38. And mark that even when He who is Himself the Truth and the Word, by whom
all things were made, had been made flesh that He might dwell among us, the
apostle yet says: "Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now
henceforth know we Him no more." For Christ, desiring not only to give the
possession to those who had completed the journey, but also to be Himself the
way to those who were just setting out, determined to take a fleshly body.
Whence also that expression, "The Lord created me in the beginning of His
way," that is, that those who wished to come might begin their journey in Him.
The apostle, therefore, although still on the way, and following after God who
called him to the reward of His heavenly calling, yet forgetting those things
which were behind, and pressing on towards those things which were before, had
already passed over the beginning of the way, and had now no further need of
it; yet by this way all must commence their journey who desire to attain to
the truth, and to rest in eternal life. For He says: "I am the way, and the
truth, and the life;" that is, by me men come, to me they come, in me they
rest. For when we come to Him, we come to the Father also, because through an
equal an equal is known; and the Holy Spirit binds, and as it were seals us,
so that we are able to rest permanently in the supreme and unchangeable God.
And hence we may learn how essential it is that nothing should detain us on
the way, when not even our Lord Himself, so far as He has condescended to be
our way, is willing to detain us, but wishes us rather to press on; and,
instead of weakly clinging to temporal things, even though these have been put
on and worn by Him for our salvation, to pass over them quickly, and to
struggle to attain unto Himself, who has freed our nature from the bondage of
temporal things, and has set it down at the right hand of His Father.