" Cleverly argued, as it appeared to himself, as though there could be no other state. But each conclusion is false. For the sacred writings
But before baptism, let him that is to be baptized fast; for even the Lord, when He was first baptized by John, and abode in the wilderness, did afterward fast forty days and forty nights.
John holds not his peace, saying, "Enter upon repentance, for now shall salvation approach the nations"
of the Virgin; those a little before His bodily appearance by John His forerunner, and the same by the same person after Christ's birth, saying, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; "
and proved by example and absolute demonstration, can one understand the kingdom of heaven, so that he who abounds in knowledge free from error is in the kingdom of the multitude of what are here represented as "heavens." So, too, you will allegorise the word, "Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand,"
And perhaps, also, each virtue is a kingdom of heaven, and all together are a kingdom of the heavens; so that according to this he is already in the kingdom of the heavens who lives according to the virtues, so that according to this the saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,"
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough into smooth ways; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."
of baptism, "make the paths straight"
I cannot keep silence while Thou art present, for I am a voice; yea, I am the voice, as it is said, of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord.
Matt. 3:3 - NIV, NAB - in Gospel of Nicodemus II The Descent of Christ into Hell
Then there came into the midst another, an ascetic from the desert; and the patriarchs said to him: Who art thou? And he said: I am John, the last of the prophets, who made the paths of the Son of God straight,
even of the baptism of John: "They were baptized," saith (the Scripture), "confessing their own sins."
And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham [to our] father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."
Again, therefore, some venomous and false hypocrites, who plotted against righteousness, He once called "a brood of vipers."
And in the Gospel by John He says, "Serpents, brood of vipers."
If so, then "God will not be able any longer to raise up from the stones children unto Abraham; nor to make a generation of vipers bring forth fruits of repentance."
In fact, the doctors of the law and the Pharisees, who were unwilling to "believe," did not "repent" either.
Wherefore John, the forerunner of the Lord, who before knew not this mystery, on learning that He is Lord in truth, cried out, and spake to those who came to be baptized of him, "O generation of vipers,"
They send envoys who deal in rebukes, and so far as their power extends debar him from baptizing; their envoys ask, Why baptizest thou, then, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet? And if we were to stitch together into one statement what is written in the various Gospels, we should say that at this time they spoke as is here reported, but that at a later time, when they wished to received baptism, they heard the address of John:
And we have to observe how, when Matthew reports that there went out to John Jerusalem and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, to be baptized by him in Jordan, confessing their sins, it was not these people who heard from the Baptist any word of rebuke or refutation, but only those many Pharisees and Sadducees whom he saw coming. They it was who were greeted with the address, "Ye offspring of vipers," etc.
"that should bring forth fruits meet for repentance,"
For Christ is one, in whom every nation that believes, and every tongue that confesses, is gathered unto God. And those that were of a stony heart have become the children of Abraham, the friend of God;
as John the Baptist says: "For God is able from these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."
For thus it had behoved the sons of Abraham [to be], whom God has raised up to him from the stones,
The skill of God, therefore, is not defective, for He has power of the stones to raise up children to Abraham;
Now I have shown a short time ago that the church is the seed of Abraham; and for this reason, that we may know that He who in the New Testament "raises up from the stones children unto Abraham,"
As our witness, let us adduce the voice of prophecy accordant with truth, and bewailing those who are crushed in ignorance and folly: "For God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham; "
if nature admits of change from evil to good in Matter, it can be changed from good to evil in God. Here some man will say, Then will "children not be raised up to Abraham from the stones? "
had been by nature evil, why might it not have been changed by God as the more powerful Being, as able to convert the nature of stones into children of Abraham?
(nations) who, as the fruit of the "faith" which precedes digamy, had to be accounted "sons of Abraham."
-and in their stead must be under-strewn stones polished and apt for conjunction, and firm,-such as are made (by God) into (sons) of Abraham,
Whence in the Gospel we find that "children of Abraham are raised from stones, that is, are gathered from the Gentiles."
"For every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down, and cast into the fire; "
that all may know, "that every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be cut down, and cast into the fire."
For that the word of God is likened to an axe, John the Baptist declares [when he says] in reference to it, "But now also is the axe laid to the root of the trees."
"The axe unto the root,"
There the blood of the Lord serves for your purple robe, and your broad stripe is His own cross; there the axe is already laid to the trunk of the tree;
and shall not see fire,"
The wood was the old order, which is being pruned down by the new Gospel, in which withal "the axe has been laid at the roots."
This, he says, is what is spoken: "Every tree not producing good fruit, is cut down and cast into the fire."
For somewhere near, he says, is the axe (which is laid) at the roots of the tree. Every tree, he says, which does not produce good fruit, is hewn down and cast into fire.
Matt. 3:10 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
In the Gospel according to Matthew: "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be cut down, and cast into the fire."
For things passing away ought not to move us, seeing that they are always being pressed forward to their own overthrow, not only by the law proposed to them, but even by the very end of time. John exclaims, and says, "Now is the axe laid to the root of the tree; "
But both classes see John point to the stones aforesaid and declare that even from these children can be raised up to Abraham, rising up out of unconsciousness and deadness. And observe how it is said to the Pharisees,
He cried, as he sat by the river Jordan: `I baptize you with water to repentance; but He that is stronger than I shall come, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into the barn; but the chaff He will burn up with unquenchable fire.'
Now, who this Lord is that brings such a day about, John the Baptist points out, when he says of Christ, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire, having His fan in His hand to cleanse His floor; and He will gather His fruit into the garner, but the chaff He will burn up with unquenchable fire."
But we say that the fire sanctifies
celestial in John-the Spirit of prophecy-so completely failed, after the transfer of the whole Spirit to the Lord, that he presently sent to inquire whether He whom he had himself preached,
and again, by saying that he "baptized in repentance only, but that One would shortly come who would baptize in the Spirit and fire; "
"There comes One mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."
Matt. 3:11 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Moreover, in the Gospel according to Matthew, John says: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."
t is, from the most ancient baptism of Moses, and preparing the way of the new and true grace, both preoccupied the ears of the Jews gradually by the baptism of water and of repentance which for the time he practised, and took possession of them with the announcement of a spiritual baptism that was to come, exhorting them, and saying, "He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire; "
John says: "I indeed baptize you with water, but there cometh after me He that baptizeth with the Spirit and fire."
Matthew reports that the Baptist, when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, after the words of rebuke which we have already studied, went on:
and slaying the impious with the breath of His lips, and having a fan in His hands, and cleansing His floor, and gathering the wheat indeed into His barn, but burning the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Others again, speaking of Him as a judge, and [referring], as if it were a burning furnace, [to] the day of the Lord, who "gathers the wheat into His barn, but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire,"
"For the fan is in the Lord's hand, by which the chaff due to the fire is separated from the wheat."
and He carries "His fan in His hand to purge His threshing-floor."
and "dust of the threshing-floor,"
At Rome, for instance, they who have to do with the type of that "inextinguishable fire,"
This is that fan which even now cleanses the Lord's threshing-floor-the Church, I mean-winnowing the mixed heap of believers, and separating the grain
But some, as Heraclius says, marked with fire the ears of those who were sealed; understanding so the apostolic saying, "For His fan is in His hand, to purge His floor: and He will gather the wheat into the garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire un-quenchable."
But as the rain given by God equally nourishes the corn and the tares, but at the time of harvest the crops are gathered into the barn, but the chaff or the tares are burnt in the fire,
The holy Andrew said: Listen, O son of death and chaff made ready for eternal burnings,
came down on Jesus;
and was baptized in the Jordan.
Come, let us view the image of our regeneration, as it is emblematically presented in these waters. "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him."
And Jesus answered and said to him: Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.
And from this day He began to hide His miracles and mysteries and secrets, and to give attention to the law, until He completed His thirtieth year, when His Father publicly declared Him at the Jordan by this voice sent down from heaven: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; the Holy Spirit being present in the form of a white dove.
Wherefore John, on seeing so great a humbling of Himself, was struck with astonishment at the affair, and began to prevent Him, saying, as ye have just heard, "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? "
of God; that He was truly born of a virgin, was baptized by John, in order that all righteousness might be fulfilled
by the Virgin Mary; was baptized by John, that all righteousness might be fulfilled
And what saith the Lord to him? "Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness."
t in the warmth of their faith, and believing in the Lord with their whole heart; and when, filled with the Spirit, they blessed God in divers tongues, still none the less the blessed Apostle Peter, mindful of the divine precept and the Gospel, commanded that those same men should be baptized who had already been filled with the Holy Spirit, that nothing might seem to be neglected to the observance by the apostolic instruction in all things of the law of the divine precept and Gospel.
And their hearts being purified, God bestowed upon them at the same time, in virtue of their faith, remission of sins; so that the subsequent baptism conferred upon them this benefit alone, that they received also the invocation of the name of Jesus Christ, that nothing might appear to be wanting to the integrity of their service and faith.
away in the spiritual layer not His own sins, for it is evident that He had none, but those of the flesh,
And then, [speaking of His] baptism, Matthew says, "The heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God, as a dove, coming upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
-that is, simply like a dove.
of a dove, and sat upon the Lord.
He reposes: (He who) glided down on the Lord "in the shape of a dove,"
"And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and the heavens were opened unto Him; and, lo, the Spirit of God descended like a dove, and rested upon Him. And a voice (came) from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
and descended in flight upon Christ.
For this devil, when [Jesus] went up from the river Jordan, at the time when the voice spake to Him, `Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten Thee, '
really hear the Father's voice testifying of Himself;
-as, for instance, when He said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."
Accordingly, the voice from heaven which proclaimed Him to be the Son of God, in the words, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,"
And on the mount the Father spake, and said, "This is my beloved Son."
Matt. 3:17 - NIV, NAB - in Pseudo-Gregory Thaumaturgus Twelve Topics on the Faith
He became man and was born in Bethlehem, and was brought up in Nazareth, and advanced in age, and on completing the set number of years (appeared in public and) was baptized in the Jordan, and received this testimony from the Father, "This is my beloved Son,"
ture the Father of the Only-begotten, He who alone knoweth perfectly Him whom He alone in passionless fashion begat, to correct the erroneous imaginations of the Jews, opened the gates of the heavens, and sent down the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, lighting upon the head of Jesus, pointing out thereby the new Noah, yea the maker of Noah, and the good pilot of the nature which is in shipwreck. And He Himself calls with clear voice out of heaven, and says: "This is my beloved Son,"
Matt. 3:17 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
And whose, too, was that voice which was sent forth out of heaven, and which gave Him this testimony, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased? "
Matt. 3:17 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
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,"
For to distinguish Him from those who are not properly sons, He said that He was His own Son. And in the Gospel we read: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
of the purifying dew. Then a voice from heaven was heard: "Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten Thee."
But after Aaron, who was a priest, another is taken out of the waters. I do not speak of Moses, but of Him who, in the waters of baptism, was called by God His Son.
Precious, then, is a lamp to men in darkness, and there is need of a lamp until the sun rise; and precious also is the glory in the face of Moses, and of the prophets also, I think, and a beautiful sight, by which we are introduced so as to be able to see the glory of Christ, to which the Father bears witness, saying, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased."
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