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Concerning the Unity of God819819 Περὶ Θεοῦ Μοναρχίας. The word μοναρχία, as used by Plato (Polit. 291 C), Aristotle (Polit. III. xiv. 11. εἶδος μοναρχίας βασιλικῆς), Philo Judæus (de Circumcisione, § 2; de Monarchia, Titul.), means “sole government.” Compare Tertullian (adv. Praxean. c. iii.): “If I have gained any knowledge of either language, I am sure that Μοναρχία has no other meaning than ‘single and individual rule.’” Athanasius (de Decretis Nicænæ Synodi, § 26) has preserved part of an Epistle of Dionysius, Bishop of Rome (259–269, a.d.), against the Sabellians: “It will be natural for me now to speak against those who divide, and cut into pieces, and destroy that most sacred doctrine of the Church of God, the Monarchia, making it, as it were, three powers and divided hypostases, and three Godheads;” (ibid.): “It is the doctrine of the presumptuous Marcion to sever and divide the Monarchia into three origins (ἀρχάς).” We see here the sense which Μοναρχία had acquired in Christian Theology: it meant the “Unity of God,” as the one principle and origin of all things. “By the Monarchy is meant the doctrine that the Second and Third Persons in the Ever-blessed Trinity are ever to be referred in our thoughts to the First, as the Fountain of Godhead” (Newman, Athanas. de Decretis Nic. Syn. § 26, note h). Justin Martyr (Euseb. H.E. IV. 18), and Irenæus (ibid. V. 20), had each written a treatise περὶ Μοναρχίας. On the history of Monarchianism see, in this Series, Athanasius, Prolegomena, p. xxiii. sqq.. On the Article, I Believe in One God. Also Concerning Heresies.
Isaiah xlv. 16, 17. (Sept.)
Sanctify yourselves unto Me, O islands. Israel is saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation; they shall not be ashamed, neither shall they be confounded for ever, &c.
1. Blessed be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ820820 2 Cor. i. 3.. Blessed also
be His Only-begotten Son821821 This clause is omitted in some
mss. Various forms of the Doxology were
adopted in Cyril’s time by various parties in the Church.
Thus Theodoret (Hist. Eccles. II. c. 19) relates that Leontius,
Bishop of Antioch, a.d. 348–357,
observing that the Clergy and the Congregation were divided into two
parties, the one using the form “and to the Son, and to the Holy
Ghost,” the other “through the Son, in the Holy
Ghost,” used to repeat the Doxology silently, so that those who
were near could hear only “world without end.”
The form which was regarded as the most orthodox, and adopted in the Liturgies ran thus: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, now and ever, and to the ages of the ages.” See Suicer’s Thesaurus, Δοξολογία.. For with the thought of God let the thought of Father at once be joined, that the ascription of glory to the Father and the Son may be made indivisible. For the Father hath not one glory, and the Son another, but one and the same, since He is the Father’s Only-begotten Son; and when the Father is glorified, the Son also shares the glory with Him, because the glory of the Son flows from His Father’s honour: and again, when the Son is glorified, the Father of so great a blessing is highly honoured.
2. Now though the mind is most rapid in its thoughts, yet the tongue needs words, and a long recital of intermediary speech. For the eye embraces at once a multitude of the ‘starry quire;’ but when any one wishes to describe them one by one, which is the Morning-star, and which, the Evening-star, and which each one of them, he has need of many words. In like manner again the mind in the briefest moment compasses earth and sea and all the bounds of the universe; but what it conceives in an instant, it uses many words to describe822822 Irenæus II. xxviii. 4: “But since God is all mind, all reason, all active Spirit, all light, and always exists as one and the same, such conditions and divisions (of operation) cannot fittingly be ascribed to Him. For our tongue, as being made of flesh, is not able to minister to the rapidity of man’s sense, because that is of a spiritual nature; for which reason our speech is restrained (suffocatur) within us, and is not at once expressed as it has been conceived in the mind but is uttered by successive efforts, just as the tongue is able to serve it.”. Yet forcible as is the example I have mentioned, still it is after all weak and inadequate. For of God we speak not all we ought (for that is known to Him only), but so much as the capacity of human nature has received, and so much as our weakness can bear. For we explain not what God is but candidly confess that we have not exact knowledge concerning Him. For in what concerns God to confess our ignorance is the best knowledge823823 Tertullian, Apologeticus, § 17: “That which is infinite is known only to itself. This it is which gives some notion of God, while yet beyond all our conceptions—our very incapacity of fully grasping Him affords us the idea of what He really is. He is presented to our minds in His transcendent greatness, as at once known and unknown.” Cf. Phil. Jud. de Monarch. i. 4: Hooker, Eccles. Pol. I. ii. 3: “Whom although to know be life, and joy to make mention of His name; yet our soundest knowledge is to know that we know Him not as He is, neither can know Him.”. Therefore magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together824824 Ps. xxxiv. 3.,—all of us in common, for one alone is powerless; nay rather, even if we be all united together, we shall yet not do it as we ought. I mean not you only who are here present, but even if all the nurslings of the whole Church throughout the world, both that which now is and that which shall be, should meet together, they would not be able worthily to sing the praises of their Shepherd.
3. A great and honourable man was Abraham, but only great in comparison with men; and when he came before God, then speaking the truth candidly he saith, I am earth and ashes825825 Gen. xviii. 27.. He did not say ‘earth,’ and then cease, lest he should call himself by the name of that great element; but he added ‘and ashes,’ that he might represent his perishable and frail nature. Is there anything, he saith, smaller or lighter than ashes? For take, saith he, the comparison of ashes to a house, of a house to a city, a city to a province, a province to the Roman Empire, and the Roman Empire to the whole earth and all its bounds, and the whole earth to the heaven in which it is embosomed;—the earth, which bears the same proportion to the heaven as the centre to the whole circumference of a wheel, for the earth is no more than this in comparison with the heaven826826 The opinion of Aristarchus of Samos, as stated by Archimedes (Arenarius, p. 320, Oxon), was that the sphere of the fixed stars was so large, that it bore to the earth’s orbit the same proportion as a sphere to its centre, or more correctly (as Archimedes explains) the same proportion as the earth’s orbit round the sun to the earth itself. Compare Cat. xv. 24.: consider then that this first heaven which is seen is less than the second, and the second than the third, for so far Scripture has named them, not that they are only so many, but because it was expedient for us to know so many only. And when in thought thou hast surveyed all the heavens, not yet will even the heavens be able to praise God as He is, nay, not if they should resound with a voice louder than thunder. But if these great vaults of the heavens cannot worthily sing God’s praise, when shall ‘earth and ashes,’ the smallest and least of things existing, be able to send up a worthy hymn of praise to God, or worthily to speak of God, that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and holdeth the inhabitants thereof as grasshoppers827827 Is. xl. 22..
4. If any man attempt to speak of God, let him first describe the bounds of the earth. Thou dwellest on the earth, and the limit of this earth which is thy dwelling thou knowest not: how then shalt thou be able to form a worthy thought of its Creator? Thou beholdest the stars, but their Maker thou beholdest not: count these which are visible, and then describe Him who is invisible, Who telleth the number of the stars, and calleth them all by their names828828 Ps. cxlvii. 4.. Violent rains lately came pouring down upon us, and nearly destroyed us: number the drops in this city alone: nay, I say not in the city, but number the drops on thine own house for one single hour, if thou canst: but thou canst not. Learn then thine own weakness; learn from this instance the mightiness of God: for He hath numbered the drops of rain829829 Job xxxvi. 27: ἀριθμηταὶ δὲ αὐτῷ σταγόνες ὑετοῦ. R.V. For He draweth up the drops of water., which have been poured down on all the earth, not only now but in all time. The sun is a work of God, which, great though it be, is but a spot in comparison with the whole heaven; first gaze stedfastly upon the sun, and then curiously scan the Lord of the sun. Seek not the things that are too deep for thee, neither search out the things that are above thy strength: what is commanded thee, think thereupon830830 Ecclus. iii. 21, 22..
5. But some one will say, If the Divine substance is incomprehensible, why then dost thou discourse of these things? So then, because I cannot drink up all the river, am I not even to take in moderation what is expedient for me? Because with eyes so constituted as mine I cannot take in all the sun, am I not even to look upon him enough to satisfy my wants? Or again, because I have entered into a great garden, and cannot eat all the supply of fruits, wouldst thou have me go away altogether hungry? I praise and glorify Him that made us; for it is a divine command which saith, Let every breath praise the Lord831831 Ps. cl. 6.. I am attempting now to glorify the Lord, but not to describe Him, knowing nevertheless that I shall fall short of glorifying Him worthily, yet deeming it a work of piety even to attempt it at all. For the Lord Jesus encourageth my weakness, by saying, No man hath seen God at any time832832 John i. 18. They are the Evangelist’s own words..
6. What then, some man will say, is it not written, The little ones’ Angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven833833 Matt. xviii. 10.? Yes, but the Angels see God not as He is, but as far as they themselves are capable. For it is Jesus Himself who saith, Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is of God, He hath seen the Father834834 John vi. 46.. The Angels therefore behold as much as they can bear, and Archangels as much as they are able; and Thrones and Dominions more than the former, but yet less than His worthiness: for with the Son the Holy Ghost alone can rightly behold Him: for He searcheth all things, and knoweth even the deep things of God835835 1 Cor. ii. 10.: as indeed the Only-begotten Son also, with the Holy Ghost, knoweth the Father fully: For neither, saith He, knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him836836 Matt. xi. 27.. For He fully beholdeth, and, according as each can bear, revealeth God through the Spirit: since the Only-begotten Son together with the Holy Ghost is a partaker of the Father’s Godhead. He, who837837 The Benedictine and earlier printed texts read ὁ γεννηθεὶς [ἀπαθῶς πρὸ τῶν χρόνων αἰωνίων]: but the words in brackets are not found in the best mss. The false grammar betrays a spurious insertion, which also interrupts the sense. On the meaning of the phrase ὁ γεννηθεὶς ἀπαθῶς, see note on vii. 5: οὐ πάθει πατὴρ γενόμενος. was begotten knoweth Him who begat; and He Who begat knoweth Him who is begotten. Since Angels then are ignorant (for to each according to his own capacity doth the Only-begotten reveal Him through the Holy Ghost, as we have said), let no man be ashamed to confess his ignorance. I am speaking now, as all do on occasion: but how we speak, we cannot tell: how then can I declare Him who hath given us speech? I who have a soul, and cannot tell its distinctive properties, how shall I be able to describe its Giver?
7. For devotion it suffices us simply to know that we have a God; a God who is One, a living838838 Gr. ὄντα, ἀεὶ ὄντα., an ever-living God; always like unto Himself839839 Iren. II. xiii. 3: “He is altogether like and equal to Himself; since He is all sense, and all spirit, and all feeling, and all thought, and all reason, and all hearing, and all ear, and all eye, and all light, and all a fount of every good,—even as the religious and pious are wont to speak of God.”; who has no Father, none mightier than Himself, no successor to thrust Him out from His kingdom: Who in name is manifold, in power infinite, in substance uniform840840 μονοειδῆ. A Platonic word. Phædo, 80 B: τῷ μὲν θείω καὶ ἀθανάτῳ καὶ νοητῷ καὶ μονοειδεῖ καὶ ἀδιαλύτῳ καὶ ἀεὶ ὡσαύτως κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ ἔχοντι ἑαυτῷ ὁμοιότατον εἶναι ψυχήν. See Index, “Hypostasis.”. For though He is called Good, and Just, and Almighty and Sabaoth841841 Iren. II. xxxv. 3: “If any object that in the Hebrew language different expressions occur, such as Sabaoth, Elöe, Adonai, and all other such terms, striving to prove from these that there are different powers and Gods, let them learn that all expressions of this kind are titles and announcements of one and the same Being.”, He is not on that account diverse and various; but being one and the same, He sends forth countless operations of His Godhead, not exceeding here and deficient there, but being in all things like unto Himself. Not great in loving-kindness only, and little in wisdom, but with wisdom and loving-kindness in equal power: not seeing in part, and in part devoid of sight; but being all eye, and all ear, and all mind842842 See the passages of Irenæus quoted above, § 2 note 4, and § 7 note 3.: not like us perceiving in part and in part not knowing; for such a statement were blasphemous, and unworthy of the Divine substance. He foreknoweth the things that be; He is Holy, and Almighty, and excelleth all in goodness, and majesty, and wisdom: of Whom we can declare neither beginning, nor form, nor shape. For ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape843843 John v. 37., saith Holy Scripture. Wherefore Moses saith also to the Israelites: And take ye good heed to your own souls, for ye saw no similitude844844 Deut. iv. 15.. For if it is wholly impossible to imagine His likeness, how shall thought come near His substance?
8. There have been many imaginations by many persons, and all have failed. Some have thought that God is fire; others that He is, as it were, a man with wings, because of a true text ill understood, Thou shalt hide me under the shadow of Thy wings845845 Ps. xvii. 8.. They forgot that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten, speaks in like manner concerning Himself to Jerusalem, How often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and ye would not846846 Matt. xxiii. 37.. For whereas God’s protecting power was conceived as wings, they failing to understand this sank down to the level of things human, and supposed that the Unsearchable exists in the likeness of man. Some again dared to say that He has seven eyes, because it is written, seven eyes of the Lord looking upon the whole earth847847 Zech. iv. 10.. For if He has but seven eyes surrounding Him in part, His seeing is therefore partial and not perfect: but to say this of God is blasphemous; for we must believe that God is in all things perfect, according to our Saviour’s word, which saith, Your Father in heaven is perfect848848 Matt. v. 48.: perfect in sight, perfect in power, perfect in greatness, perfect in foreknowledge, perfect in goodness, perfect in justice, perfect in loving-kindness: not circumscribed in any space, but the Creator of all space, existing in all, and circumscribed by none849849 Philo Judæus (Leg. Alleg. I. 14. p. 52). Θεοῦ γὰρ οὐδὲ ὁ σύμπας κόσμος ἀξίον ἂν εἴη χωρίον καὶ ἐνδιαίτημα, ἐπεὶ αὐτὸς ἑαυτῷ τήπος. So Sir Isaac Newton, at the end of the Principia, asserts that God by His eternal and infinite existence constitutes Time and Space: “Non est duratio vel spatium, sed durat et adest, et existendo semper et ubique spatium et durationem constituit.”. Heaven is His throne, but higher is He that sitteth thereon: and earth is His footstool850850 Is. lxvi. 1., but His power reacheth unto things under the earth.
9. One He is, everywhere present, beholding all things, perceiving all things, creating all things through Christ: For all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made851851 John i. 3.. A fountain of every good, abundant and unfailing, a river of blessings, an eternal light of never-failing splendour, an insuperable power condescending to our infirmities: whose very Name we dare not hear852852 The sacred name (הוהי) was not pronounced, but Adonai was substituted.. Wilt thou find a footstep of the Lord? saith Job, or hast thou attained unto the least things which the Almighty hath made853853 Job xi. 7 (R.V.): Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? Cyril seems to have understood τὰ ἔσχατα as “the least,” not as “the utmost.”? If the least of His works are incomprehensible, shall He be comprehended who made them all? Eye hath not seen, and ear hath not heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him854854 1 Cor. ii. 9.. If the things which God hath prepared are incomprehensible to our thoughts, how can we comprehend with our mind Himself who hath prepared them? O the depth of the riches, and wisdom, and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out855855 Rom. xi. 33.! saith the Apostle. If His judgments and His ways are incomprehensible, can He Himself be comprehended?
10. God then being thus great, and yet
greater, (for even were I to change my whole substance into tongue, I
could not speak His excellence: nay more, not even if all Angels
should assemble, could they ever speak His worth), God being therefore
so great in goodness and majesty, man hath yet dared to say to a stone
that he hath graven, Thou art my God856856 Is. xliv. 17.! O monstrous blindness, that from
majesty so great came down so low! The tree which was planted by
God, and nourished by the rain, and afterwards burnt and turned into
ashes by the fire,—this is addressed as God, and the true God is
despised. But the wickedness of idolatry grew yet more prodigal,
and cat, and dog, and wolf857857 The cat was sacred to the goddess
Pasht, called by the Greeks Bubastis, and identified by Herodotus (ii.
137) with Artemis or Diana. Cats were embalmed after death, and
their mummies are found at various places, but especially at Bubastis
(Herod. ii. 67).
“The Dogs are interred in the cities to which they belong, in sacred burial-places” (Herod. ii. 67), but chiefly at Cynopolis (“City of Dogs”) where the dog-headed deity Anubis was worshipped.
Mummies of wolves are found in chambers excavated in the rocks at Lycopolis, where Osiris was worshipped under the symbol of a wolf. were worshipped instead of God: the man-eating lion858858 The lion was held sacred at Leontopolis (Strabo, xvii. p. 812). also was worshipped instead of God, the most loving friend of man. The snake and the serpent859859 “In the neighbourhood of Thebes there are sacred serpents perfectly harmless to man. These they bury in the temple of Zeus, the god to whom they are sacred.” (Herod. ii. 74.)
At Epidaurus in Argolis the serpent was held sacred as the symbol of Æsculapius. Clement of Alexandria (Exhort. c. ii.) gives a fuller list of animals worshipped by various nations. Compare also Clement. Recogn. V. 20., counterfeit of him who thrust us out of Paradise, were worshipped, and He who planted Paradise was despised. And I am ashamed to say, and yet do say it, even onions860860 Juvenal Sat. xv. 7.
Illic aeluros, hic piscem fluminis, illic
Oppida tota canem venerantur, nemo Dianam.
Possum et caepe nefas violare et frangere morsu. were worshipped among some. Wine was given to make glad the heart of man861861 Ps. civ. 15.: and Dionysus (Bacchus) was worshipped instead of God. God made corn by saying, Let the earth bring forth grass, yielding seed after his kind and after his likeness862862 Gen. i. 11., that bread may strengthen man’s heart863863 Ps. civ. 15.: why then was Demeter (Ceres) worshipped? Fire cometh forth from striking stones together even to this day: how then was Hephæstus (Vulcan) the creator of fire?
11. Whence came the polytheistic error of
the Greeks864864 The early Creeds of the
Eastern Churches, like that which Eusebius of Cæsarea proposed at
Nicæa, expressly declare the unity of God, in opposition both to
the heathen Polytheism, and to the various heresies which introduced
two or more Gods. See below in this Lecture, §§
12–18; and compare Athan. (contra Gentes, § 6,
sqq.)? God has no
body: whence then the adulteries alleged among those who are by
them called gods? I say nothing of the transformations of Zeus
into a swan: I am ashamed to speak of his transformations into a
bull: for bellowings are unworthy of a god. The god of the
Greeks has been found an adulterer, yet are they not ashamed: for
if he is an adulterer let him not be called a god. They tell also
of deaths865865 Clement of
Alexandria (Exhort. cap. ii. § 37), quotes a passage from a
hymn of Callimachus, implying the death of Zeus:
“For even thy tomb, O king,
The Cretans fashioned.”
Adonis, or “Thammuz yearly wounded,” was said to live and die in alternate years., and falls866866 By the word “falls” (ἀποπτώσεις) Cyril evidently refers to the story of Hephæstus, or Vulcan, to which Milton alludes (Paradise Lost, I. 740):—
“Men call’d him Mulciber, and how he fell
From heaven they fabled, thrown by angry Jove
Sheer o’er the crystal battlements: from morn
To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,
A summer’s day.”, and thunder-strokes867867 The “thunder-strokes” refer to “Titan heaven’s first-born, With his enormous brood” (Par. Lost, I. 510). Cf. Virgil, Æn. vi. 580:—
“Hic genus antiquum Terræ, Titania pubes,
Fulmine dejecti fundo volvuntur in imo.”
Ibid. v. 585:—
“Vidi et crudeles dantem Salmonea pœnas,
Dum flammas Jovis et sonitus imitatur Olympi.”
Clem. Alex. (Exhort. II. § 37):—“Æsculapius lies struck with lightning in the regions of Cynosuris.” Cf. Virg. Æn. vii. 770 ss. of their gods. Seest thou from how great a height and how low they have fallen? Was it without reason then that the Son of God came down from heaven? or was it that He might heal so great a wound? Was it without reason that the Son came? or was it in order that the Father might be acknowledged? Thou hast learned what moved the Only-begotten to come down from the throne at God’s right hand. The Father was despised, the Son must needs correct the error: for He Through Whom All Things Were Made must bring them all as offerings to the Lord of all. The wound must be healed: for what could be worse than this disease, that a stone should be worshipped instead of God?
12. And not among the heathen only did the devil make these assaults; for many of those who are falsely called Christians, and wrongfully addressed by the sweet name of Christ, have ere now impiously dared to banish God from His own creation. I mean the brood of heretics, those most ungodly men of evil name, pretending to be friends of Christ but utterly hating Him. For he who blasphemes the Father of the Christ is an enemy of the Son. These men have dared to speak of two Godheads, one good and one evil868868 The theory of two Gods, one good and the other evil, was held by Cerdo, and Marcion (Hippolytus, Refut. omnium Hær. VII. cap. 17: Irenæus, III. xxv. 3, quoted in note on Cat. iv. 4). The Manichees also held that the Creator of the world was distinct from the Supreme God (Alexander Lycop. de Manichæorum Sententiis, cap. iii.).! O monstrous blindness! If a Godhead, then assuredly good. But if not good, why called a Godhead? For if goodness is an attribute of God; if loving-kindness, beneficence, almighty power, are proper to God, then of two things one, either in calling Him God let the name and operation be united; or if they would rob Him of His operations, let them not give Him the bare name.
13. Heretics have dared to say that there are two Gods, and of good and evil two sources, and these unbegotten. If both are unbegotten it is certain that they are also equal, and both mighty. How then doth the light destroy the darkness? And do they ever exist together, or are they separated? Together they cannot be; for what fellowship hath light with darkness? saith the Apostle869869 2 Cor. vi. 14. Cyril’s description applies especially to the heresy of Manes. See § 36, note 3, at the end of this Lecture; also Cat. xi. 21. and Cat. xv. 3.. But if they are far from each other, it is certain that they hold also each his own place; and if they hold their own separate places, we are certainly in the realm of one God, and certainly worship one God. For thus we must conclude, even if we assent to their folly, that we must worship one God. Let us examine also what they say of the good God. Hath He power or no power? If He hath power, how did evil arise against His will? And how doth the evil substance intrude, if He be not willing? For if He knows but cannot hinder it, they charge Him with want of power; but if He has the power, yet hinders not, they accuse Him of treachery. Mark too their want of sense. At one time they say that the Evil One hath no communion with the good God in the creation of the world; but at another time they say that he hath the fourth part only. Also they say that the good God is the Father of Christ; but Christ they call this sun. If, therefore according to them, the world was made by the Evil One, and the sun is in the world, how is the Son of the Good an unwilling slave in the kingdom of the Evil? We bemire ourselves in speaking of these things, but we do it lest any of those present should from ignorance fall into the mire of the heretics. I know that I have defiled my own mouth and the ears of my listeners: yet it is expedient. For it is much better to hear absurdities charged against others, than to fall into them from ignorance: far better that thou know the mire and hate it, than unawares fall into it. For the godless system of the heresies is a road with many branches, and whenever a man has strayed from the one straight way, then he falls down precipices again and again.
14. The inventor of all heresy was Simon
Magus870870 So Irenæus (I.
xxiii. 2) says that “from this Simon of Samaria all kinds of
heresies derive their origin.”: that Simon, who in the Acts of the
Apostles thought to purchase with money the unsaleable grace of the
Spirit, and heard the words, Thou hast neither part nor lot in this
matter871871 Acts viii. 18–21., and the rest:
concerning whom also it is written, They went out from us, but they
were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained
with us872872 1 John ii. 19.. This man,
after he had been cast out by the Apostles, came to Rome, and gaining
over one Helena a harlot873873 Irenæus (I. xxiii.
2): “Having purchased from Tyre, a city of Phœnicia, a
certain harlot named Helena, he used to carry her about with him,
declaring that this woman was the first conception of his mind, the
mother of all, by whom in the beginning he conceived in his mind the
creation of Angels and Archangels.”, was the first that
dared with blasphemous mouth to say that it was himself who appeared on
Mount Sinai as the Father, and afterwards appeared among the Jews, not
in real flesh but in seeming874874 Cf. Epiphan.
(Hæres. p. 55, B): “He said that he was the Son
and had not really suffered, but only in appearance (δοκήσει).”, as Christ Jesus, and
afterwards as the Holy Spirit whom Christ promised to send as the
Paraclete875875 Irenæus (I. xxiii. 1): “He
taught that it was himself who appeared among the Jews as the Son, and
descended in Samaria as the Father, but came to other nations as the
Cyril here departs from his authority by substituting Mount Sinai for Samaria, and thereby falls into error. Simon had first appeared in Samaria, being a native of Gitton: moreover in claiming to be the Father he meant to set himself far above the inferior Deity who had given the Law on Sinai, saying that he was “the highest of all Powers, that is the Father who is over all.”. And he so deceived the City of Rome that Claudius set up his statue, and wrote beneath it, in the language of the Romans, “Simoni Deo Sancto,” which being interpreted signifies, “To Simon the Holy God876876 “Justin Martyr in his first Apology, addressed to Antoninus Pius, writes thus (c. 26): ‘There was one Simon a Samaritan, of the village called Gitton, who in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, and in your royal city of Rome, did mighty feats of magic by the art of dæmons working in him. He was considered a god, and as a god was honoured among you with a statue, which statue was set up in the river Tiber between the two bridges, and bears this inscription in Latin:
Simoni Deo Sancto;
To Simon the holy God.
“The substance of this story is repeated by Irenæus (adv. Hær. I. xxiii. 1), and by Tertullian (Apol. c. 13), who reproaches the Romans for installing Simon Magus in their Pantheon, and giving him a statue and the title ‘Holy God.’
“In a.d. 1574, a stone, which had formed the base of a statue, was dug up on the site described by Justin, the Island in the Tiber, bearing an inscription—‘Semoni Sanco Deo Fidio Sacrum, &c.’ Hence it has been supposed that Justin mistook a statue of the Sabine God, ‘Semo Sancus,’ for one of Simon Magus. See the notes in Otto’s Justin Martyr, and Stieren’s Irenæus.
“On the other hand Tillemont (Memoires, t. ii. p. 482) maintains that Justin in an Apology addressed to the emperor and written in Rome itself cannot reasonably be supposed to have fallen into so manifest an error. Whichever view we take of Justin’s accuracy concerning the inscription and the statue, there is nothing improbable in his statement that Simon Magus was at Rome in the reign of Claudius.” (Extracted by permission from the Speaker’s Commentary, Introduction to the Epistle to the Romans, p. 4.).”
the delusion was extending, Peter and Paul, a noble pair, chief rulers
of the Church, arrived and set the error right877877 “Justin says not one word about
St. Peter’s alleged visit to Rome, and his encounter with Simon
Magus.” But “Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical
History (c. a.d. 325), quotes Justin
Martyr’s story about Simon Magus (E. H. ii. c. 13), and
then, without referring to any authority, goes on to assert (c. 14)
that ‘immediately in the same reign of Claudius divine Providence
led Peter the great Apostle to Rome to encounter this great destroyer
of life,’ and that he thus brought the light of the Gospel from
the East to the West’ (ibidem).
Eusebius probably borrowed this story “from the strange fictions of the Clementine Recognitions and Homilies, and Apostolic Constitutions.” See Recogn. III. 63–65; Hom. I. 15, III. 58; Apost. Constit. VI. 7, 8, 9. Cyril’s account of Simon’s death is taken from the same untrustworthy sources.; and when the supposed god Simon wished to shew himself off, they straightway shewed him as a corpse. For Simon promised to rise aloft to heaven, and came riding in a dæmons’ chariot on the air; but the servants of God fell on their knees, and having shewn that agreement of which Jesus spake, that If two of you shall agree concerning anything that they shall ask, it shall be done unto them878878 Matt. xviii. 19., they launched the weapon of their concord in prayer against Magus, and struck him down to the earth. And marvellous though it was, yet no marvel. For Peter was there, who carrieth the keys of heaven879879 Ib. xvi. 19.: and nothing wonderful, for Paul was there880880 It is certain that S. Paul was not at Rome at this time. This story of Simon Magus and his ‘fiery car’ is told, with variations, by Arnobius (adv. Gentes, II. 12), and in Apost. Constit. VI. 9., who was caught up to the third heaven, and into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful far a man to utter881881 2 Cor. xii. 2, 4.. These brought the supposed God down from the sky to earth, thence to be taken down to the regions below the earth. In this man first the serpent of wickedness appeared; but when one head had been cut off, the root of wickedness was found again with many heads.
16. For Cerinthus882882 Cerinthus taught that the world was not made by the supreme God, but by a separate Power ignorant of Him. See Irenæus, Hær. I. xxvi., Euseb. E.H. iii. 28, with the notes in this Series. made havoc of the Church, and Menander883883 Menander is first mentioned by Justin M. (Apolog. I. cap. 26): “Menander, also a Samaritan, of the town Capparetæa, a disciple of Simon, and inspired by devils, we know to have deceived many while he was in Antioch by his magical art. He persuaded those who adhered to him that they should never die.” Irenæus (I. xxiii. 5) adds that Menander announced himself as the Saviour sent by the Invisibles, and taught that the world was created by Angels. See also Tertullian (de Animâ, cap. 50.), and Carpocrates884884 Carpocrates, a Platonic philosopher, who taught at Alexandria (125 a.d. circ.), held that the world and all things in it were made by Angels far inferior to the unbegotten (unknown) Father (Iren. I. xxv. 1; Tertullian, Adv. Hær. cap. 3)., Ebionites885885 Irenæus, I. 26: “Those who are called Ebionites agree that the world was made by God; but their opinions with respect to the Lord are like those of Cerinthus and Carpocrates.” also, and Marcion886886 On Marcion, see note 5, on Cat. iv. 4., that mouthpiece of ungodliness. For he who proclaimed different gods, one the Good, the other the Just, contradicts the Son when He says, O righteous Father887887 John xvii. 25.. And he who says again that the Father is one, and the maker of the world another, opposes the Son when He says, If then God so clothes the grass of the field which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the furnace of fire888888 Luke xii. 28.; and, Who maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust889889 Matt. v. 45.. Here again is a second inventor of more mischief, this Marcion. For being confuted by the testimonies from the Old Testament which are quoted in the New, he was the first who dared to cut those testimonies out890890 Marcion accepted only St. Luke’s Gospel, and mutilated that (Tertullian, Adv. Marcion. iv. 2). He thus got rid of the testimony of the Apostles and eye-witnesses, Matthew and John, and represented the Law and the Gospel as contradictory revelations of two different Gods. For this Cyril calls him ‘a second inventor of mischief,’ Simon Magus (§ 14) being the first., and leave the preaching of the word of faith without witness, thus effacing the true God: and sought to undermine the Church’s faith, as if there were no heralds of it.
17. He again was succeeded by another, Basilides, of evil name, and dangerous character, a preacher of impurities891891 Basilides was earlier than Marcion, being the founder of a Gnostic sect at Alexandria in the reign of Hadrian (a.d. 117–138). His doctrines are described by Irenæus (I. xxvii. 3–7), and very fully by Hippolytus (Refut. omn. Hær. VII. 2–15). The charge of teaching licentiousness attaches rather to the later followers of Basilides than to himself or his son Isidorus (Clem. Alex. Stromat. III. cap. 1). Basilides wrote a Commentary on the Gospel in 24 books (Exegetica), of which the 23rd is quoted by Clement of Alexandria (Stromat. IV. cap. 12), and against which Agrippa Castor wrote a refutation. Origen (Hom. I. in Lucam.) says that Basilides wrote a Gospel bearing his own name. See Routh, Rell. Sacr. I. p. 85; V. p. 106: Westcott, History of Canon of N.T. iv. § 3.. The contest of wickedness was aided also by Valentinus892892 “The doctrines of Valentinus are described fully by Irenæus (I. cap. i.) from whom S. Cyril takes this account. Valentinus, and Basilides, and Bardesanes, and Harmonious, and those of their company admit Christ’s conception and birth of the Virgin, but say that God the Word received no addition from the Virgin, but made a sort of passage through her, as through a tube, and made use of a phantom in appearing to men.” (Theodoret, Epist. 145.), a preacher of thirty gods. The Greeks tell of but few: and the man who was called—but more truly was not—a Christian extended the delusion to full thirty. He says, too, that Bythus the Abyss (for it became him as being an abyss of wickedness to begin his teaching from the Abyss) begat Silence, and of Silence begat the Word. This Bythus was worse than the Zeus of the Greeks, who was united to his sister: for Silence was said to be the child of Bythus. Dost thou see the absurdity invested with a show of Christianity? Wait a little, and thou wilt be shocked at his impiety; for he asserts that of this Bythus were begotten eight Æons; and of them, ten; and of them, other twelve, male and female. But whence is the proof of these things? See their silliness from their fabrications. Whence hast thou the proof of the thirty Æons? Because, saith he, it is written, that Jesus was baptized, being thirty years old893893 Luke iii. 23.. But even if He was baptized when thirty years old, what sort of demonstration is this from the thirty years? Are there then five gods, because He brake five loaves among five thousand? Or because he had twelve Disciples, must there also be twelve gods?
18. And even this is still little compared
with the impieties which follow. For the last of the deities
being, as he dares to speak, both male and female, this, he says, is
Wisdom894894 Irenæus I. ii.
2.. What impiety! For the Wisdom
of God895895 1 Cor. i. 24. is Christ His
Only-begotten Son: and he by his doctrine degraded the Wisdom of
God into a female element, and one of thirty, and the last
fabrication. He also says that Wisdom attempted to behold the
first God, and not bearing His brightness fell from heaven, and was
cast out of her thirtieth place. Then she groaned, and of her
groans begat the Devil896896 Irenæus, l. c., and Hippolytus, who
gives an elaborate account of the doctrines of Valentinus (L. VI. capp.
xvi.–xxxii.), both represent Sophia, “Wisdom,” as
giving birth not to Satan, but to a shapeless abortion, which was the
origin of matter. According to Irenæus (I. iv. 2), Achamoth,
the enthymesis of Sophia, gave birth to the Demiurge, and “from
her tears all that is of a liquid nature was formed.”
In Tertullian’s Treatise against the Valentinians chap. xxii., Achamoth is said as by Cyril to have given birth to Satan: but in chap. xxiii. Satan seems to be identified (or interchanged) with the Demiurge., and as she wept over her fall made of her tears the sea. Mark the impiety. For of Wisdom how is the Devil begotten, and of prudence wickedness, or of light darkness? He says too that the Devil begat others, some of whom created the world: and that the Christ came down in order to make mankind revolt from the Maker of the world.
19. But hear whom they say Christ Jesus to
be, that thou mayest detest them yet more. For they say that
after Wisdom had been cast down, in order that the number of the thirty
might not be incomplete, the nine and twenty Æons contributed each
a little part, and formed the Christ897897 The account in Irenæus (I. ii. 6) is
rather different: “The whole Pleroma of the Æons, with
one design and desire, and with the concurrence of the Christ and the
Holy Spirit, their Father also setting the seal of His approval on
their conduct, brought together whatever each one had in himself of the
greatest beauty and preciousness; and uniting all these contributions
so as skilfully to blend the whole, they produced, to the honour and
glory of Bythus, a being of most perfect beauty, the very star of the
Pleroma, and its perfect fruit, namely Jesus.”
Tertullian, Against the Valentinians, chap. 12, gives a sarcastic description of this strange doctrine, deriving his facts (chap. 5) from Justin, Miltiades, “Irenæus, that very exact inquirer into all doctrines,” and Proculus.: and they say that He also is both male and female898898 This statement does not agree with Irenæus (I. vii. 1), who says that the Valentinians represented the Saviour, that is Jesus, as becoming the bridegroom of Achamoth or Sophia.. Can anything be more impious than this? Anything more wretched? I am describing their delusion to thee, in order that thou mayest hate them the more. Shun, therefore, their impiety, and do not even give greeting to899899 2 John 10, 11: “Neither bid him God speed” (A.V.): “give him no greeting” (R.V.). a man of this kind, lest thou have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness900900 Ephes. v. 11.: neither make curious inquiries, nor be willing to enter into conversation with them.
20. Hate all heretics, but especially him who is rightly named after mania901901 Eusebius in his brief notice of the Manichean heresy (Hist. Eccles. vii. 31) plays, like S. Cyril, upon the name Manes as well suited to a madman., who arose not long ago in the reign of Probus902902 Marcus Aurelius Probus, Emperor a.d. 276–282, from being an obscure Illyrian soldier came to be universally esteemed the best and noblest of the Roman Emperors.. For the delusion began full seventy years ago903903 Routh (R.S. V. p. 12) comes to the conclusion that the famous disputation between Manes and Archelaus took place between July and December, a.d. 277. Accordingly these Lectures, being “full 70 years” later, could not have been delivered before the Spring of a.d. 348., and there are men still living who saw him with their very eyes. But hate him not for this, that he lived a short time ago; but because of his impious doctrines hate thou the worker of wickedness, the receptacle of all filth, who gathered up the mire of every heresy904904 Leo the Great (Serm. xv. cap. 4) speaks of the madness of the later Manichees as including all errors and impieties: “all profanity of Paganism, all blindness of the carnal Jews, the illicit secrets of the magic art, the sacrilege and blasphemy of all heresies, flowed together in that sect as into a sort of cess-pool of all filth.” Leo summoned those whom they called the “elect,” both men and women, before an assembly of Bishops and Presbyters, and obtained from these witnesses a full account of the execrable practices of the sect, in which, as he declares, “their law is lying, their religion the devil, their sacrifice obscenity.”. For aspiring to become pre-eminent among wicked men, he took the doctrines of all, and having combined them into one heresy filled with blasphemies and all iniquity, he makes havoc of the Church, or rather of those outside the Church, roaming about like a lion and devouring. Heed not their fair speech, nor their supposed humility: for they are serpents, a generation of vipers905905 Matt. iii. 7.. Judas too said Hail! Master906906 Ib. xxvi. 49., even while he was betraying Him. Heed not their kisses, but beware of their venom.
21. Now, lest I seem to accuse him without reason, let me make a digression to tell who this Manes is, and in part what he teaches: for all time would fail to describe adequately the whole of his foul teaching. But for help in time of need907907 Heb. iv. 16., store up in thy memory what I have said to former hearers, and will repeat to those now present, that they who know not may learn, and they who know may be reminded. Manes is not of Christian origin, God forbid! nor was he like Simon cast out of the Church, neither himself nor the teachers who were before him. For he steals other men’s wickedness, and makes their wickedness his own: but how and in what manner thou must hear.
22. There was in Egypt one Scythianus908908 Cyril takes his account of Manes from the “Acta Archelai et Manetis Disputationis,” of which Routh has edited the Latin translation together with the Fragments of the Greek preserved by Cyril in this Lecture and by Epiphanius. There is an English translation of the whole in Clark’s “Ante-Nicene Christian Library.”, a Saracen909909 The Saracens are mentioned by both Pliny and Ptolemy. See Dict. of Greek and Roman Geography. by birth, having nothing in common either with Judaism or with Christianity. This man, who dwelt at Alexandria and imitated the life of Aristotle910910 There is no mention of Aristotle in the Acta Archelai, but Scythianus is stated (cap. li.) to have founded the sect in the time of the Apostles, and to have derived his duality of Gods from Pythagoras, and to have learned the wisdom of the Egyptians., composed four books911911 These four books are stated by Archelaus (Acta, cap. lii.), to have been written for Manes by his disciple Terebinthus., one called a Gospel which had not the acts of Christ, but the mere name only, and one other called the book of Chapters, and a third of Mysteries, and a fourth, which they circulate now, the Treasure912912 In allusion to this name the history of the Disputation is called (Acta, cap. i.) “The true Treasure.”. This man had a disciple, Terebinthus by name. But when Scythianus purposed to come into Judæa, and make havoc of the land, the Lord smote him with a deadly disease, and stayed the pestilence913913 The true reading of this sentence, προαιρούμενον τὸν Σκυθιανόν, instead of τὸν πρόειρῃμένον Σκ., has been restored by Cleopas from the ms. in the Archiepiscopal library at Jerusalem. This reading agrees with the statement in Acta Archel. cap. li.: “Scythianus thought of making an excursion into Judæa, with the purpose of meeting all those who had a reputation there as teachers; but it came to pass that he suddenly departed this life, without having been able to make any progress.”.
23. But Terebinthus, his disciple in this wicked error, inherited his money and books and heresy914914 This statement agrees with the reading of the Vatican ms. of the Acta Archelai, “omnibus quæcunque ejus fuerunt congregratis.”, and came to Palestine, and becoming known and condemned in Judæa915915 In the Acta there is no mention of Palestine, but only that he “set out for Babylonia, a province which is now held by the Persians.” he resolved to pass into Persia: but lest he should be recognised there also by his name he changed it and called himself Buddas916916 Clem. Alex. (Strom. i. 15): “Some also of the Indians obey the precepts of Boutta, and honour him as a god for his extraordinary sanctity.”. However, he found adversaries there also in the priests of Mithras917917 Cf. Acta Arch. cap. lii.: “A certain Parcus, however, a prophet, and Labdacus, son of Mithras, charged him with falsehood.” On the name Parcus and Labdacus, see Dict. Chr. Biogr., “Barcabbas,” and on the Magian worship of the Sun-god Mithras, see Rawlinson (Herodot. Vol. I. p. 426).: and being confuted in the discussion of many arguments and controversies, and at last hard pressed, he took refuge with a certain widow. Then having gone up on the housetop, and summoned the dæmons of the air, whom the Manichees to this day invoke over their abominable ceremony of the fig918918 See below, § 33., he was smitten of God, and cast down from the housetop, and expired: and so the second beast was cut off.
24. The books, however, which were the records of his impiety, remained; and both these and his money the widow inherited. And having neither kinsman nor any other friend, she determined to buy with the money a boy named Cubricus919919 Cf. Acta Arch. cap. liii. “A boy about seven years old, named Corbicius.”: him she adopted and educated as a son in the learning of the Persians, and thus sharpened an evil weapon against mankind. So Cubricus, the vile slave, grew up in the midst of philosophers, and on the death of the widow inherited both the books and the money. Then, lest the name of slavery might be a reproach, instead of Cubricus he called himself Manes, which in the language of the Persians signifies discourse920920 See a different account in Dict. Chr. Biogr., “Manes.”. For as he thought himself something of a disputant, he surnamed himself Manes, as it were an excellent master of discourse. But though he contrived for himself an honourable title according to the language of the Persians, yet the providence of God caused him to become a self-accuser even against his will, that through thinking to honour himself in Persia, he might proclaim himself among the Greeks by name a maniac.
25. He dared too to say that he was the Paraclete, though it is written, But whosoever shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, hath no forgiveness921921 Mark iii. 29.. He committed blasphemy therefore by saying that he was the Holy Ghost: let him that communicates with those heretics see with whom he is enrolling himself. The slave shook the world, since by three things the earth is shaken, and the fourth it cannot bear,—if a slave became a king922922 Prov. xxx. 21, 22.. Having come into public he now began to promise things above man’s power. The son of the King of the Persians was sick, and a multitude of physicians were in attendance: but Manes promised, as if he were a godly man, to cure him by prayer. With the departure of the physicians, the life of the child departed: and the man’s impiety was detected. So the would-be philosopher was a prisoner, being cast into prison not for reproving the king in the cause of truth, not for destroying the idols, but for promising to save and lying, or rather, if the truth must be told, for committing murder. For the child who might have been saved by medical treatment, was murdered by this man’s driving away the physicians, and killing him by want of treatment.
26. Now as there are very many wicked things which I tell thee of him, remember first his blasphemy, secondly his slavery (not that slavery is a disgrace, but that his pretending to be free-born, when he was a slave, was wicked), thirdly, the falsehood of his promise, fourthly, the murder of the child, and fifthly, the disgrace of the imprisonment. And there was not only the disgrace of the prison, but also the flight from prison. For he who called himself the Paraclete and champion of the truth, ran away: he was no successor of Jesus, who readily went to the Cross, but this man was the reverse, a runaway. Moreover, the King of the Persians ordered the keepers of the prison to be executed: so Manes was the cause of the child’s death through his vain boasting, and of the gaolers’ death through his flight. Ought then he, who shared the guilt of murder, to be worshipped? Ought he not to have followed the example of Jesus, and said, If ye seek Me, let these go their way923923 John xviii. 8.? Ought he not to have said, like Jonas, Take me, and cast me into the sea: for this storm is because of me924924 Jonah i. 12.?
27. He escapes from the prison, and comes into Mesopotamia: but there Bishop Archelaus, a shield of righteousness, encounters him925925 The account of the discussion in this and the two following chapters is not now found in the Latin Version of the “Disputation,” but is regarded by Dr. Routh as having been derived by Cyril from some different copies of the Greek. The last paragraph of § 29, “These mysteries, &c.,” is evidently a caution addressed to the hearers by Cyril himself (Routh, Rell. Sac. V. 199).: and having accused him before philosophers as judges, and having assembled an audience of Gentiles, lest if Christians gave judgment, the judges might be thought to shew favour,—Tell us what thou preachest, said Archelaus to Manes. And he, whose mouth was as an open sepulchre926926 Ps. v. 9., began first with blasphemy against the Maker of all things, saying, The God of the Old Testament is the author of evils, as He says of Himself, I am a consuming fire927927 Deut. iv. 24.. But the wise Archelaus undermined his blasphemous argument by saying, “If the God of the Old Testament, as thou sayest, calls Himself a fire, whose Son is He who saith, I came to send fire on the earth928928 Luke xii. 49.? If thou findest fault with Him who saith, The Lord killeth, and maketh alive929929 1 Sam. ii. 6., why dost thou honour Peter, who raised up Tabitha, but struck Sapphira dead? If again thou findest fault, because He prepared fire, wherefore dost thou not find fault with Him who saith, Depart from Me into everlasting fire930930 Matt. xxv. 41.? If thou findest fault with Him who saith, I am God that make peace, and create evil931931 Is. xlv. 7., explain how Jesus saith, I came not to send peace but a sword932932 Matt. x. 34.. Since both speak alike, of two things one, either both are good, because of their agreement, or if Jesus is blameless in so speaking. why blamest thou Him that saith the like in the Old Testament?”
28. Then Manes answers him: “And what sort of God causes blindness? For it is Paul who saith, In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the Gospel should shine unto them933933 2 Cor. iv. 4, νοήματα, “thoughts.”.” But Archelaus made a good retort, saying, “Read a little before: But if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that are perishing934934 2 Cor. iv. 3.. Seest thou that in them that are perishing it is veiled? For it is not right to give the things which are holy unto the dogs935935 Matt. vii. 6.. Again, Is it only the God of the Old Testament that hath blinded the minds of them that believe not? Hath not Jesus Himself said, For this cause speak I unto them in parables, that seeing they may not see936936 Matt. xiii. 13. Both A.V. and R.V. follow the better reading: “because seeing they see not, &c.”? Was it from hating them that He wished them not to see? Or because of their unworthiness, since their eyes they had closed937937 Matt. xiii. 15.. For where there is wilful wickedness, there is also a withholding of grace: for to him that hath shall be given; but from him that hath not shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have938938 Ib. xxv. 29; Luke viii. 18..
29. “But if some are right in their interpretation, we must say as follows939939 Instead of the reading of the Benedictine and earlier editions, εἰ δὲ δεῖ καὶ ὥς τινες ἐξηγοῦνται τοῦτο εἰπεῖν, the mss. Roe and Casaubon combine δει και ως into the one word δικαιως, which is probably the right reading. Something, however, is still wanted to complete the construction, and Petrus Siculus (circ. a.d. 870) who quotes the passage in his History of the Manichees, boldly conjectures ἔστι καὶ οὕτως εἰπεῖν. A simpler emendation would be—εἰ δὲ δικαίως τινὲς ἐξηγοῦνται, δεῖ τουτο εἰπεῖν—which both completes the construction and explains the reading δεῖ καὶ ὡς. (for it is no unworthy expression)—If indeed He blinded the thoughts of them that believe not he blinded them for a good purpose, that they might look with new sight on what is good. For he said not, He blinded their soul, but, the thoughts of them that believe not940940 νοήματα, 2 Cor. iv. 4.. And the meaning is something of this kind: ‘Blind the lewd thoughts of the lewd, and the man is saved: blind the grasping and rapacious thought of the robber, and the man is saved.’ But wilt thou not understand it thus? Then there is yet another interpretation. The sun also blinds those whose sight is dim: and they whose eyes are diseased are hurt by the light and blinded. Not that the sun’s nature is to blind, but that the substance of the eyes is incapable of seeing. In like manner unbelievers being diseased in their heart cannot look upon the radiance of the Godhead. Nor hath he said, ‘He hath blinded their thoughts, that they should not hear the Gospel:’ but, that the light of the glory of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ should not shine unto them. For to hear the Gospel is permitted to all: but the glory of the Gospel is reserved for Christ’s true children only. Therefore the Lord spoke in parables to those who could not hear941941 Matt. xiii. 13.: but to the Disciples he explained the parables in private942942 Mark iv. 34.: for the brightness of the glory is for those who have been enlightened, the blinding for them that believe not.” These mysteries, which the Church now explains to thee who art passing out of the class of Catechumens, it is not the custom to explain to heathen. For to a heathen we do not explain the mysteries concerning Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, nor before Catechumens do we speak plainly of the mysteries: but many things we often speak in a veiled way, that the believers who know may understand, and they who know not may get no hurt943943 See the note at the end of Procatechesis..
30. By such and many other arguments the serpent was overthrown: thus did Archelaus wrestle with Manes and threw him. Again, he who had fled from prison flees from this place also: and having run away from his antagonist, he comes to a very poor village, like the serpent in Paradise when he left Adam and came to Eve. But the good shepherd Archelaus taking forethought for his sheep, when he heard of his flight, straightway hastened with all speed in search of the wolf. And when Manes suddenly saw his adversary, he rushed out and fled: it was however his last flight. For the officers of the King of Persia searched everywhere, and caught the fugitive: and the sentence, which he ought to have received in the presence of Archelaus, is passed upon him by the king’s officers. This Manes, whom his own disciples worship, is arrested and brought before the king. The king reproached him with his falsehood and his flight: poured scorn upon his slavish condition, avenged the murder of his child, and condemned him also for the murder of the gaolers: he commands him to be flayed after the Persian fashion. And while the rest of his body was given over for food of wild beasts, his skin, the receptacle of his vile mind, was hung up before the gates like a sack944944 Disput. § 55. Compare the account of Manes in Socrates, Eccles. Hist. I. 22, in this series.. He that called himself the Paraclete and professed to know the future, knew not his own flight and capture.
31. This man has had three disciples, Thomas, and Baddas, and Hermas. Let none read the Gospel according to Thomas945945 The Gospel of Thomas, an account of the Childhood of Jesus, is extant in three forms, two in Greek and one in Latin: these are all translated in Clark’s Ante-Nicene Library. The work is wrongly attributed by Cyril to a disciple of Manes, being mentioned long before Hippolytus (Refutation of all Heresies, V. 2) and by Origen (Hom. I. in Lucam): “There is extant also the Gospel according to Thomas.”: for it is the work not of one of the twelve Apostles, but of one of the three wicked disciples of Manes. Let none associate with the soul-destroying Manicheans, who by decoctions of chaff counterfeit the sad look of fasting, who speak evil of the Creator of meats, and greedily devour the daintiest, who teach that the man who plucks up this or that herb is changed into it. For if he who crops herbs or any vegetable is changed into the same, into how many will husbandmen and the tribe of gardeners be changed946946 In the Disputation, § 9, Turbo describes these transformations: “Reapers must be transformed into hay, or beans, or barley, or corn, or vegetables, that they may be reaped and cut. Again if any one eats bread, he must become bread, and be eaten. If one kills a chicken, he will be a chicken himself. If one kills a mouse, he also will be a mouse.”? The gardener, as we see, has used his sickle against so many: into which then is he changed? Verily their doctrines are ridiculous, and fraught with their own condemnation and shame! The same man, being the shepherd of a flock, both sacrifices a sheep and kills a wolf. Into what then is he changed? Many men both net fishes and lime birds: into which then are they transformed?
32. Let those children of sloth, the Manicheans, make answer; who without labouring themselves eat up the labourers’ fruits: who welcome with smiling faces those who bring them their food, and return curses instead of blessings. For when a simple person brings them anything, “Stand outside a while,” saith he, “and I will bless thee.” Then having taken the bread into his hands (as those who have repented and left them have confessed), “I did not make thee,” says the Manichee to the bread: and sends up curses against the Most High; and curses him that made it, and so eats what was made947947 See Turbo’s confession, Disput. § 9: “And when they are going to eat bread, they first pray, speaking thus to the bread: ‘I neither reaped thee, nor ground thee, nor kneaded thee, nor cast thee into the oven: but another did these things and brought thee to me, and I am not to blame for eating thee.’ And when he has said this to himself, he says to the Catechumen, ‘I have prayed for thee,’ and so he goes away.”. If thou hatest the food, why didst thou look with smiling countenance on him that brought it to thee? If thou art thankful to the bringer, why dost thou utter thy blasphemy to God, who created and made it? So again he says, “I sowed thee not: may he be sown who sowed thee! I reaped thee not with a sickle: may he be reaped who reaped thee! I baked thee not with fire: may he be baked who baked thee!” A fine return for the kindness!
33. These are great faults, but still small in comparison with the rest. Their Baptism I dare not describe before men and women948948 On the rites of Baptism and Eucharist employed by the Manichees, see Dict. Chr. Biogr., Manicheans.. I dare not say what they distribute to their wretched communicants949949 The original runs: Οὐ τολμῶ εἰπεῖν, τίνι ἐμβάπτοντες τὴν ἰσχάδα, διδόασι τοῖς ἀθλίοις. διὰ συσσήμων δὲ μόνον δηλούσθω. ἄνδρες γὰρ τὰ ἐν τοῖς ἐνυπνιασμοῖς ἐνθυμείσθωσιν, καὶ γυναῖκες τὰ ἐν ἀφέδροις. Μιαίνομεν ἀληθας τὸ στόμα κ.τ.λ.….Truly we pollute our mouth in speaking of these things. Are the heathen more detestable than these? Are the Samaritans more wretched? Are Jews more impious? Are fornicators more impure950950 ῾Ο μὲν γὰρ πορνεύσας, πρὸς μίαν ὥραν δ ἐπιθυμίαν τελεῖ τὴν πρᾶξιν· καταγινώσκων δὲ τῆς πράξεως ὡς μιανθεὶς οἶδε λουτροῦ ἐπιδεόμενος, καὶ γινώσκει τῆς πρὰξεως τὸ μυσαρόν. ῾Ο δὲ Μανιχαῖος θυσιαστηρίου μέσον, οὗ νομίζει, τίθησι ταῦτα, καὶ μιαίνει καὶ τὸ στόμα καὶ τὴν γλῶτταν. παρὰ τοιούτου στόματος, ἄνθρωπε κ.τ.λ.? But the Manichee sets these offerings in the midst of the altar as he considers it951951 οὗ νομίζει. The Manichees boasted of their superiority to the Pagans in not worshipping God with altars, temples, images, victims, or incense (August. contra Faustum XX. cap. 15). Yet they used the names, as Augustine affirms (l. c. cap. 18): “Nevertheless I wish you would tell me why you call all those things which you approve in your own case by these names, temple, altar, sacrifice.”. And dost thou, O man, receive instruction from such a mouth? On meeting this man dost thou greet him at all with a kiss? To say nothing of his other impiety, dost thou not flee from the defilement, and from men worse than profligates, more detestable than any prostitute?
34. Of these things the Church admonishes and teaches thee, and touches mire, that thou mayest not be bemired: she tells of the wounds, that thou mayest not be wounded. But for thee it is enough merely to know them: abstain from learning by experience. God thunders, and we all tremble; and they blaspheme. God lightens, and we all bow down to the earth; and they have their blasphemous sayings about the heavens952952 Κᾀκεῖνοι περὶ οὐρανῶν τὰς δυσφήμους ἔχουσι γλώσσας. ᾽Ιησοῦς λέγει περὶ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, ῞Οστις τὸν ἥλιον αὐτοῦ ἀνατέλλει ἐπὶ δικαίους καὶ ἀδίκους, καὶ βρέχει ἐπὶ πονηροὺς καὶ ἀγαθούς. κᾀκεῖνοι λέγουσιν, ὅτι οἱ ὑετοὶ ἐξ ἐρωτικῆς μανίας γίνονται, καὶ τολμῶσι λέγειν, ὅτι ἐστί τις παρθένος ἐν οὐρανῷ εὐειδὴς μετὰ νεανίσκου εὐειδοῦς, καὶ κατὰ τὴν τῶν καμηλῶν ἢ λύκων καιρὸν, τοὺς τῆς αἰσχρᾶς ἐπιθυμίας καιροὺς ἔχειν, καὶ κατὰ τὴν τοῦ χειμῶνος καιρὸν, μανιωδῶς αὐτὸν ἐπιτρέχειν τῇ παρθένῳ, καὶ τὴν μὲν φεύγειν φασί, τὸν δὲ ἐπιτρέχειν, εἶτα ἐπιτρέχοντα ἱδροῦν, ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἱδρώτων αὐτοῦ εἶναι τὸν ὑετόν. Ταῦτα γέγραπται ἐν τοῖς τῶν Μανιχαίων βιβλίοις· ταῦτα ἡμεῖς ἀνέγνωμεν, κ.τ.λ.. These things are written in the books of the Manichees. These things we ourselves have read, because we could not believe those who told of them: yes, for the sake of your salvation we have closely inquired into their perdition.
35. But may the Lord deliver us from such delusion: and may there be given to you a hatred against the serpent, that as they lie in wait for the heel, so you may trample on their head. Remember ye what I say. What agreement can there be between our state and theirs? What communion hath light with darkness953953 2 Cor. vi. 14.? What hath the majesty of the Church to do with the abomination of the Manichees? Here is order, here is discipline954954 Gr. ἐπιστήμη. See note on Introductory Lect. § 4., here is majesty, here is purity: here even to look upon a woman to lust after her955955 Matt. v. 28. is condemnation. Here is marriage with sanctity956956 σεμνότατος is the reading of the chief mss. But the printed editions have σεμνότητος, comparing it with such phrases as στόμα ἀθεότητος (vi. 15), and μετάνοια τῆς σωτηρίας (xiv. 17)., here steadfast continence, here virginity in honour like unto the Angels: here partaking of food with thanksgiving, here gratitude to the Creator of the world. Here the Father of Christ is worshipped: here are taught fear and trembling before Him who sends the rain: here we ascribe glory to Him who makes the thunder and the lightning.
36. Make thou thy fold with the sheep:
flee from the wolves: depart not from the Church. Hate
those also who have ever been suspected in such matters: and
unless in time thou perceive their repentance, do not rashly trust
thyself among them. The truth of the Unity of God has been
delivered to thee: learn to distinguish the pastures of
doctrine. Be an approved banker957957 This saying is quoted three times in
the Clementine Homilies as spoken by our Lord. See Hom. II.
§ 51; III. § 50; XVIII. § 20: “Every man who
wishes to be saved must become, as the Teacher said, a judge of the
books written to try us. For thus He spake: Become
experienced bankers. Now the need of bankers arises from the
circumstance that the spurious is mixed up with the
On the same saying, quoted as Scripture in the Apostolic Constitutions (II. § 36), Cotelerius suggests that in oral tradition, or in some Apocryphal book, the proverb was said to come from the Old Testament, and was added by some transcriber as a gloss in the margin of Matt. xxv. 27, or Luke xix. 23. Dionysius of Alexandria, Epist. VII., speaks of “the Apostolic word, which thus urges all who are endowed with greater virtue, ‘Be ye skillful money-changers,’” referring apparently as here to 1 Thess. v. 21, 22, “try all things, &c.” (See Euseb. E.H. VII. ch. 6 in this series: Suicer. Thesaurus, Τραπεζίτης: and Resch. (Agrapha, pp. 233–239.), holding fast that which is good, abstaining from every form of evil958958 1 Thess. v. 21, 22.. Or if thou hast ever been such as they, recognise and hate thy delusion. For there is a way of salvation, if thou reject the vomit, if thou from thy heart detest it, if thou depart from them, not with thy lips only, but with thy soul also: if thou worship the Father of Christ, the God of the Law and the Prophets, if thou acknowledge the Good and the Just to be one and the same God.959959 Compare § 13 of this Lecture, where Cyril seems to refer especially to the heresy of Manes, as described in the Disputatio Archelai, cap. 6: “If you are desirous of being instructed in the faith of Manes, hear it briefly from me. That man worships two gods, unbegotten, self-originate, eternal, opposed one to the other. The one he represents as good, and the other as evil, naming the one Light, and the other Darkness.” And may He preserve you all, guarding you from falling or stumbling, stablished in the Faith, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
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