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Chapter XI.

But even this rational light itself ought not to be worshipped by him who beholds and understands the true light, by sharing in which these also are enlightened; nor by him who beholds God, the Father of the true light,—of whom it has been said, “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”41104110    Cf. 1 John i. 5.  Those, indeed, who worship sun, moon, and stars because their light is visible and celestial, would not bow down to a spark of fire or a lamp upon earth, because they see the incomparable superiority of those objects which are deemed worthy of homage to the light of sparks and lamps.  So those who understand that God is light, and who have apprehended that the Son of God is “the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” and who comprehend also how He says, “I am the light of the world,” would not rationally offer worship to that which is, as it were, a spark in sun, moon, and stars, in comparison with God, who is light of the true light.  Nor is it with a view to depreciate these great works of God’s creative power, or to call them, after the fashion of Anaxagoras, “fiery masses,”41114111    μύδρον διάπυρον. that we thus speak of sun, and moon, and stars; but because we perceive the inexpressible superiority of the 548divinity of God, and that of His only-begotten Son, which surpasses all other things.  And being persuaded that the sun himself, and moon, and stars pray to the Supreme God through His only-begotten Son, we judge it improper to pray to those beings who themselves offer up prayers (to God), seeing even they themselves would prefer that we should send up our requests to the God to whom they pray, rather than send them downwards to themselves, or apportion our power of prayer41124112    τὴν εὐκτικὴν δύναμιν. between God and them.41134113    [See note in Migne’s edition of Origen’s Works, vol. i. p. 1195; also note supra, p. 262.  S.]  And here I may employ this illustration, as bearing upon this point:  Our Lord and Saviour, hearing Himself on one occasion addressed as “Good Master,”41144114    Cf. Matt. xix. 17; cf. Mark x. 18. referring him who used it to His own Father, said, “Why callest thou Me good?  There is none good but one, that is, God the Father.”41154115    Ibid.  And since it was in accordance with sound reason that this should be said by the Son of His Father’s love, as being the image of the goodness of God, why should not the sun say with greater reason to those that bow down to him, Why do you worship me? “for thou wilt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve;”41164116    Cf. Deut. vi. 13. for it is He whom I and all who are with me serve and worship.  And although one may not be so exalted (as the sun), nevertheless let such an one pray to the Word of God (who is able to heal him), and still more to His Father, who also to the righteous of former times “sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”41174117    Cf. Ps. cvii. 20.


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