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37. Archelaus said: Those sayings which are put forth by the blessed Paul were not uttered without the direction of God, and therefore it is certain that what he has declared to us is that we are to look for our Lord Jesus Christ as the perfect one, who18361836 Reading “qui solus,” for the sed, etc., of the codex. See also Luke x. 22. is the only one that knows the Father, with the sole exception of him to whom He has chosen also to reveal Him,18371837 Matt. xi. 27. as I am able to demonstrate from His own words. But let it be observed, that it is said that when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. Now this man (Manes) asserts that he is the perfect one. Let him show us, then, what he has done away with; for what is to be done away with is the ignorance which is in us. Let him therefore tell us what he has done away with, and what he has brought into the sphere of our knowledge. If he is able to do anything of this nature, let him do it now, in order that he may be believed. These very words of Paul’s, if one can but understand them in the full power of their meaning, will only secure entire credit to the statements made by me. For in that first Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul speaks in the following terms of the perfection that is to come: “Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be destroyed: for we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”18381838 1 Cor. xiii. 8–10. Observe now what virtue that which is perfect possesses in itself, and of what order that perfection is. And let this man, then, tell us what prophecy of the Jews or Hebrews he has done away with; or what tongues he has caused to cease, whether of the Greeks or of others who worship idols; or what alien dogmas he has destroyed, whether of a Valentinian, or a Marcion, or a Tatian, or a Sabellius, or any others of those who have constructed for themselves their peculiar systems of knowledge. Let him tell us which of all these he has already done away with, or when he is yet to do away with any one of them, in this character of the perfect one. Perchance he seeks some sort of truce—does he?18391839 Inducias fortassis aliquas quærit. But not thus inconsiderable, not thus obscure18401840 Reading “non plane, non tam obscure,” etc., instead of the “non plane nota,” etc., of the Codex Casinensis. and ignoble, will be the manner of the advent of Him who is the truly perfect one, that is to say, our Lord Jesus Christ. Nay, but as a king, when he draws near to his city, does first of all send on before him his life-guardsmen,18411841 “Protectores,” on which term consult Ducangius in his Glossary. his ensigns and standards and banners,18421842 Signa, dracones, labaros. his generals and chiefs and prefects, and then forthwith all objects are roused and excited in different fashions, while some become inspired with terror and others with exultation at the prospect of the king’s advent; so also my Lord Jesus Christ, who is the truly perfect one, at His coming will first send on before Him His glory, and the consecrated heralds of an unstained and untainted kingdom: and then the universal creation will be moved and perturbed, uttering prayers and supplications, until He delivers it from its bondage.18431843 Rom. viii. 21, 22. And it must needs be that the race of man shall then be in fear and in vehement agitation on account of the many offences it has committed. Then the righteous alone will rejoice, as they look for the things which have been promised them; and the subsistence of the affairs of this world will no longer be maintained, but all things shall be destroyed: and whether they be prophecies or the books of prophets, they shall fail; whether they be the tongues of the whole race, they shall cease; for men will no longer need to feel anxiety or to think solicitously about those things which are necessary for life; whether it be knowledge, by what teachers soever it be possessed, it shall also be destroyed: for none of all these things will be able to endure the advent of that mighty King. For just as a little spark, if18441844 The text gives simply, sicut enim parva. We may adopt, with Routh, “sicut enim cum parva,” etc. taken and put up against the splendour of the sun, at once perishes from the view, so the whole creation, all prophecy, all knowledge, all tongues, as we have said above, shall be destroyed. But since the capacities of common human nature are all insufficient to set forth in a few words, and these so weak and so extremely poor, the coming of this heavenly King,—so much so, indeed, that perchance it should be the privilege only of the saintly and the highly worthy to attempt any statement on such a subject,—it may yet be enough for me to be able to say that I have advanced what I have now advanced on that theme on the ground of simple necessity,—compelled, as I have been, to do thus much by this person’s 212importunity, and simply with the view of showing you what kind of character he is.
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