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it may make them better, yet it also calls those who are much better than these, since the Christ is the Saviour of all men, and specially of such as believe, whether prudent or simple.
The true ground of Old Testament Inspiration.
In this our Demonstration in brief of the divinity of 5 Jesus, and in our use of the words of the Prophets concerning Him, we are making simultaneous demonstration of the inspiration of those scriptures which prophesy about Him, and proving the literature which proclaims His coming to be an utterance of full power and authority, 10 which for that reason has laid firm hold of the elect of the Gentiles. Indeed, we may say that the inspired character of the prophetic writings and the spirituality of the law of Moses shone out when Jesus came. Clear proofs of the inspiration of the Old Testament could not well be given 15 before the Christ had come. Till then the law and the prophets were open to a suspicion of not being truly divine: it was the coming of Jesus that set them in a plain light as records made by the grace of heaven. He who with diligent attention reads the words of the prophets 20 will from his very reading experience a trace and vestige of inspiration in himself, and this personal experience will convince him that those are no compilations of men, which we are firmly persuaded are the words of God. The light, too, that was always there in the Mosaic law, though 25 covered with a vail, shone out simultaneously with the coming of Jesus, when the vail was taken away and the good things came little by little into view, those good things whose shadow was found in the letter.
The Parabolic Element in Scripture Narratives.
WHAT intelligent person would fancy, for instance, that 30 a first, second, and third day, evening and morning, took
γονέναι καὶ σελήνης καὶ ἀστέρων; τὴν δὲ οἱονεὶ πρώτην καὶ χωρὶς οὐρανοῦ; τίς δ' οὕτως ἠλίθιος ὡς οἰηθῆναι τρόπον ἀνθρώπου γεωργοῦ τὸν θεὸν πεφυτευκέναι παράδει σον ἐν Ἐδὲμ κατὰ ἀνατολάς, καὶ ξύλον ζωῆς ἐν αὐτῷ 5 πεποιηκέναι ὁρατὸν καὶ αἰσθητόν, ὥστε διὰ τῶν σωματικῶν ὀδόντων γευσάμενον τοῦ καρποῦ τὸ ζῆν ἀναλαμβάνειν καὶ πάλιν καλοῦ καὶ πονηροῦ μετέχειν τινὰ παρὰ τὸ μετ μασῆσθαι τὸ ἀπὸ τοῦδε τοῦ ξύλου λαμβανόμενον; ἐὰν δὲ καὶ θεὸς τὸ δειλινὸν ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ περιπατεῖν το λέγηται, καὶ ὁ Ἀδὰμ ὑπὸ τὸ ξύλον κρύπτεσθαι· οὐκ οἶμαι διστάξειν τινὰ περὶ τοῦ αὐτὰ τροπικῶς διὰ δοκούσης ἱστορίας καὶ οὐ σωματικῶς γεγενημένης, μηνύειν τινὰ μυστήρια, ἀλλὰ καὶ Κάιν ἐξερχόμενος ἀπὸ προσώπου τοῦ θεοῦ σαφῶς τοῖς ἐπιστήσασι φαίνεται κινεῖν τὸν 15 ἐντυγχάνοντα ζητεῖν πρόσωπον θεοῦ καὶ ἐξέρχεσθαί τινα ἀπ' αὐτοῦ. καὶ τί δεῖ πλείω λέγειν, τῶν μὴ πάνυ ἀμβλέων μυρία ὅσα τοιαῦτα δυναμένων συναγαγεῖν, ἀναγεγραμμένα μὲν ὡς γεγονότα, οὐ γεγενημένα δὲ κατὰ τὴν λέξιν; ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰ εὐαγγέλια δὲ τοῦ αὐτοῦ εἴδους τῶν 20 λόγων πεπλήρωται· εἰς ὑψηλὸν ὄρος τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀναβιβάζοντος τοῦ διαβόλου, ἵν ̓ ἐκεῖθεν αὐτῷ δείξῃ τοῦ παντὸς κόσμου τὰς βασιλείας καὶ τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν. τίς γὰρ οὐκ ἂν τῶν μὴ παρέργως ἀναγινωσκόντων τὰ τοιαῦτα καταγινώσκοι τῶν οἰομένων τῷ τῆς σαρκὸς ὀφθαλμῷ, 25 δεηθέντι ὕψους ὑπὲρ τοῦ κατανοηθῆναι δύνασθαι τὰ κατω τέρω καὶ ὑποκείμενα, ἑωρᾶσθαι τὴν Περσῶν καὶ Σκυθῶν καὶ Ινδῶν καὶ Παρθυαίων βασιλείαν, καὶ ὡς δοξάζονται παρὰ ἀνθρώποις οἱ βασιλεύοντες; παραπλησίως δὲ τού τοις καὶ ἄλλα μυρία ἀπὸ τῶν εὐαγγελίων ἔνεστι τὸν 30 ἀκριβοῦντα τηρῆσαι, ὑπὲρ τοῦ συγκαταθέσθαι συνυφαί νεσθαι ταῖς κατὰ τὸ ῥητὸν γεγενημέναις ἱστορίαις ἕτερα μὴ συμβεβηκότα,
ID. De Principiis, iv. 16 = Philoc. p. 24
place without sun, moon, and stars; and the first, as we call it, without even a heaven? Who would be so childish as to suppose that God after the manner of a human gardener planted a garden in Eden towards the east, and made therein a tree, visible and sensible, so that one could 5 get the power of living by the bodily eating of its fruit with the teeth; or again, could partake of good and evil by feeding on what came from that other tree? If God is said to walk at eventide in the garden, and Adam to hide himself under the tree, I fancy that no one will 10 question that these statements are figurative, declaring mysterious truths by the means of a seeming history, not one that took place in a bodily form. And Cain's going forth from the presence of God, as is plain and clear to attentive minds, stirs the reader to look for the meaning 15 of the presence of God, and of any one's going forth from it. What need of more, when all but the dullest eyes can gather innumerable instances, in which things are recorded as having happened which did not take place in the literal sense? Nay, even the Gospels are full of sayings of the 20 same class: as when the devil takes Jesus up into a high mountain, to show him from thence the kingdoms of the whole world and the glory of them. Who but a careless reader of such words would fail to condemn those who think that by the eye of flesh, which needed a height 25 to bring into view what lay far down beneath, the kingdoms of Persians, and Scythians, and Indians, and Parthians, were seen, and the glory men give to their rulers? Countless cases such as this the accurate reader is able to observe, to make him agree that with the histories which 30 literally took place other things are interwoven which did not actually happen.
Οὐκοῦν ἐγκαταλείπεται θείᾳ κρίσει ὁ ἐγκαταλειπό μενος, καὶ μακροθυμεῖ ἐπί τινας τῶν ἁμαρτανόντων ὁ Θεὸς οὐκ ἀλόγως, ἀλλ ̓ ὡς αὐτοῖς συνοίσοντος ὡς πρὸς τὴν ἀθανασίαν τῆς ψυχῆς καὶ τὸν ἄπειρον αἰῶνα τοῦ μὴ ταχὺ 5 συνεργηθῆναι εἰς σωτηρίαν, ἀλλὰ βράδιον ἐπὶ ταύτην ἀχε θῆναι μετὰ τὸ πειραθῆναι πολλῶν κακῶν, ὥσπερ γάρ τινα καὶ ἰατροὶ δυνάμενοι τάχιον ἰάσασθαι, ὅταν ἐγκεκρυμμένον ἰὸν ὑπονοῶσιν ὑπάρχειν περὶ τὰ σώματα, τὸ ἐναντίον τῷ ἰάσασθαι ἐργάζονται, διὰ τὸ ἰᾶσθαι βούλεσθαι ἀσφαλέ 1ο στερον τοῦτο ποιοῦντες· ἡγούμενοι κρεῖττον εἶναι πολλῷ χρόνῳ παρακατασχεῖν τινα ἐν τῷ φλεγμαίνειν καὶ κάμνειν ὑπὲρ τοῦ βεβαιότερον αὐτὸν τὴν ὑγείαν ἀπολαβεῖν, ἤπερ τάχιον μὲν ῥῶσαι δοκεῖν ὕστερον δὲ ἀναδῦναι καὶ πρόσ καιρον γενέσθαι τὴν ταχυτέραν ἴασιν· τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον 15 καὶ ὁ Θεός, γινώσκων τὰ κρύφια τῆς καρδίας καὶ προγινώσκων τὰ μέλλοντα, διὰ τῆς μακροθυμίας ἐπιτρέπει τάχα καὶ διὰ τῶν ἔξωθεν συμβαινόντων ἐφελκόμενος τὸ ἐν κρυπτῷ κακόν, ὑπὲρ τοῦ καθᾶραι τὸν δι ̓ ἀμέλειαν τὰ σπέρματα τῆς ἁμαρτίας κεχωρηκότα, ἵνα εἰς ἐπιπολὴν 20 ἐλθόντα αὐτά τις ἐμέσας, εἰ καὶ ἐπὶ πλεῖον ἐν κακοῖς γεγένηται, ὕστερον δυνηθῇ καθαρσίου τυχὼν τοῦ μετὰ τὴν κακίαν ἀναστοιχειωθῆναι. Θεὸς γὰρ οἰκονομεῖ τὰς ψυχὰς οὐχ ὡς πρὸς τὴν φέρ ̓ εἰπεῖν πεντηκονταετίαν τῆς ἐνθάδε ζωῆς, ἀλλ ̓ ὡς πρὸς τὸν ἀπέραντον αἰῶνα 25 ἄφθαρτον γὰρ φύσιν πεποίηκε τὴν νοερὰν καὶ αὐτῷ συγγενῆ, καὶ οὐκ ἀποκλείεται ὥσπερ ἐπὶ τῆς ἐνταῦθα ζωῆς ἡ λογικὴ ψυχὴ τῆς θεραπείας. ID. De Principiis, iii. 13.
The Method of God's dealing with Sinners.
He therefore that is left is left to the divine judgement; and God is long-suffering towards certain sinners, not unreasonably, but with intent to profit them, with a view to the immortality of the soul and the unending age, that they be not quickly brought into salvation, but led to it 5 more slowly, after they have had trial of many evils. For even as physicians (though able to heal a man more quickly), when they suspect that there is hidden poison anywhere in the body, do the reverse of healing, and this they do because they wish to heal the more surely; 10 counting it better to keep a man for a long time in inflammation and sickness that he may the more certainly recover his health, than that he should seem to gain strength more quickly and afterward fall back again, so that the quicker healing is but for a time; in the same 15 way God also, knowing the secret things of the heart and foreknowing the things to come, through His long-suffering permits [sins], peradventure by means of outside events drawing together the evil that is in secret, for the sake of cleansing him who by reason of carelessness has received 20 the seeds of sin, to the end that when they have come to the surface a man may spue them out, and even if he have been deep in wickednesses, may afterward be able to obtain cleansing after his wickedness and be renewed. For God disposes souls not as for say the fifty years of life on earth, 25 but as for the unending age; for He has made the intelligent nature incorruptible and akin to Himself, and the rational soul is not shut out from cure as in this present life.