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Chapter XXVI.—His Wickedness.

“For he even began to commit murder939939    [With the account of Simon’s doings in chaps. 26–32 compare Recognitions, ii. 9, 10, 13–15; iii. 47.—R.] as himself disclosed to us, as a friend to friends, that, having separated the soul of a child from its own body by horrid incantations, as his assistant for the exhibition of anything that he pleased, and having drawn the likeness of the boy, he has it set up in the inner room where he sleeps, saying that he once formed the boy of air, by divine arts, and having painted his likeness, he gave him back again to the air.  And 234he explains that he did the deed thus.  He says that the first soul of man, being turned into the nature of heat, drew to itself, and sucked in the surrounding air, after the fashion of a gourd;940940    Which was used by the ancients as cupping-glasses are now used. and then that he changed it into water, when it was within the form of the spirit; and he said that he changed into the nature of blood the air that was in it, which could not be poured out on account of the consistency of the spirit, and that he made the blood solidified into flesh; then, the flesh being thus consolidated, that he exhibited a man not made from earth, but from air.  And thus, having persuaded himself that he was able to make a new sort of man, he said that he reversed the changes, and again restored him to the air.  And when he told this to others, he was believed; but by us who were present at his ceremonies he was religiously disbelieved.  Wherefore we denounced his impieties, and withdrew from him.”


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