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8. But when the living Father perceived that the soul was in tribulation in the body, being full of mercy and compassion, He sent His own beloved Son for the salvation of the soul. For this, together with the matter of Omophorus, was the reason of His sending Him. And the Son came and transformed Himself into the likeness of man, and manifested14941494    But certain codices read et parebat, “and was obedient,” in stead of apparebat. Himself to men as a man, while yet He was not a man, and men supposed that He was begotten. Thus He came and prepared the work which was to effect the salvation of the souls, and with that object constructed an instrument with twelve urns,14951495    κάδους. which is made to revolve by the sphere, and draws up with it the souls of the dying. And the greater luminary receives these souls, and purifies them with its rays, and then passes them over to the moon; and in this manner the moon’s disc, as it is designated by us, is filled up. For he says that these two luminaries are ships or passage-boats.14961496    πορθμεῖν. Then, if the moon becomes full, it ferries its passengers across toward the east wind, and thereby effects its own waning14971497    ἀπόκρουσιν. The Codex Casinensis has apocrisin; but the Codex Bobiensis gives apocrusin. in getting itself delivered of its freight. And in this manner it goes on making the pas184sage across, and again discharging its freight of souls drawn up by the urns, until it saves its own proper portion of the souls.14981498    The text gives τῆς ψυχῆς. But from the old Latin version, which has animarum, we may conjecture that τῶν ψυχῶν was read. Moreover, he maintains that every soul, yea, every living creature that moves, partakes of the substance of the good Father. And accordingly, when the moon delivers over its freight of souls to the æons of the Father, they abide there in that pillar of glory, which is called the perfect air.14991499    The Latin version has “vir perfectus,”—a reading which is due apparently to the fact that the author had mistaken the ἀήρ of the Greek for ἀνήρ. [See note 2, p. 176, supra.] And this air is a pillar of light, for it is filled with the souls that are being purified. Such, moreover, is the agency by which the souls are saved. But the following, again, is the cause of men’s dying: A certain virgin, fair in person, and beautiful in attire, and of most persuasive address, aims at making spoil of the princes that have been borne up and crucified on the firmament by the living Spirit; and she appears as a comely female to the princes, but as a handsome and attractive young man to the princesses. And the princes, when they look on her in her splendid figure, are smitten with love’s sting; and as they are unable to get possession of her, they burn fiercely with the flame of amorous desire, and lose all power of reason. While they thus pursue the virgin, she disappears from view. Then the great prince sends forth from himself the clouds, with the purpose of bringing darkness on the whole world, in his anger. And then, if he feels grievously oppressed, his exhaustion expresses itself in perspiration, just as a man sweats under toil; and this sweat of his forms the rain. At the same time also the harvest-prince,15001500    ὁ θερισμὸς ἀρχων. The version of Petavius has, “Sic et princeps alter, messor appellatus.” Perhaps the reading should be ὁ θερισμοῦ ἄρχων. if he too chances to be captivated by the virgin, scatters pestilence15011501    λοιμόν. Other codices give famem, as reading λιμόν, famine. on the whole earth, with the view of putting men to death. Now this body (of man) is also called a cosmos, i.e., a microcosm, in relation to the great cosmos, i.e., the macrocosm of the universe; and all men have roots which are linked beneath with those above. Accordingly, when this prince is captivated by the virgin’s charms, he then begins to cut the roots of men; and when their roots are cut, then pestilence commences to break forth, and in that manner they die. And if he shakes the upper parts of the root mightily,15021502    ἐὰν δὲ τὰ ἄνω τῆς ῥίζης πόνῳ σαλύσῃ. It may be also = And if the upper parts of the root shake under the exertion. an earthquake bursts, and follows as the consequence of the commotion to which the Omophorus is subjected. This is the explanation of (the phenomenon of) death.


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