40. I wish you to know, most pious father, that in these days there has arrived in our parts a certain person named Manes, who gives out that he is to complete the doctrine of the New Testament. And in the statements which he has made there have been some things, indeed, which may harmonize with our faith; but there have been also certain affirmations of his which seem very far removed from what has come down to us by the tradition of our fathers. For he has interpreted some doctrines in a strange fashion, imposing on them certain notions of his own, which have appeared to me to be altogether foreign and opposed to the faith. On the ground of these facts I have now been induced to write this letter to you, knowing the completeness and fulness of your intelligence in doctrine, and being assured that none of these things can escape your cognizance. Accordingly, I have also indulged the confident hope that you cannot be kept back by any grudge from explaining these matters to us. As to myself, indeed, it is not possible that I shall be drawn away into any novel doctrine; nevertheless, in behalf of all the less instructed, I have been led to ask a word with your authority. For, in truth, the man shows himself to be a person of extraordinary force of character, both in speech and in action; and indeed his very aspect and attire also bear that out. But I shall here write down for your information some few points which I have been able to retain in my memory out of all the topics which have been expounded by him: for I know that even by these few you will have an idea of the rest. You well understand, no doubt, that those who seek to set up any new dogma have the habit of very readily perverting into a conformity with their own notions any proofs they desire to take from the Scriptures. In anticipation, however, of this, the apostolic word marks out the case thus: "If any one preach any other gospel unto you than that which you have received, let him be accursed." And consequently, in addition to what has been once committed to us by the apostles, a disciple of Christ ought to receive nothing new as doctrine. But not to make what I have got to say too long, I return to the subject directly in view. This man then maintained that the law of Moses, to speak shortly, does not proceed from the good God, but from the prince of evil; and that it has no kinship with the new law of Christ, but is contrary and hostile to it, the one being the direct antagonist of the other. When I heard such a sentiment propounded, I repeated to the people that sentence of the Gospel in which our Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself: "I am not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it." The man, however, averred that He did not utter this saying at all; for he held that when we find that He did abrogate that same law, we are bound to give heed, above all other considerations, to the thing which He actually did. Then he began to cite a great variety of passages from the law, and also many from the Gospel and from the Apostle Paul, which have the appearance of contradicting each other. All this he gave forth at the same time with perfect confidence, and without any hesitation or fear; so that I verily believe he has that serpent as his helper, who is ever our adversary. Well, he declared that there in the law God said, "I make the rich man and the poor man; " while here in the Gospel Jesus called the poor blessed, and added, that no man could be His disciple unless he gave up all that he had. Again, he maintained that there Moses took silver and gold from the Egyptians when the people fled out of Egypt; whereas Jesus delivered the precept that we should lust after nothing belonging to our neighbour. Then he affirmed that Moses had provided in the law, that an eye should be given in penalty for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but that our Lord bade us offer the other cheek also to him who smote the one. He told us, too, that there Moses commanded the man to be punished and stoned who did any work on the Sabbath, and who failed to continue in all things that were written in the law, as in fact was done to that person who, yet being ignorant, had gathered a bundle of sticks on the Sabbath-day; whereas Jesus cured a cripple on the Sabbath, and ordered him then also to take up his bed. And further, He did not restrain His disciples from plucking the ears of corn and rubbing them with their hands on the Sabbath-day, which yet was a thing which it was unlawful to do on the Sabbaths. And why should I mention other instances? For with many different assertions of a similar nature these dogmas of his were propounded with the utmost energy and the most fervid zeal. Thus, too, on the authority of an apostle, he endeavoured to establish the position that the law of Moses is the law of death, and that the law of Jesus, on the contrary, is the law of life. For he based that assertion on the passage which runs thus: "In which also may God make us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, engraven in letters on the stones, was made in glory, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away; how shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which shall be done away is glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." And this passage, as you are also well aware, occurs in the second Epistle to the Corinthians. Besides, he added to this another passage out of the first epistle, on which he based his affirmation that the disciples of the Old Testament were earthly and natural; and in accordance with this, that flesh and blood could not possess the kingdom of God. He also maintained that Paul himself spoke in his own proper person when he said: "If I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor." Further, he averred that the same apostle made this statement most obviously on the subject of the resurrection of the flesh. when he also said that "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh," and that according to the letter the law has in it no advantage. And again he adduced the statement, that "Abraham has glory, but not before God; " and that "by the law there comes only the knowledge of sin." And many other things did he introduce, with the view of detracting from the honour of the law, on the ground that the law itself is sin; by which statements the simpler people were somewhat influenced, as he continued to bring them forward; and in accordance with all this, he also made use of the affirmation, that "the law and the prophets were until John." He declared, however, that John preached the true kingdom of heaven; for verily he held, that by the cutting off of his head it was signified that all who went before him, and who had precedence over him, were to be cut off, and that what was to come after him was alone to be maintained. With reference to all these things, therefore, O most pious Archelaus, send us back a short reply in writing: for I have heard that you have studied such matters in no ordinary degree; and that capacity which you possess is God's gift, inasmuch as God bestows these gifts upon those who are worthy of them, and who are His friends, and who show themselves allied to Him in community of purpose and life. For it is our part to prepare ourselves, and to approach the gracious and liberal mind, and forthwith we receive from it the most bountiful gifts. Accordingly, since the learning which I possess for the discussion of themes like these does not meet the requirements of my desire and purpose, for I confess myself to he an unlearned man, I have sent to you, as I have already said more than once, in the hope of obtaining from your hand the amplest solution to this question. May it be well with you, incomparable and honourable father!
41. On receiving this epistle, Archelaus was astonished at the man's boldness. But in the meantime, as the case called for the transmission of a speedy reply, he immediately sent off a letter with reference to the statements made by Diodorus.That epistle ran in the following terms: --Archelaus sends greeting to the presbyter Diodorus, his honourable son.
The receipt of your letter has rejoiced me exceedingly, my dearly beloved friend. I have been given to understand, moreover, that this man, who made his way to me before these days, and sought to introduce a novel kind of knowledge here, different from what is apostolic and ecclesiastical, has also come to you. To that person, indeed, I gave no place: for presently, when we held a disputation together, he was confuted. And I could wish now to transcribe for your behoof all the arguments of which I made use on that occasion, so that by means of these you might get an idea of what that man's faith is. But as that could be done only with leisure at my disposal, I have deemed it requisite, in view of the immediate exigency, to write a short reply to you with reference to what you have written me on the subject of the statements advanced by him. I understand, then, that his chief effort was directed to prove that the law of Moses is not consonant with the law of Christ; and this position he attempted to found on the authority of our Scriptures. Well, on the other hand, not only did we establish the law of Moses, and all things which are written in it, by the same Scripture; but we also proved that the whole Old Testament agrees with the New Testament, and is in perfect harmony with the same, and that they form really one texture, just as a person may see one and the same robe made up of weft and warp together. For the truth is simply this, that just as we trace the purple in a robe, so, if we may thus express it, we can discern the New Testament in the texture of the Old Testament; for we see the glory of the Lord mirrored in the same. We are not therefore to cast aside the mirror, seeing that it shows us the genuine image of the things themselves, faithfully and truly; but, on the contrary, we ought to honour it all the more. Think you, indeed, that the boy who is brought by his paedagogue to the teachers of learning when he is yet a very little fellow, ought to hold that paedagogue in no honour after he has grown up to manhood, simply because he needs his services no longer, but can make his course without any assistance from that attendant to the schools, and quickly find his way to the lecture-rooms? Or, to take another instance, would it be right for the child who has been nourished on milk at first, after he has grown to be capable of receiving stronger meats, then injuriously to spurn the breasts of his nurse, and conceive a horror of them? Nay, rather he should honour and cherish them, and confess himself a debtor to their good services. We may also make use, if it please you, of another illustration. A certain man on one occasion having noticed an infant exposed on the ground and already suffering excessively, picked it up, and undertook to rear it in his own house until it should reach the age of youth, and sustained all the toils and anxieties which are wont to fall to the lot of those who have to bring up children. After a time, however, it happened that he who was the child's natural father came seeking the boy, and found him with this person who had brought him up. What ought this boy to do on learning that this is his real father? For I speak, of course, of a boy of the right type. Would he not see to it, that he who had brought him up should be recompensed with liberal gifts; and would he not then follow his natural father, having his proper inheritance in view? Even so, then, I think we must suppose that that distinguished servant of God, Moses, in a manner something like this, found a people afflicted by the Egyptians; and he took this people to himself, and nurtured them in the desert like a father, and instructed them like a teacher, and ruled them as a magistrate. This people he also preserved against the coming of him whose people they were. And after a considerable period the father did come, and did receive, his sheep. Now will not that guardian be honoured in all things by him to whom he delivered that flock; and will he not be glorified by those who have been preserved by him? Who, then, can be so senseless, my dearly beloved Diodorus, as to say that those are aliens to each other who have been allied with each other, who have prophesied in turn for each other, and who have shown signs and wonders which are equal and similar, the one to the other, and of like nature with each other; or rather, to speak in truth, which belong wholly to the same stock the one with the other? For, indeed, Moses first said to the people: "A Prophet will the Lord our God raise up unto you, like unto me." And Jesus afterwards said: "For Moses spake of me." You see how these twain give the fight hand to each other, although the one was the prophet and the other was the beloved Son, and although in the one we are to recognise the faithful servant, but in the other the Lord Himself. Now, on the other hand, I might refer to the fact, that one who of old was minded to make his way to the schools without the paedagogue was not taken in by the master. For the master said: "I will not receive him unless he accepts the paedagogue." And who the person is, who is spoken of under that figure, I shall briefly explain. There was a certain rich man, who lived after the manner of the Gentiles, and passed his time in great luxury every day; and there was also another man, a poor man, who was his neighbour, and who was unable to procure even his daily bread. It happened that both these men departed this life, that they both descended into the grave, and that the poor man was conveyed into the place of rest, and so forth, as is known to you. But, furthermore, that rich man had also five brothers, living as he too had lived, and disturbed by no doubt as to lessons which they had learned at home from such a master. The rich man then entreated that these should be instructed in the superior doctrine together and at once. But Abraham, knowing that they still stood in need of the paedagogue, said to him: "They have Moses and the prophets." For if they received not these, so as to have their course directed by him, i.e., Moses, as by a paedagogue, they would not be capable of accepting the doctrine of the superior master.
42. But I shall also offer, to the best of my ability, some expositions of the other words referred to; that is to say, I shall show that Jesus neither said nor did aught that was contrary to Moses. And first, as to the word, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," --that is the expression of justice. And as to His injunction, that a man, when struck on the one cheek, should offer the other also, that is the expression of goodness. Well, then, are justice and goodness opposed to each other? Far from it! There has only been an advance from simple justice to positive goodness. And again, we have the saying, "The workman is worthy of his hire." But if a person seeks to practise any fraud therein, it is surely most just that what he has got possession of by fraud should be required of him, most especially when the hire is large. Now this I say, that when the Egyptians afflicted the children of Israel by the taskmasters who were set over them in the process of making bricks, Moses required and exacted the whole at once, with penalties, within one moment of time. But is this, then, to be called iniquity? Far from it! Surely it is the abstinence of goodness, indeed, when one makes but a moderate use of what is really necessary, and gives up all that goes beyond that. Let us look, again, at the fact that in the Old Testament we find the words, "I make the rich man and the poor man," whereas Jesus calls the poor blessed. Well, in that saying Jesus did; not refer to those who are poor simply in worldly substance, but to those who are poor in spirit, that is to say, who are not inflamed with pride, but have the gentle and lowly dispositions of humility, not thinking of themselves more than they ought to think. This question, however, is one which our adversary has not propounded correctly. For here I perceive that Jesus also looks on willingly at the gifts of the rich men, when they are put into the treasury. All too little, at the same time, is it if gifts are cast into the treasury by the rich alone; and so there are the two mites of the poor widow which are also received with gladness; and in that offering verily something is exhibited that goes beyond what Moses prescribed on the subject of the receipt of moneys. For he received gifts from those who had; but Jesus receives them even from those who have not. But this man says, further, that it is written, that "except a man shall forsake all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." Wall, I observe again, that the centurion, a man exceedingly wealthy and well dowered with worldly influence, possessed a faith surpassing that of all Israel; so that, even if there was any one who had forsaken all, that man was surpassed in faith by this centurion. But some one may now reason with us thus: It is not a good thing, consequently, to give up riches. Well, I reply that it is a good thing for those who are capable of it; but, at the, same time, to employ riches for the work of righteousness and mercy, is a thing as acceptable as though one were to give up the whole at once. Again, as to the assertion that the Sabbath has been abolished, we deny that He has abolished it plainly; for He was Himself also Lord of the Sabbath. And this, the law's relation to the Sabbath, was like the servant who has charge of the bridegroom's chamber, and who prepares the same with all carefulness, and does not suffer it to be disturbed or touched by any stranger, but keeps it intact against the time of the bridegroom's arrival; so that when he is come, the same may be used as it pleases himself, or as it is granted to those to use it whom he has bidden enter along with him. And the Lord Jesus Christ Himself gave His testimony to what we affirm, when He said with His heavenly voice, "Can ye make the children of the bride-chamber fast so long as the bridegroom is with them? " And again, He did not actually reject circumcision; but we should rather say that He received in Himself and in our stead the cause of circumcision, relieving us by what He Himself endured, and not permitting us to have to suffer any pain to no purpose. For what, indeed, can it profit a man to circumcise himself, if nevertheless he cherishes the worst of thoughts against his neighbour? He desired, accordingly, rather to open up to us the ways of the fullest life by a brief path, lest perchance, after we had traversed lengthened courses of our own, we should find our day prematurely closing upon us in night, and lest, while outwardly indeed we might appear splendid to men's view, we should inwardly he comparable only to ravening wolves, or be likened to whited sepulchres. For far above any person of that type of character is to be placed the man who, although clad only in squalid and threadbare attire, keeps no evil hidden in his heart against his neighbour. For it is only the circumcision of the heart that brings salvation; and that merely carnal circumcision can be of no advantage to men, unless they happen also to he fortified with the spiritual circumcision. Listen also to what Scripture has to say on this subject: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God? " What need, therefore, is there for me to labour and suffer, seeing that I have been made acquainted with the compendious way of life, and know that it shall he mine if only I can be pure in heart? And that is quite in accordance with the truth which we have learned now, to wit, that if one prevails in the keeping of the two commandments, he fulfils the whole law and the prophets. Moreover Paul, the chief of the apostles, after all these sayings, gives us yet clearer instruction on the subject, when be says, "Or seek yea proof of that Christ who speaketh in me? " What have I then to do with circumcision, seeing that I may be justified in uncircumcision? For it is written: "Is any man circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Or is any in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. For neither of these is anything, but only the keeping of the commandments of God." Consequently, as circumcision is incompetent to save any, it is not greatly to be required, especially when we see that if a man has been called in uncircumcision, and wishes then to be circumcised, he is made forthwith a transgressor of the law. For if I am circumcised, I also fulfil the commandments of the law with the view of being in a position to be saved; but if I am uncircumcised, and remain in uncircumcision, much more in keeping the commandments shall I have life. For I have received the circumcision of the heart, in the spirit, and not that of the letter in the mere ink, in which former there is praise, not of men, but of God. Wherefore let no charge of this kind be brought against me. For just as the man of wealth, who possesses great treasures of gold and silver, so that he gets everything which is necessary for the uses of his house made of these precious metals, has no need to display any vessel of earthen-ware in anything belonging to his family and yet it does follow from this circumstance that the productions of the potter, or the art of making vessels of pottery, are to be held in abhor-fence by him; so also I, who have been made rich by the grace of God, and who have obtained the circumcision of the heart, cannot by any means stand in need of that most profitless fleshly circumcision, and yet, for all that, it does not follow that I should call it evil. Far be it from me to do so! If, however, any one desires to receive still more exact instruction on these matters, he will find them discussed with the greatest fulness in the apostle's first epistle.
43. I shall speak now with the utmost brevity of the veil of Moses and the ministration of death. For I do not think that these things at least can introduce very much to the disparagement of the law. The text in question, then, proceeds thus: "But if the ministration of death, engraven in letters on the stones, was made in glory, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away; " and so on. Well, this passage at any rate acknowledges the existence of a glory on the countenance of Moses, and that surely is a fact favourable to our position. And even although it is to be done away. and although there is a veil in the reading of the same, that does not annoy me or disturb me, provided there be glory in it still. Neither is it the case, that whatever is to be done away is reduced thereby under all manner of circumstances to a condition of dishonour. For when the Scripture speaks of glory, it shows us also that it had cognizance of differences in glory. Thus it says: "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory." Although, then, the sun has a greater glory than the moon, it does not follow that the moon is thereby reduced to a condition of dishonour. And even thus, too, although my Lord Jesus Christ excelleth Moses in glory, as the lord excelleth the servant, it does not follow from this that the glory of Moses is to be scorned. For in this way, too, we are able to satisfy our hearers, as the nature of the word itself carries the conviction with it in that we affirm what we allege on the authority of the Scriptures themselves, or verily make the proof of our statements all the clearer also by illustrations taken from them. Thus, although a person kindles a lamp in the night-time, after the sun has once risen he has no further need of the paltry light of his lamp, on account of that effulgence of the sun which sends forth its rays all the world over; and yet, for all that, the man does not throw his lamp contemptuously away, as if it were something absolutely antagonistic to the sun; but rather, when he has once found out its use, he will keep it with all the greater carefulness. Precisely in this way, then, the law of Moses served as a sort of guardian to the people, like the tamp, until the true Sun, who is our Saviour, should arise, even as the apostle also says to us: "And Christ shall give thee light." We must look, however, to what is said further on: "Their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil in the reading of the Old Testament; it is untaken away, because it is done away in Christ. For even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit." What, then, is meant by this? Is Moses present with us even unto this day? Is it the case that he has never slept, that he has never gone to his rest, that he has never departed this life? How is it that this phrase "unto this day" is used here? Well, only mark the veil, which is placed, where he says it is placed, on their hearts in their reading. This, therefore, is the word of censure upon the children of Israel, because they read Moses and yet do not understand him, and refuse to turn to the Lord; for it is He that was prophesied of by Moses as about to come. This, then, is the veil which was placed upon the face of Moses, and this also is his testament; for he says in the law: "A prince shall not be wanting from Judah, nor a leader from his thighs, until He come whose he is; and He will be the expectation of the nations: who shall bind His foal unto the vine, and His ass's colt unto the choice vine; He shall wash His garments in wine, and His clothes in the blood of grapes; His eyes shall be suffused with wine, and His teeth white with milk; "and so on. Moreover, he indicated who He was, and whence He was to come. For he said: "The Lord God will raise up unto you, a Prophet from among your brethren, like unto me: unto Him hearken ye." Now it is plain that this cannot be understood to have been said of Jesus the son of Nun. For there is nothing of this circumcision found in him. After him, too, there have still been kings from Judah; and consequently this prophecy is far from being applicable to him. And this is the veil which is on Moses; for it was not, as some among the unlearned perhaps fancy, any piece of linen cloth, or any skin that covered his face. But the apostle also takes care to make this plain to us, when he tells us that the veil is put on in the reading of the Old Testament, inasmuch as they who are called Israel from olden time still look for the coming of Christ, and perceive not that the princes have been wanting from Judah, and the leaders from his thighs; as even at present we see them in subjection to kings and princes, and paying tribute to these, without having any power left to them either of judgment or of punishment, such as Judah certainly had, for after he had condemned Thamar, he was able also to justify her. "But you will also see your life hang (in doubt) before your eyes."
44. Now this word also has the veil. For up to the time of Herod they did appear to retain a kingdom in some sort; and it was by Augustus that the first enrolment took place among them, and that they began to pay tribute, and to be rated. Now it was also from the time when our Lord Jesus Christ began to be prophesied of and looked for that there began to be princes from Judah and leaders of the people; and these, again, failed just at the approach of His advent. If, then, the veil is taken away which is put on in that reading of theirs, they will understand the true virtue of the circumcision; and they will also discover that the generation of Him whom we preach, and His cross, and all the things that have happened in the history of our Lord, are those very matters which had been predicted of that Prophet. And I could wish, indeed, to examine every such passage of Scripture by itself, and to point out its import, as it is meet that it should be understood. But as it is another subject that is now urgent, these passages shall be discussed by us at some season of leisure. For at present, what I have already said may be sufficient for the purpose of showing, that it is not without reason that the veil is (said to be) put upon the heart of certain persons in the reading of the Old Testament. But those who turn to the Lordsh all have the veil taken away from them. What precise force all these things, however, may possess, I leave to the apprehension of those who have sound intelligence. Let us come now again to that word of Moses, in which he says: "The Lord your God shall raise up a Prophet unto you, of your brethren, like unto me." In this saying I perceive a great prophecy delivered by the servant Moses, as by one cognizant that He who is to come is indeed to be possessed of greater authority than himself, and nevertheless is to suffer like things with him, and to show like signs and wonders. For there, Moses after his birth was placed by his mother in an ark, and exposed beside the banks of the river; here, our Lord Jesus Christ, after His birth by Mary His mother, was sent off in flight into Egypt through the instrumentality of an angel. There, Moses led forth his people from the midst of the Egyptians, and saved them; and here, Jesus, leading forth His people from the midst of the Pharisees, transferred them to an eternal salvation. There, Moses sought bread by prayer, and received it from heaven, in order that he might feed the people with it in the wilderness; here, my Lord Jesus by His own power satisfied with five loaves five thousand men in the wilderness. There, Moses when he was tried was set upon the mountain and fasted forty days; and here, my Lord Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness when He was tempted of the devil, and fasted in like manner forty days. There, before the sight of Moses, all the first-born of the Egyptians perished on account of the treachery of Pharaoh; and here, at the time of the birth of Jesus, every male among the Jews suddenly perished by reason of the treachery of Herod. There, Moses prayed that Pharaoh and his people might be spared the plagues; and here, our Lord Jesus prayed that the Pharisees might be pardoned, when He said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." There, the countenance of Moses shone with the glory of the Lord, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look upon his face, on account of the glory of his countenance; and here, the Lord Jesus Christ shone like the sun, and His disciples were not able to look upon His face by reason of the glory of His countenance and the intense splendour of the light. There, Moses smote down with the sword those who had set up the calf; and here, the Lord Jesus said, "I came to send a sword upon the earth, and to set a man at variance with his neighbour," and so on. There, Moses went without fear into the darkness of the clouds that carry water; and here, the Lord Jesus walked with all power upon the waters. There, Moses gave his commands to the sea; and here, the Lord Jesus, when he was on the sea, rose and gave His commands to the winds and the sea. There, Moses, when he was assailed, stretched forth his hands and fought against Amalek; and here, the Lord Jesus, when we were assailed and were perishing by the violence of that erring spirit who works now hi the just, stretched forth His hands upon the cross, and gave us salvation. But there are indeed many other matters of this kind which I must pass by, my dearly beloved Diodorus, as I am in haste to send veil this little book with all convenient speed; and these omissions of mine you will be able yourself to supply very easily by your own intelligence. Write me, however, an account of all that this servant of the adversary's cause may do hereafter. May the Omnipotent God preserve you whole insoul and in spirit!
45. On receipt of this letter, Diodorus made himself master of its contents, and then entered the lists against Manes. This he did too with such spirit, that he was commended greatly by all for the careful and satisfactory demonstration which he gave of the fact that there is a mutual relationship between the two testaments, and also between the two laws. Discovering also more arguments for himself he was able to bring forward many points of great pertinency and power against the man, and in defence of the truth. He also reasoned in a conclusive manner against his opponent on verbal grounds. For example, he argued with him in the following manner:--Did you say that the testaments are two? Well, then, say either that there are two old testaments, or that there are two new testaments. For you assert that there are two unbegottens belonging to the same time, or rather eternity: and if there are in this way two, there should be either two old testaments or two new testaments. If, however, you do not allow this, but affirm, on the contrary, that there is one old testament and that there is also another new restatement, that will only prove again that there is but one author for both; and the very sequence will show that the Old Testament belongs to Him to whom also the New Testament pertains. We may illustrate this by the case of a man who says to some other individual, Lease me your old house. For by such a mode of address does he not pronounce the man to be alsothe owner of a new house? Or, on the other hand, if he says to him, Show me your new house; does he not by that very word designate him also as the possessor of an old house? Then, again, this also is to be considered, that since there are two beings, having an unbegotten nature, it is also necessary from that to suppose each of them to have (what must be called) an old testament, and thus there will appear to be two old testaments; if indeed you affirm that both these beings are ancient, and both indeed without a beginning. But I have not learned doctrine like that; neither do the Scriptures contain it. You, however, who allege that the law of Moses comes from the prince of evil, and not from the good God, tell me who those were who withstood Moses to the face--I mean Jamnes and Mambres? For, every object that withstands, withstands not itself, but some other one, either better or worse; as Paul also gives us to understand when he writes in the following terms in his second Epistle to Timothy: "As Jamnes and Mambres withstood Moses, so have these also resisted the truth: men of corrupt mind, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly is manifest unto all men, as theirs also was." Do you observe how he compares Jamnes and Mambres to men of corrupt mind, and reprobate concerning the faith.; while he likens Moses, on the other hand, to the truth? But the holy John, the greatest of the evangelists, also tells us of the giving and diffusing of grace for grace; for he indicates, indeed, that we have received the law of Moses out of the fulness of Christ, and he means that for that one grace this other grace has been made perfect in us through Jesus Christ. It was also to show this to be the case that our Lord Jesus Christ Himself spake in these terms: "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye hope. For had ye believed Moses, ye would indeed have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? And besides all these words, there are still many other passages that might be adduced both from the Apostle Paul and from the Gospels, by which we are able to prove that the old law belongs to no other one than that Lord to whom also the new testament appertains, and which it would suit us very well to set forth, and to make use of in a satisfactory manner. Now, however, the evening prevents us from doing so; for the day is drawing to its close, and it is right that we should now bring our disputation to an end. But an opportunity will be given you to-morrow to put questions to us on any points you are pleased to take up. And after these words they went their way.
46. Next morning, however, Archelaus suddenly made his appearance at this residence in which Diodorus was staying, before any one was yet stirring abroad. Manes accordingly, all unconscious of the fact that Archelaus was now on the spot again, challenged Diodorus publicly to engage in a disputation with him; his intention being to crush him with a verbal display, because he perceived that he was a man of a simple nature, and not very deeply learned in questions concerning the Scriptures. For he had now had a taste of the doctrine of Archelaus. When, therefore, the multitudes had again collected in the place usually set apart for the disputation, and when Manes had just begun to reason, all on a sudden Archelaus appeared among them, and embraced Diodorus, and saluted him with an holy kiss. Then truly were Diodorus, and all those who were present, filled with wonder at the dispensation of divine providence which thus provided that Archelaus should arrive among them at the very time when the question was just raised; for in reality, as must be confessed, Diodorus, with all his religiousness, had been somewhat afraid of the conflict. But when Manes caught sight of Archelaus, he at once drew back from his insulting attitude; and with his pride cast down not a little, he made it quite plain that he would gladly flee from the contest. The multitude of hearers, however, looked upon the arrival of Archelaus as something like the advent of an apostle, because he had shown himself so thoroughly furnished, and so prompt and ready for a defence of the truth by speech. Accordingly, after demanding silence from the people by a wave of his right hand,--for no inconsiderable tumult had arisen,--Archelaus began an address in the following terms:--Although some amongst us have gained the honour of wisdom and the meed of glory, yet this I beg of you, that you retain in your minds the testimony of those things which have been said before my arrival. For I know and am certain, brethren, that I now take the place of Diodorus, not on account of any impossibilities attaching to him, but because I came to know this person here at a previous time, when he made his way with his wicked designs into the parts where I reside, by the favour of Marcellus, that man of illustrious name, whom he endeavoured to turn aside from our doctrine and faith, with the object, to wit, of making him an effective supporter of this impious teaching. Nevertheless, in spite of all his plausible addresses, he failed to move him or turn him aside from the faith in any one particular. For this most devout Marcellus was only found to be like the rock on which the house was built with the most solid foundations; and when the rain descended, and the floods and the winds burst in and beat upon that house, it stood firm: for it had been built on the most solid and immoveable foundations. And the attempt thus made by this person who is now before you, brought dishonour rather than glory upon himself. Moreover, it does not seem to me that he can be very excusable if he proves to be ignorant of what is in the future; for surely he ought to know beforehand those who are on his own side: certainly he should have this measure of knowledge, if it be true indeed that the Spirit of the Paraclete dwells in him. But inasmuch as he is really a person blinded with the darkness of ignorance, he ran in vain when he journeyed to Marcellus, and he did but show himself to be like the stargazer, who busies himself with describing things celestial, while all the time he is ignorant of what is passing in his own home. But lest it should appear as if I were setting aside the question in hand by speaking in this strain, I shall now refrain from such discourse. And I shall also give this man the privilege of taking up any point which may suit him best as a commencement to any treatment of the subject and the question. And to you, as I have said already, I only address the request that ye be impartial judges, so as to give to him who speaks the truth the proper honour and the palm.
47. Then Manes, after silence had been secured among all, thus began his address: Like others, Archelaus, you too smite me with the most injurious words, notwithstanding that my sentiments on the subject of God are correct, and that I hold also a proper conception of Christ; and yet the family of the apostles is rather of the character that bears all things and endures all things, even although a man may assail them with revilings and curses. If it is your intention to persecute me, I am prepared for it: and if you wish to involve me in punishment, I shall not shrink from it; yea, if you mean even to put me to death, I am not afraid: "For we ought to fear Him only who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Archelaus said: Far be that from me! Not such is my intention. For what have you ever had to suffer at my hands, or at the hands of those who think with us, even when you were disparaging us and doing us injury, and when you were speaking in detraction of the traditions of our fathers, and when it was your aim to work the death of the souls of men that were well established in the truth, and that were kept with the most conscientious carefulness; for which, in truth, the whole wealth of the world would not sere as a sufficient compensation? Nevertheless, what ground have you for assuming this position? What have you to show? Tell us this,--what signs of salvation have you to bring before us? For the bare bravado of words will not avail to satisfy the multitude here present, neither will it be enough to qualify them for recognising which of us holds the knowledge of the truth the more correctly. Wherefore, as you have got the opportunity of speaking first, tell us first to what particular head of the subject you wish us to direct the disputation. Manes said: If you do not offer a second time an unfair resistance to the positions which shall be stated with all due propriety by us, I shall speak with you; but if you mean to show yourself still in the character which on a former occasion I perceived you to take up, I shall address myself to Diodorus, and shall keep clear of your turbulence. Archelaus said: I have already expressed my opinion that we shall be simply abusing the occasion by the mere bandying of empty words. If any one on one side is formal to offer an unfair resistance, leave that to the decision of the judges. But now, tell us what you have got to advance. Manes said: If you do not mean a second time merely to gainsay the positions which are stated with all due correctness by me, I shall begin. Archelaus said: "If not this," and "if not that," are ways of speaking which mark out an ignorant man. You are ignorant, therefore, of what is in the future. But as to this particular thing which you do declare to be still future, to gainsay or not to gainsay is a matter in my own power. How, then, will that argument about the two trees stand, in which you place your trust as in a buckler of the most approved strength? For if I am of the contrary side, how do you require my obedience? And if, on the other hand, there is in me the disposition of obedience, how are you so greatly alarmed lest I should gainsay you? For you maintain that evil remains evil always, and that good remains good always, in utter ignorance of the force of your words. Manes said: Have I employed you as the advocate of my words, so that you may determine also the intelligence that may suit my knowledge? And how will you be able to explain what belongs to another person, when you cannot make what pertains to yourself clear? But if Diodorus now admits himself to be vanquished, my reasonings will then be addressed to you. If, however, he still stands out, and is prepared to speak, I beg you to give over and cease from interfering with the substantiating of the truth. For you are a strange sheep; nevertheless hereafter you will be introduced into the number of the same flock, as the voice of Jesus also intimates,--that Jesus, namely, who appeared in the form of man indeed, and yet was not a man. Archelaus said: Are you not, then, of opinion that He was born of the Virgin Mary? Manes said: God forbid that I should admit that our Lord Jesus Christ came down to us through the natural womb of a woman! For He gives us His own testimony that He came down from the Father's bosom; and again He says, "He that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me; " and. "I came not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me; " and once more, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." And there are also innumerable other passages of a similar import, which point Him out as one that came, and not as one that was born. But if you are greater than He, and if you know better than He what is true, how do we yet believe Him? Archelaus said: Neither am I greater than He, for I am His servant nor can I be even the equal of my Lord, for I am His unprofitable servant; I am a disciple of His words, and I believe those things which have been spoken by Him, and I affirm that they are unchangeable. Manes said: A certain person somewhat like you once said to Him, "Mary Thy mother, and Thy brethren, stand without; " and He took not the word kindly, but rebuked the person who had uttered it, saying, "Who is my mother, and who are my brethren? "And He showed that those who did His will were both His mothers and His brethren. If you, however, mean to say that Mary was actually His mother, you place yourself in a position of considerable peril. For, without any doubt, it would be proved on the same principles that He had brethren also by her. Now tell me whether these brethren were begotten by Joseph or by the same Holy Spirit. For if you say that they were begotten by the same Holy Spirit, it will follow that we have had many Christs. And if you say that these were not begotten by the same Holy Spirit, and yet aver that He had brethren, then without doubt we shall be under the necessity of understanding that, in succession to the Spirit and after Gabriel, the most pure and spotless virgin formed an actual marriage connection with Joseph. But if this is also a thing altogether absurd--I mean the supposition that she had any manner of intercourse with Joseph--tell me whether then He had brethren. Are you thus to fix the crime of adultery also on her, most sagacious Marcellus? But if none of these suppositions suits the position of the Virgin undefiled, how will you make it out that He had brothers? And if you are unable to prove clearly to us that He had brethren, will it be any the easier for you to prove Mary to be His mother, in accordance with the saying of him who ventured to write, "Behold, Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without? "Yet, although that man was bold enough to address Him thus, no one can be mightier or greater than this same person Himself who shows us His mother or His brethren. Nay, He does not deign even to hear it said that He is David's son. The Apostle Peter, however, the most eminent of all the disciples, was able to acknowledge Him on that occasion, when all were putting forth the several opinions which they entertained respecting Him: for he said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God; " and immediately He names him blessed, addressing him thus: "For my heavenly Father hath revealed it unto thee." Observe what a difference there is between these two words which were spoken by Jesus. For to him who had said, "Behold, Thy mother stands without," He replied, "Who is my mother, or who are my brethren? "But to him who said, "Thou art the Christ the Son of the living, God," He makes the return of a beatitude and benediction. Consequently, if you will have it that He was born of Mary, then it follows that no less than Peter, He is Himself thus proved to have spoken falsely. But if, on the other hand, Peter states what is true, then without doubt that former person was in error. And if the former was in error, the matter is to be referred back to the writer. We know, therefore, that there is one Christ, according to the Apostle Paul, whose words, as in consonance at least with His advent, we believe.
48. On hearing these statements, the multitudes assembled were greatly moved, as if they felt that these reasonings gave the correct account of the truth, and that Archelaus could have nothing to urge against them; for this was indicated by the commotion which arose among them. But when the crowd of auditors became quiet again, Archelaus made answer in the following manner: No one, truly, shall ever be able to prove himself mightier than the voice of our Lord Jesus Christ, neither is there found any name equal to His, as it is written: "Wherefore God hath exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name." Nor, again, in the matter of testimony can any one ever be equal to Him; and accordingly I shall simply adduce the testimonies of His own voice in answer to you,--first of all, indeed, with the view of solving those difficulties which have been enunciated by you, so that you may not say, as is your wont to do, that these are matters which are not in harmony with the Person Himself. Now, you maintain that the man who brought the word to Jesus about His mother and His brethren was rebuked by Him as if he was in error, as the writer was in error. Well, I affirm that neither was this person rebuked who brought Him the message about His mother and His brethren, nor was Peter only named blessed above him; but each of these two parties received from Him the answer that was properly called forth by their several utterances, as the discourse will demonstrate in what follows. When one is a child, he thinks as a child, he speaks as a child; but when he becomes a mature man, those things are to be done away which are proper for a child: in other words, when one reaches forth unto those things which are before, he will forget those which are behind. Hence, when our Lord Jesus Christ was engaged in teaching and healing the race of men, so that all pertaining to it might not utterly perish together, and when the minds of all those who were listening to Him were intently occupied with these interests, it made an interruption altogether inopportune when this messenger came in and put Him in mind of His mother and His brethren. What then? Ought He, now, yourself being judge, to have left those whom He was healing and instructing, and gone to speak with His mother and His brethren? Would you not by such a supposition at once lower the character of the Person Himself? When, again, He chose certain men who were laden and burdened with sins for the honour of discipleship, to the number of twelve, whom He also named His apostles, He gave them this injunction, Leave father and mother, that you may be made worthy of me; intending by this that thence forward the memory of father or mother should no more impair the stedfastness of their heart. And on another occasion, when a different individual chose to say to Him, "I will go and bury my father," He answered, "Let the dead bury their dead." Behold, then, how my Lord Jesus Christ edifies His disciples unto all things necessary, and delivers His sacred words to every one, in due accordance with what is meet for him. And just in the same way, too, on this other occasion, when a certain person came in with the inconsiderate message about His mother, He did not embrace the occurrence as an opportunity for leaving His Father's commission unattended to even for the sake of having His mother with Him. But in order to show you still more clearly that this is the real account of the matter, let me remind you that Peter, on a certain season, subsequent to the time of his receiving that declaration of blessedness from Him, said to Jesus, "Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee." This he said after Jesus had announced to him that the Son of man must go up to Jerusalem, and be killed, and rise again the third day. And in answer then to Peter He said: "Get thee behind me, Satan; for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." Now, since it is your opinion that the man who brought the message about His mother and His brethren was rebuked by Jesus, and that he who said a little before, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," obtained the word of blessing, mark you that Jesus (may be said to have) rather preferred that person to whom He condescended to give the more gracious and indulgent answer; whereas Peter, even after that benediction, now got no appellation expressive of indulgence addressed to him, by reason of his having failed carefully to observe the nature of the announcement that was made to him. For the error of that messenger was at once corrected by the tenor of the reply; but the dulness of this apostle's apprehension was condemned with a severer rebuke. And from this you may perceive that the Lord Jesus, observing what was proper and opportune with regard to the interrogations thus addressed to Him, gave to each the reply that was worthy of it, and suited to it. But supposing that, as you say, Peter was pronounced blessed on the ground of his having said what was true, and that that messenger was reproved on account of the error he committed, tell me then why it is, that when the devils confessed Him, and said, "We know Thee, who Thou art, the holy God," He rebuked them, and commanded them to be silent? Why was it not the case, if He does indeed take pleasure in the testimonies borne to Him by those who confess Him, that He recompensed them also with benedictions, as He did to Peter when he gave utterance to the truth? But if that would be an absurd supposition, it only remains that we must understand the words spoken by Him always in accordance with the place, the time, the persons, the subjects, and the due consideration of the circumstances. For only this method will save us from falling into the error of pronouncing rashly on His sayings, and thus making ourselves liable to merited chastisement: and this will also help me to make it more and more intelligible to you, that the man who brought the tidings of His mother was much rather the person honoured. However, in forgetfulness of the subject which was proposed to us for discussion, you have turned off to a different theme. Nevertheless listen to me for a brief space. For if you choose, indeed, to consider those words somewhat more carefully, we shall find that the Lord Jesus displayed great clemency in the case of the former of these two parties; and this I shall prove to you by illustrations stilted to your capacity. A certain king who had taken up arms, and gone forth to meet an enemy, was earnestly considering and planning how he might subdue those hostile and foreign forces. And when his mind was occupied with many cares and anxieties, after he had forced his way among his adversaries, and when, further, as he began afterwards to make captives of them, the anxious thought was now also pressing upon him as to how he might secure the safety and interests of those who had toiled with him, and borne the burden of the war, a certain messenger broke inopportunely in upon him, and began to remind him of domestic matters. But he was astonished at the man's boldness, and at his unseasonable suggestions, and thought of delivering such a fellow over to death. And had that messenger not been one who was able to appeal to his tenderest affections in bringing the news that it was well with those at home, and that all went on prosperously and successfully there, that punishment might have been his instant and well-merited doom. For what else should be a king's care, so long as the time of war endures, than to provide for the safety of the people of his province, and to look after military matters? And even thus it also was that that messenger came inopportunely in upon my Lord Jesus Christ, and brought the report about His mother and His brethren unseasonably, just when He was fighting against ills which had assailed the very citadel of the heart, and when He was healing those who for a long time had been under the power of diverse infirmities, and when He had now put forth His utmost effort to secure the salvation of all. And truly that man might have met with a sentence like that pronounced on Peter, or even one severer still. But the hearing of the name of His mother and His brethren drew forth His clemency.
50. Manes said: No one, certainly, who may be able to give a reply to what has just been alleged by you need fear incurring the guilt of blasphemy, but should rather be deemed thoroughly worthy of all commendation. For a true master of his art, when any matters are brought under his notice, ought to prepare his reply with due care, and make all clearly to understand the points that are in question or under doubt; and most especially ought he to do so to uninstructed persons. Now since the account of our doctrine does not satisfy you, be pleased, like a thorough master of your art, to solve this question also for me in a reasonable manner. For to me it seems but pious to say that the Son of God stood in need of nothing whatsoever in the way of making good His advent upon earth; and that He in no sense required either the dove, or baptism, or mother, or brethren, or even mayhap a father,--which father, however, according to your view, was Joseph; but that He descended altogether by Himself alone, and transformed Himself, according to His own good pleasure, into the semblance of a man, in accordance with that word of Paul which tells us that "He was found in fashion as a man." Show me, therefore, what thing He could possibly need who was able to transform Himself into all manner of appearances. For when He chose to do so, He again transformed this human fashion and mien into the likeness of the sun.But if you gainsay me once more, and decline to acknowledge that I state the faith correctly, listen to my definition of the position in which you stand. For if you say that He was only man as born of Mary, and that He received the Spirit at His baptism, it will follow that He will be made out to be Son by increase and not by nature. If, however, I grant you to say that He is Son according to increase, and that He was made as a man, your opinion is that He is really a man, that is to say, one who is flesh and blood. But then it will necessarily follow that the Spirit also who appeared like a dove was nothing else than a natural dove. For the two expressions are the same,--namely, "as a man" and "like a dove; "and consequently whatever may be the view you take of the one passage which uses the phrase "as a man," you ought to hold that same view also of this other passage in which the expression "like a dove" is used. It is a clear matter of necessity to take these things in the same way, for only thus can we find out the real sense of what is written concerning Him in the Scriptures. Archelaus said: As you cannot do so much for yourself, like a thorough master of your art, so neither should I care to put this question right and with all patience to make it clear, and to give the evident solution of the difficulty, were it not for the sake of those who are present with us, and who listen to us. For this reason, therefore, I shall also explain the answer that ought to be given to this question as it may be done most appropriately. It does not seem to you, then, to be a pious thing to say that Jesus had a mother in Mary; and you hold a similar view on certain other positions which you have now been discussing in terms which I, for my part, altogether shrink from repeating. Now, sometimes a master of any art happens to be compelled by the ignorance of an opponent both to say and to do things which time would make him decline; and accordingly, because the necessity is laid upon me, by consideration for the multitude present, I may give a brief answer to those statements which have been made so erroneously by you. Let us suppose, now, your allegation to be that if we understand Jesus to be a man made of Mary after the course of nature, and regard him consequently as having flesh and blood, it will be necessary also to hold that the Holy Spirit was a real dove, and not a spirit. Well, then, how can a real dove enter into a real man, and abide in him? For flesh cannot enter into flesh. Nay rather, it is only when we acknowledge Jesus to be a true man, and also hold him who is there said to be like a dove to be the Holy Spirit, that we shall give the correct account according to reason on both sides. For, according to right reason, it may be said that the Spirit dwells in a man, and descends upon him, and abides in him; and these, indeed, are things which have happened already in all due competence, and the occurrence of which is always possible still, as even you yourself admit, inasmuch as you did aforetime profess to be the Paraclete of God, you flint, as I may call you, and no man, so often forgetful of the very things which you assert. For you declared that the Spirit whom Jesus promised to send has come upon you; and whence can He come but by descending from Heaven? And if the Spirit descends thus on the man worthy of Him, then verily must we fancy that real doves descended upon you? Then truly should we rather discover in you the thieving dove-merchant, who lays snares and lines for the birds. For surely you well deserve to be made a jest of with words of ridicule. However, I spare you, lest perchance I appear to offend the auditors by such expressions, and also most especially because it is beside my purpose to throw out against you all that you deserve to hear said about you. But let me return to the proper subject. For I am mindful of that transformation of thine, in virtue of which you say that God has transformed Himself into the fashion of a man or into that of the sun, by which position you think to prove that our Jesus was made man only in fashion and in appearance; which assertion may God save: any of the faithful from making. Now, for the rest, that opinion of yours would reduce the whole matter to a dream, so far as we are concerned, and to mere figures; and not that only, but the very name of an advent would be done away: for He might have done what He desired to do, though still seated in heaven, if He is, as you say, a spirit, and not a true man. But it is not thus that "He humbled Himself, and took the form of a servant; " and I say this of Him who was made man of Mary. For what? Might not we, too, have set forth things like those with which you have been dealing, and that, too, all the more easily and the more broadly? But far be it from us to swerve one jot or one tittle from the truth. For He who was born of Mary is the Son, who chose of His own accord to sustain this mighty conflict,--namely, Jesus. This is the Christ of God, who descended upon him who is of Mary. If, however, you refuse to believe even the voice that was heard from heaven, all that you can bring forward in place of the same is but some rashness of your own; and though you were to declare yourself on that, no one would believe you. For forthwith Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil; and as the devil had no correct knowledge of Him, he said to Him, "If thou be the Son of God." Besides, he did not understand the reason of this bearing of the Son of God by Mary, who preached the kingdom of heaven, whose was also indeed a great tabernacle, and one that could not have been prepared by any other: whence, too, He who was nailed to the cross, on rising again from the dead, was taken up thither where Christ the Son of God reigned; so that when He begins to conduct His judgment, those who have been ignorant of Him shall look on Him whom they pierced. But in order to secure your credence, I propose this question to you: Why was it, that although His disciples sojourned a whole year with Him, not one of them fell prostrate on his face before Him, as you were saying a little ago, save only in that one hour when His countenance shone like the sun? Was it not by reason of that tabernacle which had been made for Him of Mary? For just as no other had the capacity sufficient for sustaining the burden of the Paraclete except only the disciples and the blessed Paul, so also no other was able to bear the Spirit who descended from heaven, and through whom that voice of the Father gave its testimony in these terms, "This is my beloved Son," save only He who was born of Mary, and who is above all the saints,--namely, Jesus. But now give us your answer to those matters which I bring forward against you. If you hold that He is than only in mien and form, how could He have been laid hold of and dragged off to judgment by those who were born of man and woman--to wit, the Pharisees--seeing that a spiritual body cannot be grasped by bodies of grosser capacities? But if you, who as yet have made no reply to the arguments brought before you, have now any kind of answer to offer to the word and proposition I have adduced, proceed, I pray you, and fetch me at least a handful or some fair modicum of your sunlight. But that very sun, indeed, inasmuch as it is possessed of a more subtle body, is capable of covering and enveloping you; while you, on the other hand, can do it no injury, even although you were to trample it under foot. My Lord Jesus, however, if He was laid hold of, was laid hold of as a man by men. If He is not a man, neither was He laid hold of. If He was not laid hold of, neither did He suffer, nor was He baptized. If He was not baptized, neither is any of us baptized. But if there is no baptism, neither will there be any remission of sins, but every man will die in his own sins. Manes said: Is baptism, then, given on account of the remission of sins? Archelaus said: Certainly. Manes said: Does it not follow, then, that Christ has sinned, seeing that He has been baptized? Archelaus said: God forbid! Nay, rather, He was made sin for us, taking on Him our sins. For this reason He was born of a woman, and for this reason also He approached the rite of baptism, in order that He might receive the purification of this part, and that thus the body which He had taken to Himself might be capable of bearing the Spirit, who had descended in the form of a dove.
51. When Archelaus had finished this speech, the crowds of people marvelled at the truth of his doctrine, and expressed their vehement commendations of the man with loud outcries, so that they exerted themselves most energetically, and would have kept him from his return. There- after, however, they withdrew. After some time, again, when they were gathered together, Archelaus persuaded them to accede to his desire, and listen quietly to the word. And among his auditors were not only those who were with Diodorus, but also all who were present from his province and from the neighbouring districts. When silence, then, was secured, Archelaus proceeded to speak to them of Manes in the following manner: You have heard, indeed, what is the character of the doctrine which we teach, and you have got some proof of our faith; for I have expounded the Scriptures before you all, precisely in accordance with the views which I myself have been able to reach in studying them. But I entreat you now to listen to me in all silence, while I speak with the utmost possible brevity, with the view of giving you to understand who this person is who has made his appearance among us, and whence he comes, and what character he has, exactly as a certain man of the name of Sisinius, one of his comrades, has indicated the facts to me; which individual I am also prepared, if it please you, to summon in evidence of the statements I am about to make. And, in truth, this person did not decline to affirm the very same facts which we now adduce, even when Manes was present; for the above-mentioned individual became a believer of our doctrine, as did also another person who was with me, named Turbo. Accordingly, all that these parties have conveyed in their testimony to me. and also all that we ourselves have discovered in the man, I shall not suffer to be kept back from your cognizance.
Then, indeed, the multitudes became all the more excited, and crowded together to listen to Archelaus; for, in good sooth, the statements which were made by him offered them the greatest enjoyment. Accordingly, they earnestly urged him to tell them all that he pleased, and all that he had on his mind; and they declared themselves ready to listen to him there and then, and engaged to stay on even to the evening, and until the lights should be lit.
Stimulated therefore by their heartiness, Archelaus began his address with all confidence in the following terms:--My brethren, you have heard, indeed, the primary causes relating to my Lord Jesus,--I mean those which are decided out of he law and the prophets; and of the subsidiary causes also relating to my Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, you are not ignorant. And why should I say more? From the loving desire for the Saviour we have been called Christians, as the, whole world itself attests, and as the apostles also plainly declare. Yea, further, that best master-builder of His, Paul himself, has laid our foundation, that is, the foundation of the Church and has put us in trust of the law, ordaining ministers, and presbyters, and bishops in the same, and describing in the places severally assigned to that purpose, in what manner and with what character the ministers of God ought to conduct themselves, of what repute the presbyters ought to be possessed, and how they should be constituted, and what manner of persons those also ought to be who desire the office of bishop. And all these institutions. which were once settled well and rightly for us, preserve their prosper standing and order with us to this day, and the regular administration of these rules abides amongst us still. But as to this fellow, Manes by name, who has at present burst boastfully forth upon us from the province of Persia, and between whom and me disputation has now for the second time been stirred, I shall tell you about his lineage, and that, too, in all fulness; and I shall also show you most lucidly the source from width his doctrine has descended. This man is neither the first nor the only originator of this type of doctrine. But a certain person belonging to Scythia, bearing the name Scythianus, and living in the thee of the apostles, was the founder and leader of this sect, just as many other apostates have constituted themselves founders and leaders, who from time to time, through the ambitious desire of arrogating positions of superior importance to themselves, have given out falsehoods for the truth, and have perverted the simpler class of people to their own lustful appetencies, on whose names and treacheries, however, thee does not permit us at present to descant. This Scythianus, then, was the person who introduced this self-contradictory dualism; and for that, too, he was himself indebted to Pythagoras, as also all the other followers of this dogma have been, who all uphold the notion of a dualism, and turn aside from the direct course of Scripture: but they shall not gain any further success therein.
52. No one, however, has ever made such an unblushing advance in the promulgation of these tenets as this Scythianus. For he introduced the notion of a feud between the two unbegottens, and all those other fancies which are the consequences of a position of that kind. This Scythianus himself belonged to the stock of the Saracens, and took as his wife a certain captive from the Upper Thebaid, who persuaded him to dwell in Egypt rather than in the deserts. And would that he had never been received by that province, in which, as he dwelt in it for a period, he found the opportunity for learning the wisdom of the Egyptians! for, to speak truth, he was a person of very decided talent, and also of very liberal means, as those who knew him, have likewise testified in accounts transmitted to us. Moreover, he had a certain disciple named Terebinthus, who wrote four books for him. To the first of these books he gave the title of the Mysteries, to the second that of the Heads, to the third that of the Gospel, and to the last of all that of the Treasury. He had these four books, and this one disciple whose name was Terebinthus. As, then, these two persons had determined to reside alone by themselves for a considerable period, Scythianus thought of making an excursion into Judea, with the purpose of meeting with all those who had a reputation there as teachers; but it came to pass that he suddenly departed this life soon after that, without having been able to accomplish anything. That disciple, moreover, who had sojourned with him had to flee, and made his way toward Babylonia, a province which at present is held by the Persians, and which is distant now a journey of about six days and nights from our parts. On arriving there, Terebinthus succeeded in giving currency to a wonderful account of himself, declaring that he was replete with all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and that he was really named now, not Terebinthus, but another Buddas, and that this designation had been put upon him. He asserted further that he was the son of a certain virgin, and that he had been brought up by an angel on the mountains. A certain prophet, however, of the name of Parcus, and Labdacus the son of Mithras, charged him with falsehood, and day after day unceasingly they had keen and elevated contentions on this subject. But why should I speak of that at length? Although he was often reproved, hecontinued, nevertheless, to make declarations to them on matters whichwere antecedent to the world, and on the sphere, and the two luminaries; and also on the question whither and in what manner the souls depart, and in what mode they return again into the bodies; and he made many other assertions of this nature, and others even worse than these,--as, for instance, that war was raised with God among the elements, that the prophet himself might be believed. However, as he was hard pressed for assertions like these, he betook himself to a certain widow, along with his four books: for he had attached to himself no disciple in that same locality, with the single exception of an old woman who became an intimate of his. Then, on a subsequent occasion, at the earliest dawn one morning, he went up to the top of a certain house, and there began to invoke certain names, which Turbo has told us only the seven elect have learned. He ascended to the housetop, then, with the purpose of engaging in some religious ceremony, or some art of his own; and he went up alone, so as not to be detected by any one: for he considered that, if he was convicted of playing false with, or holding of little account, the religious beliefs of the people, he would be liable to be punished by the real princes of the country. And as he was revolving these things then in his mind, God in His perfect justice decreed that he should be thrust beneath earth by a spirit; and forthwith he was cast down from the roof of the house; and his body, being precipitated lifeless to the ground, was taken up in pity by the old woman mentioned above, and was buried in the wonted place of sepulture.
53. After this event all the effects which he had brought with him from Egypt remained in her possession. And she rejoiced greatly over his death, and that for two reasons: first, because she did not regard his arts with satisfaction; and secondly, because she had obtained such an inheritance, for it was one of great value. But as she was all alone, she bethought herself of having some one to attend her; and she got for that purpose a boy of about seven years of age, named Corbicius, to whom she at once gave his freedom, and whom she also instructed in letters. When this boy had reached his twelfth year the old woman died, and left to him all her possessions, and among other things those four books which Scythianus had written, each of them consisting of a moderate number of lines. When his mistress was once buried, Corbicius began to make his own use of all the property that had been left him. Abandoning the old locality, he took up his abode in the middle of the city, where the king of Persia had his residence; and there altering his name, he called himself Manes instead of Corbicius, or, to speak more correctly, not Manes, but Mani: for that is the kind of inflection employed in the Persian language. Now, when this boy had grown to be a man of well-nigh sixty years of age, he had acquired great erudition in all the branches of learning taught in those parts, and I might almost say that in these he surpassed all others. Nevertheless he had been a still more diligent student of the doctrines contained in these four books; and he had also gained three disciples, whose names were Thomas, Addas, and Hermas. Then, too, he took these books, and transcribed them in such wise that he introduced into them much new matter which was simply his own, and which can be likened only to old wives' fables. Those three disciples, then, he thus had attached to him as conscious participants in his evil counsels; and he gave, moreover, his own name to the books, and deleted the name of their former owner, as if he bad composed them all by himself. Then it seemed good to him to send his disciples, with the doctrines which he had committed to writing in the books, into the upper districts of that province, and through various cities and villages, with the view of securing followers. Thomas accordingly determined to take possession of the regions of Egypt, and Addas those of Scythia, while Hermas alone chose to remain with the man himself. When these, then, had set out on their course, the king's son was seized with a certain sickness; and as the king was very anxious to see him cured, he published a decree offering a large reward, and engaging to bestow it upon any one who should prove himself capable of restoring the prince. On the report of this, all at haphazard, like the men who are accustomed to play the game of cubes, which is another name for the dice, Manes presented himself before the king, declaring that he would cure the boy. And when the king heard that, he received him courteously, and welcomed him heartily. But not utterly to weary my hearers with the recital of the many things which he did, let me simply say that the boy died, or rather was bereft of life, in his hands. Then the king ordered Manes to be thrust into prison, and to be loaded with chains of iron weighing half a hundredweight. Moreover, those two disciples of his who had been sent to inculcate his doctrine among the different cities were also sought for with a view to punishment. But they took to flight, without ever ceasing, however, to introduce into the various localities which they visited that teaching of theirs which is so alien to the faith, and which has been inspired only by Antichrist.
54. But after these events they returned to their master, and reported what had befallen them; and at the same thee they got an account of the numerous ills which had overtaken him. When, therefore, got access to him, as I was saying, they called his attention to all the sufferings they had had to endure in each several region; and as for the rest, they urged it upon him that regard ought now to be had to the question of safety; for they had been in great terror test any of the miseries which were inflicted on him should fall to their own lot. But he counselled them to fear nothing, and rose to harangue them. And then, while he lay in prison, he ordered them to procure copies of the books of the law of the Christians; for these disciples who had been despatched by him through the different communities were held in execration by all men, and most of all by those with whom the name of Christians was an object of honour. Accordingly, on receiving a small supply of money, they took their departure for those districts in which the books of the Christians were published; and pretending that they were Christian messengers, they requested that the books might be shown them, with a view to their acquiring copies. And, not to make a lengthened narrative of this, they thus got possession of all the books of our Scriptures, and brought them back with them to their master, who was still in prison. On receiving these copies, that astute personage set himself to seek out, all the statements in our books that seemed to favour his notion of a dualism; which, however, was not really his notion, but rather that of Scythianus, who had promulgated it a long time before him. And just as he did in disputing with me, so then too, by rejecting some things and altering others in our Scriptures, he tried to make out that they advanced his own doctrines, only that the name of Christ was attached to them there. That name, therefore, he pretended on this account to assume to himself, in order that the people in the various communities, hearing the holy and divine name of Christ, might have no temptation to execrate and harass those disciples of his. Moreover, when they came upon the word which is given us in our Scriptures touching the Paraclete, he took it into his head that he himself might be that Paraclete; for he had not read with sufficient care to observe that the Paraclete had come already,--namely, at the time when the apostles were still upon earth. Accordingly, when he had made up these impious inventions, he sent his disciples also to proclaim these fictions and errors with all boldness, and to make these false and novel words known in every quarter. But when the king of Persia learned this fact, he prepared to inflict condign punishment upon him. Manes, however, received information of the king's intention, having been warned of it in sleep, and made his escape out of prison, and succeeding in taking to flight, for he had bribed his keepers with a very large sum of money. Afterwards he took up his residence in the castle of Arabion; and from that place he sent by the hand of Turbo the letter which he wrote to our Marcellus, in which letter he intimated his intention of visiting him. On his arrival there, a contest took place between him and me, resembling the disputation which you have observed and listened to here; in which discussion we sought to show, as far as it was in our power, that he was a false prophet. I may add, that the keeper of the prison who had let him escape was punished, and that the king gave orders that the man should be sought for and apprehended wherever he might be found. And as these things have come trader my own cognizance, it was needful that I should also make the fact known to you, that search is being made for this fellow even to the present day by the king of Persia.
55. On hearing this, the multitude wished to seize Manes and hand him over to the power of those foreigners who were their neighbours, and who dwelt beyond the river Stranga, especially as also some time before this certain parties had come to seek him out; who, however, had to take their leave again without finding any trace of him, for at that time he was in flight. However, when Archelaus made this declaration, Manes at once took to flight, and succeeded in making his escape good before any one followed in pursuit of him. For the people were detained by the narrative which was given by Archelaus, whom they heard with great pleasure; nevertheless some of them did follow in close pursuit after him. But he made again for the roads by which he had come, and crossed the river, and effected his return to the castle of Arabion. There, however, he was afterwards apprehended and brought before the king, who, being inflamed with the strongest indignation against him, and fired with the desire of avenging two deaths upon him,--namely, the death of his own son, and the death of the keeper of the prison,--gave orders that he should b e flayed and hung before the gate of the city, and that his skin should he dipped in certain medicaments and inflated; his flesh, too, he commanded to be given as a prey to the birds. When these things came under the knowledge of Archelaus at a later period, he added an account of them to the former discussion, so that all the facts might be made known to all, even as I, who have written narrative of these matters, have explained the circumstances in what precedes. And all the Christians, therefore, having assembled, resolved that the decision should be given against him transmitting that as a sort of epilogue to his death which would be in proper consonance with the other circumstances of his life. Besides that, Archelaus added words to the following effect:--My brethren, let none of you be incredulous in regard to the statements made by me: I refer to the assertion that Manes was not himself the first author of this impious dogma, but that it was only made public by him in certain regions of the earth. For assuredly that man is not at once to be reckoned the author of anything who has simply been the bearer of it to some quarter or other, but only he has a right to that credit who has been the discoverer of it. For as the helmsman who receives the ship which another has built, may convey it to any countries he pleases, and yet he remains one who has had nothing to do with the construction of the vessel, so also is this man's position to be understood. For he did not impart its origin to this matter really from the beginning; but be was only the means of transmitting to men what had been discovered by another, as we know on the evidence of trustworthy testimonies, on the ground of which it has been our purpose to prove to you that the invention of this wickedness did not come from Manes, but that it originated with another, and that other indeed a foreigner, who appeared a long thee before him. And further, that the dogma remained unpublished for a time, until at length the doctrines which had thus been lying in obscurity for a certain period were brought forward publicly by him as if they were his own, the title of the writer having been deleted, as I have shown above. Among the Persians there was also a certain promulgator of similar tenets, one Basilides, of more ancient date, who lived no long time after the period of our apostles. This man was of a shrewd disposition himself, and as he observed that at that thee all other subjects were preoccupied, he determined to affirm that same dualism which was maintained also by Scythianus. And as, in fine, he had nothing to advance which was properly his own, he brought the sayings of others before his adversaries. And all his books contain some matters at once difficult and extremely harsh. The thirteenth book of his Tractates, however, is still extant, which begins in the following manner: "In writing the thirteenth book of our Tractates, the wholesome word furnished us with the necessary and fruitful word." Then he illustrates how it, the antagonism between good and evil, is produced under the figures of a rich principle and a poor principle, of which the latter is by nature without root and without place, and only supervenes upon things. This is the only topic which the book contains. Does it not then contain a strange word; and, as certain parties have been thus minded, will ye not also all be offended with the book itself, which has such a beginning as this?--But Basilides, returning to the subject after an introduction of same live hundred lines, more or less, proceeds thus: "Give up this vain and curious variations, and let us rather find out what inquiries tile foreigners have instituted on the subject of good and evil, and what opinions they have been led to adopt on all these subjects. For certain among them have maintained that there are for all things two beginnings, to which they have referred good and evil, holding that these beginnings are without beginning and ungenerate; that is to say, that in the origins of things there were light and darkness, which existed of themselves. and which were not merely declared to exist. While these subsisted by themselves, they led each its own proper mode of life, such as it was its will to lead, and such as was competent to it; for in the case of all things, what is proper to any one is also in amity with the same, and nothing seems evil to itself. But after they came to know each other, and after the darkness began to contemplate the light, then, as if fired with a passion for something superior to itself the darkness pressed on to have intercourse with the light."
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