or must we forge Indian steel in order to divide meat, as when we call for a weapon for the fight? What if the basin be of earthenware? will it not receive the dirt of the hands? or the footpan the dirt of the foot? Will the table that is fashioned with ivory feet be indignant at bearing a three-halfpenny loaf? Will the lamp not dispense light because it is the work of the potter, not of the goldsmith? I affirm that truckle-beds afford no worse repose than the ivory couch; and the goatskin coverlet being amply sufficient to spread on the bed, there is no need, of purple or scarlet coverings. Yet to condemn, notwithstanding, frugality, through the stupidity of luxury, the author of mischief, what a prodigious error, what senseless conceit! See. The Lord ate from a common bowl, and made the disciples recline on the grass on the ground, and washed their feet, girded with a linen towel--He, the lowly-minded God, and Lord of the universe. He did not bring down a silver foot-bath from heaven. He asked to drink of the Samaritan woman, who drew the water from the well in an earthenware vessel, not seeking regal gold, but teaching us how to quench thirst easily. For He made use, not extravagance His aim. And He ate and drank at feasts, not digging metals from the earth, nor using vessels of gold and silver, that is, vessels exhaling the odour of rust--such fumes as the rust of smoking s metal gives off.
For in fine, in food, and clothes, and vessels, and everything else belonging to the house, I say comprehensively, that one must follow the institutions of the Christian man, as is serviceable and suitable to one's person, age, pursuits, time of life. For it becomes those that are servants of one God, that their possessions and furniture should exhibit the tokens of one beautiful life; and that each individually should be seen in faith, which shows no difference, practising all other things which are conformable to this uniform mode of life, and harmonious with this one scheme.
What we acquire without difficulty, and use with ease, we praise, keep easily, and communicate freely. The things which are useful are preferable, and consequently cheap things are better than dear. In fine, wealth, when not properly governed, is a stronghold of evil, about which many casting their eyes, they will never reach the kingdom of heaven, sick for the things of the world, and living proudly through luxury. But those who are in earnest about salvation must settle this beforehand in their mind, "that all that we possess is given to us for use, and use for sufficiency, which one may attain to by a few things." For silly are they who, from greed, take delight in what they have hoarded up. "He that gathereth wages," it is said, "gathereth into a bag with holes." Such is he who gathers corn and shuts it up; and he who giveth to no one, becomes poorer.
It is a farce, and a thing to make one laugh outright, for men to bring in silver urinals and crystal vases de nuit, as they usher in their counsellors, and for silly rich women to get gold receptacles for excrements made; so that being rich, they cannot even ease themselves except in superb way. I would that in their whole life they deemed gold fit for dung.
But now love of money is found to be the stronghold of evil, which the apostle says "is the root of all evils, which, while some coveted, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
But the best riches is poverty of desires; and the true magnanimity is not to be proud of wealth, but to despise it. Boasting about one's plate is utterly base. For it is plainly wrong to care much about what any one who likes may buy from the market. But wisdom is not bought with coin of earth, nor is it sold in the market-place, but in heaven. And it is sold for true coin, the immortal Word, the regal gold.
CHAP. IV.--HOW TO CONDUCT OURSELVES AT FEASTS.
Let revelry keep away from our rational entertainments, and foolish vigils, too, that revel in intemperance. For revelry is an inebriating pipe, the chain of an amatory bridge, that is, of sorrow. And let love, and intoxication, and senseless passions, be removed from our choir. Burlesque singing is the boon companion of drunkenness. A night spent over drink invites drunkenness, rouses lust, and is audacious in deeds of shame. For if people occupy their time with pipes, and psalteries, and choirs, and dances, and Egyptian clapping of hands, and such disorderly frivolities, they become quite immodest and intractable, beat on cymbals and drums, and make a noise on instruments of delusion; for plainly such a banquet, as seems to me, is a theatre of drunkenness. For the apostle decrees that, "putting off the works of darkness, we should put on the armour of light, walking honestly as in the day, not spending our time in rioting and drunkenness, in chambering and wantonness." Let the pipe be resigned to the shepherds, and the flute to the superstitious who are engrossed in idolatry. For, in truth, such instruments are to be banished from the temperate banquet, being more suitable to beasts than men, and the more irrational portion of mankind. For we have heard of stags being charmed by the pipe, and seduced by music into the toils, when hunted by the huntsmen. And when mares are being covered, a tune is played on the flute--a nuptial song, as it were. And every improper sight and sound, to speak in a word, and every shameful sensation of licentiousness--which, in truth, is privation of sensation--must by all means be excluded; and we must be on our guard against whatever pleasure titillates eye and ear, and effeminates. For the various spells of the broken strains and plaintive numbers of the Carian muse corrupt men's morals, drawing to perturbation of mind, by the licentious and mischievous art of music.
The Spirit, distinguishing from such revelry the divine service, sings, "Praise Him with the sound of trumpet;" for with sound of trumpet He shall raise the dead. "Praise Him on the psaltery;" for the tongue is the psaltery of the Lord. "And praise Him on the lyre." By the lyre is meant the mouth struck by the Spirit, as it were by a plectrum. "Praise with the timbrel and the dance," refers to the Church meditating on the resurrection of the dead in the resounding skin. "Praise Him on the chords and organ." Our body He calls an organ, and its nerves are the strings, by which it has received harmonious tension, and when struck by the Spirit, it gives forth human voices. "Praise Him on the clashing cymbals." He calls the tongue the cymbal of the mouth, which resounds with the pulsation of the lips. Therefore He cried to humanity, "Let every breath praise the Loan," because He cares for every breathing thing which He hath made. For man is truly a pacific instrument; while other instruments, if you investigate, you will find to be warlike, inflaming to lusts, or kindling up amours, or rousing wrath.
In their wars, therefore, the Etruscans use the trumpet, the Arcadians the pipe, the Sicilians the pectides, the Cretans the lyre, the Lacedaemonians the flute, the Thracians the horn, the Egyptians the drum, and the Arabians the cymbal. The one instrument of peace, the Word alone by which we honour God, is what we employ. We no longer employ the ancient psaltery, and trumpet, and timbrel, and flute, which those expert in war and contemners of the fear of God were wont to make use of also in the choruses at their festive assemblies; that by such strains they might raise their dejected minds. But let our genial feeling in drinking be twofold, in accordance with the law. For "if thou shalt love the Lord try God," and then "thy neighbour," let its first manifestation be towards God in thanksgiving and psalmody, and the second toward our neighbour in decorous fellowship. For says the apostle, "Let the Word of the Lord dwell in you richly." And this Word suits and conforms Himself to seasons, to persons, to places.
In the present instance He is a guest with us. For the apostle adds again, "Teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to God." And again, "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and His Father." This is our thankful revelry. And even if you wish to sing and play to the harp or lyre, there is no blame. Thou shalt imitate the righteous Hebrew king in his thanksgiving to God. "Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; praise is comely to the upright," says the prophecy. "Confess to the Lord on the harp; play to Him on the psaltery of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song." And does not the ten-stringed psaltery indicate the Word Jesus, who is manifested by the element of the decad? And as it is befitting, before partaking of food, that we should bless the Creator of all; so also in drinking it is suitable to praise Him on partaking of His creatures. For the psalm is a melodious and sober blessing. The apostle calls the psalm "a spiritual song."
Finally, before partaking of sleep, it is a sacred duty to give thanks to God, having enjoyed His grace and love, and so go straight to sleep. "And confess to Him in songs of the lips," he says, "because in His command all His good pleasure is done, and there is no deficiency in His salvation."
Further, among the ancient Greeks, in their banquets over the brimming cups, a song was sung called a skolion, after the manner of the HeBrew psalms, all together raising the paean with the voice, and sometimes also taking turns in the song while they drank healths round; while those that were more musical than the rest sang to the lyre. But let amatory songs be banished far away, and let our songs be hymns to God. "Let them praise," it is said, "His name in the dance, and let them play to Him on the timbrel and psaltery." And what is the choir which plays? The Spirit will show thee: "Let His praise be in the congregation (church) of the saints; let them be joyful in their King." And again he adds, "The LORD will take pleasure in His people." For temperate harmonies are to be admitted; but we are to banish as far as possible from our robust mind those liquid harmonies, which, through pernicious arts in the modulations of tones, train to effeminacy and scurrility. But grave and modest strains say farewell to the turbulence of drunkenness. Chromatic harmonies are therefore to be abandoned to immodest revels, and to florid and meretricious music.
CHAP. V.--ON LAUGHTER.
People who are imitators of ludicrous sensations, or rather of such as deserve derision, are to be driven from our polity.
For since all forms of speech flow from mind and manners, ludicrous expressions could not be uttered, did they not proceed from ludicrous practices. For the saying, "It is not a good tree which produces corrupt fruit, nor a corrupt tree which produces good fruit," is to be applied in this case. For speech is the fruit of the mind. If, then, wags are to be ejected from our society, we ourselves must by no manner of means be allowed to stir up laughter. For it were absurd to be found imitators of things of which we are prohibited to be listeners; and still more absurd for a man to set about making himself a laughing-stock, that is, the but of insult and derision. For if we could not endure to make a ridiculous figure, such as we see some do in processions, how could we with any propriety bear to have the inner man made a ridiculous figure of, and that to one's face? Wherefore we ought never of our own accord to assume a ludicrous character. And how, then, can we devote ourselves to being and appearing ridicu lous in our conversation, thereby travestying speech, which is the most precious of all human endowments? It is therefore disgraceful to set one's self to do this; since the conversation of wags of this description is not fit for our ears, inasmuch as by the very expressions used it familiarizes us with shameful actions.
Pleasantry is allowable, not waggery. Besides, even laughter must be kept in check; for when given vent to in the right manner it indicates orderliness, but when it issues differently it shows a want of restraint.
For, in a word, whatever things are natural to men we must not eradicate from them, but rather impose on them limits and suitable times. For man is not to laugh on all occasions because he is a laughing animal, any more than the horse neighs on all occasions because he is a neighing animal. But as rational beings, we are to regulate ourselves suitably, harmoniously relaxing the austerity and over-tension of our serious pursuits, not inharmoniously breaking them up altogether.
For the seemly relaxation of the countenance in a harmonious manner--as of a musical instrument--is called a smile. So also is laughter on the face of well-regulated men termed. But the discordant relaxation of countenance in the case of women is called a giggle, and is meretricious laughter; in the case of men, a guffaw, and is savage arid insulting laughter. "A fool raises his voice in laughter," says the Scripture; but a clever man smiles almost imperceptibly. The clever man in this case he calls wise, inasmuch as he is differently affected from the fool. But, on the other hand, one needs not be gloomy, only grave. For I certainly prefer a man to smile who has a stern countenance than the reverse; for so his laughter will be less apt to become the object of ridicule.
Smiling even requires to be made the subject of discipline. If it is at what is disgraceful, we ought to blush rather than smile, lest we seem to take pleasure in it by sympathy; if at what is painful, it is fitting to look sad rather than to seem pleased. For to do the former is a sign of rational human thought; the other infers suspicion of cruelty.
We are not to laugh perpetually, for that is going beyond bounds; nor in the presence of elderly persons, or others worthy of respect, unless they indulge in pleasantry for our amusement. Nor are we to laugh before all and sundry, nor in every place, nor to every one, nor about everything. For to children and women especially laughter is the cause of slipping into scandal. And even to appear stem serves to keep those about us at their distance. For gravity can ward off the approaches of licentiousness by a mere look. All senseless people, to speak in a word, wine "Commands both to laugh luxuriously and to dance," changing effeminate manners to softness. We must consider, too, how consequently freedom of speech leads impropriety on to filthy speaking.
"And he uttered a word which had been better unsaid."
Especially, therefore, in liquor crafty men's characters are wont to be seen through, stripped as they are of their mask through the caitiff licence of intoxication, through which reason, weighed down in the soul itself by drunkenness, is lulled to sleep, and unruly passions are roused, which overmaster the feebleness of the mind.
CHAP. VI.--ON FILTHY SPEAKING.
From filthy speaking we ourselves must entirely abstain, and stop the mouths of those who practise it by stern looks and averting the face, and by what we call making a mock of one: often also by a harsher mode of speech. "For what proceedeth out of the mouth," He says, "defileth a man," --shows him to be unclean, and heathenish, and untrained, and licentious, and not select, and proper, and honourable, and temperate.
And as a similar rule holds with regard to hearing and seeing in the case of what is obscene, the divine Instructor, following the same course with both, arrays those children who are engaged in the struggle in words of modesty, as ear-guards, so that the pulsation of fornication may not penetrate to the bruising of the soul; and He directs the eyes to the sight of what is honourable, saying that it is better to make a slip with the feet than with the eyes. This filthy speaking the apostle beats off, saying, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good." And again, "As becometh saints, let not filthiness be named among you, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which things are not seemly, but rather giving of thanks." And if "he that calls his brother a fool be in danger of the judgment," what shall we pronounce regarding him who speaks what is foolish? Is it not written respecting such: "Whosoever shall speak an idle word, shall give an account to the Lord in the day of judgment?" And again, "By thy speech thou shalt be justified," He says, "and by thy speech thou shalt be condemned."
What, then, are the salutary ear-guards, and what the regulations for slippery eyes? Conversations with the righteous, preoccupying and forearming the ears against those that would lead away from the truth.
"Evil communications corrupt good manners," says Poetry. More nobly the apostle says, "Be haters of the evil; cleave to the good." For he who associates with the saints shall be sanctified. From shameful things addressed to the ears, and words and sights, we must entirely abstain. And much more must we keep pure from shameful deeds: on the one hand, from exhibiting and exposing parts of the body which we ought not; and on the other, from beholding what is forbidden. For the modest son could not bear to look on the shameful exposure of the righteous man; and modesty covered what intoxication exposed--the spectacle of the transgression of ignorance. No less ought we to keep pure from calumnious reports, to which the ears of those who have believed in Christ ought to be inaccessible.
It is on this account, as appears to me, that the Instructor does not permit us to give utterance to aught unseemly, fortifying us at an early stage against licentiousness. For He is admirable always at cutting out the roots of sins, such as, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," by "Thou shalt not lust." For adultery is the fruit of lust, which is the evil root. And so likewise also in this instance the Instructor censures licence in names, and thus cuts off the licentious intercourse of excess. For licence in names produces the desire of being indecorous in conduct; and the observance of modesty in names is a training in resistance to lasciviousness. We have shown in a more exhaustive treatise, that neither in the names nor in the members to which appellations not in common use are applied, is there the designation of what is really obscene.
For neither are knee and leg, and such other members, nor are the names applied to them, and the activity put forth by them, obscene. And even the pudenda are to be regarded as objects suggestive of modesty, not shame. It is their unlawful activity that is shameful, and deserving ignominy, and reproach, and punishment. For the only thing that is in reality shameful is wickedness, and what is done through it. In accordance with these remarks, conversation about deeds of wickedness is appropriately, termed filthy [shameful] speaking, as talk about adultery and paederasty and the like. Frivolous prating, too, is to be put to silence. "For," it is said, "in much speaking thou shalt not escape sin." "Sins of the tongue, therefore, shall be punished." "There is he who is silent, and is found wise; and there is that is hated for much speech." But still more, the prater makes himself the object of disgust. "For he that multiplieth speech abominates his own soul."
CHAP. VII.--DIRECTIONS FOR THOSE WHO LIVE TOGETHER.
Let us keep away from us jibing, the originator of insult, from which strifes and contentions and enmities burst forth. Insult, we have said, is the servant of drunkenness. A man is judged, not from his deeds alone, but from his words. "In a banquet," it is said, "reprove not thy neighbour, nor say to him a word of reproach." For if we are enjoined especially to associate with saints, it is a sin to jibe at a saint: "For from the mouth of the foolish," says the Scripture, "is a staff of insult," --meaning by staff the prop of insult, on which insult leans and rests. Whence I admire the apostle, who, in reference to this, exhorts us not to utter "scurrilous nor unsuitable words." For if the assemblies at festivals take place on account of affection, and the end of a banquet is friendliness towards those who meet, and meat and drink accompany affection, how should not conversation be conducted in a rational manner, and puzzling people with questions be avoided from affection? For if we meet together for the purpose of increasing our good-will to each other, why should we stir up enmity by jibing? It is better to be silent than to contradict, and thereby add sin to ignorance.
"Blessed," in truth, "is the man who has not made a slip with his mouth, and has not been pierced by the pain of sin; " or has repented of what he has said amiss, or has spoken so as to wound no one. On the whole, let young men and young women altogether keep away from such festivals, that they may not make a slip in respect to what is unsuitable. For things to which their ears are unaccustomed, and unseemly sights, inflame the mind, while faith within them is still wavering; and the instability of their age conspires to make them easily carried away by lust. Sometimes also they are the cause of others stumbling, by displaying the dangerous charms of their time of life. For Wisdom appears to enjoin well: "Sit not at all with a married woman, and recline not on the elbow with her; " that is, do not sup nor eat with her frequently. Wherefore he adds, "And do not join company with her in wine, lest thy heart incline to her, and by thy blood slide to ruin." For the licence of intoxication is dangerous, and prone to deflower; And he names "a married woman," because the danger is greater to him who attempts to break the connubial bond.
But if any necessity arises, commanding the presence of married women, let them be well clothed--without by raiment, within by modesty. But as for such as are unmarried, it is the extremest scandal for them to be present at a banquet of men, especially men under the influence of wine. And let the men, fixing their eyes on the couch, and leaning without moving on their elbows, be present with their ears alone; and if they sit, let them not have their feet crossed, nor place one thigh on another, nor apply the hand to the chin. For it is vulgar not to bear one's self without support, and consequently a fault in a young man. And perpetually moving and changing one's position is a sign of frivolousness. It is the part of a temperate man also, in eating and drinking, to take a small portion, and deliberately, not eagerly, both at the beginning and during the courses and to leave off betimes, and so show his indifference. "Eat," it is said, "like a man what is set before you. Be the first to stop for the sake of regimen; and, if seated in the midst of several people, do not stretch out your hand before them." You must never rush forward under the influence of gluttony; nor must you, though desirous, reach out your hand till some time, inasmuch as by greed one shows an uncontrolled appetite. Nor are you, in the midst of the repast, to exhibit yourselves hugging your food like wild beasts; nor helping yourselves to too much sauce, for man is not by nature a sauce-consumer, but a bread-eater. A temperate man, too, must rise before the general company, and retire quietly from the banquet. "For at the time for rising," it is said, "be not the last; haste home." The twelve, having called together the multitude of the disciples, said, "It is not meet for us to leave the word of God and serve tables." If they avoided this, much more did they shun gluttony. And the apostles themselves, writing to the brethren at Antioch, and in Syria and Cilicia, said: "It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no other burden than these necessary things, to abstain from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication, from which, if you keep yourselves, ye shall do well." But we must guard against drunkenness as against hemlock; for both drag down to death. We must also check excessive laughter and immoderate tears. For often people under the influence of wine, after laughing im-moderately, then are, I know not how, by some impulse of intoxication moved to tears; for both effiminacy and violence are discordant with the word. And elderly people, looking on the young as children, may, though but very rarely, be playful with them, joking with them to train them in good behaviour. For example, before a bashful and silent youth, one might by way of pleasantry speak thus: "This son of mine (I mean one who is silent) is perpetually talking." For a joke such as this enhances the youth's modesty, by showing the good qualities that belong to him playfully, by censure of the bad quatities, which do not. For this device is instructive, confirming as it does what is present by what is not present.
Such, certainly, is the intention of him who says that a water-drinker and a sober man gets intoxicated and drunk. But if there are those who like to jest at people, we must be silent, and dispense with superfluous words like full cups. For such sport is dangerous. "The mouth of the impetuous approaches to contrition." "Thou shalt not receive a foolish report, nor shall thou agree with an unjust person to be an unjust witness," neither in calumnies nor in injurious speeches, much less evil practices. I also should think it right to impose a limit on the speech of rightly regulated persons, who are impelled to speak to one who maintains a conversation with them. "For silence is the excellence of women, and the safe prize of the young; but good speech is characteristic of experienced, mature age. Speak, old man, at a banquet, for it is becoming to you. But speak without embarrassment, and with accuracy of knowledge. Youth, Wisdom also commands thee. Speak, if you must, with hesitation, on being twice asked; sum up your discourse in a few words."
But let both speakers regulate their discourse according to just proportion.
For loudness of utterance is most insane; while an inaudible utterance is characteristic of a senseless man, for people will not hear: the one is the mark of pusillanimity, the other of arrogance. Let contentiousness in words, for the sake of a useless triumph, be banished; for our aim is to be free from pertur bation. Such is the meaning of the phrase, "Peace to thee." Answer not a word before you hear. An enervated voice is the sign of effeminacy. But modulation in the voice is characteristic of a wise man, who keeps his utterance from loudness, from drawling, from rapidity, from prolixity. For we ought not to speak long or much, nor ought we to speak frivolously. Nor must we converse rapidly and rashly. For the voice itself, so to speak, ought to receive its just dues; and those who are vociferous and clamorous ought to be silenced. For this reason, the wise Ulysses chastised Thersites with stripes:- "Only Thersites, with unmeasured words, Of which he had good store, to rate the chiefs, Not over-seemly, but wherewith he thought To move the crowd to laughter, brawled aloud."
"For dreadful in his destruction is a loquacious man." And it is with triflers as with old shoes: all the rest is worn away by evil; the tongue only is left for destruction. Wherefore Wisdom gives these most useful exhortations: "Do not talk trifles in the multitude of the elders." Further, eradicating frivolousness, beginning with God, it lays down the law for our regulation somewhat thus: "Do not repeat your words in your prayer."
Chirruping and whistling, and sounds made through the fingers, by which domestics are called, being irrational signs, are to be given up by rational men. Frequent spitting, too, and violent clearing of the throat, and wiping one's nose at an entertainment, are to be shunned. For respect is assuredly to be had to the guests, lest they turn in disgust from such filthiness, which argues want of restraint. For we are not to copy oxen and asses, whose manger and dunghill are together. For many wipe their noses and spit even whilst supping.
If any one is attacked with sneezing, just as in the case of hiccup, he must not startle those near him with the explosion, and so give proof of his bad breeding; but the hiccup is to be quietly transmitted with the expiration of the breath, the mouth being composed becomingly, and not gaping and yawning like the tragic masks. So the disturbance of hiccup may be avoided by making the respirations gently; for thus the threatening symptoms of the ball of wind will be dissipated in the most seemly way, by managing its egress so as also to conceal anything which the air forcibly expelled may bring up with it. To wish to add to the noises, instead of diminishing them, is the sign of arrogance and disorderliness. Those, too, who scrape their teeth, bleeding the wounds, are disagreeable to themselves and detestable to their neighbours. Scratching the ears and the irritation of sneezing are swinish itchings, and attend unbridled fornication. Both shameful sights and shameful conversation about them are to be shunned. Let the look be steady, and the turning and movement of the neck, and the motions of the hands in conversation, be decorous. In a word, the Christian is characterized by composure, tranquillity, calmness, and peace.
CHAP. VIII.--ON THE USE OF OINTMENTS AND CROWNS.
The use of crowns and ointments is not necessary for us; for it impels to pleasures and indulgences, especially on the approach of night. I know that the woman brought to the sacred supper "an alabaster box of ointment," and anointed the feet of the Lord, and refreshed Him; and I know that the ancient kings of the Hebrews were crowned with gold and precious stones. But the woman not having yet received the Word (for she was still a sinner), honoured the Lord with what she thought the most precious thing in her possession--the ointment; and with the ornament of her person, with her hair, she wiped off the superfluous ointment, while she expended on the Lord tears of repentance: "wherefore her sins are forgiven."
This may be a symbol of the Lord's teaching, and of His suffering. For the feet anointed with fragrant ointment mean divine instruction travelling with renown to the ends of the earth. "For their sound hath gone forth to the ends of the earth." And if I seem not to insist too much, the feet of the Lord which were anointed are the apostles, having, according to prophecy, received the fragrant unction of the Holy Ghost. Those, therefore, who travelled over the world and preached the Gospel, are figuratively called the feet of the Lord, of whom also the Holy Spirit foretells in the psalm, "Let us adore at the place where His feet stood," that is, where the apostles, His feet, arrived; since, preached by them, He came to the ends of the earth. And tears are repentance; and the loosened hair proclaimed deliverance from the love of finery, and the affliction in patience which, on account of the Lord, attends preaching, the old vainglory being done away with by reason of the new faith.
Besides, it shows the Lord's passion, if you understand it mystically thus: the oil (elaion) is the Lord Himself, from whom comes the mercy (eleos) which reaches us. But the ointment, which is adulterated oil, is the traitor Judas, by whom the Lord was anointed on the feet, being released from His sojourn in the world. For the dead are anointed. And the tears are we repentant sinners, who have believed in Him, and to whom He has forgiven our sins. And the dishevelled hair is mourning Jerusalem, the deserted, for whom the prophetic lamentations were uttered. The Lord Himself shall teach us that Judas the deceitful is meant: "He that dippeth with Me in the dish, the same shall betray Me." You see the treacherous guest, and this same Judas betrayed the Master with a kiss. For he was a hypocrite, giving a treacherous kiss, in imitation of another hypocrite of old. And He reproves that people respecting whom it was said, "This people honour Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me." It is not improbable, therefore, that by the oil He means that disciple to whom was shown mercy, and by the tainted and poisoned oil the traitor.
This was, then, what the anointed feet prophesied--the treason of Judas, when the Lord went to His passion. And the Saviour Himself washing the feet of the disciples, and despatching them to do good deeds, pointed out their pilgrimage for the benefit of the nations, making them beforehand fair and pure by His power. Then the ointment breathed on them its fragrance, and the work of sweet savour reaching to all was proclaimed; for the passion of the Lord has filled us with sweet fragrance, and the Hebrews with guilt. This the apostle most clearly showed, when he said, "thanks be to God, who always makes us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place. For we are to God a sweet savour of the Lord, in them that are saved, and them that are lost; to one a savour of death unto death, to the other a savour of life unto life." And the kings of the Jews using gold and precious stones and a variegated crown, the anointed ones wearing Christ symbolically on the head, were unconsciously adorned with the head of the Lord. The precious stone, or pearl, or emerald, points out the Word Himself. The gold, again, is the incorruptible Word, who admits not the poison of corruption. The Magi, accordingly, brought to Him on His birth, gold, the symbol of royalty. And this crown, after the image of the Lord, fades not as a flower.
I know, too, the words of Aristippus the Cyrenian. Aristippus was a luxurious man. He asked an answer to a sophistical proposition in the following terms: "A horse anointed with ointment is not injured in his excellence as a horse, nor is a dog which has been anointed, in his excellence as a dog; no more is a man," he added, and so finished. But the dog and horse take no account of the ointment, whilst in the case of those whose perceptions are more rational, applying girlish scents to their persons, its use is more censurable. Of these ointments there are endless varieties, such as the Brenthian, the Metallian, and the royal; the Plangonian and the Psagdian of Egypt. Simonides is not ashamed in Iambic lines to say,- "I was anointed with ointments and perfumes, And with nard."
For a merchant was present. They use, too, the unguent made from lilies, and that from the cypress. Nard is in high estimation with them, and the ointment prepared from roses and the others which women use besides, both moist and dry, scents for rubbing and for fumigating; for day by day their thoughts are directed to the gratification of insatiable desire, to the exhaustless variety of fragrance. Wherefore also they are redolent of an excessive luxuriousness. And they fumigate and sprinkle their clothes, their bed-clothes, and their houses. Luxury all but compels vessels for the meanest uses to smell of perfume.
There are some who, annoyed at the attention bestowed on this, appear to me to be rightly so averse to perfumes on account of their rendering manhood effeminate, as to banish their compounders and vendors from well-regulated states, and banish, too, the dyers of flower-coloured wools. For it is not right that ensnaring garments and unguents should be admitted into the city of truth; but it is highly requisite for the men who belong to us to give forth the odour not of ointments, but of nobleness and goodness. And let woman breathe the odour of the true royal ointment, that of Christ, not of unguents and scented powders; and let her always be anointed with the ambrosial chrism of modesty, and find delight in the holy unguent, the Spirit. This ointment of pleasant fragrance Christ prepares for His disciples, compounding the ointment of celestial aromatic ingredients.
Wherefore also the Lord Himself is anointed with an ointment, as is mentioned by David: "Wherefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows; myrrh, and stacte, and cassia from thy garments." But let us not unconsciously abominate unguents, like vultures or like beetles (for these, they say, when smeared with ointment, die); and let a few unguents be selected by women, such as will not be overpowering to a husband. For excessive anointings with unguents savour of a funeral and not of connubial life. Yet oil itself is inimical to bees and insects; and some men it benefits, and some it summons to the fight; and those who were formerly friends, when anointed with it, it turns out to deadly combat.
Ointment being smooth oil, do you not think that it is calculated to render noble manners effeminate? Certainly. And as we have abandoned luxury in taste, so certainly do we renounce voluptuousness in sights and odours; lest through the senses, as through unwatched doors, we unconsciously give access into the soul to that excess which we have driven away. If, then, we say that the Lord the great High Priest offers to God the incense of sweet fragrance, let us not imagine that this is a sacrifice and sweet fragrance of incense; but let us understand it to mean, that the Lord lays the acceptable offering of love, the spiritual fragrance, on the altar.
To resume: oil itself suffices to lubricate the skin, and relax the nerves, and remove any heavy smell from the body, if we require oil for this purpose. But attention to sweet scents is a bait which draws us in to sensual lust. For the licentious man is led on every hand, both by his food, his bed, his conversation, by his eyes, his ears, his jaws, and by his nostrils too. As oxen are pulled by rings and ropes, so is the voluptuary by fumigations and unguents, and the sweet scents of crowns. But since we assign no place to pleasure which is linked to no use serviceable to life, come let us also distinguish here too, selecting what is useful. For there are sweet scents which neither make the head heavy nor provoke love, and are not redolent of embraces and licentious companionship, but, along with moderation, are salutary, nourishing the brain when labouring under indisposition, and strengthening the stomach. One must not therefore refrigerate himself with flowers when he wishes to supple his nerves. For their use is not wholly to be laid aside, but ointment is to be employed as a medicine and help in order to bring up the strength when enfeebled, and against catarrhs, and colds, and ennui, as the comic poet says:- "The nostrils are anointed; it being A most essential thing for health to fill the brain with good odours."
The rubbing of the feet also with the fatness of warming or cooling unguents is practised on account of its beneficial effects; so consequently, in the case of those who are thus saturated, an attraction and flow take place from the head to the inferior members. But pleasure to which no utility attaches, induces the suspicion of meretricious habits, and is a drug provocative of the passions. Rubbing one's self with ointment is entirely different from anointing one's self with ointment. The former is effeminate, while anointing with ointment is in some cases beneficial. Aristippus the philosopher, accordingly, when anointed with ointment, said "that the wretched Cinoedi deserved to perish miserably for bringing the utility of ointment into bad repute." "Honour the physician for his usefulness," says the Scripture, "for the Most High made him; and the art of healing is of the Lord." Then he adds, "And the compounder of unguents will make the mixture," since unguents have been given manifestly for use, not for voluptuousness. For we are by no means to care for the exciting properties of unguents, but to choose what is useful in them, since God hath permitted the production of oil for the mitigation of men's pains.
And silly women, who dye their grey hair and anoint their locks, grow speedily greyer by the perfumes they use, which are of a drying nature. Wherefore also those that anoint themselves become drier, and the dryness makes them greyer. For if greyness is an exsiccation of the hair, or defect of heat, the dryness drinking up the moisture which is the natural nutriment of the hair, and making it grey, how can we any longer retain a liking for unguents, through which ladies, in trying to escape grey hair, become grey? And as dogs with fine sense of smell track the wild beasts by the scent, so also the temperate scent the licentious by the superfluous perfume of unguents.
Such a use of crowns, also, has degenerated to scenes of revelry and intoxication. Do not encircle my head with a crown, for in the springtime it is delightful to while away the time on the dewy meads, while soft and many-coloured flowers are in bloom, and, like the bees, enjoy a natural and pure fragrance. But to adorn one's self with "a crown woven from the fresh mead," and wear it at home, were unfit for a man of temperance. For it is not suitable to fill the wanton hair with rose-leaves, or violets, or lilies, or other such flowers, stripping the sward of its flowers. For a crown encircling the head cools the hair, both on account of its moisture and its coolness. Accordingly, physicians, determining by physiology that the brain is cold, approve of anointing the breast and the points of the nostrils, so that the warm exhalation passing gently through, may salutarily warm the chill. A man ought not therefore to cool himself with flowers. Besides, those who crown themselves destroy the pleasure there is in flowers: for they enjoy neither the sight of them, since they wear the crown above their eyes; nor their fragrance, since they put the flowers away above the organs of respiration. For the fragrance ascending and exhaling naturally, the organ of respiration is left destitute of enjoyment, the fragrance being carried away. As beauty, so also the flower delights when looked at; and it is meet to glorify the Creator by the enjoyment of the sight of beautiful objects. The use of them is injurious, and passes swiftly away, avenged by remorse. Very soon their evanescence is proved; for both fade, both the flower and beauty. Further, whoever touches them is cooled by the former, inflamed by the latter. In one word, the enjoyment of them except by sight is a crime, and not luxury. It becomes us who truly follow the Scripture to enjoy ourselves temperately, as in Paradise. We must regard the woman's crown to be her husband, and the husband's crown to be marriage; and the flowers of marriage the children of both, which the divine husbandman plucks from meadows of flesh. "Children's children are the crown of old men." And the glory of children is their fathers, it is said; and our glory is the Father of all; and the crown of the whole church is Christ. As roots and plants, so also have flowers their individual properties, some beneficial, some injurious, some also dangerous. The ivy is cooling; nux emits a stupefying effluvium, as the etymology shows. The narcissus is a flower with a heavy odour; the name evinces this, and it induces a torpor (narkhn) in the nerves. And the effluvia of roses and violets being mildly cool, relieve and prevent headaches. But we who are not only not permitted to drink with others to intoxication, but not even to indulge in much wine? do not need the crocus or the flower of the cypress to lead us to an easy sleep. Many of them also, by their odours, warm the brain, which is naturally cold, volatilizing the effusions of the head. The rose is hence said to have received its name (rodon) because it emits a copious stream (reuma) of odour (odwdh). Wherefore also it quickly fades.
But the use of crowns did not exist at all among the ancient Greeks; for neither the suitors nor the luxurious Phaeacians used them. But at the games there was at first the gift to the athletes; second, the rising up to applaud; third, the strewing with leaves; lastly, the crown, Greece after the Median war having given herself up to luxury.
Those, then, who are trained by the Word are restrained from the use of crowns; and do not think that this Word, which has its seat in the brain, ought to be bound about, not because the crown is the symbol of the recklessness of revelry, but because it has been dedicated to idols. Sophocles accordingly called the narcissus "the ancient coronet of the great gods," speaking of the earth-born divinities; and Sappho crowns the Muses with the rose:- "For thou dost not share in roses from Pieria."
They say, too, that Here delights in the lily, and Artemis in the myrtle. For if the flowers were made especially for man, and senseless people have taken them not for their own proper and grateful use, but have abused them to the thankless service of demons, we must keep from them for conscience sake. The crown is the symbol of untroubled tranquillity. For this reason they crown the dead, and idols, too, on the same account, by this fact giving testimony to their being dead. For revellers do not without crowns celebrate their orgies; and when once they are encircled with flowers, at last they are inflamed excessively. We must have no communion with demons. Nor must we crown the living image of God after the manner of dead idols. For the fair crown of amaranth is laid up for those who have lived well. This flower the earth is not able to bear; heaven alone is competent to produce it. Further, it were irrational in us, who have heard that the Lord was crowned with thorns, to crown ourselves with flowers, insulting thus the sacred passion of the Lord.
For the Lord's crown prophetically pointed to us, who once were barren, but are placed around Him through the Church of which He is the Head. But it is also a type of faith, of life in respect of the substance of the wood, of joy in respect of the appellation of crown, of danger in respect of the thorn, for there is no approaching to the Word without blood. But this platted crown fades, and the plait of perversity is untied, and the flower withers. For the glory of those who have not believed on the Lord fades. And they crowned Jesus raised aloft, testifying to their own ignorance. For being hard of heart, they understood not that this very thing, which they called the disgrace of the Lord, was a prophecy wisely uttered: "The Lord was not known by the people " which erred, which was not circumcised in understanding, whose darkness was not enlightened, which knew not God, denied the Lord, forfeited the place of the true Israel, persecuted God, hoped to reduce the Word to disgrace; and Him whom they crucified as a malefactor they crowned as a king. Wherefore the Man on whom they believed not, they shall know to be the loving God the Lord, the Just. Whom they provoked to show Himself to be the Lord, to Him when lifted up they bore witness, by encircling Him, who is exalted above every name, with the diadem of righteousness by the ever-blooming thorn. This diadem, being hostile to those who plot against Him, coerces them; and friendly to those who form the Church, defends them. This crown is the flower of those who have believed on the glorified One but covers with blood and chastises those who have not believed. It is a symbol, too, of the Lord's successful work, He having borne on His head, the princely part of His body, all our iniquities by which we were pierced. For He by His. own passion rescued us from offences, and sins, and such like thorns; and having destroyed the devil, deservedly said in triumph, "O Death, where is thy sting?" And we eat grapes from thorns, and figs from thistles; while those to whom He stretched forth His hands--the disobedient and unfruitful people--He lacerates into wounds. I can also show you another mystic meaning in it. For when the Almighty Lord of the universe began to legislate by the Word, and wished His power to be manifested to Moses, a godlike vision of light that had assumed a shape was shown him in the burning bush (the bush is a thorny plant); but when the Word ended the giving of the law and His stay with men, the Lord was again mystically crowned with thorn. On His departure from this world to the place whence He came, He repeated the beginning of His old descent, in order that the Word beheld at first in the bush, and afterwards taken up crowned by the thorn, might show the whole to be the work of one power, He Himself being one, the Son of the Father, who is truly one, the beginning and the end of time.
But I have made a digression from the paedagogic style of speech, and introduced the didactic. I return accordingly to my subject.
To resume, then: we have showed that in the department of medicine, for healing, and sometimes also for moderate recreation, the delight derived from flowers, and the benefit derived from unguents and perfumes, are not to be overlooked. And if some say, What pleasure, then, is there in flowers to those that do not use them? let them know, then, that unguents are prepared from them, and are most useful. The Susinian ointment is made from various kinds of lilies; and it is warming, aperient, drawing, moistening, abstergent, subtle, antibilious, emollient. The Narcissinian is made from the narcissus, and is equally beneficial with the Susinian. The Myrsinian, made of myrtle and myrtle berries, is a styptic, stopping effusions from the body; and that from roses is refrigerating. For, in a word, these also were created for our use. "Hear me," it is said, "and grow as a rose planted by the streams of waters, and give forth a sweet fragrance like frankincense, and bless the Lord for His works." We should have much to say respecting them, were we to speak of flowers and odours as made for necessary purposes, and not for the excesses of luxury. And if a concession must be made, it is enough for people to enjoy the fragrance of flowers; but let them not crown themselves with them. For the Father takes great care of man, and gives to him alone His own art. The Scripture therefore says, "Water, and fire, and iron, and milk, and fine flour of wheat, and honey, the blood of the grape, and oil, and clothing,--all these things are for the good of the godly."
CHAP. IX.--ON SLEEP.
How, in due course, we are to go to sleep, in remembrance of the precepts of temperance, we must now say. For after the repast, having given thanks to God for our participation in our enjoyments, and for the [happy] passing of the day, our talk must be turned to sleep. Magnificence of bed-clothes, gold-embroidered carpets, and smooth carpets worked with gold, and long fine robes of purple, and costly fleecy cloaks, and manufactured rugs of purple, and mantles of thick pile, and couches softer than sleep, are to be banished.
For, besides the reproach of voluptuousness, sleeping on downy feathers is injurious, when our bodies fall down as into a yawning hollow, on account of the softness of the bedding.
For they are not convenient for sleepers turning in them, on account of the bed rising into a hill on either side of the body. Nor are they suitable for the digestion of the food, but rather for burning it up, and so destroying the nutriment. But stretching one's self on even couches, affording a kind of natural gymnasium for sleep, contributes to the digestion of the food. And those that can roll on other beds, having this, as it were, for a natural gymnasium for sleep, digest food more easily, and render themselves fitter for emergencies. Moreover, silver-footed couches argue great ostentation; and the ivory on beds, the body having left the soul, is not permissible for holy men, being a lazy contrivance for rest.
We must not occupy our thoughts about these things, for the use of them is not forbidden to those who possess them; but solicitude about them is prohibited, for happiness is not to be found in them. On the other hand, it savours of cynic vanity for a man to act as Diomede,- "And he stretched himself under a wild bull's hide," - unless circumstances compel.
Ulysses rectified the unevenness of the nuptial couch with a stone. Such frugality and self-help was practised not by private individuals alone, but by the chiefs of the ancient Greeks. But why speak of these? Jacob slept on the ground, and a stone served him for a pillow; and then was he counted worthy to behold the vision--that was above man. And in conformity with reason, the bed which we use must be simple and frugal, and so constructed that, by avoiding the extremes [of too much indulgence and too much endurance], it may be comfortable: if it is warm, to protect us; if cold, to warm us. But let not the couch be elaborate, and let it have smooth feet; for elaborate turnings form occasionally paths for creeping things which twine themselves about the incisions of the work, and do not slip off.
Especially is a moderate softness in the bed suitable for manhood; for sleep ought not to be for the total enervation of the body, but for its relaxation. Wherefore I say that it ought not to be allowed to come on us for the sake of indulgence, but in order to rest from action. We must therefore sleep so as to be easily awaked. For it is said, "Let your loins be girt about, and your lamps burning; and ye yourselves like to men that watch for their lord, that when he returns from the marriage, and comes and knocks, they may straightway open to him. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching." For there is no use of a sleeping man, as there is not of a dead man. Wherefore we ought often to rise by night and bless God. For blessed are they who watch for Him, and so make themselves like the angels, whom we call "watchers." But a man asleep is worth nothing, any more than if he were not alive.
But he who has the light watches, "and darkness seizes not on him," nor sleep, since darkness does not. He that is illuminated is therefore awake towards God; and such an one lives. "For what was made in Him was life." "Blessed is the man," says Wisdom, "who shall hear me, and the man who shall keep my ways, watching at my doors, daily observing the posts of my entrances." "Let us not then sleep, as do others, but let us watch," says the Scripture, "and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken, are drunken in the night," that is, in the darkness of ignorance. "But let us who are of the day be sober. For ye are all children of the light, and children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of the darkness." But whoever of us is most solicitous for living the true life, and for entertaining noble sentiments, will keep awake for as long time as possible, reserving to himself only what in this respect is conducive to his own health; and that is not very usual.
But devotion to activity begets an everlasting vigil after toils. Let not food weigh us down, but lighten us; that we may be injured as little as possible by sleep, as those that swim with weights hanging to them are weighed down. But, on the other hand, let temperance raise us as from the abyss beneath to the enterprises of wakefulness. For the oppression of sleep is like death, which forces us into insensibility, cutting off the light by the closing of the eyelids. Let not us, then, who are sons of the true light, close the door against this light; but turning in on ourselves, illumining the eyes of the hidden man, and gazing on the truth itself, and receiving its streams, let us clearly and intelligibly reveal such dreams as are true.
But the hiccuping of those who are loaded with wine, and the snortings of those who are stuffed with food, and the snoring rolled in the bed-clothes, and the rumblings of pained stomachs, cover over the clear-seeing eye of the soul, by filling the mind with ten thousand phantasies. And the cause is too much food, which drags the rational part of man down to a condition of stupidity. For much sleep brings advantage neither to our bodies nor our souls; nor is it suitable at all to those processes which have truth for their object, although agreeable to nature.
Now, just Lot (for I pass over at present the account of the economy of regeneration ) would not have been drawn into that unhallowed intercourse, had he not been intoxicated by his daughters, and overpowered by sleep. If, therefore, we cut off the causes of great tendency to sleep, we shall sleep the more soberly. For those who have the sleepless Word dwelling in them, ought not to sleep the livelong night; but they ought to rise by night, especially when the days are coming to an end, and one devote himself to literature, another begin his art, the women handle the distaff, and all of us should, so to speak, fight against sleep, accustoming ourselves to this gently and gradually, so that through wakefulness we may partake of life for a longer period.
We, then, who assign the best part of the night to wakefulness, must by no manner of means sleep by day; and fits of uselessness, and napping and stretching one's self, and yawning, are manifestations of frivolous uneasiness of soul. And in addition to all, we must know this, that the need of sleep is not in the soul. For it is ceaselessly active. But the body is relieved by being resigned to rest, the soul whilst not acting through the body, but exercising intelligence within itself. Thus also, such dreams as are true, in the view of him who reflects rightly, are the thoughts of a sober soul, undistracted for the time by the affections of the body, and counselling with itself in the best manner. For the soul to cease from activity within itself, were destruction to it. Wherefore always contemplating God, and by perpetual converse with Him inoculating the body with wakefulness, it raises man to equality with angelic grace, and from the practice of wakefulness it grasps the eternity of life.
CRAP. X. --QUAENAM DE PROCREATIONE LIBERORUM TRACTANDA SINT.
Tempus autem opportunum conjunctionis solis iis relinquitur considerandum, qui juncti sunt matrimonio; qui autem matrimonio juncti sunt, iis scopus est et institutum, liberorum susceptio finis autem, ut boni sint liberi: quemadmodum agricolae seminis quidem dejectionis causa est, quod nutrimenti habendi curam gerat; agriculturae autem finis est, fructuum perceptio. Multo autem melior est agricola, qui terrain colit animatam: ille enim ed tempus alimentum expetens, hic veto ut universum permanent, curam gerens, agricolae officio fungitur: et ille quidem propter se, hic veto propter Deum plantat ac seminat. Dixit enim: "Multiplicemini;" ubi hoc subaudiendum est: "Et ea ratione fit homo Dei imago, quatenus homo co-operatur ad generationem hominis." Non est quaelibet terra apta ad suscipienda semina: quod si etiam sit quaelibet, non tamen eidem agricolae. Neque veto seminandum est supra petram, neque semen est contumlia afficiendum, quod quidem dux est et princeps generationis, estque substantia, quae simul habet insitas nature rationes. Quae sunt autem secundum naturam rationes, absque ratione praeternaturalibus mandando meatibus, ignominia afficere, valde est impium. Videte itaque quomodo sapientissimus Moyses infrugiferam aliquando sationem symbolice repulerit: "Non comedes, inquiens, leporem, nec hyaenam." Non vult homines esse qualitatis eorum participes, neque eis aequalem gustare libidinem: haec enim animalia ad explendum coitum venereum feruntur insano quodam furore. Ac leporem quidem dicunt quotannis multiplicare anum, pro numero annorum, quos vixit, habentem foramina: et ea ratione dum leporis esum prohibet, significat se dehortari puerorum amorem. Hyaenam autem vicissim singulis annis masculinum sexum mutare in femininum: significare autem non esse illi ad adulteria prorumpendum, qui ab hyaena abstinet.
Well, I also agree that the consummately wise Moses confessedly indicates by the prohibition before us, that we must not resemble these animals; but I do not assent to the explanation of what has been symbolically spoken. For nature never can be forced to change. What once has been impressed on it, may not be transformed into the opposite by passion. For passion is not nature, and passion is wont to deface the form, not to cast it into a new shape. Though many birds are said to change with the seasons, both in colour and voice, as the blackbird (kossufos), which becomes yellow from black, and a chatterer from a singing-bird. Similarly also the nightingale changes by turns both its colour and note. But they do not alter their nature itself, so as in the transformation to become female from male. But the new crop of feathers, like new clothes, produces a kind of colouring of the feathers, and a little after it evaporates in the rig-our of winter, as a flower when its colour fades. And in like manner the voice itself, injured by the cold, is enfeebled. For, in consequence of the outer skin being thickened by the surrounding air, the arteries about the neck being compressed and filled, press hard on the breath; which being very much confined, emits a stifled sound. When, again, the breath is assimilated to the surrounding air and relaxed in spring, it is freed from its confined condition, and is carried through the dilated, though till then obstructed arteries, it warbles no longer a dying melody, but now gives forth a shrill note; and the yoice flows wide, and spring now becomes the song of the voice of birds.
Nequaquam ergo credendum est, hyaenam unquam mutare naturam: idem enim animal non habet simul ambo pudenda maris et feminae, sicut nonnulli existimarunt, qui prodigiose hermaphroditos finxerunt, et inter marem et feminam, hanc masculo-feminam naturam innovarunt. Valde autem falluntur, ut qui non animadverterint, quam sit filiorum amans omnium mater et genetrix Natura: quoniam enim hoc animal, hyaena inquam, est salacissimum, sub cauda ante excrementi meatum, adnatum est ei quoddam carneum tuberculum, feminino pudendo figura persimile. Nullum autem meatum habet haec figura carnis, qui in utilem aliquam desinat partem, vel in matricem inquam, vel in rectum intestinum: tantum habet magnam concavitatem, quae inanem excipiat libidinem, quando aversi fuerint meatus, qui in concipiendo fetu occupati sunt. Hoc ipsum autem et masculo et feminae hyaenae adnatum est, quod sit insigniter pathica: masculus enim vicissim et agit, et patitur: unde etiam rarissime inveniri potest hyaena femina: non enim frequenter concipit hoc animal, cum in eis largiter redundet ea, quae praeter naturam est, satio. Hac etiam ratione mihi videtur Plato in Phoedro, amorem puerorum repellens, eum appellate bestiam, quod frenum mordentes, qui se voluptatibus dedunt, libidinosi, quadrupedum coeunt more, et filios seminare conantur. Impios "autem tradidit Deus," ut air Apostolus, "in perturbationes ignominiae: nam et feminae eorum mutaverunt naturalem usum in eum, qui est procter naturam: similiter autem et masculi eorum, relicto usu naturali, exarserunt in desiderio sui inter se invicem, masculi in masculos turpitudinem operantes, et mercedem, quam oportuit, erroris sui in se recipientes." At vero ne libidinosissimis quidem animantibus concessit natura in excrementi meatum semen immittere: urina enim in vesicam excernitur, humefactum alimentum in ventrum, lacryma vero in oculum, sanguis in venas, sordes in aures, mucus in hares defertur: fini autem recti intestini, sedes cohaeret, per quam excrementa exponuntur. Sola ergo varia in hyaenis natura, superfluo coitui superfluam hanc partem excogitavit, et ideo est etiam aliquantisper concavum, ut prurientibus partibus inserviat, exinde autem excaecatur concavitas: non fuit emm res fabricata ad generationem. Hinc nobis manifestum atque adeo in confesso est, vitandos esse cum masculis concubitus, et infrugiferas sationes, et Venerem praeposteram, et quae natura coalescere non possunt, androgynorum conjunctiones, ipsam naturam sequentibus, quae id per partium prohibet constitutionem, ut quae masculum non ad semen suscipiendum, sed ad id effundendum fecerit. Jeremias autem, hoc est, per ipsum loquens Spiritus, quando dicit: "Spelunca hyaenae facta est domus mea," id quod ex mortuis constabat corporibus detestans alimentum, sapienti allegoria reprehendit cultum simulacrorum: vere enim oportet ab idolis esse puram domum Dei viventis. Rursus Moyses lepore quoque vesci prohibet. Omni enim tempore coit lepus, et salit, assidente femina, earn a tergo aggrediens: est enim ex iis, quae retro insiliunt. Concipit autem singulis mensibus, et superfetat; init autem, et parit; postquam autem peperit, statim a quovis initur lepore (neque enim uno contenta est matrimonio) et rursus concipit, adhuc lactans: habet enim matricem, cui sunt duo sinus, et non unus solus matricis vacuus sinus, est ei sufficiens sedes ad receptaculure coitus (quidquid enim est vacuum, desiderat repleri); verum accidit, ut cure uterum gerunt, altera pars matricis desiderio teneatur et libidine furiat; quocirca fiunt eis superfetationes. A vehementibus ergo appetitionibus, mutuisque congressionibus, et cure praegnantibus feminis conjunctionibus, alternisque initibus, puerorumque stupris, adulteriis et libidine abstinere, hujus nos aenigmatis adhortata est prohibitio. Idcirco aperte, et non per renigmata Moyses prohibuit, "Non fornicaberis; non moechaberis; pueris stuprum non inferes," inquiens. Logi itaque praescriptum totis viribus observandum, neque quidquam contra leges ullo modo faciendum est, neque mandata sunt infirmanda. Malae enim. cupiditati nomen est ubris, "petulantia;" et equum cupiditatis, "petulantem" vocavit Plato, cure legissit, "Facti estis mihi equi furentes in feminas." Libidines autem supplicium notum nobis facient illi, qui Sodomam accesserunt, angeli. Li eos, qui probro illos afficere voluerunt, una cum ipsa civitate combusserunt, evidenti hoc indicio ignem, qui est fructus libidinis, describentes. Quae enim veteribus acciderunt, sicut ante diximus, ad nos admonendos scripta sunt, ne eisdem teneamur vitiis, et caveamus, ne in poenas similes incidamus. Oportet autem filios existimare, pueros; uxores autem alienas intueri tanquam proprias filias: voluptates quippe continere, ventrique et iis quae sunt infra ventrem, dominari, est maximi imperii. Si enim ne digitum quidem temere movere permittit sapienti ratio, ut confitentur Stoici, quomodo non multo magis iis, qui sapientiam persequuntur, in eam, qua coitur, particulam dominatus est obtinendus? Atque hac quidem de causa videtur esse nominatum pudendum, quod hac corporis parte magis, quam qualibet alia, cum pudore utendum sit; natura enim sicut alimentis, ita etiam legitimis nuptiis, quantum convenit, utile est, et decet, nobis uti permisit: permisit autem appetere liberorum procreationem. Quicumque autem, quod modum excedit, persequuntur, labuntur in eo quod est secundum naturam, per congressus, qui sunt praeter leges, seipsos laedentes. Ante omnia enim recte habet, ut nunquam cure adolescentibus perinde ac cum feminis, Veneris utamur consuetudine. Et ideo "non esse in petris et lapidibus seminandum" dicit, qui a Moyse factus est philosophus, "quoniam nunquam actis radicibus genitalem sit semen naturam suscepturum." Logos itaque per Moysen appertissime praecepit: "Et cure masculo non dormies feminino concubitu: est enim abominatio." Accedit his, quod "ab omni quoque arvo feminino esse abstinendum" praeterquam a proprio, ex divinis Scripturis colligens praeclarus Plato consuluit lege illinc accepta: "Et uxori proximi tui non dabis concubitum seminis, ut polluaris apud ipsam. Irrita autem sunt et adulterina concubinarum semina. Ne semina, ubi non vis tibi nasci quod seminatum est. Neque ullam omnino tange mulierem, praeterquam tuam ipsius uxorem," ex qua sola tibi licet carnis voluptates percipere ad suscipiendam legitimam successionem. Haec enim Logo sola sunt legitima. Eis quidem certe, qui divini muneris in producendo opificio sunt participes, semen non est abjiciendum, neque injuria afficiendum, neque tanquam si cornibus semen mandes seminandum est. Hic ipse ergo Moyses cum ipsis quoque prohibet uxoribus congredi, si forte eas detineant purgationes menstruae. Non enim purgamento corporis genitale semen, et quod mox homo futurum est, polluere est aequum, nec sordido materiae profluvio, et, quae expurgantur, inquinamentis inundare ac obruere; semen autem generationis degenerat, ineptumque redditur, si matricis sulcis privetur. Neque vero ullum unquam induxit veterum Hebraeorum coeuntem cum sua uxore praegnante. Sola enim voluptas, si quis ea etiam utatur in conjugio, est praeter leges, et injusta, eta ratione aliena. Rursus autem Moyses abducit viros a praegnantibus, quousque pepererint. Revera enim matrix sub vesica quidem collocata, super intestinum autem, quod rectum appellatur, posita, extendit collum inter humeros in vesica; et os colli, in quod venit semen, impletum occluditur, illa autem rursus inanis redditur, cum partu purgata fuerit: fructu autem deposito, deinde semen suscipit. Neque vero nobis turpe est ad auditorum utilitatem nominare partes, in quibus fit fetus conceptio, quae quidem Deum fabricari non puduit. Matrix itaque sitiens filiorum procreationem, semen suscipit, probrosumque et vituperandum negat coitum, post sationem ore clauso omnino jam libidinem excludens. Ejus autem appetitiones, quae prius in amicis versabantur complexibus, intro conversae, in procreatione sobolis occupatae, operantur una cum Opifice. Nefas est ergo operantem jam naturam adhuc molestia afficere, superflue ad petulantem prorumpendo libidinem. Petulantia autem, quae multa quidem habet nomina, et multas species, cure ad hanc veneream intemperantiam deflexerit, lagneia, id est "lascivia," dicitur; quo nomine significatur libidinosa, publica, et incesta in coitum propensio: quae cum aucta fuerit, magna simul morborum convenit multitudo, obsoniorum desiderium, vinolentia et amor in mulieres; luxus quoque, et simul universarum voluptatum studium; in quae omnia tyrannidem obtinet cupidity. His autem cognatae innumerabiles augentur affectiones, ex quibus mores intemperantes ad summum provehuntur. Dicit autem Scriptura: "Parantur intemperantibus flagella, et supplicia humeris insipientium:" vires intemperantiae, ejusque constantem tolerantiam, vocans "humeros insipientium." Quocirca, "Amove a servis tuis spes inanes, et indecoras," inquit, "cupiditates averte a me. Ventris appetitio et coitus ne me apprehendant." Longe ergo sunt arcenda multifaria insidiatorum maleficia; non ad solam enim Cratetis Peram, sed etiam ad nostram civitatem non navigat stultus parasitus, nec scortator libidinosus, qui posteriori delectatur parte: non dolosa meretrix, nec ulla ejusmodi alia voluptatis bellua. Multa ergo nobis per totam vitam seminetur, quae bona sit et honesta, occupatio. In summa ergo, vel jungi matrimonio, vel omnino a matrimonio purum esse oportet; in quaestione enim id versatur, et hoc nobis declaratum est in libro De continentia. Quod si hoc ipsum, an ducenda sit uxor. veniat in considerationem: quomodo libere permittetur, quemadmodum nutrimento, ita etiam coitu semper uti, tanquam re necessaria? Ex eo ergo videri possunt nervi tanquam stamina distrahi, et in vehementi congressus intensione disrumpi. Jam vero offundit etiam caliginem sensibus, et vires enervat. Patet hoc et in animantibus rationis expertibus, et in iis, quae in exercitatione versantur, corporibus; quorum hi quidem, qui abstinent, in certaminibus superant adversarios; illa vero a coitu abducta circumaguntur, et tantum non trahuntur, omnibus viribus et omni impetu tandem quasi enervata.
"Parvam epilepsiam" dicebat "coitum" sophista Abderites morbum immedicabilem existimans. Annon enim consequuntur resolutiones, quae exinanitionis ejusque, quod abscedit, magnitudini ascribuntur? "homo enim ex homine nascitur et evellitur." Vide damni magnitudinem: totus homo per exinanitionem coitus abstrahitur. Dicit enim: "Hoc nunc os ex ossibus meis, et caro ex came mea." Homo ergo tantum exinanitur semine, quantus videtur corpore; est enim generationis initium id, quod recedit: quin etiam conturbat ebullitio materiae et compagem corporis labefactat et commovet. Lepide ergo ille, qui interroganti, "Quomodo adhuc se haberet ad res venereas," respondit: "Bona verba, quaeso: ego vero lubentissime isthinc, tanquam ab agresti et insano domino, profugi." Verum concedatur quidem et admittatur matrimonium: vult enim Dominus humanum genus repleri; seal non dicit, Estote libidinosi: nec vos, tanquam ad coitum natos, voluit esse deditos voluptati. Pudore autem nos afficiat Paedagogus, clamans per Ezechielem: "Circumcidamini fornicationem vestram." Aliquod tempus ad seminandum opportunum habent quoque rationis expertia animantia. Aliter autem coire, quam ad liberorum procreationem, est facere injuriam naturae; qua quidem oportet magistra, quas prudenter introducit temporis commoditates, diligenter observare, senectutem, inquam, et puerilem aetatem. His enim nondum concessit, illos autem non vult amplius uxores ducere. Seal non vult homines semper dare operam matrimonio. Matrimonium autem est filiorum procreationis appetitio, non inordinata seminis excretio, quae est et praeter leges eta ratione aliena. Secundum naturam autem nobis vita universa processerit, si et ab initio cupiditates contineamus, et hominum genus, quod ex divina providentia nascitur, improbis et malitiosis non tollamus artibus: eae enim, ut fornicatiohem celent, exitialia medicamenta adhibentes, quae prorsus in perniciem ducunt, simul cum fetu omnem humanitatem perdunt. Caeterum, quibus uxores ducere concessum est, iis Paedagogo opus fuerit, ut non interdiu mystica naturae celebrentur orgia, nec ut aliquis ex ecclesia, verbi gratia, aut ex foro mane rediens, galli more coeat, quando orationis, et lectionis, et eorum quae interdiu facere convenit, operum tempus est. Vespere autem oportet post convivium quiescere, et post gratiarum actionem, quae fit Deo pro bonis quae percepimus. Non semper autem concedit tempus natura, ut peragatur congressus matrimonii; est enim eo desiderabilior conjunctio, quo diuturnior. Neque vero noctu, tanquam in tenebris, immodeste sese ac imtemperanter gerere oportet, sed verecundia, ut quae sit lux rationis, in animo est includenda. Nihil enim a Penelope telam texente differemus, si interdiu quidem texamus dogmata temperantiae; noctu autem ea resolvamus, cum in cubile venerimus. Si enim honestatem exercere oportet, multo magis tuae uxori honestas est ostendenda, inhonestas vitando conjunctiones: et quod caste cum proximis verseris, fide dignum e domo adsit testimonium. Non enim potest aliquid honestum ab ea existimari, apud quam honestas in acribus illis non probatur certo quasi testimonio voluptatibus.
Benevolentia autem quae praeceps fertur ad congressionem, exiguo tempore floret, et cum corpore consenescit; nonnunquam autem etiam praesenescit, flaccescente jam libidine, quando matrimonialem temperantiam meretriciae vitiaverint libidines. Amantium enim corda sunt volucria, amorisque irritamenta exstinguuntur saepe poenitentia; amorque saepe vertitur in odium, quando reprehensionera senserit satietas. Impudicorum vero verborum, et turpium figurarum, meretriciorumque osculomm, et hujusmodi lasciviarum nomina ne sunt quidem memoranda, beatum sequentibus Apostolum, qui aperte dicit:
"Fornicatio autem et omnis immunditia, vel plura habendi cupiditas, ne nominetur quidem in vobis, sicut decet saneros." Recte ergo videtur dixisse quispiam: "Nulli quidem profuit coitus, recte autem cum eo agitur, quem non laeserit." Nam et qui legitimus, est periculosus, nisi quatenus in liberorum procreatione versatur. De eo autem, qui est praeter leges, dicit Scriptura:
"Mulier meretrix apro similis reputabitur. Quae autem viro subjecta est, turris est mortis iis, qui ea utuntur." Capro, vel apro, meretricis comparavit affectionem. "Mortem" autem dixit "quaesitam," adulterium, quod committitur in meretrice, quae custoditur. "Domum" autem, et "urbem," in qua suam exercent intemperantiam. Quin etiam quae est apud vos poetica, quodammodo ea exprobrans, scribit:- Tecum et adulterium est, tecum coitusque nefandus, Foedus, femineusque, urbs pessima, plane impura.
Econtra autem pudicos admiratur:- Quos desiderium tenuit nec turpe cubilis Alterius, nec tetra invisaque stupra rulerunt Ulla unquam maribus.
For many think such things to be pleasures only which are against nature, such as these sins of theirs. And those who are better than they, know them to be sins, but are overcome by pleasures, and darkness is the veil of their vicious practices. For he violates his marriage adulterously who uses it in a meretricious way, and hears not the voice of the Instructor, crying, "The man who ascends his bed, who says in his soul, Who seeth me? darkness is around me, and the walls are my covering, and no one sees my sins. Why do I fear lest the Highest will remember?" Most wretched is such a man, dreading men's eyes alone, and thinking that he will escape the observation of God. "For he knoweth not," says the Scripture, "that brighter ten thousand times than the sun are the eyes of the Most High, which look on all the ways of men, and cast their glance into hidden parts." Thus again the Instructor threatens them, speaking by Isaiah: "Woe be to those who take counsel in secret, and say, Who seeth us? " For one may escape the light of sense, but that of the mind it is impossible to escape. For how, says Heraclitus, can one escape the notice of that which never sets? Let us by no means, then, veil our selves with the darkness; for the light dwells in us. "For the darkness," it is said, "comprehendeth it not." And the very night itself is illuminated by temperate reason. The thoughts of good men Scripture has named "sleepless lamps;" although for one to attempt even to practise concealment, with reference to what he does, is confessedly to sin. And every one who sins, directly wrongs not so much his neighbour if he commits adultery, as himself, because he has committed adultery, besides making himself worse and less thought of. For he who sins, in the degree in which he sins, becomes worse and is of less estimation than before; and he who has been overcome by base pleasures, has now licentiousness wholly attached to him. Wherefore he who commits fornication is wholly dead to God, and is abandoned by the Word as a dead body by the spirit. For what is holy, as is right, abhors to be polluted. But it is always lawful for the pure to touch the pure. Do not, I pray, put off modesty at the same time that you put off your clothes; because it is never right for the just man to divest himself of continence. For, lo, this mortal shall put on immortality; when the insatiableness of desire, which rushes into licentiousness, being trained to self-restraint, and made free from the love of corruption, shall consign the man to everlasting chastity. "For in this world they marry and and are given in marriage." But having done with the works of the flesh, and having been clothed with immortality, the flesh itself being pure, we pursue after that which is according to the measure of the angels.
Thus in the Philebus, Plato, who had been the disciple of the barbarian philosophy, mystically called those Atheists who destroy and pollute, as far as in them lies, the Deity dwelling in them--that is, the Logos--by association with their vices. Those, therefore, who are consecrated to God must never live mortally (qnhtws). "Nor," as Paul says, "is it meet to make the members of Christ the members of an harlot; nor must the temple of God be made the temple of base affections." Remember the four and twenty thousand that were rejected for fornication. But the experiences of those who have committed fornication, as I have already said, are types which correct our lusts. Moreover, the Paedagogue warns us most distinctly: "Go not after thy lusts, and abstain from thine appetites; for wine and women will remove the wise; and he that cleaves to harlots will become more daring. Corruption and the worm shall inherit him, and he shall be held up as public example to greater shame." And again--for he wearies not of doing good"He who averts his eyes from pleasure crowns his life."
Non est ergo justum vinci a rebus venereis, nec libidinibus stolide inhiare, nec a ratione alienis appetitionibus moveri, nec desiderare pollui. Ei autem soli, qui uxorem duxit, ut qui tune sit agricola, serere permissum est; quando tempus sementem admittit. Adversus aliam autem intemperantiam, optimum quidem est medicamentum, ratio. Fert etiam auxilium penuria satietatis, per quam accensae libidines prosiliunt ad voluptates.
CHAP. XI. --ON CLOTHES.
Wherefore neither are we to provide for ourselves costly clothing any more than variety of food. The Lord Himself, therefore, dividing His precepts into what relates to the body, the soul, and thirdly, external things, counsels us to provide external things on account of the body; and manages the body by the soul (yukh), and disciplines the soul, saying, "Take no thought for your life (yukh) what ye shall eat; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on; for the life is more than meat, and the body more than raiment." And He adds a plain example of instruction: "Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them." "Are ye not better than the fowls?" Thus far as to food. Similarly He enjoins with respect to clothing, which belongs to the third division, that of things external, saying, "Consider the lilies, how they spin not, nor weave. But I say unto you, that not even Solomon was arrayed as one of these." And Solomon the king plumed himself exceedingly on his riches.
What, I ask, more graceful, more gay-coloured, than flowers? What, I say, more delightful than lilies or roses? "And if God so clothe the grass, which is to-day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O ye of little faith!" Here the particle what (ti) banishes variety in food. For this is shown from the Scripture, "Take no thought what things ye shall eat, or what things ye shall drink." For to take thought of these things argues greed and luxury. Now eating, considered merely by itself, is the sign of necessity; repletion, as we have said, of want. Whatever is beyond that, is the sign of superfluity. And what is superfluous, Scripture declares to be of the devil. The subjoined expression makes the meaning plain. For having said, "Seek not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink," He added, "Neither be ye of doubtful (or lofty) mind." Now pride and luxury make men waverers (or raise them aloft) from the truth; and the voluptuousness, which indulges in superfluities, leads away from the truth. Wherefore He says very beautifully, "And all these things do the nations of the world seek after." The nations are the dissolute and the foolish. And what are these things which He specifies? Luxury, voluptuousness, rich cooking, dainty feeding, gluttony. These are the "What?"
And of bare sustenance, dry and moist, as being necessaries He says, "Your Father knoweth that ye need these." And if, in a word, we are naturally given to seeking, let us not destroy the faculty of seeking by directing it to luxury, but let us excite it to the discovery of truth. For He says, "Seek ye the kingdom of God, and the materials of sustenance shall be added to you."
If, then, He takes away anxious care for clothes and food, and superfluities in general, as unnecessary; what are we to imagine ought to be said of love of ornament, and dyeing of wool, and variety of colours, and fastidiousness about gems, and exquisite working of gold, and still more, of artificial hair and wreathed curls; and furthermore, of staining the eyes, and plucking out hairs, and painting with rouge and white lead, and dyeing of the hair, and the wicked arts that are employed in such deceptions? May we not very well suspect, that what was quoted a little above respecting the grass, has been said of those unornamental lovers of ornaments? For the field is the world, and we who are bedewed by the grace of God are the grass; and though cut down, we spring up again, as will be shown at greater length in the book On the Resurrection. But hay figuratively designates the vulgar rabble, attached to ephemeral pleasure, flourishing for a little, loving ornament, loving praise, and being everything but truth-loving, good for nothing but to be burned with fire. "There was a certain man," said the Lord, narrating, "very rich, who was clothed in purple and scarlet, enjoying himself splendidly every day." This was the hay. "And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at the rich man's gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table." This is the grass. Well, the rich man was punished in Hades, being made par-taker of the fire; while the other flourished again in the Father's bosom. I admire that ancient city of the Lacedaemonians which permitted harlots alone to wear flowered clothes, and ornaments of gold, interdicting respectable women from love of ornament, and allowing courtesans alone to deck themselves. On the other hand, the archons of the Athenians, who affected a polished mode of life, forgetting their manhood, wore tunics reaching to the feet, and had on the crobulus--a kind of knot of the hair--adorned with a fastening of gold grasshoppers, to show their origin from the soil, forsooth, in the ostentation of licentiousness. Now rivalry of these archons extended also to the other Ionians, whom Homer, to show their effeminancy, calls "Long-robed." Those, therefore, who are devoted to the image of the beautiful, that is, love of finery, not the beautiful itself, and who under a fair name again practise idolatry, are to be banished far from the truth, as those who by opinion, not knowledge, dream of the nature of the beautiful; and so life here is to them only a deep sleep of ignorance; from which it becomes us to rouse ourselves and haste to that which is truly beautiful and comely, and desire to grasp this alone, leaving the ornaments of earth to the world, and bidding them farewell before we fall quite asleep. I say, then, that man requires clothes for nothing else than the covering of the body, for defence against excess of cold and intensity of heat, lest the inclemency of the air injure us. And if this is the object of clothing, see that one kind be not assigned to men and another to women. For it is common to both to be covered, as it is to eat and drink. The necessity, then, being common, we judge that the provision ought to be similar. For as it is common to both to require things to cover them, so also their coverings ought to be similar; although such a covering ought to be assumed as is requisite for covering the eyes of women. For if the female sex, on account of their weakness, desire more, we ought to blame the habit of that evil training, by which often men reared up in bad habits become more effeminate than women. But this must not be yielded to. And if some accommodation is to be made, they may be permitted to use softer clothes, provided they put out of the way fabrics foolishly thin, and of curious texture in weaving; bidding farewell to embroidery of gold and Indian silks and elaborate Bombyces (silks), which is at first a worm, then from it is produced a hairy caterpillar; after which the creature suffers a new transformation into a third form which they call lava, from which a long filament is produced, as the spider's thread from the spider. For these superfluous and diaphanous materials are the proof of a weak mind, covering as they do the shame of the body with a slender veil. For luxurious clothing, which cannot conceal the shape of the body, is no more a covering. For such clothing, falling close to the body, takes its form more easily, and adhering as it were to the flesh, receives its shape, and marks out the woman's figure, so that the whole make of the body is visible to spectators, though not seeing the body itself.
Dyeing of clothes is also to be rejected. For it is remote both from necessity and truth, in addition to the fact that reproach in manners spring from it. For the use of colours is not beneficial, for they are of no service against cold; nor has it anything for covering more than other clothing, except the opprobrium alone. And the agreeableness of the colour afflicts greedy eyes, inflaming them to senseless blindness. But for those who are white and unstained within, it is most suitable to use white and simple garments. Clearly and plainly, therefore, Daniel the prophet says, "Thrones were set, and upon them sat one like the Ancient of days, and His vesture was white as snow." The Apocalypse says also that the Lord Himself appeared wearing such a robe. It says also, "I saw the souls of those that had witnessed, beneath the altar, and there was given to each a white robe." And if it were necessary to seek for any other colour, the natural colour of truth should suffice. But garments which are like flowers are to be abandoned to Bacchic fooleries, and to those of the rites of initiation, along with purple and silver plate, as the comic poet says:- "Useful for tragedians, not far life."
And our life ought to be anything rather than a pageant. Therefore the dye of Sardis, and another of olive, and another green, a rose-coloured, and scarlet, and ten thousand other dyes, have been invented with much trouble for mischievous voluptuousness. Such clothing is for looking at, not for covering. Garments, too, variegated with gold, and those that are purple, and that piece of luxury which has its name from beasts (figured on it), and that saffron-coloured ointment-dipped robe, and those costly and many-coloured garments of flaring membranes, we are to bid farewell to, with the art itself. "For what prudent thing can these women have done," says the comedy, "who sit covered with flowers, wearing a saffron-coloured dress, painted?"
The Instructor expressly admonishes, "Boast not of the clothing of your garment, and be not elated on account of any glory, as it is unlawful."
Accordingly, deriding those who are clothed in luxurious garments, He says in the Gospel: "Lo, they who live in gorgeous apparel and luxury are in earthly palaces." He says in perishable palaces, where are love of display, love of popularity, and flattery and deceit. But those that wait at the court of heaven around the King of all, are sanctified in the immortal vesture of the Spirit, that is, the flesh, and so put on incorruptibility.
As therefore she who is unmarried devotes herself to God alone, and her care is not divided, but the chaste married woman divides her life between God and her husband, while she who is otherwise disposed is devoted entirely to marriage, that is, to passion: in the same way I think the chaste wife, when she devotes herself to her husband, sincerely serves God; but when she becomes fond of finery, she falls away from God and from chaste wedlock, exchanging her husband for the world, after the fashion of that Argive courtesan, I mean Eriphyle,- "Who received gold prized above her dear husband."
Wherefore I admire the Ceian sophist, who delineated like and suitable images of Virtue and Vice, representing the former of these, viz. Virtue, standing simply, white-robed and pure, adorned with modesty alone (for such ought to be the true wife, dowered with modesty). But the other, viz. Vice, on the contrary, he introduces dressed in superfluous attire, brightened up with colour not her own; and her gait and mien are depicted as studiously framed to give pleasure, forming a sketch of wanton women.
But he who follows the Word will not addict himself to any base pleasure; wherefore also what is useful in the article of dress is to be preferred. And if the Word, speaking of the Lord by David, sings, "The daughters of kings made Thee glad by honour; the queen stood at Thy right hand, clad in cloth of gold, girt with golden fringes," it is not luxurious raiment that he indicates; but he shows the immortal adornment, woven of faith, of those that have found mercy, that is, the Church; in which the guileless Jesus shines conspicuous as gold, and the elect are the golden tassels. And if such must be woven for the women, let us weave apparel pleasant and soft to the touch, not flowered, like pictures, to delight the eye. For the picture fades in course of time, and the washing and steeping in the medicated juices of the dye wear away the wool, and render the fabrics of the garments weak; and this is not favourable to economy. It is the height of foolish ostentation to be in a flutter about peploi, and xystides, and ephaptides, and "cloaks," and tunics, and "what covers shame," says Homer. For, in truth, I am ashamed when I see so much wealth lavished on the covering of the nakedness. For primeval man in Paradise provided a covering for his shame of branches and leaves; and now, since sheep have been created for us, let us not be as silly as sheep, but trained by the Word, let us condemn sumptuousness of clothing, saying, "Ye are sheep's wool." Though Miletus boast, and Italy be praised, and the wool, about which many rave, be protected beneath skins, yet are we not to set our hearts on it.
The blessed John, despising the locks of sheep as savouring of luxury, chose "camel's hair," and was clad in it, making himself an example of frugality and simplicity of life. For he also "ate locusts and wild honey," sweet and spiritual fare; preparing, as he was, the lowly and chaste ways of the Lord. For how possibly could he have worn a purple robe, who turned away from the pomp of cities, and retired to the solitude of the desert, to live in calmness with God, far from all frivolous pursuits--from all false show of good--from all meanness? Elias used a sheepskin mantle, and fastened the sheepskin with a girdle made of hair. And Esaias, another prophet, was naked and barefooted, and often was clad in sackcloth, the garb of humility. And if you call Jeremiah, he had only "a linen girdle."
For as well-nurtured bodies, when stripped, show their vigour more manifestly, so also beauty of character shows its magnanimity, when not involved in ostentatious fooleries. But to drag one's clothes, letting them down to the soles of his feet, is a piece of consummate foppery, impeding activity in walking, the garment sweeping the surface dirt of the ground like a broom; since even those emasculated creatures the dancers, who transfer their dumb shameless profligacy to the stage, do not despise the dress which flows away to such indignity; whose curious vestments, and appendages of fringes, and elaborate motions of figures, show the trailing of sordid effeminacy.
If one should adduce the garment of the Lord reaching down to the foot, that many-flowered coat shows the flowers of wisdom, the varied and unfading Scriptures, the oracles of the Lord, resplendent with the rays of truth. In such another robe the Spirit arrayed the Lord through David, when he sang thus: "Thou wert clothed with confession and comeliness, putting on light as a garment."
As, then, in the fashioning of our clothes, we must keep clear of all strangeness, so in the use of them we must beware of extravagance. For neither is it seemly for the clothes to be above the knee, as they say was the case with the Lacedaemonian virgins; nor is it becoming for any part of a woman to be exposed. Though you may with great propriety use the language addressed to him who said, "Your arm is beautiful; yes, but it is not for the public gaze. Your thighs are beautiful; but, was the reply, for my husband alone. And your face is comely. Yes; but only for him who has married me." But I do not wish chaste women to afford cause for such praises to those who, by praises, hunt after grounds of censure; and not only because it is prohibited to expose the ankle, but because it has also been enjoined that the head should be veiled and the face covered; for it is a wicked thing for beauty to be a snare to men. Nor is it seemly for a woman to wish to make herself conspicuous, by using a purple veil. Would it were possible to abolish purple in dress, so as not to turn the eyes of spectators on the face of those that wear it! But the women, in the manufacture of all the rest of their dress, have made everything of purple, thus inflaming the lusts. And, in truth, those women who are crazy about these stupid and luxurious purples, "purple (dark) death has seized," according to the poetic saying. On account of this purple, then, Tyre and Sidon, and the vicinity of the Lacedaemonian Sea, are very much desired; and their dyers and purple-fishers, and the purple fishes themselves, because their blood produces purple, are held in high esteem. But crafty women and effeminate men, who blend these deceptive dyes with dainty fabrics, carry their insane desires beyond all bounds, and export their fine linens no longer from Egypt, but some other kinds from the land of the Hebrews and the Cilicians. I say nothing of the linens made of Amorgos and Byssus. Luxury has outstripped nomenclature.
The covering ought, in my judgment, to show that which is covered to be better than itself, as the image is superior to the temple, the soul to the body, and the body to the clothes. But now, quite the contrary, the body of these ladies, if sold, would never fetch a thousand Attic drachms. Buying, as they do, a single dress at the price of ten thousand talents, they prove themselves to be of less use and less value than cloth. Why in the world do you seek after what is rare and costly, in preference to what is at hand and cheap? It is because you know not what is really beautiful, what is really good, and seek with eagerness shows instead of realities from fools who, like people out of their wits, imagine black to be white.
CHAP. XII.--ON SHOES.
Women fond of display act in the same manner with regard to shoes, showing also in this matter great luxuriousness. Base, in truth, are those sandals on which golden ornaments are fastened; but they are thought worth having nails driven into the soles in winding rows. Many, too, carve on them amorous embraces, as if they would by their walk communicate to the earth harmonious movement, and impress on it the wantonness of their spirit. Farewell, therefore, must be bidden to gold-plated and jewelled mischievous devices of sandals, and Attic and Sicyonian half-boots, and Persian and Tyrrhenian buskins; and setting before us the right aim, as is the habit with our truth, we are bound to select what is in accordance with nature.
For the use of shoes is partly for covering, partly for defence in case of stumbling against objects, and for saving the sole of the foot from the roughness of hilly paths.
Women, are to be allowed a white shoe, except when on a journey, and then a greased shoe must be used. When on a journey, they require nailed shoes. Further, they ought for the most part to wear shoes; for it is not suitable for the foot to be shown naked: besides, woman is a tender thing, easily hurt. But for a man bare feet are quite in keeping, except when he is on military service. "For being shod is near neigh-hour to being bound."
To go with bare feet is most suitable for exercise, and best adapted for health and ease, unless where necessity prevents. But if we are not on a journey, and cannot endure bare feet, we may use slippers or white shoes; dusty-foots the Attics called them, on account of their bringing the feet near the dust, as I think. As a witness for simplicity in shoes let John suffice, who avowed that "he was not worthy to unloose the latchet of the Lord's shoes." For he who exhibited to the Hebrews the type of the true philosophy wore no elaborate shoes. What else this may imply, will be shown elsewhere.
CHAP. XIII--AGAINST EXCESSIVE FONDNESS FOR JEWELS AND GOLD ORNAMENTS.
It is childish to admire excessively dark or green stones, and things cast out by the sea on foreign shores, particles of the earth. For to rush after stones that are pellucid and of peculiar colours, and stained glass, is only characteristic of silly people, who are attracted by things that have a striking show. Thus children, on seeing the fire, rush to it, attracted by its brightness; not understanding through senselessness the danger of touching it. Such is the case with the stones which silly women wear fastened to chains and set in necklaces, amethysts, cera-unites, jaspers, topaz, and the Milesian "Emerald, most precious ware."
And the highly prized pearl has invaded the woman's apartments to an extravagant extent. This is produced in a kind of oyster like mussels, and is about the bigness of a fish's eye of large size. And the wretched creatures are not ashamed at having bestowed the greatest pains about this little oyster, when they might adorn themselves with the sacred jewel, the Word of God, whom the Scripture has somewhere called a pearl, the pure and pellucid Jesus, the eye that watches in the flesh,--the transparent Word, by whom the flesh, regenerated by water, becomes precious. For that oyster that is in the water covers the flesh all round, and out of it is produced the pearl.
We have heard, too, that the Jerusalem above is walled with sacred stones; and we allow that the twelve gates of the celestial city, by being made like precious stones, indicate the transcendent grace of the apostolic voice. For the colours are laid on in precious stones, and these colours are precious; while the other parts remain of earthy material. With these symbolically, as is meet, the city of the saints, which is spiritually built, is walled. By that brilliancy of stones, therefore, is meant the inimitable brilliancy of the spirit, the immortality and sanctity of being. But these women, who comprehend not the symbolism of Scripture, gape all they can for jewels, adducing the astounding apology, "Why may I not use what God hath exhibited?" and, "I have it by me, why may I not enjoy it?" and., "For whom were these things made, then, if not for us?" Such are the utterances of those who are totally ignorant of the will of God. For first necessaries, such as water and air, He supplies free to all; and what is not necessary He has hid in the earth and water. Wherefore ants dig, and griffins guard gold, and the sea hides the pearl-stone. But ye busy yourselves about what you need not. Behold, the whole heaven is lighted up, and ye seek not God; but gold which is hidden, and jewels, are dug up by those among us who are condemned to death.
But you also oppose Scripture, seeing it expressly cries "Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you." But if all things have been conferred on you, and all things allowed you, and "if all things are lawful, yet all things are not expedient," says the apostle. God brought our race into communion by first imparting what was His own, when He gave His own Word, common to all, and made all things for all. All things therefore are common, and not for the rich to appropriate an undue share. That expression, therefore, "I possess, and possess in abundance: why then should I not enjoy?" is suitable neither to the man, nor to society. But more worthy of love is that: "I have: why should I not give to those who need?" For such an one--one who fulfils the command, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"--is perfect. For this is the true luxury--the treasured wealth. But that which is squandered on foolish lusts is to be reckoned waste, not expenditure. For God has given to us, I know well, the liberty of use, but only so far as necessary; and He has determined that the use should be common. And it is monstrous for one to live in luxury, while many are in want. How much more glorious is it to do good to many, than to live sumptuously! How much wiser to spend money on human being, than on jewels and gold! How much more useful to acquire decorous friends, than lifeless ornaments! Whom have lands ever benefited so much as conferring favours has? It remains for us, therefore, to do away with this allegation: Who, then, will have the more sumptuous things, if all select the simpler? Men, I would say, if they make use of them impartially and indifferently. But if it be impossible for all to exercise self-restraint, yet, with a view to the use of what is necessary, we must seek after what can be most readily procured, bidding a long farewell to these superfluities.
In fine, they must accordingly utterly cast off ornaments as girls' gewgaws, rejecting adornment itself entirely. For they ought to be adorned within, and show the inner woman beautiful. For in the soul alone are beauty and deformity shown. Wherefore also only the virtuous man is really beautiful and good. And it is laid down as a dogma, that only the beautiful is good. And excellence alone appears through the beautiful body, and blossoms out in the flesh, exhibiting the amiable comeliness of self-control, whenever the character like a beam of light gleams in the form. For the beauty of each plant and animal consists in its individual excellence. And the excellence of man is righteousness, and temperance, and manliness, and godliness. The beautiful man is, then, he who is just, temperate, and in a word, good, not he who is rich. But now even the soldiers wish to be decked with gold, not having read that poetical saying:- "With childish folly to the war he came, Laden with store of gold."
But the love of ornament, which is far from caring for virtue, but claims the body for itself, when the love of the beautiful has changed to empty show, is to be utterly expelled. For applying things unsuitable to the body, as if they were suitable, begets a practice of lying and a habit of falsehood; and shows not what is decorous, simple, and truly childlike, but what is pompous, luxurious, and effeminate. But these women obscure true beauty, shading it with gold. And they know not how great is their transgression, in fastening around themselves ten thousand rich chains; as they say that among the barbarians malefactors are bound with gold. The women seem to me to emulate these rich prisoners. For is not the golden necklace a collar, and do not the necklets which they call catheters s occupy the place of chains? mid in deed among the Attics they are called by this very name. The ungraceful things round the feet of women, Philemon in the Synephebus called ankle-fetters:- "Conspicuous garments, and a kind of a golden fetter."
What else, then, is this coveted adorning of yourselves, O ladies, but the exhibiting of yourselves fettered? For if the material does away with the reproach, the endurance [of your fetters] is a thing indifferent. To me, then, those who voluntarily put themselves into bonds seem to glory in rich calamities.
Perchance also it is such chains that the poetic fable says were thrown around Aphrodite when committing adultery, referring to ornaments as nothing but the badge of adultery. For Homer called those, too, golden chains. But new women are not ashamed to wear the most manifest badges of the evil one. For as the serpent deceived Eve, so also has ornament of gold maddened other women to vicious practices, using as a bait the form of the serpent, and by fashioning lampreys and serpents for decoration. Accordingly the comic poet Nicostratus says, "Chains, collars; rings, bracelets, serpents, anklets, earrings."
In terms of strongest censure, therefore, Aristophanes in the Thesmophoriazousae exhibits the whole array of female ornament in a catalogue:- "Snoods, fillets, natron, and steel; Pumice-stone, band, back-band, Back-veil, paint, necklaces, Paints for the eyes, soft garment, hair-net, Girdle, shawl, fine purple border, Long robe, tunic, Barathrum, round tunic."
But I have not yet mentioned the principal of them. Then what?
"Ear-pendants, jewelry, ear-rings; Mallow-coloured cluster-shaped anklets; Buckles, clasps, necklets, Fetters, seals, chains, rings, powders, Bosses, bands, olisbi, Sardian stones, Fans, helicters."
I am weary and vexed at enumerating the multitude of ornaments; and I am compelled to wonder how those who bear such a burden are not worried to death. O foolish trouble! O silly craze for display! They squander meretriciously wealth on what is disgraceful; and in their love for ostentation disfigure God's gifts, emulating the art of the evil one. The rich man hoarding up in his barns, and saying to himself, "Thou hast much goods laid up for many years; eat, drink, be merry," the Lord in the Gospel plainly called "fool." "For this night they shall take of thee thy soul; whose then shah those things which thou hast prepared be? "
Apelles, the painter, seeing one of his pupils painting a figure loaded with gold colour to represent Helen, said to him, "Boy, being incapable of painting her beautiful, you have made her rich."
Such Helens are the ladies of the present day, not truly beautiful, but richly got up. To these the Spirit prophesies by Zephaniah: "And their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's anger."
But for those women who have been trained under Christ, it is suitable to adorn themselves not with gold, but with the Word, through whom alone the gold comes to light.
Happy, then, would have been the ancient Hebrews, had they cast away their women's ornaments, or only melted them; but having cast their gold into the form of an ox, and paid it idolatrous worship, they consequently reap no advantage either from their art or their attempt. But they taught our women most expressively to keep clear of ornaments. The lust which commits fornication with gold becomes an idol, and is tested by fire; for which alone luxury is reserved, as being an idol, not a reality. Hence the Word, upbraiding the Hebrews by the prophet, says, "They made to Baal things of silver and gold," that is, ornaments. And most distinctly threatening, He says, "I will punish her for the days of Baalim, in which they offered sacrifice for her, and she put on her earrings and her necklaces." And He subjoined the cause of the adornment, when He said, "And she went after her lovers, but forgot Me, saith the LORD.
Resigning, therefore, these baubles to the wicked master of cunning himself, let us not take part in this meretricious adornment, nor commit idolatry through a specious pretext. Most admirably, therefore, the blessed Peter says, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves not with braids, or gold, or costly array, but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." For it is with reason that he bids decking of themselves to be kept far from them. For, granting that they are beautiful, nature suffices. Let not art contend against nature; that is, let not falsehood strive with truth. And if they are by nature ugly, they are convicted, by the things they apply to themselves, of what they do not possess [i.e., of the want of beauty]. It is suitable, therefore, for women who serve Christ to adopt simplicity. For in reality simplicity provides for sanctity, by reducing redundancies to equality, and by furnishing from whatever is at hand the enjoyment sought from superfluities. For simplicity, as the name shows, is not conspicuous, is not inflated or puffed up in aught, but is altogether even, and gentle, and equal, and free of excess, and so is sufficient. And sufficiency is a condition which reaches its proper end without excess. or defect. The mother of these is Justice, and their nurse "Independence;" and this is a condition which is satisfied with what is necessary, and by itself furnishes what contributes to the blessed life.
Let there, then, be in the fruits of thy hands, sacred order, liberal communication, and acts of economy. "For he that giveth to the poor, lendeth to God." "And the hands of the manly shall be enriched." Manly He calls those who despise wealth, and are free in bestowing it. And on your feet let active readiness to well-doing appear, and a journeying to righteousness. Modesty and chastity are collars and necklaces; such are the chains which God forges. "Happy is the man who hath found wisdom, and the mortal who knows understanding," says the Spirit by Solomon: "for it is better to buy her than treasures of gold and silver; and she is more valuable than precious stones." For she is the true decoration.
And let not their ears be pierced, contrary to nature, in order to attach to them ear-rings and ear-drops. For it is not right to force nature against her wishes. Nor could there be any better ornament for the ears than true instruction, which finds its way naturally into the passages of hearing. And eyes anointed by the Word, and ears pierced for perception, make a man a hearer and contemplator of divine and sacred things, the Word truly exhibiting the true beauty "which eye hath not seen nor ear heard before."
CHAP. I.--ON THE TRUE BEAUTY.
IT iS then, as appears, the greatest of all lessons to know one's self. For if one knows himself, he will know God; and knowing God, he will be made like God, not by wearing gold or long robes, but by well-doing, and by requiring as few things as possible.
Now, God alone is in need of nothing, and rejoices most when He sees us bright with the ornament of intelligence; and then, too, rejoices in him who is arrayed in chastity, the sacred stole of the body. Since then the soul consists of three divisions; the intellect, which is called the reasoning faculty, is the inner man, which is the ruler of this man that is seen. And that one, in another respect, God guides. But the irascible part, being brutal, dwells near to insanity. And appetite, which is the third department, is many-shaped above Proteus, the varying sea-god, who changed himself now into one shape, now into another; and it allures to adulteries, to licentiousness, to seductions.
"At first he was a lion with ample beard."
While he yet retained the ornament, the hair of the chin showed him to be a man.
"But after that a serpent, a pard, or a big sow."
Love of ornament has degenerated to wantonness. A man no longer appears like a strong wild beast, "But he became moist water, and a tree of lofty branches."
Passions break out, pleasures overflow; beauty fades, and falls quicker than the leaf on the ground, when the amorous storms of lust blow on it before the coming of autumn, and is withered by destruction. For lust becomes and fabricates all things, and wishes to cheat, so as to conceal the man. But that man with whom the Word dwells does not alter himself, does not get himself up: he has the form which is of the Word; he is made like to God; he is beautiful; he does not ornament himself: his is beauty, the true beauty, for it is God; and that man becomes God, since God so wills. Heraclitus, then, rightly said, "Men are gods, and gods are men." For the Word Himself is the manifest mystery: God in man, and man God. And the Mediator executes the Father's will; for the Mediator is the Word, who is common to both--the Son of God, the Saviour of men; His Servant, our Teacher. And the flesh being a slave, as Paul testifies, how can one with any reason adorn the handmaid like a pimp? For that which is of flesh has the form of a servant. Paul says, speaking of the Lord, "Because He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant," calling the outward man servant, previous to the Lord becoming a servant and wearing flesh. But the compassionate God Himself set the flesh free, and releasing it from destruction, and from bitter and deadly bondage, endowed it with incorruptibility, arraying the flesh in this, the holy embellishment of eternity--immortality.
There is, too, another beauty of men--love. "And love," according to the apostle, "suffers long, and is kind; envieth not; vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up." For the decking of one's self out--carrying, as it does, the look of superfluity and uselessness--is vaunting one's self. Wherefore he adds, "doth not behave itself unseemly:" for a figure which is not one's own, and is against nature, is unseemly; but what is artificial is not one's own, as is clearly explained: "seeketh not," it is said, "what is not her own." For truth calls that its own which belongs to it; but the love of finery seeks what is not its own, being apart from God, and the Word, from love.
And that the Lord Himself was uncomely in aspect, the Spirit testifies by Esaias: "And we saw Him, and He had no form nor comeliness but His form was mean, inferior to men." Yet who was more admirable than the Lord? But it was not the beauty of the flesh visible to the eye, but the true beauty of both soul and body, which He exhibited, which in the former is beneficence; in the latter--that is, the flesh-immortality.
CHAP. II.- AGAINST EMBELLISHING THE BODY.
It is not, then, the aspect of the outward man, but the soul that is to be decorated with the ornament of goodness; we may say also the flesh with the adornment of temperance. But those women who beautify the outside, are unawares all waste in the inner depths, as is the case with the ornaments of the Egyptians; among whom temples with their porticos and vestibules are carefully constructed, and groves and sacred fields adjoining; the halls are surrounded with many pillars; and the walls gleam with foreign stones, and there is no want of artistic painting; and the temples gleam with gold, and silver, and amber, and glitter with parti-coloured gems from India and Ethiopia; and the shrines are veiled with gold-embroidered hangings.
But if you enter the penetralia of the enclosure, and, in haste to behold something better, seek the image that is the inhabitant of the temple, and if any priest of those that offer sacrifice there, looking gave, and singing a paean in the Egyptian tongue, remove a little of the veil to show the god, he will give you a hearty laugh at the object of worship. For the deity that is sought, to whom you have rushed, will not be found within, but a cat, or a crocodile, or a serpent of the country, or some such beast unworthy of the temple, but quite worthy of a den, a hole, or the dirt. The god of the Egyptians appears a beast rolling on a purple couch.
So those women who wear gold, occupying themselves in curling at their locks, and engaged in anointing their cheeks, painting their eyes, and dyeing their hair, and practising the other pernicious arts of luxury, decking the covering of flesh,--in truth, imitate the Egyptians, in order to attract their infatuated lovers.
But if one withdraw the veil of the temple, I mean the head-dress, the dye, the clothes, the gold, the paint, the cosmetics,--that is, the web consisting of them, the veil, with the view of finding Within the true beauty, he will be disgusted, I know well. For he will not find the image of God dwelling within, as is meet; but instead of it a fornicator and adulteress has occupied the shrine of the soul. And the true beast will thus be detected--an ape smeared with white paint. And that deceitful serpent, devouring the understanding part of man through vanity, has the soul as its hole, filling all with deadly poisons; and injecting his own venom of deception, this pander of a dragon has changed women into harlots. For love of display is not for a lady, but a courtesan. Such women care little for keeping at home with their husbands; but loosing their husbands' purse-strings, they spend its supplies on their lusts, that they may have many witnesses of their seemingly fair appearance; and, devoting the whole day to their toilet, they spend their time with their bought slaves. Accordingly they season the flesh like a pernicious sauce; and the day they bestow on the toilet shut up in their rooms, so as not to be caught decking themselves. But in the evening this spurious beauty creeps out to candle-light as out of a hole; for drunkenness and the dimness of the light aid what they have put on. The woman who dyes her hair yellow, Menander the comic poet expels from the house:- "Now get out of this house, for no chaste Woman ought to make her hair yellow," nor, I would add, stain her cheeks, nor paint her eyes. Unawares the poor wretches destroy their own beauty, by the introduction of what is spurious. At the dawn of day, mangling, racking, and plastering themselves over with certain compositions, they chill the skin, furrow the flesh with poisons, and with curiously prepared washes, thus blighting their own beauty. Wherefore they are seen to be yellow from the use of cosmetics, and susceptible to disease, their flesh, which has been shaded with poisons, being now in a melting state. So they dishonour the Creator of men, as if the beauty given by Him were nothing worth. As you might expect, they become lazy in housekeeping, sitting like painted things to be looked at, not as if made for domestic economy. Wherefore in the comic poet the sensible woman says, "What can we women do wise or brilliant, who sit with hair dyed yellow, outraging the character of gentlewomen; causing the overthrow of houses, the ruin of nuptials, and accusations on the part of children? " In the same way, Antiphanes the comic poet, in Malthaca, ridicules the meretriciousness of women in words that apply to them all, and are framed against the rubbing of themselves with cosmetics, saying:-
"She comes, She goes back, she approaches, she goes back.
She has come, she is here, she washes herself, she advances, She is soaped, she is combed, she goes out, is rubbed, She washes herself, looks in the glass, robes herself, Anoints herself, decks herself, besmears herself; And if aught is wrong, chokes [with vexation]."
Thrice, I say, not once, do they deserve to perish, who use crocodiles' excrement, and anoint themselves with the froth of putrid humours, and stain their eyebrows with soot, and rub their cheeks with white lead. These, then, who are disgusting even to the heathen poets for their fashions, how shall they not be rejected by the truth? Accordingly another comic poet, Alexis, reproves them. For I shall adduce his words, which with extravagance of statement shame the obstinacy of their impudence. For he was not very far beyond the mark. And I cannot for shame come to the assistance of women held up to such ridicule in comedy.
Then she ruins her husband.
"For first, in comparison with gain and the spoiling of neighbours, All else is in their eyes superfluous."
"Is one of them little? She stitches cork into her shoesole.
Is one tall? She wears a thin sole, And goes out keeping her head down on her shoulder:
This takes away from her height. Has one no flanks?
She has something sewed on to her, so that the spectators May exclaim on her fine shape behind. Has she a prominent stomach?
By making additions, to render it straight, such as the nurses we see in the comic poets, She draws back, as it were, by these poles, the protuberance of the stomach in front.
Has one yellow eyebrows? She stains them with soot.
Do they happen to be black? She smears them with ceruse.
Is one very white-skinned? She rouges.
Has one any part of the body beautiful? She shows it bare.
Has she beautiful teeth? She must needs laugh, That those present may see what a pretty mouth she has; But if not in the humour for laughing, she passes the day within, With a slender sprig of myrtle between her lips, Like what cooks have always at hand when they have goats' heads to sell, So that she must keep them apart the whilst, whether she will or not."
I set these quotations from the comic poets before you, since the Word most strenuously wishes to save us. And by and by I will fortify them with the divine Scriptures. For he who does not escape notice is wont to abstain from sins, on account of the shame of reproof. Just as the plastered hand and the anointed eye exhibit from their very look the suspicion of a person in illness, so also cosmetics and dyes indicate that the soul is deeply diseased.
The divine Instructor enjoins us not to approach to another's river, meaning by the figurative expression "another's river," "another's wife;" the wanton that flows to all, and out of licentiousness gives herself up to meretricious enjoyment with all. "Abstain from water that is another's," He says, "and drink not of another's well," admonishing us to shun the stream of "voluptuousness," that we may live long, and that years of life may be added to us; both by not hunting after pleasure that belongs to another, and by diverting our inclinations.
Love of dainties and love of wine, though great vices, are not of such magnitude as fondness for finery. "A full table and repeated cups" are enough to satisfy greed. But to those who are fond of gold, and purple, and jewels, neither the gold that is above the earth and below it is sufficient, nor the Tyrian Sea, nor the freight that comes from India and Ethiopia, nor yet Pactolus flowing with gold; not even were a man to become a Midas would he be satisfied, but would be still poor, craving other wealth. Such people are ready to die with their gold.
And if Plutus is blind, are not those women that are crazy about him, and have a fellow-feeling with him, blind too? Having, then, no limit to their lust, they push on to shamelessness. For the theatre, and pageants, and many spectators, and strolling in the temples, and loitering in the streets, that they may be seen conspicuously by all, are necessary to them. For those that glory in their looks, not in heart dress to please others. For as the brand shows the slave, so do gaudy colours the adulteress. "For though thou clothe thyself in scarlet, and deck thyself with ornaments of gold, and anoint thine eyes with stibium, in vain is thy beauty," says the Word by Jeremiah. Is it not monstrous, that while horses, birds, and the rest of the animals, spring and bound from the grass and meadows, rejoicing in ornament that is their own, in mane, and natural colour, and varied plumage; woman, as if inferior to the brute creation, should think herself so unlovely as to need foreign, and bought, and painted beauty?
Head-dresses and varieties of head-dresses, and elaborate braidings, and infinite modes of dressing the hair, and costly specimens of mir rots, in which they arrange their costume,--hunting after those that, like silly children, are crazy about their figures,--are characteristic of women who have lost all sense of shame. If any one were to call these courtesans, he would make no mistake, for they turn their faces into masks. But us the Word enjoins "to look not on the things that are seen, but the things that are not seen; for the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal."
But what passes beyond the bounds of absurdity, is that they have invented mirrors for this artificial shape of theirs, as if it were some excellent work or masterpiece. The deception rather requires a veil thrown over it. For as the Greek fable has it, it was not a fortunate thing for the beautiful Narcissus to have been the beholder of his own image. And if Moses commanded men to make not an image to represent God by art, how can these women be right, who by their own reflection produce an imitation of their own likeness, in order to the falsifying of their faces? Likewise also, when Samuel the prophet was sent to anoint one of the sons of Jesse for king, and on seeing the eldest of his sons to be fair and tall, produced the anointing oil, being delighted with him, the Lord said to him, "Look not to his appearance, nor the height of his stature: for I have rejected him For man looketh on the eyes, but the Logo into the heart."
And he anointed not him that was comely in person, but him that was comely in soul. If, then, the Lord counts the natural beauty of the body inferior to that of the soul, what thinks He of spurious beauty, rejecting utterly as He does all falsehood? "For we walk by faith, not by sight." Very clearly the Lord accordingly teaches by Abraham, that he who follows God must despise country, and relations, and possessions, and all wealth, by making him a stranger. And therefore also He called him His friend who had despised the substance which he had possessed at home. For he was of good parentage, and very opulent; and so with three hundred and eighteen servants of his own he subdued the four kings who had taken Lot captive.
Esther alone we find justly adorned. The spouse adorned herself mystically for her royal husband; but her beauty turns out the redemption price of a people that were about to be massacred. And that decoration makes women courtesans, and men effeminate and adulterers, the tragic poet is a witness; thus discoursing:- "He that judged the goddesses, As the myth of the Argives has it, having come from Phrygia To Lacedaemon, arrayed in flowery vestments, Glittering with gold and barbaric luxury, Loving, departed, carrying away her he loved, Helen, to the folds of Ida, having found that Menelaus was away from home."
O adulterous beauty! Barbarian finery and effeminate luxury overthrew Greece; Lacedaemonian chastity was corrupted by clothes, and luxury, and graceful beauty; barbaric display proved Jove's daughter a courtesan.
They had no instructor to restrain their lusts, nor one to say, "Do not commit adultery;" nor, "Lust not;" or, "Travel not by lust into adultery;" or further, "Influence not thy passions by desire of adornment."
What an end was it that ensued to them, and what woes they endured, who would not restrain their self-will! Two continents were convulsed by unrestrained pleasures, and all was thrown into confusion by a barbarian boy. The whole of Hellas puts to sea; the ocean is burdened with the weight of continents; a protracted war breaks out, and fierce battles are waged, and the plains are crowded with dead: the barbarian assails the fleet with outrage; wickedness prevails, and the eye of that poetic Jove looks on the Thracians:- "The barbarian plains drink noble blood, And the streams of the rivers are choked with dead bodies."
Breasts are beaten in lamentations, and grief desolates the 'land; and all the feet, and the summits of many-fountained Ida, and the cities of the Trojans, and the ships of the Achaeans, shake.
Where, O Homer, shall we flee and stand? Show us a spot of ground that is not shaken!- "Touch not the reins, inexperienced boy, Nor mount the seat, not having learned to drive."
Heaven delights in two charioteers, by whom alone the chariot of fire is guided. For the mind is carried away by pleasure; and the unsullied principle of reason, when not instructed by the Word, slides down into licentiousness, and gets a fall as the due reward of its transgression. An example of this are the angels, who renounced the beauty of God for a beauty which fades, and so fell from heaven to earth.
The Shechemites, too, were punished by an overthrow for dishonouring the holy virgin. The grave was their punishment, and the monument of their ignominy leads to salvation.
CHAP. III.--AGAINST MEN WHO EMBELLISH THEMSELVES.
To such an extent, then, has luxury advanced, that not only are the female sex deranged about this frivolous pursuit, but men also are infected with the disease. For not being free of the love of finery, they are not in health; but inclining to voluptuousness, they become effeminate, cutting their hair in an ungentlemanlike and meretricious way, clothed in fine and transparent garments, chewing mastich, smelling of l perfume. What can one say on seeing them? Like one who judges people by their foreheads, he will divine them to be adulterers and effeminate, addicted to both kinds of venery, haters of hair, destitute of hair, detesting the bloom of manliness, and adorning their locks like women. "Living for unholy acts of audacity, these fickle wretches do reckless and nefarious deeds," says the Sibyl. For their service the towns are full of those who take out hair by pitch-plasters, shave, and pluck out hairs from these womanish creatures. And shops are erected and opened everywhere; and adepts at this meretricious fornication make a deal of money openly by those who plaster themselves, and give their hair to be pulled out in all ways by those who make it their trade, feeling no shame before the onlookers or those who approach, nor before themselves, being men. Such are those addicted to base passions, whose whole body is made smooth by the violent tuggings of pitch-plasters. It is utterly impossible to get beyond such effrontery. If nothing is left undone by them, neither shall anything be left unspoken by me. Diogenes, when he was being sold, chiding like a teacher one of these degenerate creatures, said very manfully, "Come, youngster, buy for yourself a man," chastising his meretriciousness by an ambiguous speech. But for those who are men to shave and smooth themselves, how ignoble! As for dyeing of hair, and anointing of grey locks, and dyeing them yellow, these are practices of abandoned effeminates; and their feminine combing of themselves is a thing to be let alone. For they think, that like serpents they divest themselves of the old age of their head by painting and renovating themselves. But though they do doctor the hair cleverly, they will not escape wrinkles, nor will they elude death by tricking time. For it is notre dreadful, it is not dreadful to appear old, when you are not able to shut your eyes to the fact that you are so.
The more, then, a man hastes to the end, the more truly venerable is he, having God alone as his senior, since He is the eternal aged One, He who is older than all things. Prophecy has called him the "Ancient of days; and the hair of His head was as pure wool," says the prophet. "And none other," says the Lord, "can make the hair white or black." How, then, do these godless ones work in rivalry with God, or rather violently oppose Him, when they transmute the hair made white by Him? "The crown of old men is great experience," says Scripture; and the hoary hair of their countenance is the blossom of large experience. But these dishonour the reverence of age, the head covered with grey hairs. It is not, it is not possible for him to show the head true who has a fraudulent head.
"But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man (not the hoary man, but him that is) corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and be renewed (not by dyeings and ornaments), but in the spirit of your mind; and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
But for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, to arrange his hair at the looking-glass, to shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them, how womanly! And, in truth, unless you saw them naked, you would suppose them to be women. For although not allowed to wear gold, yet out of effeminate desire they enwreath their latches and fringes with leaves of gold; or, getting certain spherical figures of the same metal made, they fasten them to their ankles, and hang them from their necks. This is a device of enervated men, who are dragged to the women's apartments, amphibious and lecherous beasts. For this is a meretricious and impious form of snare. For God wished women to be smooth, and rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane; but has adorned man, like the lions, with a beard, and endowed him, as an attribute of manhood, with shaggy breasts,--a sign this of strength and rule. So also cocks, which fight in defence of the hens, he has decked with combs, as it were helmets; and so high a value does God set on these locks, that He orders them to make their appearance on men simultaneously with discretion, and delighted with a venerable look, has honoured gravity of countenance with grey hairs. But wisdom, and discriminating judgments that are hoary with wisdom, attain maturity with time, and by the vigour of long experience give strength to old age, producing grey hairs, the admirable flower of venerable wisdom, conciliating confidence. This, then, the mark of the man, the beard, by which he is seen to be a man, is older than Eve, and is the token of the superior nature. In this God deemed it right that he should excel, and dispersed hair over man's whole body. Whatever smoothness and softness was in him He abstracted from his side when He formed the woman Eve, physically receptive, his partner in parentage, his help in household management, while he (for he had parted with all smoothness) remained a man, and shows himself man. And to him has been assigned action, as to her suffering; for what is shaggy is drier and warmer than what is smooth. Wherefore males have both more hair and more heat than females, animals that are entire than the emasculated, perfect than imperfect. It is therefore impious to desecrate the symbol of manhood, hairiness. But the embellishment of smoothing (for I am warned by the Word), if it is to attract men, is the act of an effeminate person,--if to attract women, is the act of an adulterer; and both must be driven as far as possible from our society. "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered," says the Lord; those on the chin, too, are numbered, and those on the whole body. There must be therefore no plucking out, contrary to God's appointment, which has counted them in according to His will. "Know ye not yourselves," says the apostle, "that Christ Jesus is in you?" Whom, had we known as dwelling in us, I know not how we could have dared to dishonour. But the using of pitch to pluck out hair (I shrink from even mentioning the shamelessness connected with this process), and in the act of bending back and bending down, the violence done to nature's modesty by stepping out and bending backwards in shameful postures, yet the doers not ashamed of themselves, but conducting themselves without shame in the midst of the youth, and in the gymnasium, where the prowess of man is tried; the following of this unnatural practice, is it not the extreme of licentiousness? For those who engage in such practices in public will scarcely behave with modesty to any at home. Their want of shame in public attests their unbridled licentiousness in private.
For he who in the light of day denies his manhood, will prove himself manifestly a woman by night. "There shall not be," said the Word by Moses, "a harlot of the daughters of Israel; there shall not be a fornicator of the sons of Israel."
But the pitch does good, it is said. Nay, it defames, say I. No one who entertains right sentiments would wish to appear a fornicator, were he not the victim of that vice, and study to defame the beauty of his form. No one would, I say, voluntarily choose to do this. "For if God foreknew those who are called, according to His purpose, to be conformed to the image of His Son," for whose sake, according to the blessed apostle, He has appointed "Him to be the first-born among many brethren," are they not godless who treat with indignity the body which is of like form with the Lord?
The man, who would be beautiful, must adorn that which is the most beautiful thing in man, his mind, which every day he ought to exhibit in greater comeliness; and should pluck out not hairs, but lusts. I pity the boys possessed by the slave-dealers, that are decked for dishonour. But they are not treated with ignominy by themselves, but by command the wretches are adorned for base gain. But how disgusting are those who willingly practise the things to which, if compelled, they would, if they were men, die rather than do?
But life has reached this pitch of licentiousness through the wantonness of wickedness, and lasciviousness is diffused over the cities, having become law. Beside them women stand in the stews, offering their own flesh for hire for lewd pleasure, and boys, taught to deny their sex, act the part of women.
Luxury has deranged all things; it has disgraced man. A luxurious niceness seeks everything, attempts everything, forces everything, coerces nature. Men play the part of women, and women that of men, contrary to nature; women are at once wives and husbands: no passage is closed against libidinousness; and their promiscuous lechery is a public institution, and luxury is domesticated. O miserable spectacle! horrible conduct! Such are the trophies of your social licentiousness which are exhibited: the evidence of these deeds are the prostitutes. Alas for such wickedness! Besides, the wretches know not how many tragedies the uncertainty of intercourse produces. For fathers, unmindful of children of theirs that have been exposed, often without their knowledge, have intercourse with a son that has debauched himself, and daughters that are prostitutes; and licence in lust shows them to be the men that have begotten them.
These things your wise laws allow: people may sin legally; and the execrable indulgence in pleasure they call a thing indifferent. They who commit adultery against nature think themselves free from adultery. Avenging justice follows their audacious deeds, and, dragging on themselves inevitable calamity, they purchase death for a small sum of money. The miserable dealers in these wares sail, bringing a cargo of fornication, like wine or oil; and others, far more wretched, traffic in pleasures as they do in bread and sauce, not heeding the words of Moses, "Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore, lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness."
Such was predicted of old, and the result is notorious: the whole earth has now become full of fornication and wickedness. I admire the ancient legislators of the Romans: these detested effeminacy of conduct; and the giving of the body to feminine purposes, contrary to the law of nature, they judged worthy of the extremest penalty, according to the righteousness of the law.
For it is not lawful to pluck out the beard, man's natural and noble ornament.
"A youth with his first beard: for with this, youth is most graceful."
By and by he is anointed, delighting in the beard "on which descended" the prophetic, "ointment" with which Aaron was honoured. And it becomes him who is rightly trained, on whom peace has pitched its tent, to preserve peace also with his hair.
What, then, will not women with strong propensities to lust practise, when they look on men perpetrating such enormities? Rather we ought not to call such as these men, but lewd wretches (bataloi), and effeminate (gunides), whose voices are feeble, and whose clothes are womanish both in feel and dye. And such creatures are manifestly shown to be what they are from their external appearance, their clothes, shoes, form, walk, cut of their hair, look. "For from his look shall a man be known," says the Scripture, "and from meeting a man the man is known: the dress of a man, the step of his foot, the laugh of his teeth, tell tales of him."
For these, for the most part, plucking out the rest of their hair, only dress that on the head, all but binding their locks with fillets like women. Lions glory in their shaggy hair, but are armed by their hair in the fight; and boars even are made imposing by their mane; the hunters are afraid of them when they see them bristling their hair.
"The fleecy sheep are loaded with their wool."
And their wool the loving Father has made abundant for thy use, O man, having taught thee to sheer their fleeces. Of the nations, the Celts and Scythians wear their hair long, but do not deck themselves. The bushy hair of the barbarian has something fearful in it; and its auburn (xanqon) colour threatens war, the hue being somewhat akin to blood. Both these barbarian races hate luxury. As clear witnesses will be produced by the German, the Rhine; and by the Scythian, the waggon. Sometimes the Scythian despises even the waggon: its size seems sumptuousness to the barbarian; and leaving its luxurious ease, the Scythian man leads a frugal life. For a house sufficient, and less encumbered than the waggon, he takes his horse, and mounting it, is borne where he wishes. And when faint with hunger, he asks his horse for sustenance; and he offers his veins, and supplies his master with all he possesses--his blood. To the nomad the horse is at once conveyance and sustenance; and the warlike youth of the Arabians (these are other nomads) are mounted on camels. They sit on breeding camels; and these feed and run at the same time, carrying their masters the whilst, and bear the house with them. And if drink fail the barbarians, they milk them; and after that their food is spent, they do not spare even their blood, as is reported of furious wolves. And these, gentler than the barbarians, when injured, bear no remembrance of the wrong, but sweep bravely over the desert, carrying and nourishing their masters at the same time.
Perish, then, the savage beasts whose food is blood! For it is unlawful for men, whose body is nothing but flesh elaborated of blood, to touch blood. For human blood has become a partaker of the Word: it is a participant of grace by the Spirit; and if any one injure him, he will not escape unnoticed. Man may, though naked in body, address the Lord. But I approve the simplicity of the barbarians: loving an unencumbered life, the barbarians have abandoned luxury. Such the Lord calls us to be--naked of finery, naked of vanity, wrenched from our sins, bearing only the wood of life, aiming only at salvation.
CHAP. IV.--WITH WHOM WE ARE TO ASSOCIATE.
But really I have unwittingly deviated in spirit from the order, to which I must now revert, and must find fault with having large numbers of domestics. For, avoiding working with their own hands and serving themselves, men have recourse to servants, purchasing a great crowd of fine cooks, and of people to lay out the table, and of others to divide the meat skilfully into pieces. And the staff of servants is separated into many divisions; some labour for their gluttony, Carvers and seasoners, and the compounders and makers of sweetmeats, and honey-cakes, and custards others are occupied with their too numerous clothes; others guard the gold, like griffins; others keep the silver, and wipe the cups, and make ready what is needed to furnish the festive table; others rub down the horses; and a crowd of cup-bearers exert themselves in their service, and herds of beautiful boys, like cattle, from whom they milk away their beauty. And male and female assistants at the toilet are employed about the ladies--some for the mirrors, some for the head-dresses, others for the combs. Many are eunuchs; and these panders serve without suspicion those that wish to be free to enjoy their pleasures, because of the belief that they are unable to indulge in lust. But a true eunuch is not one who is unable, but one who is unwilling, to indulge in pleasure. The Word, testifying by the prophet Samuel to the Jews, who had transgressed when the people asked for a king, promised not a loving lord, but threatened to give them a self-willed and voluptuous tyrant, "who shall," He says, "take your daughters to be perfumers, and cooks, and bakers," ruling by the law of war, not desiring a peaceful administration. And there are many Celts, who bear aloft on their shoulders women's litters. But workers in wool, and spinners, and weavers, and female work and housekeeping, are nowhere.
But those who impose on the women, spend the day with them, telling them silly amatory stories, and wearing out body and soul with their false acts and words. "Thou shalt not be with many," it is said, "for evil, nor give thyself to a multitude;" for wisdom shows itself among few, but disorder in a multitude. But it is not for grounds of propriety, on account of not wishing to be seen, that they purchase bearers, for it were commendable if out of such feelings they put themselves under a covering; but it is out of luxuriousness that they are carried on their domestics' shoulders, and desire to make a show.
So, opening the curtain, and looking keenly round on all that direct their eyes towards them, they show their manners; and often bending forth from within, disgrace this superficial propriety by their dangerous restlessness. "Look not round," it is said, "in the streets of the city, and wander not in its lonely places." For that is, in truth, a lonely place, though there be a crowd of the licentious in it, where no wise man is present.
And these women are carried about over the temples, sacrificing and practising divination day by day, spending their time with fortune-tellers, and begging priests, and disreputable old women; and they keep up old wives' whisperings over their cups, learning charms and incantations from soothsayers, to the ruin of the nuptial bonds. And some men they keep; by others they are kept; and others are promised them by the diviners. They know not that they are cheating themselves, and giving up themselves as a vessel of pleasure to those that wish to indulge in wantonness; and exchanging their purity for the foulest outrage, they think what is the most shameful ruin a great stroke of business. And there are many ministers to this meretricious licentiousness, insinuating themselves, one from one quarter, another from another. For the licentious rush readily into uncleanness, like swine rushing to that part of the hold of the ship which is depressed. Whence the Scripture most strenuously exhorts, "Introduce not every one into thy house, for the snares of the crafty are many." And in another place, "Let just men be thy guests, and in the fear of the Lord let thy boast remain." Away with fornication. "For know this well," says the apostle, "that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."
But these women delight in intercourse with the effeminate. And crowds of abominable creatures (kinaides) flow in, of unbridled tongue, filthy in body, filthy in language; men enough for lewd offices, ministers of adultery, giggling and whispering, and shamelessly making through their noses sounds of lewdness and fornication to provoke lust, endeavouring to please by lewd words and attitudes, inciting to laughter, the precursor of fornication. And sometimes, when inflamed by any provocation, either these fornicators, or those that follow the rabble of abominable creatures to destruction, make a sound in their nose like a frog, as if they had got anger dwelling in their nostrils. But those who are more refined than these keep Indian birds and Median pea-fowls, and recline with peak-headed creatures; playing with satyrs, delighting in monsters. They laugh when they hear Thersites; and these women, purchasing Thersiteses highly valued, pride themselves not in their husbands, but in those wretches which are a burden on the earth, and overlook the chaste widow, who is of far higher value than a Melitaean pup, and look askance at a just old man, who is lovelier in my estimation than a monster purchased for money. And though maintaining parrots and curlews, they do not receive the orphan child; but they expose children that are born at home, and take up the young of birds, and prefer irrational to rational creatures; although they ought to undertake the maintenance of old people with a character for sobriety, who are fairer in my mind than apes, and capable of uttering something better than nightingales; and to set before them that saying, "He that pitieth the poor lendeth to the LORD;" and this, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these My brethren, ye have done it to Me." But these, on the other hand, prefer ignorance to wisdom, turning their wealth into stone, that is, into pearls and Indian emeralds. And they squander and throw away their wealth on fading dyes, and bought slaves; like crammed fowls scraping the dung of life. "Poverty," it is said, "humbles a man." By poverty is meant that niggardliness by which the rich are poor, having nothing to give away.
CHAP. V.--BEHAVIOUR IN THE BATHS.
And of what sort are their baths? Houses skilfully constructed, compact, portable, transparent, covered with fine linen. And gold-plated chairs, and silver ones, too, and ten thousand vessels of gold and silver, some for drinking, some for eating, some for bathing, are carried about with them. Besides these, there are even braziers of coals; for they have arrived at such a pitch of self-indulgence, that they sup and get drunk while bathing. And articles of silver with which they make a show, they ostentatiously set out in the baths, and thus display perchance their wealth out of excessive pride, but chiefly the capricious ignorance, through which they brand effeminate men, who have been vanquished by women; proving at least that they themselves cannot meet and cannot sweat without a multitude of vessels, although poor women who have no display equally enjoy their baths. The dirt of wealth, then, has an abundant covering of censure. With this, as with a bait, they hook the miserable creatures that gape at the glitter of gold. For dazzling thus those fond of display, they artfully try to win the admiration of their lovers, who after a little insult them naked. They will scarce strip before their own husbands affecting a plausible pretence of modesty; but any others who wish, may see them at home shut up naked in their baths. For there they are not ashamed to strip before spectators, as if exposing their persons for sale. But Hesiod advises "Not to wash the skin in the women's bath."
The baths are opened promiscuously to men and women; and there they strip for licentious indulgence (for from looking, men get to loving), as if their modesty had been washed away in the bath. Those who have not become utterly destitute of modesty shut out strangers; but bathe with their own servants, and strip naked before their slaves, and are rubbed by them; giving to the crouching menial liberty to lust, by permitting fearless handling. For those who are introduced before their naked mistresses while in the bath, study to strip themselves in order to audacity in lust, casting off fear in consequence of the wicked custom. The ancient athletes? ashamed to exhibit a man naked, preserved their modesty by going through the contest in drawers; but these women, divesting themselves of their modesty along with their tunic, wish to appear beautiful, but contrary to their wish are simply proved to be wicked. For through the body itself the wantonness of lust shines clearly; as in the case of dropsical people, the water covered by the skin. Disease in both is known from the look. Men, therefore, affording to women a noble example of truth, ought to be ashamed at their stripping before them, and guard against these dangerous sights; "for he who has looked. curiously," it is said, "hath sinned already." At home, therefore, they ought to regard with modesty parents and domestics; in the ways, those they meet; in the baths, women; in solitude, themselves; and everywhere the Word, who is everywhere, "and without Him was not anything." For so only shall one remain without failing, if he regard God as ever present with him.
CHAP. VI.--THE CHRISTIAN ALONE RICH.
Riches are then to be partaken of rationally, bestowed lovingly, not sordidly, or pompously; nor is the love of the beautiful to be turned into self-love and ostentation; lest perchance some one say to us, "His horse, or land, or domestic, or gold, is worth fifteen talents; but the man himself is dear at three coppers."
Take away, then, directly the ornaments from women, and domestics from masters, and you will find masters in no respect different from bought slaves in step, or look, or voice, so like are they to their slaves. But they differ in that they are feebler than their slaves, and have a more sickly upbringing.
This best of maxims, then, ought to be perpetually repeated, "That the good man, being temperate and just," treasures up his wealth in heaven. He who has sold his worldly goods, and given them to the poor, finds the imperishable treasure, "where is neither moth nor robber." Blessed truly is he, "though he be insignificant, and feeble, and obscure;" and he is truly rich with the greatest of all riches. "Though a man, then, be richer than Cinyras and Midas and is wicked," and haughty as he who was luxuriously clothed in purple and fine linen, and despised Lazarus, "he is miserable, and lives in trouble," and shall not live. Wealth seems to me to be like a serpent, which will twist round the hand and bite; unless one knows how to lay hold of it without danger by the point of the tail. And riches, wriggling either in an experienced or inexperienced grasp, are dexterous at adhering and biting; unless one, despising them, use them skilfully, so as to crush the creature by the charm of the Word, and himself escape unscathed.
But, as is reasonable, he alone, who possesses what is worth most, turns out truly rich, though not recognised as such. And it is not jewels, or gold, or clothing, or beauty of person, that are of high value, but virtue; which is the Word given by the Instructor to be put in practice. This is the Word, who abjures luxury, but calls self-help as a servant, and praises frugality, the progeny of temperance. "Receive," he says, "instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than tested gold; for Wisdom is better than precious stones, nor is anything that is valuable equal in worth to her." And again:
"Acquire me rather than gold, and precious stones, and silver; for my produce is better than choice silver."
But if we must distinguish, let it be granted that he is rich who has many possessions, loaded with gold like a dirty purse; but the righteous alone is graceful, because grace is order, observing a due and decorous measure in managing and distributing. "For there are those who sow and reap more," of whom it is written, "He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever." So that it is not he who has and keeps, but he who gives away, that is rich; and it is giving away, not possession, which renders a man happy; and the fruit of the Spirit is generosity. It is in the soul, then, that riches are. Let it, then, be granted that good things are the property only of good men; and Christians are good. Now, a fool or a libertine can neither have any perception of what is good, nor obtain possession of it. Accordingly, good things are possessed by Christians alone. And nothing is richer than these good things; therefore these alone are rich. For righteousness is true riches; and the Word is more valuable than all treasure, not accruing from cattle and fields, but given by God--riches which cannot be taken away. The soul alone is its treasure. It is the best possession to its possessor, rendering man truly blessed. For he whose it is to desire nothing that is not in our power, and to obtain by asking from God what he piously desires, does he not possess much, nay all, having God as his everlasting treasure? "To him that asks," it is said, "shall be given, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." If God denies nothing, all things belong to the godly.
CHAP. VII.- FRUGALITY A GOOD PROVISION FOR THE CHRISTIAN.
Delicacies spent on pleasures become a dangerous shipwreck to men; for this voluptuous and ignoble life of the many is alien to true love for the beautiful and to refined pleasures. For man is by nature an erect and majestic being, aspiring after the good as becomes the creature of the One. But the life which crawls on its belly is destitute of dignity, is scandalous, hateful, ridiculous. And to the divine nature voluptuousness is a thing most alien; for this is for a man to be like sparrows in feeding, and swine and goats in lechery. For to regard pleasure as a good thing, is the sign of utter ignorance of what is excellent. Love of wealth displaces a man from the right mode of life, and induces him to cease from feeling shame at what is shameful; if only, like a beast, he has power to eat all sorts of things, and to drink in like manner, and to satiate in every way his lewd desires. And so very rarely does he inherit the kingdom of God. For what end, then, are such dainty dishes prepared, but to fill one belly? The filthiness of gluttony is proved by the sewers into which our bellies discharge the refuse of our food. For what end do they collect so many cupbearers, when they might satisfy themselves with one cup? For what the chests of clothes? and the gold ornaments for what? Those things are prepared for clothes-stealers, and scoundrels, and for greedy eyes. "But let alms and faith not fail thee," says the Scripture.
Look, for instance, to Elias the Thesbite, in whom we have a beautiful example of frugality, when he sat down beneath the thorn, and the angel brought him food. "It was a cake of barley and a jar of water." Such the Lord sent as best for him. We, then, on our journey to the truth, must be unencumbered. "Carry not," said the Lord, "purse, nor scalp, nor shoes;" that is, possess not wealth, which is only treasured up in a purse; fill not your own stores, as if laying up produce in a bag, but communicate to those who have need. Do not trouble yourselves about horses and servants, who, as bearing burdens when the rich are travelling, are allegorically called shoes.
We must, then, cast away the multitude of vessels, silver and gold drinking cups, and the crowd of domestics, receiving as we have done from the Instructor the fair and grave attendants, Self-help and Simplicity. And we must walk suitably to the Word; and if there be a wife and children, the house is not a burden, having learned to change its place along with the sound-minded traveller. The wife who loves her husband must be furnished for travel similarly to her husband. A fair provision for the journey to heaven is theirs who bear frugality with chaste gravity. And as the foot is the measure of the shoe, so also is the body of what each individual possesses. But that which is superfluous, what they call ornaments and the furniture Of the rich, is a burden, not an ornament to the body. He who climbs to the heavens by force, must carry with him the fair staff of beneficence, and attain to the true rest by communicating to those who are in distress. For the Scripture avouches, "that the true riches of the soul are a man's ransom," that is, if he is rich, he will be saved by distributing it. For as gushing wells, when pumped out, rise again to their former measure, so giving away, being the benignant spring of love, by communicating of its drink to the thirsty, again increases and is replenished, just as the milk is wont to flow into the breasts that are sucked or milked. For he who has the almighty God, the Word, is in want of nothing, and never is in straits for what he needs. For the Word is a possession that wants nothing, and is the cause of all abundance. If one say that he has often seen the righteous man in need of food, this is rare, and happens only where there is not another righteous man. Notwithstanding let him read what follows: "For the righteous man shall not live by bread alone, but by the word of the Lord," who is the true bread, the bread of the heavens. The good man, then, can never be in difficulties so long as he keeps intact his confession towards God. For it appertains to him to ask and to receive whatever he requires from the Father of all; and to enjoy what is his own, if he keep the Son. And this also appertains to him, to feel no want.
This Word, who trains us, confers on us the true riches. Nor is the growing rich an object of envy to those who possess through Him the privilege of wanting nothing. He that has this wealth shall inherit the kingdom of God.
CHAP. VIII.--SIMILITUDES AND EXAMPLES A MOST IMPORTANT PART OF RIGHT
And if any one of you shall entirely avoid luxury, he will, by a frugal upbringing, train himself to the endurance of involuntary labours, by employing constantly voluntary afflictions as training exercises for persecutions; so that when he comes to compulsory labours, and fears, and griefs, he will not be unpractised in endurance.
Wherefore we have no country on earth, that we may despise earthly possessions. And frugality is in the highest degree rich, being equal to unfailing expenditure, bestowed on what is requisite, and to the degree requisite. For has the meaning of expenses.
How a husband is to live with his wife, and respecting self-help, and housekeeping, and the employment of domestics; and further, with respect to the time of marriage, and what is suitable for wives, we have treated in the discourse concerning marriage. What pertains to disciplane alone is reserved now for description, as we delineate the life of Christians. The most indeed has been already said, and laid down in the form of disciplinary rules. What still remains we shall subjoine; for examples are of no small moment in determining to salvation.
See, says the tragedy, "The consort of Ulysses was not killed By Telemachus; for she did not take a husband in addition to a husband, But in the house the marriage-bed remains unpolluted."
Reproaching foul adultery, he showed the fair image of chastity in affection to her husband.
The Lacedaemonians compelling the Helots, their servants (Helots is the name of their servants), to get drunk, exhibited their drunken pranks before themselves, who were temperate, for cure and correction.
Observing, accordingly, their unseemly behaviour, in order that they themselves might not fall into like censurable conduct, they trained them selves, turning the reproach of the drunkards to the advantage of keeping themselves free from fault.
For some men being instructed are saved; and others, self-taught, either aspire after or seek virtue.
"He truly is the best of all who himself perceives all things."
Such is Abraham, who sought God.
"And good, again, is he who obeys him who advises well."
Such are those disciples who obeyed the Word. Wherefore the former was called "friend," the latter "apostles;" the one diligently seeking, and the other preaching one and the same God. And both are peoples, and both these have hearers, the one who is profited through seeking, the other who is saved through finding.
"But whoever neither himself perceives, nor, hearing another, Lays to heart--he is a worthless man."
The other people is the Gentile--useless; this is the people that followeth not Christ. Nevertheless the Instructor, lover of man, helping in many ways, partly exhorts, partly upbraids. Others having sinned, He shows us their base-ness, and exhibits the punishment consequent upon it, alluring while admonishing, planning to dissuade us in love from evil, by the exhibition of those who have suffered from it before. By which examples He very manifestly checked those who had been evil-disposed, and hindered those who were daring like deeds; and others He brought to a foundation of patience; others He stopped from wickedness; and others He cured by the contemplation of what is like, bringing them over to what is better.
For who, when following one in the way, and then on the former falling into a pit, would not guard against incurring equal danger, by taking care not to follow him in his slip? What athlete, again, who has learned the way to glory, and has seen the combatant who had preceded him receiving the prize, does not exert himself for the crown, imitating the eider one?
Such images of divine wisdom are many; but I shall mention one instance, and expound it in a few words. The fate of the Sodomites was judgment to those who had done wrong, instruction to those who hear. The Sodomites having, through much luxury, fallen into uncleanness, practising adultery shamelessly, and burning with insane love for boys; the All-seeing Word, whose notice those who commit impieties cannot escape, cast His eye on them. Nor did the sleepless guard of humanity observe their licentiousness in silence; but dissuading us from the imitation of them, and training us up to His own temperance, and falling on some sinners, lest lust being unavenged, should break loose from all the restraints of fear, ordered Sodom to be burned, pouting forth a little of the sagacious fire on licentiousness; lest lust, through want of punishment, should throw wide the gates to those that were rushing into voluptuousness. Accordingly, the just punishment of the Sodomites became to men an image of the salvation which is well calculated for men. For those who have not committed like sins with those who are punished, will never receive a like punishment. By guarding against sinning, we guard against suffering. "For I would have you know," says Jude, "that God, having once saved His people from the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed them that believed not; and the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved to the judgment of the great day, in everlasting chains under darkness of the savage angels." And a little after he sets forth, in a most instructive manner, representations of those that are judged: "Woe unto them, for they have gone in the way of Cain, and run greedily after the error of Balaam, and perished in the gainsaying of Core." For those, who cannot attain the privilege of adoption, fear keeps from growing insolent. For punishments and threats are for this end, that fearing the penalty we may abstain from sinning. I might relate to you punishments for ostentation, and punishments for vainglory, not only for licentiousness; and adduce the censures pronounced on those whose hearts are bad through wealth, in which censures the Word through fear restrains from evil acts.
But sparing prolixity in my treatise, I shall bring forward the following precepts of the Instructor, that you may guard against His threatenings.
CHAP. IX.--WHY WE ARE TO USE THE BATH.
There are, then, four reasons for the bath (for from that point I digressed in my oration), for which we frequent it: for cleanliness, or heat, or health, or lastly, for pleasure. Bathing for pleasure is to be omitted. For unblushing pleasure must be cut out by the roots; and the bath is to be taken by women for cleanliness and health, by men for health alone. To bathe for the sake of heat is a superfluity, since one may restore what is frozen by the cold in other ways. Constant use of the bath, too, impairs strength and relaxes the physical energies, and often induces debility and fainting. For in a way the body drinks, like trees, not only by the mouth, but also over the whole body in bathing, by what they call the pores. In proof of this often people, when thirsty, by going afterwards into the water, have assuaged their thirst. Unless, then, the bath is for some use, we ought not to indulge in it. The ancients called them places for fulling men, since they wrinkle men's bodies sooner than they ought, and by cooking them, as it were, compel them to become prematurely old. The flesh, like iron, being softened by the heat, hence we require cold, as it were, to temper and give an edge. Nor must we bathe always; but if one is a little exhausted, or, on the other hand, filled to repletion, the bath is to be forbidden, regard being had to the age of the body and the season of the year. For the bath is not beneficial to all, or always, as those who are skilled in these things own. But due proportion, which on all occasions we call as our helper in life, suffices for us. For we must not so use the bath as to require an assistant, nor are we to bathe constantly and often in the day as we frequent the market-place. But to have the water poured over us by several people is an outrage on our neighbours, through fondness for luxuriousness, and is done by those who will not understand that the bath is common to all the bathers equally.
But most of all is it necessary to wash the soul in the cleansing Word (sometimes the body too, on account of the dirt which gathers and grows to it, sometimes also to relieve fatigue). "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" saith the Lord, "for ye are like to whited sepulchres. Without, the sepulchre appears beautiful, but within it is full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness." And again He says to the same people, "Woe unto you! for ye cleanse the outside of the cup and platter, but within are full of uncleanness. Cleanse first the inside of the cup, that the outside may be clean also." The best bath, then, is what rubs off the pollution of the soul, and is spiritual. Of which prophecy speaks expressly: "The Lord will wash away the filth of the sons and daughters of Israel, and will purge the blood from the midst of them" --the blood of crime and the murders of the prophets. And the mode of cleansing, the Word subjoined, saying, "by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning." The bathing which is carnal, that is to say, of the body, is accomplished by water alone, as often in the country where there is not a bath.
CHAP. X.--THE EXERCISES SUITED TO A GOOD LIFE.
The gymnasium is sufficient for boys, even if a bath is within reach. And even for men to prefer gymnastic exercises by far to the baths, is perchance not bad, since they are in some respects conducive to the health of young men, and produce exertion--emulation to aim at not only a healthy habit of body, but courageousness of soul. When this is done without dragging a man away from better employments, it is pleasant, and not unprofitable. Nor are women to be deprived of bodily exercise. But they are not to be encouraged to engage in wrestling or running, but are to exercise themselves in spinning, and weaving, and superintending the cooking if necessary. And they are, with their own hand, to fetch from the store what we require. And it is no disgrace for them to apply themselves to the mill. Nor is it a reproach to a wife--housekeeper and helpmeet--to occupy herself in cooking, so that it may be palatable to her husband. And if she shake up the couch, reach drink to her husband when thirsty, set food on the table as neatly as possible, and so give herself exercise tending to sound health, the Instructor will approve of a woman like this, who "stretches forth her arms to useful tasks, rests her hands on the distaff, opens her hand to the pool, and extends her wrist to the beggar."
She who emulates Sarah is not ashamed of that highest of ministries, helping wayfarers. For Abraham said to her, "Haste, and knead three measures of meal, and make cakes." "And Rachel, the daughter of Laban, came," it is said, "with her father's sheep." Nor was this enough; but to teach humility it is added, "for she fed her father's sheep." And innumerable such examples of frugality and self-help, and also of exercises, are furnished by the Scriptures, In the case of men, let some strip and engage in wrestling; let some play at the small ball, especially the game they call Pheninda, in the sun. To others who walk into the country, or go down into the town, the walk is sufficient exercise. And were they to handle the hoe, this stroke of economy in agricultural labour would not be ungentleman like.
I had almost forgot to say that the well-known Pittacus, king of Miletus, practised the laborious exercise of turning the mill." It is respectable for a man to draw water for himself, and to cut billets of wood which he is to use himself. Jacob fed the sheep of Laban that were left in his charge, having as a royal badge "a rod of storax," which aimed by its wood to change and improve nature. And reading aloud is often an exercise to many. But let not such athletic contests, as we have allowed, be undertaken for the sake of vainglory, but for the exuding of manly sweat. Nor are we to straggle with cunning and showiness, but in a stand-up wrestling bout, by disentangling of neck, hands, and sides. For such a struggle with graceful strength is more becoming and manly, being undertaken for the sake of serviceable and profitable health. But let those others, who profess the practice of illiberal postures in gymnastics, be dismissed. We must always aim at moderation. For as it is best that labour should precede food, So to labour above measure is both very bad, very exhausting, and apt to make us ill. Neither, then, should we be idle altogether, nor completely fatigued. For similarly to what we have laid down with respect to food, are we to do everywhere and with everything. Our mode of life is not to accustom us to voluptuousness and licentiousness, nor to the opposite extreme, but to the medium between these, that which is harmonious and temperate, and free of either evil, luxury and parsimony. And now, as we have also previously remarked, attending to one's own wants is an exercise free of pride,--as, for example, putting on one's own shoes, washing one's own feet, and also rubbing one's self when anointed with oil. To render one who has rubbed you the same service in return, is an exercise of reciprocal justice; and to sleep beside a sick friend, help the infirm, and supply him who is in want, are proper exercises. "And Abraham," it is said, "served up for three, dinner under a tree, and waited on them as they ate." The same with fishing, as in the case of Peter, if we have leisure from necessary instructions in the Word. But that is the better enjoyment which the Lord assigned to the disciple, when He taught him to "catch men" as fishes in the water.
CHAP. XI.--A COMPENDIOUS VIEW OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
Wherefore the wearing of gold and the use of softer clothing is not to be entirely prohibited. But irrational impulses must be curbed, lest, carrying us away through excessive relaxation, they impel us to voluptuousness. For luxury, that has dashed on to surfeit, is prone to kick up its heels and toss its mane, and shake off the charioteer, the Instructor; who, pulling back the reins from far, leads and drives to salvation the human horse--that is, the irrational part of the soul--which is wildly bent on pleasures, and vicious appetites, and precious stones, and gold, and variety of dress, and other luxuries.
Above all, we are to keep in mind what was spoken sacredly: "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evil-doers, they may, by the good works which they behold, glorify God."
The Instructor permits us, then, to use simple clothing, and of a white colour, as we said before. So that, accommodating ourselves not to variegated art, but to nature as it is produced, and pushing away whatever is deceptive and belies the truth, we may embrace the uniformity and simplicity of the truth.
Sophocles, reproaching a youth, says:- "Decked in women's clothes."
For, as in the case of the soldier, the sailor, and the ruler, so also the proper dress of the temperate man is what is plain, becoming, and clean. Whence also in the law, the law enacted by Moses about leprousy rejects what has many colours and spots, like the various scales of the snake. He therefore wishes man, no longer decking himself gaudily in a variety of colours, but white all over from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, to be clean; so that, by a transition from the body, we may lay aside the varied and versatile passions of the man, land love the unvaried, and unambiguous, and simple colour of truth. And he who also in this emulates Moses--Plato best of all--approves of that texture on which not more than a chaste woman's work has been employed. And white colours well become gravity. And elsewhere he says, "Nor apply dyes or weaving, except for warlike decorations."
To men of peace and of light, therefore, white is appropriate. As, then, signs, which are very closely allied to causes, by their presence indicate, or rather demonstrate, the existence of the result; as smoke is the sign of fire, and a good complexion and a regular pulse of health; so also clothing of this description shows the character of our habits. Temperance is pure and simple; since purity is a habit which ensures pure conduct unmixed with what is base. Simplicity is a habit which does away with super-fluities.
Substantial clothing also, and chiefly what is unfulled, protects the heat which is in the body; not that the clothing has heat in itself, but that it turns back the heat issuing from the body, and refuses it a passage. And whatever heat falls upon it, it absorbs and retains, and being warmed by it, warms in turn the body. And for this reason it is chiefly to be worn in winter.
It also (temperance) is contented. And contentment is a habit which dispenses with super-fluities, and, that there may be no failure, is receptive of what suffices for the healthful and blessed life according to the Word.
Let the women wear a plain and becoming dress, but softer than what is suitable for a man, yet not quite immodest or entirely gone in luxury. And let the garments be suited to age, person, figure, nature, pursuits. For the divine apostle most beautifully counsels us "to put on Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh."
The Word prohibits us from doing violence to nature by boring the lobes of the ears. For why not the nose too?--so that, what was spoken, may be fulfilled: "As an ear-ring in a swine's nose, so is beauty to a woman without discretion." For, in a word, if one thinks himself made beautiful by gold, he is inferior to gold; and he that is inferior to gold is not lord of it. But to confess one's self less ornamental than the Lydian ore, how monstrous! As, then, the gold is polluted by the dirtiness of the sow, which stirs up the mire with her snout, so those women, that are luxurious to excess in their wantonness, elated by wealth, dishonour by the stains of amatory indulgences what is the true beauty.
The Word, then, permits them a finger-ring of gold. Nor is this for ornament, but for sealing things which are worth keeping safe in the house in the exercise of their charge of housekeeping.
For if all were well trained, there would be no need of seals, if servants and masters were equally honest. But since want of training produces an inclination to dishonesty, we require seals.
But there are circumstances in which this strictness may relaxed. For allowance must sometimes be made in favour of those women who have not been fortunate in falling in with chaste husbands, and adorn themselves in order to please their husbands. But let desire for the admiration of their husbands alone be proposed as their aim. I would not have them to devote themselves to personal display, but to attract their husbands by chaste love for them--a powerful and legitimate charm. But since they wish their wives to be unhappy in mind, let the latter, if they would be chaste, make it their aim to allay by degrees the irrational impulses and passions of their husbands. And they are to be gently drawn to simplicity, by gradually accustoming them to sobriety. For decency is not produced by the imposition of what is burdensome, but by the abstraction of excess. For women's articles of luxury are to be prohibited, as things of swift wing producing unstable follies and empty delights; by which, elated and furnished with wings, they often fly away from the marriage bonds. Wherefore also women ought to dress neatly, and bind themselves around with the band of chaste modesty, lest through giddiness they slip away from the truth. It is right, then, for men to repose confidence in their wives, and commit the charge of the household to them, as they are given to be their helpers in this.
And if it is necessary for us, while engaged in public business, or discharging other avocations in the country, and often away from our wives, to seal anything for the sake of safety, He (the Word) allows us a signet for this purpose only. Other finger-rings are to be cast off, since, according to the Scripture, "instruction is a golden ornament for a wise man."
But women who wear gold seem to me to be afraid, lest, if one strip them of their jewellery, they should be taken for servants, without their ornaments. But the nobility of truth, discovered in the native beauty which has its seat in the soul, judges the slave not by buying and selling, but by a servile disposition. And it is incumbent on us not to seem, but to be free, trained by God, adopted by God.
Wherefore we must adopt a mode of standing and motion, and a step, and dress, and in a word, a mode of life, in all respects as worthy as possible of freemen. But men are not to wear the ring on the joint; for this is feminine; but to place it on the little finger at its root. For so the hand will be freest for work, in whatever we need it; and the signet will not very easily fall off, being guarded by the large knot of the joint.
And let our seals be either a dove, or a fish, or a ship scudding before the wind, or a musical lyre, which Polycrates used, or a ship's anchor, which Seleucus got engraved as a device; and if there be one fishing, he will remember the apostle, and the children drawn out of the water. For we are not to delineate the faces of idols, we who are prohibited to cleave to them; nor a sword, nor a bow, following as we do, peace; nor drinking-cups, being temperate.
Many of the licentious have their lovers engraved, or their mistresses, as if they wished to make it impossible ever to forget their amatory indulgences, by being perpetually put in mind of their licentiousness.
About the hair, the following seems right. Let the head of men be shaven, unless it has curly hair. But let the chin have the hair. But let not twisted locks hang far down from the head, gliding into womanish ringlets. For an ample beard suffices for men. And if one, too, shave a part of his beard, it must not be made entirely bare, for this is a disgraceful sight. The shaving of the chin to the skin is reprehensible, approaching to plucking out the hair and smoothing. For instance, thus the Psalmist, delighted with the hair of the beard, says, "As the ointment that descends on the beard, the beard of Aaron."
Having celebrated the beauty of the beard by a repetition, he made the face to shine with the ointment of the Lord.
Since cropping is to be adopted not for the sake of elegance, but on account of the necessity of the case; the hair of the head, that it may not grow so long as to come down and interfere with the eyes, and that of the moustache similarly, which is dirtied in eating, is to be cut round, not by the razor, for that were not well-bred, but by a pair of cropping scissors. But the hair on the chin is not to be disturbed, as it gives no trouble, and lends to the face dignity and paternal terror.
Moreover, the shape instructs many not to sin, because it renders detection easy. To those who do [not] wish to sin openly, a habit that will escape observation and is not conspicuous is most agreeable, which, when assumed, will allow them to transgress without detection; so that, being undistinguishable from others, they may fearlessly go their length in sinning. A cropped head not only shows a man to be gave, but renders the cranium less liable to injury, by accustoming it to the presence of both cold and heat; and it averts the mischiefs arising from these, which the hair absorbs into itself like a sponge, and so inflicts on the brain constant mischief from the moisture.
It is enough for women to protect their locks, and bind up their hair simply along the neck with a plain hair-pin, nourishing chaste locks with simple care to true beauty. For meretricious plaiting of the hair, and putting it up in tresses, contribute to make them look ugly, cutting the hair and plucking off it those treacherous braidings; on account of which they do not touch their head, being afraid of disordering their hair. Sleep, too, comes on, not without fear lest they pull down without knowing the shape of the braid.
But additions of other people's hair are entirely to be rejected, and it is a most sacrilegious thing for spurious hair to shade the head, covering the skull with dead locks. For on whom does the presbyter lay his hand? Whom does he bless? Not the woman decked out, but another's hair, and through them another head. And if "the man is head of the woman, and God of the man," how is it not impious that they should fall into double sins? For they deceive the men by the excessive quantity of their hair; and shame the Lord as far as in them lies, by adorning themselves meretriciously, in order to dissemble the truth. And they defame the head, which is truly beautiful.
Consequently neither is the hair to be dyed, nor grey hair to have its colour changed. For neither are we allowed to diversify our dress. And above all, old age, which conciliates trust, is not to be concealed. But God's mark of honour is to be shown in the light of day, to win the reverence of the young. For sometimes, when they have been behaving shamefully, the appearance of hoary hairs, arriving like an instructor, has changed them to sobriety, and para-lysed juvenile lust with the splendour of the sight.
Painting the Face.
Nor are the women to smear their faces with the ensnaring devices of wily cunning. But let us show to them the decoration of sobriety. For, in the first place, the best beauty is that which is spiritual, as we have often pointed out. For when the soul is adorned by the Holy Spirit, and inspired with the radiant charms which proceed from Him,--righteousness, wisdom, fortitude, temperance, love of the good, modesty, than which no more blooming colour was ever seen,--then let coporeal beauty be cultivated too, symmetry of limbs and members, with a fair complexion. The adornment of health is here in place, through which the transition of the artificial image to the truth, in accordance with the form which has been given by God, is effected. But temperance in drinks, and moderation in articles of food, are effectual in producing beauty according to nature; for not only does the body maintain its health from these, but they also make beauty to appear. For from what is fiery arises a gleam and sparkle; and from moisture, brightness and grace; and from dryness, strength and firmness; and from what is aerial, free-breathing and equipoise; from which this well-proportioned and beautiful image of the Word is adorned. Beauty is the free flower of health for the latter is produced within the body; while the former, blossoming out from the body, exhibits manifest beauty of complexion. Accordingly, these most decorous and healthful practices, by exercising the body, produce true and lasting beauty, the heat attracting to itself all the moisture and cold spirit. Heat, when agitated by moving causes, is a thing which attracts to itself; and when it does attract, it gently exhales through the flesh itself, when warmed, the abundance of food, with some moisture, but with excess of heat. Wherefore also the first food is carried off. But when the body is not moved, the food consumed does not adhere, but falls away, as the loaf from a cold oven, either entire, or leaving only the lower part. Accordingly, the faeces are in excess in the case of those who do not throw off the excrementitious matters by tile rubbings necessitated by exercise. And other superfluous matters abound in their case too, and also perspiration, as the food is not assimilated by the body, but is flowing out to waste. Thence also lusts are excited, the redundance flowing to the pudenda by commensurate motions. Wherefore this redundance ought to be liquefied and dispersed for digestion, by which beauty acquires its ruddy hue. But it is monstrous for those who are made in "the image and likeness of God," to dishonour the archetype by assuming a foreign ornament, preferring the mischievous contrivance of man to the divine creation.
The Instructor orders them to go forth "in becoming apparel, and adorn themselves with shamefacedness and sobriety," "subject to their own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold," he says, "your chaste conversation. Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."
For the labour of their own hands, above all, adds genuine beauty to women, exercising their bodies and adorning themselves by their own exertions; not bringing unornamental ornament wrought by others, which is vulgar and meretricious, but that of every good woman, supplied and woven by her own hands whenever she most requires. For it is never suitable for women whose lives are framed according to God, to appear arrayed in things bought from the market, but in their own home-made work. For a most beautiful thing is it thrifty wife, who clothes both herself and her husband with fair array of her own working; in which all are glad--the children on account of their mother, the husband on account of his wife, she on their account, and all in God.
In brief, "A store of excellence is a woman of worth, who eateth not the bread of idleness; and the laws of mercy are on her tongue; who openeth her mouth wisely and rightly; whose children rise up and call her blessed," as the sacred Word says by Solomon: "Her husband also, and he praiseth her. For a pious woman is blessed; and let her praise the fear of the LORD."
And again, "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband." They must, as far as possible, correct their gestures, looks, steps, and speech. For they must not do as some, who, imitating the acting of comedy, and practising the mincing motions of dancers, conduct themselves in society as if on the stage, with voluptuous movements, and gliding steps, and affected voices, casting languishing glances round, tricked out with the bait of pleasure. "For honey drops from the lips of a woman who is an harlot; who, speaking to please, lubricates thy throat. But at last thou wilt find it bitterer than bile, and sharper than a two-edged sword. For the feet of folly lead those who practise it to hell after death."
The noble Samson was overcome by the harlot, and by another woman was shorn of his man hood. But Joseph was not thus beguiled by another woman. The Egyptian harlot was conquered. And chastity, assuming to itself bonds, appears superior to dissolute licence. Most excellent is what has been said:-
"In fine, I know not how To whisper, nor effeminately, To walk about with my neck awry, As I see others--lechers there In numbers in the city, with hair plucked out."
But feminine motions, dissoluteness, and luxury, are to be entirely prohibited. For voluptuousness of motion in walking, "and a mincing gait," as Anacreon says, are altogether meretricious.
"As seems to me," says the comedy, "it is time to abandon meretricious steps and luxury." And the steps of harlotry lean not to the truth; for they approach not the paths of life. Her tracks are dangerous, and not easily known. The eyes especially are to be sparingly used, since it is better to slip with the feet than with the eyes. Accordingly, the Lord very summarily cures this malady: "If thine eye offend thee, cut it out," He says, dragging lust up from the foundation. But languishing looks, and ogling, which is to wink with the eyes, is nothing else than to commit adultery with the eyes, lust skirmishing through them. For of the whole body, the eyes are first destroyed. "The eye contemplating beautiful objects (kala), gladdens the heart;" that is, the eye which has learned rightly (kalws) to see, gladdens. "Winking with the eye, with guile, heaps woes on men." Such they introduce the effeminate Sardanapalus, king of the Assyrians, sitting on a couch with his legs up, fumbling at his purple robe, and casting up the whites of his eyes. Women that follow such practices, by their looks offer themselves for prostitution. "For the light of the body is the eye," says the Scripture, by which the interior illuminated by the shining light appears. Fornication in a woman is in the raising of the eyes.
"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, and concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things' sake cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience," cries the apostle.
But we enkindle the passions, and are not ashamed.
Some of these women eating mastich, going about, show their teeth to those that come near. And others, as if they had not fingers, give themselves airs, scratching their heads with pins; and these made either of tortoise or ivory, or some other dead creature they procure at much pains. And others, as if they had certain efflorescences, in order to appear comely in the eyes of spectators, stain their faces by adorning them with gay-coloured unguents. Such a one is called by Solomon "a foolish and bold woman," who "knob not shame. She sits at the door of her house, conspicuously in a seat, calling to all that pass by the way, who go right on their ways;" by her style and whole life manifestly saying, "Who among you is very silly? let him turn to me." And those devoid of wisdom she exhorts, saying, "Touch sweetly secret bread, and sweet stolen water;" meaning by this, clandestine love (from this point the Boeotian Pindar, coming to our help, says, "The clandestine pursuit of love is something sweet"). But the miserable man "knoweth not that the sons of earth perish beside her, and that she tends to the level of hell." But says the Instructor: "Hie away, and tarry not in the place; nor fix thine eye on her: for thus shalt thou pass over a strange water, and cross to Acheron." Wherefore thus saith the Lord by Isaiah, "Because the daughters of Sion walk with lofty neck, and with winkings of the eyes, and sweeping their garments as they walk, and playing with their-feet; the Lord shall humble the daughters of Sion, and will uncover their form" --their deformed form. I, deem it wrong that servant girls, who follow women of high rank, should either speak or act unbecomingly to them. But I think it right that they should be corrected by their mistresses. With very sharp censure, accordingly, the comic poet Philemon says: "You may follow at the back of a pretty servant girl, seen behind a gentlewoman; and any one from the Plataeicum may follow close, and ogle her." For the wantonness of the servant recoils on the mistress; allowing those who attempt to take lesser liberties not to be afraid to advance to greater; since the mistress, by allowing improprieties, shows that she does not disapprove of them. And not to be angry at those who act wantonly, is a clear proof of a disposition inclining to the like. "For like mistress like wench," as they say in the proverb.
Also we must abandon a furious mode of walking, and choose a grave and leisurely, but not a lingering step.
Nor is one to swagger in the ways, nor throw back his head to look at those he meets, if they look at him, as if he were strutting on the stage, and pointed at with the finger. Nor, when pushing up hill, are they to be shoved up by their domestics, as we see those that are more luxurious, who appear strong, but are enfeebled by effeminacy of soul.
A true gentleman must have no mark of effeminacy visible on his face, or any other part of his body. Let no blot on his manliness, then, be ever found either in his movements or habits. Nor is a man in health to use his servants as horses to bear him. For as it is enjoined on them, "to be subject to their masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward," as Peter says; so fairness, and forbearance, and kindness, are what well becomes the masters. For he says: "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another; love as brethren, be pitiful, be humble," and so forth, "that ye may inherit a blessing," excellent and desirable.
The Model Maiden.
Zeno the Cittiaean thought fit to represent the image of a young maid, and executed the statue thus: "Let her face be clean, her eyebrows not let down, nor her eyelids open nor turned back. Let her neck not be stretched back, nor the members of her body be loose. But let the parts that hang from the body look as if they were well strung; let there be the keenness of a well-regulated mind for discourse, and retention of what has been rightly spoken; and let her attitudes and movements give no ground of hope to the licentious; but let there be the bloom of modesty, and an expression of firmness. But far from her be the wearisome trouble that comes from the shops of perfumers, and goldsmiths, and dealers in wool, and that which comes from the other shops where women, meretriciously dressed, pass whole days as if sitting in the stews."
Amusements and Associates.
And let not men, therefore, spend their time in barbers' shops and taverns, babbling nonsense; and let them give up hunting for the women who sit near, and ceaselessly talking slander against many to raise a laugh.
The game of dice is to be prohibited, and the pursuit of gain, especially by dicing, which many keenly follow. Such things the prodigality of luxury invents for the idle. For the cause is idleness, and a love for frivolities apart from the truth. For it is not possible otherwise to obtain enjoyment without injury; and each man's preference of a mode of life is a counterpart of his disposition.
But, as appears, only intercourse with good men benefits; on the other hand, the all-wise Instructor, by the mouth of Moses, recognising companionship with bad men as swinish, forbade the ancient people to partake of swine; to point out that those who call on God ought not to mingle with unclean men, who, like swine, delight in corporeal pleasures, in impure food, and in itching with filthy pruriency after the mischievous delights of lewdness.
Further, He says: "Thou art not to eat a kite or swift-winged ravenous bird, or an eagle," meaning: Thou shalt not come near men who gain their living by rapine. And other things also are exhibited figuratively.
With whom, then, are we to associate? With the righteous, He says again, speaking figuratively; for everything "which parts the hoof and chews the cud is clean." For the parting of the hoof indicates the equilibrium of righteousness, and ruminating points to the proper food of righteousness, the word, which enters from without, like food, by instruction, but is recalled from the mind, as from the stomach, to rational recollection. And the spiritual man, having the word in his mouth, ruminates the spiritual food; and righteousness parts the hoof rightly, because it sanctifies us in this life, and sends us on our way to the world to come.
The Instructor will not then bring us to public spectacles; nor inappropriately might one call the racecourse and the theatre "the seat of plagues;" for there is evil counsel as against the Just One, and therefore the assembly against Him is execrated. These assemblies, indeed, are full of confusion" and iniquity; and these pretexts for assembling are the cause of disorder--men and women assembling promiscuously if or the sight of one another. In this respect the assembly has already shown itself bad: for when the eye is lascivious, the desires grow warm; and the eyes that are accustomed to look impudently at one's neighbours during the leisure granted to them, inflame the amatory desires. Let spectacles, therefore, and plays that are full of scurrility and of abundant gossip, be forbidden. For what base action is it that is not exhibited in the theatres? And what shameless saying is it that is not brought forward by the buffoons? And those who enjoy the evil that is in them, stamp the clear images of it at home. And, on the other hand, those that are proof against these things, and unimpressible, will never make a stumble in regard to luxurious pleasures.
For if people shall say that they betake themselves to the spectacles as a pastime for recreation, I should say that the cities which make a serious business of pastime are not wise; for cruel contests for glory which have been so fatal are not sport. No more is senseless expenditure of money, nor are the riots that are occasioned by them sport. And ease of mind is not to be purchased by zealous pursuit of frivolities, for no one who has his senses will ever prefer what is pleasant to what is good.
Religion in Ordinary Life.
But it is said we do not all philosophize. Do we not all, then, follow after life? What sayest thou? How hast thou believed? How, pray, dost thou love God and thy neighbour, if thou dost not philosophize? And how dost thou love thyself, if thou dost not love life? It is said, I have not learned letters; but if thou hast not learned to read, thou canst not excuse thyself in the case of hearing, for it is not taught. And faith is the possession not of the wise according to the world, but of those according to God; and it is taught without letters; and its handbook, at once rude and divine, is called love--a spiritual book. It is in your power to listen to divine wisdom, ay, and to frame your life in accordance with it. Nay, you are not prohibited from conducting affairs in the world decorously according to God. Let not him who sells or buys aught name two prices for what he buys or sells; but stating the net price, and studying to speak the truth, if he get not his price, he gets the truth, and is rich in the possession of rectitude. But, above all, let an oath on account of what is sold be far from you; and let swearing, too, on account of other things be banished.
And in this way those who frequent the market-place and the shop philosophize. "For thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain."
But those who act contrary to these things--the avaricious, the liars, the hypocrites, those who make merchandise of the truth--the Lord cast out of His Father's court, not willing that the holy house of God should be the house of unrighteous traffic either in words or in material things.
Going to Church.
Woman and man are to go to church decently attired, with natural step, embracing silence, possessing unfeigned love, pure in body, pure in heart, fit to pray to God. Let the woman observe this, further. Let her be entirely covered, unless she happen to be at home. For that style of dress is grave, and protects from being gazed at. And she will never fall, who puts before her eyes modesty, and her shawl; nor will she invite another to fall into sin by uncovering her face. For this is the wish of the Word, since it is becoming for her to pray veiled.
They say that the wife of AEneas, through excess of propriety, did not, even in her terror at the capture of Troy, uncover herself; but, though fleeing from the conflagration, remained veiled.
Out of Church.
Such ought those who are consecrated to Christ appear, and frame themselves in their whole life, as they fashion themselves in the church s for the sake of gravity; and to be, not to seem such--so meek, so pious, so loving. But now I know not how people change their fashions and manners with the place. As they say that polypi, assimilated to the rocks to which they adhere, are in colour such as they; so, laying aside the inspiration of the assembly, after their departure from it, they become like others with whom they associate. Nay, in laying aside the artificial mask of solemnity, they are proved to be what they secretly were. After having paid reverence to the discourse about God, they leave within [the church] what they have heard. And outside they foolishly amuse themselves with impious playing, and amatory quavering, occupied with flute-playing, and dancing, and intoxication, and all kinds of trash. They who sing thus, and sing in response, are those who before hymned immortality,--found at last wicked and wickedly singing this most pernicious palinode, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." But not to-morrow in truth, but already, are these dead to God; burying their dead, that is, sinking themselves down to death. The apostle very firmly assails them. "Be not deceived; neither adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers," and whatever else he adds to these, "shall inherit the kingdom of God."
Love and the Kiss of Charity.
And if we are called to the kingdom of God, let us walk worthy of the kingdom, loving God and our neighbour. But love is not proved by a kiss, but by kindly feeling. But there are those, that do nothing but make the churches resound with a kiss, not having love itself within. For this very thing, the shameless use of a kiss, which ought to be mystic, occasions foul suspicions and evil reports. The apostle calls the kiss holy.
When the kingdom is worthily tested, we dispense the affection of the soul by a chaste and closed mouth, by which chiefly gentle manners are expressed.
But there is another unholy kiss, full of poison, counterfeiting sanctity. Do you not know that spiders, merely by touching the mouth, afflict men with pain? And often kisses inject the poison of licentiousness. It is then very manifest to us, that a kiss is not love. For the love meant is the love of God. "And this is the love of God," says John, "that we keep His commandments;" not that we stroke each other on the mouth. "And His commandments are not grievous." But salutations of beloved ones in the ways, full as they are of foolish boldness, are characteristic of those who wish to be conspicuous to those without, and have not the least particle of grace. For if it is proper mystically "in the closet" to pray to God, it will follow that we are also to greet mystically our neighbour, whom we are commanded to love second similarly to God, within doors, "redeeming the time." "For we are the salt of the earth." "Whosoever shall bless his friend early in the, morning with a loud voice, shall be regarded not to differ from cursing."
The Government of the Eyes.
But, above all, it seems right that we turn away from the sight of women. For it is sin not only to touch, but to look; and he who is rightly trained must especially avoid them. "Let thine eyes look straight, and thine eyelids wink right." For while it is possible for one who looks to remain stedfast; yet care must be taken against falling. For it is possible for one who looks to slip; but it is impossible for one, who looks not, to lust. For it is not enough for the chaste to be pure; but they must give all diligence, to be beyond the range of censure, shut-ring out all ground of suspicion, in order to the consummation of chastity; so that we may not only be faithful, but appear worthy of trust. For this is also consequently to be guarded against, as the apostle says, "that no man should blame us; providing things honourable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men."
"But turn away thine eyes from a graceful woman, and contemplate not another's beauty," says the Scripture. And if you require the reason, it will further tell you," For by the beauty of woman many have gone astray, and at it affection blazes up like fire;" the affection which arises from the fire which we call love, leading to the fire which will never cease in consequence of sin.
CHAP. XII.--CONTINUATION: WITH TEXTS FROM SCRIPTURE.
I would counsel the married never to kiss their wives in the presence of their domestics. For Aristotle does not allow people to laugh to their slaves. And by no means must a wife be seen saluted in their presence. It is moreover better that, beginning at home with marriage, we should exhibit propriety in it. For it is the greatest bond of chastity, breathing forth pure pleasure.
Very admirably the tragedy says:- "Well! well! ladies, how is it, then, that among men, Not gold, not empire, or luxury of wealth, Conferred to such an extent signal delights, As the right and virtuous disposition Of a man of worth and a dutiful wife?"
Such injunctions of righteousness uttered by those who are conversant with worldly wisdom are not to be refused. Knowing, then, the duty of each, "pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not deemed with corruptible things, such as silver or gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." "For," says Peter, "the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries." We have as a limit the cross of the Lord, by which we are fenced and hedged about from our former sins. Therefore, being regenerated, let us fix ourselves to it in truth, and return to sobriety, and sanctify ourselves; "for the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayer; but the face of the LORD is against them that do evil." And who is he that will harm us, if we be followers of that which is good?" "us" for "you." But the best training is good order, which is perfect decorum, and stable and orderly power, which in action maintains consistence in what it does. If these things have been adduced by me with too great asperity, in order to effect the salvation which follows from your correction; they have been spoken also, says the Instructor, by me: "Since he who reproves with boldness is a peacemaker." And if ye hear me, ye shall be saved. And if ye attend not to what is spoken, it is not my concern. And yet it is my concern thus: "For he desires the repentance rather than the death of a sinner." "If ye shall hear me, ye shall eat the good of the land," the Instructor again says, calling by the appellation "the good of the land," beauty, wealth, health, strength, sustenance. For those things which are really good, are what "neither ear hath heard, not hath ever entered into the heart" respecting Him who is really King, and the realities truly good which await us. For He is the giver and the guard of good things. And with respect to their participation, He applies the same names of things in this world, the Word thus training in God the feebleness of men from sensible things to understanding.
What has to be observed at home, and how our life is to be regulated, the Instructor has abundantly declared. And the things which He is wont to say to children by the way, while He conducts them to the Master, these He suggests, and adduces the Scriptures themselves in a compendious form, setting forth bare injunctions, accommodating them to the period of guidance, and assigning the interpretation of them to the Master. For the intention of His law is to dissipate fear, emancipating free-will in order to faith. "Hear," He says, "O child," who art rightly instructed, the principal points of salvation. For I will disclose my ways, and lay before thee good commandments; by which thou wilt reach salvation. And I lead thee by the way of salvation. Depart from the paths of deceit.
"For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous, and the way of the ungodly shall perish." "Follow, therefore, O son, the good way which I shall describe, lending to me attentive ears." "And I will give to thee the treasures of darkness, hidden and unseen" by the nations, but seen by us. And the treasures of wisdom are unfailing, in admiration of which the apostle says, "O the depth of the riches and the wisdom!" And by one God are many treasures dispensed; some disclosed by the law, others by the prophets; some to the divine mouth, and others to the heptad of the spirit singing accordant. And the Lord being one, is the same Instructor by all these. Here is then a comprehensive precept, and an exhortation of life, all-embracing: "As ye would that men should do unto you, do ye likewise to,them." We may comprehend the commandments in two, as the Lord says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength; and thy neighbour as thyself." Then from these He infers, "on this hang the law and the prophets." Further, to him that asked, "What good thing shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life?" He answered, "Thou knowest the commandments?" And on him replying Yea, He said, "This do, and thou shalt be saved." Especially conspicuous is the love of the Instructor set forth in various salutary commandments, in order that the discovery may be readier, from the abundance and arrangement of the Scriptures. We have the Decalogue given by Moses, which, indicating by an elementary principle, simple and of one kind, defines the designation of sins in a way conducive to salvation: "Thou shall not commit adultery. Thou shall not worship idols. Thou shalt not corrupt boys. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shall not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother." And so forth. These things are to be observed, and whatever else is commanded in reading the Bible. And He enjoins on us by Isaiah: "Wash you, and make you clean. Put away iniquities from your souls before mine eyes. Learn to do well. Seek judgment. Deliver the wronged. Judge for the orphan, and justify the widow. And come, and let us reason together, saith the Lord." And we shall find many examples also in other places,--as, for instance, respecting prayer: "Good works are an acceptable prayer to the Lord," says the Scripture. And the manner of prayer is described. "If thou seest," it is said, "the naked, cover him; and thou shalt not overlook those who belong to thy seed. Then shall thy light spring forth early, and thy healing shall spring up quickly; and thy righteousness shall go before thee, and the glory of God shall encompass thee." What, then, is the fruit of such prayer? "Then shall thou call, and God will hear thee; whilst thou art yet speaking, He will say, I am here."
In regard to fasting it is said, "Wherefore do ye fast to me? saith the Lord. Is it such a fast that I have chosen, even a day for a man to humble his soul? Thou shall not bend thy neck like a circle, and spread sackcloth and shes under thee.Not thus shall ye call it an acceptable fast."
What means a fast, then? "Lo, this is the fast which I have chosen, saith the Lord. Loose every band of wickedness. Dissolve the knots of oppressive contracts. Let the oppressed go free, and tear every unjust bond. Break thy bread to the hungry; and lead the houseless poor into thy house. If thou see the naked cover him." About sacrifices too: "To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? saith the Lord. I am full of burnt-offerings and of rams; and the fat of lambs, and the blood of bulls and kids I do not wish; nor that ye should come to appear before me. Who hath required this at your hands? You shall no more tread my court. If ye bring fine flour, the vain oblation is an abomination to me. Your new moons and your sabbaths I cannot away with." How, then, shall I sacrifice to the Lord? "The sacrifice of the Lord is," He says, "a broken heart." How, then, shall I crown myself, or anoint with ointment, or offer incense to the Lord? "An odour of a sweet fragrance," it is said, "is the heart that glorifies Him who made it." These are the crowns and sacrifices, aromatic odours, and flowers of God.
Further, in respect to forbearance. "If thy brother," it is said, "sin against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. If he sin against thee seven times in a day, and turn to thee the seventh time, and say, I repent, forgive him." Also to the soldiers, by John, He commands, "to be content with their wages only;" and to the publicans, "to exact no more than is appointed." To the judges He says, "Thou shalt not show partiality in judgment. For girls blind the eyes of those who see, and corrupt just words.
Rescue the wronged."
And to householders: "A possession which is acquired with iniquity becomes less."
Also of "love." "Love," He says, "covers a multitude of sins."
And of civil government: "Render to Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things which are God's."
Of swearing and the remembrance of injuries: "Did I command your fathers, when they went out of Egypt, to offer burnt-offerings and sacrifices? But I commanded them, Let none of you bear malice in his heart against his neighbour, or love a false oath."
The liars and the proud, too, He threatens; the former thus: "Woe to them that call bitter sweet, and sweet bitter;" and the latter: "Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight." "For he that humbleth himself shall be exalted, and he that exalteth himself shall be humbled."
And "the merciful" He blesses, "for they shall obtain mercy."
Wisdom pronounces anger a wretched thing, because "it will destroy the wise." And now He bids us "love our enemies, bless them that curse us, and pray for them that despitefully use us." And He says: "If any one strike thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one take away thy coat, hinder him not from taking thy cloak also."
Of faith He says: "Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." "To the unbelieving nothing is trustworthy," according to Pindar.
Domestics, too, are to be treated like ourselves; for they are human beings, as we are. For God is the same to free and bond, if you consider.
Such of our brethren as transgress, we must not punish, but rebuke. "For he that spareth the rod hateth his son."
Further, He banishes utterly love of glory, saying, "Woe to you, Pharisees! for ye love the chief seat in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets." But He welcomes the repentance of the sinner--loving repentance--which follows sins. For this Word of whom we speak alone is sinless. For to sin is natural and common to all. But to return [to God] after sinning is characteristic not of any man, but only of a man of worth.
Respecting liberality He said: "Come to me, ye blessed, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungry, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in; naked, and ye clothed Me; sick, and ye visited Me; in prison, and ye came unto Me." And when have we done any of these things to the Lord?
The Instructor Himself will say again, loving to refer to Himself the kindness of the brethren, "Inasmuch as ye have done it to these least, ye have done it to Me. And these shall go away into everlasting life."
Such are the laws of the Word, the consolatory words not on tables of stone which were written by the finger of the Lord, but inscribed on men's hearts, on which alone they can remain imperishable. Wherefore the tablets of those who had hears of stone are broken, that the faith of the children may be impressed on softened hearts.
However, both the laws served the Word for the instruction of humanity, both that given by Moses and that by the apostles. What, therefore, is the nature of the training by the apostles, appears to me to require to be treated of. Under this head, I, or rather the Instructor by me, will recount; and I shall again set before you the precepts themselves, as it were in the germ.
"Putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath; neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ hath forgiven you. Be therefore wise, followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us. Let wives be subject to their own husbands, as to the Lord. And let husbands love their wives as Christ also hath loved the Church? Let those who are yoked together love one another "as their own bodies." "Children, be obedient to your parents. Parents, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Servants, be obedient to those that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the singleness of your hearts, as unto Christ; with good-will from the soul doing service. ye masters, treat your servants well, forbearing threatening: knowing that both their and your Lord is in heaven; and there is no respect of persons with Him."
"If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Be not deceived; God is not mocked. Let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due time we shall reap, if we faint not."
"Be at peace among yourselves. Now we admonish you, brethren, warn them who are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil to any man. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things: hold fast that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil."
"Continue in prayer, watching thereunto with thanksgiving. Walk in wisdom towards them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
"Nourish yourselves up in the words of faith. Exercise yourselves unto godliness: for bodily exercise profiteth little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life which now is, and that which is to come."
"Let those who have faithful masters not despise them, because they ate brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful."
"He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another. Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Given to hospitality; communicating to the necessities of the saints."
Such are a few injunctions out of many, for the sake of example, which the Instructor, running over the divine Scriptures, sets before His children; by which, so to speak, vice is cut up by the roots, and iniquity is circumscribed.
Innumerable commands such as these are written in the holy Bible appertaining to chosen persons, some to presbyters, some to bishops, some to deacons, others to widows, of whom we shall have another opportunity of speaking. Many things spoken in enigmas, many in parables, may benefit such as fall in with them. But it is not my province, says the Instructor, to teach these any longer. But we need a Teacher of the exposition of those sacred words, to whom we must direct our steps.
And now, in truth, it is time for me to cease from my instruction, and for you to listen to the Teacher. And He, receiving you who have been trained up in excellent discipline, will teach you the oracles. To noble purpose has the Church sung, and the Bridegroom also, the only Teacher, the good Counsel, of the good Father, the true Wisdom, the Sanctuary of knowledge. "And He is the propitiation for our sins," as John says; Jesus, who heals both our body and soul--which are the proper man. "And not for our sins only, but also for the whole world. And by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar; and the truth is not in Him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected. Hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself to walk even as He also walked." O nurslings of His blessed training! let us complete the fair face of the church; and let us run as children to our good mother. And if we become listeners to the Word, let us glorify the blessed dispensation by which man is trained and sanctified as a child of God, and has his conversation in heaven, being trained from earth, and there receives the Father, whom he learns to know on earth. The Word both does and teaches all things, and trains in all things.
A horse is guided by a bit, and a bull is guided by a yoke, and a wild beast is caught in a noose. But man is transformed by the Word, by whom wild beasts are tamed, and fishes caught, and birds drawn down. He it is, in truth, who fashions the bit for the horse, the yoke for the bull, the noose for the wild beast, the rod for the fish, the snare for the bird. He both manages the state and tills the ground; commands, and helps, and creates the universe.
"There were figured earth, and sky, and sea, The ever-circling sun, and full-orbed moon, And all the signs that crown the vault of heaven."
O divine works! O divine commands! "Let this water undulate within itself; let this fire restrain its wrath; let this air wander into ether; and this earth be consolidated, and acquire motion! When I want to form man, I want matter, and have matter in the elements. I dwell with what I have formed. If you know me, the fire will be your slave."
Such is the Word, such is the Instructor, the Creator of the world and of man: and of Himself, now the world's Instructor, by whose command we and the universe subsist, and await judgment. "For it is not he who brings a stealthy vocal word to men," as Bacchylidis says, "who shall be the Word of Wisdom;" but "the blameless, the pure, and faultless sons of God," according to Paul, "'n the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, to shine as lights in the world."
All that remains therefore now, in such a celebration of the Word as this, is that we address to the Word our prayer.
PRAYER TO THE PAEDAGOGUS.
Be gracious, O Instructor, to us Thy children, Father, Charioteer of Israel, Son and Father, both in One, O Lord. Grant to us who obey Thy precepts, that we may perfect the likeness of the image, and with all our power know Him who is the good God and not a harsh judge. And do Thou Thyself cause that all of us who have our conversation in Thy peace, who have been translated into Thy commonwealth, having sailed tranquilly over the billows of sin, may be wafted in calm by Thy Holy Spirit, by the ineffable wisdom, by night and day to the perfect day; and giving thanks may praise, and praising thank the Alone Father and Son, Son and Father, the Son, Instructor and Teacher, with the Holy Spirit, all in One, in whom is all, for whom all is One, for whom is eternity, whose members we all are, whose glory the aeons are; for the All-good, All-lovely, All-wise, All-just One. To whom be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
And since the Instructor, by translating us into His Church, has united us to Himself, the teaching and all-surveying Word, it were right that, having got to this point, we should offer to the Lord the reward of due thanksgiving--praise suitable to His fair instruction.
A HYMN TO CHRIST THE SAVIOUR.
COMPOSED BY ST. CLEMENT.
Bridle of colts untamed, Over our wills presiding; Wing of unwandering birds, Our flight securely guiding.
Rudder of youth unbending, Firm against adverse shock; Shepherd, with wisdom tending Lambs of the royal flock:
Thy simple children bring In one, that they may sing In solemn lays Their hymns of praise With guileless lips to Christ their King.
King of saints, almighty Word Of the Father highest Lord; Wisdom's head and chief; Assuagement of all grief; Lord of all time and space, Jesus, Saviour of our race; Shepherd, who dost us keep; Husbandman, who tillest, Bit to restrain us, Rudder To guide us as Thou wiliest; Of the all-holy flock celestial wing; Fisher of men, whom Thou to life dost bring; From evil sea of sin, And from the billowy strife, Gathering pure fishes in Caught with sweet bait of life:
Lead us, Shepherd of the sheep, Reason-gifted, holy One; King of youths, whom Thou dost keep, So that they pollution shun:
Steps of Christ, celestial Way; Word eternal, Age unending; Life that never can decay; Fount of mercy, virtue-sending; Life august of those who raise Unto God their hymn of praise, Jesus Christ!
Nourished by the milk of heaven, To our tender palates given; Milk of wisdom from the breast Of that bride of grace exprest; By a dewy spirit filled From fair Reason's breast distilled; Let us sucklings join to raise With pure lips our hymns of praise As our grateful offering, Clean and pure, to Christ our King.
Let us, with hearts undefiled, Celebrate the mighty Child.
We, Christ-born, the choir of peace; We, the people of His love, Let us sing, nor ever cease, To the God of peace above.
We subjoin the following literal translation of the foregoing hymn:- Bridle of untamed colts, Wing of unwandering birds, sure Helm of babes, Shepherd of royal lambs, assemble Thy simple children to praise holily, to hymn guilelessly with innocent mouths, Christ the guide of children. O King of saints, all-subduing Word of the most high Father, Ruler of wisdom, Support of sorrows, that rejoicest in the ages, Jesus, Saviour of the human race, Shepherd, Husbandman, Helm, Bridle, Heavenly Wing of the all-holy flock, Fisher of men who are saved, catching the chaste fishes with sweet life from the hateful wave of a sea of vices,--Guide, Shepherd of rational sheep; guide unharmed children, O holy King, O footsteps of Christ, O heavenly way, perennial Word, immeasurable Age, Eternal Light, Fount of mercy, performer of virtue; noble [is the] life of those who hymn God, O Christ Jesus, heavenly milk of the sweet breasts of the graces of the Bride, pressed out of Thy wisdom. Babes nourished with tender mouths, filled with the dewy spirit of the rational pap, let us sing together simple praises, true hymns to Christ [our] King, holy fee for the teaching of life; let us sing in simplicity the powerful Child. O choir of peace, the Christ-begotten, O chaste people, let us sing together the God of peace.
TO THE PAEDAGOGUS.
Teacher, to Thee a chaplet I present, Woven of words culled from the spotless mead, Where Thou dost feed Thy flocks; like to the bee, That skilful worker, which from many a flower Gathers its treasures, that she may convey A luscious offering to the master's hand.
Though but the least, I am Thy servant still, (Seemly is praise to Thee for Thy behests).
O King, great Giver of good gifts to men, Lord of the good, Father, of all the Maker, Who heaven and heaven's adornment, by Thy word Divine fitly disposed, alone didst make; Who broughtest forth the sunshine and the day; Who didst appoint their courses to the stars, And how the earth and sea their place should keep; And when the seasons, in their circling course, Winter and summer, spring and autumn, each
Should come, according to well-ordered plan; Out of a confused heap who didst create This ordered sphere, and from the shapeless mass Of matter didst the universe adorn;- Grant to me life, and be that life welt spent, Thy grace enjoying; let me act and speak In all things as Thy Holy Scriptures teach;
Thee and Thy co-eternal Word, All-wise, From Thee proceeding, ever may I praise; Give me nor poverty nor wealth, but what is meet, Father, in life, and then life's happy close.