" Cleverly argued, as it appeared to himself, as though there could be no other state. But each conclusion is false. For the sacred writings
And our Lord is often recorded in the Gospel to have said: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
Matt. 13 - NIV, NAB - in Acts of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian
the word, the grace, the true pearl, the treasure, the plough, the net,
And again in another place it is written, "All the multitude stood on the beach and He spake to them many things in parables."
to be continually solicitous; but I speak all things simply and candidly, as my Lord said: `A sower went forth to sow the seed; and some fell by the wayside; and some among thorns, and some on stony ground, and some on good ground.'
In the parable also of the withering of the word
And some fell by the wayside, and was trodden down; and some on the rocky places, and sprang up," he says, "and on account of its having no depth (of soil), it withered and died; and some," he says, "fell on fair and good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty fold. Who hath ears," he says, "to hear, let him hear."
And these (heretics) suppose that this is what is spoken by the Saviour: "A sower went forth to sow; and that which fell on the fair and good ground produced, some a hundred-fold, and some sixty-fold, and some thirty-fold."
Then Peter said: "If I were asked to speak of these things only on your account, who come only for the purpose of contradicting, you should never hear a single discourse from me; but seeing it is necessary that the husbandman, wishing to sow good ground, should sow some seeds, either in stony places, or places that are to be trodden of men, or in places filled with brambles and briers (as our Master also set forth, indicating by these the diversities of the purposes of several souls),
The thistles are the rich, and the thorns are they who are immersed in much business. Those, [accordingly, who are entangled in many various kinds of business, do not
These chosen abodes, which are three, are indicated by the numbers in the Gospel-the thirty, the sixty, the hundred.
no one is so foolish as to suppose that the eyes of the body behold the wonders of the divine law, or that the law of the Lord gives light to the bodily eyes, or that the sleep of death falls on the eyes of the body. When our Saviour says, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,"
Then after the parable of the Sowing, it was no longer the multitudes but the disciples who came and said to Him, not "Why speakest thou to us in parables," but, "Why speakest thou to them in parables."
But blessed are your eyes, which see the things that ye see; and your ears, which hear what ye do hear.
" And he answered me again, saying, "Every one who is the servant of God, and has his Lord in his heart, asks of Him understanding, and receives it, and opens up every parable; and the words of the Lord become known to him which are spoken in parables.
These things the Saviour Himself seals when He says: "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven."
which were obscure, telling them that "to them it was given to know those mysteries,"
And Peter said: "We remember that our Lord and Teacher, commanding us, said, `Keep the mysteries for me and the sons of my house.' Wherefore also He explained to His disciples privately the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.
but on going to the house He discourses not to the multitudes but to the disciples who came to Him there, manifestly the things spoken in the house were not parables: for, to them that are without. even to those to whom "it is not given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,"
For, because of the saying, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to the rest in parables,"
Then also He answered and said, not to the multitudes but to the disciples, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to the rest in parables."
For observe carefully that He said to the disciples, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven," but about the multitudes, "To them it is not given."
has deemed God's law to be foolishness, and has therefore neglected to observe it; and as a further consequence, by his not having faith, "even that which he seemeth to have hath been taken from him"
We are taught by these things that powers were found in those who believed, since "to every one that hath shall be given and he shall have abundance,"
" "Wherefore," says the Lord, "I speak to them in parables: because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not, and do not understand; "
For, says he, it is necessary that the magnitudes be declared, and that they thus be declared by all everywhere, "in order that hearing they may not hear, and seeing they may not see."
Matt. 13:13 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
And furthermore, is it only the God of the Old Testament that has blinded the minds of them who believe not? Nay, has not Jesus Himself also said: "Therefore speak I to them in parables: that seeing, they may not see? "
Matt. 13:16 - NIV, NAB - in Clement of Alexandria Who is the Rich Man that Shall Be Saved?
"And blessed are ye who see and hear what neither righteous men nor prophets" (have seen or heard),
Therefore, also, she is blessed and praised by all, because she saw and heard freely what those desired to see, even for a little time, and saw not, and to hear, but heard not. For "blessed," said our Lord to His disciples,
"But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear."
He who is to be blessed must see in his mind the things which he believes, and must be able with the Apostles to hear the words spoken to him, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear,"
But that it was not only the prophets and many righteous men, who, foreseeing through the Holy Spirit His advent, prayed that they might attain to that period in which they should see their Lord face to face, and hear His words, the Lord has made manifest, when He says to His disciples, "Many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them."
in reference to whom He did also declare to the disciples: "Many prophets and righteous men have desired to see and hear what ye do see and hear."
Matt. 13:17 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Also in the same place: "Many prophets and righteous men have desired to see the things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them."
And in addition to this, willing to convict more fully of error the prophets from whom they asserted that they had learned, He proclaimed that they died desiring the truth, but not having learned it, saying, `Many prophets and kings desired to see what ye see, and to hear what you hear; and verily I say to you, they neither saw nor heard.'
s he not teach us that he was before Abraham, and that Abraham rejoiced and was glad to see his day? The words "Of his fulness all we received," and "Grace for grace," show, as we have already made clear, that the prophets also received their gift from the fulness of Christ and received a second grace in place of that they had before; for they also, led by the Spirit, advanced from the introduction they had in types to the vision of truth. Hence not all the prophets, but many of them,
"Because," he said, "neither are the righteous manifest in this life, nor sinners, but they are alike; for this life is a winter to the righteous, and they do not manifest themselves, because they dwell with sinners: for as in winter trees that have cast their leaves are alike, and it is not seen which are dead and which are living, so in this world neither do the righteous show themselves, nor sinners, but all are alike one to another."
" "But who are these, Lady, that are white and round, and yet do not fit into the building of the tower? "She answered and said, "How long will you be foolish and stupid, and continue to put every kind of question and understand nothing? These are those who have faith indeed, but they have also the riches of this world. When, therefore, tribulation comes, on account of their riches and business they deny the Lord."
For as the good olive, if neglected for a certain time, if left to grow wild and to run to i wood, does itself become a wild olive; or again, if the wild olive be carefully tended and grafted, it naturally reverts to its former fruit-bearing condition: so men also, when they become careless, and bring forth for fruit the lusts of the flesh like woody produce, are rendered, by their own fault, unfruitful in righteousness. For when men sleep, the enemy sows the material of tares;
So that you need not be afraid to ascribe to him the mastery and dominion over that second, later, and deteriorated nature (of which we have been speaking), when you read of him as "the sewer of tares, and the nocturnal spoiler of the crop of corn.
Matt. 13:25 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
and (once more shows us) the man who is the enemy of the same, the sower of tares,
the honourable glories of many and good confessors are tarnished;
Matt. 13:27 - NIV, NAB - in Victorinus Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John
And they said to Him, Lord, wilt Thou, then, that we go and root them up? And He said, Nay, but let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, that they gather the tares and make bundles of them, and burn them with fire everlasting, but that they gather the wheat into my barns."
" But while men slept, the enemy came, and "sowed tares in the midst of the wheat, and went his way."
And then, that heresies should be sown among the truth, as "tares among the wheat," was foretold by the Lord; and what was predicted to take place could not but happen.
[also] at the time of the end, to order the reapers to collect first the tares together, and bind them in bundles, and burn them with unquenchable fire, but to gather up the wheat into the barn;
But again shall it be rooted up, if the Lord will, even now; but if not now, in the day when all bundles of tares shall be gathered together, and along with every other stumbling-block shall be burnt up with unquenchable fire.
: "Let the tares grow along with the wheat; "
Wherefore He Himself, declaring Himself very beautifully, likened Himself to a grain of mustard-seed;
the Fashioner of humanity, the Sower
That which is, he says, nothing, and which consists of nothing, inasmuch as it is indivisible-(I mean) a point-will become through its own reflective power a certain incomprehensible magnitude. This, he says, is the kingdom of heaven, the grain of mustard seed,
But of the remaining doctrines let her not answer anything rashly, lest by saying anything unlearnedly she should make the word to be blasphemed. For the Lord has taught us that the word is like "a grain of mustard seed,"
removes not one mountain only, but also several analogous to it; for although faith is despised by men and appears to be something very little and contemptible; yet when it meets with good ground, that is the soul, which is able fittingly to receive such seed, it becomes a great tree, so that no one of those things which have no wings, but the birds of heaven which are winged spiritually, are able to lodge in the branches of faith so great.
I said to him, "Sir, explain to me what this tree means, for I am perplexed about it, because, after so many branches have been cut off, it continues sound, and nothing appears to have been cut away from it. By this, now, I am perplexed." "Listen," he said: "This great tree
And now, by the parable of the leaven, the Lord shows concealment; for He says, "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened."
This, says he, is the kingdom of heaven that reposes within us as a treasure, as leaven hid in the three measures of meal.
3. The Lord, indeed, sowed good seed in His own field;
The apostles accordingly say of the Lord, that "He spake all things in parables, and without a parable spake He nothing unto them; "
For if He spoke to the multitudes in parables, and "spake all these things in parables, and without a parable spake nothing to them,"
Matt. 13:35 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias.
And in another place He dismisses the multitudes indeed, and goes into the house,
but He does not dismiss the disciples; and there came to Him into His house, not the multitudes but His disciples, saying, "Declare to us the parable of the tares of the field."
that is, in this world (for "the field is the world"
those] of the devil, for whom eternal fire is prepared; and as, again, He declares with regard to the tares, "The tares are the children of the wicked one,"
For this reason, therefore, He has termed those "angels of the devil," and "children of the wicked one,"
But "the field is the world."
And to those who suppose that God tempts, as the Scriptures say, He said, `The tempter is the wicked one, '
And elsewhere He said, `He who sowed the bad seed is the devil.'
And according to this the whole world might be called a field, and not the Church of God only, for in the whole world the Son of man sowed the good seed, but the wicked one tares,-that is, evil words,-which, springing from wickedness, are children of the evil one. And at the end of things, which is called "the consummation of the age,"
The Son of man shall send His angels, and they shall gather from His kingdom everything that offendeth, and those who work iniquity, and shall send them into a furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the just shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
And I asked the angel: Who are these? And he answered and said to me: These are they who are sent forth in the day of the resurrection to bring the souls of the righteous,
-not even a hair, as also not an eye nor a tooth. And yet whence shall come that "weeping and gnashing of teeth,"
Then those who become conscious that they have received the seeds of the evil one in themselves, because of their having been asleep, shall wail and, as it were, be angry against themselves; for this is the "gnashing of teeth."
Only it must be observed, that we are already taught by the parable of the tares and the similitude set forth, that the angels are to be entrusted with the power to distinguish and separate the evil from the righteous; for it is said above, "The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be the weeping and gnashing of teeth."
ut to confusion, when they affirm that such a Master was more highly toned [in spirit] and better than others, and yet manifestly give instruction of a kind utterly opposed to His teaching? And, again, if there were really no such thing as good and evil, but certain things were deemed righteous, and certain others unrighteous, in human opinion only, He never would have expressed Himself thus in His teaching: "The righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father; "
" And the Lord has said the same thing in the Gospel: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun."
For the second death is the lake of fire that burneth. And again the Lord says, "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun shineth in his glory."
But some as head, some as eyes, some as ears, some as hands, some as breasts, some as feet, shall be set, resplendent, in the sun. "Shine forth as the sun,"
and shall shine like the sun.
Then above all "shall the righteous shine," no longer differently as at the first, but all "as one sun in the kingdom of their Father."
Then, as if to indicate that there was indeed a hidden meaning, perhaps, in all that is concerned with the explanation of the parable, perhaps most of all in the saying, "Then shall the righteous shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father," the Saviour adds, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,"
). For Christ is the treasure which was hid in the field,
For we know that the nature of wickedness is like that of the smallest seeds; since it has waxed strong from a small beginning, but will again be destroyed if we obey the words of God and do not scatter ourselves. For He has become master of all we have by means of a certain "hidden treasure,"
Let us, then, institute a comparison between them; and we shall find that our doctrines are older, not only than those of the Greeks, but than the invention of letters.
He says: "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly pearls. And when he found a precious pearl, he went away and sold all that he had, and bought it."
Matt. 13:45 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Also in the same place: "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly pearls: and when he hath found a precious pearl, he went away and sold all that he had, and bought it."
Now, having collected these things out of dissertations about stones, I say that the Saviour with a knowledge of the difference of pearls, of which some are in kind goodly and others worthless, said, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a merchant seeking goodly pearls; "
But Peter said: "Who is he that is earnest toward instruction, and that studiously inquires into every particular, except him who loves his own soul to salvation, and renounces all the affairs of this world, that he may have leisure to attend to the word of God only? Such is he whom alone the true Prophet deems wise, even he who sells all that he has and buys the one true pearl,
I pass over in silence at present the parable which says in the Gospel: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who cast a net into the sea and out of the multitude of the fishes caught, makes a selection of the better ones."
Now, these things being said, we must hold that "the kingdom of heaven is likened to a net that was cast into the sea and gathered of every kind,
The angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the righteous and shall cast them into the furnace of fire."
Matt. 13:51 - NIV, NAB - in Victorinus Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John
And He added, Therefore is every scribe instructed in the kingdom of God like unto a man that is a father of a family, bringing forth from his treasure things new and old,"
All things therefore are of one and the same substance, that is, from one and the same God; as also the Lord says to the disciples "Therefore every scribe, which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old."
And the disciple will be perfected, and [rendered] like the householder, "who bringeth forth from his treasure things new and old."
-distinguishing (as he is doing) "things new and old"
For concerning such an one our Lord spoke, as of a rich man, `Who brings forth from his treasures things new and old.'
Now since "every scribe who has been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder who bringeth forth out of his treasury things new and old,"
" Only, whether he is putting a question or making an affirmation, it is necessarily said not "these things" only,-which is demonstrative,-not "all things" only, but "all these things." And here He seems to represent the disciples as having been scribes before the kingdom of heaven;
condition of His terrene flesh which made all things else about Him wonderful, as when they said, "Whence hath this man this wisdom and these mighty works? "
Now who is there that is capable of giving even moderate attention to affairs-not merely among the believers on Jesus, but among the rest of mankind-that would not laugh at Celsus, on hearing that Jesus, who was born and brought up among the Jews, and was supposed to be the son of Joseph the carpenter, and who had not studied literature-not merely that of the Greeks, but not even that of the Hebrews-as the truth-loving Scriptures testify regarding Him,
I wait to hear what you understand thereby; for fear you may perhaps think some carpenter-king
"John whom I beheaded, he is risen from the dead; "so that he appears not to have known what was said about Christ, as reported in the Gospel,
And they spoke, wondering, (not knowing that He was the son of a virgin, or not believing it even if it was told to them, but supposing that He was the son of Joseph the carpenter, ) "is not this the carpenter's son? "
And depreciating the whole of what appeared to be His nearest kindred, they said, "Is not His mother called Mary? And His brethren, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? "
With regard to Joseph and Simon we have nothing to tell; but the saying, "And His sisters are they not all with us."
" They have not done so, but have named it "His country," because of something being declared in a mystic sense in the passage about His country,-namely, the whole of Judaea,-in which He was dishonoured according to the saying, "A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country."
And perhaps, as in the case of material things there exists in some things a natural attraction towards some other thing, as in the magnet for iron, and in what is called naphtha for fire, so there is an attraction in such faith towards the divine power, according to what is said, "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove."
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