Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.49 Making of man Part 3

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Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.49 Making of man Part 3

TOPIC: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 25.01.49 Making of man Part 3

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XV. That the Soul Proper, in Fact and Name, is the Rational Soul, While the Others are Called So Equivocally; Wherein Also is This Statement, that the Power of the Mind Extends Throughout the Whole Body in Fitting Contact with Every Parthyperlink .

1. Now, if some things in creation possess the nutritive faculty, and others again are regulated by the perceptive faculty, while the former have no share of perception nor the latter of the intellectual nature, and if for this reason any one is inclined to the opinion of a plurality of souls, such a man will be positing a variety of souls in a way not in accordance with their distinguishing definition. For everything which we conceive among existing things, if it be perfectly that which it is, is also properly called by the name it bears: but of that which is not every respect what it is called, the appellation also is vain. For instance:-if one were to show us true bread, we say that he properly applies the name to the subject: but if one were to show us instead that which had been made of stone to resemble the natural bread, which had the same shape, and equal size, and similarity of colour, so as in most points to be the same with its prototype, but which yet lacks the power of being food, on this account we say that the stone receives the name of "bread," not properly, but by a misnomer, and all things which fall under the same description, which are not absolutely what they are called, have their name from a misuse of terms.

2. Thus, as the soul finds its perfection in that which is intellectual and rational, everything that is not so may indeed share the name of "soul," but is not really soul, but a certain vital energy associated with the appellation of "soulhyperlink ." And for this reason also He Who gave laws on every matter, gave the animal nature likewise, as not far removed from this vegetative lifehyperlink , for the use of man, to be for those who partake of it instead of herbs:-for He says, "Ye shall eat all kinds of flesh even as the green herbhyperlink ;" for the perceptive energy seems to have but a slight advantage over that which is nourished and grows without it. Let this teach carnal men not to bind their intellect closely to the phenomena of sense, but rather to busy themselves with their spiritual advantages, as the true soul is found in these, while sense has equal power also among the brute creation.

3. The course of our argument, however, has diverged to another point: for the subject of our speculation was not the fact that the energy of mind is of more dignity among the attributes we conceive in man than the material element of his being, but the fact that the mind is not confined to any one part of us, but is equally in all and through all, neither surrounding anything without, nor being enclosed within anything: for these phrases are properly applied to casks or other bodies that are placed one inside the other; but the union of the mental with the bodily presents a connection unspeakable and inconceivable,-not being within it (for the incorporeal is not enclosed in a body), nor yet surrounding it without (for that which is incorporeal does not includehyperlink anything), but the mind approaching our nature in some inexplicable and incomprehensible way, and coming into contact with it, is to be regarded as both in it and around it, neither implanted in it nor enfolded with it, but in a way which we cannot speak or think, except so far as this, that while the nature prospers according to its own order, the mind is also operative; but if any misfortune befalls the former, the movement of the intellect halts correspondingly.

XVI. A Contemplation of the Divine Utterance Which Said-"Let Us Make Man After Our Image and Likeness"; Wherein is Examined What is the Definition of the Image, and How the Passible and Mortal is Like to the Blessed and Impassible, and How in the Image There are Male and Female, Seeing These are Not in the Prototypehyperlink .

1. Let us now resume our consideration of the Divine word, "Let us make man in our image, after our likenesshyperlink ." How mean and how unworthy of the majesty of man are the fancies of some heathen writers, who magnify humanity, as they supposed, by their comparison of it to this world! for they say that man is a little world, composed of the same elements with the universe. Those who bestow on human nature such praise as this by a high-sounding name, forget that they are dignifying man with the attributes of the gnat and the mouse: for they too are composed of these four elements,-because assuredly about the animated nature of every existing thing we behold a part, greater or less, of those elements without which it is not natural that any sensitive being should exist. What great thing is there, then, in man's being accounted a representation and likeness of the world,-of the heaven that passes away, of the earth that changes, of all things that they contain, which pass away with the departure of that which compasses them round?

2. In what then does the greatness of man consist, according to the doctrine of the Church? Not in his likeness to the created world, but in his being in the image of the nature of the Creator.

3. What therefore, you will perhaps say, is the definition of the image? How is the incorporeal likened to body? how is the temporal like the eternal? that which is mutable by change like to the immutable? that which is subject to passion and corruption to the impassible and incorruptible? that which constantly dwells with evil, and grows up with it, to that which is absolutely free from evil? there is a great difference between that which is conceived in the archetype, and a thing which has been made in its image: for the image is properly so called if it keeps its resemblance to the prototype; but if the imitation be perverted from its subject, the thing is something else, and no longer an image of the subject.

4. How then is man, this mortal, passible, shortlived being, the image of that nature which is immortal, pure, and everlasting? The true answer to this question, indeed, perhaps only the very Truth knows: but this is what we, tracing out the truth so far as we are capable by conjectures and inferences, apprehend concerning the matter. Neither does the word of God lie when it says that man was made in the image of God, nor is the pitiable suffering of man's nature like to the blessedness of the impassible Life: for if any one were to compare our nature with God, one of two things must needs be allowed in order that the definition of the likeness may be apprehended in both cases in the same terms,-either that the Deity is passible, or that humanity is impassible: but if neither the Deity is passible nor our nature free from passion, what other account remains whereby we may say that the word of God speaks truly, which says that man was made in the image of God?

5. We must, then, take up once more the Holy Scripture itself, if we may perhaps find some guidance in the question by means of what is written. After saying, "Let us make man in our image," and for what purposes it was said "Let us make him," it adds this saying:-"and God created man; in the image of God created He him; male and female created He themhyperlink ." We have already said in what precedes, that this saying was uttered for the destruction of heretical impiety, in order that being instructed that the Only-begotten God made man in the image of God, we should in no wise distinguish the Godhead of the Father and the Son, since Holy Scripture gives to each equally the name of God,-to Him Who made man, and to Him in Whose image he was made.

6. However, let us pass by our argument upon this point: let us turn our inquiry to the question before us,-how it is that while the Deity is in bliss, and humanity is in misery, the latter is yet in Scripture called "like" the former?

7. We must, then, examine the words carefully: for we find, if we do so, that that which was made "in the image" is one thing, and that which is now manifested in wretchedness is another. "God created man," it says; "in the image of God created He himhyperlink ." There is an end of the creation of that which was made "in the image": then it makes a resumption of the account of creation, and says, "male and female created He them." I presume that every one knows that this is a departure from the Prototype: for "in Christ Jesus," as the apostle says, "there is neither male nor femalehyperlink ." Yet the phrase declares that man is thus divided.

8. Thus the creation of our nature is in a sense twofold: one made like to God, one divided according to this distinction: for something like this the passage darkly conveys by its arrangement, where it first says, "God created man, in the image of God created He himhyperlink ," and then, adding to what has been said, "male and female created He themhyperlink ,"-a thing which is alien from our conceptions of God.

9. I think that by these words Holy Scripture conveys to us a great and lofty doctrine; and the doctrine is this. While two natures-the Divine and incorporeal nature, and the irrational life of brutes-are separated from each other as extremes, human nature is the mean between them: for in the compound nature of man we may behold a part of each of the natures I have mentioned,-of the Divine, the rational and intelligent element, which does not admit the distinction of male and female; of the irrational, our bodily form and structure, divided into male and female: for each of these elements is certainly to be found in all that partakes of human life. That the intellectual element, however, precedes the other, we learn as from one who gives in order an account of the making of man; and we learn also that his community and kindred with the irrational is for man a provision for reproduction. For he says first that "God created man in the image of God" (showing by these words, as the Apostle says, that in such a being there is no male or female): then he adds the peculiar attributes of human nature, "male and female created He themhyperlink ."

10. What, then, do we learn from this? Let no one, I pray, be indignant if I bring from far an argument to bear upon the present subject. God is in His own nature all that which our mind can conceive of good;-rather, transcending all good that we can conceive or comprehend. He creates man for no other reason than that He is good; and being such, and having this as His reason for entering upon the creation of our nature, He would not exhibit the power of His goodness in an imperfect form, giving our nature some one of the things at His disposal, and grudging it a share in another: but the perfect form of goodness is here to be seen by His both bringing man into being from nothing, and fully supplying him with all good gifts: but since the list of individual good gifts is a long one, it is out of the question to apprehend it numerically. The language of Scripture therefore expresses it concisely by a comprehensive phrase, in saying that man was made "in the image of God": for this is the same as to say that He made human nature participant in all good; for if the Deity is the fulness of good, and this is His image, then the image finds its resemblance to the Archetype in being filled with all good.

11. Thus there is in us the principle of all excellence, all virtue and wisdom, and every higher thing that we conceive: but pre-eminent among all is the fact that we are free from necessity, and not in bondage to any natural power, but have decision in our own power as we please; for virtue is a voluntary thing, subject to no dominion: that which is the result of compulsion and force cannot be virtue.

12. Now as the image bears in all points the semblance of the archetypal excellence, if it had not a difference in some respect, being absolutely without divergence it would no longer be a likeness, but will in that case manifestly be absolutely identical with the Prototype. What difference then do we discern between the Divine and that which has been made like to the Divine? We find it in the fact that the former is uncreate, while the latter has its being from creation: and this distinction of property brings with it a train of other properties; for it is very certainly acknowledged that the uncreated nature is also immutable, and always remains the same, while the created nature cannot exist without change; for its very passage from nonexistence to existence is a certain motion and change of the non-existent transmuted by the Divine purpose into being.

13. As the Gospel calls the stamp upon the coin "the image of Caesarhyperlink ," whereby we learn that in that which was fashioned to resemble Caesar there was resemblance as to outward look, but difference as to material, so also in the present saying, when we consider the attributes contemplated both in the Divine and human nature, in which the likeness consists, to be in the place of the features, we find in what underlies them the difference which we behold in the uncreated and in the created nature.

14. Now as the former always remains the same, while that which came into being by creation had the beginning of its existence from change, and has a kindred connection with the like mutation, for this reason He Who, as the prophetical writing says, "knoweth all things before they behyperlink ," following out, or rather perceiving beforehand by His power of foreknowledge what, in a state of independence and freedom, is the tendency of the motion of man's will,-as He saw, I say, what would be, He devised for His image the distinction of male and female, which has no reference to the Divine Archetype, but, as we have said, is an approximation to the less rational nature.

15. The cause, indeed, of this device, only those can know who were eye-witnesses of the truth and ministers of the Word; but we, imagining the truth, as far as we can, by means of conjectures and similitudes, do not set forth that which occurs to our mind authoritatively, but will place it in the form of a theoretical speculation before our kindly hearers.

16. What is it then which we understand concerning these matters? In saying that "God created man" the text indicates, by the indefinite character of the term, all mankind; for was not Adam here named together with the creation, as the history tells us in what followshyperlink ? yet the name given to the man created is not the particular, but the general name: thus we are led by the employment of the general name of our nature to some such view as this-that in the Divine foreknowledge and power all humanity is included in the first creation; for it is fitting for God not to regard any of the things made by Him as indeterminate, but that each existing thing should have some limit and measure prescribed by the wisdom of its Maker.

17. Now just as any particular man is limited by his bodily dimensions, and the peculiar size which is conjoined with the superficies of his body is the measure of his separate existence, so I think that the entire plenitude of humanity was included by the God of all, by His power of foreknowledge, as it were in one body, and that this is what the text teaches us which says, "God created man, in the image of God created He him." For the image is not in part of our nature, nor is the grace in any one of the things found in that nature, but this power extends equally to all the race: and a sign of this is that mind is implanted alike in all: for all have the power of understanding and deliberating, and of all else whereby the Divine nature finds its image in that which was made according to it: the man that was manifested at the first creation of the world, and he that shall be after the consummation of all, are alike: they equally bear in themselves the Divine imagehyperlink .

18. For this reason the whole race was spoken of as one man, namely, that to God's power nothing is either past or future, but even that which we expect is comprehended, equally with what is at present existing, by the all-sustaining energy. Our whole nature, then, extending from the first to the last, is, so to say, one image of Him Who is; but the distinction of kind in male and female was added to His work lash as I suppose, for the reason which followshyperlink .

XVII. What We Must Answer to Those Who Raise the Question-"If Procreation is After Sin, How Would Souls Have Came into Being If the First of Mankind Had Remained Sinless"hyperlink ?

1. It is better for us however, perhaps, rather to inquire, before investigating this point, the solution of the question put forward by our adversaries; for they say that before the sin there is no account of birth, or of travail, or of the desire that tends to procreation, but when they were banished from Paradise after their sin, and the woman was condemned by the sentence of travail, Adam thus entered with his consort upon the intercourse of married life, and then took place the beginning of procreation. If, then, marriage did not exist in Paradise, nor travail, nor birth, they say that it follows as a necessary conclusion that human souls would not have existed in plurality had not the grace of immortality fallen away to mortality, and marriage preserved our race by means of descendants, introducing the offspring of the departing to take their place, so that in a certain way the sin that entered into the world was profitable for the life of man: for the human race would have remained in the pair of the first-formed, had not the fear of death impelled their nature to provide succession.

2. Now here again the true answer, whatever it may be, can be clear to those only who, like Paul, have been instructed in the mysteries of Paradise; but our answer is as follows. When the Sadducees once argued against the doctrine of the resurrection, and brought forward, to establish their own opinion, that woman of many marriages, who had been wife to seven brethren, and thereupon inquired whose wife she will be after the resurrection, our Lord answered their argument so as not only to instruct the Sadducees, but also to reveal to all that come after them the mystery of the resurrection-life: "for in the resurrection," He says, "they neither marry, nor are given in marriage neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrectionhyperlink ." Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were "made a little lower than the angelshyperlink ," to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker.

3. But if any one finds a difficulty in an inquiry as to the manner of the generation of souls, had man not needed the assistance of marriage, we shall ask him in turn, what is the mode of the angelic existence, how they exist in countless myriads, being one essence, and at the same time numerically many; for we shall be giving a fit answer to one who raises the question how man would have been without marriage, if we say, "as the angels are without marriage;" for the fact that man was in a like condition with them before the transgression is shown by the restoration to that state.

4. Now that we have thus cleared up these matters, let us return to our former point,-how it was that after the making of His image God contrived for His work the distinction of male and female. I say that the preliminary speculation we have completed is of service for determining this question; for He Who brought all things into being and fashioned Man as a whole by His own will to the Divine image, did not wait to see the number of souls made up to its proper fulness by the gradual additions of those coming after; but while looking upon the nature of man in its entirety and fulness by the exercise of His foreknowledge, and bestowing upon it a lot exalted and equal to the angels, since He saw beforehand by His all-seeing power the failure of their will to keep a direct course to what is good, and its consequent declension from the angelic life, in order that the multitude of human souls might not be cut short by its fall from that mode by which the angels were increased and multiplied,-for this reason, I say, He formed for our nature that contrivance for increase which befits those who had fallen into sin, implanting in mankind, instead of the angelic majesty of nature, that animal and irrational mode by which they now succeed one another.

5. Hence also, it seems to me, the great David pitying the misery of man mourns over his nature with such words as these, that, "man being in honour knew it not" (meaning by "honour" the equality with the angels), therefore, he says, "he is compared to the beasts that have no understanding, and made like unto themhyperlink ." For he truly was made like the beasts, who received in his nature the present mode of transient generation, on account of his inclination to material things.

XVIII. That Our Irrational Passions Have Their Rise from Kindred with Irrational Nature.hyperlink

1. For I think that from this beginning all our passions issue as from a spring, and pour their flood over man's life; and an evidence of my words is the kinship of passions which appears alike in ourselves and in the brutes; for it is not allowable to ascribe the first beginnings of our constitutional liability to passion to that human nature which was fashioned in the Divine likeness; but as brute life first entered into the world, and man, for the reason already mentioned, took something of their nature (I mean the mode of generation), he accordingly took at the same time a share of the other attributes contemplated in that nature; for the likeness of man to God is not found in anger, nor is pleasure a mark of the superior nature; cowardice also, and boldness, and the desire of gain, and the dislike of loss, and all the like, are far removed from that stamp which indicates Divinity.

2. These attributes, then, human nature took to itself from the side of the brutes; for those qualities with which brute life was armed for self-preservation, when transferred to human life, became passions; for the carnivorous animals are preserved by their anger, and those which breed largely by their love of pleasure cowardice preserves the weak, fear that which is easily taken by more powerful animals, and greediness those of great bulk; and to miss anything that tends to pleasure is for the brutes a matter of pain. All these and the like affections entered man's composition by reason of the animal mode of generation.

3. I may be allowed to describe the human image by comparison with some wonderful piece of modelling. For, as one may see in models those carvedhyperlink shapes which the artificers of such things contrive for the wonder of beholders, tracing out upon a single head two forms of faces; so man seems to me to bear a double likeness to opposite things-being moulded in the Divine element of his mind to the Divine beauty, but bearing, in the passionate impulses that arise in him, a likeness to the brute nature; while often even his reason is rendered brutish, and obscures the better element by the worse through its inclination and disposition towards what is irrational; for whenever a man drags down his mental energy to these affections, and forces his reason to become the servant of his passions, there takes place a sort of conversion of the good stamp in him into the irrational image, his whole nature being traced anew after that design, as his reason, so to say, cultivates the beginnings of his passions, and gradually multiplies them; for once it lends its co-operation to passion, it produces a plenteous and abundant crop of evils.

4. Thus our love of pleasure took its beginning from our being made like to the irrational creation, and was increased by the transgressions of men, becoming the parent of so many varieties of sins arising from pleasure as we cannot find among the irrational animals. Thus the rising of anger in us is indeed akin to the impulse of the brutes; but it grows by the alliance of thought: for thence come malignity, envy, deceit, conspiracy, hypocrisy; all these are the result of the evil husbandry of the mind; for if the passion were divested of the aid it receives from thought, the anger that is left behind is short-lived and not sustained, like a bubble, perishing straightway as soon as it comes into being. Thus the greediness of swine introduces covetousness, and the high spirit of the horse becomes the origin of pride; and all the particular forms that proceed from the want of reason in brute nature become vice by the evil use of the mind.

5. So, likewise, on the contrary, if reason instead assumes sway over such emotions, each of them is transmuted to a form of virtue; for anger produces courage, terror caution, fear obedience, hatred aversion from vice, the power of love the desire for what is truly beautiful; high spirit in our character raises our thought above the passions, and keeps it from bondage to what is base; yea, the great Apostle, even, praises such a form of mental elevation when he bids us constantly to "think those things that are abovehyperlink ;" and so we find that every such motion, when elevated by loftiness of mind, is conformed to the beauty of the Divine image.

6. But the other impulse is greater, as the tendency of sin is heavy and downward; for the ruling element of our soul is more inclined to be dragged downwards by the weight of the irrational nature than is the heavy and earthy element to be exalted by the loftiness of the intellect; hence the misery that encompasses us often causes the Divine gift to be forgotten, and spreads the passions of the flesh, like some ugly mask, over the beauty of the image.

7. Those, therefore, are in some sense excusable, who do not admit, when they look upon such cases, that the Divine form is there; yet we may behold the Divine image in men by the medium of those who have ordered their lives aright. For if the man who is subject to passion, and carnal, makes it incredible that man was adorned, as it were, with Divine beauty, surely the man of lofty virtue and pure from pollution will confirm you in the better conception of human nature.

8. For instance (for it is better to make our argument clear by an illustration), one of those noted for wickedness-some Jechoniah, say, or some other of evil memory-has obliterated the beauty of his nature by the pollution of wickedness; yet in Moses and in men like him the form of the image was kept pure. Now where the beauty of the form has not been obscured, there is made plain the faithfulness of the saying that man is an image of God.

9. It may be, however, that some one feels shame at the fact that our life, like that of the brutes, is sustained by food, and for this reason deems man unworthy of being supposed to have been framed in the image of God; but he may expect that freedom from this function will one day be bestowed upon our nature in the life we look for; for, as the Apostle says, "the Kingdom of God is not meat and drinkhyperlink ;" and the Lord declared that "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Godhyperlink ." Further, as the resurrection holds forth to us a life equal with the angels, and with the angels there is no food, there is sufficient ground for believing that man, who will live in like fashion with the angels, will be released from such a function.

XIX. To Those Who Say that the Enjoyment of the Good Things We Look for Will Again Consist in Meat and Drink, Because It is Written that by These Means Man at First Lived in Paradisehyperlink .

1. But some one perhaps will say that man will not be returning to the same form of life, if as it seems, we formerly existed by eating, and shall hereafter be free from that function. I, however, when I hear the Holy Scripture, do not understand only bodily meat, or the pleasure of the flesh; but I recognize another kind of food also, having a certain analogy to that of the body, the enjoyment of which extends to the soul alone: "Eat of my breadhyperlink ," is the bidding of Wisdom to the hungry; and the Lord declares those blessed who hunger for such food as this, and says, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink": and "drink ye joyhyperlink ," is the great Isaiah's charge to those who are able to hear his sublimity. There is a prophetic threatening also against those worthy of vengeance, that they shall be punished with famine; but the "famine" is not a lack of bread and water, but a failure of the word:- "not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the word of the Lord."

2. We ought, then, to conceive that the fruit in Eden was something worthy of God's planting (and Eden is interpreted to mean "delight"), and not to doubt that man was hereby nourished: nor should we at all conceive, concerning the mode of life in Paradise, this transitory and perishable nutriment: "of every tree of the garden," He says, "thou mayest freely eathyperlink ."

3. Who will give to him that has a healthful hunger that tree that is in Paradise, which includes all good, which is named "every tree," in which this passage bestows on man the right to share? for in the universal and transcendent saying every form of good is in harmony with itself, and the whole is one. And who will keep me back from that tasting of the tree which is of mixed and doubtful kind? for surely it is clear to all who are at all keen-sighted what that "every" tree is whose fruit is life, and what again that mixed tree is whose end is death: for He Who presents ungrudgingly the enjoyment of "every" tree, surely by some reason and forethought keeps man from participation in those which are of doubtful kind.

4. It seems to me that I may take the great David and the wise Solomon as my instructors in the interpretation of this text: for both understand the grace of the permitted delight to be one,-that very actual Good, which in truth is "every" good;-David, when he says, "Delight thou in the Lordhyperlink ," and Solomon, when he names Wisdom herself (which is the Lord) "a tree of lifehyperlink ."

5. Thus the "every" tree of which the passage gives food to him who was made in the likeness of God, is the same with the tree of life; and there is opposed to this tree another tree, the food given by which is the knowledge of good and evil:-not that it bears in turn as fruit each of these things of opposite significance, but that it produces a fruit blended and mixed with opposite qualities, the eating of which the Prince of Life forbids, and the serpent counsels, that he may prepare an entrance for death: and he obtained credence for his counsel, covering over the fruit with a fair appearance and the show of pleasure, that it might be pleasant to the eyes and stimulate the desire to taste.

XX. What Was the Life in Paradise, and What Was the Forbidden Treehyperlink ?

1. What then is that which includes the knowledge of good and evil blended together, and is decked with the pleasures of sense? I think I am not aiming wide of the mark in employing, as a starting-point for my speculation, the sense of "knowablehyperlink ." It is not, I think, "science" which the Scripture here means by "knowledge"; but I find a certain distinction, according to Scriptural use, between "knowledge" and "discernment": for to "discern" skilfully the good from the evil, the Apostle says is a mark of a more perfect condition and of "exercised senseshyperlink ," for which reason also he bids us "prove all thingshyperlink ," and says that "discernment" belongs to the spiritual manhyperlink : but "knowledge" is not always to be understood of skill and acquaintance with anything, but of the disposition towards what is agreeable,-as "the Lord knoweth them that are Hishyperlink "; and He says to Moses, "I knew thee above allhyperlink "; while of those condemned in their wickedness He Who knows all things says, "I never knew youhyperlink ."

2. The tree, then, from which comes this fruit of mixed knowledge, is among those things which are forbidden; and that fruit is combined of opposite qualities, which has the serpent to commend it, it may be for this reason, that the evil is not exposed in its nakedness, itself appearing in its own proper nature-for wickedness would surely fail of its effect were it not decked with some fair colour to entice to the desire of it him whom it deceives-but now the nature of evil is in a manner mixed, keeping destruction like some snare concealed in its depths, and displaying some phantom of good in the deceitfulness of its exterior. The beauty of the substance seems good to those who love money: yet "the love of money is a root of all evilhyperlink ": and who would plunge into the unsavoury mud of wantonness, were it not that he whom this bait hurries into passion thinks pleasure a thing fair and acceptable? so, too, the other sins keep their destruction hidden, and seem at first sight acceptable, and some deceit makes them earnestly sought after by unwary men instead of what is good.

3. Now since the majority of men judge the good to lie in that which gratifies the senses, and there is a certain identity of name between that which is, and that which appears to be "good,"-for this reason that desire which arises towards what is evil, as though towards good, is called by Scripture "the knowledge of good and evil;" "knowledge," as we have said, expressing a certain mixed disposition. It speaks of the fruit of the forbidden tree not as a thing absolutely evil (because it is decked with good), nor as a thing purely good (because evil is latent in it), but as compounded of both, and declares that the tasting of it brings to death those who touch it; almost proclaiming aloud the doctrine that the very actual good is in its nature simple and uniform, alien from all duplicity or conjunction with its opposite, while evil is many-coloured and fairly adorned, being esteemed to be one thing and revealed by experience as another, the knowledge of which (that is, its reception by experience) is the beginning and antecedent of death and destruction.

4. It was because he saw this that the serpent points out the evil fruit of sin, not showing the evil manifestly in its own nature (for man would not have been deceived by manifest evil), but giving to what the woman beheld the glamour of a certain beauty, and conjuring into its taste the spell of a sensual pleasure, he appeared to her to speak convincingly: "and the woman saw," it says, "that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes to behold, and fair to see; and she took of the fruit thereof and did eathyperlink ," and that eating became the mother of death to men. This, then, is that fruit-bearing of mixed character, where the passage clearly expresses the sense in which the tree was called "capable of the knowledge of good and evil," because, like the evil nature of poisons that are prepared with honey, it appears to be good in so far as it affects the senses with sweetness: but in so far as it destroys him who touches it, it is the worst of all evil. Thus when the evil poison worked its effect against man's life, then man, that noble thing and name, the image of God's nature, was made, as the prophet says, "like unto vanityhyperlink ."

5. The image, therefore, properly belongs to the better part of our attributes; but all in our life that is painful and miserable is far removed from the likeness to the Divine.

XXI. That the Resurrection is Looked for as a Consequence, Not So Much from the Declaration of Scripture as from the Very Necessity of Thingshyperlink .

1. Wickedness, however, is not so strong as to prevail over the power of good; nor is the folly of our nature more powerful and more abiding than the wisdom of God: for it is impossible that that which is always mutable and variable should be more firm and more abiding than that which always remains the same and is firmly fixed in goodness: but it is absolutely certain that the Divine counsel possesses immutability, while the changeableness of our nature does not remain settled even in evil.

2. Now that which is always in motion, if its progress be to good, will never cease moving onwards to what lies before it, by reason of the infinity of the course to be traversed:-for it will not find any limit of its object such that when it has apprehended it, it will at last cease its motion: but if its bias be in the opposite direction, when it has finished the course of wickedness and reached the extreme limit of evil, then that which is ever moving, finding no halting point for its impulse natural to itself when it has run through the lengths that can be run in wickedness, of necessity turns its motion towards good: for as evil does not extend to infinity, but is comprehended by necessary limits, it would appear that good once more follows in succession upon the limit of evil; and thus, as we have said, the ever-moving character of our nature comes to run its course at the last once more back towards good, being taught the lesson of prudence by the memory of its former misfortunes, to the end that it may never again be in like case.

3. Our course, then, will once more lie in what is good, by reason of the fact that the nature of evil is bounded by necessary limits. For just as those skilled in astronomy tell us that the whole universe is full of light, and that darkness is made to cast its shadow by the interposition of the body formed by the earth; and that this darkness is shut off from the rays of the sun, in the shape of a cone, according to the figure of the sphere-shaped body, and behind it; while the sun, exceeding the earth by a size many times as great as its own, enfolding it round about on all sides with its rays, unites at the limit of the cone the concurrent streams of light; so that if (to suppose the case) any one had the power of passing beyond the measure to which the shadow extends, he would certainly find himself in light unbroken by darkness;-even so I think that we ought to understand about ourselves, that on passing the limit of wickedness we shall again have our conversation in light, as the nature of good, when compared with the measure of wickedness, is incalculably superabundant.

4. Paradise therefore will be restored, that tree will be restored which is in truth the tree of life;-there will be restored the grace of the image, and the dignity of rule. It does not seem to me that our hope is one for those things which are now subjected by God to man for the necessary uses of life, but one for another kingdom, of a description that belongs to unspeakable mysteries.


57 Otherwise chap. xvi. The Bodleian ms. of the Latin version gives the title:-"That the vital energy of the irrational creatures is not truly but equivocally called `soul

0', and of the unspeakable communion of body and soul."

58 <\th thj yuxhj klhsei sugkekrimenh. The meaning is apparently something like that given; but if we might read sugkexrhmenh the sense of the passage would be much plainer.

59 Reading futikhj for fusikhj as before, ch. 8, §4 (where see note).

60 Cf. Gen. ix. 3. The quotation, except the last few words, is not verbally from the LXX.

61 It does not seem of much consequence whether we read perilambanetai with Forbes and the mss., and treat it as of the middle voice, or perilambanei ti with the Paris Editt. The reading perilambanetai, taken passively, obscures the sense of the passage.

62 Otherwise chap. xvii. The title in the Bodleian ms. of the Latin Version is:-"That the excellence of man does not consist in the fact that, according to philosophers, he is made after the image of the world, but in the fact that he is made in the image of God, and how he is made in the image of God."

63 Gen. i. 26.

64 Gen. i. 27.

65 Gen. i. 27.

66 Cf. Gal. iii. 28.

67 Gen. i. 27.

68 Gen. i. 27.

69 Gen. i. 27.

70 Cf. S. Matt. xxii. 20, Matt. xxii. 21.

71 Hist. Sus. 42.

72 The punctuation followed by Forbes here does not seem to give a good sense, and also places S. Gregory in the position of formally stating that one passage of Genesis contradicts another. By substituting an interrogation after h istoria fhsin, the sense given is this:-we know from a later statement in Genesis that the name Adam was given "in the day that they were created" (Gen. v. 2), but here the name given is general, not particular. There must be a reason for this, and the reason is, that the race of man, and not the individual, is that spoken of as "created in the image of God." With this view that all humanity is included in the first creation may be compared a passage near the end of the De Anima, where the first man is compared to a full ear of corn, afterwards "divided into a multitude of bare grain."

73 With this passage, again, may be compared the teaching of the De Anima on the subject of the Resurrection.

74 The explanation of the reason, however, is deferred; see xvii 4.

75 Otherwise Chap. xviii. The Bodleian ms. of the Latin version has the title:-"Against those who say that sin was a nseful introduction for the propagation of the human race; and that by sin it deserved animal generation."

76 S. Luke xx. 35, Luke xx. 36.

77 Ps viii. 6.

78 Ps. xlix. 13 (LXX.)

79 Otherwise Chap. xix. The Bodleian ms. of the Latin version has the title:-"That our other passions also are common to us and to the irrational animals, and that by the restraint of them we are said to be like to God."

80 Reading with Forbes diaglufouj. The reading diglufouj of the earlier editt. gives a better sense, but is not supported by any of Forbes' mss.

81 Col. iii. 2.

82 Rom. xiv. 17.

83 S. Matt. iv. 4.

84 Otherwise Chap. xx. The Bodleian ms. of the Latin version has the title:-"How the food ought to be understood with which man was fed in Paradise and from which he was prohibited."

85 Prov. ix. 5.

86 Cf. Is. xii. 3.

87 Gen. ii. 16.

88 Ps. xxxvii. 4.

89 Prov. iii. 18.

90 Otherwise Chap. xxi. The Bodleian ms. of the Latin version gives as the title:-"Why Scripture calls the tree, `the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


91 The reference is to Gen. ii. 9 (in LXX.), where the tree is called, to culon tou eidenai gnwston kalou kai ponhrou. S. Gregory proceeds to ascertain the exact meaning of the word gnwston in the text; the eating is the "knowing," but what is "knowing"? He answers, "desiring."

92 Cf. Heb. v. 14.

93 1 Thess v. 21.

94 Cf. 1 Cor. ii. 15.

95 2 Tim. ii. 19.

96 Ex. xxxiii. 12 (LXX.).

97 S. Matt. vii. 23.

98 1 Tim. vi. 10.

99 Gen. iii. 5, Gen. iii. 6 (LXX.).

100 Ps. cxliv. 4 (LXX.).

101 Otherwise Chap. xxii. The Bodleian ms. of the Latin version gives as the title:-"That the Divine counsel is immutable."