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Chapter V.

But that a light is suddenly kindled in the soul, as by a fire leaping forth, is a fact known long ago to our Scriptures; as when the prophet said, “Light ye for yourselves the light of knowledge.”42984298    Hos. x. 12φωτίσατε ἑαυτοῖς φῶς γνώσεως (LXX.).  The Masoretic text is, תע“וְ רינִ סכֶלָ וּרינִ, where for תע“וְ (and time) the Septuagint translator apparently read תעַדַּ (knowledge), ד and ו being interchanged for their similarity.  John also, who lived after him, said, “That which was in the Logos was life, and the life was the light of men;”42994299    Cf. John i. 3, 4. which “true light lighteneth every man that cometh into the world” (i.e., the true world, which is perceived by the understanding43004300    τὸν ἀληθινὸν καὶ νοητόν.), and maketh him a light of the world:”  For this light shone in our hearts, to give the light of the glorious Gospel of God in the face of Christ Jesus.”43014301    Cf. 2 Cor. iv. 6.  And therefore that very ancient prophet, who prophesied many generations before the reign of Cyrus (for he was older than he by more than fourteen generations), expressed himself in these words:  “The Lord is my light and my salvation:  whom shall I fear?”43024302    Ps. xxvii. 1 (attributed to David). and, “Thy law is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path;”43034303    Ps. cxix. 105. and again, “The light of Thy countenance, O Lord, was manifested towards us;”43044304    Ps. iv. 6 (Heb. “Lift up upon us,” etc.) and, “In Thy light we shall see light.”43054305    Ps. xxxvi. 9.  And the Logos, exhorting us to come to this light, says, in the prophecies of Isaiah:  “Enlighten thyself, enlighten thyself, O Jerusalem; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”43064306    Cf. Isa. lx. 1.  The same prophet also, when predicting the advent of Jesus, who was to turn away men from the worship of idols, and of images, and of demons, says, “To those that sat in the land and shadow of death, upon them hath the light arisen;”43074307    Cf. Isa. ix. 2. and again, “The people that sat in darkness saw a great light.”43084308    Cf. Isa. ix. 2.  Observe now the difference between the fine phrases of Plato respecting the “chief good,” and the declarations of our prophets regarding the “light” of the blessed; and notice that the truth as it is contained in Plato concerning this subject did not at all help his readers to attain to a pure worship of God, nor even himself, who could philosophize so grandly about the “chief good,” whereas the simple language of the holy Scriptures has led to their honest readers being filled with a divine spirit;43094309    ἐνθουσιᾷν. and this light is nourished within them by the oil, which in a certain parable is said to have preserved the light of the torches of the five wise virgins.43104310    Cf. Matt. xxv. 4.


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