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4.  The Study of the Gospels is the First Fruits Offered by These Priests of Christianity.

Now our whole activity is devoted to God, and our whole life, since we are bent on progress in divine things.  If, then, it be our desire to have the whole of those first fruits spoken of above which are made up of the many first fruits, if we are not mistaken in this view, in what must our first fruits consist, after the bodily separation we have undergone from each other, but in the study of the Gospel?  For we may venture to say that the Gospel is the first fruits of all the Scriptures.  Where, then, could be the first fruits of our activity, since the time when we came to Alexandria, but in the first fruits of the Scriptures?  It must not be forgotten, however, that the first fruits are not the same as the first growth.  For the first fruits44634463    ἀπαρχή, Exod. xxii. 29. are offered after all the fruits (are ripe), but the first growth44644464    πρωτογέννημα, Exod. xxiii. 16. before them all.  Now of the Scriptures which are current and are believed to be divine in all the churches, one would not be wrong in saying that the first growth is the law of Moses, but the first fruits the Gospel.  For it was after all the fruits of the prophets who prophesied till the Lord Jesus, that the perfect word shot forth.

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