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ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus
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Chapter XII.—The importance of knowledge to true spiritual life.

When you have read and carefully listened to these things, you shall know what God bestows on such as rightly love Him, being made [as ye are] a paradise of delight, presenting325325    Literally, “bringing forth.” in yourselves a tree bearing all kinds of produce and flourishing well, being adorned with various fruits. For in this place326326    That is, in Paradise. the tree of knowledge and the tree of life have been planted; but it is not the tree of knowledge that destroys— it is disobedience that proves destructive. Nor truly are those words without significance which are written, how God from the beginning planted the tree of life in the midst of paradise, revealing through knowledge the way to life,327327    Literally “revealing life.” and when those who were first formed did not use this [knowledge] properly, they were, through the fraud of the Serpent, stripped naked.328328    Or, “deprived of it.” For neither can life exist without knowledge, nor is knowledge secure without life. Wherefore both were planted close together. The Apostle, perceiving the force [of this conjunction], and blaming that knowledge which, without true doctrine, is admitted to influence life,329329    Literally, “knowledge without the truth of a command exercised to life.” See 1 Cor. viii. 1. declares, “Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth.” For he who thinks he knows anything without true knowledge, and such as is witnessed to by life, knows nothing, but is deceived by the Serpent, as not330330    The ms. is here defective. Some read, “on account of the love of life.” loving life. But he who combines knowledge with fear, and seeks after life, plants in hope, looking for fruit. Let your heart be your wisdom; and let your life be true knowledge331331    Or, “true word,” or “reason.” inwardly received. Bearing this tree and displaying its fruit, thou shalt always gather332332    Or, “reap.” in those things which are desired by God, which the Serpent cannot reach, and to which deception does not approach; nor is Eve then corrupted,333333    The meaning seems to be, that if the tree of true knowledge and life be planted within you, you shall continue free from blemishes and sins. but is trusted as a virgin; and salvation is manifested, and the Apostles are filled with understanding, and the Passover334334    [This looks like a reference to the Apocalypse, Rev. v. 9., Rev. xix. 7., Rev. xx. 5.] of the Lord advances, and the choirs335335    Here Bishop Wordsworth would read κλῆροι, cites 1 Pet. v. 3, and refers to Suicer (Lexicon) in voce κλῆρος.] are gathered together, and are arranged in proper order, and the Word rejoices in teaching the saints,—by whom the Father is glorified: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.336336    [Note the Clement-like doxology.]


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