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Chapter XXX.—The Author’s Concluding Address.
Such is the true doctrine in regard of the divine nature, O ye men, Greeks and Barbarians, Chaldeans and Assyrians, Egyptians and Libyans, Indians and Ethiopians, Celts, and ye Latins, who lead armies, and all ye that inhabit Europe, and Asia, and Libya.10981098 [The translator’s excessive interpolations sometimes needlessly dilute the terse characteristics of the author. Thus, with confusing brackets, the Edinburgh reads: “who so often lead your armies to victory.” This is not Hippolytus, and, in such instances, I feel bound to reduce a plethoric text.] And to you I am become an adviser, inasmuch as I am a disciple of the benevolent Logos, and hence humane, in order that you may hasten and by us may be taught who the true God is, and what is His well-ordered creation. Do not devote your attention to the fallacies of artificial discourses, nor the vain promises of plagiarizing heretics,10991099 [Here the practical idea of the Philosophumena comes out; and compare vol. iv. pp. 469 and 570.] but to the venerable simplicity of unassuming truth. And by means of this knowledge you shall escape the approaching threat of the fire of judgment, and the rayless scenery of gloomy Tartarus,11001100 Dr. Wordsworth justifies Hippolytus’ use of the pagan word “Tartarus,” by citing the passage (2 Pet. ii. 4), “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness (σειραῖς ζόφου ταρταρώσας), to be reserved unto judgment,” etc. [Elucidation XVII. and vol. iv. 140.] where never shines a beam from the irradiating voice of the Word!
You shall escape the boiling flood of hell’s11011101 Schneidewin suggests a comparison of this passage with Hippolytus’ fragment, Against Plato, concerning the Cause of the Universe (p. 220, ed. Fabricii; p. 68, ed. de Lagarde). eternal lake of fire and the eye ever fixed in menacing glare of fallen angels chained in Tartarus as punishment for their sins; and you shall escape the worm that ceaselessly coils for food around the body whose scum11021102 The different renderings of this passage, according to different readings, are as follow: “And the worm the scum of the body, turning to the Body that foamed it forth as to that which nourisheth it” (Wordsworth). “The worm which winds itself without rest round the mouldering body, to feed upon it” (Bunsen and Scott). “The worm wriggling as over the filth of the (putrescent) flesh towards the exhaling body” (Roeper). “The worm turning itself towards the substance of the body, towards, (I say,) the exhalations of the decaying frame, as to food” (Schneidewin). The words chiefly altered are: ἀπουσίαν, into (1) ἐπ᾽ οὐσίαν, (2) ἐπ᾽ ἀλουσίᾳ (3) ἀπαύστως; and ἐπιστρεφόμενον into (1) ἐπιστρέφον, (2) ἐπὶ τροφήν. has bred it. Now such (torments) as these shalt thou avoid by being instructed in a knowledge of the true God. And thou shalt possess an immortal body, even one placed beyond the possibility of corruption, just like the soul. And thou shalt receive the kingdom of heaven, thou who, whilst thou didst sojourn in this life, didst know the Celestial King. And thou shalt be a companion of the Deity, and a co-heir with Christ, no longer enslaved by lusts or passions, and never again wasted by disease. For thou hast become God:11031103 [This startling expression is justified by such texts as 2 Pet. i. 4 compared with John xvii. 22, 23, and Rev. iii. 21. Thus, Christ overrules the Tempter (Gen. iii. 5), and gives more than was offered by the “Father of Lies.”] for whatever sufferings thou didst undergo while being a man, these He gave to thee, because thou wast of mortal mould, but whatever it is consistent with God to impart, these God has promised to bestow upon thee, because thou hast been deified, and begotten unto immortality.11041104 [Compare John x. 34 with Rev. v. 10. Kings of the earth may be called “gods,” in a sense; ergo, etc.] This constitutes the import of the proverb, “Know thyself;” i.e., discover God within thyself, for He has formed thee after His own image. For with the knowledge of self is conjoined the being an object of God’s knowledge, for thou art called by the Deity Himself. Be not therefore inflamed, O ye men, with enmity one towards another, nor hesitate to retrace11051105 Bunsen translates thus: “Doubt not that you will exist again,” a rendering which Dr. Wordsworth controverts in favour of the one adopted above. with all speed your steps. For Christ is the God above all, and He has arranged to wash away sin from human beings,11061106 Bunsen translates thus: “For Christ is He whom the God of all has ordered to wash away the sins,” etc. Dr. Wordsworth severely censures this rendering in a lengthened note. rendering regenerate the old man. And God called man His likeness from the beginning, and has evinced in a figure His love towards thee. And provided thou obeyest His solemn injunctions, and becomest a faithful follower of Him who is good, thou shalt resemble Him, inasmuch as thou shalt have honour conferred upon thee by Him. For the Deity, (by condescension,) does not diminish aught of the divinity of His divine11071107 πτωχευει. Bunsen translates, “for God acts the beggar towards thee,” which is literal, though rather unintelligible. Dr. Wordsworth renders the word thus: “God has a longing for thee.” perfection; having made thee even God unto His glory!11081108 Hippolytus, by his argument, recognises the duty not merely of overthrowing error but substantiating truth, or in other words, the negative and positive aspect of theology. His brief statement (chap. xxviii.–xxx.) in the latter department, along with being eminently reflective, constitutes a noble specimen of patristic eloquence. [This is most just: and it must be observed, that having summed up his argument against the heresies derived from carnal and inferior sources, and shown the primal truth, he advances (in chap. xxviii.) to the Nicene position, and proves himself one of the witnesses on whose traditive testimony that sublime formulary was given to the whole Church as the κτῆμα ἐς ἀεὶ of Christendom,—a formal countersign of apostolic doctrine.]
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