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Chapter IX.—Simon Magus:  His Profession.

“But not long after he fell in love with that woman whom they call Luna; and he confided all things to us as his friends:  how he was a magician, and how he loved Luna, and how, being desirous of glory, he was unwilling to enjoy her ingloriously, but that he was waiting patiently till he could enjoy her honourably; yet so if we also would conspire with him towards the accomplishment of his desires.  And he promised that, as a reward of this service, he would cause us to be invested with the highest honours, and we should be believed by men to be gods; ‘Only, however, on condition,’ says he, ‘that you confer the chief place upon me, Simon, who by magic art am able to show many signs and prodigies, by means of which either my glory or our sect may be established.  For I am able to render myself invisible to those who wish to lay hold of me, and again to be visible when I am willing to be seen.608608    [The statements made in the Recognitions respecting the claims of Simon are more extravagant and blasphemous than those occurring in the Homilies.  Comp. the latter, ii, 26–32.—R.]  If I wish to flee, I can dig through the mountains, and pass through rocks as if they were clay.  If I should throw myself headlong from a lofty mountain, I should be borne unhurt to the earth, as if I were held up; when bound, I can loose myself, and bind those who had bound me; being shut up in prison, I can make the barriers open of their own accord; I can render statues animated, so that those who see suppose that they are men.  I can make new trees suddenly spring up, and produce sprouts at once.  I can throw myself into the fire, and not be burnt; I can change my countenance, so that I cannot be recognised; but I can show people that I have two faces.  I shall change myself into a sheep or a goat; I shall make a beard to grow upon little boys; I shall ascend by flight into the air; I shall exhibit abundance of gold, and shall make and unmake kings.  I shall be worshipped as God; I shall have divine honours publicly assigned to me, so that an image of me shall be set up, and I shall be worshipped and adored as God.  And what need of more words?  Whatever I wish, that I shall be able to do.  For already I have achieved many things by way of experiment.  In short,’ says he, ‘once when my mother Rachel ordered me to go to the field to reap, and I saw a sickle lying, I ordered it to go and reap; and it reaped ten times more than the others.  Lately, I produced many new sprouts from the earth, and made them bear leaves and produce fruit in a moment; and the nearest mountain I successfully bored through.’”


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