|« Prev||On the Ten Points of Doctrine.||Next »|
On the Ten638638 The number “ten” is confirmed by Theodoret, who quotes the article on Christ’s “Birth of the Virgin” as from Cyril’s fourth Catechetical Lecture “On the ten Doctrines.” The mss. vary between “ten” and “eleven,” and differ also in the special titles and numeration of the separate Articles. Points of Doctrine.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, &c.
1. Vice mimics virtue, and the tares strive to be thought wheat, growing like the wheat in appearance, but being detected by good judges from the taste. The devil also transfigures himself into an angel of light639639 2 Cor. xi. 14.; not that he may reascend to where he was, for having made his heart hard as an anvil640640 Job xli. 24, Sept.; xli. 15: ἡ καρδία αὐτοῦ…ἕστηκεν ὥσπερ ἄκμων ἀνήλατος. These statements concerning the Devil seem to be directed against Origen’s opinion (De Principiis I. 2), that the Angels “who have been removed from their primal state of blessedness have not been removed irrecoverably.” The question is discussed, and the opinions of several Fathers quoted, by Huet, Origeniana, II. c. 25., he has henceforth a will that cannot repent; but in order that he may envelope those who are living an Angelic life in a mist of blindness, and a pestilent condition of unbelief. Many wolves are going about in sheeps’ clothing641641 Matt. vii. 15. The same text is applied to Heretics by Ignatius, Philadelph. ii. and by Irenæus, L. I. c. i. § 2., their clothing being that of sheep, not so their claws and teeth: but clad in their soft skin, and deceiving the innocent by their appearance, they shed upon them from their fangs the destructive poison of ungodliness. We have need therefore of divine grace, and of a sober mind, and of eyes that see, lest from eating tares as wheat we suffer harm from ignorance, and lest from taking the wolf to be a sheep we become his prey, and from supposing the destroying Devil to be a beneficent Angel we be devoured: for, as the Scripture saith, he goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour642642 1 Pet. v. 8.. This is the cause of the Church’s admonitions, the cause of the present instructions, and of the lessons which are read.
2. For the method of godliness consists of these two things, pious doctrines, and virtuous practice: and neither are the doctrines acceptable to God apart from good works, nor does God accept the works which are not perfected with pious doctrines. For what profit is it, to know well the doctrines concerning God, and yet to be a vile fornicator? And again, what profit is it, to be nobly temperate, and an impious blasphemer? A most precious possession therefore is the knowledge of doctrines: also there is need of a wakeful soul, since there are many that make spoil through philosophy and vain deceit643643 Col. ii. 8.. The Greeks on the one hand draw men away by their smooth tongue, for honey droppeth from a harlot’s lips644644 Prov. v. 3.: whereas they of the Circumcision deceive those who come to them by means of the Divine Scriptures, which they miserably misinterpret though studying them from childhood to old age645645 Is. xlvi. 3. Sept. παιδευόμενοι ἐκ παιδίου ἕως γήρως., and growing old in ignorance. But the children of heretics, by their good words and smooth tongue, deceive the hearts of the innocent646646 Rom. xvi. 17. Cyril has εὐγλωττίας in place of εὐλογίας., disguising with the name of Christ as it were with honey the poisoned arrows647647 Compare Ignatius, Trall. vi. of their impious doctrines: concerning all of whom together the Lord saith, Take heed lest any man mislead you648648 Matt. xxiv. 4.. This is the reason for the teaching of the Creed and for expositions upon it.
3. But before delivering you over to the Creed649649 Compare Rom. vi. 17: “that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered.” The instruction of Catechumens in the Articles of the Faith was commonly called the “Traditio Symboli,” or “Delivery of the Creed.”, I think it is well to make use at present of a short summary of necessary doctrines; that the multitude of things to be spoken, and the long interval of the days of all this holy Lent, may not cause forgetfulness in the mind of the more simple among you; but that, having strewn some seeds now in a summary way, we may not forget the same when afterwards more widely tilled. But let those here present whose habit of mind is mature, and who have their senses already exercised to discern good and evil650650 Heb. v. 14., endure patiently to listen to things fitted rather for children, and to an introductory course, as it were, of milk: that at the same time both those who have need of the instruction may be benefited, and those who have the knowledge may rekindle the remembrance of things which they already know.
I. Of God.
4. First then let there be laid as a foundation in your soul the doctrine concerning God; that God is One, alone unbegotten, without beginning, change, or variation651651 Compare Hermas, Mandat. I. Athan. Epist. de Decretis Nic. Syn. xxii.: οὕτω καὶ τὸ ἄτρεπτον καὶ ἀναλλοίωτον αὐτὸν εἶναι σωθήσεται. So Aristotle (Metaphys. XI. c. iv. 13) describes the First Cause as ἀπαθὲς καὶ ἀναλλοίωτον.; neither begotten of another, nor having another to succeed Him in His life; who neither began to live in time, nor endeth ever: and that He is both good and just; that if ever thou hear a heretic say, that there is one God who is just, and another who is good652652 Irenæus, I. c. xxvii. says that Cerdo taught that the God of the Law and the Prophets was not the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: for that He is known, but the other unknown, and the one is just, but the other good. Also III. c. 25, § 3: “Marcion himself, therefore, by dividing God into two, and calling the one good, and the other judicial, on both sides puts an end to Deity.” Compare Tertullian, c. Marcion. I. 2, and 6; Origen, c. Cels. iv. 54., thou mayest immediately remember, and discern the poisoned arrow of heresy. For some have impiously dared to divide the One God in their teaching: and some have said that one is the Creator and Lord of the soul, and another of the body653653 This tenet was held by the Manichæans and other heretics, and is traced back to the Apostolic age by Bishop Pearson (Exposition of the Creed, Art. i. p. 79, note c). Compare Athanasius c. Apollinarium, I. 21; II. 8; c. Gentes, § 6; de Incarnatione, § 2, in this series, and Augustine (c. Faustum, xx. 15, 21, and xxi. 4).; a doctrine at once absurd and impious. For how can a man become the one servant of two masters, when our Lord says in the Gospels, No man can serve two masters654654 Matt. vi. 24; Luke xvi. 13.? There is then One Only God, the Maker both of souls and bodies: One the Creator of heaven and earth, the Maker of Angels and Archangels: of many the Creator, but of One only the Father before all ages,—of One only, His Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom He made all things visible and invisible655655 John i. 3; Col. i. 16..
5. This Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is not circumscribed in any place656656 S. Aug. in Ps. lxxv. 6: Si in aliquo loco esset, non esset Deus. Sermo 342: Deus habitando continet non continetur. Origen, c. Cels. vii. 34: “God is of too excellent a nature for any place: He holds all things in His power, and is Himself not confined by anything whatever.” Compare the quotation from Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia, in the note on Cat. vi. 8., nor is He less than the heaven; but the heavens are the works of His fingers657657 Ps. viii. 3., and the whole earth is held in His grasp658658 Is. xl. 12.: He is in all things and around all. Think not that the sun is brighter than He659659 See Cat. xv. 3, and note there., or equal to Him: for He who at first formed the sun must needs be incomparably greater and brighter. He foreknoweth the things that shall be, and is mightier than all, knowing all things and doing as He will; not being subject to any necessary sequence of events, nor to nativity, nor chance, nor fate; in all things perfect, and equally possessing every absolute form660660 ἰδέαν. Cyril uses the word in the Platonic sense, as in the next sentence he adopts the formula, which Plato commonly uses in describing the “idea:” ἀεὶ κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ καὶ ὡσαύτως ἔχειν. Phaed. 78 c. of virtue, neither diminishing nor increasing, but in mode and conditions ever the same; who hath prepared punishment for sinners, and a crown for the righteous.
6. Seeing then that many have gone astray in divers ways from the One God, some having deified the sun, that when the sun sets they may abide in the night season without God; others the moon, to have no God by day661661 Job xxxi. 26, 27. The worship of Sun and Moon under various names was almost universal.; others the other parts of the world662662 Gaea or Tellus, the earth; Zeus or Jupiter, the sky; rivers, fountains, &c.; others the arts663663 Music, Medicine, Hunting, War, Agriculture, Metallurgy, &c., represented by Apollo, Æsculapius, Diana, Mars, Ceres, Vulcan.; others their various kinds of food664664 Herodotus, Book II., describes the Egyptian worship of various birds, fishes, and quadrupeds. Leeks and onions also were held sacred: Porrum et caepe nefas violare, Juv. Sat. xv. 9. Compare Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. c. ii. § 39, Klotz.; others their pleasures665665 Eros, Dionysus.; while some, mad after women, have set up on high an image of a naked woman, and called it Aphrodite666666 Clement of Alexandria (Protrept. c. iv. § 53, Klotz) states that the courtesan Phryne was taken as a model for Aphrodite. “Praxiteles when fashioning the statue of Aphrodite of Cnidus made it like the form of Cratine his paramour.” Ibid., and worshipped their own lust in a visible form; and others dazzled by the brightness of gold have deified it667667 Plutus. and the other kinds of matter;—whereas if one lay as a first foundation in his heart the doctrine of the unity668668 τῆς μοναρχίας τοῦ θεοῦ. See note on the title of Cat. VI. Praxeas made use of the term “Monarchy” to exclude the Son (and the Spirit) from the Godhead. Tertullian in his treatise against Praxeas maintains the true doctrine that the Son is no obstacle to the “Monarchy,” because He is of the substance of the Father, does nothing without the Father’s will, and has received all power from the Father, to Whom He will in the end deliver up the kingdom. In this sense Dionysius, Bishop of Rome, speaks of the Divine Monarchy as “that most sacred doctrine of the Church of God.” Compare Athanas. de Decretis, Nic. Syn. c. vi. § 3 and Dr. Newman’s note. In Orat. iv. c. Arian. p 606 (617), Athanasius derives the term from ἀρχή, in the sense of “beginning:” οὕτως μία ἀρχὴ θεότητος καὶ οὐ δύο ἀρχαί, ὅθεν κυρίως καὶ μοναρχία ἐστίν. See the full discussion of Monarchianism in Athanasius, p. xxiii. ff. in this series, and Newman’s Introduction to Athan. Or. iv. of God, and trust to Him, he roots out at once the whole crop669669 For φοράν (Bened.) many mss. read φθοράν, “corruption.” of the evils of idolatry, and of the error of the heretics: lay thou, therefore, this first doctrine of religion as a foundation in thy soul by faith.
7. Believe also in the Son of God, One and Only, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was begotten God of God, begotten Life of Life, begotten Light of Light670670 Compare xi. 4, 9, 18., Who is in all things like671671 Τὸν ὅμοιον κατὰ πάντα τῷ γεννησαντι. On the meaning and history of this phrase, proposed by the Semi-Arians at the Council of Ariminum as a substitute for ὁμοούσιον, see Athan. de Syn. § 8, sqq. to Him that begat, Who received not His being in time, but was before all ages eternally and incomprehensibly begotten of the Father: The Wisdom and the Power of God, and His Righteousness personally subsisting672672 ἐνυπόστατος. Cf. xi. 10; Athan. c. Apollinar. I. 20, 21.: Who sitteth on the right hand of the Father before all ages.
For the throne at God’s right hand He received not, as some have thought, because of His patient endurance, being crowned as it were by God after His Passion; but throughout His being,—a being by eternal generation673673 The mss. vary much, but I have followed the Benedictine text.,—He holds His royal dignity, and shares the Father’s seat, being God and Wisdom and Power, as hath been said; reigning together with the Father, and creating all things for the Father, yet lacking nothing in the dignity of Godhead, and knowing Him that hath begotten Him, even as He is known of Him that hath begotten; and to speak briefly, remember thou what is written in the Gospels, that none knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any the Father save the Son674674 Matt. xi. 27; John x. 15; xvii. 25..
8. Further, do thou neither
separate675675 This was a point
earnestly maintained by the orthodox Bishops at Nicæa, that the
Son begotten of the substance of the Father is ever inseparably in the
Father. Athan. de Decretis Syn. c. 20 ; Tertullian
c. Marc. IV. c. 6. Cf. Ignat. ad Trall. vi.
(Long Recension): τὸν
τοῦ Πατρός. the Son from the
Father, nor by making a confusion believe in a Son-Fatherhood676676 υἱοπατορία.
A term of derision applied to the doctrine of Sabellius. Compare
Athanas. Expositio Fidei, c. 2: “neither do we
imagine a Son-Father, as the Sabellians.” See Index,
Υιοπάτωρ.; but believe that of One God there is One
Only-begotten Son, who is before all ages God the Word; not the
προφορικός, the term used by Paul of Samosata, implied that the Word was
impersonal, being conceived as a particular activity of God. See
Dorner, Person of Christ, Div. I. vol. ii. p. 436 (English
Tr.): and compare Athanasius, Expositio Fidei, c.
1; υἱὸν ἐκ
λόγον δὲ οὐ
Cardinal Newman (Athan. c. Arianos, I. 7, note) observes that
some Christian writers of the 2nd Century “seem to speak of the
Divine generation as taking place immediately before the creation of
the world, that is, as if not eternal, though at the same time they
teach that our Lord existed before that generation. In other
words they seem to teach that He was the Word from eternity, and became
the Son at the beginning of all things; some of them expressly
considering Him, first as the λόγος
or Reason, in the Father, or (as may be speciously represented) a mere
attribute; next, as the λόγος
The terms λόγος ἐνδιάθετος, or ‘word conceived in the mind,’ and λόγος προφορικός, or ‘word expressed’ (emissum, or prolalivum), were in use among the Gnostics (Iren. II. c. 12, § 5). As applied to the Son both terms, though sometimes used in a right sense, were condemned as inadequate. Compare xi. 10. word diffused into the air, nor to be likened to impersonal words678678 ἀνυποστάτοις λόγοις. Athan. c. Arianos Orat. iv. c. 8: πάλιν οἱ λέγοντες μόνον ὄνομα εἶναι υἱοῦ, ἀνούσιον δὲ καὶ ἀνυπόστατον εἶναι τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, κ.τ.λ.; but the Word the Son, Maker of all who partake of reason, the Word who heareth the Father, and Himself speaketh. And on these points, should God permit, we will speak more at large in due season; for we do not forget our present purpose to give a summary introduction to the Faith.
Concerning His Birth of the Virgin.
9. Believe then that this Only-begotten Son of God for our sins came down from heaven upon earth, and took upon Him this human nature of like passions679679 ὁμοιοπαθῆ. Compare Acts xiv. 15; Jas. v. 17. with us, and was begotten of the Holy Virgin and of the Holy Ghost, and was made Man, not in seeming and mere show680680 On the origin of the Docetic heresy, see vi. 14., but in truth; nor yet by passing through the Virgin as through a channel681681 Valentinus the Gnostic taught that God produced a Son of an animal nature who “passed through Mary just as water through a tube, and that on him the Saviour descended at his Baptism.” Irenæus, I. vii. 2.; but was of her made truly flesh, [and truly nourished with milk682682 The words which the Benedictine Editor introduces in the brackets are found in Theodoret, and adopted by recent Editors, with Codd. M.A.], and did truly eat as we do, and truly drink as we do. For if the Incarnation was a phantom, salvation is a phantom also. The Christ was of two natures, Man in what was seen, but God in what was not seen; as Man truly eating like us, for He had the like feeling of the flesh with us; but as God feeding the five thousand from five loaves; as Man truly dying, but as God raising him that had been dead four days; truly sleeping in the ship as Man, and walking upon the waters as God.
Of the Cross.
10. He was truly crucified for our sins. For if thou wouldest deny it, the place refutes thee visibly, this blessed Golgotha683683 Eusebius, Life of Constantine, iii. 28., in which we are now assembled for the sake of Him who was here crucified; and the whole world has since been filled with pieces of the wood of the Cross684684 The discovery of the “True Cross” is related with many marvellous particulars by Socrates, Eccles. Hist. i. 17; and Sozomen, E. H. ii. 1. A portion was said to have been left by Helena at Jerusalem, enclosed in a silver case; and another portion sent to Constantinople, where Constantine privately enclosed it in his own statue, to be a safeguard to the city. Eusebius, Life of Constantine, iii. 25–30 , gives a long account of the discovery of the Holy Sepulchre, but makes no mention of the Cross. Cyril seems to have been the first to record it, 25 years after. Cf. Greg. Nyss. Bapt. Christi (p. 519).. But He was crucified not for sins of His own, but that we might be delivered from our sins. And though as Man He was at that time despised of men, and was buffeted, yet He was acknowledged by the Creation as God: for when the sun saw his Lord dishonoured, he grew dim and trembled, not enduring the sight.
Of His Burial.
11. He was truly laid as Man in a tomb of rock; but rocks were rent asunder by terror because of Him. He went down into the regions beneath the earth, that thence also He might redeem the righteous685685 Compare xiv. 18, 19, on the Descent into Hades.. For, tell me, couldst thou wish the living only to enjoy His grace, and that, though most of them are unholy; and not wish those who from Adam had for a long while been imprisoned to have now gained their liberty? Esaias the Prophet proclaimed with loud voice so many things concerning Him; wouldst thou not wish that the King should go down and redeem His herald? David was there, and Samuel, and all the Prophets686686 The same Old Testament saints are named in xiv. 19, as redeemed by Christ in Hades., John himself also, who by his messengers said, Art thou He that should come, or look we for another687687 Matt. xi. 3.? Wouldst thou not wish that He should descend and redeem such as these?
Of the Resurrection.
12. But He who descended into the regions beneath the earth came up again; and Jesus, who was buried, truly rose again the third day. And if the Jews ever worry thee, meet them at once by asking thus: Did Jonah come forth from the whale on the third day, and hath not Christ then risen from the earth on the third day? Is a dead man raised to life on touching the bones of Elisha, and is it not much easier for the Maker of mankind to be raised by the power of the Father? Well then, He truly rose, and after He had risen was seen again of the disciples: and twelve disciples were witnesses of His Resurrection, who bare witness not in pleasing words, but contended even unto torture and death for the truth of the Resurrection. What then, shall every word be established at the mouth of two of three witnesses688688 Deut. xix. 15., according to the Scripture, and, though twelve bear witness to the Resurrection of Christ, art thou still incredulous in regard to His Resurrection?
Concerning the Ascension.
13. But when Jesus had finished His course of patient endurance, and had redeemed mankind from their sins, He ascended again into the heavens, a cloud receiving Him up: and as He went up Angels were beside Him, and Apostles were beholding. But if any man disbelieves the words which I speak, let him believe the actual power of the things now seen. All kings when they die have their power extinguished with their life: but Christ crucified is worshipped by the whole world. We proclaim The Crucified, and the devils tremble now. Many have been crucified at various times; but of what other who was crucified did the invocation ever drive the devils away?
14. Let us, therefore, not be ashamed of the Cross of Christ; but though another hide it, do thou openly seal it upon thy forehead, that the devils may behold the royal sign and flee trembling far away689689 Justin M. Dialogue with Trypho, 247 C: We call Him Helper and Redeemer, the power of whose Name even demons do fear; and at this day, when exorcised in the name of Jesus Christ, crucified under Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judæa, they are overcome.. Make then this sign at eating and drinking, at sitting, at lying down, at rising up, at speaking, at walking: in a word, at every act690690 Tertullian, de Coronâ, 3: At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the Sign. If for these, and other such rules, you insist upon having positive Scripture injunction, you will find none. Tradition will be held forth to you as the originator of them, custom as their strengthener, and faith as their observer.. For He who was here crucified is in heaven above. If after being crucified and buried He had remained in the tomb, we should have had cause to be ashamed; but, in fact, He who was crucified on Golgotha here, has ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives on the East. For after having gone down hence into Hades, and come up again to us, He ascended again from us into heaven, His Father addressing Him, and saying, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool691691 Ps. cx. 1..
Of Judgment to Come.
15. This Jesus Christ who is gone up shall come again, not from earth but from heaven: and I say, “not from earth,” because there are many Antichrists to come at this time from earth. For already, as thou hast seen, many have begun to say, I am the Christ692692 Matt. xxiv. 5.: and the abomination of desolation693693 Matt. xxiv. 15. Compare Cat. xv. 9, 15. is yet to come, assuming to himself the false title of Christ. But look thou for the true Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, coming henceforth no more from earth, but from heaven, appearing to all more bright than any lightning and brilliancy of light, with angel guards attended, that He may judge both quick and dead, and reign in a heavenly, eternal kingdom, which shall have no end. For on this point also, I pray thee, make thyself sure, since there are many who say that Christ’s Kingdom hath an end694694 Compare xv. 27, where the followers of Marcellus of Ancyra are indicated as holding this opinion..
Of the Holy Ghost.
16. Believe thou also in the Holy Ghost, and hold the same opinion concerning Him, which thou hast received to hold concerning the Father and the Son, and follow not those who teach blasphemous things of Him695695 In xvi. 6–10, Cyril gives a long list of heresies concerning the Holy Ghost.. But learn thou that this Holy Spirit is One, indivisible, of manifold power; having many operations, yet not Himself divided; Who knoweth the mysteries, Who searcheth all things, even the deep things of God696696 1 Cor. ii. 10.: Who descended upon the Lord Jesus Christ in form of a dove; Who wrought in the Law and in the Prophets; Who now also at the season of Baptism sealeth thy soul; of Whose holiness also every intellectual nature hath need: against Whom if any dare to blaspheme, he hath no forgiveness, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come697697 Matt. xii. 32.: “Who with the Father and the Son together698698 This clause is not in the Creed of Nicæa, but is added in the Creed of Constantinople, a.d. 381.” is honoured with the glory of the Godhead: of Whom also thrones, and dominions, principalities, and powers have need699699 Col. i. 16.. For there is One God, the Father of Christ; and One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of the Only God; and One Holy Ghost, the sanctifier and deifier of all700700 θεοποιόν is omitted in Codd. Roe, Casaubon, and A., Who spake in the Law and in the Prophets, in the Old and in the New Testament.
17. Have thou ever in thy mind this seal701701 The Benedictine Editor argues from Cat. i. 5, “that thou mayest by faith seal up the things that are spoken;” and xxiii. 18: “sealing up the Prayer by the Amen,” that Cyril means by “this seal” the firm belief of Christian doctrine. Compare John iii. 33. But Milles understands by the “seal” the Creed itself, which agrees better with the following context., which for the present has been lightly touched in my discourse, by way of summary, but shall be stated, should the Lord permit, to the best of my power with the proof from the Scriptures. For concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell thee these things, give not absolute credence, unless thou receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning702702 ἡ σωτηρία γὰρ αὕτη τῆς πίστεως ἡμῶν, which might be rendered, “this our salvation by faith,” or, with Milles, “this safety of our Faith.” For the rendering in the text compare Heb. iii. 1: ἀρχιερέα τῆς ὁμολογίας ἡμῶν. On εὑρεσιλογία, see Polybius xviii. 29, § 3: διὰ τῆς προς ἀλλήλους εὑρεσιλογίας., but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures.
Of the Soul.
18. Next to the knowledge of this venerable and glorious and all-holy Faith, learn further what thou thyself art: that as man thou art of a two-fold nature, consisting of soul and body; and that, as was said a short time ago, the same God is the Creator both of soul and body703703 iv. 4.. Know also that thou hast a soul self-governed, the noblest work of God, made after the image of its Creator704704 In the Clementine Homily xvi. 16, the soul having come forth from God, clothed with His breath, is said to be of the same substance, and yet not God. In Tertull. c. Marcion II. c. 9, the soul is the affatus (πνοή not πνεῦμα) of God, i.e. the image of the Spirit, and inferior to it, though possessing the true lineaments of divinity, immortality, freedom, its own mastery over itself.: immortal because of God that gives it immortality; a living being, rational, imperishable, because of Him that bestowed these gifts: having free power to do what it willeth705705 Tertull. c. Marc. II. 6: It was proper that he who is the image and likeness of God should be formed with a free will, and a mastery of himself, so that this very thing, namely freedom of will and self-command, might be reckoned as the image and likeness of God in him.. For it is not according to thy nativity that thou sinnest, nor is it by the power of chance that thou committest fornication, nor, as some idly talk, do the conjunctions of the stars compel thee to give thyself to wantonness706706 Compare Aug. de Civ. Dei. v. 1, where he says that the astrologers (Mathematici) say, not merely such or such a position of Mars signifies that a man will be a murderer, but makes him a murderer. See Dict. of Christian Antiq., “Astrology.”. Why dost thou shrink from confessing thine own evil deeds, and ascribe the blame to the innocent stars? Give no more heed, pray, to astrologers; for of these the divine Scripture saith, Let the stargazers of the heaven stand up and save thee, and what follows: Behold, they all shall be consumed as stubble on the fire, and shall not deliver their soul from the flame707707 Is. xlvii. 13..
19. And learn this also, that the soul, before it came into this world, had committed no sin708708 “The Orphic poets were under the impression that the soul is suffering the punishment of sin, and that the body is an enclosure or prison in which the soul is incarcerated and kept (σώζεται) as the name σῶμα implies, until the penalty is paid.” Plato, Cratyl. 400. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. III. iii. 17), after referring to this passage of Plato, quotes Philolaus the Pythagorean, as saying: “The ancient theologians and soothsayers also testify that the soul has been chained to the body for a kind of punishment, and is buried in it as in a tomb.“, but having come in sinless, we now sin of our free-will. Listen not, I pray thee, to any one perversely interpreting the words, But if I do that which I would not709709 Rom. vii. 16.: but remember Him who saith, If ye be willing, and hearken unto Me, ye shall eat the good things of the land: but if ye be not willing, neither hearken unto Me, the sword shall devour you, &c.710710 Is. i. 19, 20.: and again, As ye presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness unto sanctification711711 Rom. vi. 19.. Remember also the Scripture, which saith, Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge712712 Rom. i. 28.: and, That which may be known of God is manifestin them713713 Rom. i. 19.; and again, their eyes they have closed714714 Matt. xiii. 15.. Also remember how God again accuseth them, and saith, Yet I planted thee a fruitful vine, wholly true: how art thou turned to bitterness, thou the strange vine715715 Jer. ii. 21.?
20. The soul is immortal, and all souls are alike both of men and women; for only the members of the body are distinguished716716 Apelles, the heretic, attributed the difference of sex to the soul, which existing before the body impressed its sex upon it. Tertull. On the Soul, c. xxxvi.. There is not a class of souls sinning by nature, and a class of souls practising righteousness by nature717717 Irenæus I. vii. 5: “They (the Valentinians) conceive of three kinds of men, spiritual, material, and animal.…These three natures are no longer found in one person, but constitute various kinds of men.…And again subdividing the animal souls themselves, they say that some are by nature good, and others by nature evil.” Origen on Romans, Lib. VIII. § 10: “I know not how those who come from the School of Valentinus and Basilides…suppose that there are souls of one nature which are always safe and never perish, and others which always perish, and are never saved.”: but both act from choice, the substance of their souls being of one kind only, and alike in all. I know, however, that I am talking much, and that the time is already long: but what is more precious than salvation? Art thou not willing to take trouble in getting provisions for the way against the heretics? And wilt thou not learn the bye-paths of the road, lest from ignorance thou fall down a precipice? If thy teachers think it no small gain for thee to learn these things, shouldest not thou the learner gladly receive the multitude of things told thee?
21. The soul is self-governed: and though the devil can suggest, he has not the power to compel against the will. He pictures to thee the thought of fornication: if thou wilt, thou acceptest it; if thou wilt not, thou rejectest. For if thou wert a fornicator by necessity, then for what cause did God prepare hell? If thou were a doer of righteousness by nature and not by will, wherefore did God prepare crowns of ineffable glory? The sheep is gentle, but never was it crowned for its gentleness: since its gentle quality belongs to it not from choice but by nature.
Of the Body.
22. Thou hast learned, beloved, the nature of the soul, as far as there is time at present: now do thy best to receive the doctrine of the body also. Suffer none of those who say that this body is no work of God718718 See iv. 18.: for they who believe that the body is independent of God, and that the soul dwells in it as in a strange vessel, readily abuse it to fornication719719 On the impure practices of the Manichees, see vi. 33, 34.. And yet what fault have they found in this wonderful body? For what is lacking in comeliness? And what in its structure is not full of skill? Ought they not to have observed the luminous construction of the eyes? And how the ears being set obliquely receive the sound unhindered? And how the smell is able to distinguish scents, and to perceive exhalations? And how the tongue ministers to two purposes, the sense of taste, and the power of speech? How the lungs placed out of sight are unceasing in their respiration of the air? Who imparted the incessant pulsation of the heart? Who made the distribution into so many veins and arteries? Who skilfully knitted together the bones with the sinews? Who assigned a part of the food to our substance, and separated a part for decent secretion, and hid away the unseemly members in more seemly places? Who when the human race must have died out, rendered it by a simple intercourse perpetual?
23. Tell me not that the body is a cause of sin720720 Fortunatus, the Manichee, in August. Disput. ii. 20, contra Fortunat. is represented as saying, What we assert is this, that the soul is compelled to sin by a substance of contrary nature.. For if the body is a cause of sin, why does not a dead body sin? Put a sword in the right hand of one just dead, and no murder takes place. Let beauties of every kind pass before a youth just dead, and no impure desire arises. Why? Because the body sins not of itself, but the soul through the body. The body is an instrument, and, as it were, a garment and robe of the soul: and if by this latter it be given over to fornication, it becomes defiled: but if it dwell with a holy soul, it becomes a temple of the Holy Ghost. It is not I that say this, but the Apostle Paul hath said, Know ye not, that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you721721 1 Cor. vi. 19.? Be tender, therefore, of thy body as being a temple of the Holy Ghost. Pollute not thy flesh in fornication: defile not this thy fairest robe: and if ever thou hast defiled it, now cleanse it by repentance: get thyself washed, while time permits.
24. And to the doctrine of chastity let the first to give heed be the order of Solitaries722722 μονάζοντες. Compare xii. 33; xvi. 22. The origin of Monasticism is usually traced to the time of the Decian persecution, the middle of the third century. Previously “there were no monks, but only ascetics in the Church; from that time to the reign of Constantine, Monachism was confined to the anchorets living in private cells in the wilderness: but when Pachomius had erected monasteries in Egypt, other countries presently followed the example.…Hilarion, who was scholar to Antonius, was the first monk that ever lived in Palestine or Syria.” Bingham, VII. i. 4. and of Virgins, who maintain the angelic life in the world; and let the rest of the Church’s people follow them. For you, brethren, a great crown is laid up: barter not away a great dignity for a petty pleasure: listen to the Apostle speaking: Lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one mess of meat sold his own birthright723723 Heb. xii. 16.. Enrolled henceforth in the Angelic books for thy profession of chastity, see that thou be not blotted out again for thy practice of fornication.
25. Nor again, on the other hand, in maintaining thy chastity be thou puffed up against those who walk in the humbler path of matrimony. For as the Apostle saith, Let marriage be had in honour among all, and let the bed be undefiled724724 Heb. xiii. 4.. Thou too who retainest thy chastity, wast thou not begotten of those who had married? Because thou hast a possession of gold, do not on that account reprobate the silver. But let those also be of good cheer, who being married use marriage lawfully; who make a marriage according to God’s ordinance, and not of wantonness for the sake of unbounded license; who recognise seasons of abstinence, that they may give themselves unto prayer725725 1 Cor. vii. 5.; who in our assemblies bring clean bodies as well as clean garments into the Church; who have entered upon matrimony for the procreation of children, but not for indulgence.
26. Let those also who marry but once not reprobate those who have consented to a second marriage726726 The condemnation of a second marriage, which the Benedictine Editor and others import into this passage, is not to be found in it. τοὺς δευτέρῳ γάμῳ συμπεριενεχθέντας neither means “qui ad secundas nuptias ultro se dejecere,” nor even “who have involved themselves” (R.W.C.), but simply “who have consented to,”—or, “consented together in—a second marriage,” without any intimation of censure. See V. 9; VI. 13: Ecclus. xxv. 1; γυνὴ καὶ ἁνὴρ ἑαυτοῖς συμπεριφερόμενοι; 2 Macc. ix. 27; Euseb. H. E. ix. 9, 7: ἀνεξικάκως καὶ συμμέτρως συμπεριφέροιντο αὐτοῖς; Zeno, ap. Diog. Laert. vii. 18; τὸ συμπεριφερεσθαι τοῖς φίλοις. Diog. Laert. vii. 13: εὐσυμπερίφορος. Polyb. IV. 35, § 7, and II. 17, § 12. The gentleness with which Cyril here speaks of second marriages is in striking contrast with the passionate vehemence of Tertullian in the treatise de Monogamia, and elsewhere. Aug. de Hæresibus, cc. 26, 38, reckons the condemnation of second marriage among the heretical doctrines of the Montanists and Cathari. In the treatise de Bono Viduitatis, c. 6, he argues that a second marriage is not to be condemned, but is less honourable than widowhood, and severely rebukes the heretical teaching on this point of Tertullian, the Montanists, and the Novatians. De Bono Conjugali, c. 21: Sacramentum nuptiarum temporis nostri sic ad unum virum et unam uxorem redactum est, ut Ecclesiæ dispensatorem non liceat ordinare nisi unius uxoris virum. On the practice of the Church at various times see Bingham, IV. v. 1–4; Suicer, Thesaur. Διγαμία.: for though continence is a noble and admirable thing, yet it is also permissible to enter upon a second marriage, that the weak may not fall into fornication. For it is good for them, saith the Apostle, if they abide even as I. But if they have not continency, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn727727 1 Cor. vii. 8, 9.. But let all the other practices be banished afar, fornication, adultery, and every kind of licentiousness: and let the body be kept pure for the Lord, that the Lord also may have respect unto the body. And let the body be nourished with food, that it may live, and serve without hindrance; not, however, that it may be given up to luxuries.
27. And concerning food let these be your ordinances, since in regard to meats also many stumble. For some deal indifferently with things offered to idols728728 The Nicolaitans (Apocal. ii. 14, 20); and the Valentinians, of whom Irenæus (II. xiv. 5), says that they derived their opinion as to the indifference of meats from the Cynics. See also Irenæus I. vi. 3; and xxvi. 3., while others discipline themselves, but condemn those that eat: and in different ways men’s souls are defiled in the matter of meats, from ignorance of the useful reasons for eating and not eating. For we fast by abstaining from wine and flesh, not because we abhor them as abominations, but because we look for our reward; that having scorned things sensible, we may enjoy a spiritual and intellectual feast; and that having now sown in tears we may reap in joy729729 Ps. cxxvi. 5. in the world to come. Despise not therefore them that eat, and because of the weakness of their bodies partake of food: nor yet blame these who use a little wine for their stomach’s sake and their often infirmities730730 1 Tim. v. 23.: and neither condemn the men as sinners, nor abhor the flesh as strange food; for the Apostle knows some of this sort, when he says: forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by them that believe731731 1 Tim. iv. 3.. In abstaining then from these things, abstain not as from things abominable732732 The various sects of Gnostics, and the Manichees, considered certain meats and drinks, as flesh and wine, to be polluting. Vid. Iren. Hær. i. 28. Clem. Pæd. ii. 2. p. 186. Epiph. Hær. xlvi. 2, xlvii. 1, &c., &c. August. Hær. 46, vid. Canon. Apost. 43. “If any Bishop, &c., abstain from marriage, flesh, and wine, not for discipline (δι᾽ ἄσκησιν) but as abhorring them, forgetting that they are all very good, &c., and speaking blasphemy against the creation, let him amend or be deposed,” &c. R.W.C., else thou hast no reward: but as being good things disregard them for the sake of the better spiritual things set before thee.
28. Guard thy soul safely, lest at any time thou eat of things offered to idols: for concerning meats of this kind, not only I at this time, but ere now Apostles also, and James the bishop of this Church, have had earnest care: and the Apostles and Elders write a Catholic epistle to all the Gentiles, that they should abstain first from things offered to idols, and then from blood also and from things strangled733733 Acts xv. 20, 29. The prohibition of blood and things strangled has continued to the present day in the Eastern Church, though already disregarded by the Latins in the time of S. Augustine (c. Faustum. xxxii. 13).. For many men being of savage nature, and living like dogs, both lap up blood734734 Tertullian (Apologeticus, c. 9) speaks of those “who at the gladiator shows, for the cure of epilepsy, quaff with greedy thirst the blood of criminals slain in the arena,” and of others “who make meals on the flesh of wild beasts at the place of combat:” and contrasts the habits of Christians, who abstain from things strangled, to avoid pollution by the blood., in imitation of the manner of the fiercest beasts, and greedily devour things strangled. But do thou, the servant of Christ, in eating observe to eat with reverence. And so enough concerning meats.
29. But let thine apparel be plain, not for adornment, but for necessary covering: not to minister to thy vanity, but to keep thee warm in winter, and to hide the unseemliness of the body: lest under pretence of hiding the unseemliness, thou fall into another kind of unseemliness by thy extravagant dress.
Of the Resurrection.
30. Be tender, I beseech thee, of this body, and understand that thou wilt be raised from the dead, to be judged with this body. But if there steal into thy mind any thought of unbelief, as though the thing were impossible, judge of the things unseen by what happens to thyself. For tell me; a hundred years ago or more, think where wast thou thyself: and from what a most minute and mean substance thou art come to so great a stature, and so much dignity of beauty735735 XVIII. 9.. What then? Cannot He who brought the non-existent into being, raise up again that which already exists and has decayed736736 Compare xviii. 6, 9; Athenagoras, On the Resurrection of the Dead, c. 3.? He who raises the corn, which is sown for our sakes, as year by year it dies,—will He have difficulty in raising us up, for whose sakes that corn also has been raised737737 XVIII. 6. John xii. 24; 1 Cor. xv. 36.? Seest thou how the trees stand now for many months without either fruit or leaves: but when the winter is past they spring up whole into life again as if from the dead738738 XVIII. 7.: shall not we much rather and more easily return to life? The rod of Moses was transformed by the will of God into the unfamiliar nature of a serpent: and cannot a man, who has fallen into death, be restored to himself again?
31. Heed not those who say that this body is not raised; for it is raised: and Esaias is witness, when he says: The dead shall arise, and they that are in the tombs shall awake739739 Is. xxvi. 19.: and according to Daniel, Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting shame740740 Dan. xii. 2.. But though to rise again is common to all men, yet the resurrection is not alike to all: for the bodies received by us all are eternal, but not like bodies by all: for the just receive them, that through eternity they may join the Choirs of Angels; but the sinners, that they may endure for ever the torment of their sins.
Of the Laver.
32. For this cause the Lord, preventing us according to His loving-kindness, has granted repentance at Baptism741741 Gr. λουτροῦ μετάνοιαν. Other readings are λύτρον μετανοίας, “redemption by repentance,” and λουτρὸν μετανοίας “a laver (baptism) of repentance.”, in order that we may cast off the chief—nay rather the whole burden of our sins, and having received the seal by the Holy Ghost, may be made heirs of eternal life. But as we have spoken sufficiently concerning the Laver the day before yesterday, let us now return to the remaining subjects of our introductory teaching.
Of the Divine Scriptures.
33. Now these the divinely-inspired Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament teach us. For the God of the two Testaments is One, Who in the Old Testament foretold the Christ Who appeared in the New; Who by the Law and the Prophets led us to Christ’s school. For before faith came, we were kept in ward under the law, and, the law hath been our tutor to bring us unto Christ742742 Gal. iii. 24. The Παιδαγωγός is described by Clement of Alexandria (Paedag. i. 7) as one who both conducts a boy to school, and helps to teach him,—an usher: “under-master” (Wicliff).. And if ever thou hear any of the heretics speaking evil of the Law or the Prophets, answer in the sound of the Saviour’s voice, saying, Jesus came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it743743 Matt. v. 17.. Learn also diligently, and from the Church, what are the books of the Old Testament, and what those of the New. And, pray, read none of the apocryphal writings744744 τῶν ἀποκρύφων. The sense in which Cyril uses this term may be learned from Rufinus (Expositio Symboli, § 38), who distinguishes three classes of books: (1) The Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments, which alone are to be used in proof of doctrine; (2) Ecclesiastical, which may be read in Churches, including Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, Judith, and the Books of the Maccabees, in the Old Testament, and The Shepherd of Hermas, and The Two Ways in the New Testament; (3) The other writings they called “Apocryphal,” which they would not have read in Churches. The distinction is useful, though the second class is not complete.: for why dost thou, who knowest not those which are acknowledged among all, trouble thyself in vain about those which are disputed? Read the Divine Scriptures, the twenty-two books of the Old Testament, these that have been translated by the Seventy-two Interpreters745745 The original source of this account of the Septuagint version is a letter purporting to have been written by Aristeas, or Aristæus, a confidential minister of Ptolemy Philadelphus, to his brother Philocrates. Though the letter is not regarded as genuine its statements are in part admitted to be true, being confirmed by a fragment, preserved by Eusebius (Præparatio Evangelica, ix. 6.), of a work of Aristobulus, a Jewish philosopher who wrote in the reign of Ptolemy Philometor, 181–146, b.c. Upon these testimonies it is generally admitted that “the whole Law,” i.e. the Pentateuch was translated into Greek at Alexandria in the reign either of Ptolemy Soter (323–285, b.c.), or of his son Ptolemy Philadelphus (285–247, b.c.), under the direction of Demetrius Phalereus, curator of the King’s library..
34. For after the death of Alexander, the king of the Macedonians, and the division of his kingdom into four principalities, into Babylonia, and Macedonia, and Asia, and Egypt, one of those who reigned over Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphus, being a king very fond of learning, while collecting the books that were in every place, heard from Demetrius Phalereus, the curator of his library, of the Divine Scriptures of the Law and the Prophets, and judged it much nobler, not to get the books from the possessors by force against their will, but rather to propitiate them by gifts and friendship; and knowing that what is extorted is often adulterated, being given unwillingly, while that which is willingly supplied is freely given with all sincerity, he sent to Eleazar, who was then High Priest, a great many gifts for the Temple here at Jerusalem, and caused him to send him six interpreters from each of the twelve tribes of Israel for the translation746746 Up to this point Cyril’s account is based upon the statements of the Pseudo-Aristeas. The fabulous incidents which follow, concerning the separate cells, the completion of the whole version by each translator, the miraculous agreement in the very words, proving a Divine inspiration, are found in Philo Judæus, Life of Moses, II. 7. Josephus, Antiquities, XII. c. ii. 3–14, following the letter of Aristeas, gives long descriptions of the magnificent presents sent by Philadelphus to Jerusalem, and of his splendid hospitality to the translators, but makes no allusion to the separate cells or miraculous agreement. On the contrary he represents the 72 interpreters as meeting together for consultation, agreeing on the text to be adopted, and completing their joint labours in 72 days. The slightest comparison of the Version with the original Hebrew must convince any reasonable person that the idea of divine inspiration or supernatural assistance, borrowed by Justin Martyr, Irenæus, and other Fathers, apparently from Philo, is a mere invention of the imagination, disproved by the facts. Compare the article “Septuagint” in Murray’s Dictionary of the Bible.. Then, further, to make experiment whether the books were Divine or not, he took precaution that those who had been sent should not combine among themselves, by assigning to each of the interpreters who had come his separate chamber in the island called Pharos, which lies over against Alexandria, and committed to each the whole Scriptures to translate. And when they had fulfilled the task in seventy-two days, he brought together all their translations, which they had made in different chambers without sending them one to another, and found that they agreed not only in the sense but even in words. For the process was no word-craft, nor contrivance of human devices: but the translation of the Divine Scriptures, spoken by the Holy Ghost, was of the Holy Ghost accomplished.
35. Of these read the two and twenty books, but have nothing to do with the apocryphal writings. Study earnestly these only which we read openly in the Church. Far wiser and more pious than thyself were the Apostles, and the bishops of old time, the presidents of the Church who handed down these books. Being therefore a child of the Church, trench747747 The rendering “trench not” (R.W.C.) agrees well with the etymology of the verb (παραχαράσσω). Its more usual signification seems to be “counterfeit,” “forge.” The sense required here, apart from any metaphor, is “transgress” (Heurtley). thou not upon its statutes. And of the Old Testament, as we have said, study the two and twenty books, which, if thou art desirous of learning, strive to remember by name, as I recite them. For of the Law the books of Moses are the first five, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. And next, Joshua the son of Nave748748 The name “Nun” is represented by “Nave” in the Septuagint, which Cyril used., and the book of Judges, including Ruth, counted as seventh. And of the other historical books, the first and second books of the Kings749749 The two books of Samuel. are among the Hebrews one book; also the third and fourth one book. And in like manner, the first and second of Chronicles are with them one book; and the first and second of Esdras are counted one. Esther is the twelfth book; and these are the Historical writings. But those which are written in verses are five, Job, and the book of Psalms, and Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs, which is the seventeenth book. And after these come the five Prophetic books: of the Twelve Prophets one book, of Isaiah one, of Jeremiah one, including Baruch and Lamentations and the Epistle750750 The Epistle of Jeremy, which now appears in the Apocrypha as the last chapter of Baruch. On the number and arrangement of the Books of the Old and New Testaments the student should consult an interesting Essay by Professor Sanday (Studia Biblica, vol. iii.), who traces the introduction of a fixed order to the time when papyrus rolls were superseded by codices, in which the sheets of skin were folded and bound together, as in printed books. This change had commenced before the Diocletian persecution, a.d. 303, when among the sacred books taken from the Christians codices were much more numerous than rolls. On the contents of the Jewish Canon, see Dictionary of the Bible, “Canon.” B.F.W. “Josephus enumerates 20 books ‘which are justly believed to be divine.’” One of the earliest attempts by a Christian to ascertain correctly the number and order of the Books of the O.T. was made by Melito, Bishop of Sardis, who travelled for this purpose to Palestine, in the latter part of the 2nd Century. His list is as follows:—“Of Moses five (books); Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Jesus son of Nave, Judges, Ruth, four Books of Kings, two of Chronicles, Psalms of David, Solomon’s Proverbs, which is also called Wisdom, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job, Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Twelve in one Book, Daniel, Ezekiel, Esdras.” (Eusebius, H.E. III. cap. 10, note I, in this series.) Cyril’s List agrees with that of Athanasius (Festal Epistle, 373 a.d.), except that Job is placed by Ath. after Canticles instead of before Psalms.; then Ezekiel, and the Book of Daniel, the twenty-second of the Old Testament.
36. Then of the New Testament there are the four Gospels only, for the rest have false titles751751 Gr. ψευδεπίγραφα. For an account of the many Apocryphal Gospels, see the article by Lipsius in the “Dictionary of Christian Biography,” Smith and Wace, and the English translations in Clark’s Ante-Nicene Library. and are mischievous. The Manichæans also wrote a Gospel according to Thomas, which being tinctured with the fragrance of the evangelic title corrupts the souls of the simple sort. Receive also the Acts of the Twelve Apostles; and in addition to these the seven Catholic Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude; and as a seal upon them all, and the last work of the disciples, the fourteen Epistles of Paul752752 Cyril includes in this list all the books which we receive, except the Apocalypse. See Bishop Westcott’s Article “Canon,” in the Dictionary of the Bible, and Origen’s Catalogue in Euseb. Hist. vi. 25 (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. i.).. But let all the rest be put aside in a secondary rank. And whatever books are not read in Churches, these read not even by thyself, as thou hast heard me say. Thus much of these subjects.
37. But shun thou every diabolical operation, and believe not the apostate Serpent, whose transformation from a good nature was of his own free choice: who can over-persuade the willing, but can compel no one. Also give heed neither to observations of the stars nor auguries, nor omens, nor to the fabulous divinations of the Greeks753753 Compare xix. 8. where all such acts of divination are said to be service of the devil.. Witchcraft, and enchantment, and the wicked practices of necromancy, admit not even to a hearing. From every kind of intemperance stand aloof, giving thyself neither to gluttony nor licentiousness, rising superior to all covetousness and usury. Neither venture thyself at heathen assemblies for public spectacles, nor ever use amulets in sicknesses; shun also all the vulgarity of tavern-haunting. Fall not away either into the sect of the Samaritans, or into Judaism: for Jesus Christ henceforth hath ransomed thee. Stand aloof from all observance of Sabbaths754754 Compare Gal. iv. 10, “Ye observe days.”, and from calling any indifferent meats common or unclean. But especially abhor all the assemblies of wicked heretics; and in every way make thine own soul safe, by fastings, prayers, almsgivings, and reading the oracles of God; that having lived the rest of thy life in the flesh in soberness and godly doctrine, thou mayest enjoy the one salvation which flows from Baptism; and thus enrolled in the armies of heaven by God and the Father, mayest also be deemed worthy of the heavenly crowns, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to Whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
|« Prev||On the Ten Points of Doctrine.||Next »|