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Chapter XXII.—Doctrines of Simon.

First Aquila began to speak in this wise:  “Listen, O dearest brother, that you may know accurately everything about this man, whose he is, and what, and whence; and what the things are which he does, and how and why he does them.931931    [For the parallel account of Simon, given also by Aquila, see Recognitions, ii. 7–15.—R.]  This Simon is the son of Antonius and Rachel, a Samaritan by race, of the village of Gitthæ, which is six schoeni distant from the city.  He having disciplined himself greatly in Alexandria,932932    The Vatican ms. adds, “which is in Egypt (or, on the Nile), in Greek culture.” and being very powerful in magic, and being ambitious, wishes to be accounted a certain supreme power, greater even than the God who created the world.  And sometimes intimating 233that he is Christ, he styles himself the Standing One.933933    [Comp. Recognitions, i. 72—R.]  And this epithet he employs, as intimating that he shall always stand, and as not having any cause of corruption so that his body should fall.  And he neither says that the God who created the world is the Supreme, nor does he believe that the dead will be raised.  He rejects Jerusalem, and substitutes Mount Gerizzim for it.  Instead of our Christ, he proclaims himself.  The things of the law he explains by his own presumption; and he says, indeed, that there is to be a judgment, but he does not expect it.  For if he were persuaded that he shall be judged by God, he would not dare be impious towards God Himself.  Whence some not knowing that, using religion as a cloak, he spoils the things of the truth, and faithfully believing the hope and the judgment which in some way he says are to be, are ruined.


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