Front Page Titles (by Subject) 5.: FIVE BOOKS IN REPLY TO MARCION. - Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume 4: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Part First and Second
5.: FIVE BOOKS IN REPLY TO MARCION. - A. Cleveland Coxe, Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume 4: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Part First and Second 
Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume 4: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Part First and Second, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Revised and Chronologically arranged with brief prefaces and occasional notes by A. Cleveland Coxe (New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885).
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FIVE BOOKS IN REPLY TO MARCION.
OF THE DIVINE UNITY, AND THE RESURRECTION OF THE FLESH.
OF THE DIVINE UNITY.
- After the Evil One’s impiety
- Profound, and his life-grudging mind, entrapped
- Seducèd men with empty hope, it laid
- Them bare, by impious suasion to false trust
- 5In him,—not with impunity, indeed;
- For he forthwith, as guilty of the deed,
- And author rash of such a wickedness,
- Received deservèd maledictions. Thus,
- Thereafter, maddened, he, most desperate foe,
- 10Did more assail and instigate men’s minds
- In darkness sunk. He taught them to forget
- The Lord, and leave sure hope, and idols vain
- Follow, and shape themselves a crowd of gods,
- Lots, auguries, false names of stars, the show
- 15Of being able to o’errule the births
- Of embryos by inspecting entrails, and
- Expecting things to come, by hardihood
- Of dreadful magic’s renegadoes led,
- Wondering at a mass of feignèd lore;
- 20And he impelled them headlong to spurn life,
- Sunk in a criminal insanity;
- To joy in blood; to threaten murders fell;
- To love the wound, then, in their neighbour’s flesh;
- Or, burning, and by pleasure’s heat entrapped,
- 25To transgress nature’s covenants, and stain
- Pure bodies, manly sex, with an embrace
- Unnameable, and uses feminine
- Mingled in common contact lawlessly;
- Urging embraces chaste, and dedicate
- 30To generative duties, to be held
- For intercourse obscene for passion’s sake.
- Such in time past his deeds, assaulting men,
- Through the soul’s lurking-places, with a flow
- Of scorpion-venom,—not that men would blame
- 35Him, for they followed of their own accord:
- His suasion was in guile; in freedom man
- Performed it.
- Whileas the perfidious one
- Continuously through the centuries
- Is breathing such ill fumes, and into hearts
- 40Seduced injecting his own counselling,
- And hoping in his folly (alas!) to find
- Forgiveness of his wickedness, unware
- What sentence on his deed is waiting him;
- With words of wisdom’s weaving, and a voice
- 45Presaging from God’s Spirit, speak a host
- Of prophets. Publicly he does not dare
- Nakedly to speak evil of the Lord,
- Hoping by secret ingenuity
- He possibly may lurk unseen. At length
- 50The soul’s Light as the thrall of flesh is held;
- The hope of the despairing, mightier
- Than foe, enters the lists; the Fashioner,
- The Renovator, of the body He;
- True Glory of the Father; Son of God;
- 55Author unique; a Judge and Lord He came,
- The orb’s renownèd King; to the opprest
- Prompt to give pardon, and to loose the bound;
- Whose friendly aid and penal suffering
- Blend God and renewed man in one. With child
- 60Is holy virgin: life’s new gate opes; words
- Of prophets find their proof, fulfilled by facts;
- Priests leave their temples, and—a star their guide—
- Wonder the Lord so mean a birth should choose.
- Waters—sight memorable!—turn to wine;
- 65Eyes are restored to blind; fiends trembling cry,
- Outdriven by His bidding, and own Christ!
- All limbs, already rotting, by a word
- Are healed; now walks the lame; the deaf forthwith
- Hears hope; the maimed extends his hand; the dumb
- 70Speaks mighty words: sea at His bidding calms,
- Winds drop; and all things recognise the Lord:
- Confounded is the foe, and yields, though fierce,
- Now triumphed over, to unequal arms!
- When all his enterprises now revoked
- 75He sees; the flesh, once into ruin sunk,
- Now rising; man—death vanquisht quite—to heavens
- Soaring; the peoples sealed with holy pledge
- Outpoured; the work and envied deeds of might
- Marvellous; and hears, too, of penalties
- 80Extreme, and of perpetual dark, prepared
- For himself by the Lord by God’s decree
- Irrevocable; naked and unarmed,
- Damned, vanquisht, doomed to perish in a death
- Perennial, guilty now, and sure that he
- 85No pardon has, a last impiety
- Forthwith he dares,—to scatter everywhere
- A word for ears to shudder at, nor meet
- For voice to speak. Accosting men cast off
- From God’s community, men wandering
- 90Without the light, found mindless, following
- Things earthly, them he teaches to become
- Depravèd teachers of depravity.
- By them he preaches that there are two Sires,
- And realms divided: ill’s cause is the Lord
- 95Who built the orb, fashioned breath-quickened flesh,
- And gave the law, and by the seers’ voice spake.
- Him he affirms not good, but owns Him just;
- Hard, cruel, taking pleasure fell in war;
- In judgment dreadful, pliant to no prayers.
- 100His suasion tells of other one, to none
- E’er known, who nowhere is, a deity
- False, nameless, constituting nought, and who
- Hath spoken precepts none. Him he calls good;
- Who judges none, but spares all equally,
- 105And grudges life to none. No judgment waits
- The guilty; so he says, bearing about
- A gory poison with sweet honey mixt
- For wretched men. That flesh can risc—to which
- Himself was cause of ruin, which he spoiled
- 110Iniquitously with contempt (whence, cursed,
- He hath grief without end), its ever-foe,—
- He doth deny; because with various wound
- Life to expel and the salvation whence
- He fell he strives: and therefore says that Christ
- 115Came suddenly to earth, but was not made,
- By any compact, partner of the flesh;
- But Spirit-form, and body feigned beneath
- A shape imaginary, seeks to mock
- Men with a semblance that what is not is.
- 120Does this, then, become God, to sport with men
- By darkness led? to act an impious lie?
- Or falsely call Himself a man? He walks,
- Is carried, clothed, takes due rest, handled is,
- Suffers, is hung and buried: man’s are all
- 125Deeds which, in holy body conversant,
- But sent by God the Father, who hath all
- Created, He did perfect properly,
- Reclaiming not another’s but His own;
- Discernible to peoples who of old
- 130Were hoping for Him by His very work,
- And through the prophets’ voice to the round world
- Best known: and now they seek an unknown Lord,
- Wandering in death’s threshold manifest,
- And leave behind the known. False is their faith,
- 135False is their God, deceptive their reward,
- False is their resurrection, death’s defeat
- False, vain their martyrdoms, and e’en Christ’s name
- An empty sound: whom, teaching that He came
- Like magic mist, they (quite demented) own
- 140To be the actor of a lie, and make
- His passion bootless, and the populace
- (A feigned one!) without crime! Is God thus true?
- Are such the honours rendered to the Lord?
- Ah! wretched men! gratuitously lost
- 145In death ungrateful! Who, by blind guide led,
- Have headlong rushed into the ditch! and as
- In dreams the fancied rich man in his store
- Of treasure doth exult, and with his hands
- Grasps it, the sport of empty hope, so ye,
- 150Deceived, are hoping for a shadow vain
- Of guerdon!
- Ah! ye silent laughingstocks,
- Or doomed prey, of the dragon, do ye hope,
- Stern men, for death in room of gentle peace?
- Dare ye blame God, who hath created works
- 155So great? in whose earth, ’mid profuse displays
- Of His exceeding parent-care, His gifts
- (Unmindful of Himself!) ye largely praise,
- Rushing to ruin! do ye reprobate—
- Approving of the works—the Maker’s self,
- 160The world’s Artificer, whose work withal
- Ye are yourselves? Who gave those little selves
- Great honours; sowed your crops; made all the brutes
- Your subjects; makes the seasons of the year
- Fruitful with stated months; grants sweetnesses,
- 165Drinks various, rich odours, jocund flowers,
- And the groves’ grateful bowers; to growing herbs
- Grants wondrous juices; founts and streams dispreads
- With sweet waves, and illumes with stars the sky
- And the whole orb: the infinite sole Lord,
- 170Both just and good; known by His work; to none
- By aspect known; whom nations, flourishing
- In wealth, but foolish, wrapped in error’s shroud,
- (Albeit ’tis beneath an alien name
- They praise Him, yet) their Maker knowing, dread
- 175To blame: nor e’en one —save you, hell’s new gate!—
- Thankless, ye choose to speak ill of your Lord!
- These cruel deadly gifts the Renegade
- Terrible has bestowed, through Marcion—thanks
- To Cerdo’s mastership—on you; nor comes
- 180The thought into your mind that, from Christ’s name
- Seducèd, Marcion’s name has carried you
- To lowest depths. Say of His many acts
- What one displeases you? or what hath God
- Done which is not to be extolled with praise?
- 185Is it that He permits you, all too long,
- (Unworthy of His patience large,) to see
- Sweet light? you, who read truths, and, docking them,
- Teach these your falsehoods, and approve as past
- Things which are yet to be? What hinders, else,
- 190That we believe your God incredible?
- Nor marvel is’t if, practised as he is,
- He captived you unarmed, persuading you
- There are two Fathers (being damned by One),
- And all, whom he had erst seduced, are gods;
- 195And after that dispread a pest, which ran
- With multiplying wound, and cureless crime,
- To many. Men unworthy to be named,
- Full of all magic’s madness, he induced
- To call themselves “Virtue Supreme;” and feign
- 200(With harlot comrade) fresh impiety;
- To roam, to fly. He is the insane god
- Of Valentine, and to his Æonage
- Assigned heavens thirty, and Profundity
- Their sire. He taught two baptisms, and led
- 205The body through the flame. That there are gods
- So many as the year hath days, he bade
- A Basilides to believe, and worlds
- As many. Marcus, shrewdly arguing
- Through numbers, taught to violate chaste form
- 210’Mid magic’s arts; taught, too, that the Lord’s cup
- Is an oblation, and by prayers is turned
- To blood. His suasion prompted Hebion
- To teach that Christ was born from human seed;
- He taught, too, circumcision, and that room
- 215Is still left for the Law, and, though Law’s founts
- Are lost, its elements must be resumed.
- Unwilling am I to protract in words
- His last atrocity, or to tell all
- The causes, or the names at length. Enough
- 220It is to note his many cruelties
- Briefly, and the unmentionable men,
- The dragon’s organs fell, through whom he now,
- Speaking so much profaneness, ever toils
- To blame the Maker of the world. But come;
- 225Recall your foot from savage Bandit’s cave,
- While space is granted, and to wretched men
- God, patient in perennial parent-love,
- Condones all deeds through error done! Believe
- Truly in the true Sire, who built the orb;
- 230Who, on behalf of men incapable
- To bear the law, sunk in sin’s whirlpool, sent
- The true Lord to repair the ruin wrought,
- And bring them the salvation promisèd
- Of old through seers. He who the mandates gave
- 235Remits sins too. Somewhat, deservèdly,
- Doth He exact, because He formerly
- Entrusted somewhat; or else bounteously,
- As Lord, condones as it were debts to slaves:
- Finally, peoples shut up ’neath the curse,
- 240And meriting the penalty, Himself
- Deleting the indictment, bids be washed!
OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE FLESH.
- The whole man, then, believes; the whole is washed;
- Abstains from sin, or truly suffers wounds
- For Christ’s name’s sake: he rises a true man,
- 245Death, truly vanquisht, shall be mute. But not
- Part of the man,—his soul,—her own part left
- Behind, will win the palm which, labouring
- And wrestling in the course, combinèdly
- And simultaneously with flesh, she earns.
- 250Great crime it were for two in chains to bear
- A weight, of whom the one were affluent
- The other needy, and the wretched one
- Be spurned, and guerdons to the happy one
- Rendered. Not so the Just—fair Renderer
- 255Of wages—deals, both good and just, whom we
- Believe Almighty: to the thankless kind,
- Full is His will of pity. Nay, whate’er
- He who hath greater mortal need doth need
- That, by advancement, to his comrade he
- 260May equalled be, that will the affluent
- Bestow the rather unsolicited:
- So are we bidden to believe, and not
- Be willing to cast blame unlawfully
- On the Lord in our teaching, as if He
- 265Were one to raise the soul, as having met
- With ruin, and to set her free from death,
- So that the granted faculty of life
- Upon the ground of sole desert (because
- She bravely acted), should abide with her;
- 270While she who ever shared the common lot
- Of toil, the flesh, should to the earth be left,
- The prey of a perennial death. Has, then,
- The soul pleased God by acts of fortitude?
- By no means could she Him have pleased alone
- 275Without the flesh. Hath she borne penal bonds?
- The flesh sustained upon her limbs the bonds.
- Contemned she death? But she hath left the flesh
- Behind in death. Groaned she in pain? The flesh
- Is slain and vanquisht by the wound. Repose
- 280Seeks she? The flesh, spilt by the sword in dust,
- Is left behind to fishes, birds, decay,
- And ashes; torn she is, unhappy one!
- And broken; scatterèd, she melts away.
- Hath she not earned to rise? for what could she
- 285Have e’er committed, lifeless and alone?
- What so life-grudging cause impedes, or else
- Forbids, the flesh to take God’s gifts, and live
- Ever, conjoinèd with her comrade soul,
- And see what she hath been, when formerly
- 290Converted into dust? After, renewed,
- Bear she to God deservèd meeds of praise,
- Not ignorant of herself, frail, mortal, sick.
- Contend ye as to what the living might
- Of the great God can do; who, good alike
- 295And potent, grudges life to none? Was this
- Death’s captive? shall this perish vanquishèd,
- Which the Lord hath with wondrous wisdom made,
- And art? This by His virtue wonderful
- Himself upraises; this our Leader’s self
- 300Recalls, and this with His own glory clothes.
- God’s art and wisdom, then, our body shaped.
- What can by these be made, how faileth it
- To be by virtue reproduced? No cause
- Can holy parent-love withstand; (lest else
- 305Ill’s cause should mightier prove than Power Supreme;)
- That man even now saved by God’s gift, may learn
- (Mortal before, now robed in light immense,
- Inviolable, wholly quickened, soul
- And body) God, in virtue infinite,
- 310In parent-love perennial, through His King
- Christ, through whom opened is light’s way; and now,
- Standing in new light, filled now with each gift,
- Glad with fair fruits of living Paradise,
- May praise and laud Him to eternity,
- 315Rich in the wealth of the celestial hall.
OF THE HARMONY OF THE OLD AND NEW LAWS.
- After the faith was broken by the dint
- Of the foe’s breathing renegades, and swoln
- With wiles the hidden pest emerged; with lies
- Self-prompted, scornful of the Deity
- 5That underlies the sense, he did his plagues
- Concoct: skilled in guile’s path, he mixed his own
- Words impious with the sayings of the saints,
- And on the good seed sowed his wretched tares,
- Thence willing that foul ruin’s every cause
- 10Should grow combined; to wit, that with more speed
- His own iniquitous deeds he may assign
- To God clandestinely, and may impale
- On penalties such as his suasion led;
- False with true veiling, turning rough with smooth,
- 15And, (masking his spear’s point with rosy wreaths,)
- Slaying the unwary unforeseen with death
- Supreme. His supreme wickedness is this:
- That men, to such a depth of madness sunk!
- Off-broken boughs! should into parts divide
- 20The endlessly-dread Deity; Christ’s deeds
- Sublime should follow with false praise, and blame
- The former acts, God’s countless miracles,
- Ne’er seen before, nor heard, nor in a heart
- Conceived; and should so rashly frame in words
- 25The impermissible impiety
- Of wishing by “wide dissimilitude
- Of sense” to prove that the two Testaments
- Sound adverse each to other, and the Lord’s
- Oppose the prophets’ words; of drawing down
- 30All the Law’s cause to infamy; and eke
- Of reprobating holy fathers’ life
- Of old, whom into friendship, and to share
- His gifts, God chose. Without beginning, one
- Is, for its lesser part, accepted. Though
- 35Of one are four, of four one, yet to them
- One part is pleasing, three they (in a word)
- Reprobate: and they seize, in many ways,
- On Paul as their own author; yet was he
- Urged by a frenzied impulse of his own
- 40To his last words: all whatsoe’er he spake
- Of the old covenant seems hard to them,
- Because, deservedly, “made gross in heart.”
- Weight apostolic, grace of beaming word,
- Dazzles their mind, nor can they possibly
- 45Discern the Spirit’s drift. Dull as they are,
- Seek they congenial animals!
- But ye
- Who have not yet, (false deity your guide,
- Reprobate in your very mind, ) to death’s
- Inmost caves penetrated, learn there flows
- 50A stream perennial from its fount, which feeds
- A tree, (twice sixfold are the fruits, its grace!)
- And into earth and to the orb’s four winds
- Goes out: into so many parts doth flow
- The fount’s one hue and savour. Thus, withal,
- 55From apostolic word descends the Church,
- Out of Christ’s womb, with glory of His Sire
- All filled, to wash off filth, and vivify
- Dead fates. The Gospel, four in number, one
- In its diffusion ’mid the Gentiles, this,
- 60By faith elect accepted, Paul hands down
- (Excellent doctor!) pure, without a crime;
- And from it he forbade Galatian saints
- To turn aside withal; whom “brethren false,”
- (Urging them on to circumcise themselves,
- 65And follow “elements,” leaving behind
- Their novel “freedom,”) to “a shadow old
- Of things to be” were teaching to be slaves.
- These were the causes which Paul had to write
- To the Galatians: not that they took out
- 70One small part of the Gospel, and held that
- For the whole bulk, leaving the greater part
- Behind. And hence ’tis no words of a book,
- But Christ Himself, Christ sent into the orb,
- Who is the gospel, if ye will discern;
- 75Who from the Father came, sole Carrier
- Of tidings good; whose glory vast completes
- The early testimonies; by His work
- Showing how great the orb’s Creator is:
- Whose deeds, conjoined at the same time with words,
- 80Those faithful ones, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
- Recorded unalloyed (not speaking words
- External), sanctioned by God’s Spirit, ’neath
- So great a Master’s eye!
- This paschal Lamb
- Is hung, a victim, on the tree: Him Paul,
- 85Writing decrees to Corinth, with his torch,
- Hands down as slain, the future life and God
- Promisèd to the fathers, whom before
- He had attracted.
- See what virtue, see
- What power, the paschal image has; ye thus
- 90Will able be to see what power there is
- In the true Passover.
- Lest well-earned love
- Should tempt the faithful sire and seer, to whom
- His pledge and heir was dear, whom God by chance
- Had given him, to offer him to God
- 95(A mighty execution!), there is shown
- To him a lamb entangled by the head
- In thorns; a holy victim—holy blood
- For blood—to God. From whose piacular death,
- That to the wasted race it might be sign
- 100And pledge of safety, signèd are with blood
- Their posts and thresholds many: —aid immense!—
- The flesh (a witness credible) is given
- For food. The Jordan crossed, the land possessed,
- Joshua by law kept passover with joy,
- 105And immolates a lamb; and the great kings
- And holy prophets that were after him,
- Not ignorant of the good promises
- Of sure salvation; full of godly fear
- The great Law to transgress, (that mass of types
- 110In image of the Supreme Virtue once
- To come,) did celebrate in order due
- The mirrorly-inspected passover.
- In short, if thou recur with rapid mind
- To times primordial, thou wilt find results
- 115Too fatal following impious words. That man
- Easily credulous, alas! and stripped
- Of life’s own covering, might covered be
- With skins, a lamb is hung: the wound slays sins,
- Or death by blood effaces, or enshrouds
- 120Or cherishes the naked with its fleece.
- Is sheep’s blood of more worth than human blood,
- That, offered up for sins, it should quench wrath?
- Or is a lamb (as if he were more dear!)
- Of more worth than much people’s? aid immense!
- 125As safeguard of so great salvation, could
- A lamb, if offered, have been price enough
- For the redeemed? Nay: but Almighty God,
- The heaven’s and earth’s Creator, infinite,
- Living, and perfect, and perennially
- 130Dwelling in light, is not appeased by these,
- Nor joys in cattle’s blood. Slain be all flocks;
- Be every herd upburnèd into smoke;
- That expiatively ’t may pardon win
- Of but one sin: in vain at so vile price
- 135Will the stained figure of the Lord—foul flesh—
- Prepare, if wise, such honours: but the hope
- And faith to mortals promisèd of old—
- Great Reason’s counterpart —hath wrought to bring
- These boons premeditated and prepared
- 140Erst by the Father’s passing parent-love;
- That Christ should come to earth, and be a man!
- Whom when John saw, baptism’s first opener, John,
- Comrade of seers, apostle great, and sent
- As sure forerunner, witness faithful; John,
- 145August in life, and marked with praise sublime,
- He shows, to such as sought of olden time
- God’s very Paschal Lamb, that He is come
- At last, the expiation of misdeed,
- To undo many’s sins by His own blood,
- 150In place of reprobates the Proven One,
- In place of vile the dear; in body, man;
- And, in life, God: that He, as the slain Lamb,
- Might us accept, and for us might outpour
- Himself. Thus hath it pleased the Lord to spoil
- 155Proud death: thus wretched man will able be
- To hope salvation. This slain paschal Lamb
- Paul preaches: nor does a phantasmal shape
- Of the sublime Lord (one consimilar
- To Isaac’s silly sheep ) the passion bear,
- 160Wherefore He is called Lamb: but ’tis because,
- As wool, He these renewèd bodies clothes,
- Giving to many covering, yet Himself
- Never deficient. Thus does the Lord shroud
- In His Sire’s virtue, those whom, disarrayed
- 165Of their own light, He by His death redeemed,
- Virtue which ever is in Him. So, then,
- The Shepherd who hath lost the sheep Himself
- Re-seeks it. He, prepared to tread the strength
- Of the vine, and its thorns, or to o’ercome
- 170The wolf’s rage, and regain the cattle lost,
- And brave to snatch them out, the Lion He
- In sheepskin-guise, unasked presents Himself
- To the contemned teeth, baffling by His garb
- The robber’s bloody jaws.
- Thus everywhere
- 175Christ seeks force-captured Adam; treads the path
- Himself where death wrought ruin; permeates
- All the old heroes’ monuments; inspects
- Each one; the One of whom all types were full;
- Begins e’en from the womb to expel the death
- 180Conceivèd simultaneously with seed
- Of flesh within the bosom; purging all
- Life’s stages with a silent wisdom; debts
- Assuming; ready to cleanse all, and give
- Their Maker back the many whom the one
- 185Had scattered. And, because one direful man
- Down-sunk in pit iniquitous did fall,
- By dragon-subdued virgin’s suasion led;
- Because he pleased her wittingly; because
- He left his heavenly covering behind;
- 190Because the “tree” their nakedness did prove;
- Because dark death coerced them: in like wise
- Out of the self-same mass re-made returns,
- Renewèd now,—the flower of flesh, and host
- Of peace,—a flesh from espoused virgin born,
- 195Not of man’s seed; conjoinèd to its own
- Artificer; without the debt of death.
- These mandates of the Father through bright stars
- An angel carries down, that angel-fame
- The tidings may accredit; telling how
- 200“A virgin’s debts a virgin, flesh’s flesh,
- Should pay.” Thus introduced, the Giant-Babe,
- The Elder-Boy, the Stripling-Man, pursues
- Death’s trail. Thereafter, when completed was
- The ripe age of man’s strength, when man is wont
- 205To see the lives that were his fellows drop
- By slow degrees away, and to be changed
- In mien to wrinkles foul and limbs inert,
- While blood forsakes his veins, his course he stayed,
- And suffered not his fleshly garb to age.
- 210Upon what day or in what place did fall
- Most famous Adam, or outstretched his hand
- Rashly to touch the tree, on that same day,
- Returning as the years revolve, within
- The stadium of the “tree” the brave Athlete,
- 215’Countering, outstretched His hands, and, penalty
- For praise pursuing, quite did vanquish death,
- Because He left death of His own accord
- Behind, disrobing Him of fleshly slough,
- And of death’s dues; and to the “tree” affixed
- 220The serpent’s spoil—“the world’s prince” vanquisht quite!—
- Grand trophy of the renegades: for sign
- Whereof had Moses hung the snake, that all,
- Who had by many serpents stricken been,
- Might gaze upon the dragon’s self, and see
- 225Him vanquisht and transfixt.
- When, afterwards,
- He reached the infernal region’s secret waves,
- And, as a victor, by the light which aye
- Attended Him, revealed His captive thrall,
- And by His virtue thoroughly fulfilled
- 230The Father’s bidding, He Himself re-took
- The body which, spontaneous, He had left.
- This was the cause of death: this same was made
- Salvation’s path: a messenger of guile
- The former was; the latter messenger
- 235Of peace: a spouse her man did slay; a spouse
- Did bear a lion: hurtful to her man
- A virgin proved; a man from virgin born
- Proved victor: for a type whereof, while sleep
- His body wrapped, out of his side is ta’en
- 240A woman, who is her lord’s rib; whom he,
- Awaking, called “flesh from his flesh, and bones
- From his own bones;” with a presaging mind
- Speaking. Faith wondrous! Paul, deservèdly,
- (Most certain author!) teaches Christ to be
- 245“The Second Adam from the heavens.” Truth,
- Using her own examples, doth refulge;
- Nor covets out of alien source to show
- Her paces keen: this is a pauper’s work,
- Needy of virtue of his own! Great Paul
- 250These mysteries—taught to him—did teach; to wit,
- Discerning that in Christ thy glory is,
- O Church! from His side, hanging on high “tree,”
- His lifeless body’s “blood and humour” flowed.
- The blood the woman was; the waters were
- 255The new gifts of the font: this is the Church,
- True mother of a living people; flesh
- New from Christ’s flesh, and from His bones a bone.
- A spot there is called Golgotha,—of old
- The fathers’ earlier tongue thus called its name,—
- 260“The skull-pan of a head:” here is earth’s midst;
- Here victory’s sign; here, have our elders taught,
- There was a great head found; here the first man,
- We have been taught, was buried; here the Christ
- Suffers; with sacred blood the earth grows moist.
- 265That the old Adam’s dust may able be,
- Commingled with Christ’s blood, to be upraised
- By dripping water’s virtue. The “one ewe”
- That is, which, during Sabbath-hours, alive
- The Shepherd did resolve that He would draw
- 270Out of th’ infernal pit. This was the cause
- Why, on the Sabbaths, He was wont to cure
- The prematurely dead limbs of all flesh;
- Or perfected for sight the eyes of him
- Blind from his birth—eyes which He had not erst
- 275Given; or, in presence of the multitude,
- Called, during Sabbath-hours, one wholly dead
- To life, e’en from the sepulchre. Himself
- The new man’s Maker, the Repairer good
- Of th’ old, supplying what did lack, or else
- 280Restoring what was lost. About to do—
- When dawns “the holy day”—these works, for such
- As hope in Him, in plenitude, (to keep
- His plighted word,) He taught men thus His power
- To do them.
- What? If flesh dies, and no hope
- 285Is given of salvation, say, what grounds
- Christ had to feign Himself a man, and heal
- Men, or have care for flesh? If He recalls
- Some few, why shall He not withal recall
- All? Can corruption’s power liquefy
- 290The body and undo it, and shall not
- The virtue of the Lord be powerful
- The undone to recall?
- They, who believe
- Their bodies are not loosed from death, do not
- Believe the Lord, who wills to raise His own
- 295Works sunken; or else say they that the Good
- Wills not, and that the Potent hath not power,—
- Ignorant from how great a crime they suck
- Their milk, in daring to set things infirm
- Above the Strong. In the grain lurks the tree;
- 300And if this rot not, buried in the earth,
- It yields not tree-graced fruits. Soon bound will be
- The liquid waters: ’neath the whistling cold
- They will become, and ever will be, stones,
- Unless a mighty power, by leading on
- 305Soft-breathing warmth, undo them. The great bunch
- Lurks in the tendril’s slender body: if
- Thou seek it, it is not; when God doth will,
- ’Tis seen to be. On trees their leaves, on thorns
- The rose, the seeds on plains, are dead and fail,
- 310And rise again, new living. For man’s use
- These things doth God before his eyes recall
- And form anew—man’s, for whose sake at first
- The wealthy One made all things bounteously.
- All naked fall; with its own body each
- 315He clothes. Why man alone, on whom He showered
- Such honours, should He not recall in all
- His first perfection to Himself? man, whom
- He set o’er all?
- Flesh, then, and blood are said
- To be not worthy of God’s realm, as if
- 320Paul spake of flesh materially. He
- Indeed taught mighty truths; but hearts inane
- Think he used carnal speech: for pristine deeds
- He meant beneath the name of “flesh and blood;”
- Remembering, heavenly home-slave that he is,
- 325His heavenly Master’s words; who gave the name
- Of His own honour to men born from Him
- Through water, and from His own Spirit poured
- A pledge; that, by whose virtue men had been
- Redeemed, His name of honour they withal
- 330Might, when renewed, receive. Because, then, He
- Refused, on the old score, the heavenly realm
- To peoples not yet from His fount re-born,
- Still with their ancient sordid raiment clad—
- These are “the dues of death”—saying that that
- 335Which human is must needs be born again,—
- “What hath been born of flesh is flesh; and what
- From Spirit, life;” and that the body, washed,
- Changing with glory its old root’s new seeds,
- Is no more called “from flesh:” Paul follows this;
- 340Thus did he speak of “flesh.” In fine, he said
- This frail garb with a robe must be o’erclad,
- This mortal form be wholly coverèd;
- Not that another body must be given,
- But that the former one, dismantled, must
- 345Be with God’s kingdom wholly on all sides
- Surrounded: “In the moment of a glance,”
- He says, “it shall be changed:” as, on the blade,
- Dispreads the red corn’s face, and changes ’neath
- The sun’s glare its own hue; so the same flesh,
- 350From “the effulgent glory” borrowing,
- Shall ever joy, and joying, shall lack death;
- Exclaiming that “the body’s cruel foe
- Is vanquisht quite; death, by the victory
- Of the brave Christ, is swallowed;” praises high
- 355Bearing to God, unto the highest stars.
OF THE HARMONY OF THE FATHERS OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
- Now hath the mother, formerly surnamed
- Barren, giv’n birth: now a new people, born
- From the free woman, joys: (the slave expelled,
- Deservedly, with her proud progeny;
- 5Who also leaves ungratefully behind
- The waters of the living fount, and drinks—
- Errant on heated plains—’neath glowing star: )
- Now can the Gentiles as their parent claim
- Abraham; who, the Lord’s voice following,
- 10Like him, have all things left, life’s pilgrimage
- To enter. “Be glad, barren one;” conceive
- The promised people; “break thou out, and cry,”
- Who with no progeny wert blest; of whom
- Spake, through the seers, the Spirit of old time:
- 15She hath borne, out of many nations, one;
- With whose beginning are her pious limbs
- Ever in labour.
- Hers “just Abel” was,
- A pastor and a cattle-master he;
- Whom violence of brother’s right hand slew
- 20Of old. Her Enoch, signal ornament,
- Limb from her body sprung, by counsel strove
- To recall peoples gone astray from God
- And following misdeed, (while raves on earth
- The horde of robber-renegades, ) to flee
- 25The giants’ sacrilegious cruel race;
- Faithful in all himself. With groaning deep
- Did he please God, and by deservèd toil
- Translated is reservèd as a pledge,
- With honour high. Perfect in praise, and found
- 30Faultless, and just—God witnessing the fact—
- In an adulterous people, Noah (he
- Who in twice fifty years the ark did weave)
- By deeds and voice the coming ruin told.
- Favour he won, snatched out of so great waves
- 35Of death, and, with his progeny, preserved.
- Then, in the generation following,
- Is Abraham, whose sons ye do deny
- Yourselves to be; who first—race, country, sire,
- All left behind—at suasion of God’s voice
- 40Withdrew to realms extern: such honours he
- At God’s sublime hand worthily deserved
- As to be father to believing tribes
- And peoples. Jacob with the patriarchs
- (Himself their patriarch) through all his own
- 45Life’s space the gladdest times of Christ foresang
- By words, act, virtue, toil.
- Him follows—free
- From foul youth’s stain—Joseph, by slander feigned,
- Doomed to hard penalty and gaol: his groans
- Glory succeeds, and the realm’s second crown,
- 50And in dearth’s time large power of furnishing
- Bread: so appropriate a type of Christ,
- So lightsome type of Light, is manifest
- To all whose mind hath eyes, that they may see
- In a face-mirror their sure hope.
- 55The patriarch Judah, see; the origin
- Of royal line, whence leaders rose, nor kings
- Failed ever from his seed, until the Power
- To come, by Gentiles looked for, promised long,
- Moses, leader of the People, (he
- 60Who, spurning briefly-blooming riches, left
- The royal thresholds,) rather chose to bear
- His people’s toils, afflicted, with bowed neck,
- By no threats daunted, than to gain himself
- Enjoyments, and of many penalties
- 65Remission: admirable for such faith
- And love, he, with God’s virtue armed, achieved
- Great exploits: smote the nation through with plagues;
- And left their land behind, and their hard king
- Confounds, and leads the People back; trod waves;
- 70Sunk the foes down in waters; through a “tree”
- Made ever-bitter waters sweet; spake much
- (Manifestly to the People) with the Christ,
- From whose face light and brilliance in his own
- Reflected shone; dashed on the ground the law
- 75Accepted through some few, —implicit type,
- And sure, of his own toils!—smote through the rock;
- And, being bidden, shed forth streams; and stretched
- His hands that, by a sign, he vanquish might
- The foe; of Christ all severally, all
- 80Combined through Christ, do speak. Great and approved,
- He rests with praise and peace.
- But Joshua,
- The son of Nun, erst called Oshea—this man
- The Holy Spirit to Himself did join
- As partner in His name: hence did he cleave
- 85The flood; constrained the People to pass o’er;
- Freely distributed the land—the prize
- Promised the fathers!—stayed both sun and moon
- While vanquishing the foe; races extern
- And giants’ progeny outdrave; razed groves;
- 90Altars and temples levelled; and with mind
- Loyal performed all due solemnities:
- Type of Christ’s name; his virtue’s image.
- Touching the People’s Judges shall I say
- Singly? whose virtues, if unitedly
- 95Recorded, fill whole volumes numerous
- With space of words. But yet the order due
- Of filling out the body of my words,
- Demands that, out of many, I should tell
- The life of few.
- Of whom when Gideon, guide
- 100Of martial band, keen to attack the foe,
- (Not keen to gain for his own family,
- By virtue, tutelary dignity, )
- And needing to be strengthened in the faith
- Excited in his mind, seeks for a sign
- 105Whereby he either could not, or could, wage
- Victorious war; to wit, that with the dew
- A fleece, exposèd for the night, should be
- Moistened, and all the ground lie dry around
- (By this to show that, with the world, should dry
- 110The enemies’ palm); and then again, the fleece
- Alone remaining dry, the earth by night
- Should with the self-same moisture be bedewed:
- For by this sign he prostrated the heaps
- Of bandits; with Christ’s People ’countering them
- 115Without much soldiery, with cavalry
- Three hundred—the Greek letter Tau, in truth,
- That number is —with torches armed, and horns
- Of blowers with the mouth: then was the fleece,
- The people of Christ’s sheep, from holy seed
- 120Born (for the earth means nations various,
- And scattered through the orb), which fleece the word
- Nourishes; night death’s image; Tau the sign
- Of the dear cross; the horn the heraldings
- Of life; the torches shining in their stand
- 125The glowing Spirit: and this testing, too,
- Forsooth, an image of Christ’s virtue was:
- To teach that death’s fierce battles should not be
- By trump angelic vanquishèd before
- Th’ indocile People be deservèdly
- 130By their own fault left desolate behind,
- And Gentiles, flourishing in faith, received
- In praise.
- Yea, Deborah, a woman far
- Above all fame, appears; who, having braced
- Herself for warlike toil, for country’s sake,
- 135Beneath the palm-tree sang how victory
- Had crowned her People; thanks to whom it was
- That the foes, vanquisht, turned at once their backs,
- And Sisera their leader fled; whose flight
- No man, nor any band, arrested: him,
- 140Suddenly renegade, a woman’s hand—
- Jael’s —with wooden weapon vanquished quite,
- For token of Christ’s victory.
- With firm faith
- Jephthah appears, who a deep-wounding vow
- Dared make—to promise God a grand reward
- 145Of war: him then, because he senselessly
- Had promised what the Lord not wills, first meets
- The pledge dear to his heart; who suddenly
- Fell by a lot unhoped by any. He,
- To keep his promise, broke the sacred laws
- 150Of parenthood: the shade of mighty fear
- Did in his violent mind cover his vow
- Of sin: as solace of his widowed life
- For wickedness, renown, and, for crime, praise,
- He won.
- Nor Samson’s strength, all corporal might
- 155Passing, must we forget; the Spirit’s gift
- Was this; the power was granted to his head.
- Alone he for his People, daggerless,
- Armless, an ass-jaw grasping, prostrated
- A thousand corpses; and no bonds could keep
- 160The hero bound: but after his shorn pride
- Forsook him thralled, he fell, and, by his death,—
- Though vanquisht,—bought his foes back ’neath his power.
- Marvellous Samuel, who first received
- The precept to anoint kings, to give chrism
- 165And show men-Christs, so acted laudably
- In life’s space as, e’en after his repose,
- To keep prophetic rights.
- David, great king and prophet, with a voice
- Submiss was wont Christ’s future suffering
- 170To sing: which prophecy spontaneously
- His thankless lawless People did perform:
- Whom God had promised that in time to come,
- Fruit of his womb, a holy progeny,
- He would on his sublime throne set: the Lord’s
- 175Fixt faith did all that He had promisèd.
- Corrector of an inert People rose
- EmulousHezekiah; who restored
- Iniquitous forgetful men the Law:
- All these God’s mandates of old time he first
- 180Bade men observe, who ended war by prayers,
- Not by steel’s point: he, dying, had a grant
- Of years and times of life made to his tears:
- Deservèdly such honour his career
- With zeal immense, Josiah, prince
- 185Himself withal, in like wise acted: none
- So much, before or after!—Idols he
- Dethroned; destroyed unhallowed temples; burned
- With fire priests on their altars; all the bones
- Of prophets false updug; the altars burned,
- 190The carcases to be consumed did serve
- For fuel!
- To the praise of signal faith,
- Noble Elijah, (memorable fact!)
- Was rapt; who hath not tasted yet death’s dues;
- Since to the orb he is to come again.
- 195His faith unbroken, then, chastening with stripes
- People and frenzied king, (who did desert
- The Lord’s best service), and with bitter flames
- The foes, shut up the stars; kept in the clouds
- The rain; showed all collectively that God
- 200Is; made their error patent;—for a flame,
- Coming with force from heaven at his prayers,
- Ate up the victim’s parts, dripping with flood,
- Upon the altar: —often as he willed,
- So often from on high rushed fire; the stream
- 205Dividing, he made pathless passable;
- And, in a chariot raised aloft, was borne
- To paradise’s hall.
- Disciple his
- Elisha was, succeeding to his lot:
- Who begged to take to him Elijah’s lot
- 210In double measure; so, with forceful stripe,
- The People to chastise: such and so great
- A love for the Lord’s cause he breathed. He smote
- Through Jordan; made his feet a way, and crossed
- Again; raised with a twig the axe down-sunk
- 215Beneath the stream; changed into vital meat
- The deathful food; detained a second time,
- Double in length, the rains; cleansed leprosies;
- Entangled foes in darkness; and when one
- Offcast and dead, by bandits’ slaughter slain,
- 220His limbs, after his death, already hid
- In sepulchre, did touch, he—light recalled—
- Isaiah, wealthy seer, to whom
- The fount was oped,—so manifest his faith!—
- Poured from his mouth God’s word forth. Promised was
- 225The Father’s will, bounteous through Christ; through him
- It testified before the way of life,
- And was approved: but him, though stainless found,
- And undeserving, the mad People cut
- With wooden saw in twain, and took away
- 230With cruel death.
- The holy Jeremy
- Followed; whom the Eternal’s Virtue bade
- Be prophet to the Gentiles, and him told
- The future: who, because he brooded o’er
- His People’s deeds illaudable, and said
- 235(Speaking with voice presaging) that, unless
- They had repented of betaking them
- To deeds iniquitous against their slaves,
- They should be captived, bore hard bonds, shut up
- In squalid gaol; and, in the miry pit,
- 240Hunger exhausted his decaying limbs.
- But, after he did prove what they to hear
- Had been unwilling, and the foes did lead
- The People bound in their triumphal trains,
- Hardly at length his wrinkled right hand lost
- 245Its chains: it is agreed that by no death
- Nor slaughter was the hero ta’en away.
- Faithful Ezekiel, to whom granted was
- Rich grace of speech, saw sinners’ secrets; wailed
- His own afflictions; prayed for pardon; saw
- 250The vengeance of the saints, which is to be
- By slaughter; and, in Spirit wrapt, the place
- Of the saints’ realm, its steps and accesses,
- And the salvation of the flesh, he saw.
- Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel, too,
- 255With Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, come;
- Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,
- And Zechariah who did violence
- Suffer, and Malachi—angel himself!—
- Are here: these are the Lord’s seers; and their choir,
- 260As still they sing, is heard; and equally
- Their proper wreath of praise they all have earned.
- How great was Daniel! What a man!
- What power!
- Who by their own mouth did false witnesses
- Bewray, and saved a soul on a false charge
- 265Condemned; and, before that, by mouth resolved
- The king’s so secret dreams; foresaw how Christ
- Dissolves the limbs of kingdoms; was accused
- For his Lord’s sake; was made the lions’ prey;
- And, openly preserved before all eyes,
- 270Rested in peace.
- His three companions, scarce
- With due praise to be sung, did piously
- Contemn the king’s iniquitous decree,
- Out of so great a number: to the flames
- Their bodies given were; but they preferred,
- 275For the Great Name, to yield to penalties
- Themselves, than to an image stretch their palms
- On bended knees. Now their o’erbrilliant faith,
- Now hope outshining all things, the wild fires
- Hath quencht, and vanquisht the iniquitous!
- 280Ezra the seer, doctor of Law, and priest
- Himself (who, after full times, back did lead
- The captive People), with the Spirit filled
- Of memory, restored by word of mouth
- All the seers’ volumes, by the fires and mould
- Great above all born from seed
- Is John: whose praises hardly shall we skill
- To tell: the washer of the flesh: the Lord’s
- Open forerunner; washer, too, of Christ,
- Himself first born again from Him: the first
- 290Of the new convenant, last of the old,
- Was he; and for the True Way’s sake he died,
- The first slain victim.
- See God-Christ! behold
- Alike, His twelve-fold warrior-youth! in all
- One faith, one love, one power; the flower of men;
- 295Lightening the world with light; comrades of Christ
- And apostolic men; who, speaking truth,
- Heard with their ears Salvation, with their eyes
- Saw It, and handled with their hand the late
- From death recovered body, and partook
- 300As fellow-guests of food therewith, as they
- Themselves bear witness.
- Him did Paul as well
- (Forechosen apostle, and in due time sent),
- When rapt into the heavens, behold: and sent
- By Him, he, with his comrade Barnabas,
- 305And with the earlier associates
- Joined in one league together, everywhere
- Among the Gentiles hands the doctrine down
- That Christ is Head, whose members are the Church,
- He the salvation of the body, He
- 310The members’ life perennial; He, made flesh,
- He, ta’en away for all, Himself first rose
- Again, salvation’s only hope; and gave
- The norm to His disciples: they at once
- All variously suffered, for His Name,
- 315Unworthy penalties.
- Such members bears
- With beauteous body the free mother, since
- She never her Lord’s precepts left behind,
- And in His home hath grown old, to her Lord
- Ever most choice, having for His Name’s sake
- 320Penalties suffered. For since, barren once,
- Not yet secure of her futurity,
- She hath outgiven a people born of seed
- Celestial, and been spurned, and borne the spleen
- Of her own handmaid; now ’tis time to see
- 325This former-barren mother have a son
- The heir of her own liberty; not like
- The handmaid’s heir, yoked in estate to her,
- Although she bare him from celestial seed
- Conceived. Far be it that ye should with words
- 330Unlawful, with rash voice, collectively
- Without distinction, give men exemplary
- (Heaven’s glowing constellations, to the mass
- Of men conjoined by seed alone or blood),
- The rugged bondman’s name; or that one think
- 335That he may speak in servile style about
- A People who the mandates followèd
- Of the Lord’s Law. No: but we mean the troop
- Of sinners, empty, mindless, who have placed
- God’s promises in a mistrustful heart;
- 340Men vanquisht by the miserable sweet
- Of present life: that troop would have been bound
- Capital slavery to undergo,
- By their own fault, if sin’s cause shall impose
- Law’s yoke upon the mass. For to serve God,
- 345And be whole-heartedly intent thereon,
- Untainted faith, and freedom, is thereto
- Prepared spontaneous.
- The just fathers, then,
- And holy stainless prophets, many, sang
- The future advent of the Lord; and they
- 350Faithfully testify what Heaven bids
- To men profane: with them the giants, men
- With Christ’s own glory satiated, made
- The consorts of His virtue, filling up
- The hallowed words, have stablishèd our faith;
- 355By facts predictions proving.
- Of these men
- Disciples who succeeded them throughout
- The orb, men wholly filled with virtue’s breath,
- And our own masters, have assigned to us
- Honours conjoined with works.
- Of whom the first
- 360Whom Peter bade to take his place and sit
- Upon this chair in mightiest Rome where he
- Himself had sat, was Linus, great, elect,
- And by the mass approved. And after him
- Cletus himself the fold’s flock undertook;
- 365As his successor Anacletus was
- By lot located: Clement follows him;
- Well known was he to apostolic men:
- Next Evaristus ruled without a crime
- The law.To Sixtus Sextus Alexander
- 370Commends the fold: who, after he had filled
- His lustral times up, to Telesphorus
- Hands it in order: excellent was he,
- And martyr faithful. After him succeeds
- A comrade in the law, and master sure:
- 375When lo! the comrade of your wickedness,
- Its author and forerunner—Cerdo hight—
- Arrived at Rome, smarting with recent wounds:
- Detected, for that he was scattering
- Voices and words of venom stealthily:
- 380For which cause, driven from the band, he bore
- This sacrilegious brood, the dragon’s breath
- Engendering it. Blooming in piety
- United stood the Church of Rome, compact
- By Peter: whose successor, too, himself,
- 385And now in the ninth place, Hyginus was,
- The burden undertaking of his chair.
- After him followed Pius—Hermas his
- Own brother was; angelic “Pastor” he,
- Because he spake the words delivered him:
- 390And Anicetus the allotted post
- In pious order undertook. ’Neath whom
- Marcion here coming, the new Pontic pest,
- (The secret daring deed in his own heart
- Not yet disclosed,) went, speaking commonly,
- 395In all directions, in his perfidy,
- With lurking art. But after he began
- His deadly arrows to produce, cast off
- Deservedly (as author of a crime
- So savage), reprobated by the saints,
- 400He burst, a wondrous monster! on our view.
OF MARCION’S ANTITHESES.
- What the Inviolable Power bids
- The youthful people, which, rich, free, and heir,
- Possesses an eternal hope of praise
- (By right assigned) is this: that with great zeal
- 5Burning, armed with the love of peace—yet not
- As teachers (Christ alone doth all things teach ),
- But as Christ’s household-servants—o’er the earth
- They should conduct a massive war; should raze
- The wicked’s lofty towers, savage walls,
- 10And threats which ’gainst the holy people’s bands
- Rise, and dissolve such empty sounds in air.
- Wherefore we, justly speaking emulous words,
- Out of his own words even strive to express
- The meaning of salvation’s records, which
- 15Large grace hath poured profusely; and to ope
- To the saints’ eyes the Bandit’s covert plague:
- Lest any untrained, daring, ignorant,
- Fall therein unawares, and (being caught)
- Forfeit celestial gifts.
- God, then, is One
- 20To mortals all and everywhere; a Realm
- Eternal, Origin of light profound;
- Life’s Fount; a Draught fraught with all wisdom. He
- Produced the orb whose bosom all things girds;
- Him not a region, not a place, includes
- 25In circuit: matter none perennial is,
- So as to be self-made, or to have been
- Ever, created by no Maker: heaven’s,
- Earth’s, sea’s, and the abyss’s Settler is
- The Spirit; air’s Divider, Builder, Author,
- 30Sole God perpetual, Power immense, is He.
- Him had the Law the People shown to be
- One God, whose mighty voice to Moses spake
- Upon the mount. Him this His Virtue, too,
- His Wisdom, Glory, Word, and Son, this Light
- 35Begotten from the Light immense, proclaims
- Through the seers’ voices, to be One: and Paul,
- Taking the theme in order up, thus too
- Himself delivers; “Father there is One
- Through whom were all things made: Christ One, through whom
- 40God all things made;” to whom he plainly owns
- That every knee doth bow itself; of whom
- Is every fatherhood in heaven and earth
- Called: who is zealous with the highest love
- Of parent-care His people-ward; and wills
- 45All flesh to live in holy wise, and wills
- His people to appear before Him pure
- Without a crime. With such zeal, by a law
- Guards He our safety; warns us loyal be;
- Chastens; is instant. So, too, has the same
- 50Apostle (when Galatian brethren
- Chiding)—Paul—written that such zeal hath he.
- The fathers’ sins God freely rendered, then,
- Slaying in whelming deluge utterly
- Parents alike with progeny, and e’en
- 55Grandchildren in “fourth generation” now
- Descended from the parent-stock, when He
- Has then for nearly these nine hundred years
- Assisted them. Hard does the judgment seem?
- The sentence savage? And in Sodom, too,
- 60That the still guiltless little one unarmed
- And tender should lose life: for what had e’er
- The infant sinned? What cruel thou mayst think,
- Is parent-care’s true duty. Lest misdeed
- Should further grow, crime’s authors He did quench,
- 65And sinful parents’ brood. But, with his sires,
- The harmless infant pays not penalties
- Perpetual, ignorant and not advanced
- In crime: but lest he partner should become
- Of adult age’s guilt, death immature
- 70Undid spontaneous future ills.
- Why, then,
- Bids God libation to be poured to Him
- With blood of sheep? and takes so stringent means
- By Law, that, in the People, none transgress
- Erringly, threatening them with instant death
- 75By stoning? and why reprobates, again,
- These gifts of theirs, and says they are to Him
- Unwelcome, while He chides a People prest
- With swarm of sin? Does He, the truthful, bid,
- And He, the just, at the same time repel?
- 80The causes if thou seekst, cease to be moved
- Erringly: for faith’s cause is weightier
- Than fancied reason. Through a mirror —shade
- Of fulgent light!—behold what the calf’s blood,
- The heifer’s ashes, and each goat, do mean:
- 85The one dismissed goes off, the other falls
- A victim at the temple.
- With calf’s blood
- With water mixt the seer (thus from on high
- Bidden) besprinkled People, vessels all,
- Priests, and the written volumes of the Law.
- 90See here not their true hope, nor yet a mere
- Semblance devoid of virtue; but behold
- In the calf’s type Christ destined bodily
- To suffer; who upon His shoulders bare
- The plough-beam’s hard yokes, and with fortitude
- 95Brake His own heart with the steel share, and poured
- Into the furrows water of His own
- Life’s blood. For these “temple-vessels” do
- Denote our bodies: God’s true temple He,
- Not dedicated erst; for to Himself
- 100He by His blood associated men,
- And willed them be His body’s priests, Himself
- The Supreme Father’s perfect Priest by right.
- Hearing, sight, step inert, He cleansed; and, for a “book,”
- Sprinkled, by speaking words of presage, those
- 105His witnesses: demonstrating the Law
- Bound by His holy blood.
- This cause withal
- Our victim through “the heifer” manifests
- From whose blood taking for the People’s sake
- Piacular drops, them the first Levite bare
- 110Within the veil; and, by God’s bidding, burned
- Her corse without the camp’s gates; with whose ash
- He cleansed lapsed bodies.
- Thus our Lord (who us
- By His own death redeemed), without the camp
- Willingly suffering the violence
- 115Of an iniquitous People, did fulfil
- The Law, by facts predictions proving; who
- A people of contamination full
- Doth truly cleanse, conceding all things, as
- The body’s Author rich; within heaven’s veil
- 120Gone with the blood which—One for many’s deaths—
- He hath outpoured.
- A holy victim, then,
- Is meet for a great priest; which worthily
- He, being perfect, may be proved to have,
- And offer. He a body hath: this is
- 125For mortals a live victim; worthy this
- Of great price did He offer, One for all.
- The semblance of the “goats” teaches that they
- Are men exiled out of the “peoples twain”
- As barren; fruitless both; (of whom the Lord
- 130Spake also, in the Gospel, telling how
- The kids are severed from the sheep, and stand
- On the left hand ): that some indeed there are
- Who for the Lord’s Name’s sake have suffered: thus
- That fruit has veiled their former barrenness:
- 135And such, the prophet teaches, on the ground
- Of that their final merit worthy are
- Of the Lord’s altar: others, cast away
- (As was th’ iniquitous rich man, we read,
- By Lazarus ), are such as have remained
- 140Exiled, persistent in their stubbornness.
- Now a veil, hanging in the midst, did both
- Dissever, and had into portions twain
- Divided the one shrine. The inner parts
- Were called “Holies of holies.” Stationed there
- 145An altar shone, noble with gold; and there,
- At the same time, the testaments and ark
- Of the Law’s tablets; covered wholly o’er
- With lambs’ skins dyed with heaven’s hue; within
- Gold-clad; and all between of wood. Here are
- 150The tablets of the Law; here is the urn
- Replete with manna; here is Aaron’s rod
- Which puts forth germens of the cross —unlike
- The cross itself, yet born of storax-tree —
- And over it—in uniformity
- 155Fourfold—the cherubim their pinions spread,
- And the inviolable sanctities
- Covered obediently. Without the veil
- Part of the shrine stood open: facing it,
- Heavy with broad brass, did an altar stand;
- 160And with two triple sets (on each side one)
- Of branches woven with the central stem,
- A lampstand, and as many lamps:
- The golden substance wholly filled with light
- The temple.
- Thus the temple’s outer face,
- 165Common and open, does the ritual
- Denote, then, of a people lingering
- Beneath the Law; amid whose gloom there shone
- The Holy Spirit’s sevenfold unity
- Ever, the People sheltering. And thus
- 170The Lampstand True and living Lamps do shine
- Persistently throughout the Law and Seers
- On men subdued in heart. And for a type
- Of earth, the altar—so tradition says—
- Was made. Here constantly, in open space,
- 175Before all eyes were visible of old
- The People’s “works,” which ever—“not without
- Blood” —it did offer, shedding out the gore
- Of lawless life. There, too, the Lord—Himself
- Made victim on behalf of all—denotes
- 180The whole earth —altar in specific sense.
- Hence likewise that new covenant author, whom
- No language can describe, Disciple John,
- Testifies that beneath such altar he
- Saw souls which had for Christ’s name sufferèd,
- 185Praying the vengeance of the mighty God
- Upon their slaughter. There, meantime, is rest.
- In some unknown part there exists a spot
- Open, enjoying its own light; ’tis called
- “Abraham’s bosom;” high above the glooms,
- 190And far removed from fire, yet ’neath the earth.
- The brazen altar this is called, whereon
- (We have recorded) was a dusky veil.
- This veil divides both parts, and leaves the one
- Open, from the eternal one distinct
- 195In worship and time’s usage. To itself
- ’Tis not unfriendly, though of fainter love,
- By time and space divided, and yet linked
- By reason. ’Tis one house, though by a veil
- Parted it seems: and thus (when the veil burst,
- 200On the Lord’s passion) heavenly regions oped
- And holy vaults, and what was double erst
- Became one house perennial.
- Order due
- Traditionally has interpreted
- The inner temple of the people called
- 205After Christ’s Name, with worship heavenly,
- God’s actual mandates following; (no “shade”
- Is herein bound, but persons real; ) complete
- By the arrival of the “perfect things.”
- The ark beneath a type points out to us
- 210Christ’s venerable body, joined, through “wood,”
- With sacred Spirit: the aërialskins
- Are flesh not born of seed, outstretcht on “wood;”
- At the same time, with golden semblance fused,
- Within, the glowing Spirit joinèd is
- 215Thereto; that, with peace granted, flesh might bloom
- With Spirit mixt. Of the Lord’s flesh, again,
- The urn, golden and full, a type doth bear.
- Itself denotes that the new covenant’s Lord
- Is manna; in that He, true heavenly Bread,
- 220Is, and hath by the Father been transfused
- Into that bread which He hath to His saints
- Assignèd for a pledge: this Bread will He
- Give perfectly to them who (of good works
- The lovers ever) have the bonds of peace
- 225Kept. And the double tablets of the Law
- Written all over, these, at the same time,
- Signify that that Law was ever hid
- In Christ, who mandate old and new fulfilled,
- Ark of the Supreme Father as He is,
- 230Through whom He, being rich, hath all things given.
- The storax-rod, too, nut’s fruit bare itself;
- (The virgin’s semblance this, who bare in blood
- A body:) on the “wood” conjoined ’twill lull
- Death’s bitter, which within sweet fruit doth lurk,
- 235By virtue of the Holy Spirit’s grace:
- Just as Isaiah did predict “a rod”
- From Jesse’s seed —Mary—from which a flower
- Issues into the orb.
- The altar bright with gold
- Denotes the heaven on high, whither ascend
- 240Prayers holy, sent up without crime: the Lord
- This “altar” spake of, where if one doth gifts
- Offer, he must first reconciliate
- Peace with his brother: thus at length his prayers
- Can flame unto the stars. Christ, Victor sole
- 245And foremost Priest, thus offered incense born
- Not of a tree, but prayers.
- The cherubim
- Being, with twice two countenances, one,
- And are the one word through fourfold order led;
- The hopèd comforts of life’s mandate new,
- 250Which in their plenitude Christ bare Himself
- Unto us from the Father. But the wings
- In number four times six, the heraldings
- Of the old world denote, witnessing things
- Which, we are taught, were after done. On these
- 255The heavenly words fly through the orb: with these
- Christ’s blood is likewise held contèxt, so told
- Obscurely by the seers’ presaging mouth.
- The number of the wings doth set a seal
- Upon the ancient volumes; teaching us
- 260Those twenty-four have certainly enough
- Which sang the Lord’s ways and the times of peace:
- These all, we see, with the new covenant
- Cohere. Thus also John; the Spirit thus
- To him reveals that in that number stand
- 265The enthroned elders white and crowned, who (as
- With girding-rope) all things surround, before
- The Lord’s throne, and upon the glassy sea
- Subigneous: and four living creatures, winged
- And full of eyes within and outwardly,
- 270Do signify that hidden things are oped,
- And all things shut are at the same time seen,
- In the word’s eye. The glassy flame-mixt sea
- Means that the laver’s gifts, with Spirit fused
- Therein, upon believers are conferred.
- 275Who could e’en tell what the Lord’s parent-care
- Before His judgment-seat, before His bar,
- Preparèd hath? that such as willing be
- His forum and His judgment for themselves
- To antedate, should ’scape! that who thus hastes
- 280Might find abundant opportunity!
- Thus therefore Law and wondrous prophets sang;
- Thus all parts of the covenant old and new,
- Those sacred rights and pregnant utterances
- Of words, conjoined, do flourish. Thus withal,
- 285Apostles’ voices witness everywhere;
- Nor aught of old, in fine, but to the new
- Is joined.
- Thus err they, and thus facts retort
- Their sayings, who to false ways have declined;
- And from the Lord and God, eternal King,
- 290Who such an orb produced, detract, and seek
- Some other deity ’neath feignèd name,
- Bereft of minds, which (frenzied) they have lost;
- Willing to affirm that Christ a stranger is
- To the Law; nor is the world’s Lord; nor doth will
- 295Salvation of the flesh; nor was Himself
- The body’s Maker, by the Father’s power.
- Them must we flee, stopping (unasked) our ears;
- Lest with their speech they stain innoxious hearts.
- Let therefore us, whom so great grace of God
- 300Hath penetrated, and the true celestial words
- Of the great Master-Teacher in good ways
- Have trained, and given us right monuments;
- Pay honour ever to the Lord, and sing
- Endlessly, joying in pure faith, and sure
- 305Salvation. Born of the true God, with bread
- Perennial are we nourishèd, and hope
- With our whole heart after eternal life.
GENERAL REPLY TO SUNDRY OF MARCION’S HERESIES.
- The first Book did the enemy’s words recall
- In order, which the senseless renegade
- Composed and put forth lawlessly; hence, too,
- Touched briefly flesh’s hope, Christ’s victory,
- 5And false ways’ speciousness. The next doth teach
- The Law’s conjoinèd mysteries, and what
- In the new covenant the one God hath
- Delivered. The third shows the race, create
- From freeborn mother, to be ministers
- 10Sacred to seers and patriarchs; whom Thou,
- O Christ, in number twice six out of all,
- Chosest; and, with their names, the lustral times
- Of our own elders noted, (times preserved
- On record,) showing in whose days appeared
- 15The author of this wickedness, unknown,
- Lawless, and roaming, cast forth with his brood.
- The fourth, too, the piacular rites recalls
- Of the old Law themselves, and shows them types
- In which the Victim True appeared, by saints
- 20Expected long since, with the holy Seed.
- This fifth doth many twists and knots untie,
- Rolls wholly into sight what ills soe’er
- Were lurking; drawing arguments, but not
- Without attesting prophet.
- And although
- 25With strong arms fortified we vanquish foes,
- Yet hath the serpent mingled so at once
- All things polluted, impious, unallowed,
- Commaculate,—the blind’s path without light!
- A voice contaminant!—that, all the while
- 30We are contending the world’s Maker is
- Himself sole God, who also spake by voice
- Of seers, and proving that there is none else
- Unknown; and, while pursuing Him with praise,
- Who is by various endearment known,
- 35Are blaming—among other fallacies—
- The Unknown’s tardy times: our subject’s fault
- Will scarce keep pure our tongue. Yet, for all that,
- Guile’s many hidden venoms us enforce
- (Although with double risk ) to ope our words.
- 40Who, then, the God whom ye say is the true,
- Unknown to peoples, alien, in a word,
- To all the world? Him whom none knew before?
- Came he from high? If ’tis his own he seeks,
- Why seek so late? If not his own, why rob
- 45Bandit-like? and why ply with words unknown
- So oft throughout Law’s rein a People still
- Lingering ’neath the Law? If, too, he comes
- To pity and to succour all combined,
- And to re-elevate men vanquisht quite
- 50By death’s funereal weight, and to release
- Spirit from flesh’s bond obscene, whereby
- The inner man (iniquitously dwarfed)
- Is held in check; why, then, so late appear
- His ever-kindness, duteous vigilance?
- 55How comes it that he ne’er at all before
- Offered himself to any, but let slip
- Poor souls in numbers? and then with his mouth
- Seeks to regain another’s subjects: ne’er
- Expected; not known; sent into the orb.
- 60Seeking the “ewe” he had not lost before,
- The Shepherd ought to have disrobed himself
- Of flesh, as if his victor-self withal
- Had ever been a spirit, and as such
- Willèd to rescue all expellèd souls,
- 65Without a body, everywhere, and leave
- The spoilèd flesh to earth; wholly to fill
- The world on one day equally with corpses
- To leave the orb void; and to raise the souls
- To heaven. Then would human progeny
- 70At once have ceasèd to be born; nor had
- Thereafter any scion of your kith
- Been born, or spread a new pest o’er the orb.
- Or (since at that time none of all these things
- Is shown to have been done) he should have set
- 75A bound to future race; with solid heart
- Nuptial embraces would he, in that case,
- Have sated quite; made men grow torpid, reft
- Of fruitful seed; made irksome intercourse
- With female sex; and closed up inwardly
- 80The flesh’s organs genital: our mind
- Had had no will, no potent faculty
- Our body: after this the “inner man”
- Could withal, joined with blood, have been infused
- And cleaved to flesh, and would have ever been
- 85Perishing. Ever perishes the “ewe:”
- And is there then no power of saving her?
- Since man is ever being born beneath
- Death’s doom, what is the Shepherd’s work, if thus
- The “ewe” is stated to be found? Unsought,
- 90In that case, but not rescued, she is proved.
- But now choice is allowed of entering
- Wedlock, as hath been ever; and that choice
- Sure progeny hath yoked: nations are born
- And folk scarce numerable, at whose birth
- 95Their souls by living bodies are received;
- Nor was it meet that Paul (though, for the time,
- He did exhort some few, discerning well
- The many pressures of a straitened time)
- To counsel men in like case to abide
- 100As he himself: for elsewhere he has bidden
- The tender ages marry, nor defraud
- Each other, but their compact’s dues discharge.
- But say, whose suasion hath, with fraud astute,
- Made you “abide,” and in divided love
- 105Of offspring live secure, and commit crime
- Adulterous, and lose your life? and, though
- ’Tis perishing, belie (by verbal name)
- That fact. For which cause all the so sweet sounds
- Of his voice pours he forth, that “you must do,
- 110Undaunted, whatsoever pleases you;”
- Outwardly chaste, stealthily stained with crime!
- Of honourable wedlock, by this plea,
- He hath deprived you. But why more? ’Tis well
- (Forsooth) to be disjoined! for the world, too,
- 115Expedient ’tis! lest any of your seed
- Be born! Then will death’s organs cease at length!
- The while you hope salvation to retain,
- Your “total man” quite loses part of man,
- With mind profane: but neither is man said
- 120To be sole spirit, nor the flesh is called
- “The old man;” nor unfriendly are the flesh
- And spirit, the true man combined in one,
- The inner, and he whom you call “old foe;”
- Nor are they seen to have each his own set
- 125Of senses. One is ruled; the other rules,
- Groans, joys, grieves, loves; himself to his own flesh
- Most dear, too; through which his humanity
- Is visible, with which commixt he is
- Held ever: to its wounds he care applies;
- 130And pours forth tears; and nutriments of food
- Takes, through its limbs, often and eagerly:
- This hopes he to have ever with himself
- Immortal; o’er its fracture doth he groan;
- And grieves to quit it limb by limb: fixt time
- 135Death lords it o’er the unhappy flesh; that so
- From light dust it may be renewed, and death
- Unfriendly fail at length, when flesh, released,
- Rises again. This will that victory be
- Supreme and long expected, wrought by Him,
- 140The aye-to-be-revered, who did become
- True man; and by His Father’s virtue won:
- Who man’s redeemèd limbs unto the heavens
- Hath raised, and richly opened access up
- Thither in hope, first to His nation; then
- 145To those among all tongues in whom His work
- Is ever doing: Minister imbued
- With His Sire’s parent-care, seen by the eye
- Of the Illimitable, He performed,
- By suffering, His missions.
- What say now
- 150The impious voices? what th’ abandoned crew?
- If He Himself, God the Creator’s self,
- Gave not the Law, He who from Egypt’s vale
- Paved in the waves a path, and freely gave
- The seats which He had said of old, why comes
- 155He in that very People and that land
- Aforesaid? and why rather sought He not
- Some other peoples or some rival realms?
- Why, further, did He teach that, through the seers,
- (With Name foretold in full, yet not His own,)
- 160He had been often sung of? Whence, again,
- Could He have issued baptism’s kindly gifts,
- Promised by some one else, as His own works?
- These gifts men who God’s mandates had transgressed,
- And hence were found polluted, longèd for,
- 165And begged a pardoning rescue from fierce death.
- Expected long, they came: but that to those
- Who recognised them when erst heard, and now
- Have recognised them, when in due time found,
- Christ’s true hand is to give them, this, with voice
- 170Paternal, the Creator-Sire Himself
- Warns ever from eternity, and claims;
- And thus the work of virtue which He framed,
- And still frames, arms, and fosters, and doth now
- Victorious look down on and reclothe
- 175With His own light, should with perennial praise
- What hath the Living Power done
- To make men recognise what God can give
- And man can suffer, and thus live? But since
- Neither predictions earlier nor facts
- 180The latest can suade senseless frantic men
- That God became a man, and (after He
- Had suffered and been buried) rose; that they
- May credit those so many witnesses
- Harmonious, who of old did cry aloud
- 185With heavenly word, let them both learn to trust
- At least terrestrial reason.
- When the Lord
- Christ came to be, as flesh, born into the orb
- In time of king Augustus’ reign at Rome,
- First, by decree, the nations numbered are
- 190By census everywhere: this measure, then,
- This same king chanced to pass, because the Will
- Supreme, in whose high reigning hand doth lie
- The king’s heart, had impelled him: he was first
- To do it, and the enrolment was reduced
- 195To orderly arrangement. Joseph then
- Likewise, with his but just delivered wife
- Mary, with her celestial Son alike,
- Themselves withal are numbered. Let, then, such
- As trust to instruments of human skill,
- 200Who may (approving of applying them
- As attestators of the holy word)
- Inquire into this census, if it be
- But found so as we say, then afterwards
- Repent they and seek pardon while time still
- 205Is had.
- The Jews, who own to having wrought
- A grave crime, while in our disparagement
- They glow, and do resist us, neither call
- Christ’s family unknown, nor can affirm
- They hanged a man, who spake truth, on a tree:
- 210Ignorant that the Lord’s flesh which they bound
- Was not seed-gendered. But, while partially
- They keep a reticence, so partially
- They triumph; for they strive to represent
- God to the peoples commonly as man.
- 215Behold the error which o’ercomes you both!
- This error will our cause assist, the while,
- We prove to you those things which certain are.
- They do deny Him God; you falsely call
- Him man, a body bodiless! and ah!
- 220A various insanity of mind
- Sinks you; which him who hath presumed to hint
- You both do, sinking, sprinkle: for His deeds
- Will then approve Him man alike and God
- Commingled, and the world will furnish signs
- 225No few.
- While then the Son Himself of God
- Is seeking to regain the flesh’s limbs,
- Already robed as King, He doth sustain
- Blows from rude palms; with spitting covered is
- His face; a thorn-inwoven crown His head
- 230Pierces all round; and to the tree Himself
- Is fixed; wine drugged with myrrh, is drunk, and gall
- Is mixt with vinegar; parted His robe,
- And in it lots are cast; what for himself
- Each one hath seized he keeps; in murky gloom,
- 235As God from fleshly body silently
- Outbreathes His soul, in darkness trembling day
- Took refuge with the sun; twice dawned one day;
- Its centre black night covered: from their base
- Mounts move in circle, wholly moved was earth,
- 240Saints’ sepulchres stood ope, and all things joined
- In fear to see His passion whom they knew!
- His lifeless side a soldier with bare spear
- Pierces, and forth flows blood, nor water less
- Thence followed. These facts they agree to hide,
- 245And are unwilling the misdeed to own,
- Willing to blink the crime.
- Can spirit, then,
- Without a body wear a robe? or is’t
- Susceptible of penalty? the wound
- Of violence does it bear? or die? or rise?
- 250Is blood thence poured? from what flesh, since ye say
- He had none? or else, rather, feigned He? if
- ’Tis safe for you to say so; though you do
- (Headlong) so say, by passing over more
- In silence. Is not, then, faith manifest?
- 255And are not all things fixed? The day before
- He then should suffer, keeping Passover,
- And handing down a memorable rite
- To His disciples, taking bread alike
- And the vine’s juice, “My body, and My blood
- 260Which is poured for you, this is,” did He say;
- And bade it ever afterward be done.
- Of what created elements were made,
- Think ye, the bread and wine which were (He said)
- His body with its blood? and what must be
- 265Confessèd? Proved He not Himself the world’s
- Maker, through deeds? and that He bore at once
- A body formed from flesh and blood?
- This God,
- This true Man, too, the Father’s Virtue ’neath
- An Image, with the Father ever was,
- 270United both in glory and in age;
- Because alone He ministers the words
- Of the All-Holder; whom He upon earth
- Accepts; through whom He all things did create:
- God’s Son, God’s dearest Minister, is He!
- 275Hence hath He generation, hence Name too,
- Hence, finally, a kingdom; Lord from Lord;
- Stream from perennial Fount! He, He it was
- Who to the holy fathers (whosoe’er
- Among them doth profess to have “seen God” )—
- 280God is our witness—since the origin
- Of this our world, appearing, opened up
- The Father’s words of promise and of charge
- From heaven high: He led the People out;
- Smote through th’ iniquitous nation; was Himself
- 285The column both of light and of cloud’s shade;
- And dried the sea; and bids the People go
- Right through the waves, the foe therein involved
- And covered with the flood and surge: a way
- Through deserts made He for the followers
- 290Of His high biddings; sent down bread in showers
- From heaven for the People; brake the rock;
- Bedewed with wave the thirsty; and from God
- The mandate of the Law to Moses spake
- With thunder, trumpet-sound, and flamey column
- 295Terrible to the sight, while men’s hearts shook.
- After twice twenty years, with months complete,
- Jordan was parted; a way oped; the wave
- Stood in a mass; and the tribes shared the land,
- Their fathers’ promised boons! The Father’s word,
- 300Speaking Himself by prophets’ mouth, that He
- Would come to earth and be a man, He did
- Predict; Christ manifestly to the earth
- Then, expected for our aid,
- Life’s only Hope, the Cleanser of our flesh,
- 305Death’s Router, from th’ Almighty Sire’s empire
- At length He came, and with our human limbs
- He clothed Him. Adam—virgin—dragon—tree,
- The cause of ruin, and the way whereby
- Rash death us all had vanquisht! by the same
- 310Our Shepherd treading, seeking to regain
- His sheep—with angel—virgin—His own flesh—
- And the “tree’s” remedy; whence vanquisht man
- And doomed to perish was aye wont to go
- To meet his vanquisht peers; hence, interposed,
- 315One in all captives’ room, He did sustain
- In body the unfriendly penalty
- With patience; by His own death spoiling death;
- Becomes salvation’s cause; and, having paid
- Throughly our debts by throughly suffering
- 320On earth, in holy body, everything,
- Seeks the infern! here souls, bound for their crime,
- Which shut up all together by Law’s weight,
- Without a guard, were asking for the boons
- Promised of old, hoped for, and tardy, He
- 325To the saints’ rest admitted, and, with light,
- Brought back. For on the third day mounting up,
- A victor, with His body, by His Sire’s
- Virtue immense, (salvation’s pathway made,)
- And bearing God and man is form create,
- 330He clomb the heavens, leading back with Him
- Captivity’s first-fruits (a welcome gift
- And a dear figure to the Lord), and took
- His seat beside light’s Father, and resumed
- The virtue and the glory of which, while
- 335He was engaged in vanquishing the foe,
- He had been stripped; conjoined with Spirit; bound
- With flesh, on our part. Him, Lord, Christ, King, God,
- Judgment and kingdom given to His hand,
- The father is to send unto the orb.
(N.B.—It has been impossible to note the changes which I have had to make in the text of the Latin. In some cases they will suggest themselves to any scholar who may compare the translation with the original; and in others I must be content to await a more fitting opportunity, if such ever arise, for discussing them.)
(Appendix, p. 127.)
About these versifications, which are “poems” only as mules are horses, it is enough to say of them, with Dupin, “They are no more Tertullian’s than they are Virgil’s or Homer’s. The poem called Genesis seems to be that which Gennadius attributes to Salvian, Bishop of Marseilles. That concerning the Judgment of God was, perhaps, composed by Verecundus, an African bishop. In the books Against Marcion there are some opinions different from those of Tertullian. There is likewise a poem To a Senator in Pamelius’ edition, one of Sodom, and in the Bibliotheca Patrum one of Jonas and Nineve; the first of which is ancient, and the other two seem to be by the same author.”
It is worth while to observe that this rhymester makes two bishops out of one. Cletus and Anacletus he supposes different persons, which brings Clement into the fourth place in the see of Rome. Our author elsewhere makes St. Clement the immediate successor of the apostles.
(Or is there ought, etc., l. 136, p. 137.)
In taking leave of Tertullian, it may be well to say a word of his famous saying, Certum est quia impossibile est. It occurs in the tract De Carne Christi, and is one of those startling epigrammatic dicta of our author which is no more to be pressed in argument than any other bon-mot of a wit or a poet. It is evidently designed as a rhetorical climax, to enforce the same idea which we find in the hymn of Aquinas:—
- “Et si sensus deficit,
- Ad firmandum cor sincerum
- Sola fides sufficit.”
As Jeremy Taylor argues, the condition is, that holy Scripture affirms it. If that be the case, then “all things are possible with God:” I believe; but I do not argue, for it is impossible with men. This is the plain sense of the great Carthaginian doctor’s pithy rhetoric. But Dr. Bunsen sets it on all-fours, and treats it as if it were soberly designed to defy reason,—that reason to which Tertullian constantly makes his appeal against Marcion, and in many of his sayings hardly less witty. Speaking of Hippolytus, that writer remarks, “He might have said on some points, Credibile licet ineptum: he would never have exclaimed with Tertullian, ‘Credibile quia ineptum.’ ” Why attempt to prove the absurdity of such a reflection? As well attempt to defend St. John’s hyperbole against a mind incapable of comprehending a figure of speech.
The “tectis” of the edd. I have ventured to alter to “textis,” which gives (as in my text) a far better sense.
i.e., the Evil One.
i.e., the Son of God.
i.e., the Magi.
i.e., arms which seemed unequal; for the cross, in which Christ seemed to be vanquished, was the very means of His triumph. See Col. ii. 14, 15.
i.e., the Enemy.
i.e., with the Holy Spirit, the “Pledge” or “Promise” of the Father (see Acts 1, 4, 5), “outpoured” upon “the peoples”—both Jewish and Gentile—on the day of Pentecost and many subsequent occasions; see, for instances, Acts x. and xix.
The “mirandæ virtutis opus, invisaque facta,” I take to be the miracles wrought by the apostles through the might (virtus) of the Spirit, as we read in the Acts. These were objects of “envy” to the Enemy, and to such as—like Simon Magus, of whom we find record—were his servants.
i.e., excommunicated, as Marcion was. The “last impiety” (extremum nefas), or “last atrocity” (extremum facinus),—see 218, lower down—seems to mean the introduction of heretical teaching.
This use of the ablative, though quite against classical usage, is apparently admissible in late Latinity. It seems to me that the “his” is an ablative here, the men being regarded for the moment as merely instruments, not agents; but it may be a dative = “to these he preaches,” etc., i.e., he dictates to them what they afterwards are to teach in public.
It must be borne in mind that “Dominus” (the Lord), and “Deus” (God), are kept as distinct terms throughout this piece.
i.e., for which reason.
i.e., as Marcion is stated by some to have taught, in the fifteenth year of Tiberius; founding his statement upon a perverted reading of Luke iii. 1. It will be remembered that Marcion only used St. Luke’s Gospel, and that in a mutilated and corrupted form.
i.e., of the Jews.
“In fossa,” i.e., as Fabricius (quoted in Migne’s ed.) explains it, “in defossa.” It is the past part. of fodio.
If this line be correct,—“Speratis pro pace truces homicidia blanda,”—though I cannot see the propriety of the “truces” in it, it seems to mean, “Do ye hope or expect that the master you are serving will, instead of the gentle peace be promises you, prove a murderer and lead you to death? No, you do not expect it; but so it is.”
The sentence breaks off abruptly, and the verb which should apparently have gone with “e’en one” is joined to the “ye” in the next line.
The Latin is:—
- “Nec venit in mentem quod vos, a nomine Christi
- Seductos, ad Marcionis tulit infima nomen.”
The rendering in my text, I admit, involves an exceedingly harsh construction of the Latin, but I see not how it is to be avoided; unless either (1) we take nomen absolutely, and “ad Marcionis infima” together, and translate, “A name has carried you to Marcion’s lowest depths;” in which case the question arises, What name is meant? can it be the name “Electi”? Or else (2) we take “tulit” as referring to the “terrible renegade,” i.e., the arch-fiend, and “infima” as in apposition with “ad Marcionis nomen,” and translate, “He has carried you to the name of Marcion—deepest degradation.”
i.e., the Gospels and other parts of Holy Scripture.
i.e., I take it, the resurrection Cf. 2 Tim. ii. 17, 18.
Whether this be the sense (i.e., “either tell us what it is which displeases you in our God, whether it be His too great patience in bearing with you, or what: or else tell us what is to hinder us from believing your God to be an incredible being”) of this passage, I will not venture to determine. The last line in the edd previous to Oehler’s ran: “Aut incredibile quid differt credere vestrum?” Oehler reads “incredibilem” (sc. Deum), which I have followed; but he suggests, “Aut incredibilem qui differt cædere vestrum?” Which may mean “or else”—i.e., if it were not for his “too great patience”—“why”—“qui”—“does He delay to smite your incredible god?” and thus challenge a contest and prove His own superiority.
i.e., the “terrible renegade.”
The reference here is to Simon Magus; for a brief account of whom, and of the other heretics in this list, down to Hebion inclusive, the reader is referred to the Adv. omn Hær., above. The words “to roam, to fly,” refer to the alleged wanderings of Simon with his paramour Helen, and his reported attempt (at Rome, in the presence of St. Peter) to fly. The tale is doubtful.
The Latin runs thus:—
- “Et ævo
- Triginta tribuit cælos, patremque Profundum.”
But there seems a confusion between Valentine and his æons and Basilides and his heavens. See the Adv. omn. Hær., above.
i.e., the Evil One’s, as before.
i.e., probably Jerusalem and the temple there.
Oehler’s “versus” (=“changed the man rises”) is set aside for Migne’s “verus.” Indeed it is probably a misprint.
i.e., her own dwelling or “quarters,”—the body, to wit, if the reading “sua parte” be correct.
I have ventured to alter the “et viventi” of Oehler and Migne into “ut vivendi,” which seems to improve the sense.
It seems to me that these ideas should all be expressed interrogatively, and I have therefore so expressed them in my text.
See line 2.
“Cernere quid fuerit conversa in pulvere quondam.”
Whether the meaning be that, as the soul will be able (as it should seem) to retrace all that she has experienced since she left the body, so the body, when revived, will be able as it were to look back upon all that has happened to her since the soul left her,—something after the manner in which Hamlet traces the imaginary vicissitudes of Cæsar’s dust,—or whether there be some great error in the Latin, I leave the reader to judge.
i.e., apparently remembering that she was so before.
I rather incline to read for “hæc captiva fuit mortis,” “hæc captiva fuat mortis” =
- “Is this
- To be death’s thrall?”
“This” is, of course, the flesh.
For “Quod cupit his fieri, deest hoc virtute reduci,” I venture to read, “Quod capit,” etc., taking “capit” as = “capax est” “By these,” of course, is by wisdom and art; and “virtue” = “power.”
i.e., the Evil One.
i.e., may learn to know.
Oehler’s “visus” seems to be a mistake for “vivus,” which is Migne’s reading, as in the fragment “De exsecrandis gentium diis,” we saw (sub fin.) “videntem” to be a probable misprint for “viventem.” If, however, it is to be retained, it must mean “appearing” (i.e., in presence of God) “wholly,” in body as well as soul.
i.e., the double gift of a saved soul and a saved body.
I have so frequently had to construct my own text (by altering the reading or the punctuation of the Latin) in this book, that, for brevity’s sake, I must ask the reader to be content with this statement once for all, and not expect each case to be separately noted.
The “foe,” as before, is Satan; his “breathing instruments” are the men whom he uses (cf. Shakespeare’s “no breather” = no act iii. sc. 2); and they are called “renegades,” like the Evil One himself, because they have deserted from their allegiance to God in Christ.
Cf. John xv. 2, 4, 5, 6, Rom. xi. 17-20. The writer simply calls them “abruptos homines,” and he seems to mean excommunicated, like Marcion.
i.e., those recorded in the Old Testament.
I have followed Migne’s suggestion here, and transposed one line of the original. The reference seems to be to Isa. lxiv. 4, quoted in 1 Cor. ii. 9, where the Greek differs somewhat remarkably from the LXX.
Unless some line has dropped out here, the construction, harsh enough in my English, is yet harsher in the Latin. “Accipitur” has no subject of any kind, and one can only guess from what has gone before, and what follows, that it must mean “one Testament.”
Harsh still. It must refer to the four Gospels—the “coat without seam”—in their quadrate unity, Marcion receiving but one—St. Luke’s—and that without St. Luke’s name, and also in a mutilated and interpolated form.
This seems to be the sense. The allusion is to the fact that Marcion and his sect accepted but ten of St. Paul’s Epistles: leaving out entirely those to Timothy and Titus, and all the other books, except his one Gospel.
It seems to me that the reference here must evidently be to the Epistle to the Hebrews, which treats specially of the old covenant. If so, we have some indication as to the authorship, if not the date, of the book, for Tertullian himself, though he frequently cites the Epistle, appears to hesitate (to say the least) as to ascribing it to St. Paul.
Comp. Isa. vi. 9, 10, with Acts xxviii. 17-29.
The reference seems to be to Rom. i. 28; comp., too, Tit. i. 15, 16.
The reference is to Gen. ii. 9-14.
Fata mortua. This extraordinary expression appears to mean “dead men;” men who, through Adam, are fated, so to speak, to die, and are under the sad fate of being “dead in trespasses and sins.” See Eph. ii. 1. As far as quantity is concerned, it might as well be “facta mortua,” “dead works,” such as we read of in Heb. vi. 1, ix. 14. It is true these works cannot strictly be said to be ever vivified; but a very similar inaccuracy seems to be committed by our author lower down in this same book.
I have followed Oehler’s “face” for the common “phase,” but what the meaning is I will not venture to decide. It may probably mean one of two things: (a) that Paul wrote by torchlight; (b) that the light which Paul holds forth in his life and writings, is a torch to show the Corinthians and others Christ.
i.e., the legal passover, “image” or type of “the true Passover,” Christ. See 1 Cor. v. 6-9.
Abraham. See Gen. xxii. 1-19.
Isaac, a pledge to Abraham of all God’s other promises.
Forte. I suppose this means out of the ordinary course of nature; but it is a strange word to use.
Israel, wasted by the severities of their Egyptian captivity.
“Multa;” but “muta” = “mute” has been suggested, and is not inapt.
I have given what appears to be a possible sense for these almost unintelligible lines. They run as follows in Oehler:—
- “Et reliqui magni reges sanctique prophetæ,
- Non ignorantes certæ promissa salutis,
- Ingentemque metu pleni transcendere legem,
- Venturam summæ virtutis imagine molem,
- Inspectam e speculo celebrarunt ordine pascham.”
I rather incline to alter them somehow thus:—
- “Ingentemque metu plenis transcendere legem,
- Venturum in summæ virtutis imagine,—solem
- Inspectum e speculo,—celebrarunt ordine pascham;”
connecting these three lines with “non ignorantes,” and rendering:—
- “Not ignorant of the good promises
- Of sure salvation; and that One would come,
- For such as fillèd are with godly fear
- The law to overstep, a mighty One,
- In Highest Virtue’s image,—the Sun seen
- In mirror:—did in order celebrate
- The passover.”
That is, in brief, they all, in celebrating the type, looked forward to the Antitype to come.
This, again, seems to be the meaning, unless the passage (which is not improbable) be corrupt. The flesh, “foul” now with sin, is called the “stained image of the Lord,” as having been originally in His image, but being now stained by guilt.
Faith is called so, as being the reflection of divine reason.
i.e., the praise of Christ Himself. See Matt. xi. 7-15, with the parallel passage, Luke vii. 24-30; comp. also John v. 33-35.
i.e., perhaps “render acceptable.”
See above, 91-99.
i.e., teeth which He contemned, for His people’s sake: not that they are to us contemptible.
i.e., perhaps permeating, by the influence of His death, the tombs of all the old saints.
i.e., undertaking our debts in our stead.
Adam. See Rom. v., passim.
It is an idea of the genuine Tertullian, apparently, that Eve was a “virgin” all the time she was with Adam in Paradise. A similar idea appears in the “Genesis” above.
Consilio. Comp. 1 Tim. ii. 14, “Adam was not deceived.”
Called “life’s own covering” (i.e., apparently his innocence) in 117, above.
Comp. Heb. xii. 2, “Who, for the joy that was set before Him”—ος ἀντὶ τη̑ς προκειμενης αὑτῳ̑ χαρας.
Mundi. See John xiv. 30.
“The Lion of the tribe of Juda.” Rev. v. 5.
Viro. This use of “man” may be justified, to say nothing of other arguments, from Jer. xliv. 19, where “our men” seem plainly = “our husbands.” See marg.
Virgo: a play on the word in connection with the “viro” and what follows.
i.e., Adam’s. The constructions, as will be seen, are oddly confused throughout, and I rather suspect some transposition of lines.
See 1 Cor. xv. 22 sqq., especially 45, 47.
“Os;” lit., “face” or “mouth.”
This would seem to refer to Lazarus; but it seems to be an assumption that his raising took place on a Sabbath.
i.e., to life.
I have ventured to alter the “Morti,” of the edd, into “Forti;” and “causas” (as we have seen) seems, in this late Latin, nearly = “res.”
i.e., the grain.
This may seem an unusual expression, as it is more common to regard the fruit as gracing the tree, than the tree the fruit. But, in point of fact, the tree, with its graceful form and foliage, may be said to give a grace to the fruit; and so our author puts it here: “decoratos arbore fructus.”
I read “primum” here for “primus.”
“Tantum” = “tantum quantum primo fuerat,” i.e., with a body as well as a spirit.
Pignus: “the promise of the Father” (Acts i. 4); “the earnest of the Spirit” (2 Cor. i. 22; v. 5). See, too, Eph. i. 13, 14; Rom. viii. 23.
The reference is to John iii. 6, but it is not quite correctly given.
See note on 245, above.
See 2 Cor. v. 1 sqq.
I read “inermum”—a very rare form—here for “inermem.” But there seems a confusion in the text, which here, as elsewhere, is probably corrupt.
“Ceræ,” which seems senseless here, I have changed to cereris.”
There seems to be a reference to 2 Pet. i. 17.
Here again I have altered the punctuation by a very simple change.
See 1 Cor. xv. 54; Isa. xxv. 8 (where the LXX. have a strange reading).
Isa. liv. 1; Gal. iv. 27.
Gal. iv. 19-31.
The Jewish people leaving Christ, “the fountain of living waters” (Jer. ii. 13, John vii. 37-39), is compared to Hagar leaving the well, which was, we may well believe, close to Abraham’s tent.
Et tepidis errans ardenti sidere potat. See Gen. xxi. 12-20.
See Matt. xix. 27; Mark x. 28; Luke xviii. 28.
See Matt. xxiii. 35.
i.e., apparently the “giants;” see Gen. vi. 4; but there is no mention of them in Enoch’s time (Migne).
i.e., over the general sinfulness.
I suggest “translatus” for “translatum” here.
See Gen. vii. 1.
Loosely; 120 years is the number in Gen. vi. 3.
Speculo vultus. The two words seem to me to go together, and, unless the second be indeed redundant, to mean perhaps a small hand-mirror, which affords more facilities for minute examination of the face than a larger fixed one.
“Sortis;” lit. “lot,” here = “the line or family chosen by lot. Compare the similar derivation of “clergy.”
I have ventured to substitute “Christo” for “Christi; and thus, for “Cum Christi populo manifeste multa locutus,”
read, “Cum Christo (populo manifeste) multa locutus.”
The reference is to the fact, on which such special stress is laid, of the Lord’s “speaking to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh with his friend.” See especially Num. xii. 5-8, Deut. xxxiv. 9-12, with Deut. xviii. 17-19, Acts iii. 22, 23, vii. 37.
The Latin in Oehler and Migne is thus: “Acceptam legem per paucos fudit in orbem;”
and the reference seems to me to be to Ex. xxxii. 15-20, though the use of “orbem” for “ground” is perhaps strange; but “humum” would have been against the metre, if that argument be of any weight in the case of a writer so prolific of false quantities. Possibly the lines may mean that “he diffused through some few”—i.e., through the Jews, “few” as compared with the total inhabitants of the orb—“the Law which he had received;” but then the following line seems rather to favour the former view, because the tables of the Law—called briefly “the Law”—broken by Moses so soon after he had received them, were typical of the inefficacy of all Moses’ own toils, which, after all, ended in disappointment, as he was forbidden, on account of a sin committed in the very last of the forty years, to lead the people into “the land,” as ’he had fondly hoped to do. Only I suspect some error in “per paucos,” unless it be lawful to supply “dies,” and take it to mean “received during but few days,” i.e., “within few days,” “only a few days before,” and “accepted” or “kept” by the People “during but a few days.” Would it be lawful to conjecture “perpaucis” as one word, with “ante diebus” to be understood?
i.e., the sign of the cross. See Tertullian, adv. Marc., l. iii. c. xviii. sub. fin.; also adv. Jud., c. x. med.
i.e., all the acts and the experiences of Moses.
See Ex. xxiii. 20-23; and comp, adv. Marc., l. iii. c. xvi.
Legitima, i.e., reverent of law.
i.e., virtuous acts.
The Latin runs thus:
- “Acer in hostem,
- Non virtute sua tutelam acquirere genti.”
I have ventured to read “suæ,” and connect it with “genti;” and thus have obtained what seems to me a probable sense. See Judg. viii. 22, 23.
I read “firmandus” for “firmatus.”
I have again ventured a correction, “coarescere” for “coalescere.” It makes at least some sense out of an otherwise (to me) unintelligible passage, the “palm” being taken as the well-known symbol of bloom and triumph. So David in Ps. xcii. 12 (xci. 13 in LXX.), “The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree.” To “dry” here is, of course, neuter, and means to “wither.”
I have changed “eadem”—which must agree with “nocte,” and hence give a false sense, for it was not, of course, on “the same night,” but on the next, that this second sign was given—into “eodem,” to agree with “liquore,” which gives a true one, as the “moisture,” of course, was the same,—dew, namely.
Equite. It appears to be used loosely for “men of war” generally.
Which is taken, from its form, as a sign of the cross: see below.
Refers to the “when” in 99, above.
Lychno. The “faces” are probably the wicks.
“Scilicet hoc testamen erat virtutis imago.”
The text as it stands is, in Oehler:—
- . . . “Hic Baal Christi victoria signo
- Extemplo refugam devicit femina ligno;”
which I would read:—
- . . . “Hunc Jael, Christi victoriæ signo,
- Extemplo,” etc.
For “hic” I would incline to read “huic.”
i.e., instead of.
i.e., to his unshorn Nazarite locks.
Viros ostendere Christos.
See 1 Sam. xxviii. (in LXX. 1 Kings) 11-19.
i.e., to whom, to David.
“Ex utero:” a curious expression for a man; but so it is.
i.e., emulous of David’s virtues.
Comp. especially 2 Chron. xxix. xxx. xxxi.
Our author is quite correct in his order. A comparison of dates as given in the Scripture history shows us that his reforms preceded his war with Sennacherib.
The “tactus” of the Latin is without sense, unless indeed it refer to his being twice “touched” by an angel. See 1 Kings (in LXX. 3 Kings) xix. 1-8. I have therefore substituted “raptus,” there being no mention of the angel in the Latin.
“Aras” should probably be “aram.”
See 2 Kings (in LXX. 4 Kings) i. 9-12.
For “transgressas et avia fecit,” I read “transgressus avia fecit,” taking “transgressus” as a subst.
Our author has somewhat mistaken Elisha’s mission apparently; for as there is a significant difference in the meaning of their respective names, so there is in their works: Elijah’s miracles being rather miracles of judgment, it has been remarked, Elisha’s, of mercy.
The reference is to a famine in Elisha’s days, which—2 Kings (in LXX. 4 Kings) viii. i.—was to last seven years; whereas that for which Elijah prayed, as we learn in Jas. v. 17, lasted three and six months. But it is not said that Elisha prayed for that famine.
We only read of one leprosy which Elisha cleansed—Naaman’s. He inflicted leprosy on Gehazi, which was “to cleave to him and to his seed for ever.”
Prætestata viam vitæ atque probata per ipsam est. I suspect we should read “via,” quantity being of no importance with our author, and take “prætestata” as passive: “The way of life was testified before, and proved, through him.”
This seems to be the meaning, and the reference will then be to Jer. xxxiv. 8-22 (in LXX. xli 8-22); but the punctuation both in Oehler and Migne makes nonsense, and I have therefore altered it.
See the apocryphal “Susanna.”
For “servatisque palam cunctis in pace quievit,” which the edd give, I suggest “servatusque,” etc., and take “palam” for governing “cunctis.”
Ignibus et. multa consumpta volumina vatum. Multa must, apparently, be an error for some word signifying “mould” or the like, unless, with the disregard of construction and quantity observable in this author, it be an acc. pl. to agree with volumina, so that we must take “omnia multa volumina” together, which would alter the whole construction of the context.
Salutem = Christum. So Simeon, “Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation,” where the Greek word should be noted and compared with its usage in the LXX., especially in the Psalms. See Luke ii. 30.
Comp. 1 John i. 1, 2.
See 2 Cor. xii. 1 sqq.
The common reading is, “Atque suæ famulæ portavit spreta dolorem,” for which Oehler reads “portarit;” but I incline rather to suggest that “portavit” be retained, but that the “atque” be changed into “aeque,” thus: “Aeque suæ famulæ portavitspreta dolorem;” i.e., Since, like Sarah, the once barren Christian church-mother hath had children, equally, like Sarah, hath she had to bear scorn and spleen at her handmaid’s—the Jewish church-mother’s—hands.
“Immanes,” if it be the true reading.
This is the way Oehler’s punctuation reads. Migne’s reads as follows:—
- . . . “Of whom the first
- Whom mightiest Rome bade take his place and sit
- Upon the chair where Peter’s self had sat,” etc.
“Is apostolicis bene notus.” This may mean, (a) as in our text; (b) by his apostolically-minded writings—writings like an apostle’s; or (c) by the apostolic writings, i.e., by the mention made of him, supposing him to be the same, in Phil. iv. 3.
An allusion to the well-known Pastor or Shepherd of Herinas.
Our author makes the name Anicĕtus. Rig. (as quoted by Oehler) observes that a comparison of the list of bishops of Rome here given with that given by Tertullian in de Præscr., c. xxxii., seems to show that this metrical piece cannot be his.
The state of the text in some parts of this book is frightful. It has been almost hopeless to extract any sense whatever out of the Latin in many passages—indeed, the renderings are in these cases little better than guess-work—and the confusion of images, ideas, and quotations is extraordinary.
See the preceding book.
I have changed the unintelligible “daret” of the edd. into “docet.” The reference seems to be to Matt. xxiii. 8; Jas. iii. 1; 1 Pet. v. 2, 3.
Molem belli deducere terræ.
Æmulamenta. Migne seems to think the word refers to Marcion’s “Antitheses.”
i.e., apparently Marcion’s.
See the opening of the preceding book.
“Conditus,” i.e., probably (in violation of quantity) the past part. of “condio”=flavoured, seasoned.
I have altered the punctuation here.
These lines are capable, according to their punctuation, of various renderings, which for brevity’s sake I must be content to omit.
i.e., the People of Israel. See the de Idol., p. 148, c. v. note 1.
See Deut. vi. 3, 4, quoted in Mark xii. 29, 30.
This savours of the Nicene Creed.
Migne’s pointing is followed, in preference to Oehler’s.
“Unum kunc esse Patrem;” i.e., “that this One (God) is the Father.” But I rather incline to read, “unumque esse;” or we may render, “This One is the Sire.”
See 1 Cor. viii. 5, 6 (but notice the prepositions in the Greek, our author is not accurate in rendering them); Eph. iv. 4, 5, 6.
Ad quem se curvare genu plane omne fatetur. The reference is to Phil. ii. 10, but our author is careless in using the present tense, “se curvare.”
The reference is to Eph. iii. 14, 15; but here again our author seems in error, as he refers the words to Christ, whereas the meaning of the apostle appears clearly to refer them to the Father.
Legitimos. See book iv. 91.
See Gal. iii. 20. But here, again, “Galatas” seems rather like an error; for in speaking to the Corinthians St. Paul uses an expression more like our author’s: see 2 Cor. xi. 2. The Latin, too, is faulty: “Talem se Paulus zelum se scripsit habere,” where, perhaps, for the first “se” we should read “sic.”
Comp. Ex. xx. 5; Deut. v. 9.
See Isa. i. 10-15, Jer. vi. 20.
Causa etenim fidei rationis imagine major.
Comp. 1 Cor. xiii. 12; Heb. x. 1.
Moses. See Heb. ix. 19-22, and the references there.
Comp. Heb. ix. 13.
Alluding probably to our Lord’s bearing of the cross-beam of His cross—the beam being the “yokes,” and the upright stem of the cross the “plough-beam”—on His shoulders.—See John xix. 17.
Templum. Comp. John ii. 19-22; Col. ii. 9.
Libro. The reference is to the preceding lines, especially 89, and Heb. ix. 19, αὐτο το βιβλιον. The use of “libro” is curious, as it seems to be used partly as if it would be equivalent to pro libro, “in the place of a book,” partly in a more truly datival sense, “to serve the purposes of a book;” and our “for” is capable of the two senses.
For this comparison of “speaking” to “sprinkling,” comp. Deut. xxxii. 2, “My doctrine shall drop as the rain; my speech shall distil as the dew,” etc.; Job xxix. 22, “My speech dropped upon them,” with Eph. v. 26, and with our Lord’s significant action (recorded in the passage here alluded to, John xx. 22) of “breathing on” (ἐνεϕύσησεν) His disciples. Comp., too, for the “witnesses” and “words of presage,” Luke xxiv. 48, 49: Acts i. 6-8.
i.e., the chief of the Levites, the high priest.
Comp. Heb. xiii. 12, 13; John xix. 19, 20.
Comp. the preceding book, 355.
The passage which follows is almost unintelligible. The sense which I have offered in my text is so offered with great diffidence, as I am far from certain of having hit the meaning; indeed, the state of the text is such, that any meaning must be a matter of some uncertainty.
i.e., perhaps the Jewish and Christian peoples. Comp. adv. Jud., c. 1.
i.e., “barren” of faith and good works. The “goats” being but “kids” (see Lev. xvi. 8), would, of course, be barren. “Exiled” seems to mean “excommunicated.” But the comparison of the sacrificed goat to a penitent, and of the scapegoat to an impenitent, excommunicate, is extravagant. Yet I see no other sense.
See Matt. xxv. 31-33.
i.e., Lazarus was not allowed to help him. In that sense he may be said to have been “cast away;” but it is Abraham, not Lazarus, who pronounces his doom. See Luke xvi. 19-31.
i.e., in that the blood of the one was brought within the veil; the other was not.
The meaning seems to be, that the ark, when it had to be removed from place to place, had (as we learn from Num. iv. 5) to be covered with “the second veil” (as it is called in Heb. ix. 3), which was “of blue,” etc. But that this veil was made “of lambs’ skins” does not appear; on the contrary, it was made of “linen.” The outer veil, indeed (not the outmost, which was of “badgers’ skins,” according to the Eng. ver.; but of “υακίνθινα δερματα”—of what material is not said—according to the LXX.), was made “of rams’ skins;” but then they were “dyed red” (ηρυθροδανωμενα, LXX.), not “blue.” So there is some confusion in our author.
The ark was overlaid with gold without as well as within. (See Ex. xxv. 10, 11, xxxvii. 1, 2; and this is referred to in Heb. ix. 3, 4—κιβωτὸν . . . περικεκαλυμμενην πάντοθεν χρυσιῳ—where our Eng. ver. rendering is defective, and in the context as well.) This, however, may be said to be implied in the following words: “and all between,” i.e., between the layers above and beneath, “of wood.”
Migne supposes some error in these words. Certainly the sense is dark enough; but see lower down.
It yielded “almonds,” according to the Eng. ver. (Num. xvii. 8). But see the LXX.
Sagmina. But the word is a very strange one to use indeed. See the Latin Lexicons, s.v.
It might be questionable whether “jussa” refers to “cherubim” or to “sagmina.”
i.e., twice three + the central one = 7.
Our author persists in calling the tabernacle temple.
i.e., the Law’s.
“Tegebat,” i.e., with the “fiery-cloudy pillar,” unless it be an error for “regebat,” which still might apply to the pillar.
“Operæ,” i.e., sacrifices. The Latin is a hopeless jumble of words without grammatical sequence, and any rendering is mere guess-work.
Heb. ix. 7.
i.e., of animals which, as irrational, were “without the Law.”
Rev. vi. 9, 10.
i.e., beneath the altar. See the 11th verse ib.
Or possibly, “deeper than the glooms:” “altior a tenebris.”
See 141, 142, above.
Cælataque sancta. We might conjecture “celataque sancta,” = “and the sanctuaries formerly hidden.”
This sense appears intelligible, as the writer’s aim seems to be to distinguish between the “actual” commands of God, i.e., the spiritual, essential ones, which the spiritual people “follow,” and which “bind”—not the ceremonial observance of a “shadow of the future blessings” (see Heb. x. 1), but “real persons,” i.e., living souls. But, as Migne has said, the passage is probably faulty and mutilated.
Comp. Heb. vii. 19, x. 1, ix. 11, 12.
“Lignum:” here probably = “the flesh,” which He took from Mary; the “rod” (according to our author) which Isaiah had foretold.
Aërial, i.e., as he said above, “dyed with heaven’s hue.”
“Ligno,” i.e., “the cross,” represented by the “wood” of which the tabernacle’s boards, on which the coverings were stretched (but comp. 147-8, above), were made.
As the flame of the lamps appeared to grow out of and be fused with the “golden semblance” or “form” of the lampstand or candlestick.
Of which the olive—of which the pure oil for the lamps was to be made: Ex. xxvii. 20; Lev. xxiv. 2—is a type. “Peace” is granted to “the flesh” through Christ’s work and death in flesh.
In ligno. The passage is again in an almost desperate state.
Isa. xi. 1, 2.
Matt. v. 23, 24.
See Rev. viii. 3, 4.
Here ensues a confused medley of all the cherubic figures of Moses, Ezekiel, and St. John.
i.e., by the four evangelists.
The cherubim, (or “seraphim” rather,) of Isa. vi. have each six wings. Ezekiel mentions four cherubim, or “living creatures.” St. John likewise mentions four “living creatures.” Our author, combining the passages, and thrusting them into the subject of the Mosaic cherubim, multiplies the six (wings) by the four (cherubs), and so attains his end—the desired number “twenty-four”—to represent the books of the Old Testament, which (by combining certain books) may be reckoned to be twenty-four in number.
There is again some great confusion in the text. The elders could not “stand enthroned:” nor do they stand “over,” but “around” God’s throne, so that the “insuper solio” could not apply to that.
Or, “records:” “monumenta,” i.e., the written word, according to the canon.
I make no apology for the ruggedness of the versification and the obscurity of the sense in this book, further than to say that the state of the Latin text is such as to render it almost impossible to find any sense at all in many places, while the grammar and metre are not reducible to any known laws. It is about the hardest and most uninteresting book of the five.
Or, “consecrated by seers and patriarchs.”
i.e., all the number of Thy disciples.
Tempora lustri, i.e., apparently the times during which these “elders” (i.e., the bishops, of whom a list is given at the end of book iii.) held office. “Lustrum” is used of other periods than it strictly implies, and this seems to give some sense to this difficult passage.
Ancipiti quamquam cum crimine. The last word seems almost = “discrimine,” just as our author uses “cerno” = “discerno.”
Cf. John i. 11, and see the Greek.
Whether this be the sense I know not. The passage is a mass of confusion.
i.e., according to Marcion’s view.
i.e, as spirits, like himself.
See book ii. 3.
i.e., apparently on the day of Christ’s resurrection.
Replesset, i.e., replevisset. If this be the right reading, the meaning would seem to be, “would have taken away all further desire for” them, as satiety or repletion takes away all appetite for food. One is almost inclined to hazard the suggestion “represset,” i.e., repressisset, “he would have repressed,” but that such a contraction would be irregular. Yet, with an author who takes such liberties as the present one, perhaps that might not be a decisive objection.
“Junctus,” for the edd.’s “junctis,” which, if retained, will mean “in the case of beings still joined with (or to) blood.”
“Docetur,” for the edd.’s “docentur.” The sense seems to be, if there be any, exceedingly obscure; but for the idea of a half-salvation—the salvation of the “inner man” without the outer—being no salvation at all, and unworthy of “the Good Shepherd” and His work, we may compare the very difficult passage in the de Pudic., c. xiii. ad fin.
This sense, which I deduce from a transposition of one line and the supplying of the words “he did exhort,” which are not expressed, but seem necessary, in the original, agrees well with 1 Cor. vii., which is plainly the passage referred to.
“Causa,” or perhaps “means.” It is, of course, the French “chose.”
i.e., you and your like, through whom sin, and in consequence death, is disseminated.
Here, again, for the sake of the sense, I have transposed a line.
i.e., “the other,” the “inner man,” or spirit.
i.e., through flesh.
i.e., in His own person.
I hope I have succeeded in giving some intelligible sense; but the passage as it stands in the Latin is nearly hopeless.
I read “legem” for “leges.”
I read “valle” for “calle.”
i.e., “the gifts of baptism.”
This seems to give sense to a very obscure passage, in which I have been guided more by Migne’s pointing than by Oehler’s.
I read here “quid” for “quod.”
i.e., to make men live by recognising that. Comp. the Psalmist’s prayer. “Give me understanding and I shall live” (Ps. cxix. 144; in LXX., Ps. cxviii. 144).
The “furentes” of Pam. and Rig. is preferred to Oehler’s “ferentes.”
“Complexis,” lit. “embracing.”
i.e., both Jews and Gentile heretics, the “senseless frantic men” just referred to probably: or possibly the “ambo” may mean “both sects,” viz., the Marcionites and Manichees, against whom the writer whom Oehler supposes to be the probable author of these “Five Books,” Victorinus, a rhetorician of Marseilles, directed his efforts. But it may again be the acc. neut. pl., and mean “let them”—i.e., the “senseless frantic men”—“learn to believe as to both facts,” i.e., the incarnation and the resurrection, (see vers. 179, 180,) “the testimony at least of human reason.”
I would suggest here, for
- “ . . . quia summa voluntas
- In cujus manu regnantis cor legibus esset,”
something like this,
- “ . . . quia summa voluntas,
- In cujus manu regnantis cor regis, egisset,”
which would only add one more to our author’s false quantities. “Regum egisset” would avoid even that, while it would give some sense. Comp. Prov. xxi. 1.
Maria cum conjuge feta. What follows seems to decide the meaning of “feta,” as a child could hardly be included in a census before birth.
Again I have had to attempt to amend the text of the Latin in order to extract any sense, and am far from sure that I have extracted the right one.
“Fatentur,” unless our author use it passively = “are confessed.”
“Possunt,” i.e., probably “have the hardihood.”
Because Christ plainly, as they understood Him, “made Himself the Son of God;” and hence, if they confessed that He had said the truth, and yet that they hanged Him on a tree, they would be pronouncing their own condemnation.
“Vinctam” for “victam” I read here.
i.e., you and the Jews. See above on 185.
Quod qui præsumpsit mergentes spargitis ambo. What the meaning is I know not, unless it be this: if any one hints to you that you are in an error which is sinking you into perdition, you both join in trying to sink him (if “mergentes” be active, or “while you are sinking,” if neuter), and in sprinkling him with your doctrine (or besprinkling him with abuse).
“Dum carnis membra requirit,” i.e., seeking to regain for God all the limbs of the flesh as His instruments. Comp. Rom. vi. 13, 19.
“Scriblita,” a curious word.
Fel miscetur aceto. The reading may have arisen—and it is not confined to our author—from confounding ὄξος with οἰ̑νος. Comp. Matt. xxvii. 33 with Mark xv. 23.
This is an error, if the “coat” be meant.
Perhaps for “in illa” we should read “in illam”—“on it,” for “in it.”
For “ante diem quam cum pateretur” I have read “qua tum.”
Or, “is being poured”—“funditur.”
I read with Migne, “Patris sub imagine virtus,” in preference to the conjecture which Oehler follows, “Christi sub imagine virtus.” The reference seems clearly to be to Heb. i. 3.
Ævo. Perhaps here = “eternity.”
i.e., “The All-Holder.”
Cf. Jacob’s words in Gen. xxxii. 30; Manoah’s in Judg. xiii. 22, etc.
For “dimisit in umbris” I read here “demisit in imbris.” If we retain the former reading, it will then mean, “dispersed during the shades of night,” during which it was that the manna seems always to have fallen.
“Sitientis” in Oehler must be a misprint for “sitientes.”
There ought to be a “se” in the Latin if this be the meaning.
For “Mundator carnis seræ” = “the Cleanser of late flesh” (which would seem, if it mean anything, to mean that the flesh had to wait long for its cleansing), I have read “carnis nostræ.”
I have followed the disjointed style of the Latin as closely as I could here.
Here we seem to see the idea of the “limbus patrum.”
“Subiens” = “going beneath,” i.e., apparently coming beneath the walls of heaven.
i.e., a figure of the future harvest.
I have hazarded the conjecture “minutus” here for the edd’s “munitus.” It add’s one more, it is true, to our author’s false quantities, but that is a minor difficulty, while it improves (to my mind) the sense vastly.
See p. 156, supra.
See De Præscrip., cap. xxxii. vol. iii. p. 258.
Cap. v. vol. iii. p. 525.
Christ in the Holy Sacrament, § xi. 6.
De Anima, cap. xvii.
Vol. i. p. 304.
Chap. xxi. verse 25.