« Prev Chapter XIX. Next »

19. But if it seems difficult for you to understand this, and if you do not acquiesce in these statements, I may at all events try to make them good by adducing illustrations. Contemplate man as a kind of temple, according to the similitude of Scripture:16101610    1 Cor. iii. 17; 2 Cor. vi. 16. the spirit that is in man may thus be likened to the image that dwells in the temple. Well, then, a temple cannot be constituted unless first an occupant is acknowledged for the temple; and, on the other hand, an occupant cannot be settled in the temple unless the structure has been erected. Now, since these two objects, the occupant and the structure, are both consecrated together, how can any antagonism or contrariety be found between them, and how should it not rather appear that they have both been the products of subjects that are in amity and of one mind? And that you may know that this is the case, and that these subjects are truly at one both in fellowship and in lineage, He who knows and hears16111611    The reading is scit et audit. Routh somewhat needlessly suggests scite audit = he who hears intelligently. all has made this response, “Let us make man,” and so forth. For he who constructs16121612    The codex gives “hic enim qui exstruis.” It is proposed to read “sic enim qui exstruit” = For in this very way he who constructs. the temple interrogates him who fashions the image, and inquires carefully about the measurements of magnitude, and breadth, and bulk, in order that he may mark off the space for the foundations in accordance with these dimensions; and no one sets about the vain task of building a temple without first making himself acquainted with the measurement needed for the placing of the image. In like manner, therefore, the mode and the measure of the body are made the subject of inquiry, in order that the soul may be appropriately lodged in it by God, the Artificer of all things. But if any one say that he who has moulded the body is an enemy to the God who is the Creator of my soul,16131613    The text gives “quod si dicat quis inimicum esse eum qui plasmaverit corpus; Deus qui Creator,” etc. The Codex Casinensis reads Deum. We adopt the emendation Deo and the altered punctuation, thus: “quod si dicat quis inimicum esse eum qui plasmaverit corpus Deo qui creator est animæ,” etc. then how is it that, while regarding each other with a hostile eye, these two parties have not brought disrepute upon the work, by bringing it about either that he who constructs the temple should make it of such narrow dimensions as to render it incapable of accommodating what is placed within it, or that he who fashions the image should come with something so massive and ponderous, that, on its introduction into the temple, the edifice would at once collapse? If such is not the case, then, with these things, let us contemplate them in the light of what we know to be the objects and intents of antagonists. But if it is right for all to be disposed with the same measures and the same equity, and to be displayed with like glory, what doubt should we still entertain on this subject? We add, if it please you, this one illustration more. Man appears to resemble a ship which has been constructed by the builder and launched into the deep, which, however, it is impossible to navigate without the rudder, by which it can be kept under command, and turned in whatsoever direction its steersman may wish to sail. Also, that the rudder and the whole body of the ship require the same artificer, is a matter admitting no doubt; for without the rudder the whole structure of the ship, that huge body, will be an inert mass. And thus, then, we say that the soul is the rudder of the body; that both these, moreover, are ruled by that liberty of judgment and sentiment which we possess, and which corresponds to the steersman; and that when these two are made one by union,16141614    Reading “per conjunctionem” for the simple conjunctionem. and thus possess a unison of function applicable to all kinds of work, whatever may be the products of their own operation, they bear a testimony to the fact that they have both one and the same author and maker.


« Prev Chapter XIX. Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |