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Chapter XXVII.—Valentinus’ Explanation of the Existence of Jesus; Power of Jesus Over Humanity.

After, then, there ensued some one (treaty of) peace and harmony between all the Æons within the Pleroma, it appeared expedient to them not only by a conjugal union to have magnified the Son, but also that by an offering of ripe fruits they should glorify the Father. Then all the thirty Æons consented to project one Æon, joint fruit of the Pleroma, that he might be (an earnest) of their union,686686    ἐνότητος: Miller has νεότητος, i.e., youth. The former is the emendation of Bernays. and unanimity, and peace. And he alone was projected by all the Æons in honour of the Father.  This (one) is styled among them “Joint Fruit of the Pleroma.” These (matters), then, took place within the Pleroma in this way. And the “Joint Fruit of the Pleroma” was projected, (that is,) Jesus,—for this is his name,—the great High Priest. Sophia, however, who was outside the Pleroma in search of Christ, who had given her form, and of the Holy Spirit, became involved in great terror that she would perish, if he should separate from her, who had given her form and consistency. And she was seized with grief, and fell into a state of considerable perplexity, (while) reflecting who was he who had given her form, what the Holy Spirit was, whither he had departed, who it was that had hindered them from being present, who it was that had been envious of that glorious and blessed spectacle. While involved in sufferings such as these, she turns herself to prayer and supplication of him who had deserted her. During the utterance of her entreaties, Christ, who is within the Pleroma, had mercy upon (her), and all the rest of the Æons (were similarly affected); and they send forth beyond the Pleroma “the Joint Fruit of the Pleroma” as a spouse for Sophia, who was outside, and as a rectifier of those sufferings which she underwent in searching after Christ.

“The Fruit,” then, arriving outside the Pleroma, and discovering (Sophia) in the midst of those four primary passions, both fear and sorrow, and perplexity and entreaty, he rectified her affections. While, however, correcting them, he observed that it would not be proper to destroy these, inasmuch as they are (in their nature) eternal, and peculiar to Sophia; and yet that neither was it seemly that Sophia should exist in the midst of such passions, in fear and sorrow, supplication (and) perplexity. He therefore, as an Æon so great, and (as) offspring of the entire Pleroma, caused the passions to depart from her, and he made these substantially-existent essences.687687    This is Bunsen’s text, ὑποστάτους.  Duncker reads ὑποστατικὰς, hypostatic. He altered fear into animal desire,688688    Some read οὐσίαν (see Theodoret, Hær., c. vii.). and (made) grief material, and (rendered) perplexity (the passion) of demons. But conversion,689689    ἐπιστροφὴν; or it may be rendered “solicitude.” Literally, it means a turning towards, as in this instance, for the purpose of prayer (see Irenæus, i. 5). and entreaty, and supplication, he constituted as a path to repentance and power over the animal essence, which is denominated right.690690    Valentinus denominates what is psychical (natural) right, and what is material or pathematic left (see Irenæus, i. 5). The Creator691691    Cruice renders the passage thus: “which is denominated right, or Demiurge, while fear it is that accomplishes this transformation.” The Demiurge is of course called “right,” as being the power of the psychical essence (see Clemens Alexandrinus, Hypot. excerpta e Theod., c. 43). (acted) from fear; (and) that is what, he says, Scripture affirms: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”692692    Ps. cxi. 10; Prov. i. 7; ix. 10. For this is the beginning of the 88affections of Sophia, for she was seized with fear, next with grief, then with perplexity, and so she sought refuge in entreaty and supplication. And the animal essence is, he says, of a fiery nature, and is also termed by them the super-celestial Topos, and Hebdomad,693693    Schneidewin fills up the hiatus thus: “Place of Mediation.” The above translation adopts the emendation of Cruice (see Irenæus, i. 5). and “Ancient of Days.”694694    Dan. vii. 9, 13, 22. And whatever other such statements they advance respecting this (Æon), these they allege to hold good of the animalish (one), whom they assert to be creator of the world. Now he is of the appearance of fire. Moses also, he says, expresses himself thus: “The Lord thy God is a burning and consuming fire.”695695    Deut. ix. 3; Ps. l. 3; Heb. xii. 29. For he, likewise, wishes (to think) that it has been so written. There is, however, he says, a twofold power of the fire; for fire is all-consuming, (and) cannot be quenched. According, therefore, to this division, there exists, subject to death, a certain soul which is a sort of mediator, for it is a Hebdomad and Cessation.696696    Gen. ii. 2. For underneath the Ogdoad, where Sophia is, but above Matter, which is the Creator, a day has been formed,697697    See Epistle of Barnabas, chap. xv. vol. i. p. 146, and IgnatiusLetter to the Magnesians, chap. ix. p. 63, this series. and the “Joint Fruit of the Pleroma.” If the soul has been fashioned in the image of those above, that is, the Ogdoad, it became immortal and repaired to the Ogdoad, which is, he says, heavenly Jerusalem. If, however, it has been fashioned in the image of Matter, that is, the corporeal passions, the soul is of a perishable nature, and is (accordingly) destroyed.

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