« Prev Chapter XXXII. Next »

32. Moreover, as to this word which is written in the Gospel, “Ye are of your father the devil,”17401740    John viii. 44. and so forth, we say in brief that there is a devil working in us, whose aim it has been, in the strength of his own will, to make us like himself. For all the creatures that God made, He made very good; and He gave to every individual the sense of free-will, in accordance with which standard He also instituted the law of judgment. To sin is ours, and that we sin not is God’s gift, as our will is constituted to choose either to sin or not to sin. And this you doubtless understand well enough yourself, Manes; for you know that, although you were to bring together all your disciples and admonish17411741    Reading commonens for communis ne. Communiens is also suggested. them not to commit any transgression or do any unrighteousness, every one of them might still pass by the law of judgment. And certainly whosoever will, may keep the commandments; and whosoever shall despise them, and turn aside to what is contrary to them, shall yet without doubt have to face this law of judgment. Hence also certain of the angels, refusing to submit 205themselves to the commandment of God, resisted His will; and one of them indeed fell like a flash of lightning17421742    Luke x. 18. upon the earth, while others,17431743    We have another instance here of a characteristic opinion of the Jewish rabbis adopted by a Christian father. This notion as to the intercourse of the angels with the daughters of men was a current interpretation among the Jews from the times of Philo and Josephus, and was followed in whole or in part by Tertullian, Justin, Irenæus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Athenagoras, Methodius, Cyprian, Lactantius, etc. Consult the note in Migne; [also p. 131, note 2, supra]. harassed by the dragon, sought their felicity in intercourse with the daughters of men,17441744    We give the above as a possible rendering. Routh, however, understands the matter otherwise. The text is, “alii vero in felicitate hominum filiabus admisti a dracone afflicti,” etc. Routh takes the phrase in felicitate as ="adhuc in statu felici existentes:” so that the sense would be, “others, while they still abode in the blessed estate, had intercourse,” etc. [Routh, R. S., vol. v. pp. 118–122.] and thus brought on themselves the merited award of the punishment of eternal fire. And that angel who was cast down to earth, finding no further admittance into any of the regions of heaven, now flaunts about among men, deceiving them, and luring them to become transgressors like himself, and even to this day he is an adversary to the commandments of God. The example of his fall and ruin, however, will not be followed by all, inasmuch as to each is given liberty of will. For this reason also has he obtained the name of devil, because he has passed over from the heavenly places, and appeared on earth as the disparager of God’s commandment.17451745    Archelaus seems here to assign a twofold etymology for the name devil, deriving the Greek διάβολος, accuser, from διαβάλλω, in its two senses of trajicere and traducere, to cross over and to slander. But because it was God who first gave the commandment, the Lord Jesus Himself said to the devil, “Get thee behind me, Satan;”17461746    Matt. iv. 10. and, without doubt, to go behind God is the sign of being His servant. And again He says, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”17471747    Matt. iv. 10. Wherefore, as certain men were inclined to yield obedience to his wishes, they were addressed in these terms by the Saviour: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.”17481748    John viii. 44. And, in fine, when they are found to be actually doing his will, they are thus addressed: “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.”17491749    Matt iii. 7, 8. From all this, then, you ought to see how weighty a matter it is for man to have freedom of will. However, let my antagonist here say whether there is a judgment for the godly and the ungodly, or not. Manes said: There is a judgment. Archelaus said: I think that what we17501750    Reading a nobis for the a vobis of the codex. have said concerning the devil contains no small measure of reason as well as of piety. For every creature, moreover, has its own order; and there is one order for the human race, and another for animals, and another for angels. Furthermore, there is but one only inconvertible substance, the divine substance, eternal and invisible, as is known to all, and as is also borne out by this scripture: “No man hath seen God at any time, save the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father.”17511751    John i. 18. All the other creatures, consequently, are of necessity visible,—such as heaven, earth, sea, men, angels, archangels. But if God has not been seen by any man at any time, what consubstantiality can there be between Him and those creatures? Hence we hold that all things whatsoever have, in their several positions, their own proper substances, according to their proper order. You, on the other hand, allege that every living thing which moves is made of one,17521752    Ex uno. and you say that every object has received like substance from God, and that this substance is capable of sinning and of being brought under the judgment; and you are unwilling to accept the word which declares that the devil was an angel, and that he fell in transgression, and that he is not of the same substance with God. Logically, you ought to do away with any allowance of the doctrine of a judgment, and that would make it clear which of us is in error.17531753    The sense is obscure here. The text runs, “Interimere debes judicii ratione ut quis nostrum fallat appareat.” Migne proposes to read rationem, as if the idea intended was this: That, consistently with his reasonings, Manes ought not to admit the fact of a judgment, because the notions he has propounded on the subject of men and angels are not reconcilable with such a belief.—If this can be accepted as the probable meaning, then it would seem that the use of the verb interimere may be due to the fact that the Greek text gave ἀνᾶιρεῖν, between the two senses of which—viz. to kill and to remove—the translator did not correctly distinguish. Routh, however, proposes to read interimi, taking it as equivalent to condemnari, so that the idea might be = on all principles of sound judgment you ought to be condemned, etc. If, indeed, the angel that has been created by God is incapable of falling in transgression, how can the soul, as a part of God, be capable of sinning? But, again, if you say that there is a judgment for sinning souls, and if you hold also that these are of one substance with God; and if still, even although you maintain that they are of the divine nature, you affirm that, notwithstanding that fact, they do not keep17541754    The codex reads simply, Dei servare mandata. We may adopt either Dei non servare mandata, as above, or, Dei servare vel non servare mandata, in reference to the freedom of will, and so = they may or may not keep the commandments. the commandments of God, then, even on such grounds, my argument will pass very well,17551755    The codex has præcedit, for which procedit is proposed. which avers that the devil fell first, on account of his failure to keep the commandments of God. He was not indeed of the substance of God. And he fell, not so much to do hurt to the race of man, as rather to be set at nought17561756    Reading “læderet—illuderetur.” But might it not rather be “læderet—illidertur,” not to bruise, but rather to be bruised, etc.? by the same. For He “gave unto us power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the strength of the enemy.”17571757    Luke x. 19.


« Prev Chapter XXXII. 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 |