ORIGEN DE PRINCIPIIS -- BOOK III (PREFACE OF RUFINUS AND CHAP. I)

ORIGEN DE PRINCIPIIS.

BOOK III.

PREFACE OF RUFINUS.

Reader, remember me in your prayers, that we too may deserve to be made emulators of the spirit. The two former books on The Principles I translated not only at your instance, but even under pressure from you during the days of Lent;[1] but as you, my devout brother Macarius, were not only living near me during that time, but had more leisure at your command than now, so I also worked the harder; whereas I have been longer in explaining these two latter books, seeing you came less frequently from a distant extremity of the city to urge on my labour. Now if you remember what I warned you of in my former preface,--that certain persons would be indignant, if they did not hear that we spoke some evil of Origen,--that, I imagine, you have forthwith experienced, has come to pass. But if those demons[2] who excite the tongues of men to slander were so infuriated by that work, in which he had not as yet fully unveiled their secret proceedings, what, think you, will be the case in this, in which he will expose all those dark and hidden ways, by which they creep into the hearts of men, and deceive weak and unstable souls? You will immediately see all things thrown into confusion, seditions stirred up, clamours raised throughout the whole city, and that individual summoned to receive sentence of condemnation who endeavoured to dispel the diabolical darkness of ignorance by means of the light of the Gospel lamp.[3] Let such things, however, be lightly esteemed by him who is desirous of being trained in divine learning, while retaining in its integrity the rule of the Catholic faith.[4] I think it necessary, however, to remind you that the principle observed in the former books has been observed also in these, viz., not to translate what appeared contrary to Origen's other opinions, and to our own belief, but to pass by such passages as being interpolated and forged by others. But if he has appeared to give expression to any novelties regarding rational creatures (on which subject the essence of our faith does not depend), for the sake of discussion and of adding to our knowledge, when perhaps it was necessary for us to answer in such an order some heretical opinions, I have not omitted to mention these either in the present or preceding books, unless when he wished to repeat in the following books what he had already stated in the previous ones, when I have thought it convenient, for the sake of brevity, to curtail some of these repetitions. Should any one, however, peruse these passages from a desire to enlarge his knowledge, and not to raise captious objections, he will do better to have them expounded by persons of skill. For it is an absurdity to have the fictions of poetry and the ridiculous plays of comedy[5] interpreted by grammarians, and to suppose that without a master and an interpreter any one is able to learn those things which are spoken either of God or of the heavenly virtues, and of the whole universe of things, in which some deplorable error either of pagan philosophers or of heretics is confuted; and the result of which is, that men would rather rashly and ignorantly condemn things that are difficult and obscure, than ascertain their meaning by diligence and study.

TRANSLATED FROM LATIN OF RUFINUS.

CHAP. I.--ON THE FREEDOM OF THE WILL.[1]

1. Some such opinions, we believe, ought to be entertained regarding the divine promises, when we direct our understanding to the contemplation of that eternal and infinite world, and gaze on its ineffable joy and blessedness. But as the preaching of the Church includes a belief in a future and just judgment of God, which belief incites and persuades men to a good and virtuous life, and to an avoidance of sin by all possible means; and as by this it is undoubtedly indicated that it is within our own power to devote ourselves either to a life that is worthy of praise, or to one that is worthy of censure, I therefore deem it necessary to say a few words regarding the freedom of the will, seeing that this topic has been treated by very many writers in no mean style. And that we may ascertain more easily what is the freedom of the will, let us inquire into the nature of will and of desire.[3]

2. Of all things which move, some have the cause of their motion within themselves, others receive it from without: and all those things only are moved from without which are without life, as stones, and pieces of wood, and whatever things are of such a nature as to be held together by the constitution of their matter alone, or of their bodily substance.[5] That view must indeed be dismissed which would regard the dissolution of bodies by corruption as motion, for it has no bearing upon our present purpose. Others, again, have the cause of motion in themselves, as animals, or trees, and all things which are held together by natural life or soul; among which some think ought to be classed the veins of metals. Fire, also, is supposed to be the cause of its own motion, and perhaps also springs of water. And of those things which have the causes of their motion in themselves, some are said to be moved out of themselves, others by themselves. And they so distinguish them, because those things are moved out of themselves which are alive indeed, but have no soul;[7] whereas those things which have a soul are moved by themselves, when a phantasy,[8] i.e., a desire or incitement, is presented to them, which excites them to move towards something. Finally, in certain things endowed with a soul, them is such a phantasy, i.e., a will or feeling,[9] as by a kind of natural instinct calls them forth, and arouses them to orderly and regular motion; as we see to be the case with spiders, which are

TRANSLATION FROM THE GREEK.

CHAP. I.--ON THE FREEDOM OF THE WILL,[2] WITH AN EXPLANATION AND INTERPRETATION OF THOSE STATEMENTS OF SCRIPTURE WHICH APPEAR TO NULLIFY IT.

1. Since in the preaching of the Church there is included the doctrine respecting a just judgment of God, which, when believed to be true, incites those who hear it to live virtuously, and to shun sin by all means, inasmuch as they manifestly acknowledge that things worthy of praise and blame are within our own power, come and let us discuss by themselves a few points regarding the freedom of the will--a question of all Others most necessary. And that we may understand what the freedom of the will is, it is necessary to unfold the conception of it,[4] that this being declared with precision, the subject may be placed before us.

2. Of things that move, some have the cause of their motion within themselves; others, again, are moved only from without. Now only portable things are moved from without, such as pieces of wood, and stones, and all matter that is held together by their constitution alone.[6] And let that view be removed from consideration which calls the flux of bodies motion, since it is not needed for our present purpose. But animals and plants have the cause of their motion within themselves, and in general whatever is held together by nature and a soul, to which class of things they say that metals also belong. And besides these, fire too is self-moved, and perhaps also fountains of water. Now, of those things which have the cause of their movement within themselves, some, they say, are moved out of themselves, others from themselves: things without life, out of themselves; animate things, from themselves. For animate things are moved from themselves, a phantasy[10] springing up in

FROM THE LATIN.

stirred up in a most orderly manner by a phantasy, i.e., a sort of wish and desire for weaving, to undertake the production of a web, some natural movement undoubtedly calling forth the effort to work of this kind. Nor is this very insect found to possess any other feeling than the natural desire of weaving; as in like manner bees also exhibit a desire to form honeycombs, and to collect, as they say, aerial honey.[2]

3. But since a rational animal not only has within itself these natural movements, but has moreover, to a greater extent than other animals, the power of reason, by which it can judge and determine regarding natural movements, and disapprove and reject some, while approving and adopting others, so by the judgment of this reason may the movements of men be governed and directed towards a commendable life. And from this it follows that, since the nature of this reason which is in man has within itself the power of distinguishing between good and evil, and while distinguishing possesses the faculty of selecting what it has approved, it may justly be deemed worthy of praise in choosing what is good, and deserving of censure in following that which is base or wicked. This indeed must by no means escape our notice, that in some dumb animals there is found a more regular movement[4] than in others, as in hunting-dogs or war-horses, so that they may appear to some to be moved by a kind of rational sense. But we must believe this to be the result not so much of reason as of some natural instinct,[6] largely bestowed for purposes of that kind. Now, as we had begun to remark, seeing that such is the nature of a rational animal, some things may happen to us human beings from without; and these, coming in contact with our sense of sight, or hearing, or any other of our senses, may incite and arouse us to good movements, or the contrary; and seeing they come to us from an external source, it is not within our own power to prevent their coming. But to determine and approve what use we ought to make of those things which thus happen, is the duty of no other than of that reason within us, i.e., of our own judgment; by the decision of which reason we use the incitement, which comes to us from without for that purpose, which reason approves, our natural movements being determined by its authority either to good actions or the reverse.

4. If any one now were to say that those things which happen to us from an external cause, and call forth our movements, are of such a nature that it is impossible to resist them, whether they incite us to good or evil, let the holder of this opinion turn his attention for a little upon himself, and carefully inspect the movements of his own

FROM THE GREEK.

them which incites to effort. And again, in certain animals phantasies are formed which call forth an effort, the nature of the phantasy[1] stirring up the effort in an orderly manner, as in the spider is formed the phantasy of weaving; and the attempt to weave follows, the nature of its phantasy inciting the insect in an orderly manner to this alone. And besides its phantasial nature, nothing else is believed to belong to the insect.[3] And in the bee there is formed the phantasy to produce wax.

3. The rational animal, however, has, in addition to its phantasial nature, also reason, which judges the phantasies, and disapproves of some and accepts others, in order that the animal may be led according to them. Therefore, since there are in the nature of reason aids towards the contemplation of virtue and vice, by following which, after beholding good and evil, we select the one and avoid the other, we are deserving of praise when we give ourselves to the practice of virtue, and censurable when we do the reverse. We must not, however, be ignorant that the greater part of the nature assigned to all things is a varying quantity[5] among animals, both in a greater and a less degree; so that the instinct in hunting-dogs and in war-horses approaches somehow, so to speak, to the faculty of reason. Now, to fall under some one of those external causes which stir up within us this phantasy or that, is confessedly not one of those things that are dependent upon ourselves; but to determine that we shall use the occurrence in this way or differently, is the prerogative of nothing else than of the reason within us, which, as occasion offers,[7] arouses us towards efforts inciting to what is virtuous and becoming, or turns us aside to what is the reverse.

4. But if any one maintain that this very external cause is of such a nature that it is impossible to resist it when it comes in such a way, let him turn his attention to his own feelings and movements, (and see) whether there

FROM THE LATIN.

mind, unless he has discovered already, that when an enticement to any desire arises, nothing is accomplished until the assent of the soul is gained, and the authority of the mind has granted indulgence to the wicked suggestion; so that a claim might seem to be made by two parties on certain probable grounds as to a judge residing within the tribunals of our hurt, in order that, after the statement of reasons, the decree of execution may proceed from the judgment of reason.[2] For, to take an illustration: if, to a man who has determined to live continently and chastely, and to keep himself free from all pollution with women, a woman should happen to present herself, inciting and alluring him to act contrary to his purpose, that woman is not a complete and absolute cause or necessity of his transgressing,[4] since it is in his power, by remembering his resolution, to bridle the incitements to lust, and by the stern admonitions of virtue to restrain the pleasure of the allurement that solicits him; so that, all feeling of indulgence being driven away, his determination may remain firm and enduring. Finally, if to any men of learning, strengthened by divine training, allurements of that kind present themselves, remembering forthwith what they are, and calling to mind what has long been the subject of their meditation and instruction, and fortifying themselves by the support of a holier doctrine, they reject and repel all incitement to pleasure, and drive away opposing lusts by the interposition of the reason implanted within them.

5. Seeing, then, that these positions are thus established by a sort of natural evidence, is it not superfluous to throw back the causes of our actions on those things which happen to us from without, and thus transfer the blame from ourselves, on whom it wholly lies? For this is to say that we are like pieces of wood, or stones, which have no motion in themselves, but receive the causes of their motion from without. Now such an assertion is neither true nor becoming, and is invented only that the freedom of the will may be denied; unless, indeed, we are to suppose that the freedom of the will consists in this, that nothing which happens to us from without can incite us to good or evil. And if any one were to refer the causes of our faults to the natural disorder s of the body, such a theory is proved to be contrary to the reason of all teaching.[9] For, as we see in very many individuals, that after living unchastely and intemperately, and after being the captives of luxury and lust, if they should happen to be aroused by the word of teaching and instruction to enter upon a better course of life, there takes place so great a change, that from being luxurious and wicked men, they are converted into those who are sober, and most chaste and gentle; so, again, we see in the case of those who are quiet and honest, that after associating with restless and shameless individuals, their good morals are corrupted by evil conversation, and they

FROM THE GREEK.

is not an approval, and assent, and inclination of the controlling principle towards some object on account of some specious arguments.[1] For, to take an instance, a woman who has appeared before a man that has determined to be chaste, and to refrain from carnal intercourse, and who has incited him to act contrary to his purpose, is not a perfects cause of annulling his determination. For, being altogether pleased with the luxury and allurement of the pleasure, and not wishing to resist it, or to keep his purpose, he commits an act of licentiousness. Another man, again (when the same things have happened to him who has received more instruction, and has disciplined himself[5]), encounters, indeed, allurements and enticements; but his reason, as being strengthened to a higher point, and carefully trained, and confirmed in its views towards a virtuous course, or being near to confirmation,[6] repels the incitement, and extinguishes the desire.

5. Such being the case, to say that we are moved from without, and to put away the blame from ourselves, by declaring that we are like to pieces of wood and stones, which are dragged about by those causes that act upon them from without, is neither true nor in conformity with reason, but is the statement of him who wishes to destroy[7] the conception of free-will. For if we were to ask such an one what was free-will, he would say that it consisted in this, that when purposing to do some thing, no external cause came inciting to the reverse. But to blame, on the other hand, the mere constitution of the body,[10] is absurd; for the disciplinary reason,[11] taking hold of those who are most intemperate and savage (if they will follow her exhortation), effects a transformation, so that the alteration and change for the better is most extensive,--the most licentious men frequently becoming better than those who formerly did not seem to be such by nature; and

FROM THE LATIN.

become like those whose wickedness is complete.[1] And this is the case sometimes with men of mature age, so that such have lived more chastely in youth than when more advanced years have enabled them to indulge in a freer mode of life. The result of our reasoning, therefore, is to show that those things which happen to us from without are not in our own power; but that to make a good or bad use of those things which do so happen, by help of that reason which is within us, and which distinguishes and determines how these things ought to be used, is within our power.

6. And now, to confirm the deductions of reason by the authority of Scripture--viz., that it is our own doing whether we live rightly or not, and that we are not compelled, either by those causes which come to us from without, or, as some think, by the presence of fate--we adduce the testimony of the prophet Micah, in these words: "If it has been announced to thee, O man, what is good, or what the Lord requires of thee, except that thou shouldst do justice, and love mercy, and be ready to walk with the Lord thy God."[4] Moses also speaks as follows: "I have placed before thy face the way of life and the way of death: choose what is good, and walk in it."[5] Isaiah, moreover, makes this declaration: "If you are willing, and hear me, ye shall eat the good of the land. But if you be unwilling, and will not hear me, the sword shall consume you; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken this."[7] In the Psalm, too, it is written: "If My people had heard Me, if Israel had walked in My ways, I would have humbled her enemies to nothing;"[8] by which he shows that it was in the power of the people to hear, and to walk in the ways of God. The Saviour also saying, "I say unto you, Resist not evil;"[9] and, "Whoever shall be angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment;"[10] and, "Whosoever shall look upon a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart;"[12] and in issuing certain other commands,--conveys no other meaning than this, that it is in our own power to observe what is commanded. And therefore we are rightly rendered liable to condemnation if we transgress those commandments which we are able to keep. And hence He Himself also declares: "Every one who hears my words, and doeth

FROM THE GREEK.

the most savage men passing into such a state of mildness,[2] that those persons who never at any time were so savage as they were, appear savage in comparison, so great a degree of gentleness having been produced within them. And we see other men, most steady and respectable, driven from their state of respectability and steadiness by intercourse with evil customs, so as to fall into habits of licentiousness, often beginning their wickedness in middle age, and plunging into disorder after the period of youth has passed, which, so far as its nature is concerned, is unstable. Reason, therefore, demonstrates that external events do not depend on us, but that it is our own business to use them in this way or the opposite, having received reason as a judge and an investigator[3] of the manner in which we ought to meet those events that come from without.

6. Now, that it is our business to live virtuously, and that God asks this of us, as not being dependent on Him nor on any other, nor, as some think, upon fate, but as being our own doing, the prophet Micah will prove when he says: "If it has been announced to thee, O man, what is good, or what does the Lord require of thee, except to do justice and to love mercy?"[4] Moses also: "I have placed before thy face the way of life, and the way of death: choose what is good, and walk in it."[6] Isaiah too: "If you are willing, and hear me, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye be unwilling, and Will not hear me, the sword will consume you: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."[7] And in the Psalms: "If My people had heard Me, and Israel had walked in My ways, I would have humbled their enemies to nothing, and laid My hand upon those that afflicted them;"[11] showing that it was in the power of His people to hear and to walk in the ways of God. And the Saviour also, when He commands, "But I say unto you, Resist not evil;"[9] and, "Whosoever shall be angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment;"[10] and, "Whosoever shall look upon a

FROM THE LATIN.

them, I will show to whom he is like: he is like a wise man who built his house upon a rock," etc.[1] So also the declaration: "Whoso heareth these things, and doeth them not, is like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand," etc.[3] Even the words addressed to those who are on His right hand, "Come unto Me, all ye blessed of My Father," etc.; "for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink,"[5] manifestly show that it depended upon themselves, that either these should be deserving of praise for doing what was commanded and receiving what was promised, or those deserving of censure who either heard or received the contrary, and to whom it was said, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." Let us observe also, that the Apostle Paul addresses us as having power over our own will, and as possessing in ourselves the causes either of our salvation or of our ruin: "Dost thou despise the riches of His goodness, and of His patience, and of His long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But, according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou art treasuring up for thyself wrath on the day of judgment and of the revelation of the just judgment of God, who will render to every one according to his work: to those who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and immortality, eternal life;[8] while to those who are contentious, and believe not the truth, but who believe iniquity, anger, indignation, tribulation, and distress, on every soul of man that worketh evil, on the Jew first, and (afterwards) on the Greek; but glory, and honour, and peace to every one that doeth good, to the Jew first, and (afterwards) to the Greek."[11] You will find also innumerable other passages in holy Scripture, which manifestly show that we possess freedom of will. Otherwise there would be a contrariety in commandments being given us, by observing which we may be saved, or by transgressing which we may be condemned, if the power of keeping them were not implanted in us.

7. But, seeing there are found in the sacred Scriptures

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woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart;"[2] and by any other commandment which He gives, declares that it lies with ourselves to keep what is enjoined, and that we shall reasonably[4] be liable to condemnation if we transgress. And therefore He says in addition: "He that heareth My words, and doeth them, shall be likened to a prudent man, who built his house upon a rock," etc., etc.; "while he that heareth them, but doeth them not, is like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand," etc.[6] And when He says to those on His right hand, "Come, ye blessed of My Father," etc.; "for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me to eat; I was athirst, and ye gave Me to drink,"[7] it is exceedingly manifest that He gives the promises to these as being deserving of praise. But, on the contrary, to the others, as being censurable in comparison with them, He says, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire!"[9] And let us observe how Paul also converses[10] with us as having freedom of will, and as being ourselves the cause of ruin or salvation, when he says, "Dost thou despise the riches of His goodness, and of His patience, and of His long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But, according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou art treasuring up for thyself wrath on the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every one according to his works: to those who, by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory and immortality, eternal life; while to those who are contentious, and believe not the truth, but who believe iniquity, anger, wrath, tribulation, and distress, on every soul of man that worketh evil; on the Jew first, and on the Greek: but glory, and honour, and peace to every one that worketh good; to the Jew first, and to the Greek."[11] There are, indeed, innumerable passages in the Scriptures which establish with exceeding clearness the existence of freedom of will.

7. But, since certain declarations of

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themselves certain expressions occurring in such a connection, that the opposite of this may appear capable of being understood from them, let us bring them forth before us, and, discussing them according to the rule of piety,[1] let us furnish an explanation of them, in order that from those few passages which we now expound, the solution of those others which resemble them, and by which any power over the will seems to be excluded, may become clear. Those expressions, accordingly, make an impression on very many, which are used by God in speaking of Pharaoh, as when He frequently says, "I will harden Pharaoh's heart."[2] For if he is hardened by God, and commits sin in consequence of being so hardened, the cause of his sin is not himself. And if so, it will appear that Pharaoh does not possess freedom of will; and it will be maintained, as a consequence, that, agreeably to this illustration, neither do others who perish owe the cause of their destruction to the freedom of their own will. That expression, also, in Ezekiel, when he says, "I will take away their stony hearts, and will give them hearts of flesh, that they may walk in My precepts, and keep My ways,"[4] may impress some, inasmuch as it seems to be a gift of God, either to walk in His ways or to keep His precepts,[5] if He take away that stony heart which is an obstacle to the keeping of His commandments, and bestow and implant a better and more impressible heart, which is called now[6] a heart of flesh. Consider also the nature of the answer given in the Gospel by our Lord and Saviour to those who inquired of Him why He spoke to the multitude in parables. His words are: "That seeing they may not see; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest they should be converted, and their sins be forgiven them."[7] The words, moreover, used by the Apostle Paul, that "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy;"[8] in another passage also, "that to will and to do are of God:"[9] and again, elsewhere, "Therefore hath He mercy upon whom He will, and whom He will He hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why cloth He yet find fault? For who shall resist His will? O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him who hath formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another to dishonour?[10]--these and similar declarations seem to have no small influence in preventing very many from believing that every one is to be considered as having freedom over his own will, and in making it appear to be a consequence of the will of God whether a man is either saved or lost.

FROM THE GREEK.

the Old Testament and of the New lead to the opposite conclusion--namely, that it does not depend on ourselves to keep the commandments and to be saved, or to transgress them and to be lost--let us adduce them one by one, and see the explanations of them, in order that from those which we adduce, any one selecting in a similar way all the passages that seem to nullify free-will, may consider what is said about them by way of explanation. And now, the statements regarding Pharaoh have troubled many, respecting whom God declared several times, "I will harden Pharaoh's heart."[3] For if he is hardened by God, and commits sin in consequence of being hardened, he is not the cause of sin to himself; and if so, then neither does Pharaoh possess free-will. And some one will say that, in a similar way, they who perish have not free-will, and will not perish of themselves. The declaration also in Ezekiel, "I will take away their stony hearts, and will put in them hearts of flesh, that they may walk in My precepts, and keep My commandments,"[4] might lead one to think that it was God who gave the power to walk in His commandments, and to keep His precepts, by His withdrawing the hindrance--the stony heart, and implanting a better--a heart of flesh. And let us look also at the passage in the Gospel--the answer which the Saviour returns to those who inquired why He spake to the multitude in parables. His words are: "That seeing they might not see; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest they should be converted, and their sins be forgiven them."[11] The passage also in Paul: "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."[8] The declarations, too, in other places, that "both to will and to do are of God;"[12] "that God hath mercy upon whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth. Thou wilt say then, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will?" "The per-

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8. Let us begin, then, with those words which were spoken to Pharaoh, who is said to have been hardened by God, in order that he might not let the people go; and, along with his case, the language of the apostle also will be considered, where he says, "Therefore He hath mercy on whom He will, and whom He will He hardeneth."[3] For it is on these passages chiefly that the heretics rely, asserting that salvation is not in our own power, but that souls are of such a nature as must by all means be either lost or saved; and that in no way can a soul which is of an evil nature become good, or one which is of a virtuous nature be made bad. And hence they maintain that Pharaoh, too, being of a ruined nature, was on that account hardened by God, who hardens those that are of an earthly nature, but has compassion on those who are of a spiritual nature. Let us see, then, what is the meaning of their assertion; and let us, in the first place, request them to tell us whether they maintain that the soul of Pharaoh was of an earthly nature, such as they term lost. They will undoubtedly answer that it was of an earthly nature. If so, then to believe God, or to obey Him, when his nature opposed his so doing, was an impossibility. And if this were his condition by nature, what further need was there for his heart to be hardened, and this not once, but several times, unless indeed because it was possible for him to yield to persuasion? Nor could any one be said to be hardened by another, save him who of himself was not obdurate. And if he were not obdurate of himself, it follows that neither was he of an earthly nature, but such an one as might give way when overpowered[5] by signs and wonders. But he was necessary for God's purpose, in order that, for the saving of the multitude, He might manifest in him His power by his offering resistance to numerous miracles, and struggling against the will of God, and his heart being by this means said to be hardened. Such are our answers, in the first place, to these persons; and by these their assertion may be overturned, according to which they think that Pharaoh was destroyed in consequence of his evil nature.[7] And with regard to the language of the Apostle Paul, we must answer them in a similar way. For who are they whom God hardens, according to your view? Those, namely, whom you term of a ruined nature, and who, I am to

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suasion is of Him that calleth, and not of us."[1] "Nay, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that hath formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?"[2] Now these passages are sufficient of themselves to trouble the multitude, as if man were not possessed of free-will, but as if it were God who saves and destroys whom He will.

8. Let us begin, then, with what is said about Pharaoh--that he was hardened by God, that he might not send away the people; along with which will be examined also the statement of the apostle, "Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth."[4] And certain of those who hold different opinions misuse these passages, themselves also almost destroying free-will by introducing ruined natures incapable of salvation, and others saved which it is impossible can be lost; and Pharaoh, they say, as being of a ruined nature, is therefore hardened by God, who has mercy upon the spiritual, but hardens the earthly. Let us see now what they mean. For we shall ask them if Pharaoh was of an earthy nature; and when they answer, we shall say that he who is of an earthy nature is altogether disobedient to God: but if disobedient, what need is there of his heart being hardened, and that not once, but frequently? Unless perhaps, since it was possible for him to obey (in which case he would certainly have obeyed, as not being earthy, when hard pressed by the signs and wonders), God needs him to be disobedient to a greater degree,[6] in order that He may manifest His mighty deeds for the salvation of the multitude, and therefore hardens his heart. This will be our answer to them in the first place, in order to overturn their supposition that Pharaoh was of a ruined nature. And the same reply must be given to them with respect to the statement of the apostle. For whom does God harden? Those who

FROM THE LATIN.

suppose, would have done something else had they not been hardened. If, indeed, they come to destruction in consequence of being hardened, they no longer perish naturally, but in virtue of what befalls them. Then, in the next place, upon whom does God show mercy? On those, namely, who are to be saved. And in what respect do those persons stand in need of a second compassion, who are to be saved once by their nature, and so come naturally to blessedness, except that it is shown even from their case, that, because it was possible for them to perish, they therefore obtain mercy, that so they may not perish, but come to salvation, and possess the kingdom of the good. And let this be our answer to those who devise and invent the fable[1] of good or bad natures, i.e., of earthly or spiritual souls, in consequence of which, as they say, each one is either saved or lost.

9. And now we must return an answer also to those who would have the God of the law to be just only, and not also good; and let us ask such in what manner they consider the heart of Pharaoh to have been hardened by God--by what acts or by what prospective arrangements.[2] For we must observe the conception of a God[3] who in our opinion is both just and good, but according to them only just. And let them show us how a God whom they also acknowledge to be just, can with justice cause the heart of a man to be hardened, that, in consequence of that very hardening, he may sin and be ruined. And how shall the justice of God be defended, if He Himself is the cause of the destruction of those whom, owing to their unbelief (through their being hardened), He has afterwards condemned by the authority of a judge? For why does He blame him, saying, "But since thou wilt not let My people go, lo, I will smite all the first-born in Egypt, even thy first-born,"[5] and whatever else was spoken through Moses by God to Pharaoh? For it behoves every one who maintains the truth of what is recorded in Scripture, and who desires to show that the God of the law and the prophets is just, to render a reason for all these things, and to show how there is in them nothing at all derogatory to the justice of God, since, although they deny His goodness, they admit that He is a just judge, and creator of the world. Different, however, is the method of our reply to those who assert that the creator of this world is a malignant being, i.e., a devil.

FROM THE GREEK.

perish, as if they would obey unless they were hardened, or manifestly those who would be saved because they are not of a ruined nature. And on whom has He mercy? Is it on those who are to be saved? And how is there need of a second mercy for those who have been prepared once for salvation, and who will by all means become blessed on account of their nature? Unless perhaps, since they are capable of incurring destruction, if they did not receive mercy, they will obtain mercy, in order that they may not incur that destruction of which they are capable, but may be in the condition of those who are saved. And this is our answer to such persons.

9. But to those who think they understand the term "hardened," we must address the inquiry, What do they mean by saying that God, by His working, hardens the heart, and with what purpose does He do this? For let them observe the conception[4] of a God who is in reality just and good; but if they will not allow this, let it be conceded to them for the present that He is just; and let them show how the good and just God, or the just. God only, appears to be just, in hardening the heart of him who perishes because of his being hardened: and how the just God becomes the cause of destruction and disobedience, when men are chastened by Him on account of their hardness and disobedience. And why does He find fault with him, saying, "Thou wilt not let My people go;"[6] "Lo, I will smite all the first-born in Egypt, even thy first-born;"[7] and whatever else is recorded as spoken from God to Pharaoh through the intervention of Moses? For he who believes that the Scriptures are true, and that God is just, must necessarily endeavour, if he be honest,[8] to show how God, in using such expressions, may be distinctly[9] understood to be just. But if any one should stand, declaring with uncovered head that the Creator of the world was inclined to wickedness,[10] we should need other words to answer them.

FROM THE LATIN.

10. But since we acknowledge the God who spoke by Moses to be not only just, but also good, let us carefully inquire how it is in keeping with the character of a just and good Deity to have hardened the heart of Pharaoh. And let us see whether, following the example of the Apostle Paul, we are able to solve the difficulty by help of some parallel instances: if we can show, e.g., that by one and the same act God has pity upon one individual, but hardens another; not purposing or desiring that he who is hardened should be so, but because, in the manifestation of His goodness and patience, the heart of those who treat His kindness and forbearance with contempt and insolence is hardened by the punishment of their crimes being delayed; while those, on the other hand, who make His goodness and patience the occasion of their repentance and reformation, obtain compassion. To show more clearly, however, what we mean, let us take the illustration employed by the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Hebrews, where he says, "For the earth, which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, will receive blessing from God; but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned."[3] Now from those words of Paul which we have quoted, it is clearly shown that by one and the same act on the part of God--that, viz., by which He sends rain upon the earth--one portion of the ground, when carefully cultivated, brings forth good fruits; while another, neglected and uncared for, produces thorns and thistles. And if one, speaking as it were in the person of the rain,[4] were to say, "It is I, the rain, that have made the good fruits, and it is I that have caused the thorns and thistles to grow," however hard[6] the statement might appear, it would nevertheless be true; for unless the rain had fallen, neither fruits, nor thorns, nor thistles would have sprung up, whereas by the coming of the rain the earth gave birth to both. Now, although it is due to the beneficial action of the rain that the earth has produced herbs of both kinds, it is not to the rain that the diversity of the herbs is properly to be ascribed; but on those will justly rest the blame for the bad seed, who, although they might have turned up the ground by frequent ploughing, and have broken the clods by repeated harrowing, and have extirpated all useless and noxious weeds, and have cleared and prepared the fields for the coming showers by all the labour and toil which cultivation demands, have nevertheless neglected to do this, and who will accordingly reap briers and thorns, the most appropriate fruit of their sloth. And the consequence therefore is, that while the rain falls in kindness and impartiality[7] equally upon the whole earth, yet, by one and the same operation of the rain, that soil which is cultivated yields with a blessing useful fruits to the diligent and careful cultivators, while that which has become hardened through the neglect of the husbandman brings forth only thorns and thistles. Let us there-

FROM THE GREEK.

10. But since they say that they regard Him as a just God, and we as one who is at the same time good and just, let us consider how the good and just God could harden the heart of Pharaoh. See, then, whether, by an illustration used by the apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews, we are able to prove that by one operation[1] God has mercy upon one man while He hardens another, although not intending to harden; but, (although) having a good purpose, hardening follows as a result of the inherent principle of wickedness in such persons,[2] and so He is said to harden him who is hardened. "The earth," he says, "which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them for whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God; but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh to cursing, whose end is to be burned."[3] As respects the rain, then, there is one operation; and there being one operation as regards the rain, the ground which is cultivated produces fruit, while that which is neglected and is barren produces thorns. Now, it might seem profane[5] for Him who rains to say, "I produced the fruits, and the thorns that are in the earth;" and yet, although profane, it is true. For, had rain not fallen, there would have been neither fruits nor thorns; but, having fallen at the proper time and in moderation, both were produced. The ground, now, which drank in the rain which often fell upon it, and yet produced thorns and briers, is rejected and nigh to cursing. The blessing, then, of the rain descended even upon the inferior land; but it, being neglected and uncultivated, yielded thorns and thistles. In the same way, therefore, the wonderful works also done by God are, as it were, the rain; while the differing purposes are, as it were, the cultivated and neglected land, being (yet), like earth, of one nature.

FROM THE LATIN.

fore view those signs and miracles which were done by God, as the showers furnished by Him from above; and the purpose and desires of men, as the cultivated and uncultivated soil, which is of one and the same nature indeed, as is every soil compared with another, but not in one and the same state of cultivation. From which it follows that every one's will,[1] if untrained, and fierce, and barbarous, is either hardened by the miracles and wonders of God, growing more savage and thorny than ever, or it becomes more pliant, and yields itself up with the whole mind to obedience, if it be cleared from vice and subjected to training.

11. But, to establish the point more clearly, it will not be superfluous to employ another illustration, as if, e.g., one were to say that it is the sun which hardens and liquefies, although liquefying and hardening are things of an opposite nature. Now it is not incorrect to say that the sun, by one and the same power of its heat, melts wax indeed, but dries up and hardens mud:[3] not that its power operates One way upon mud, and in another way upon wax; but that the qualities of mud and wax are different, although according to nature they are one thing,[4] both being from the earth. In this way, then, one and the same working upon the part of God, which was administered by Moses in signs and wonders, made manifest the hardness of Pharaoh, which he had conceived in the intensity of his wickedness? but exhibited the obedience of those other Egyptians who were intermingled with the Israelites, and who are recorded to have quitted Egypt at the same time with the Hebrews. With respect to the statement that the heart of Pharaoh was subdued by degrees, so that on one occasion he said, "Go not far away; ye shall go a three days' journey, but leave your wives, and your children, and your cattle,"[8] and as regards any other statements, according to which he appears to yield gradually to the signs and wonders, what else is shown, save that the power of the signs and miracles was making some impression on him, but not so much as it ought to have done? For if the hardening were of such a nature as many take it to be, he would not indeed have given way even in a few instances. But I think there is no absurdity in explaining the tropical or figurative[9] nature of that language employed in speaking of "hardening," according to common usage. For those masters who are remarkable for kindness to their slaves, are frequently accustomed to say to the latter, when, through much patience and indulgence on their part, they have become insolent and worthless: "It is I that have made you what you are; I have spoiled you; it is my endurance that has made you good for nothing: I am to blame for your perverse and wicked habits, because I do not have you immediately punished for every delinquency according to your deserts." For we must first attend to the tropical or figurative meaning of the language, and so come to see the force of the expression, and not find fault with the word, whose inner meaning we do not ascertain.

FROM THE GREEK.

11. And as if the sun, uttering a voice, were to say, "I liquefy and dry up," liquefaction and drying up being opposite things, he would not speak falsely as regards the point in question;[2] wax being melted and mud being dried by the same heat; so the same operation, which was performed through the instrumentality of Moses, proved the hardness of Pharaoh on the one hand, the result of his wickedness, and the yielding of the mixed Egyptian multitude who took their departure with the Hebrews. And the brief statement[6] that the heart of Pharaoh was softened, as it were, when he said, "But ye shall not go far: ye will go a three days' journey, and leave your wives,"[7] and anything else which he said, yielding little by little before the signs, proves that the wonders made some impression even upon him, but did not accomplish all (that they might). Yet even this would not have happened, if that which is supposed by the many--the hardening of Pharaoh's heart--had been produced by God Himself. And it is not absurd to soften down such expressions agreeably to common usage:[10] for good masters often say to their slaves, when spoiled by their kindness and forbearance, "I have made you bad, and I am to blame for offences of such enormity." For we must attend to the character and force of the phrase, and not argue sophistically," disregarding the meaning of the expression. Paul accordingly, having examined these points clearly, says to the sinner: "Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

FROM THE LATIN.

Finally, the Apostle Paul, evidently treating of such, says to him who remained in his sins: "Despisest thou the riches of His goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? but, after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath on the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God."[1] Such are the words of the apostle to him who is in his sins. Let us apply these very expressions to Pharaoh, and see if they also are not spoken of him with propriety, since, according to his hardness and impenitent heart, he treasured and stored up for himself wrath on the day of wrath, inasmuch as his hardness could never have been declared and manifested, unless signs and wonders of such number and magnificence had been performed.

12. But if the proofs which we have adduced do not appear full enough, and the similitude of the apostle seem wanting in applicability,[3] let us add the voice of prophetic authority, and see what the prophets declare regarding those who at first, indeed, leading a righteous life, have deserved to receive numerous proofs of the goodness of God, but afterwards, as being human beings, have fallen astray, with whom the prophet, making himself also one, says: "Why, O LORD, hast Thou made us to err from Thy way? and hardened our heart, that we should not fear Thy name? Return, for Thy servants' sake, for the tribes of Thine inheritance, that we also for a little may obtain some inheritance from Thy holy hill."[5] Jeremiah also employs similar language: "O Lord, Thou hast deceived us, and we were deceived; Thou hast held (us), and Thou hast prevailed."[7] The expression, then, "Why, O Lord, hast Thou hardened our heart, that we should not fear Thy name?" used by those who prayed for mercy, is to be taken in a figurative, moral acceptation,[8] as if one were to say, "Why hast Thou spared us so long, and didst not requite us when we sinned, but didst abandon us, that so our wickedness might increase, and our liberty of sinning be extended when punishment ceased?" In like manner, unless a horse continually feel the spur[9] of his rider, and have his mouth abraded by a bit,[10] he becomes hardened. And a boy also, unless constantly disciplined by chastisement, will grow up to be an insolent youth, and one ready to fall headlong into vice. God accordingly abandons and neglects those whom He has judged undeserving of chastisement: "For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth."[11] From which we are to suppose that those are to be received into the rank and affection of sons, who have deserved to be scourged and chastened by the Lord, in order that they also, through endurance of trials and tribulations, may be able to say, "Who shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus? shall tribulation, or anguish, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"[12] For by all these is each one's resolu-

FROM THE GREEK.

but, after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God."[1] Now, let what the apostle says to the sinner be addressed to Pharaoh, and then the announcements made to him will be understood to have been made with peculiar fitness, as to one who, according to his hardness and unrepentant heart, was treasuring up to himself wrath; seeing that his hardness would not have been proved nor made manifest unless miracles had been performed, and miracles, too, of such magnitude and importance.

12. But since such narratives are slow to secure assent,[2] and are considered to be forced,[4] let us see from the prophetical declarations also, what those persons say, who, although they have experienced the great kindness of God, have not lived virtuously, but have afterwards sinned. "Why, O Lord, hast Thou made us to err from Thy ways? Why hast Thou hardened our heart, so as not to fear Thy name? Return for Thy servants' sake, for the tribes of Thine inheritance, that we may inherit a shall portion of Thy holy mountain."[6] And in Jeremiah: "Thou hast deceived me, O Lord, and I was deceived; Thou wert strong, and Thou didst prevail."[7] For the expression, "Why hast Thou hardened our hear, so as not to fear Thy name?" uttered by those who are begging to receive mercy, is in its nature as follows: "Why hast Thou spared us so long, not visiting us because of our sins, but deserting us, until our transgressions come to a height?" Now He leaves the greater part of men unpunished, both in order that the habits of each one may be examined, so far as it depends upon ourselves, and that the virtuous may be made manifest in consequence of the test applied; while the others, not escaping notice from God--for He knows all things before they exist--but from the rational creation and themselves, may afterwards obtain the means of cure, seeing they would not have known the benefit had they not

FROM THE LATIN.

tion manifested and displayed, and the firmness of his perseverance made known, not so much to God, who knows all things before they happen, as to the rational and heavenly virtues,[2] who have obtained a part in the work of procuring human salvation, as being a sort of assistants and ministers to God. Those, on the other hand, who do not yet offer themselves to God with such constancy and affection, and are not ready to come into His service, and to prepare their souls for trial, are said to be abandoned by God, i.e., not to be instructed, inasmuch as they are not prepared for instruction, their training or care being undoubtedly postponed to a later time. These certainly do not know what they will obtain from God, unless they first entertain the desire of being bene-fired; and this finally will be the case, if a man come first to a knowledge of himself, and feel what are his defects, and understand from whom he either ought or can seek the supply of his deficiencies. For he who does not know beforehand of his weakness or his sickness, cannot seek a physician; or at least, after recovering his health, that man will not be grateful to his physician who did not first recognise the dangerous nature of his ailment. And so, unless a man has first ascertained the defects of his life, and the evil nature of his sins, and made this known by confession from his own lips, he cannot be cleansed or acquitted, lest he should be ignorant that what he possesses has been bestowed on him by favour, but should consider as his own property what flows from the divine liberality, which idea undoubtedly generates arrogance of mind and pride, and finally becomes the cause of the individual's ruin. And this, we must believe, was the case with the devil, who viewed as his own, and not as given him by God, the primacy[7] which he held at the time when he was unstained;[8] and thus was fulfilled in him the declaration, that "every one who exalteth himself shall be abased."[9] From which it appears to me that the divine mysteries were concealed from the wise and prudent, according to the statement of Scripture, that "no flesh should glory before God,"[10] and revealed to children--to those, namely, who, after they have become infants and little children, i.e., have returned to the humility and simplicity of children, then make progress; and on arriving at perfection, remember that they have obtained their state of happiness, not by their own merits, but by the grace and compassion of God.

13. It is therefore by the sentence of God that he is abandoned who deserves to be so, while over some sinners God exercises forbearance; not, however, without a definite principle of action.[11] Nay, the very fact that He is long-suffering conduces to the advantage of those very persons, since the soul over which He exercises this providential care is immortal; and, as being immortal and everlasting, it is not, although not immediately cared for, excluded from salvation, which is postponed to a more convenient time. For perhaps it is expedient for those who have been more deeply imbued with the poison of

FROM THE GREEK.

condemned themselves. It is of advantage to each one, that he perceive his own peculiar nature[1] and the grace of God. For he who does not perceive his own weakness and the divine favour, although he receive a benefit, yet, not having made trial of himself, nor having condemned himself, will imagine that the benefit conferred upon him by the grace of Heaven is his own doing. And this imagination, producing also vanity,[3] will be the cause of a downfall: which, we conceive, was the case with the devil, who attributed to himself the priority which he possessed when in a state of sinlessness.[4] "For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased," and "every one that humbleth himself shall be exalted."[5] And observe, that for this reason divine things have been concealed from the wise and prudent, in order, as says the apostle, that "no flesh should glory in the presence of God; "[6] and they have been revealed to babes, to those who after childhood have come to better things, and who remember that it is not so much from their own effort, as by the unspeakable goodness (of God), that they have reached the greatest possible extent of blessedness.

13. It is not without reason, then, that he who is abandoned, is abandoned to the divine judgment, and that God is long-suffering with certain sinners; but because it will be for their advantage, with respect to the immortality of the soul and the unending world,[12] that they be not quickly brought[13] into a state of salvation, but be conducted to it more slowly, after having experienced many

FROM THE LATIN.

wickedness to obtain this salvation at a later period. For as medical men sometimes, although they could quickly cover over the scars of wounds, keep back and delay the cure for the present, in the expectation of a better and more perfect recovery, knowing that it is more salutary to retard the treatment in the cases of swellings caused by wounds, and to allow the malignant humours to flow off for a while, rather than to hasten a superficial cure, by shutting up in the veins the poison of a morbid humour, which, excluded from its customary outlets, will undoubtedly creep into the inner parts of the limbs, and penetrate to the very vitals of the viscera, producing no longer mere disease in the body, but causing destruction to life; so, in like manner, God also, who knows the secret things of the heart, and foreknows the future, in much forbearance allows certain events to happen, which, coming from without upon men, cause to come forth into the light the passions and vices which are concealed within, that by their means those may be cleansed and cured who, through great negligence and carelessness, have admitted within themselves the roots and seeds of sins, so that, when driven outwards and brought to the surface, they may in a certain degree be cast forth and dispersed.[1] And thus, although a man may appear to be afflicted with evils of a serious kind, suffering convulsions in all his limbs, he may nevertheless, at some future time, obtain relief and a cessation from his trouble; and, after enduring his afflictions to satiety, may, after many sufferings, be restored again to his (proper) condition. For God deals with souls not merely with a view to the short space of our present life, included within sixty years[4] or more, but with reference to a perpetual and never-ending period, exercising His providential care over souls that are immortal, even as He Himself is eternal and immortal. For He made the rational nature, which He formed in His own image and likeness, incorruptible; and therefore the soul, which is immortal, is not excluded by the shortness of the present life from the divine remedies and cures.

14. But let us take from the Gospels also the similitudes of those things which we have mentioned, in which is described a certain rock, having on it a little superficial earth, on which, when a seed falls, it is said quickly to spring up; but when sprung up, it withers as the sun ascends in the heavens, and dies away, because it did not cast its root deeply into the ground? Now this rock undoubtedly represents the human soul, hardened on account of its own negligence, and converted into stone because of its wickedness. For God gave no one a stony heart by a creative act; but each individual's heart is said to become stony through his own wickedness and disobedience. As, therefore, if one were to blame a husbandman for not casting his seed more quickly upon rocky ground, because seed cast upon other rocky soil was seen to spring up speedily, the husbandman would certainly say in reply: "I sow this soil more slowly, for this reason,

FROM THE GREEK.

evils. For as physicians, who are able to cure a man quickly, when they suspect that a hidden poison exists in the body, do the reverse of healing, making this more certain through their very desire to heal, deeming it better for a considerable time to retain the patient under inflammation and sickness, in order that he may recover his health more surely, than to appear to produce a rapid recovery, and afterwards to cause a relapse, and (thus) that hasty cure last only for a time; in the same way, God also, who knows the secret things of the heart, and foresees future events, in His long-suffering, permits (certain events to occur), and by means of those things which happen from without extracts the secret evil, in order to cleanse him who through carelessness has received the seeds of sin, that having vomited them forth when they came to the surface, although he may have been deeply involved in evils, he may afterwards obtain healing after his wickedness, and be renewed? For God governs souls not with reference, let me say, to the fifty[3] years of the present life, but with reference to an illimitable s age: for He made the thinking principle immortal in its nature, and kindred to Himself; and the rational soul is not, as in this life, excluded from cure.

14. Come now, and let us use the following image[6] from the Gospel. There is a certain rock, with a little surface-soil, on which, if seeds fall, they quickly spring up; but when sprung up, as not having root, they are burned and withered when the sun has arisen. Now this rock is a human soul, hardened on account of its negligence, and converted to stone because of its wickedness; for no one receives from God a heart created of stone, but it becomes such in consequence of wickedness. If one, then, were to find fault with the husbandman for not sowing his seed sooner upon the rocky soil, when he

FROM THE LATIN.

that it may retain the seed which it has received; for it suits this ground to be sown somewhat slowly, lest perhaps the crop, having sprouted too rapidly, and coming forth from the mere surface of a shallow soil, should be unable to withstand the rays of the sun." Would not he who formerly found fault acquiesce in the reasons and superior knowledge of the husbandman, and approve as done on rational grounds what formerly appeared to him as rounded on no reason? And in the same way, God, the thoroughly skilled husbandman of all His creation, undoubtedly conceals and delays to another time those[1] things which we think ought to have obtained health sooner, in order that not the outside of things, rather than the inside, my be cured. But if any one now were to object to us that certain seeds do even fall upon rocky ground, i.e., on a hard and stony heart, we should answer that even this does not happen without the arrangement of Divine Providence; inasmuch as, but for this, it would not be known what condemnation was incurred by rashness in hearing and indifference in investigation,[3] nor, certainly, what benefit was derived from being trained in an orderly manner. And hence it happens that the soul comes to know its defects, and to cast the blame upon itself, and, consistently with this, to reserve and submit itself to training, i.e., in order that it may see that its faults must first be removed, and that then it must come to receive the instruction of wisdom. As, therefore, souls are innumerable, so also are their manners, and purposes, and movements, and appetencies, and incitements different, the variety of which can by no means be grasped by the human mind; and therefore to God alone must be left the art, and the knowledge, and the power of an arrangement of this kind, as He alone can know both the remedies for each individual soul, and measure out the time of its cure. It is He alone then who, as we said, recognises the ways of individual men, and determines by what way He ought to lead Pharaoh, that through him His name might be named in all the earth, having previously chastised him by many blows, and finally drowning him in the sea. By this drowning, however, it is not to be supposed that God's providence as regards Pharaoh was terminated; for we must not imagine, because he was drowned, that therefore he had forthwith completely[5] perished: "for in the hand of God are both we and our words; all wisdom, also, and knowledge of workmanship,"[6] as Scripture declares. But these points we have discussed according to our ability, treating of that chapter[7] of Scripture in which it is said that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and agreeably to the statement, "He hath mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth."[9]

15. Let us now look at those passages of Ezekiel where he says, "I will take away from them their stony heart, and I will put in them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes, and keep Mine ordinances.[10]

FROM THE GREEK.

saw other rocky ground which had received seed flourishing, the husbandman would reply, "I shall sow this ground more slowly, casting in seeds that will be able to retain their hold, this slower method being better for the ground, and more secure than that which receives the seed in a more rapid manner, and more upon the surface." (The person finding fault) would yield his assent to the husbandman, as one who spoke with sound reason, and who acted with skill: so also the great Husbandman of all nature postpones that benefit which might be deemed premature,[2] that it may not prove superficial. But it is probable that here some one may object to us with reference to this: "Why do some of the seeds fall upon the earth that has superficial soil, the soul being, as it were, a rock?" Now we must say, in answer to this, that it was better for this soul, which desired better things precipitately,[4] and not by a way which led to them, to obtain its desire, in order that, condemning itself on this account, it may, after a long time, endure to receive the husbandry which is according to nature. For souls are, as one may say, innumerable; and their habits are innumerable, and their movements, and their purposes, and their assaults, and their efforts, of which there is only one admirable administrator, who knows both the seasons, and the fitting helps, and the avenues, and the ways, viz., the God and Father of all things, who knows how He conducts even Pharaoh by so great events, and by drowning in the sea, with which latter occurrence His superintendence of Pharaoh does not cease. For he was not annihilated when drowned: "For in the hand of God are both we and our words; all wisdom also, and knowledge of workmanship."[8] And such is a moderate defence with regard to the statements that "Pharaoh's heart was hardened," and that "God hath mercy upon whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth."

15. Let us look also at the declaration in Ezekiel, which says, "I shall take away their stony hearts, and will put in them hearts of flesh, that they

FROM THE LATIN.

For if God, when He pleases, takes away a heart of stone and bestows a heart of flesh, that His ordinances may be observed and His commandments may be obeyed, it will then appear that it is not in our power to put away wickedness. For the taking away of a stony heart seems to be nothing else than the removal of the wickedness by which one is hardened, from whomsoever God pleases to remove it. Nor is the bestowal of a heart of flesh, that the precepts of God may be observed and His commandments obeyed, any other thing than a man becoming obedient, and no longer resisting the truth, but performing works of virtue. If, then, God promises to do this, and if, before He takes away the stony heart, we are unable to remove it from ourselves, it follows that it is not in our power, but in God's only, to cast away wickedness. And again, if it is not our doing to form within us a heart of flesh, but the work of God alone, it will not be in our power to live virtuously, but it will in everything appear to be a work of divine grace. Such are the assertions of those who wish to prove from the authority of Holy Scripture that nothing lies in our own power. Now to these we answer, that these passages are not to be so understood, but in the following manner. Take the case of one who was ignorant and untaught, and who, feeling the disgrace of his ignorance, should, driven either by an exhortation from some person, or incited by a desire to emulate other wise men, hand himself over to one by whom he is assured that he will be carefully trained and competently instructed. If he, then, who had formerly hardened himself in ignorance, yield himself, as we have said, with full purpose of mind to a master, and promise to obey him in all things, the master, on seeing clearly the resolute nature of his determination; will appropriately promise to take away all ignorance, and to implant knowledge within his mind; not that he undertakes to do this if the disciple refuse or resist his efforts, but only on his offering and binding himself to obedience in all things. So also the Word of God promises to those who draw near to Him, that He will take away their stony heart, not indeed from those who do not listen to His word, but from those who receive the precepts of His teaching; as in the Gospels we find the sick approaching the Saviour, asking to receive health, and thus at last be cured. And in order that the blind might be healed and regain their sight, their part consisted in making supplication to the Saviour, and in believing that their cure could be effected by Him; while His part, on the other hand, lay in restoring to them the power of vision. And in this way also does the Word of God promise to bestow instruction by taking away the stony heart, i.e., by the removal of wickedness, that so men may be able to walk in the divine precepts, and observe the commandments of the law.

FROM THE GREEK.

may walk in My statutes and keep My precepts."[1] For if God, when He wills, takes away the stony hearts, and implants hearts of flesh, so that His precepts are obeyed and His commandments are observed, it is not in our power to put away wickedness. For the taking away of the stony hearts is nothing else than the taking away of the wickedness, according to which one is hardened, from him from whom God wills to take it; and the implanting of a heart of flesh, so that a man may walk in the precepts of God and keep His commandments, what else is it than to become somewhat yielding and unresistent to the truth, and to be capable of practising virtues? And if God promises to do this, and if, before He takes away the stony hearts, we do not lay them aside, it is manifest that it does not depend upon ourselves to put away wickedness; and if it is not we who do anything towards the production within us of the heart of flesh, but if it is God's doing, it will not be our own act to live agreeably to virtue, but altogether (the result of) divine grace. Such will be the statements of him who, from the mere words (of Scripture), annihilates free-will.[2] But we shall answer, saying, that we ought to understand these passages thus: That as a man, e.g., who happened to be ignorant and uneducated, on perceiving his own defects, either in consequence of an exhortation from his teacher, or in some other way, should spontaneously give himself up to him whom he considers able to introduce[3] him to education and virtue; and, on his yielding himself up, his instructor promises that he will take away his ignorance, and implant instruction, not as if it contributed nothing to his training, and to the avoiding of ignorance, that he brought himself to be healed, but because the instructor promised to improve him who desired improvement; so, in the same way, the Word of God promises to take away wickedness, which it calls a stony heart, from those who come to it, not if they are unwilling, but (only) if they submit themselves to the Physician of the sick, as in the Gospels

FROM THE LATIN.

16. There is next brought before us that declaration uttered by the Saviour in the Gospel: "That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest they should happen to be converted, and their sins be forgiven them."[1] On which our opponent will remark: "If those who shall hear more distinctly are by all means to be corrected and converted, and converted in such a manner as to be worthy of receiving the remission of sins, and if it be not in their own power to hear the word distinctly, but if it depend on the Instructor to teach more openly and distinctly, while he declares that he does not proclaim to them the word with clearness, lest they should perhaps hear and understand, and be converted, and be saved, it will follow, certainly, that their salvation is not dependent upon themselves. And if this be so, then we have no free-will either as regards salvation or destruction." Now were it not for the words that are added, "Lest perhaps they should be converted, and their sins be forgiven them," we might be more inclined to return the answer, that the Saviour was unwilling that those individuals whom He foresaw would not become good, should understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and that therefore He spoke to them in parables; but as that addition follows, "Lest perhaps they should be converted, and their sins be forgiven them," the explanation is rendered more difficult. And, in the first place, we have to notice what defence this passage furnishes against those heretics who are accustomed to hunt out of the Old Testament any expressions which seem, according to their view, to predicate severity and cruelty of God the Creator, as when He is described as being affected with the feeling of vengeance or punishment, or by any of those emotions, however named, from which they deny the existence of goodness in the Creator; for they do not judge of the Gospels with the same mind and feelings, and do not observe whether any such statements are found in them as they condemn and censure in the Old Testament. For manifestly, in the passage referred to, the Saviour is shown, as they themselves admit, not to speak distinctly, for this very reason, that men may not be converted, and

FROM THE GREEK.

the sick are found coming to the Saviour, and asking to obtain healing, and so are cured. And, let me say, the recovery of sight by the blind is, so far as their request goes, the act of those who believe that they are capable of being healed; but as respects the restoration of sight, it is the work of our Saviour. Thus, then, does the Word of God promise to implant knowledge in those who come to it, by taking away the stony and hard heart, which is wickedness, in order that one may walk in the divine commandments, and keep the divine injunctions.

16. There was after this the passage from the Gospel, where the Saviour said, that for this reason did He speak to those without in parables, that "seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand; lest they should be converted, and their sins be forgiven them."[1] Now, our opponent will say, "If some persons are assuredly converted on hearing words of greater clearness, so that they become worthy of the remission of sins, and if it does not depend upon themselves to hear these words of greater clearness, but upon him who teaches, and he for this reason does not announce them to them more distinctly, lest they should see and understand, it is not within the power of such to be saved; and if so, we are not possessed of free-will as regards salvation and destruction." Effectual, indeed, would be the reply to such arguments, were it not for the addition, "Lest they should be converted, and their sins be forgiven them,"--namely, that the Saviour did not wish those who were not to become good and virtuous to understand the more mystical (parts of His teaching), and for this reason spake to them in parables; but now, on account of the words, "Lest they should be converted, and their sins be forgiven them," the defence is more difficult. In the first place, then, we must notice the passage in its bearing on the heretics, who hunt out those portions from the Old Testament where is exhibited, as they themselves daringly assert, the cruelty[2] of the Creator of the world[3]

FROM THE LATIN.

when converted, receive the remission of sins. Now, if the words be understood according to the letter merely, nothing less, certainly, will be contained in them than in those passages which they find fault with in the Old Testament. And if they are of opinion that any expressions occurring in such a connection in the New Testament stand in need of explanation, it will necessarily follow that those also occurring in the Old Testament, which are the subject of censure, may be freed from aspersion by an explanation of a similar kind, so that by such means the passages found in both Testaments may be shown to proceed from one and the same God. But let us return, as we best may, to the question proposed.

17. We said formerly, when discussing the case of Pharaoh, that sometimes it does not lead to good results for a man to be cured too quickly, especially if the disease, being shut up within the inner parts of the body, rage with greater fierceness. Whence God, who is acquainted with secret things, and knows all things before they happen, in His great goodness delays the cure of such, and postpones their recovery to a remoter period, and, so to speak, cures them by not curing them, lest a too favourable state of health[4] should render them incurable. It is therefore possible that, in the case of those to whom, as being "without," the words of our Lord and Saviour were addressed, He, seeing from His scrutiny of the hearts and reins that they were not yet able to receive teaching of a clearer type, veiled by the covering of language the meaning of the profounder mysteries, lest perhaps, being rapidly converted and healed, i.e., having quickly obtained the remission of their sins, they should again easily slide back into the same disease which they

FROM THE GREEK.

in His purpose of avenging and punishing the wicked,[1] or by whatever other name they wish to designate such a quality, so speaking only that they may say that goodness does not exist in the Creator; and who do not deal with the New Testament in a similar manner, nor in a spirit of candour,[2] but pass by places similar to those which they consider censurable in the Old Testament. For manifestly, and according to the Gospel, is the Saviour shown, as they assert, by His former words, not to speak distinctly for this reason, that men might not be converted, and, being converted, might become deserving of the remission of sins: which statement of itself is nothing inferior[3] to those passages from the Old Testament which are objected to. And if they seek to defend the Gospel, we must ask them whether they are not acting in a blameworthy manner in dealing differently with the same questions; and, while not stumbling against the New Testament, but seeking to defend it, they nevertheless bring a charge against the Old regarding similar points, whereas they ought to offer a defence in the same way of the passages from the New. And therefore we shall force them, on account of the resemblances, to regard all as the writings of one God. Come, then, and let us, to the best of our ability, furnish an answer to the question submitted to us.

17. We asserted also, when investigating the subject of Pharaoh, that sometimes a rapid cure is not for the advantage of those who are healed, if, after being seized by troublesome diseases, they should easily get rid of those by which they had been entangled. For, despising the evil as one that is easy of cure, and not being on their guard a second time against falling into it, they will be involved in it (again). Wherefore, in the case of such persons, the everlasting God, the Knower of secrets, who knows all things before they exist, in conformity with His goodness, delays sending them more rapid assistance, and, so to speak, in helping them does not help, the latter course being to their advan-

FROM THE LATIN.

had found could be healed without any difficulty. For if this be the case, no one can doubt that the punishment is doubled, and the amount of wickedness increased; since not only are the sins which had appeared to be forgiven repeated, but the court[1] of virtue also is desecrated when trodden by deceitful and polluted beings,[2] filled within with hidden wickedness. And what remedy can there ever be for those who, after eating the impure and filthy food of wickedness, have tasted the pleasantness of virtue, and received its sweetness into their mouths, and yet have again betaken themselves to the deadly and poisonous provision of sin? And who doubts that it is better for delay and a temporary abandonment to occur, in order that if, at some future time, they should happen to be satiated with wickedness, and the filth with which they are now delighted should become loathsome, the word of God may at last be appropriately made clear to them, and that which is holy be not given to the dogs, nor pearls be cast before swine, which will trample them under foot, and turn, moreover, and rend and assault those who have proclaimed to them the word of God? These, then, are they who are said to be "without," undoubtedly by way of contrast with those who are said to be "within," and to hear the word of God with greater clearness. And yet those who are "without" do hear the word, although it is covered by parables, and overshadowed by proverbs. There are others, also, besides those who are without, who are called Tyrians, and who do not hear at all, respecting whom the Saviour knew that they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes, if the miracles performed among others had been done amongst them, and yet these do not hear those things which are heard even by those who are "without:" and I believe, for this reason, that the rank of such in wickedness was far lower and worse than that of those who are said to be "without," i.e., who are not far from those who are within, and who have deserved to hear the word, although in parables; and because, perhaps, their cure was delayed to that time when it will be more tolerable for them on the day of judgment, than for those before whom those miracles which are recorded were performed, that so at last, being then relieved from the weight of their sins, they may enter with more ease and power of endurance upon the way of safety. And this is a point which I wish impressed upon those who peruse these pages, that with respect to topics of such difficulty and obscurity we use our utmost endeavour, not so much to ascertain clearly the solutions of the questions (for every one will do this as the Spirit gives him utterance), as to maintain the rule of faith in the most unmistakeable manner,[7] by striving to show that the providence of God, which equitably administers all things, governs also immortal souls on the justest principles, (conferring rewards) according to the merits and motives of each individual; the present economy of things s not being confined within the life of this world, but the pre-existing state of merit always furnishing the ground for

FROM THE GREEK.

tage. It is probable, then, that those "without," of whom we are speaking, having been foreseen by the Saviour, according to our supposition, as not (likely) to prove steady in their conversion,[3] if they should hear more clearly the words that were spoken, were (so) treated by the Saviour as not to hear distinctly the deeper (things of His teaching),[4] lest, after a rapid conversion, and after being healed by obtaining remission of sins, they should despise the wounds of their wickedness, as being slight and easy of healing, and should again speedily relapse into them. And perhaps also, suffering punishment for their former transgressions against virtue, which they had committed when they had forsaken her, they had not yet filled up the (full) time; in order that, being abandoned by the divine superintendence, and being filled to a greater degree by their own evils which they had sown, they may afterwards be called to a more stable repentance; so as not to be quickly entangled again in those evils in which they had formerly been involved when they treated with insolence the requirements of virtue, and devoted themselves to worse things. Those, then, who are said to be "without" (manifestly by comparison with those "within "), not being very far from those "within," while those "within" hear clearly, do themselves hear indistinctly, because they are addressed in parables; but nevertheless they do hear. Others, again, of those "without," who are called Tyrians, although it was foreknown that they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes, had the Saviour come near their borders, do not hear even those words which are heard by those "without" (being, as is probable, very far inferior in merit to those "without"[6]), in order that at another season, after it has been more tolerable for them than for those who did not receive the word (among whom he mentioned also the Tyrians), they may, on hearing the word at a more appropriate time, obtain a more lasting repentance. But observe whether, besides our desire to investigate (the truth),

FROM THE LATIN.

the state that is to follow,[1] and thus by an eternal and immutable law of equity, and by the controlling influence of Divine Providence, the immortal soul is brought to the summit of perfection. If one, however, were to object to our statement, that the word of preaching was purposely put aside by certain men of wicked and worthless character, and (were to inquire) why the word was preached to those over whom the Tyrians, who were certainly despised, are preferred in comparison (by which proceeding, certainly, their wickedness was increased, and their condemnation rendered more severe, that they should hear the word who were not to believe it), they must be answered in the following manner: God, who is the Creator of the minds of all men, foreseeing complaints against His providence, especially on the part of those who say, "How could we believe when we neither beheld those things which others saw, nor heard those words which were preached to others? in so far is the blame removed from us, since they to whom the word was announced, and the signs manifested, made no delay whatever, but became believers, overpowered by the very force of the miracles;" wishing to destroy the grounds for complaints of this kind, and to show that it was no concealment of Divine Providence, but the determination of the human mind which was the cause of their ruin, bestowed the grace of His benefits even upon the unworthy and the unbelieving, that every mouth might indeed be shut, and that the mind of man might know that all the deficiency was on its own part, and none on that of God; and that it may, at the same time, be understood and recognised that he receives a heavier sentence of condemnation who has despised the divine benefits conferred upon him than he who has not deserved to obtain or hear them, and that it is a peculiarity of divine compassion, and a mark of the extreme justice of its administration, that it sometimes conceals from certain individuals the opportunity of either seeing or hearing the mysteries of divine power, lest, after beholding the power of the miracles, and recognising and hearing the mysteries of its wisdom, they should, on treating them with contempt and indifference, be punished with greater severity for their impiety.

18. Let us now look to the expression, "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."[4] For our opponents assert, that if it does not depend upon him that willeth, nor on him that runneth, but on God that showeth mercy, that a man be saved, our salvation is not in our own power. For our nature is such as to admit of our either being saved or not, or else our salvation rests solely on the will of Him who, if He wills it, shows mercy, and confers salvation. Now let us inquire, in the first place, of such persons, whether

FROM THE GREEK.

we do not rather strive to maintain an attitude of piety in everything regarding God and His Christ,[2] seeing we endeavour by every means to prove that, in matters so great and so peculiar regarding the varied providence of God, He takes an oversight of the immortal soul. If, indeed, one were to inquire regarding those things that are objected to, why those who saw wonders and who heard divine words are not benefited, while the Tyrians would have repented if such had been performed and spoken amongst them; and should ask, and say, Why did the Saviour proclaim such to these persons, to their own hurt, that their sin might be reckoned to them as heavier? we must say, in answer to such an one, that He who understands the dispositions[3] of all those who find fault with His providence--(alleging) that it is owing to it that they have not believed, because it did not permit them to see what it enabled others to behold, and did not arrange for them to hear those words by which others, on hearing them, were benefited--wishing to prove that their defence is not founded on reason, He grants those advantages which those who blame His administration asked; in order that, after obtaining them, they may notwithstanding be convicted of the greatest impiety in not having even then yielded themselves to be benefited, and may cease from such audacity; and having been made free in respect to this very point, may learn that God occasionally, in conferring benefits upon certain persons, delays and procrastinates, not conferring the favour of seeing and hearing those things which, when seen and heard, would render the sin of those who did not believe, after acts so great and peculiar, heavier and more serious.

18. Let us look next at the passage: "So, then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."[4] For they who find fault say: If "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy," salvation does not depend upon ourselves, but upon the arrangement[5] made by Him who has formed[6] us

FROM THE LATIN.

to desire blessings be a good or evil act ; and whether to hasten after good as a final aim[2] be worthy of praise. If they were to answer that such a procedure was deserving of censure, they would evidently he mad ; for all holy men both desire blessings and run after them, and certainly are not blameworthy. How, then, is it that he who is not saved, if he be of an evil nature, desires blessing, and runs after them, but does not find them? For they say that a bad tree does not bring forth good fruits, whereas it is a good fruit to desire blessings. And how is the fruit of a bad tree good? And if they assert that to desire blessings, and to run after them, is an act of indifference,[4] i.e., neither good nor bad, we shall reply, that if it be an indifferent act to desire blessings, and to run after them, then the opposite of that will also he an indifferent act, viz., to desire evils, and to run after them ; whereas it is certain that it is not an indifferent act to desire evils, and to run after them, but one that is manifestly wicked. It is established, then, that to desire and follow after blessings is not an indifferent, but a virtuous proceeding.

Having now repelled these objections by the answer which we have given, let us hasten on to the discussion of the subject itself, in which it is said, "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."[8] In the book of Psalms--in the Songs of Degrees, which are ascribed to Solomon--the following statement occurs: "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."[9] By which words he does not indeed indicate that we should cease from building or watching over the safe keeping of that city which is within us; but what he points out is this, that whatever is built without God, and whatever is guarded without him, is built in vain, and guarded to no purpose. For in all things that are well built and well protected, the Lord is held to be the cause either of the building or of its protection. As if, e.g., we were to behold some magnificent structure and mass of splendid building reared with beauteous architectural skill, would we not justly and deservedly say that such was built not by human power, but by divine help and might? And yet from such a statement it will not be meant that the labour and industry of human effort were inactive, and effected nothing at all. Or again, if we were to see some city surrounded by a severe blockade of the enemy, in which threatening engines were brought against the walls, and the place hard pressed by a vallum, and weapons, and fire, and all the instruments of war, by which destruction is prepared, would we not rightly and deservedly say, if the enemy were repelled and put to flight, that the deliverance had been wrought for the liberated city by God? And yet we would not mean, by so speaking, that either the vigilance of the sentinels, or the alertness of the young men,[11] or the protection of the guards, had been wanting. And the apostle also must be understood in a similar manner, because the human will alone is not sufficient to obtain salvation; nor is any mortal running able to win

FROM THE GREEK.

such as we are, or on the purpose [1] of Him who showeth mercy when he pleases. Now we must ask these persons the following questions: Whether to desire what is good is virtuous or vicious; and whether the desire to run in order to reach the goal in the pursuit of what is good be worthy of praise or censure ? And if they shall say that it is worthy of censure, they will return an absurd answer;[3] since the saints desire and run, and manifestly in so acting do nothing that is blameworthy. But if they shall say that it is virtuous to desire what is good, and to run after what is good, we shall ask them how a perishing nature desires better things;[5] for it is like an evil tree producing good fruit, since it is a virtuous act to desire better things. They will give (perhaps) a third answer, that to desire and run after what is good is one of those things that are indifferent,[6] and neither beautiful[7] nor wicked. Now to this we must say, that if to desire and to run after what is good be a thing of indifference, then the opposite also is a thing of indifference, viz., to desire what is evil, and to run after it. But it is not a thing of indifference to desire what is evil, and to run after it. And therefore also, to desire what is good, and to run after it, is not a thing of indifference. Such, then, is the defence which I think we can offer to the statement, that "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."[8] Solomon says in the book of Psalms (for the Song of Degrees[10] is his, from which we shall quote the words): "Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain: "[9] not dissuading us from building, nor teaching us not to keep watch in order to guard the city in our soul, but showing that what is built without God, and does not receive a guard from Him, is built in vain and watched to no purpose, because God might reasonably be entitled the Lord of the building; and the Governor of all things, the Ruler of the guard of the city. As, then, if we were to say that such a building is not the work of the builder, but of God, the heavenly (rewards), and to obtain the prize of our high calling[1] of God in Christ Jesus, unless this very good will of ours, and ready purpose, and whatever that diligence within us may be, be aided or furnished with divine help. And therefore most logically[2] did the apostle say, that "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy;" in the same manner as if we were to say of agriculture what is actually written: "I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."[4] As, therefore, when a field has brought good and rich crops to perfect maturity, no one would piously and logically assert that the husbandman had made those fruits, but would acknowledge that they had been produced by God; so also is our own perfection brought about, not indeed by our remaining inactive and idle,[5] (but by some activity on our part): and yet the consummation of it will not be ascribed to us, but to God, who is the first and chief cause of the work. So, when a ship has overcome the dangers of the sea, although the result be accomplished by great labour on the part of the sailors, and by the aid of all the art of navigation, and by the zeal and carefulness of the pilot, and by the favouring influence of the breezes, and the careful observation of the signs of the stars, no one in his sound senses would ascribe the safety of the vessel, when, after being tossed by the waves, and wearied by the billows, it has at last reached the harbour in safety, to anything else than to the mercy of God. Not even the sailors or pilot venture to say, "I have saved the ship," but they refer all to the mercy of God; not that they feel that they have contributed no skill or labour to save the ship, but because they know that while they contributed the labour, the safety of the vessel was ensured by God. So also in the race of our life we ourselves must expend labour, and bring diligence and zeal to bear; but it is from God that salvation is to be hoped for as the fruit of our labour. Otherwise, if God demand none of our labour, His commandments will appear to be superfluous. In vain, also, does Paul blame some for having fallen from the truth, and praise others for abiding in the faith; and to no purpose does he deliver certain precepts and institutions to the Churches: in vain, also, do we ourselves either desire or run after what is good. But it is certain that these things are not done in vain; and it is certain that neither do the apostles give instructions in vain, nor the Lord enact laws without a reason. It follows, therefore, that we declare it to be in vain, rather, for the heretics to speak evil of these good declarations.

FROM THE GREEK.

and that it was not owing to the successful effort of the watcher, but of the God who is over all, that such a city suffered no injury from its enemies, we should not be wrong,[3] it being understood that something also had been done by human means, but the benefit being gratefully referred to God who brought it to pass; so, seeing that the (mere) human desire is not sufficient to attain the end, and that the running of those who are, as it were, athletes, does not enable them to gain the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus--for these things are accomplished with the assistance of God -- it is well said that "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy." As if also it were said with regard to husbandry what also is actually recorded: "I planted, Apollos watered; and God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."[4] Now we could not piously assert that the production of full crops was the work of the husbandman, or of him that watered, but the work of God. So also our own perfection is brought about, not as if we ourselves did nothing;[6] for it is not completed[7] by us, but God produces the greater part of it. And that this assertion may be more clearly believed, we shall take an illustration from the art of navigation. For in comparison with the effect of the winds,[8] and the mildness of the air,[9] and the light of the stars, all co-operating in the preservation of the crew, what proportion[10] could the art of navigation be said to bear in the bringing of the ship into harbour?--since even the sailors themselves, from piety, do not venture to assert often that they had saved the ship, but refer all to God; not as if they had done nothing, but because what had been done by Providence was infinitely[11] greater than what had been effected by their art. And in the matter of our salvation, what is done by God is infinitely greater than what is done by ourselves; and therefore, I think, is it

FROM THE LATIN.

19. After this there followed this point, that "to will and to do are of God."[3] Our opponents maintain that if to will be of God, and if to do be of Him, or if, whether we act or desire well or ill, it be of God, then in that case we are not possessed of free-will. Now to this we have to answer, that the words of the apostle do not say that to will evil is of God, or that to will good is of Him; nor that to do good or evil is of God; but his statement is a general one, that to will and to do are of God. For as we have from God this very quality, that we are men[4] that we breathe, that we move; so also we have from God (the faculty) by which we will, as if we were to say that our power of motion is from God,[6] or that the performing of these duties by the individual members, and their movements, are from God. From which, certainly, I do not understand this, that because the hand moves, e.g., to punish unjustly, or to commit an act of theft, the act is of God, but only that the power of motion[8] is from God; while it is our duty to turn those movements, the power of executing which we have from God, either to purposes of good or evil. And so what the apostle says is, that we receive indeed the power of volition, but that we misuse the will either to good or evil desires. In a similar way, also, we must judge of results.

FROM THE GREEK.

said that "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy." For if in the manner which they imagine we must explain the statement,[1] that "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy," the commandments are superfluous; and it is in vain that Paul himself blames some for having fallen away, and approves of others as having remained upright, and enacts laws for the Churches: it is in vain also that we give ourselves up to desire better things, and in vain also (to attempt) to run. But it is not in vain that Paul gives such advice, censuring some and approving of others; nor in vain that we give ourselves up to the desire of better things, and to the chase after things that are pre-eminent. They have accordingly not well explained the meaning of the passage.[2]

19. Besides these, there is the passage, "Both to will and to do are of God."[3] And some assert that, if to will be of God, and to do be of God, and if, whether we will evil or do evil, these (movements) come to us from God, then, if so, we are not possessed of free-will. But again, on the other hand, when we will better things, and do things that are more excellent,[5] seeing that willing and doing are from God, it is not we who have done the more excellent things, but we only appeared (to perform them), while it was God that bestowed them;[7] so that even in this respect we do not possess free-will. Now to this we have to answer, that the language of the apostle does not assert that to will evil is of God, or to will good is of Him (and similarly with respect to doing better and worse); but that to will in a general [9] way, and to run in a general way, (are from Him). For as we have from God (the property) of being living things and human beings, so also have we that of willing generally, and, so to speak, of motion in general. And as, possessing (the property) of life and of motion, and of moving, e.g., these members, the hands or the feet, we could not rightly say[10] that we had from God this

FROM THE LATIN

20. But with respect to the declaration of the apostle, "Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God ? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus ? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour ? "[4] Some one will perhaps say, that as the potter out of the same lump makes some vessels to honour, and others to dishonour, so God creates some men for perdition, and others for salvation; and that it is not therefore in our own power either to be saved or to perish; by which reasoning we appear not to be possessed of free-will. We must answer those who are of this opinion with the question, Whether it is possible for the apostle to contradict himself? And if this cannot be imagined of an apostle, how shall he appear, according to them, to be just in blaming those who committed fornication in Corinth, or those who sinned, and did not repent of their unchastity, and fornication, and uncleanness, which they had committed? How, also, does he greatly praise those who acted rightly, like the house of Onesiphorus, saying, "The Lord give mercy to the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: but, when he had come to Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day."[5] Now it is not consistent with apostolic gravity to blame him who is worthy of blame, i.e., who has sinned, and greatly to praise him who is deserving of praise for his good works; and again, as if it were in no one's power to do any good or evil, to say that it was the Creator's doing that every one should act virtuously or wickedly, seeing He makes one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour. And how can he add that statement, "We must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one of us may receive in his body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad ? "[6] For what reward of good will be conferred on him who could not commit evil, being formed by the Creator to that very end? or what punishment will deservedly be inflicted on him who was unable to do good in consequence of the creative act of

FROM THE GREEK.

species of motion,[1] whereby we moved to strike, or destroy, or take away another's goods, but that we had received from Him simply the generic[2] power of motion, which we employed to better or worse purposes; so we have obtained from God (the power) of acting, in respect of our being living things, and (the power) to will from the Creator? while we employ the power of will, as well as that of action, for the noblest objects, or the opposite.

20. Still the declaration of the apostle will appear to drag us to the conclusion that we are not possessed of freedom of will, in which, objecting against himself, he says, "Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will ? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God ? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour ?"[4] For it will be said: If the potter of the same lump make some vessels to hon-our and others to dishonour, and God thus form some men for salvation and others for ruin, then salvation or ruin does not depend upon ourselves, nor are we possessed of free-will. Now we must ask him who deals so with these passages, whether it is possible to conceive of the apostle as contradicting himself. I presume, however, that no one will venture to say so. If, then, the apostle does not utter contradictions, how can he, according to him who so understands him, reasonably find fault, censuring the individual at Corinth who had committed fornication, or those who had fallen away, and had not repented of the licentiousness and impurity of which they had been guilty? And how can he bless those whom he praises as having done well, as he does the house of Onesiphorus in these words: "The Lord give mercy to the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:

FROM THE LATIN.

his Maker?[1] Then, again, how is not this opposed to that other declaration elsewhere, that "in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, prepared unto every good work."[4] He, accordingly, who purges himself, is made a vessel unto honour, while he who has disdained to cleanse himself from his impurity is made a vessel unto dishonour. From such declarations, in my opinion, the cause of our actions can in no degree be referred to the Creator. For God the Creator makes a certain vessel unto honour, and other vessels to dishonour; but that vessel which has cleansed itself from all impurity He makes a vessel unto honour, while that which has stained itself with the filth of vice He makes a vessel unto dishonour. The conclusion from which, accordingly, is this, that the cause of each one's actions is a pre-existing one; and then every one, according to his deserts, is made by God either a vessel unto honour or dishonour. Therefore every individual vessel has furnished to its Creator out of itself the causes and occasions of its being formed by Him to be either a vessel unto honour or one unto dishonour. And if the assertion appear correct, as it certainly is, and in harmony with all piety, that it is due to previous causes that every vessel be prepared by God either to honour or to dishonour, it does not appear absurd that, in discussing remoter causes in the same order, and in the same method, we should come to the same conclusion respecting the nature of souls, and (believe) that this was the reason why Jacob was beloved before he was born into this world, and Esau hated, while he still was contained in the womb of his mother.

FROM THE GREEK.

but, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day."[2] It is not consistent for the same apostle[3] to blame the sinner as worthy of censure, and to praise him who had done well as deserving of approval; and again, on the other hand, to say, as if nothing depended on ourselves, that the cause was in the Creator[5] why the one vessel was formed to honour, and the other to dishonour. And how is this statement correct:[6] "For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad,"[7] since they who have done evil have advanced to this pitch of wickedness[8] because they were created vessels unto dishonour, while they that have lived virtuously have done good because they were created from the beginning for this purpose, and became vessels unto honour? And again, how does not the statement made elsewhere conflict with the view which these persons draw from the words which we have quoted (that it is the fault of the Creator that one vessel is in honour and another in dishonour), viz., "that in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work; "[4] for if he who purges himself becomes a vessel unto honour, and he who allows himself to remain unpurged[9] becomes a vessel unto dishonour, then, so far as these words are concerned, the Creator is not at all to blame. For the Creator makes vessels of honour and vessels of dishonour, not from the beginning according to His foreknowledge,[10] since He does not condemn or justify beforehand[11] according to it ; but (He makes) those into vessels of honour who purged themselves, and those into vessels of dishonour who allowed

FROM THE LATIN.

21. Nay, that very declaration, that from the same lump a vessel is formed both to honour and to dishonour, will not push us hard; for we assert that the nature of all rational souls is the same, as one lump of clay is described as being under the treatment of the potter. Seeing, then, the nature of rational creatures is one, God, according to the previous grounds of merit,[3] created and formed out of it, as the potter out of the one lump, some persons to honour and others to dishonour. Now, as regards the language of the apostle, which he utters as if in a tone of censure, "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God ?" he means, I think, to point out that such a censure does not refer to any believer who lives tightly and justly, and who has confidence in God, i.e., to such an one as Moses was, of whom Scripture says that "Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice; "[5] and as God answered Moses, so also does every saint answer God. But he who is an unbeliever, and loses confidence in answering before God owing to the unworthiness of his life and conversation, and who, in relation to these matters, does not seek to learn and make progress, but to oppose and resist, and who, to speak more plainly, is such an one as to be able to say those words which the apostle indicates, when he says, "Why, then, does He yet find fault? for who will resist His will ? "--to such an one may the censure of the apostle rightly be directed, "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?" This censure accordingly applies not to believers and saints, but to unbelievers and wicked men.

Now, to those who introduce souls of different natures,[7] and who turn this declaration of the apostle to the support of their own opinion, we have to reply as follows: If even they are agreed as to what the apostle says, that out of the one lump are formed both those who are made to honour and those who are made to dishonour, whom they term of a nature that is to be saved and destroyed, there will then be no longer souls of different natures, but one nature for all. And if they admit that one and the same potter may undoubtedly denote one Creator, there will not

FROM THE GREEK.

themselves to remain unpurged: so that it results from older causes[1] (which operated) in the formation of the vessels unto honour and dishonour, that one was created for the former condition, and another for the latter. But if we once admit that there were certain older causes (at work) in the forming of a vessel unto honour, and of one unto dishonour, what absurdity is there in going back to the subject of the soul, and (in supposing) that a more ancient cause for Jacob being loved and for Esau being hated existed with respect to Jacob before his assumption of a body, and with regard to Esau before he was conceived in the womb of Rebecca ?

21. And at the same time, it is clearly shown that, as far as regards the underlying nature,[2] as there is one (piece of) clay which is under the hands of the potter, from which piece vessels are formed unto honour and dishonour; so the one nature of every soul being in the hands of God, and, so to speak, there being (only) one lump of reasonable beings,[4] certain causes of more ancient date led to some being created vessels unto hon-our, and others vessels unto dishonour. But if the language of the apostle convey a censure when he says, "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?" it teaches us that he who has confidence before God, and is faithful, and has lived virtuously, would not hear the words, "Who art thou that repliest against God?" Such an one, e.g., as Moses was, "For Moses spake, and God answered him with a voice;"[6] and as God answers Moses, so does a saint also answer God. But he who does not possess this confidence, manifestly, either because he has lost it, or because he investigates these matters not from a love of knowledge, but from a desire to find fault,[8] and who therefore says, "Why does He yet find fault? for who hath resisted His will ?" would merit the language of censure, which says, "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God ?"

Now to those who introduce different natures, and who make use

FROM THE LATIN.

be different creators either of those who are saved, or of those who perish. Now, truly, let them choose whether the), will have a good Creator to be intended who creates had and ruined men, or one who is not good, who creates good men and those who are prepared to honour. For the necessity of returning an answer will extort from them one of these two alternatives. But according to our declaration, whereby we say that it is owing to preceding causes that God makes vessels either to honour or to dishonour, the approval of God's justice is in no respect limited. For it is possible that this vessel, which owing to previous causes was made in this world to honour, may, if it behave negligently, be converted in another world, according to the deserts of its conduct, into a vessel unto dishonour: as again, if any one, owing to preceding causes, was formed by his Creator in this life a vessel unto dishonour, and shall mend his ways and cleanse himself from all filth and vice, he may, in the new world, be made a vessel to honour, sanctified and useful, and prepared unto every good work. Finally, those who were formed by God in this world to be Israelites, and who have lived a life unworthy of the nobility of their race, and have fallen away from the grandeur of their descent, will, in the world to come, in a certain degree[3] be converted, on account of their unbelief, from vessels of honour into vessels of dishonour; while, on the other hand, many who in this life were reckoned among Egyptian or Idumean vessels, having adopted the faith and practice of Israelites, when they shall have done the works of Israelites, and shall have entered the Church of the Lord, will exist as vessels of honour in the revelation of the sons of God. From which it is more agreeable to the rule of piety to believe that every rational being, according to his purpose and manner of life, is converted, sometimes from had to good, and falls away sometimes from good to bad: that some abide in good, and others advance to a better condition, and always ascend to higher things, until they reach the highest grade of all; while others, again, remain in evil, or, if the wickedness within them begin to spread itself further, they descend to a worse condition, and sink into the lowest depth of wickedness. Whence also we must suppose that it is possible there may be some who began at first indeed with small offences, but who have poured out wickedness to such a degree, and attained such proficiency in evil, that in the measure of their wickedness they are equal even to the opposing powers: and again, if, by means of many severe administrations of punishment, they are able at some future time to recover their senses, and gradually attempt to find healing for their wounds, they may, on ceasing from their wickedness, be restored to a state of goodness. Whence we are of opinion that, seeing the soul, as we have frequently said, is immortal and eternal, it is possible that, in the many and endless periods of duration in the immeasurable and different worlds, it may descend from the highest good to the lowest evil, or be restored from the lowest evil to the highest good.

FROM THE GREEK.

of the declaration of the apostle (to support their view), the following must be our answer. If they maintain[1] that those who perish and those who are saved are formed of one lump, and that the Creator of those who are saved is the Creator also of them who are lost, and if He is good who creates not only spiritual but also earthy (natures) (for this follows from their view), it is nevertheless possible that be who, in consequence of certain former acts of righteousness,[2] had now been made a vessel of honour, but who had not (afterwards) acted in a similar manner, nor done things befitting a vessel of honour, was converted in another world into a vessel of dishonour; as, on the other hand, it is possible that he who, owing to causes more ancient than the present life, was here a vessel of dishonour, may after reformation become in the new creation "a vessel of honour, sanctified and meet for the Master's use, prepared unto every good work." And perhaps those who are now Israelites, not having lived worthily of their descent, will be deprived of their rank, being changed, as it were, from vessels of honour into those of dishonour; and many of the present Egyptians and Idumeans who came near to Israel, when they shall have borne fruit to a larger extent, shall enter into the Church of the Lord, being no longer accounted Egyptians and Idumeans, but becoming Israelites: so that, according to this view, it is owing to their (varying) purposes that some advance from a worse to a better condition, and others fall from better to worse; while others, again, are preserved in a virtuous course, or ascend from good to better; and others, on the contrary, remain in a course of evil, or from bad become worse, as their wickedness flows on.

FROM THE LATIN.

21. But since the words of the apostle, in what he says regarding vessels of honour or dishonour, that "if a man therefore purge himself, he will be a vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet for the Master's service, and prepared unto every good work," appear to place nothing in the power of God, but all in ourselves; while in those in which he declares that "the potter hath power over the clay, to make of the same lump one vessel to honour, another to dishonour," he seems to refer the whole to God,--it is not to be understood that those statements are contradictory, but the two meanings are to be reduced to agreement, and one signification must be drawn from both, viz., that we are not to suppose either that those things which are in our own power can be done without the help of God, or that those which are in God's hand can be brought to completion without the intervention of our acts, and desires, and intention; because we have it not in our own power so to will or do anything, as not to know that this very faculty, by which we are able to will or to do, was bestowed on us by God, according to the distinction which we indicated above. Or again, when God forms vessels, some to honour and others to dishonour, we are to suppose that He does not regard either our wills, or our purposes, or our deserts, to be the causes of the honour or dishonour, as if they were a sort of matter from which He may form the vessel of each one of us either to honour or to dishonour; whereas the very movement of the soul itself, or the purpose of the understanding, may of itself suggest to him, who is not unaware of his heart and the thoughts of his mind, whether his vessel ought to be formed to honour or to dishonour. But let these points suffice, which we have discussed as we best could, regarding the questions connected with the freedom of the will.[6]

FROM THE GREEK.

22. But since the apostle in one place does not pretend that the becoming of a vessel unto honour or dishonour depends upon God, but refers back the whole to ourselves, saying, "If, then, a man purge himself, he will be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work;" and elsewhere does not even pretend that it is dependent upon ourselves, but appears to attribute the whole to God, saying, "The potter hath power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour and another to dishonour ;" and as his statements are not contradictory, we must reconcile them, and extract one complete statement from both. Neither does our own power,[1] apart from the knowledge[2] of God, compel us to make progress; nor does the knowledge of God (do so), unless we ourselves also contribute something to the good result; nor does our own power, apart from the knowledge of God, and the use of the power that worthily belongs to us,[3] make a man become (a vessel) unto honour or dishonour; nor does the will of God alone[4] form a man to honour or to dishonour, unless He hold our will to be a kind of matter that admits of variation,[5] and that inclines to a better or worse course of conduct. And these observations are sufficient to have been made by us on the subject of free-will.

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