Give no occasion to the Gentiles, lest "by means of a few foolish men the word and doctrine [of Christ.] be blasphemed."
"Let those who have faithful masters not despise them, because they ate brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful."
For it is not to no purpose that the blessed apostle exhorts Timothy, and says, "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called; which some professing have erred concerning the faith."
Let him consider wherein they are equal, even as he is a man. And let him that has a believing master
Let not those who seem worthy of credit, but teach strange doctrines,
Let not those who seem worthy of credit, but teach strange doctrines,
) about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh contention, envy, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth."
to the apostle, who forbids us to enter on "questions," or to lend our ears to new-fangled statements,
The apostle instructs us, saying, "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ and His doctrine, he is lifted up with foolishness: from such withdraw thyself."
Mindful of which precept, the blessed Apostle Paul himself also warns and instructs, saying, "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to His doctrine, he is proud, knowing nothing: from such withdraw thyself."
And also, "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing,"
and, inasmuch as these men have no works of their father to adduce, the latter is shown to be God alone. But if any one, "doting about questions,"
he will not accede to the disputations and quibbles of proud and puffed-up men,
Neither need I say any thing about his pride and the haughtiness with which he assumed worldly dignities, and his wishing to be styled procurator
And as a very powerful deterrent to any one from being anxious to take from the account of the poor, and from thinking that "the piety of others is a way of gain,"
Further, the other counsels and precepts are unimportant, and respect particular things,-as, for example, if one may marry, take part in public affairs, beget children; but the only command that is universal, and over the whole course of existence, at all times and in all circumstances, tends to the highest end, viz., life, is piety,
It disturbs some that this mortality is common to us with others; and yet what is there in this world which is not common to us with others, so long as this flesh of ours still remains, according to the law of our first birth, common to us with them? So long as we are here in the world, we are associated with the human race in fleshly equality,
Knowing, therefore, that "as we brought nothing into the world, so we can carry nothing out,"
For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have made shipwreck from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
For covetousness is a root of all evils, which some desiring, have made shipwreck from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
1 Tim. 6:7 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
For the root of all evils is covetousness, which some coveting, have made shipwreck from the faith, and have plunged themselves in many sorrows."
1 Tim. 6:7 - NIV, NAB - in Gregory Thaumaturgus A Metaphrase of the Book of Ecclesiastes
and the man himself, however unwillingly, is doomed to die, and return to earth in the selfsame condition in which it was his lot once to come into being.
promising that He knows what is needful for each of His servants-not indeed ponderous necklaces, not burdensome garments, not Gallic mules nor German bearers, which all add lustre to the glory of nuptials; but "sufficiency,"
For, moreover, preferring Lazarus in his very hunger and in his sores themselves, and with the rich man's dogs, He restrained the destroyers of salvation, the belly and the palate, by examples. The apostle also, when he said, "Having food and raiment, we are therewith content,"
Why, then, do you hesitate to lay that out well which perhaps a single robbery will snatch away from you, or a proscription suddenly arising, or the plundering of an enemy? Why do you fear to make a frail and perishable good everlasting, or to entrust your treasures to God as their preserver, in which case you need not fear thief and robber, nor rust, nor tyrant? He who is rich towards God can never be poor.
I have taught those in a middle station to be content with food and covering;
from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
"But the love of money is the root of all evils."
But now love of money is found to be the stronghold of evil, which the apostle says "is the root of all evils, which, while some coveted, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
If we think over the rest of faults, tracing them from their generations, let us begin with covetousness, "a root of all evils,"
Of that, therefore, which we have not the smallest need to seek after, because the Lord did not seek after it either, we ought to endure without heart-sickness the cutting down or taking away. "Covetousness," the Spirit of the Lord has through the apostle pronounced "a root of all evils."
laid down the law of frugality and continency; and thinking that it would be of little advantage that he had written, he also gave himself as an example of what he had written, adding not without reason, that "avarice is the root of all evils; "
"the love of money (which is the root of all evils); "
For to what, most dearly beloved, does the wisdom of this world urge us, but to seek things that are hurtful, and to love things that are to perish, and to neglect things that are healthful, and to esteem as of no value things that are lasting? It commends the love of money, of which it is said, The love of money is the root of all evil;
with reference to this end, the devil afterwards himself entered into his soul and took full possession of him. And perhaps, when the Apostle says, "The love of money is a root of all evils,"
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
of God, that is, to follow righteousness,
but may be approved before God and before men. For in "the man who is of God,"
and also of that precept of which he says, "I charge thee in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus Christ who witnessed a good confession under Pontius Pilate, that thou keep this commandment? "
unto which day and time he charges Timothy himself "to keep what had been committed to his care, without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ: which in His times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,"
How then shall the Greeks any longer disbelieve the divine appearance on Mount Sinai, when the fire burned, consuming none of the things that grew on the mount; and the sound of trampets issued forth, breathed without instruments? For that which is called the descent on the mount of God is the advent of divine power, pervading the whole world, and proclaiming "the light that is inaccessible."
For it is impossible that he who has been once made perfect by love, and feasts eternally and insatiably on the boundless joy of contemplation, should delight in small and grovelling things. For what rational cause remains any more to the man who has gained "the light inaccessible,"
The apostle confirms this statement; for, speaking of God, he says, "Whom no man hath seen, nor can see; "
Of the Father, however, he says to Timothy: "Whom none among men hath seen, nor indeed can see; "and he accumulates the description in still ampler terms: "Who only hath immortality, and dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto."
-the Son, in fact, by the Father? Moreover, how comes it to pass, that the Almighty Invisible God, "whom no man hath seen nor can see; He who dwelleth in light unapproachable; "
7. The beloved generates love, and the light immaterial the light inaccessible.
and the Apostle Paul, "Whom no man hath seen, nor can see."
Moreover, the Apostle Paul says: "Who only hath immortality, and dwelleth in the light that no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see."
For the unbegotten and incorporeal beauty, which neither begins nor is corruptible, but is unchangeable, and grows not old and has need of nothing, He resting in Himself, and in the very light which is in unspeakable and inapproachable places,
I am one in the choir with Christ dispensing His rewards in heaven, around the unbeginning and never-ending King. I have become the torch-bearer of the unapproachable lights,
mple drawn before the ark of the covenant, which typified thee, that the truth might be laid open to me, and also that I might be taught, by the types and figures which went before, to approach with reverence and trembling to do honour to the sacred mystery which is connected with thee; and that by means of this prior shadow-painting of the law I might be restrained from boldly and irreverently contemplating with fixed gaze Him who, in His incomprehensibility, is seated far above all.
nd let the bishop add this prayer, and say: O God Almighty, the true God, to whom nothing can be compared, who art everywhere, and present in all things, and art in nothing as one of the things themselves; who art not bounded by place, nor grown old by time; who art not terminated by ages, nor deceived by words; who art not subject to generation, and wantest no guardian; who art above all corruption, free from all change, and invariable by nature; "who inhabitest light inaccessible; "
" And in this sense we "charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate."
I have taught those that are eminent and rich not to be lifted up, and hope in uncertainty of riches, but to place their hope in God;
In fine, they have a name derived from Simon, the author of these most impious doctrines, being called Simonians; and from them "knowledge, falsely so called,"
1. In the first book, which immediately precedes this, exposing "knowledge falsely so called,"
of language, they style ignorance of the truth knowledge: and Paul well says [of them, that [they make use of] "novelties of words of false knowledge."
As, then, philosophy has been brought into evil repute by pride and self-conceit, so also ghosts by false ghosts called by the same name; of which the apostle writing says, "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane and vain babblings and oppositions of science (gnosis) falsely so called; which some professing, have erred concerning the faith."
the same madness, in their allowing indeed that the apostles were ignorant of nothing, and preached not any (doctrines) which contradicted one another, but at the same time insisting that they did not reveal all to all men, for that they proclaimed some openly and to all the world, whilst they disclosed others (only) in secret and to a few, because Paul addressed even this expression to Timothy: "O Timothy, guard that which is entrusted to thee; "
Nay, the very exhortation to "avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing, have erred concerning the faith,"
For it seems expedient that we, making an onslaught upon the opinion which constitutes the prime source of (contemporaneous) evils, should prove what are the originating principles
Then there came a voice to me: Come hither and die, Esdras, my beloved; give that which hath been entrusted to thee.
And likewise already each of the heterodox and of those who have begotten any "knowledge which is falsely so called,"
And again there is cowardice, a gate of death, but manly courage, a gate of Zion; and want of prudence, a gate of death, but its opposite, prudence, a gate of Zion. But to all the gates of the "knowledge which is falsely so called"
but to every one that acts amiss
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