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25. Manes said: Not all receive the word of God, but only those to whom it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.16551655 Matt. xix. 11. And even now16561656 The text gives et jam quidem for the etiam quidem of the Cod. Casin. I know who are ours; for “my sheep,” He says, “hear my voice.”16571657 John x. 27. For the sake of those who belong to us, and to whom is given the understanding of the truth, I shall speak in similitudes. The wicked one is like a lion that sought to steal upon the flock of the good shepherd; and when the shepherd saw this, he dug a huge pit, and took one kid out of the flock and cast it into the pit. Then the lion, hungering to get at it, and bursting with passion to devour it, ran up to the pit and fell in, and discovered no strength sufficient to bring him out again. And thereupon the shepherd seized him and shut him up carefully in a den, and at the same time secured the safety of the kid which had been with him in the pit. And it is in this way that the wicked one has been enfeebled,—the lion, so to speak, possessing no more capacity for doing aught injurious; and so all 198the race of souls will be saved, and what once perished will yet be restored to its proper flock. Archelaus said: If you compare the wicked one to the lion, and God to the true shepherd, tell us, whereunto shall we liken the sheep and the kid? Manes said: The sheep and the kid seem to me to be of one nature: and they are taken as figures of souls. Archelaus said: Well, then, God gave a soul over to perdition when He set it before the lion in the pit. Manes said: By no means; far from it. But He was moved by a particular disposition,16581658 Apprehensus est hoc ingenio. For hoc here, Routh suggests hic in reference to the leo so that the sense might be = But by this plan the lion was caught, and hereafter He will save the soul. and in the future He will save that other, the soul. Archelaus said: Now, surely it would be an absurd procedure, my hearers, if a shepherd who dreaded the inroad of a lion were to expose to the beast’s devouring fury a lamb that he was wont to carry in his bosom, and if it were then to be said that he meant to save the creature hereafter. Is not this something supremely ridiculous? Yea, there is no kind of sense in this. For on the supposition implied in your similitude God thus handed over to Satan a soul that he might seize and ruin. But when did the shepherd ever do anything like that?16591659 The text is, “Quando enim pastor, nonne David de ore leonis,” etc. We adopt the amended reading, “Quando enim pastor hoc fecit? Nonne David,” etc. Did not David deliver a sheep out of the mouth of a lion or of a bear? And we mention this on account of the expression, out of the mouth of the lion; for, on your theory, this would imply that the shepherd can bring forth out of the mouth of the lion, or out of the belly of the same, the very object which it has devoured.16601660 Routh would put this interrogatively = Can he bring out of the mouth or the belly of the lion what it has once devoured? But you will perhaps make this answer, that it is of God we speak, and that He is able to do all things. Hear, however, what I have to say to that: Why then do you not rather assert His real capacity, and affirm simply His ability to overcome the lion in His own might, or with the pure power of God, and without the help of any sort of cunning devices, or by consigning a kid or a lamb to a pit?16611661 This seems to be the sense intended. The text in the Codex Casinensis runs thus: “Cur igitur quod possit non illud potius asseris quod poterit propria virtute vincere leonem, si et pura Dei potentia,” etc. For si et pura we may read sive pura, or si est pura, etc. Tell me this, too, if the lion were to be supposed to come upon the shepherd at a time when he has no sheep, what would the consequence be? For he who is here called the shepherd is supposed to be unbegotten, and he who is here the lion is also unbegotten. Wherefore, when man did not yet exist—in other words, before the shepherd had a flock—if the lion had then come upon the shepherd, what would have followed, seeing that there could have been nothing for the lion to eat before the kid was in existence? Manes said: The lion certainly had nothing to devour, but yet he exercised his wickedness on whatever he was able to light upon as he coursed over the peaks of the mountains; and if at any time food was a matter of necessity with him, he seized some of the beasts which were under his own kingdom. Archelaus said: Are these two objects, then, of one substance—the beasts which are under the kingdom of the wicked one, and the kids which are in the kingdom of the good God?16621662 Routh takes it as a direct assertion = It follows, then, that these two objects are of one substance, etc. Manes said: Far from it; not at all: they have nothing in common either between themselves or between the properties which pertain to them severally. Archelaus said: There is but one and the same use made of the food in the lion’s eating. And though he sometimes got that food from the beasts belonging to himself, and sometimes from those belonging to the good God, there is still no difference between them as far as regards the meats furnished; and from this it is apparent that those are of but one substance. On the other hand, if we say that there is a great difference between the two, we do but ascribe ignorance to the shepherd,16631663 The text runs, “sed aliud alio longe differre ignorantiam pastori ascribimus;” for which we adopt the emendation, “sed alium ab alio longe differre si dicamus, ignorantiam pastori ascribimus.” in so far as he did not present or set before the lion food adapted to his use, but rather alien meats. Or perchance again, in your desire to dissemble your real position, you will say to me that lion ate nothing. Well, supposing that to be the case, did God then in this way challenge that being to devour a soul while he knew not how to devour aught? and was the pit not the only thing which God sought to employ with the view of cheating him?—if indeed it is at all worthy of God to do that sort of thing, or to contrive deceitful schemes. And that would be to act like a king who, when war is made upon him, puts no kind of confidence in his own strength, but gets paralyzed with the fears of his own feebleness, and shuts himself up within the walls of his city, and erects around him a rampart and other fortifications, and gets them all equipped, and trusts nothing to his own hand and prowess; whereas, if he is a brave man, the king so placed will march a great distance from his own territories to meet the enemy there, and will put forth every possible exertion until he conquers and brings his adversary into his power.
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