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XXXV.—Of the Tree of Life and Death.

Adam was the first who fell, and that he might shun the precepts of God, Belial was his tempter by the lust of the palm tree.  And he conferred on us also what he did, whether of good or of evil, as being the chief of all that was born from him; and thence we die by his means, as he himself, receding from the divine, became an outcast from the Word.  We shall be immortal when six thousand years are accomplished.  The tree of the apple being tasted, death has entered into the world.  By this tree of death we are born to the life to come.  On the tree depends the life that bears fruits—precepts.  Now, therefore, pluck18481848    Scil. “capite,” conjectural for “cavete.” believingly the fruits of life.  A law was given from the tree to be feared by the primitive man, whence comes death by the neglect of the law of the beginning.  Now stretch forth your hand, and take of the tree of life.  210The excellent law of the Lord which follows has issued from the tree.  The first law is lost; man eats whence he can, who adores the forbidden gods, the evil joys of life.  Reject this partaking; it will suffice you to know what it should be.  If you wish to live, surrender yourselves to the second law.  Avoid the worship of temples, the oracles of demons; turn yourselves to Christ, and ye shall be associates with God.  Holy is God’s law, which teaches the dead to live.  God alone has commanded us to offer to Him the hymn of praise.  All of you shun absolutely the law of the devil.

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