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Chapter XXVI.—Valentinus’ Explanation of the Existence of Christ and the Spirit.

Ignorance, therefore, having arisen within the Pleroma in consequence of Sophia, and shapelessness in consequence of the offspring of Sophia, confusion arose in the Pleroma. (For all) the Æons that were begotten (became overwhelmed with apprehension, imagining) that in like manner formless and incomplete progenies of the Æons should be generated; and that some destruction, at no distant period, should at length seize upon the Æons. All the Æons, then, betook themselves to supplication of the Father, that he would tranquillize the sorrowing Sophia; for she continued weeping and bewailing on account of the abortion produced by her,—for so they term it. The Father, then, compassionating the tears of Sophia, and accepting the supplication of the Æons, orders a further projection. For he did not, (Valentinus) says, himself project, but Nous and Aletheia (projected) Christ and the Holy Spirit for the restoration of Form, and the destruction of the abortion, and (for) the consolation and cessation of the groans of Sophia. And thirty Æons came into existence along with Christ and the Holy Spirit. Some of these (Valentinians) wish that this should be a triacontad of Æons, whereas others desire that Sige should exist along with the Father, and that the Æons should be reckoned along with them.

87Christ, therefore, being additionally projected, and the Holy Spirit, by Nous and Aletheia, immediately this abortion of Sophia, (which was) shapeless, (and) born of herself only, and generated without conjugal intercourse, separates from the entire of the Æons, lest the perfect Æons, beholding this (abortion), should be disturbed by reason of its shapelessness. In order, then, that the shapelessness of the abortion might not at all manifest itself to the perfect Æons, the Father also again projects additionally one Æon, viz., Staurus. And he being begotten great, as from a mighty and perfect father, and being projected for the guardianship and defence of the Æons, becomes a limit of the Pleroma, having within itself all the thirty Æons together, for these are they that had been projected. Now this (Æon) is styled Horos, because he separates from the Pleroma the Hysterema that is outside. And (he is called) Metocheus, because he shares also in the Hysterema.  And (he is denominated) Staurus, because he is fixed inflexibly and inexorably, so that nothing of the Hysterema can come near the Æons who are within the Pleroma. Outside, then, Horos, (or) Metocheus,684684    Or, “Metagogeus”(see Irenæus, i. 1, 2, iii. 1). (or) Staurus, is the Ogdoad, as it is called, according to them, and is that Sophia which is outside the Pleroma, which (Sophia) Christ, who was additionally projected by Nous and Aletheia, formed and made a perfect Æon so that in no respect she should be inferior in power to any of the Æons within the Pleroma.685685    Bunsen corrects the passage, “So that she should not be inferior to any of the Æons, or unequal (in power) to any (of them).” Since, however, Sophia was formed outside, and it was not possible and equitable that Christ and the Holy Spirit, who were projected from Nous and Aletheia, should remain outside the Pleroma, Christ hurried away, and the Holy Spirit, from her who had had shape imparted to her, unto Nous and Aletheia within the Limit, in order that with the rest of the Æons they might glorify the Father.

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