The next day, therefore, as Peter was to hold a discussion with Simon, he rose earlier than usual and prayed. On ceasing to pray, Zacchæus I came in, and said: “Simon is seated without, discoursing with about thirty of his own special followers.” And Peter said: “Let him talk until the multitude assemble, and then let us begin the discussion in the following way. We shall hear all that has been said by him, and having fitted our reply to this, we shall go out and discourse.” And assuredly so it happened. Zacchæus, therefore, went out, and not long after entered again, and communicated to Peter the discourse delivered by Simon against him.1
Chap. II. - Simon’s Speech Against Peter.
Now he said: “He accuses you, Peter, of being the servant of wickedness, of having great power in magic, and as charming the souls of men in a way worse than idolatry.2 To prove that you are a magician, he seemed to me to adduce the following evidence, saying: ‘I am conscious of this, that when I come to hold a discussion with him, I do not remember a single word of what I have been meditating on by myself. For while he is discoursing, and my mind is engaged in recollecting what it is that I thought of saying on coming to a conference with him, I do not hear anything whatsoever of what he is saying. Now, since I do not experience this in the presence of any other than in his alone, is it not plain that I am under the influence of his magic? And as to his doctrines being worse than those of idolatry, I can make that quite clear to any one who has understanding. For there is no other benefit than this, that the soul should be freed from images3 of every kind. For when the soul brings an image before its eye, it is bound by fear, and it pines away through anxiety lest it should suffer some calamity; and being altered, it falls under the influence of a demon; and being trader his influence, it seems to the mass to be wise.
Chap. III. - Simon’s Accusation of Peter.
“‘Peter does this to you while promising to make you wise. For, under the pretext of proclaiming one God, he seems to free you from many lifeless images, which do not at all injure those who worship them, because they are seen by the eyes themselves to be made of stone, or brass, or gold, or of some other lifeless material. Wherefore the soul, because it knows that what is seen is nothing, cannot be spell-bound by fear in an equal degree by means of what is visible. But looking to a terrible God through the influence of deceptive teaching, it has all its natural foundations overturned. And I say this, not because I exhort you to worship images, but because Peter, seeming to free your souls from terrible images,4 drives mad the mind of each one of you by a more terrible image, introducing God in a shape, and that, too, a God extremely just, - an image which is accompanied by what is terrible and awful to the contemplative soul, by that which can entirely destroy the energy of a sound mind. For the mind, when in the midst of such a storm, is like the depth stirred by a violent wind, perturbed and darkened. Wherefore, if he comes to benefit you, let him not, while seeming to dissolve your fears which gently proceed from lifeless shapes, introduce in their stead the terrible shape of God. But has God a shape? If He has, He possesses a figure. And if He has a figure, how is He not limited? And if limited, He is in space. But if He is in space, He is less than the space which encloses Him. And if less than anything, how is He greater than all, or superior to all, or the highest of all? This, then, is the state of the case.
Chap. IV. - It Is Asserted That Christ’s Teaching Is Different from Peter’s.
“‘And that he does not really believe even the doctrines proclaimed by his teacher is evident, for he proclaims doctrines opposite to his.5 For he said to some one, as I learn, (Mat_19:17) “Call me not God for the good is one” Now in speaking of the good one, he no longer speaks of that just one,6 whom the Scriptures proclaim, who kills and makes alive, - kills those who sin, and makes alive those who live according to His will. But that he did not really call Him who is the framer of the world good, is plain to any one who can reflect. For the framer of the world was known to Adam whom He had made, and to Enoch who pleased Him, and to Noah who was seen to be just by Him; likewise to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; also to Moses, and the people, and the whole world. But Jesus, the 319 teacher of Peter himself, came and said,7 “No one knew the Father except the Son, as no one knoweth8 even the Son except the Father, and those to whom the Son may wish to reveal Him.” If, then, it was the Son himself who was present, it was from the time of his appearance that he began to reveal to those to whom he wished, Him who was unknown to all. And thus the Father was unknown to all who lived before him, and could not thus be He who was known to all.
Chap. V. - Jesus Inconsistent in His Teaching.
“‘In saying this, Jesus is consistent not even with himself. For sometimes by other utterances, taken from the Scriptures, he presents God as being terrible and just, saying, (Mat_10:28) “Fear not him who killeth the body, but can do nothing to the soul; but fear Him who is able to cast both body and soul into the Gehenna of fire. Yea, I say unto you, fear Him.” But that he asserted that He is really to be feared as being a just God, to whom he says those who receive injustice cry, is shown in a parable of which he gives the interpretation, saying: (Luk_18:6-8) “If, then, the unjust judge did so, because he was continually entreated, how much more will the Father avenge those who cry to Him day and night? Or do you think that, because He bears long with them, He will not do it? Yea, I say to you, He will do it, and that speedily.” Now he who speaks of God as an avenging and rewarding God, presents Him as naturally just, and not as good. Moreover he gives thanks to the Lord of heaven and earth. (Mat_11:25 [Luk_10:21]) But if He is Lord of heaven and earth, He is acknowledged to be the framer of the world, and if framer, then He is just. When, therefore, he sometimes calls Him good and sometimes just, he is not consistent with himself in this point.9 But his wise disciple maintained yesterday a third point, that real sight10 is more satisfactory than vision, not knowing that real sight can be human, but that vision confessedly proceeds from divinity.’
Chap. VI. - Peter Goes out to Answer Simon.
“These and such like were the statements, Peter, which Simon addressed to the multitudes while he stood outside; and he seems to me to be disturbing the minds of the greater number. Wherefore go forth immediately, and by the power of truth break down his false statements.”
When Zacchæus said this, Peter prayed after his usual manner and went out, and standing in the place where he spoke the day before, and saluting the multitudes according to the custom enjoined by his religion, he began to speak as follows: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true prophet (as I shall prove conclusively at: the proper time), made concise declarations in I regard to those matters that relate to the truth, for these two reasons: first, because He was in the habit of addressing the pious, who had knowledge enough to enable them to believe the opinions uttered by Him by way of declaration; for His statements were not strange to their usual mode of thought; and in the second place, because, having a limited time assigned Him for preaching, He did not employ the method of demonstration in order that He might not spend all His limited time in arguments, for in this way it might happen that He would be fully occupied in giving the solutions of a few problems which might be understood by mental exertion, while He would not have given us to any great extent11 those statements which relate to the truth. Accordingly He stated any opinions He wished, as to a people who were able to understand Him, to whom we also belong, who, whenever we did not understand anything of what had been said by Him, - a thing which rarely happened, - inquired of Him privately, that nothing said by Him might be unintelligible to us.
Chap. VII. - Man in the Shape of God.
“Knowing therefore that we knew all that was spoken by Him, and that we could supply the proofs, He sent us to the ignorant Gentiles to baptize them for remission of sins, and commanded us to teach them first. (Mat_28:19,Mat_28:20) Of His commandments this is the first and great one, to fear the Lord God, and to serve Him only. But He meant us to fear that God whose angels they are who are the angels of the least of the faithful amongst us, and who stand in heaven continually beholding the face of the Father (Mat_18:10) For He has shape, and He has every limb primarily and solely for beauty’s sake, and not for use.12 For He has not eyes that He may see with them; for He sees on every side, since He is incomparably more brilliant in His body than the visual spirit which is in us, and He is more splendid than everything, so that in comparison with Him the light of the sun may be reckoned as darkness. Nor has He cars that He may hear; for He hears, perceives, moves, energizes, acts on every side. But He has the most beautiful shape on account 320 of man, that the pure in heart, (Mat_5:8) may be able to see Him, that they may rejoice because they suffered. For He moulded man in His own shape as in the grandest seal, in order that he may be the ruler and lord of all, and that all may be subject to him. Wherefore, judging that He is the universe, and that man is His image (for He is Himself invisible, but His image man is visible), the man who wishes to worship Him honours His visible image, which is man. Whatsoever therefore any one does to man, be it good or bad, is regarded as being done to Him. Wherefore the judgment which proceeds from Him shall go before, giving to every one according to his merits. For He avenges His own shape.
Chap. VIII. - God’s Figure: Simon’s Objection Therefrom Refuted.
“But someone will say, If He has shape, then He has figure also, and is in space; but if He is in space, and is, as being less, enclosed by it, how is He great above everything? How can He be everywhere if He has figure? The first remark I have to make to him who urges these objections is this: The Scriptures persuade us to have such sentiments and to believe such statements in regard to Him; and we know that their declarations are true, for witness is borne to them by our Lord Jesus Christ, by whose orders we are bound to afford proofs to you that such is the case. But first I shall speak of space. The space of God is the non-existent, but God is that which exists. But that which is non-existent cannot be compared with that which is existent. For how can space be existent? unless it be a second space, such as heaven, earth, water, air, and if there is any other body that fills up the vacuity, which is called vacuity on this account, that it is nothing. For ‘nothing’ is its more appropriate name. For what is that which is called vacuity but as it were a vessel which contains nothing, except the vessel itself? But being vacuity, it is not itself space; but space is that in which vacuity itself is, if indeed it is the vessel. For it must be the case that that which exists is in that which does not exist. But by this which is non-existent I mean that which is called by some, space, which is nothing. But being nothing, how can it be compared with that which is, except by expressing the contrary, and saying that it is that which does not exist, and that that which does not exist is called space? But even if it were something, there are many examples which I have at hand, but I shall content myself with one only, to show that that which encloses is not unquestionably superior to that which is enclosed. The sun is a circular figure, and is entirely enclosed by air, yet it lightens up the air, it warms it, it divides it; and if the sun be away from it, it is enveloped in darkness; and from whatsoever part of it the sun is removed, it becomes cold as if it were dead; but again it is illuminated by its rising, and when it has been warmed up by it, it is adorned with still greater beauty. And it does this by giving a share of itself, though it has its substance limited. What, then, is there to prevent God, as being the Framer and Lord of this and everything else, from possessing figure and shape and beauty, and having the communication of these qualities proceeding from Himself extended infinitely?
Chap. IX. - God the Centre or Heart of the Universe.
“One, then, is the God who truly exists, who presides in a superior shape, being the heart of that which is above and that which is below twice,13 which sends forth from Him as from a centre the life-giving and incorporeal power; the whole universe with the stars and regions14 of the heaven, the air, the fire, and if anything else exists, is proved to be a substance infinite in height, boundless in depth, immeasurable in breadth, extending the life-giving and wise nature from Him over three infinites.15 It must be, therefore, that this infinite which proceeds from Him on every slate exists,16 having as its heart Him who is above all, and who thus possesses figure; for wherever He be, He is as it were in the centre of the infinite, being the limit of the universe. And the extensions taking their rise with Him, possess the nature of six infinites; of whom the one taking its rise with Him penetrates17 into the height above, another into the depth below, another to the right hand, another to the left, another in front, and another behind; to whom He Himself, looking as to a number that is equal on every side,18 completes the world in six temporal intervals,19 Himself being the rest,20 and having the infinite age to come as His image, being the beginning and the end. For in Him the six infinites end, and from Him they receive their extension to infinity.
Chap. X. - The Nature and Shape of God.
“This is the mystery of the hebdomad. For He Himself is the rest of the whole who grants 321 Himself as a rest to those who imitate His greatness within their little measure. For He is alone, sometimes comprehensible, sometimes incomprehensible, sometimeslimitable,21 sometimes illimitable, having extensions which proceed from Him into infinity. For thus He is comprehensible and incomprehensible, near and far, being here and there, as being the only existent one, and as giving a share of that mind which is infinite on every hand, in consequence of which souls breathe and possess life;22 and if they be separated from the body and be found with a longing for Him, they are borne along into His bosom, as in the winter time the mists of the mountains, attracted by the rays of the sun, are borne along immortal23 to it. What affection ought therefore to arise within us if we gaze with our mind on His beautiful shape! But otherwise it is absurd to speak of beauty. For beauty cannot exist apart from shape; nor can one be attracted to the love of God, nor even deem that he can see Him, if God has no form.
Chap. XI. - The Fear of God.
“But some who are strangers to the truth, and who give their energies to the service of evil, on pretext of glorifying God, say that He has no figure, in order that, being shapeless and formless, He may be visible to no one, so as not to be longed for. For the mind, not seeing the form of God, is empty of Him. But how can any one pray if he has no one to whom he may flee for refuge, on whom he may lean? For if he meets with no resistance, he falls out into vacuity. Yea, says he, we ought not to fear God, but to love Him. I agree; but the consciousness of having done well in each good act will accomplish this. Now well-doing proceeds from fearing. But fear, says he, strikes death into the soul. Nay, but I affirm that it does not strike death, but awakens the soul, and converts it. And perhaps the injunction not to fear God might be right, if we men did not fear many other things; such, for instance, as plots against us by those who are like us, and wild beasts, serpents, diseases, sufferings, demons, and a thousand other ills. Let him, then, who asks us not to fear God, rescue us from these, that we may not fear them; but if he cannot, why should he grudge that we should be delivered from a thousand fears by one fear, the fear of the Just One, and that it should be possible by a slight24 faith in Him to remove a thousand afflictions from ourselves and others, and receive instead an exchange of blessings, and that, doing no ill in consequence of fear of the God who sees everything, we should continue in peace even in the present life.
Chap. XII. - The Fear and Love of God.
“Thus, then, grateful service to Him who is truly Lord, renders us free from service to all other masters.25 If, then, it is possible for any one to be free from sin without fearing God, let him not fear; for under the influence of love to Him one cannot do what is displeasing to Him. For, on the one hand, it is written that we are to fear Him, and we have been commanded to love Him, in order that each of us may use that prescription which is suitable to his constitution. Fear Him, therefore, because He is just; but whether you fear Him or love Him, sin not. And may it be the case that any one who fears Him shall be able to gain the victory over unlawful desires, shall not lust after what belongs to others, shall practise kindness, shall be sober, and act justly! For I see some who are imperfect in their fear of Him sinning very much. Let us therefore fear God, not only because He is just; for it is through pity for those who have received injustice that He inflicts punishment on those who have done the injustice. As water therefore quenches fire, so does fear extinguish the desire for evil practices. He who teaches fearlessness does not himself fear; but he who does not fear, does not believe that there will be a judgment, strengthens his lusts, acts as a magician, and accuses others of the deeds which be himself does.”
Chap. XIII. - The Evidence of the Senses Contrasted with That from Supernatural Vision.
Simon, on hearing this, interrupted him, and said: “I know against whom you are making these remarks; but in order that I may not spend any time in discussing subjects which I do not wish to discuss, repeating the same statements to refute you, reply to that which is concisely stated by us. You professed that you had well understood the doctrines and deeds26 of your teacher because you saw them before you with your own eyes,27 and heard them with your 322 own ears, and that it is not possible for any other to have anything similar by vision or apparition. But I shall show that this is false. He who hears any one with his own ears, is not altogether fully assured of the truth of what is said; for his mind has to consider whether he is wrong or not, inasmuch as he is a man as far as appearance goes. But apparition not merely presents an object to view, but inspires him who sees it with confidence, for it comes from God. Now reply first to this.”28
Chap. XIV. - The Evidence of the Senses More Trustworthy Than That of Supernatural Vision.
And Peter said: “You proposed to speak to one point, you replied to another.29 For your proposition was, that one is better able to know more fully, andtoattainconfidence,30 when he hears in consequence of an apparition, than when he hears with his own ears; but when you set about the matter, you were for persuading us that he who hears through an apparition is surer than he who hears with his own ears. Finally, you alleged that, on this account, you knew more satisfactorily the doctrines of Jesus than I do, because you heard His words through an apparition. But I shall reply to the proposition you made at the beginning. The prophet, because he is a prophet, having first given certain information with regard to what is objectively31 said by him, is believed with confidence; and being known beforehand to be a true prophet, and being examined and questioned as the disciple wishes, he replies: But he who trusts to apparition or vision and dream is insecure. For he does not know to whom he is trusting. For it is possible either that he may be an evil demon or a deceptive spirit, pretending in his speeches to be what he is not. But if any one should wish to inquire of him who he is who has appeared, he can say to himself whatever he likes. And thus, gleaming forth like a wicked one, and remaining as long as he likes, he is at length extinguished, not remaining with the questioner so long as he wished him to do for the purpose of consulting him. For any one that sees by means of dreams cannot inquire about whatever he may wish. For reflection is not in the special power of one who is asleep. Hence we, desiring to have information in regard to something in our waking hours, inquire about something else in our dreams; or without inquiring, we hear about matters that do not concern us, and awaking from sleep we are dispirited because we have neither heard nor inquired about those matters which we were eager to know.”
Chap. XV. - The Evidence from Dreams Discussed.
And Simon said: “If you maintain that apparitions do not always reveal the truth, yet for all that, visions and dreams, being God-sent, do not speak falsely in regard to those matters which they wish to tell.” And Peter said: “You were right in saying that, being God-sent, they do not speak falsely. But it is uncertain if he who sees has seen a God-sent dream.” And Simon said: “If he who has had the vision is just, he has seen a true vision.” And Peter said: “You were right. But who is just, if he stands in need of a vision that he may learn what he ought to learn, and do what he ought to do?” And Simon said: “Grant me this, that the just man alone can see a true vision, and I shall then reply to that other point. For I have come to the conclusion that an impious man does not see a true dream.” And Peter said: “This is false; and I can prove it both apart from Scripture and by Scripture; but I do not undertake to persuade you. For the man who is inclined to fall in love with a bad woman, does not change his mind so as to care for a lawful union with another woman in every respect good; but sometimes they love the worse woman through prepossessions, though they are conscious that there is another who is more excellent. And you are ignorant, in consequence of some such state of mind.” And Simon said: “Dismiss this subject, and discuss the matter on which you promised to speak. For it seems to me impossible that impious men should receive dreams from God in any way whatever.
Chap. XVI. - None but Evil Demons Appear to the Impious.
And Peter said: “I remember that I promised to prove this point, and to give my proofs in regard to it from Scripture and apart from Scripture. And now listen to what I say. We know that there are many (if you will pardon me the statement; and if you don’t, I can appeal to those who are present as judges) who worship idols, commit adultery, and sin in every way, and yet they see true visions and dreams, and some of them have also apparitions of demons. For I maintain that the eyes of mortals cannot see the incorporeal form of the Father or Son, because it is illumined by exceeding great light. Wherefore it is not because God envies, but because He pities, that He cannot be seen by man who has been turned into flesh. For he who sees God 323 cannot live. For the excess of light dissolves the flesh of him who sees; unless by the secret power of God the flesh be changed into the nature of light, so that it can see light, or the substance of light be changed into flesh, so that it can be seen by flesh. For the power to see the Father, without undergoing any change, belongs to the Son alone. But the just shall also in like manner behold God;32 for in the resurrection of the dead, when they have been changed, as far as their bodies are concerned, into light, and become like the angels, they shall be able to see Him. Finally, then, if any angel be sent that be may he seen by a man, he is changed into flesh, that he may be able to be seen by flesh. For no one can see the incorporeal power not only of the Son, but not even of an angel. But if one sees an apparition, he should know that this is the apparition of an evil demon.
Chap. XVII. - The Impious See True Dreams and Visions.
“But it is manifest that the impious see true visions and dreams, and I can prove it from Scripture. Finally, then, it is written in the law, how Abimelech, who was impious, wished to defile the wife of just Abraham by intercourse, and how he heard the commandment from God in his sleep, as the Scripture saith, not to touch her, (Gen_20:3) because she was dwelling with her husband. Pharaoh, also an impious man, saw a dream in regard to the fulness and thinness of the ears of corn, (Gen_41:5, ff.) to whom Joseph said, when he gave the interpretation, that the dream had come from God. (Gen_41:25) Nebuchadnezzar, who worshipped images, and ordered those who worshipped God to be cast into fire, saw a dream (Dan_2:31) extending over the whole age of the world.33 And let no one say, ‘No one who is impious sees a vision when awake.’ That is false. Nebuchadnezzar himself, having ordered three men to be cast into fire, saw a fourth when he looked into the furnace, and said, ‘I see the fourth as the Son of God.’ (Dan_3:25) And nevertheless, though they saw apparitions, visions, and dreams, they were impious. Thus, we cannot infer with absolute certainty that the man who has seen visions, and dreams, and apparitions, is undoubtedly pious. For in the case of the pious man, the truth gushes up natural and pure34 in his mind, not worked tip through dreams, but granted to the good through intelligence.
Chap. XVIII. - The Nature of Revelation.
“Thus to me also was the Son revealed by the Father. Wherefore I know what is the meaning of revelation, having learned it in my own case. For at the very time when the Lord said, ‘Who do they say that I am?’ (Mat_16:13) and when I heard one saying one thing of Him, and another another, it came into my heart to say (and I know not, therefore, how I said it), ‘Thou art the Son of the living God.’ (Mat_16:16) But He, pronouncing me blessed, pointed out to me that it was the Father who had revealed it to me; and from this time I learned that revelation is knowledge gained without instruction, and without apparition and dreams. And this is indeed the case. For in the soul35 which has been placed in us by36 God, there is all the truth; but it is covered and revealed by the hand of God, who works so far as each one through his knowledge deserves.37 But the declaration of anything by means of apparitions and dreams from without is a proof, not that it comes from revelation, but from wrath. Finally, then, it is written in the law, that God, being angry, said to Aaron and Miriam, (Num_12:6,Num_12:7; Exo_33:11) ‘If a prophet arise from amongst you, I shall make myself known to him through visions and dreams, but not so as to my servant Moses; because I shall speak to him in an outward appearance, and not through dreams, just as one will speak to his own friend.’ You see how the statements of wrath are made through visions and dreams, but the statements to a friend are made face to face, in outward appearance, and not through riddles and visions and dreams, as to an enemy.
Chap. XIX. - Opposition to Peter Unreasonable.
“If, then, our Jesus appeared to you in a vision, made Himself known to you, and spoke to you, it was as one who is enraged with an adversary; and this is the reason why it was through visions and dreams, or through revelations that were from without, that He spoke to you. But can any one be rendered fit for instruction through apparitions? And if you will say, ‘It is possible,’ then I ask, ‘Why did our teacher abide and discourse a whole year to those who were awake?’ And how are we to believe your word, when you tell us that He appeared to you? And how did He appear to you, when you entertain opinions contrary to His teaching? But if you were seen and taught 324 by Him, and became His apostle for a single hour, proclaim His utterances, interpret His sayings, love His apostles, contend not with me who companied with Him. For in direct opposition to me, who am a firm rock, the foundation of the Church, (Mat_16:18) you now stand. If you were not opposed to me, you would not accuse me, and revile the truth proclaimed by me, in order that I may not be believed when I state what I myself have heard with my own ears from the Lord, as if I were evidently a person that was condemned and in bad repute.38 But if you say that I am condemned, you bring an accusation against God, who revealed the Christ to me, and you inveigh against Him who pronounced me blessed on account of the revelation. But if, indeed, you really wish to work in the cause of truth, learn first of all from us what we have learned from Him, and, becoming a disciple of the truth, become a fellow-worker with us.”
Chap. XX. - Another Subject for Discussion Proposed.
When Simon heard this, he said: “Far be it from me to become his or your disciple. For I am not ignorant of what I ought to know; but the inquiries which I made as a learner were made that I may see if you can prove that actual sight is more distinct than apparition.39 But you spoke according to your own pleasure; you did not prove. And now, to-morrow I shah come to your opinions in regard to God, whom you affirmed to be the framer of the world; and in my discussion with you, I shall show that he is not the highest, nor good, and that your teacher made the same statements as I now do; and I shall prove that you have not understood him.” On saying this he went away, not wishing to listen to what might be said to the propositions which he had laid down.
1 The text has: “against Peter.”
2 [Comp. Recognitions, book iii. 12, for a similar accusation made by Simon, at the beginning of the second day’s discussion. - R.]
3 εἰδώλων, idols.
5 [These chapters are peculiar to the Homilies. - R.]
6 The Gnostic distinction between the God who is just and the God who is good, is here insisted on.
7 Mat_11:27; [Luk_10:22. Comp. Recognitions, book ii. 47. - R.].
8 One ms. reads, “saw.”
9 [Comp. xviii. 1, etc.; also Recognitions, book iii. 37, 38. - R.]
10 The mss. read ἐνέργειαν, “activity.” Clericus amended it into ἐνάργειαν, which means, vision or sight in plain open day with one’s own eyes, in opposition to the other word οπτασία, vision in sleep, or ecstasy, or some similar unusual state.
11 Lit. “to a greater extent.”
12 [Comp. book xvi. 19. The theosophical views here presented are peculiar to the Homilies, though some traces of them appear in the Recognitions. - R.]
13 The whole of this chapter is full of corruption: “twice” occurs in one ms. Various attempts have been made to amend the passage.
14 An emendation.
15 The text is corrupt. We have translated ἐπι ἀπείρους τρεῖς. Some think “three” should be omitted. The three infinites are in respect of height, depth, and breadth.
16 As punctuated in Dressel, this reads, “that the infinite is the heart.”
17 The emendation of the transcriber of one of the mss.
18 This refers to the following mode of exhibiting the number: where each side presents the number three.
19 The creation of the world in six days.
20 The seventh day on which God rested, the type of the rest of the future age. See EpistleofBarnabas, c. xv.
21 The words in italics are inserted by conjecture. “Sometimes incomprehensible, sometimes illimitable,” occur only in one ms.
22 We have adopted Wieseler’s suggestions.
23 This word is justly suspected. The passage is in other respects corrupt.
24 The word “slight” is not used in reference to the character of the faith, but to indicate that the act of faith is a small act compared with the results that flow from it.
25 We have adopted an emendation of a passage which is plainly corrupt.
26 Doctrines and deeds: lit., the things of your teacher.
27 The mss. have here ἐνεργεία, “activity.” This has been amended into ἐναργείᾳ, “with plainness, with distinctness.” Ἐνάργεια is used throughout in opposition to ὀπτασία, ὅραμα, and ἐνύπνιον and means the act of seeing and hearing by our own senses in plain daylight, when to doubt the fact observed is to doubt the senses: ὀπτασία is apparition or vision in ecstasy, or some extraordinary way but that of sleep: ὅραμα and ἐνύπνιον are restricted to visions in sleep. The last term implies this. The first term simply “a thing seen.”
28 [Comp. Recognitions, link ii. 50, 51, 61-65. The emphasis laid upon supernatural visions in the remainder of the Homily has been supposed to convey an insinuation against the revelations to the Apostle Paul. - R.]
29 Probably it should he ἀπεκλίνω instead of ἀπεκρίνω, “you turned aside to another.”
30 The words initalics are inserted conjecturally, to fill up a lacuna the best ms.
31 ἐναργῶς, “with reference to things palpable to our senses.”
32 We have translated a bold conjecture. The text has, “The just not in like manner,” without any verb, which Schwegler amended: “To the just this power does not belong in like manner.”
33 Lit ,of the whole length of the age.
34 We have amended this passage. The text applies the words “natural orinnate and pure” to the mind
35 This word is not in the text. Schliemann proposed the word “heart.” Possibly “breath” or “spirit” may be the lost word. See above.
36 “By” should properly be “from.”
37 Lit., “who produces according to the merit of each one knowing.” Cotelerius translated, “who, knowing the merit of each man, does to him according to it.” The idea seems to be, that God uncovers the truth hidden in the soul of each man according to his deserts.
38 We have adopted an emendation of Schwegler’s. The text reads, “in good repute.” [The word “condemned” is supposed to be borrowed from the account of the contest at Antioch in Gal_2:11, where it is applied to the Apostle Peter. This passage has therefore been regarded as a covert attack upon the Apostle Paul. - R.]
39 This passage is corrupt in the text. Dressel reads, “that activity is more distinct than apparition.” By activity would be meant. “acting while one is awake, and in full possession of his senses:” and thus the meaning would be nearly the same as in our translation.
Chap. I. - Simon Maintains That the Framer of the World Is Not the Highest God.
At break of day, when Peter went forth to discourse, Simon anticipated him, and said: “When I went away yesterday, I promised to you to return to-day, and in a discussion show that he who flamed the world is not the highest God, but that the highest God is another who alone is good, and who has remained unknown up to this time. At once, then, state to me whether you maintain that the framer of the world is the same as the lawgiver or not? If, then, he is the lawgiver, he is just; but if he is just, he is not good. But if he is not good, then it was another that Jesus proclaimed, when he said, (Mat_19:17) ‘Do not call me good; for one is good, the Father who is in the heavens.’ Now a lawgiver cannot be both just and good, for these qualities do not harmonize.”1 And Peter said: “First tell us what are the actions which in your opinion constitute a person good, and what are those which constitute him just, in order that thus we may address our words to the same mark.” And Simon said: “Do you state first what in your opinion is goodness, and what justice.”
Chap. II. - Definition of Goodness and Justice.
And Peter said: “That I may not waste my time in contentious discussions, while I make the fair demand that you should give answers to my propositions, I shall myself answer those questions which I put, as is your wish. I then affirm that the man who bestows2 goods is good, just as I see the Framer of the world doing when He gives the sun to the good, and the rain to the just and unjust.” And Simon said: “It is most unjust that he should give the same things to the just and the unjust.” And Peter said: “Do you, then, in your turn state to us what course of conduct would constitute Him good.” And Simon said: “It is you that must state this.” And Peter said: “I will. He who gives the same things to the good and just, and also to the evil and unjust, is not even just according to you; but you would with reason call Him just if He gave goods to the good and evils to the evil. What course of conduct, then, would He adopt, if He does not adopt the plan of giving things temporal to the evil, if perchance they should be converted, and things eternal to the good, if at least they remain good? And thus by giving to all, but by gratifying the more 325 excellent,3 His justice is good; and all the more long-suffering in this, that to sinners who repent He freely grants forgiveness of their sins, and to those who have acted well He assigns even eternal life. But judging at last, and giving to each one what he deserves, He is just. If, then, this is right, confess it; but if it appears to you not to be right, refute it.”
Chap. III. - God Both Good and Just.
And Simon said: “I said once for all, ‘Every lawgiver, looking to justice, is just.’” And Peter said: “If it is the part of him who is good not to lay down a law, but of him who is just to lay down a law, in this way the Framer of the world is both good and just. He is good, inasmuch as it is plain that He did not lay down a law in writing from the times of Adam to Moses; but inasmuch as He had a written law from Moses to the present times,4 He is just also.” And Simon said: “Prove to me from the utterances of your teacher that it is within the power of the same man to be good and just; for to me it seems impossible that the lawgiver who is good should also be just.” And Peter said: “I shall explain to you how goodness itself is just. Our teacher Himself first said to the Pharisee who asked Him, (Luk_18:18, ff.; Mat_19:16, ff.) ‘What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘Do not call me good; for one is good, even the Father who is in the heavens;’ and straightway He introduced these words, ‘But if thou shalt wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ And when he said, ‘What commandments?’ He pointed him to those of the law. Now He would not, if He were indicating some other good being, have referred him to the commandments of the Just One. That indeed justice and goodness are different I allow, but you do not know that it is within the power of the same being to be good and just. For He is good, in that He is now long-suffering with the penitent, and welcomes them; but just, when acting as judge He will give to every one according to his deserts.”
Chap. IV. - The Unrevealed God.
And Simon said: “How, then, if the framer of the world, who also fashioned Adam, was known, and known too by those who were just according to the law, and moreover by the just and unjust, and the whole world, does your teacher, coming after all these, say,5 ‘No one has known the Father but the Son, even as no one knoweth the Son but the Father, and those to whom the Son may wish to reveal Him?’ But he would not have made this statement, had he not proclaimed a Father who was still unrevealed, whom the law speaks of as the highest, and who has not given any utterance either good or bad (as Jeremiah testifies in the Lamentations (Lam_3:38)); who also, limiting the nations to seventy languages, according to the number of the sons of Israel who entered Egypt, and according to the boundaries of these nations, gave to his own Son, who is also called Lord, and who brought into order the heaven and the earth, the Hebrews as his portion, and defined him to be God of gods, that is, of the gods who received the other nations as their portions. Laws, therefore, proceeded from all the so-called gods to their own divisions, which consist of the other nations. In like manner also from the Son of the Lord of all came forth the law which is established among the Hebrews. And this state of matters was determined on, that if any one should seek refuge in the law of any one, he should belong to the division of him whose law he undertook to obey. No one knew the highest Father, who was unrevealed, just as they did not know that his Son was his Son. Accordingly at this moment you yourself, in assigning the special attributes of the unrevealed Most High to the Son, do not know that he is the Son, being the Father of Jesus, who with you is called the Christ.
Chap. V. - Peter Doubts Simon’s Honesty.
When Simon had made these statements, Peter said to him: “Can you call to witness that these are your beliefs that being Himself, - I do not mean Him whom you speak of now as being unrevealed, but Him in whom you believe, though you do not confess Him? For you are talking nonsense when you define one thing in stead of another. Wherefore, if you call Him to witness that you believe what you say, I shall answer you. But if you continue discussing with me what you do not believe, you compel me to strike the empty air.” And Simon said: “It is from some of your own disciples that I have heard thatthisisthetruth.”6 And Peter said:. “Do not bear false witness?” And Simon said: “Do not rebuke me, most insolent man.” And Peter said: “So long as you do not tell who it was who said so, Iaffirmthat you are a liar.” And Simon said: “Suppose that I myself have got up these doctrines, or that I heard them from some other, give me your answer to them. For if they cannot be overturned, then I have learned that this is the truth.” And Peter said: “If it is a human invention, I will not reply to 326 it; but if you are held fast by the supposition that it is the truth, acknowledge to me that this is the case, and I can then myself say something in regard to the matter.” And Simon said: “Once for all, then, these doctrines seem to me to be true. Give me your reply, if you have aught to say against them.”
Chap. VI. - The Nature of Revelation.
And Peter said: “If this is the case, you are acting most impiously. For if it belongs to the Son, who arranged heaven and earth, to reveal His unrevealed Father to whomsoever He wishes, you are, as I said, acting most impiously in revealing Him to those to whom He has not revealed Him.” And Simon said: “But he himself wishes me to reveal him.” And Peter said: “You do not understand what I mean, Simon. But listen and understand. When it is said that the Son will reveal Him to whom He wishes, it is meant that such an one is to learn of Him not by instruction, but by revelation only. For it is revelation when that which lies secretly veiled in all the hearts of men is revealed unveiled by His God’s own will without any utterance. And thus knowledge comes to one, not because he has been instructed, but because he has understood. And yet the person who understands it cannot demonstrate it to another, since he did not himself receive it by instruction; nor can he reveal it, since he is not himself the Son, unless he maintains that he is himself the Son. But you are not the standing Son. For if you were the Son, assuredly you would know those who are worthy of such a revelation. But you do not know them. For if you knew them, you would do as they do who know.”
Chap. VII. - Simon Confesses His Ignorance.
And Simon said: “I confess I have not understood what you mean by the expression, ‘You would do as they do who know.’” And Peter said: “If you have not understood it, then you cannot know the mind of every one; and if you are ignorant of this, then you do not know those who are worthy of the revelation. You are not the Son, for7 the Son knows. Wherefore He reveals Him to whomsoever He wishes, because they are worthy.” And Simon said: “Be not deceived. I know those who are worthy, and I am not the Son. And yet I have not understood what meaning you attach to the words, ‘He reveals Him to whomsoever He wishes.’ But I said that I did not understand it, not because I did not know it, but because I knew that those who were present did not understand it, in order that you may state it more distinctly, so that they may perceive what are the reasons why we are carrying on this discussion.” And Peter said: “I cannot state the matter more clearly: explain what meaning you have attached to the words.” And Simon said: “There is no necessity why I should state your opinions.” And Peter said: “You evidently, Simon, do not understand it, and yet you do not wish to confess, that you may not be detected in your ignorance, and thus be proved not to be the standing Son. For you hint this, though you do not wish to state it plainly; and, indeed, I who am not a prophet, but a disciple of the true Prophet, know well from the hints you have given what your wishes are. For you, though you do not understand even what is distinctly said, wish to call yourself son in opposition to us.” And Simon said: “I will remove every pretext from you. I confess I do not understand what can be the meaning of the statement, ‘The Son reveals Him to whomsoever He wishes.’ State therefore what is its meaning more distinctly.”
Chap. VIII. - The Work of Revelation Belongs to the Son Alone.
And Peter said: “Since, at least in appearance, you have confessed that you do not understand it, reply to the question I put to you, and you will learn the meaning of the statement. Tell me, do you maintain that the Son, whoever he be, is just, or that he is not just?” And Simon said: “I maintain that he is most just.” And Peter said: “Seeing He is just, why does He not make the revelation to all, but only to those to whom He wishes?” And Simon said: “Because, being just, he wishes to make the revelation only to the worthy.” And Peter said: “Must He not therefore know the mind of each one, in order that He may make the revelation to the worthy?” And Simon said: “Of course he must.” And Peter said: “With reason, therefore, has the work of giving the revelation been confined to Him alone, for He alone knows the mind of every one; and it has not been given to you, who are not able to understand even that which is stared by us.”
Chap. IX. - How Simon Bears His Exposure.
When Peter said this, the multitudes applauded.8 But Simon, being thus exposed,9 blushed through shame, and rubbing his forehead, said: “Well, then, do they declare that I, a magician, yea, even I who syllogize, am conquered by Peter? It is not so. But if one should syllogize, though carried away and conquered, he still retains 327 the truth that is in him. For the weakness in the defender is not identical with the truth in the conquered man.10 But I assure you that I have judged all those who are bystanders worthy to know the unrevealed Father. Wherefore, Because I publicly reveal him to them, you yourself, through envy, are angry with me who wish to confer a benefit on them.”
Chap. X. - Peter’s Reply to Simon.
And Peter said: “Since you have thus spoken to please the multitudes who are present, I shall speak to them, not to please them, but to tell them the truth. Tell me how you know all those who are present to be worthy, when not even one of them agreed with your exposition of the subject; for the giving of applause to me in opposition to you is not the act of those who agree with you, but of those who agree with me, to whom they gave the applause for having spoken the truth. But since God, who is just, judges the mind of each one - a doctrine which you affirm to be true - He would not have wished this to be given through the left hand to those on the right hand, exactly as the man who receives anything from a robber is himself guilty. So that, on this account, He did not wish them to receive what is brought by you; but they are to receive the revelation through the Son, who has been set apart for this work. For to whom is it reasonable that the Father should give a revelation, but to His only Son, because He knows Him to be worthy of such a revelation? And so this is a matter which one cannot teach or be taught, but it must be revealed by the ineffable hand to him who is worthy to know it.”