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32. Since these things are so, and we have been taught by the greatest teacher that souls are set not far from the gaping36163616    Lit., “from the gapings and,” etc. jaws of death; that they can, nevertheless, have their lives prolonged by the favour and kindness of the Supreme Ruler if only they try and study to know Him,—for the knowledge of Him is a kind of vital leaven36173617    There may be here some echo of the words (John xvii. 3), “This is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God,” etc.; but there is certainly not sufficient similarity to found a direct reference on, as has been done by Orelli and others. and cement to bind together that which would otherwise fly apart,—let them,36183618    i.e., souls. then, laying aside their savage and barbarous nature, return to gentler ways, that they may be able to be ready for that which shall be given.36193619    This passage presents no difficulty in itself, its sense being obviously that, as by God’s grace life is given to those who serve Him, we must strive to fit ourselves to receive His blessing. The last words, however, have seemed to some fraught with mystery, and have been explained by Heraldus at some length as a veiled or confused reference to the Lord’s Supper, as following upon baptism and baptismal regeneration, which, he supposes, are referred to in the preceding words, “laying aside,” etc. [It is not, however, the language of a mere catechumen.] What reason is there that we should be considered by you brutish, as it were, and stupid, if we have yielded and given ourselves up to God our deliverer, because of these fears? We often seek out remedies for wounds and the poisoned bites of serpents, and defend ourselves by means of thin plates36203620    These “thin plates,” laminæ, Orelli has suggested, were amulets worn as a charm against serpents. sold by Psylli36213621    ms. Phyllis. or Marsi, and other hucksters36223622    So the edd., reading instit-oribusfor the ms. instit-ut-oribus, “makers.” and impostors; and that we may not be inconvenienced by cold or intense heat,36233623    Lit., “that colds and violent suns may not,” etc. we provide with anxious and careful diligence coverings in36243624    Lit., “of.” houses and clothing.


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