Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.53 On the resurrection Part 2

Online Resource Library

Commentary Index | Return to | Download

Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.53 On the resurrection Part 2

TOPIC: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 25.01.53 On the resurrection Part 2

Other Subjects in this Topic:

Upon this I recurred to the definition which she had previously given of the soul, and I said that to my thinking her definition had not indicatedhyperlink distinctly enough all the powers of the soul which are a matter of observation. It declares the soul to be an intellectual essence which imparts to the organic body a force of life by which the senses operate. Now the soul is not thus operative only in our scientific and speculative intellect; it does not produce results in that world only, or employ the organs of sense only for this their natural work. On the contrary, we observe in our nature many emotions of desire and many of anger; and both these exist in us as qualities of our kind, and we see both of them in their manifestations displaying further many most subtle differences. There are many states, for instance, which are occasioned by desire; many others which on the other hand proceed from anger; and none of them are of the body; but that which is not of the body is plainly intellectual. Nowhyperlink our definition exhibits the soul as something intellectual; so that one of two alternatives, both absurd, must emerge when we follow out this view to this end; either anger and desire are both second souls in us, and a plurality of souls must take the place of the single soul, or the thinking faculty in us cannot be regarded as a soul either (if they are not), the intellectual element adhering equally to all of them and stamping them all as souls, or else excluding every one of them equally from the specific qualities of soul.

You are quite justified, she replied, in raising this question, and it has ere this been discussed by many elsewhere; namely, what we are to think of the principle of desire and the principle of anger within us. Are they consubstantial with the soul, inherent in the soul's very self from her first organizationhyperlink , or are they something different, accruing to us afterwards? In fact, while all equally allow that these principles are to be detected in the soul, investigation has not yet discovered exactly what we are to think of them so as to gain some fixed belief with regard to them. The generality of men still fluctuate in their opinions about this, which are as erroneous as they are numerous. As for ourselves, if the Gentile philosophy, which deals methodically with all these points, were really adequate for a demonstration, it would certainly be superfluous to addhyperlink a discussion on the soul to those speculations. But while the latter proceeded, on the subject of the soul, as far in the direction of supposed consequences as the thinker pleased, we are not entitled to such licence, I mean that of affirming what we please; we make the Holy Scriptures the rule and the measure of every tenet; we necessarily fix our eyes upon that, and approve that alone which may be made to harmonize with the intention of those writings. We must therefore neglect the Platonic chariot and the pair of horses of dissimilar forces yoked to it, and their driver, whereby the philosopher allegorizes these facts about the soul; we must neglect also all that is said by the philosopher who succeeded him and who followed out probabilities by rules of arthyperlink , and diligently investigated the very question now before us, declaring that the soul was mortalhyperlink by reason of these two principles; we must neglect all before and since their time, whether they philosophized in prose or in verse, and we will adopt, as the guide of our reasoning, the Scripture, which lays it down as an axiom that there is no excellence in the soul which is not a property as well of the Divine nature. For he who declares the soul to be God's likeness asserts that anything foreign to Him is outside the limits of the soul; similarity cannot be retained in those qualities which are diverse from the original. Since, then, nothing of the kind we are considering is included in the conception of the Divine nature, one would be reasonable in surmising that such things are not consubstantial with the soul either. Now to seek to build up our doctrine by rule of dialectic and the science which draws and destroys conclusions, involves a species of discussion which we shall ask to be excused from, as being a weak and questionable way of demonstrating truth. Indeed, it is clear to every one that that subtle dialectic possesses a force that may be turned both ways, as well for the overthrow of truthhyperlink as for the detection of falsehood; and so we begin to suspect even truth itself when it is advanced in company with such a kind of artifice, and to think that the very ingenuity of it is trying to bias our judgment and to upset the truth. If on the other hand any one will accept a discussion which is in a naked unsyllogistic form, we will speak upon these points by making our study of them so far as we can follow the chainhyperlink of Scriptural tradition. What is it, then, that we assert? We say that the fact of the reasoning animal man being capable of understanding and knowing is most surelyhyperlink attested by those outside our faith; and that this definition would never have sketched our nature so, if it had viewed anger and desire and all such-like emotions as consubstantial with that nature. In any other case, one would not give a definition of the subject in hand by putting a generic instead of a specific quality; and so, as the principle of desire and the principle of anger are observed equally in rational and irrational natures, one could not rightly mark the specific quality by means of this generic one. But how can that which, in defining a nature, is superfluous and worthy of exclusion be treated as a part of that nature, and, so, available for falsifying the definition? Every definition of an essence looks to the specific quality of the subject in hand; and whatever is outside that speciality is set aside as having nothing to do with the required definition. Yet, beyond question, these faculties of anger and desire are allowed to be common to all reasoning and brute natures; anything common is not identical with that which is peculiar; it is imperative therefore that we should not range these faculties amongst those whereby humanity is exclusively meant: but just as one may perceive the principlehyperlink of sensation, and that of nutrition and growth in man, and yet not shake thereby the given definition of his soul (for the quality A being in the soul does not prevent the quality B being in it too), so, when one detects in humanity these emotions of anger and desire, one cannot on that account fairly quarrel with this definition, as if it fell short of a full indication of man's nature.

What then, I asked the Teacher, are we to think about this? For I cannot yet see how we can fitly repudiate faculties which are actually within us.

You see, she replied, there is a battle of the reason with them and a struggle to rid the soul of them; and there are men in whom this struggle has ended in success; it was so with Moses, as we know; he was superior both to anger and to desire; the history testifying of him in both respects, that he was meek beyond all men (and by meekness it indicates the absence of all anger and a mind quite devoid of resentment), and that he desired none of those things about which we see the desiring faculty in the generality so active. This could not have been so, if these faculties were nature, and were referable to the contents of man's essencehyperlink . For it is impossible for one who has come quite outside of his nature to be in Existence at all. But if Moses was at one and the same time in Existence and not in these conditions, thenhyperlink it follows that these conditions are something other than nature and not nature itself. For if, on the one hand, that is truly nature in which the essence of the being is found, and, on the other, the removal of these conditions is in our power, so that their removal not only does no harm, but is even beneficial to the nature, it is clear that these conditions are to be numbered amongst externals, and are affections, rather than the essence, of the nature; for the essence is that thing only which it is. As for anger, most think it a fermenting of the blood round the heart; others an eagerness to inflict pain in return for a previous pain; we would take it to be the impulse to hurt one who has provoked us. But none of these accounts of it tally with the definition of the soul. Again, if we were to define what desire is in itself, we should call it a seeking for that which is wanting, or a longing for pleasurable enjoyment, or a pain at not possessing that upon which the heart is set, or a state with regard to some pleasure which there is no opportunity of enjoying. These and such-like descriptions all indicate desire, but they have no connection with the definition of the soul. But it is so with regard to all those other conditions also which we see to have some relation to the soul, those, I mean, which are mutually opposed to each other, such as cowardice and courage, pleasure and pain, fear and contempt, and so on; each of them seems akin to the principle of desire or to that of anger, while they have a separate definition to mark their own peculiar nature. Courage and contempt, for instance, exhibit a certain phase of the irascible impulse; the dispositions arising from cowardice and fear exhibit on the other hand a diminution and weakening of that same impulse. Pain, again, draws its material both from anger and desire. For the impotence of anger, which consists in not being able to punish one who has first given pain, becomes itself pain; and the despair of getting objects of desire and the absence of things upon which the heart is set create in the mind this same sullen state. Moreover, the opposite to pain, I mean the sensation of pleasurehyperlink , like pain, divides itself between anger and desire; for pleasure is the leading motive of them both. All these conditions, I say, have some relation to the soul, and yet they are not the soulhyperlink , but only like warts growing out of the soul's thinking part, which are reckoned as parts of it because they adhere to it, and yet are not that actual thing which the soul is in its essence.

And yet, I rejoined to the virgin, we see no slight help afforded for improvement to the virtuous from all these conditions. Daniel's desire was his glory; and Phineas' anger pleased the Deity. We have been told, too, that fear is the beginning of wisdom, and learnt from Paul that salvation is the goal of the "sorrow after a godly sort." The Gospel bids us have a contempt for danger; and the "not being afraid with any amazement" is nothing else but a describing of courage, and this last is numbered by Wisdom amongst the things that are good. In all this Scripture shows that such conditions are not to be considered weaknesses; weaknesses would not have been so employed for putting virtue into practice.

I think, replied the Teacher, that I am myself responsible for this confusion arising from different accounts of the matter; for I did not state it as distinctly as I might have, by introducing a certain order of consequences for our consideration. Now, however, some such order shall, as far as it is possible, be devised, so that our essay may advance in the way of logical sequence and so give no room for such contradictions. We declare, then, that the speculative, critical, and world-surveying faculty of the soul is its peculiar property by virtue of its very naturehyperlink , and that thereby the soul preserves within itself the image of the divine grace; since our reason surmises that divinity itself, whatever it may be in its inmost nature, is manifested in these very things,-universal supervision and the critical discernment between good and evil. But all those elements of the soul which lie on the border-landhyperlink and are capable from their peculiar nature of inclining to either of two opposites (whose eventual determination to the good or to the bad depends on the kind of use they are put to), anger, for instance, and fear, and any other such-like emotion of the soul divested of which human naturehyperlink cannot be studied-all these we reckon as accretions from without, because in the Beauty which is man's prototype no such characteristics are to be found. Now let the following statementhyperlink be offered as a mere exercise (in interpretation). I pray that it may escape the sneers of cavilling hearers. Scripture informs us that the Deity proceeded by a sort of graduated and ordered advance to the creation of man. After the foundations of the universe were laid, as the history records, man did not appear on the earth at once; but the creation of the brutes preceded his, and the plants preceded them. Thereby Scripture shows that the vital forces blended with the world of matter according to a gradation; first, it infused itself into insensate nature; and in continuation of this advanced into the sentient world; and then ascended to intelligent and rational beings. Accordingly, while all existing things must be either corporeal or spiritual, the former are divided into the animate and inanimate. By animate, I mean possessed of life: and of the things possessed of life, some have it with sensation, the rest have no sensation. Again, of these sentient things, some have reason, the rest have not. Seeing, then, that this life of sensation could not possibly exist apart from the matter which is the subject of it, and the intellectual life could not be embodied, either, without growing in the sentient, on this account the creation of man is related as coming last, as of one who took up into himself every single form of life, both that of plants and that which is seen in brutes. His nourishment and growth he derives from vegetable life; for even in vegetables such processes are to be seen when aliment is being drawn in by their roots and given off in fruit and leaves. His sentient organization he derives from the brute creation. But his faculty of thought and reason is incommunicablehyperlink , and is a peculiar gift in our nature, to be considered by itself. However, just as this nature has the instinct acquisitive of the necessaries to material existence-an instinct which, when manifested in us men, we call Appetite-and as we admit this appertains to the vegetable form of life, since we can notice it there too like so many impulses working naturally to satisfy themselves with their kindred aliment and to issue in germination, so all the peculiar conditions of the brute creation are blended with the intellectual part of the soul. To them, she continued, belongs anger; to them belongs fear; to them all those other opposing activities within us; everything except the faculty of reason and thought. That alone, the choice product, as has been said, of all our life, bears the stamp of the Divine character. But since, according to the view which we have just enunciated, it is not possible for this reasoning faculty to exist in the life of the body without existing by means of sensations, and since sensation is already found subsisting in the brute creation, necessarily as it were, by reason of this one condition, our soul has touch with the other things which are knit up with ithyperlink ; and these are all those phaenomena within us that we call "passions"; which have not been allotted to human nature for any bad purpose at all (for the Creator would most certainly be the author of evil, if in them, so deeply rooted as they are in our nature, any necessities of wrong-doing were found), but according to the use which our free will puts them to, these emotions of the soul become the instruments of virtue or of vice. They are like the iron which is being fashioned according to the volition of the artificer, and receives whatever shape the idea which is in his mind prescribes, and becomes a sword or some agricultural implement. Supposing, then, that our reason, which is our nature's choicest part, holds the dominion over these imported emotions (as Scripture allegorically declares in the command to men to rule over the brutes), none of them will be active in the ministry of evil; fear will only generate within us obediencehyperlink , and anger fortitude, and cowardice caution; and the instinct of desire will procure for us the delight that is Divine and perfect. But if reason drops the reins and is dragged behind like a charioteer who has got entangled in his car, then these instincts are changed into fierceness, just as we see happens amongst the brutes. For since reason does not preside over the natural impulses that are implantedhyperlink in them, the more irascible animals, under the generalship of their anger, mutually destroy each other; while the bulky and powerful animals get no good themselves from their strength, but become by their want of reason slaves of that which has reason. Neither are the activities of their desire for pleasure employed on any of the higher objects; nor does any other instinct to be observed in them result in any profit to themselves. Thus too, with ourselves, if these instincts are not turned by reasoning into the right direction, and if our feelings get the mastery of our mind, the man is changed from a reasoning into an unreasoning being, and from godlike intelligence sinks by the force of these passions to the level of the brute.

Much moved by these words, I said: To any one who reflects indeed, your exposition, advancing as it does in this consecutive manner, though plain and unvarnished, bears sufficiently upon it the stamp of correctness and hits the truth. And to those who are expert only in the technical methods of proof a mere demonstration suffices to convince; but as for ourselves, we were agreedhyperlink that there is something more trustworthy than any of these artificial conclusions, namely, that which the teachings of Holy Scripture point to: and so I deem that it is necessary to inquire, in addition to what has been said, whether this inspired teaching harmonizes with it all.

And who, she replied, could deny that truth is to be found only in that upon which the seal of Scriptural testimony is set? So, if it is necessary that something from the Gospels should be adduced in support of our view, a study of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares will not be here out of place. The Householder there sowed good seed; (and we are plainly the "house"). But the "enemy," having watched for the time when men slept, sowed that which was useless in that which was good for food, setting the tares in the very middle of the wheat. The two kinds of seed grew up together; for it was not possible that seed put into the very middle of the wheat should fail to grow up with it. But the Superintendent of the field forbids the servants to gather up the useless crop, on account of their growing at the very root of the contrary sort; so as not to root uphyperlink the nutritious along with that foreign growth. Now we think that Scripture means by the good seed the corresponding impulses of the soul, each one of which, if only they are cultured for good, necessarily puts forth the fruit of virtue within us. But since there has been scatteredhyperlink amongst these the bad seed of the error of judgment as to the true Beauty which is alone in its intrinsic nature such, and since this last has been thrown into the shade by the growth of delusion which springs up along with it (for the active principle of desire does not germinate and increase in the direction of that natural Beauty which was the object of its being sown in us, but it has changed its growth so as to move towards a bestial and unthinking states, this very error as to Beauty carrying its impulse towards this result; and in the same way the seed of anger does not steel us to be brave, but only arms us to fight with our own people; and the power of loving deserts its intellectual objects and becomes completely mad for the immoderate enjoyment of pleasures of sense; and so in like manner our other affections put forth the worse instead of the better growths),-on account of this the wise Husbandman leaves this growth that has been introduced amongst his seed to remain there, so as to secure our not being altogether stripped of better hopes by desire having been rooted out along with that good-for-nothing growth. If our nature suffered such a mutilation, what will there be to lift us up to grasp the heavenly delights? If love is taken from us, how shall we be united to God? If anger is to be extinguished, what arms shall we possess against the adversary? Therefore the Husbandman leaves those bastard seeds within us, not for them always to overwhelm the more precious crop, but in order that the land itself (for so, in his allegory, he calls the heart) by its native inherent power, which is that of reasoning, may wither up the one growth and may render the other fruitful and abundant: but if that is not done, then he commissions the fire to mark the distinction in the crops. If, then, a man indulges these affections in a due proportion and holds them in his own power instead of being held in theirs, employing them for an instrument as a king does his subjects' many hands, then efforts towards excellence more easily succeed for him. But should he become theirs, and, as when any slaves mutiny against their master, get enslavedhyperlink by those slavish thoughts and ignominiously bow before them; a prey to his natural inferiors, he will be forced to turn to those employments which his imperious masters command. This being so, we shall not pronounce these emotions of the soul, which lie in the power of their possessors for good or ill, to be either virtue or vice. But, whenever their impulse is towards what is noble, then they become matter for praise, as his desire did to Daniel, and his anger to Phineas, and their grief to those who nobly mourn. But if they incline to baseness, then these are, and they are called, bad passions.

She ceased after this statement and allowed the discussion a short interval, in which I reviewed mentally all that had been said; and reverting to that former course of proof in her discourse, that it was not impossible that the soul after the body's dissolution should reside in its atoms, I again addressed her. Where is that much-talked-of and renowned Hadeshyperlink , then? The word is in frequent circulation both in the intercourse of daily life, and in the writings of the heathens and in our own; and all think that into it, as into a place of safe-keeping, souls migrate from here. Surely you would not call your atoms that Hades.

Clearly, replied the Teacher, you have not quite attended to the argument. In speaking of the soul's migration from the seen to the unseen, I thought I had omitted nothing as regards the question about Hades. It seems to me that, whether in the heathen or in the Divine writings, this word for a place in which souls are said to be means nothing else but a transition to that Unseen world of which we have no glimpse.

And how, then, I asked, is it that some think that by the underworldhyperlink is meant an actual place, and that it harbours within itselfhyperlink the souls that have at last flitted away from human life, drawing them towards itself as the right receptacle for such natures?

Well, replied the Teacher, our doctrine will be in no ways injured by such a supposition. For if it is true, what you sayhyperlink , and also that the vault of heaven prolongs itself so uninterruptedly that it encircles all things with itself, and that the earth and its surroundings are poised in the middle, and that the motion of all the revolving bodieshyperlink is round this fixed and solid centre, then, I say, there is an absolute necessity that, whatever may happen to each one of the atoms on the upper side of the earth, the same will happen on the opposite side, seeing that one single substance encompasses its entire bulk. As, when the sun shines above the earth, the shadow is spread over its lower part, because its spherical shape makes it impossible for it to be clasped all round at one and the same time by the rays, and necessarily, on whatever side the sun's rays may fall on some particular point of the globe, if we follow a straight diameter, we shall find shadow upon the opposite point, and so, continuously, at the opposite end of the direct line of the rays shadow moves round that globe, keeping pace with the sun, so that equally in their turn both the upper half and the under half of the earth are in light and darkness; so, by this analogy, we have reason to be certain that, whatever in our hemisphere is observed to befall the atoms, the same will befall them in that other. The environment of the atoms being one and the same on every side of the earth, I deem it right neither to contradict nor yet to favour those who raise the objection that we must regard either this or the lower region as assigned to the souls released. As long as this objection does not shake our central doctrine of the existence of those souls after the life in the flesh, there need be no controversy about the whereabouts to our mind, holding as we do that place is a property of body only, and that soul, being immaterial, is by no necessity of its nature detained in any place.

But what, I asked, if your opponent should shield himselfhyperlink behind the Apostle, where he says that every reasoning creature, in the restitution of all things, is to look towards Him Who presides over the whole? In that passage in the Epistle to the Philippianshyperlink he makes mention of certain things that are "under the earth" "every knee shall bow" to Him "of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth."

We shall stand by our doctrine, answered the Teacher, even if we should hear them adducing these words. For the existence of the soul (after death) we have the assent of our opponent, and so we do not make an objection as to the place, as we have just said.

But if some were to ask the meaning of the Apostle in this utterance, what is one to say? Would you remove all signification of place from the passage?

I do not think, she replied, that the divine Apostle divided the intellectual world into localities, when he named part as in heaven, part as on earth, and part as under the earth.There are three states in which reasoning creatures can be: one from the very first received an immaterial life, and we call it the angelic: another is in union with the flesh, and we call it the human: a third is released by death from fleshly entanglements, and is to be found in souls pure and simple. Now I think that the divine Apostle in his deep wisdom looked to this, when he revealed the future concord of all these reasoning beings in the work of goodness; and that he puts the unembodied angel-world "in heaven," and that still involved with a body "on earth," and that released from a body "under the earth"; or, indeed, if there is any other world to be classed under that which is possessed of reason (it is not left out); and whether any one choose to call this last "demons" or "spirits," or anything else of the kind, we shall not care. We certainly believe, both because of the prevailing opinion, and still more of Scripture teaching, that there exists another world of beings besides, divested of such bodies as ours are, who are opposed to that which is good and are capable of hurting the lives of men, having by an act of will lapsed from the nobler viewhyperlink , and by this revolt from goodness personified in themselves the contrary principle; and this world is what, some say, the Apostle adds to the number of the "things under the earth," signifying in that passage that when evil shall have been some day annihilated in the long revolutions of the ages, nothing shall be left outside the world of goodness, but that even from those evil spiritshyperlink shall rise in harmony the confession of Christ's Lordship. If this is so, then no one can compel us to see any spot of the underworld in the expression, "things under the earth"; the atmosphere spreads equally over every part of the earth, and there is not a single corner of it left unrobed by this circumambient air.

When she had finished, I hesitated a moment, and then said: I am not yet satisfied about the thing which we have been inquiring into; after all that has been said my mind is still in doubt; and I beg that our discussion may be allowed to revert to the same line of reasoning as beforehyperlink , omitting only that upon which we are thoroughly agreed. I say this, for I think that all but the most stubborn controversialists will have been sufficiently convinced by our debate not to consign the soul after the body's dissolution to annihilation and nonentity, nor to argue that because it differs substantially from the atoms it is impossible for it to exist anywhere in the universe; for, however much a being that is intellectual and immaterial may fail to coincide with these atoms, it is in no ways hindered (so far) from existing in them; and this belief of ours rests on two facts: firstly, on the soul's existing in our bodies in this present life, though fundamentally different from them: and secondly, on the fact that the Divine being, as our argument has shown, though distinctly something other than visible and material substances, nevertheless pervades each one amongst all existences, and by this penetration of the whole keeps the world in a state of being; so that following these analogies we need not think that the soul, either, is out of existence, when she passes from the world of forms to the Unseen. But how, I insisted, after the united whole of the atoms has assumedhyperlink , owing to their mixing together, a form quite different-the form in fact with which the soul has been actually domesticated-by what mark, when this form, as we should have expected, is effaced along with the resolution of the atoms, shall the soul follow along (them), now that that familiar form ceases to persist?

She waited a moment and then said: Give me leave to invent a fanciful simile in order to illustrate the matter before us: even though that which I suppose may be outside the range of possibility. Grant it possible, then, in the art of painting not only to mix opposite colours, as painters are always doing, to represent a particular tinthyperlink , but also to separate again this mixture and to restore to each of the colours its natural dye. If then white, or black, or red, or golden colour, or any other colour that has been mixed to form the given tint, were to be again separated from that union with another and remain by itself, we suppose that our artist will none the less remember the actual nature of that colour, and that in no case will he show forgetfulness, either of the red, for instance, or the black, if after having become quite a different colour by composition with each other they each return to their natural dye. We suppose, I say, that our artist remembers the manner of the mutual blending of these colours, and so knows what sort of colour was mixed with a given colour and what sort of colour was the result, and how, the other colour being ejected from the composition, (the original colour) in consequence of such release resumed its own peculiar hue; and, supposing it were required to produce the same result again by composition, the process will be all the easier from having been already practised in his previous work. Now, if reason can see any analogy in this simile, we must search the matter in hand by its light. Let the soul stand for this Art of the painterhyperlink ; and let the natural atoms stand for the colours of his art; and let the mixture of that tint compounded of the various dyes, and the return of these to their native state (which we have been allowed to assume), represent respectively the concourse, and the separation of the atoms. Then, as we assume in the simile that the painter's Art tells him the actual dye of each colour, when it has returned after mixing to its proper hue, so that he has an exact knowledge of the red, and of the black, and of any other colour that went to form the required tint by a specific way of uniting with another kind-a knowledge which includes its appearance both in the mixture, and now when it is in its natural state, and in the future again, supposing all the colours were mixed over again in like fashion-so, we assert, does the soul know the natural peculiarities of those atoms whose concourse makes the frame of the body in which it has itself grown, even after the scattering of those atoms. However far from each other their natural propensity and their inherent forces of repulsion urge them, and debar each from mingling with its opposite, none the less will the soul be near each by its power of recognition, and will persistently cling to the familiar atoms, until their concourse after this division again takes place in the same way, for that fresh formation of the dissolved body which will properly be, and be called, resurrection.

You seem, I interrupted, in this passing remark to have made an excellent defence of the faith in the Resurrection. By it, I think, the opponents of this doctrine might be gradually led to consider it not as a thing absolutely impossible that the atoms should again coalesce and form the same man as before.

That is very true, the Teacher replied. For we may hear these opponents urging the following difficulty. "The atoms are resolved, like to like, into the universe; by what device, then, does the warmth, for instance, residing in such and such a man, after joining the universal warmth, again dissociate itself from this connection with its kindredhyperlink , so as to form this man who is being `remoulded'? For if the identical individual particle does not return and only something that is homogeneous but not identical is fetched, you will have something else in the place of that first thing, and such a process will cease to be a resurrection and will be merely the creation of a new man. But if the same man is to return into himself, he must be the same entirely, and regain his original formation in every single atom of his elements."

Then to meet such an objection, I rejoined, the above opinion about the soul will, as I said, avail; namely, that she remains after dissolution in those very atoms in which she first grew up, and, like a guardian placed over private property, does not abandon them when they are mingled with their kindred atoms, and by the subtle ubiquity of her intelligence makes no mistake about them, with all their subtle minuteness, but diffuses herself along with those which belong to herself when they are being mingled with their kindred dust, and suffers no exhaustion in keeping up with the whole number of them when they stream back into the universe, but remains with them, no matter in what direction or in what fashion Nature may arrange them. But should the signal be given by the All-disposing Power for these scattered atoms to combine again, then, just as when every one of the various ropes that hang from one block answer at one and the same momenthyperlink to the pull from that centre, so, following this force of the soul which acts upon the various atoms, all these, once so familiar with each other, rush simultaneously together and form the cable of the body by means of the soul, each single one of them being wedded to its former neighbour and embracing an old acquaintance.

The following illustration also, the Teacher went on, might be very properly added to those already brought forward, to show that the soul has not need of much teaching in order to distinguish its own from the alien amongst the atoms. Imagine a potter with a supply of clay;and let the supply be a large one; and let part of it have been already moulded to form finished vessels, while the rest is still waiting to be moulded; and suppose the vessels themselves not to be all of similar shape, but one to be a jug, for instance, and another a wine-jar, another a plate, another a cup or any other useful vessel; and further, let not one owner possess them all, but let us fancy for each a special owner. Now as long as these vessels are unbroken they are of course recognizable by their owners, and none the less so, even should they be broken in pieces; for from those pieces each will know, for instance, that this belongs to a jarhyperlink , and, again, what sort of fragment belongs to a cup. And if they are plunged again into the unworked clay, the discernment between what has been already worked and that clay will be a more unerring one still. The individual man is as such a vessel; he has been moulded out of the universal matter, owing to the concourse of his atoms; and he exhibits in a form peculiarly his own a marked distinction from his kind; and when that form has gone to pieces the soul that has been mistress of this particular vessel will have an exact knowledge of it, derived even from its fragments; nor will she leave this property, either, in the common blending with all the other fragments, or if it be plunged into the still formless part of the matter from which the atoms have comehyperlink ; she always remembers her own as it was when compact in bodily form, and after dissolution she never makes any mistake about it, led by marks still clinging to the remains.

I applauded this as well devised to bring out the natural features of the case before us; and I said: It is very well to speak like this and to believe that it is so; but suppose some one were to quote against it our Lord's narrative about those who are in hell, as not harmonizing with the results of our inquiry, how are we to be prepared with an answer?

The Teacher answered: The expressions of that narrative of the Word are certainly material; but still many hints are interspersed in it to rouse the skilled inquirer to a more discriminating study of it. I mean that He Who parts the good from the bad by a great gulf, and makes the man in torment crave for a drop to be conveyed by a finger, and the man who has been ill-treated in this life rest on a patriarch's bosom, and Who relates their previous death and consignment to the tomb, takes an intelligent searcher of His meaning far beyond a superficial interpretation. For what sort of eyes has the447Rich Man to lift up in hell, when he has left his bodily eyes in that tomb? And how can a disembodied spirit feel any flame? And what sort of tongue can he crave to be cooled with the drop of water, when he has lost his tongue of flesh? What is the finger that is to convey to him this drop? What sort of place is the "bosom" of repose? The bodies of both of them are in the tomb, and their souls are dis-embodied, and do not consist of parts either; and so it is impossible to make the framework of the narrative correspond with the truth, if we understand it literally; we can do that only by translating each detail into an equivalent in the world of ideas. Thus we must think of the gulf as that which parts ideas which may not be confounded from running together, not as a chasm of the earth. Such a chasm, however vast it were, could be traversed with no difficulty by a disembodied intelligence; since intelligence can in no timehyperlink be wherever it will.


36 endedeixqai. Gregory constantly uses endeiknusqai (middle) transitively, e. g. 202 C, 203 A, C, 208 B, and above, 189 A, so that it is possible that we have here, in the passive form, a deponent (transitive) perfect; moreover the sense seems to require it. Gregory objects that in what has been said all the powers which analysis finds in the soul have not been set forth with sufficient fulness: an exhaustive account of them has not been given; and he immediately proceeds to name other dunameij and energeiai which have not been taken into consideration. That this view of the passage is correct is further shown by 202 C, where, the present objection having been treated at length, it is concluded that there is no real ground for quarrelling with the definition of soul wj elleipwj endeicamenw thn fusin. Krahinger therefore is right in dropping ennooumenw, which two of his mss. exhibit, and which Sifanus translates as governing taj <\=85_dunameij, as if the sense were, "When I consider all the powers of the soul, I do not think that your definition bas been made good."

37 The syllogism implied in the following words is this:-

The emotions are something intellectual (because incorporeal).

Therefore the emotions are soul (or souls).

This conclusion is obviously false; logically, by reason of the fallacy of "the undistributed middle"; ontologically, because it requires a false premise additional (i. e. "everything intellectual is soul") to make it true. Macrina directly after this piece of bad logic deprecates the use of the syllogism. Is this accidental? It looks almost like an excuse for not going into technicalities and exposing this fallacy, which she has detected in her opponent's statement. Macrina actually answers as if Gregory had urged his objection thus. "The emotions are not purely intellectual, but are conditioned by the bodily organism: but they do belong to the expression and the substance of the soul: the soul therefore is dependent on the organism and will perish along with it."

38 para thn prwthn (i.e. wran understood). This is the reading of all the Codd. for the faulty para thn authn of the Editions.

39 prostiqenai. Sifanus translates "illorum commentationi de anima adjicere sermonem," which Krabinger wonders at. The Greek could certainly bear this meaning: but perhaps the other reading is better, i. e. protiqenai, "to propose for consideration."

40 i. e. the syllogism.

41 that the soul was mortal. Aristotle, guided only by probabilities as discoverable by the syllogism, does indeed define the soul, "the first entelechy of a physical, potentially living, and organic body." Entelechy is more than mere potentiality: it is "developed force" ("dormant activity;" see W. Archer Butler's Lectures, ii. p. 393), capable of manifestation. The human soul, uniting in itself all the faculties of the other orders of animate existence; is a Microcosm. The other parts of the soul are inseparable from the body, and are hence perishable (De Anima, ii. 2); but the nouj exists before the body, into which it enters from without as something divine and immortal (De Gen. Animal. ii. 3). But he makes a distinction between the form-receiving, and the form-giving nouj: substantial eternal existence belongs only to the latter (De Anima, iii. 5). The secret of the difference between him and Plato, with whom "all the soul is immortal" (Phaedrus, p. 245 C), lies in this; that Plato regarded the soul as always in motion, while Aristotle denied it, in itself, any motion at all. "It is one of the things that are impossible that motion should exist in it" (De Anima, i. 4). It cannot be moved at all; therefore it cannot move itself. Plotinus and Porphyry, as well as Nemesius the Platonizing Bishop of Emesa (whose treatise De Anima is wrongly attributed to Gregory), attacked this teaching of an "entelechy." Cf. also Justin Martyr (ad Graec. cohort, c. 6, p. 12); "Plato declares that all the soul is immortal; Aristotle calls her an `entelechy,

0' and not immortal. The one says she is ever-moving, the other that she is never-moving, but prior to all motion." Also Gregory Naz., Orat. xxvii, "Away with Aristotle's calculating Providence, and his art of logic, and his dead reasonings about the soul, and purely human doctrine!"

42 for the overthrow of the truth. So c. Eunom. iii. (ii. 500).

43 eirmon.

44 most surely, h. This is the common reading: but the Codd. have mostly kai.

45 Aristotle, Ethic. i. 13, dwells upon these principles. Of the last he says, i. e. the common vegetative, the principle of nutrition and growth: "One would assume such a power of the soul in everything that grows, even in the embryo, and just this very same power in the perfect creatures; for this is more likely than that it should be a different one." Sleep, in which this power almost alone is active, levels all.

46 ousia.

47 It is best to keep ara: ara is Krabinger's correction from four Codd.: and he reads o for ei above: but only one class of Codd. support these alterations.

48 I mean the sensation of pleasure. This (nohma) is Krabinger's reading: but Oehler reads from his Codd. noshma: and H. Schmidt suggests kinhma, comparing (205 A) below, "any other such-like emotion of the soul."

49 have some relation to the soul, and yet they are not the soul. Macrina does not mean that the Passions are altogether severed from the soul, as the following shows: and so Oehler cannot be right in reading and translating "Das Alles hat nichts mir der Seele zu schaffen." The Greek peri thn yuxhn is to be parallelled by oi peri ton Periklea, "Pericles' belongings," or "party"; passing, in later Greek, almost into "Pericles himself."

50 Reading kata fusin authn, kai thj qeoeidouj xaritoj, k. t. l. with Sifanus.

51 osa de thj yuxhj en meqoriw keitai. Moller (Gregorii Nysseni doctrina de hominis natura) remarks rightly that Krabinger's translation is here incorrect: "quaecunque autem in animae confinio posita sunt"; and that thj yuxhj should on the contrary be joined closely to osa. The opposition is not between elements which lie in, and on the confines of the soul, but between the divine and adventitious elements within the soul: meqoriw refers therefore to "good and bad," below.

52 This is no contradiction of the passage above about Moses: there it was stated that the Passions did not belong to the essence (ousia) of man.

53 ode dh. The Teacher introduces this logoj with some reserve. "We do not lay it down ex cathedra, we put it forward as open to challenge and discussion as we might do in the schools (wj en gumnasiw)." It is best then to take diafugoi as a pure optative. Gregory appears in his answer to congratulate her on the success of this "exercise." "To any one that reflects ...your exposition ...bears sufficiently upon it the stamp of correctness, and hits the truth." But he immediately asks for Scripture authority. So that this logoj, though it refers to Genesis, is not yet based upon Scripture. It is a "consecutive" and consistent account of human nature: but it is virtually identical with that advanced at the end of Book I. of Aristotle's Ethics. It is a piece of secular theorizing. The sneers of cavillers may well be deprecated. Consistent, however, with this view of the logoj here offered by Macrina, there is another possible meaning in wj en gumnasiw, k. t. l., i.e. "Let us put forward the following account with all possible care and circumspection, as if we were disputing in the schools; so that cavillers may have nothing to find fault with": wj an expressing purpose, not a wish. The cavillers will thus refer to sticklers for Greek method and metaphysics: and Gregory's congratulation of his sister's lucidity and grasp of the truth will be all the more significant.

54 Following the order and stopping of Krabinger, amikton esti kai idiazon epi tauthj thj fusewj, ef eautou, k. t. l.

55 Reading dia tou enoj kai proj ta sunhmmena toutw (for toutwn), with Sifanus.

56 Cf. De Hom. Opif. c. xviii. 5. "So, 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, &c." Just below, the allusion is to Plato's charioteer, Phaedrus, p. 253 C, and the old custom of having the reins round the driver's waist is to be noticed.

57 are implanted. All the Codd. have egkeimenhj here, instead of the egkwmiazomenhj of the Paris Edition, which must be meant for egkwmazomenhj (itself a vox nihili), "run riot in them."

58 we were agreed. wmologeito: cf. 201 D, "If on the other hand any one will accept a disussion which is in a naked unsyl-logistic form, we will speak upon these points by making our study of them as far as we can follow the chain of Scriptural tradition."

59 There is a variety of readings from the Codd. here; sunegkataleih, sunektalh, sunektaleih, snektalaih, sugkataluh: in two (and on the margins of two others), sunektilh, which Krabinger has adopted. The Paris Editt. have ounektinei.

60 parenesparh, the idea of badness being contained in para, which in such cases is always the first compound. One Cod. has the curious inversion enparesparh.

61 ecandrapodisqeih; this is adopted by Krabinger from the Haselman Cod. for the common ec wn drapodisqeih.

62 adou onoma.

63 ton upoxqonion.

64 kakeinon en autw, H. Schmidt's reading, on the authority of 3 Codd. The reading of Krabinger is en eautw te kakeinon. But the underworld is the only habitation in question.-outw legesqai, above, must mean, "is rightly so named."

65 ei gar alhqhj o logoj o kata se, kai to sunexh te proj, k. t. l., Krabinger's reading, following the majority of Codd.; o kata oe being thus opposed to the next words, which others say. But Schmidt points out that the conclusion introduced below by anagkh pasa does not follow at all from the first, but only from the second of these suppositions, and he would await the evidence of fresh Codd. Sifanus and Augentius would read ei kai <\=85_kata se. Tw gar, k. t. l., which would certainly express the sense required.

66 pantwn twn kukloforoumenwn, i. e. the heavenly bodies moving as one (according to the ancient astronomy) round the central earth.

67 proballoito. This is the proper meaning of the middle: "should object," as Oehler translates (einwerfen wollte), would require the active.

68 Philip. ii. 10.

69 lapsed from he nobler view (upolhewj). This is the common reading: but Krabinger prefers lhcewj, which is used by Gregory (De Hom. Opif c. 17, "the sublime angelic lot"). and is a Platonic word. The other word, "lapsed," is also Platonic.

70 from those evil spirits. So Great Catechism, c. 26 (fin.). Here too Gregory follows Origen (c. Cels. vi. 44), who declares that the Powers of evil are for a purpose (in answer to Celsus' objection that the Devil himself, instead of humanity, ought to have been punished). "Now it is a thing which can in no way cause surprise, that the Almighty, Who knows how to use wicked apostates for His own purposes, should assign to such a certain place in the universe, and should thus open an arena, as it were, of virtue, for those to Contend in who wish to "strive lawfully" for her prize: those wicked ones were to try them, as the fire tries the gold, that, having done their utmost to prevent the admission of any alloy into their spiritual nature, and having proved themselves worthy to mount to heaven, they might be drawn by the bands of the Word to the highest blessedness and the summit of all Good." These Powers, as reasoning beings, shall then themselves be "mastered by the word." See c. Cels. viii. 72.

71 The conclusion of which was drawn, 199 C. "Therefore the soul exists in the actual atoms which she has once animated, and there is no force to tear her away from her cohesion with them." It is to the line of reasoning (akolouqia) leading up to this conclusion that Gregory would revert, in order to question this conclusion. What both sides are agreed on is, the existence merely of the soul after death. All between this conclusion and the present break in the discussion has been a digression on the Passions and on Hades. Now Gregory asks, how can the soul possibly recognize the atoms that once belonged to her? Oehler therefore does not translate aright, "ich bitte nut den gef_hrten Beweis derselben Folge zu wiederholen:" but Krabinger expresses the true sense, "ut rursus mihi ad eandem consequentiam reducatur oratio," i. e. the discussion (not the proof), which is here again, almost in Platonic fashion, personified.

72 has assumed, analabontwn. The construction is accommodated to the sense, not the words; thj twn stoixeiwn enwsewj having preceded.

73 tint, morfhj. Certainly in earlier Greek morfh is strictly used of "form," "shape" (or the beauty of it) only, and colours cannot be said to be mixed in imitation of form. It seems we have here a late use of morfh as = "outward appearance"; so that we may even speak of the morfh of a colour, or combinations of colours. So (214 A) the painter "works up (on his palette) a particular tint of colour" (morfhn.) Here it is the particular hue, in person or picture, which it is desired to imitate. Akin to this question is that of the proper translation of proj thn omoiothta tou prokeimenou, which Sifanus and Krabinger translate "ad similitudinem argumenti," and which may either mean (1) "to make the analogy to the subject matter of our question as perfect as possible," i. e. as a parenthesis. or (2) "in imitation of the thing or colour (lying before the painter) to be copied." The last seems preferable ("to form the given tint").

74 grafikhj texnhj.

75 amigej tou suggenouj apokrifhnai. Krabinger's and Oehler's reading. But Krabinger, more correctly than Oehler, opposes en to de to en tw kaf olou (quod est hic calidum, si fuerit in universo): though neither he, nor Oehler, nor Schmidt himself appears to have any suspicion that twde may mean "so and so:" and yet it is quite in accordance with Gregory's usage, and makes better sense, as contrasting the particular and universal heat more completely. =Amigej is proleptic: the genitive may depend either on it or on the verb. Just below anaplassomenon is read by 5 of Krabinger's Codd. (including the Hasselmann). This is better than Migne's apallassomenon, which is hardly supported by 1 Cor. xv. 51.

76 same moment. kata tauton: on the authority of 2 Codd. Mon.

77 Reading oti to men to ek tou pifou, poion de to ek tou pothriou, k. t. l.