1. I call upon You, O my God, my mercy, Who created me, and forgot not me, forgetting You. I call You into my soul which, by the longing Yourself inspire into her, You prepare for You. Forsake me not now calling upon You, whom You prevented before I called, and urged me with much variety of repeated calls, that I would hear You from afar, and be converted, and call upon You, that called after me; for You, Lord, blotted out all my evil deservings, so as not to repay into my hands, wherewith I fell from you; and You have prevented all my well deservings, so as to repay the work of Your hands wherewith You made me; because before I was, You were; nor was I any thing, to which You might grant to be; and yet behold, I am, out of Your goodness, preventing all this which You have made me, and whereof You have made me. For neither had You need of me, nor am I any such good, as to be helpful unto You, my Lord and God; not in serving You, as though You would tire in working; or lest Your power might be less, if lacking my service: nor cultivating Your service, as a land, that must remain uncultivated, unless I cultivated You: but serving and worshipping You, that I might receive a well-being from You, from whom it comes, that I have a being capable of well-being.
2. For of the fulness of Your goodness, does Your creature subsist, that such a good, which could no ways profit You, nor was of You (lest so it should be equal to you), might yet be since it could be made of You. For what did heaven and earth, which You made in the Beginning, deserve of You? Let those spiritual and corporeal natures which You made in Your Wisdom, say wherein they deserved of You, to depend thereon (even in that their several inchoate and formless state, whether spiritual or corporeal, ready to fall away into an immoderate liberty and far-distant unlikeliness unto you; -the spiritual, though without form, superior to the corporeal though formed, and the corporeal though without form, better than were it altogether nothing), and so to depend upon Your Word, as formless, unless by the same Word they were brought back to Your Unity, indued with form and from You the One Sovereign Good were made all very good. How did they deserve of You, to be even without form, since they had not been even this, but from You?
How did corporeal matter deserve of You, to be even invisible and without form? seeing it were not even this, but that You made it, and therefore because it was not, could not deserve of You to be made. Or how could the inchoate spiritual creature deserve of You, even to ebb and flow darksomely like the deep, -unlike You, unless it had been by the same Word turned to that, by Whom it was created, and by Him so enlightened, become light; though not equally, yet conformably to that Form which is equal unto You? For as in a body, to be, is not one with being beautiful, else could it not be deformed; so likewise to a created spirit to live, is not one with living wisely; else should it be wise unchangeably. But good it is for it always to hold fast to you; lest what light it has obtained by turning to You, it lose by turning from You, and relapse into life resembling the darksome deep. For we ourselves also, who as to the soul are a spiritual creature, turned away from You our light, were in that life sometimes darkness; and still labour amidst the relics of our darkness, until in Your Only One we become Your righteousness, like the mountains of God. For we have been Your judgments, which are like the great deep.
3. That which You said in the beginning of the creation, Let there be light, and there was light; I do, not unsuitably, understand of the spiritual creature: because there was already a sort of life, which You might illuminate. But as it had no claim on You for a life, which could be enlightened, so neither now that it was, had it any, to be enlightened. For neither could its formless estate be pleasing unto You, unless it became light, and that not by existing simply, but by beholding the illuminating light, and cleaving to it; so that, that it lived, and lived happily, it owes to nothing but Your grace, being turned by a better change unto That which cannot be changed into worse or better; which You alone are, because You alone simply are; unto You it being not one thing to live, another to live blessedly, seeing Yourself are your own Blessedness.
4. What then could he wanting unto Your good, which You Yourself are, although these things had either never been, or remained without form; which You made, not out of any want, but out of the fulness of Your goodness, restraining them and converting them to form, not as though Your joy were fulfilled by them? For to You being perfect, is their imperfection displeasing, and hence were they perfected by You, and please you; not as were You imperfect, and by their perfecting were also to be perfected. For Your good Spirit indeed was borne over the waters, not borne up by them, as if He rested upon them. For those, on whom Your good Spirit is said to rest, He causes to rest in Himself. But Your incorruptible and unchangeable will, in itself all-sufficient for itself, was borne upon that life which You had created; to which, living is not one with happy living, seeing it lives also, ebbing and flowing in its own darkness: for which it remains to be converted unto Him, by Whom it was made, and to live more and more by the fountain of life, and in His light to see light, and to be perfected, and enlightened, and beautified.
5. Lo, now the Trinity appears unto me in a glass darkly, which is You my God, because You, O Father, in Him Who is the Beginning of our wisdom, Which is Your Wisdom, born of Yourself, equal unto You and coeternal, that is, in Your Son, created heaven and earth. Much now have we said of the Heaven of heavens, and of the earth invisible and without form, and of the darksome deep, in reference to the wandering instability of its spiritual deformity, unless it had been converted unto Him, from Whom it had its then degree of life, and by His enlightening became a beauteous life, and the heaven of that heaven, which was afterwards set between water and water. And under the name of God, I now held the Father, who made these things, and under the name of Beginning, the Son, in whom He made these things; and believing, as I did, my God as the Trinity, I searched further in His holy words, and to, Your Spirit moved upon the waters. Behold the Trinity, my God, Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, Creator of all creation.
6. But what was the cause, O true-speaking Light? -unto You lift I up my heart, let it not teach me vanities, dispel its darkness; and tell me, I beseech You, by our mother charity, tell me the reason, I beseech You, why after the mention of heaven, and of the earth invisible and without form, and darkness upon the deep, Your Scripture should then at length mention Your Spirit? Was it because it was meet that the knowledge of Him should be conveyed, as being "borne above"; and this could not be said, unless that were first mentioned, over which Your Spirit may be understood to have been borne. For neither was He borne above the Father, nor the Son, nor could He rightly be said to be borne above, if He were borne over nothing. First then was that to be spoken of, over which He might be borne; and then He, whom it was meet not otherwise to be spoken of than as being borne. But wherefore was it not meet that the knowledge of Him should be conveyed otherwise, than as being borne above?
7. Hence let him that is able, follow with his understanding Your Apostle, where he thus speaks, Because Your love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us: and where concerning spiritual gifts, he teaches and shows unto us a more excellent way of charity; and where he bows his knee unto You for us, that we may knows the supereminent knowledge of the love of Christ. And therefore from the beginning, was He borne supereminent above the waters. To whom shall I speak this? how speak of the weight of evil desires, downwards to the steep abyss; and how charity raises up again by Your Spirit which was borne above the waters? to whom shall I speak it? how speak it? For it is not in space that we are merged and emerge. What can be more, and yet what less like? They be affections, they be loves; the uncleanness of our spirit flowing away downwards with the love of cares, and the holiness of yours raising us upward by love of unanxious repose; that we may lift our hearts unto You, where Your Spirit is borne above the waters; and come to that supereminent repose, when our soul shall have passed through the waters which yield no support.
8. Angels fell away, man's soul fell away, and thereby pointed the abyss in that dark depth, ready for the whole spiritual creation, had not You said from the beginning, Let there be light, and there had been light, and every obedient intelligence of Your heavenly City had cleaved to You, and rested in Your Spirit, Which is borne unchangeably over every thing changeable. Otherwise, had even the heaven of heavens been in itself a darksome deep; but now it is light in the Lord. For even in that miserable restlessness of the spirits, who fell away and discovered their own darkness, when bared of the clothing of Your light, do You sufficiently reveal how noble You made the reasonable creature; to which nothing will suffice to yield a happy rest, less than you; and so not even herself. For You, O our God, shall lighten our darkness: from You rises our garment of light; and then shall our darkness be as the noon day. Give Yourself unto me, O my God, restore Yourself unto me: behold I love, and if it be too little, I would love more strongly. I cannot measure so as to knows, how much love there yet lacks to me, ere my life may run into Your embracements, nor turn away, until it be hidden in the hidden place of Your Presence. This only I know, that woe is me except in you: not only without but within myself also; and all abundance, which is not my God, is emptiness to me.
9. But was not either the Father, or the Son, borne above the waters? if this means, in space, like a body, then neither was the Holy Spirit; but if the unchangeable supereminence of Divinity above all things changeable, then were both Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost borne upon the waters. Why then is this said of Your Spirit only, why is it said only of Him? As if He had been in place, Who is not in place, of Whom only it is written, that He is Your gift? In Your Gift we rest; there we enjoy You. Our rest is our place. Love lifts us up thither, and Your good Spirit lifts up our lowliness from the gates of death. In Your good pleasure is our peace. The body by its own weight strives towards its own place. Weight makes not downward only, but to his own place. Fire tends upward, a stone downward. They are urged by their own weight, they seek their own places. Oil poured below water, is raised above the water; water poured upon oil, sinks below the oil. They are urged by their own weights to seek their own places. When out of their order, they are restless; restored to order, they are at rest. My weight, is my love; thereby am I borne, whithersoever I am borne. We are inflamed, by Your Gift we are kindled; and are carried upwards; we glow inwardly, and go forwards. We ascend Your ways that be in our heart, and sing a song of degrees; we glow inwardly with Your fire, with Your good fire, and we go; because we go upwards to the peace of Jerusalem: for gladdened was I in those who said unto me, We will go up to the house of the Lord. There has Your good pleasure placed us, that we may desire nothing else, but to abide there for ever.
10. Blessed creature, which being itself other than You, has known no other condition, than that, so soon as it was made, it was, without any interval, by Your Gift, Which is borne above every thing changeable, borne aloft by that calling whereby You said, Let there be light, and there was light. Whereas in us this took place at different times, in that we were darkness, and are made light: but of that is only said, what it would have been, had it not been enlightened. And, this is so spoken, as if it had been unsettled and darksome before; that so the cause whereby it was made otherwise, might appear, namely, that being turned to the Light unfailing it became light. Whoso can, let him understand this; let him ask of You. Why should he trouble me, as if I could enlighten any man that comes into this world?
11. Which of us comprehends the Almighty Trinity? and yet which speaks not of It, if indeed it be It? Rare is the soul, which while it speaks of It, knows what it speaks of. And they contend and strive, yet, without peace, no man sees that vision. I would that men would consider these three, that are in themselves. These three be indeed far other than the Trinity: I do but tell, where they may practise themselves, and there prove and feel how far they be. Now the three I spake of are, To Be, to knows, and to Will. For I Am, and knows, and Will: I Am knowing and Willing: and I know myself to Be, and to Will: and I Will to Be, and to knows. In these three then, let him discern that can, how inseparable a life there is, yea one life, mind, and one essence, yea lastly how inseparable a distinction there is, and yet a distinction. Surely a man has it before him; let him look into himself, and see, and tell me. But when he discovers and can say any thing of these, let him not therefore think that he has found that which is above these Unchangeable, which Is unchangeably, and knows unchangeably, and Wills unchangeably; and whether because of these three, there is in God also a Trinity, or whether all three be in Each, so that the three belong to Each; or whether both ways at once, wondrously, simply and yet manifoldly, Itself a bound unto Itself within Itself, yet unbounded; whereby It is, and is known unto Itself and suffices to itself, unchangeably the Self-same, by the abundant greatness of its Unity, -who can readily conceive this? who could any ways express it? who would, any way, pronounce thereon rashly?
12. Proceed in Your confession, say to the Lord Your God, O my faith, Holy, Holy, Holy, O Lord my God, in Your Name have we been baptised, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; in Your Name do we baptise, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, because among us also, in His Christ did God make heaven and earth, namely, the spiritual and carnal people of His Church. Yea and our earth, before it received the form of doctrine, was invisible and without form; and we were covered with the darkness of ignorance. For You chastened man for iniquity, and Your judgments were like the great deep unto him. But because Your Spirit was borne above the waters, Your mercy forsook not our misery, and You said, Let there be light, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repent ye, let there be light. And because our soul was troubled within us, we remembered You, O Lord, from the land of Jordan, and that mountain equal unto Yourself, but little for our sakes: and our darkness displeased us, we turned unto You and there was light. And, behold, we were sometimes darkness, but now light in the Lord.
13. But as yet by faith and not by sight, for by hope we are saved; but hope that is seen, is not hope. As yet does deep call unto deep, but now in the voice of Your water-spouts. As yet does he that said, I could not speak unto You as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even he as yet, does not think himself to have apprehended, and forgets those things which are behind, and reaches forth to those which are before, and groans being burthened, and his soul thirsts after the Living God, as the hart after the water-brooks, and said, When shall I come? desiring to be clothed upon with his house which is from heaven, and calls upon this lower deep, saying, Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of Your mind. And, be not children in understanding, but in malice, be ye children, that in understanding ye may be perfect; and O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched You? But now no longer in his own voice; but in yours who sent Your Spirit from above; through Him who ascended up on high, and set open the flood-gates of His gifts, that the force of His streams might make glad the city of God. Him does this friend of the Bridegroom sigh after, having now the first-fruits of the Spirit laid up with Him, yet still groaning within himself, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of his body; to Him he sighs, a member of the Bride; for Him he is jealous, as being a friend of the Bridegroom; for Him he is jealous, not for himself; because in the voice of Your water-spouts, not in his own voice, does he call to that other depth, over whom being jealous he fears, lest as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so their minds should be corrupted from the purity that is in our Bridegroom Your only Son. O what a light of beauty will that be, when we shall see Him as He is, and those tears be passed away, which have been my meat day and night, whilst they daily say unto me, Where is now Your God?
14. Behold, I too say, O my God, Where are You? see, where You are! in You I breathe a little, when I pour out my soul by myself in the voice of joy and praise, the sound of him that keeps holy-day. And yet again it is sad, because it relapses, and becomes a deep, or rather perceives itself still to be a deep. Unto it speaks my faith which You have kindled to enlighten my feet in the night, Why are You sad, O my soul, and why do You trouble me? Hope in the Lord; His word is a lanthorn unto Your feet: hope and endure, until the night, the mother of the wicked, until the wrath of the Lord, be overpast, whereof we also were once children, who were sometimes darkness, relics whereof we bear about us in our body, dead because of sin; until the day break, and the shadows fly away. Hope You in the Lord; in the morning I shall stand in Your presence, and contemplate you: I shall for ever confess unto You. In the morning I shall stand in Your presence, and shall see the health of my countenance, my God, who also shall quicken our mortal bodies, by the Spirit that dwells in us, because He has in mercy been borne over our inner darksome and floating deep: from Whom we have in this pilgrimage received an earnest, that we should now be light: whilst we are saved by hope, and are the children of light, and the children of the day, not the children of the night, nor of the darkness, which yet sometimes we were. Betwixt whom and us, in this uncertainty of human knowledge, You only divide; You, who prove our hearts, and call the light, day, and the darkness, night. For who discerns us, but You? And what have we, that we have not received of You? out of the same lump vessels are made unto honour, whereof others also are made unto dishonour.
15. Or who, except You, our God, made for us that firmament of authority over us in Your Divine Scripture? as it is said, For heaven shall be folded up like a scroll; and now is it stretched over us like a skin. For Your Divine Scripture is of more eminent authority, since those mortals by whom You dispense it unto us, underwent mortality. And You knows, Lord, You knows, how You with skins did clothe men, when they by sin became mortal. Whence You have like a skin stretched out the firmament of Your book, that is, Your harmonizing words, which by the ministry of mortal men You spread over us. For by their very death was that solid firmament of authority, in Your discourses set forth by them, more eminently extended over all that be under it; which whilst they lived here, was not so eminently extended. You had not as yet spread abroad the heaven like a skin; You had not as yet enlarged in all directions the glory of their deaths.
Let us look, O Lord, upon the heavens, the work of Your fingers; clear from our eyes that cloud, which You have spread under them. There is Your testimony, which gives wisdom unto the little ones: perfect, O my God, Your praise out of the mouth of babes and sucklings. For we know no other books, which so destroy pride, which so destroy the enemy and the defender, who resists Your reconciliation by defending his own sins. I know not, Lord, I know not any other such pure words, which so persuade me to confess, and make my neck pliant to Your yoke, and invite me to serve You for nought. Let me understand them, good Father: grant this to me, who am placed under them: because for those placed under them, have You established them.
Other waters there be above this firmament, I believe immortal, and separated from earthly corruption. Let them praise Your Name, let them praise You, the supercelestial people, your angels, who have no need to gaze up at this firmament, or by reading to knows of Your Word. For they always behold Your face, and there read without any syllables in time, what wills Your eternal will; they read, they choose, they love. They are ever reading; and that never passes away which they read; for by choosing, and by loving, they read the very unchangeableness of Your counsel. Their book is never closed, nor their scroll folded up; seeing You Yourself are this to them, and are eternally; because You have ordained them above this firmament, which You have firmly settled over the infirmity of the lower people, where they might gaze up and learn Your mercy, announcing in time You Who made times. For Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens, and Your truth reaches unto the clouds. The clouds pass away, but the heaven abideth. The preachers of Your word pass out of this life into another; but Your Scripture is spread abroad over the people, even unto the end of the world. Yet heaven and earth also shall pass away, but Your words shall not pass away. Because the scroll shall be rolled together: and the grass over which it was spread, shall with the goodliness of it pass away; but Your Word remains for ever, which now appears unto us under the dark image of the clouds, and through the glass of the heavens, not as it is: because we also, though the well-beloved of Your Son, yet it has not yet appeared what we shall be. He looks through the lattice of our flesh, and He spake us tenderly, and kindled us, and we ran after His odours. But when He shall appear, then shall we be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. As He is, Lord, will our sight be.
16. For altogether, as You are, You only know; Who are unchangeably, and knows unchangeably, and will unchangeably. And Your Essence knows, and wills unchangeably; and Your knowledge Is, and wills unchangeably; and Your Will Is, and knows unchangeably. Nor seems it right in your eyes, that as the Unchangeable Light knows Itself, so should it be known by the thing enlightened, and changeable. Therefore is my soul like a land where no water is, because as it cannot of itself enlighten itself, so can it not of itself satisfy itself. For so is the fountain of life with You, like as in Your light we shall see light.
17. Who gathered the embittered together into one society? For they have all one end, a temporal and earthly felicity, for attaining whereof they do all things, though they waver up and down with an innumerable variety of cares. Who, Lord, but You, said, Let the waters be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear, which thirsts after You? For the sea also is yours, and You have made it, and Your hands prepared the dry land. Nor is the bitterness of men's wills, but the gathering together of the waters, called sea; for You restrain the wicked desires of men's souls, and set them their bounds, how far they may be allowed to pass, that their waves may break one against another: and thus make You it a sea, by the order of Your dominion over all things.
But the souls that thirst after You, and that appear before You (being by other bounds divided from the society of the sea), You water by a sweet spring, that the earth may bring forth her fruit, and You, Lord God, so commanding, our soul may bud forth works of mercy according to their kind, loving our neighbour in the relief of his bodily necessities, having seed in itself according to its likeness, when from feeling of our infirmity, we compassionate so as to relieve the needy; helping them, as we would be helped; if we were in like need; not only in things easy, as in herb yielding seed, but also in the protection of our assistance, with our best strength, like the tree yielding fruit: that is, well-doing in rescuing him that suffers wrong, from the hand of the powerful, and giving him the shelter of protection, by the mighty strength of just judgment.
18. So, Lord, so, I beseech You, let there spring up, as You do, as You give cheerfulness and ability, let truth spring out of the earth, and righteousness look down from heaven, and let there be lights in the firmament. Let us break our bread to the hungry, and bring the houseless poor to our house. Let us clothe the naked, and despise not those of our own flesh. Which fruits having sprung out of the earth, see it is good: and let our temporary light break forth; and ourselves, from this lower fruitfulness of action, arriving at the delightfulness of contemplation, obtaining the Word of Life above, appear like lights in the world, cleaving to the firmament of Your Scripture. For there You instruct us, to divide between the things intellectual, and things of sense, as betwixt the day and the night; or between souls, given either to things intellectual, or things of sense, so that now not You only in the secret of Your judgment, as before the firmament was made, divide between the light and the darkness, but Your spiritual children also set and ranked in the same firmament (now that Your grace is laid open throughout the world), may give light upon the earth, and divide betwixt the day and the night, and be for signs of times, that old things are passed away, and, behold, all things are become new; and that our salvation is nearer than when we believed: and that the night is far spent, and the day is at hand: and that You will crown Your year with blessing, sending the labourers of Your goodness into Your harvest, in sowing whereof, others have laboured, sending also into another field, whose harvest shall be in the end. Thus grant You the prayers of him that asks, and bless the years of the just; but You are the same, and in Your years which fail not, You prepare a garner for our passing years. For You by an eternal counsel do in their proper seasons bestow heavenly blessings upon the earth. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, as it were the lesser light: to another faith; to another the gift with the light of perspicuous truth, as it were for the rule of the day. To another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, as it were the lesser light: to another faith; to another the gift of healing; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues. And all these as it were stars. For all these works the one and self-same spirit, dividing to every man his own as He will; and causing stars to appear manifestly, to profit withal. But the word of knowledge, wherein are contained all Sacraments, which are varied in their seasons as it were the moon, and those other notices of gifts, which are reckoned up in order, as it were stars, inasmuch as they come short of that brightness of wisdom, which gladdens the forementioned day, are only for the rule of the night. For they are necessary to such, as that Your most prudent servant could not speak unto as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal; even he, who speaks wisdom among those that are perfect. But the natural man, as it were a babe in Christ and fed on milk, until he be strengthened for solid meat and his eye be enabled to behold the Sun, let him not dwell in a night forsaken of all light, but be content with the light of the moon and the stars. So do You speak to us, our All-wise God, in Your Book, Your firmament; that we may discern all things, in an admirable contemplation; though as yet in signs and in times, and in days, and in years.
19. But first, wash You, be clean; put away evil from Your souls, and from before mine eyes, that the dry land may appear. Learn to do good, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow, that the earth may bring forth the green herb for meat, and the tree bearing fruit; and come, let us reason together, said the Lord, that there may be lights in the firmament of the heaven, and they may shine upon the earth. That rich man asked of the good Master, what he should do to attain eternal life. Let the good Master tell him (whom he thought no more than man; but He is good because He is God), let Him tell him, if he would enter into life, he must keep the commandments: let him put away from him the bitterness of malice and wickedness; not kill, not commit adultery, not steal, not bear false witness; that the dry land may appear, and bring forth the honouring of father and mother, and the love of our neighbour. All these (said he) have I kept. Whence then so many thorns, if the earth be fruitful? Go, root up the spreading thickets of covetousness; sell that You have, and be filled with fruit, by giving to the poor, and You shall have treasure in heaven; and follow the Lord if You will be perfect, associated with them, among whom He speaks wisdom, Who knows what to distribute to the day, and to the night, that You also may knows it, and for You there may be lights in the firmament of heaven; which will not be, unless Your heart be there: nor will that either be, unless there Your treasure be; as You have heard of the good Master. But that barren earth was grieved; and the thorns choked the word.
But You, chosen generation, You weak things of the world, who have forsaken all, that ye may follow the Lord; go after Him, and confound the mighty; go after Him, ye beautiful feet, and shine ye in the firmament, that the heavens may declare His glory, dividing between the light of the perfect, though not as the angels, and the darkness of the little ones, though not despised. Shine over the earth; and let the day, lightened by the sun, utter unto day, speech of wisdom; and night, shining with the moon, show unto night, the word of knowledge. The moon and stars shine for the night; yet does not the night obscure them, seeing they give it light in its degree. For behold God saying, as it were, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven; there came suddenly a sound from heaven, as it had been the rushing of a mighty wind, and there appeared cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And there were made lights in the firmament of heaven, having the word of life. Run ye to and fro every where, ye holy fires, ye beauteous fires; for ye are the light of the world, nor are ye put under a bushel; He whom You cleave unto, is exalted, and has exalted You. Run ye to and fro, and be known unto all nations.
20. Let the sea also conceive and bring forth Your works; and let the waters bring forth the moving creature that has life. For ye, separating the precious from the vile, are made the mouth of God, by whom He said, Let the waters bring forth, not the living creature which the earth brings forth, but the moving creature having life, and the fowls that fly above the earth. For Your Sacraments, O God, by the ministry of Your holy ones, have moved amid the waves of temptations of the world, to hallow the Gentiles in Your Name, in Your Baptism. And amid these things, many great wonders were wrought, as it were great whales: and the voices of Your messengers flying above the earth, in the open firmament of Your Book; that being set over them, as their authority under which they were to fly, whithersoever they went. For there is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard: seeing their sound is gone through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world, because You, Lord, multiplied them by blessing.
Speak I untruly, or do I mingle and confound, and not distinguish between the lucid knowledge of these things in the firmament of heaven, and the material works in the wavy sea, and under the firmament of heaven? For of those things whereof the knowledge is substantial and defined, without any increase by generation, as it were lights of wisdom and knowledge, yet even of them, the material operations are many and divers; and one thing growing out of another, they are multiplied by Your blessing, O God, who have refreshed the fastidiousness of mortal senses; that so one thing in the understanding of our mind, may, by the motions of the body, be many ways set out, and expressed. These Sacraments have the waters brought forth; but in Your word. The necessities of the people estranged from the eternity of Your truth, have brought them forth, but in Your Gospel; because the waters themselves cast them forth, the diseased bitterness whereof was the cause, why they were sent forth in Your Word.
Now are all things fair that You have made; but behold, Yourself are unutterably fairer, that made all; from whom had not Adam fallen, the brackishness of the sea had never flowed out of him, that is, the human race so profoundly curious, and tempestuously swelling, and restlessly tumbling up and down; and then had there been no need of Your dispensers to work in many waters, after a corporeal and sensible manner, mysterious doings and sayings. For such those moving and flying creatures now seem to me to mean, whereby people being initiated and consecrated by corporeal Sacraments, should not further profit, unless their soul had a spiritual life, and unless after the word of admission, it looked forwards to perfection.
21. And hereby, in Your Word, not the deepness of the sea, but the earth separated from the bitterness of the waters, brings forth, not the moving creature that has life, but the living soul. For now has it no more need of baptism, as the heathen have, and as itself had, when it was covered with the waters; (for no other entrance is there into the kingdom of heaven, since You have appointed that this should be the entrance:) nor does it seek after wonderfulness of miracles to work belief; for it is not such, that unless it sees signs and wonders, it will not believe, now that the faithful earth is separated from the waters that were bitter with infidelity; and tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not. Neither then does that earth which You have founded upon the waters, need that flying kind, which at Your word the waters brought forth. Send You Your word into it by Your messengers: for we speak of their working, yet it is You that work in them that they may work out a living soul in it. The earth brings it forth, because the earth is the cause that they work this in the soul; as the sea was the cause that they wrought upon the moving creatures that have life, and the fowls that fly under the firmament of heaven, of whom the earth has no need; although it feeds upon that fish which was taken out of the deep, upon that table which You have prepared in the presence of them that believe. For therefore was He taken out of the deep, that He might feed the dry land; and the fowl, though bred in the sea, is yet multiplied upon the earth. For of the first preachings of the Evangelists, man's infidelity was the cause; yet are the faithful also exhorted and blessed by them manifoldly, from day to day. But the living soul takes his beginning from the earth: for it profits only those already among the Faithful, to contain themselves from the love of this world, that so their soul may live unto You, which was dead while it lived in pleasures; in death-bringing pleasures, Lord, for You, Lord, are the life-giving delight of the pure heart.
Now then let Your ministers work upon the earth, -not as upon the waters of infidelity, by preaching and speaking by miracles, and Sacraments, and mystic words; wherein ignorance, the mother of admiration, might be intent upon them, out of a reverence towards those secret signs. For such is the entrance unto the Faith for the sons of Adam forgetful of You, while they hide themselves from Your face, and become a darksome deep. But - let Your ministers work now as on the dry land, separated from the whirlpools of the great deep: and let them be a pattern unto the Faithful, by living before them, and stirring them up to imitation. For thus do men hear, so as not to hear only, but to do also. Seek the Lord, and Your soul shall live, that the earth may bring forth the living soul. Be not conformed to the world. Contain yourselves from it: the soul lives by avoiding what it dies by affecting. Contain yourselves from the ungoverned wildness of pride, the sluggish voluptuousness of luxury, and the false name of knowledge: that so the wild beasts may be tamed, the cattle broken to the yoke, the serpents, harmless. For these be the motions of our mind under an allegory; that is to say, the haughtiness of pride, the delight of lust, and the poison of curiosity, are the motions of a dead soul; for the soul dies not so as to lose all motion; because it dies by forsaking the fountain of life, and so is taken up by this transitory world, and is conformed unto it.
But Your word, O God, is the fountain of life eternal; and passes not away: wherefore this departure of the soul is restrained by Your word, when it is said unto us, Be not conformed unto this world; that so the earth may in the fountain of life bring forth a living soul; that is, a soul made continent in Your Word, by Your Evangelists, by following the followers of Your Christ. For this is after his kind; because a man is wont to imitate his friend. Be ye (said he) as I am, for I also am as You are. Thus in this living soul shall there be good beasts, in meekness of action (for You have commanded, Go on with Your business in meekness, so shall You be beloved by all men); and good cattle, which neither if they eat, shall they over-abound, nor, if they eat not, have any lack; and good serpents, not dangerous, to do hurt, but wise to take heed; and only making so much search into this temporal nature, as may suffice that eternity be clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. For these creatures are obedient unto reason, when being restrained from deadly prevailing upon us, they live, and are good.
22. For behold, O Lord, our God, our Creator, when our affections have been restrained from the love of the world, by which we died through evil-living; and begun to be a living soul, through good living; and Your word which You spoke by Your apostle, is made good in us, Be not conformed to this world: there follows that also, which You presently subjoined, saying, But be ye transformed by the renewing of Your mind; not now after Your kind, as though following Your neighbour who went before You, nor as living after the example of some better man (for You said not, "Let man be made after his kind," but, Let us make man after our own image and similitude), that we might prove what Your will is. For to this purpose said that dispenser of yours (who begat children by the Gospel), that he might not for ever have them babes, whom he must be fain to feed with milk, and cherish as a nurse; be ye transformed (said he) by the renewing of Your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Wherefore You say not, "Let man be made," but Let us make man. Nor said You, "according to his kind"; but, after our image and likeness. For man being renewed in his mind, and beholding and understanding Your truth, needs not man as his director, so as to follow after his kind; but by Your direction proves what is that good, that acceptable, and perfect will of yours: yea, You teach him, now made capable, to discern the Trinity of the Unity, and the Unity of the Trinity. Wherefore to that said in the plural. Let us make man, is yet subjoined in the singular, And God made man: and to that said in the plural. After our likeness, is subjoined in the singular, After the image of God. Thus is man renewed in the knowledge of God, after the image of Him that created him: and being made spiritual, he judges all things (all things which are to be judged), yet himself is judged of no man.
23. But that he judges all things, this answers to his having dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and over all cattle and wild beasts, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. For this he does by the understanding of his mind, whereby he perceives the things of the Spirit of God; whereas otherwise, man being placed in honour, had no understanding, and is compared unto the brute beasts, and is become like unto them. In Your Church therefore, O our God, according to Your grace which You have bestowed upon it (for we are Your workmanship created unto good works), not those only who are spiritually set over, but they also who spiritually are subject to those that are set over them, -for in this way did You make man male and female, in Your grace spiritual, where, according to the sex of body, there is neither male nor female, because neither Jew nor Grecian, neither bond nor free. -Spiritual persons (whether such as are set over, or such as obey); do judge spiritually; not of that spiritual knowledge which shines in the firmament (for they ought not to judge as to so supreme authority), nor may they judge of Your Book itself, even though something there shines not clearly; for we submit our understanding unto it, and hold for certain, that even what is closed to our sight, is yet rightly and truly spoken. For so man, though now spiritual and renewed in the knowledge of God after His image that created him, ought to be a doer of the law, not a judge. Neither does he judge of that distinction of spiritual and carnal men, who are known unto your eyes, O our God, and have not as yet discovered themselves unto us by works, that by their fruits we might knows them: but You, Lord, do even now knows them, and have divided and called them in secret, or ever the firmament was made. Nor does he, though spiritual, judge the unquiet people of this world; for what has he to do, to judge them that are without, knowing not which of them shall hereafter come into the sweetness of Your grace; and which continue in the perpetual bitterness of ungodliness?
Man therefore, whom You have made after your own image, received not dominion over the lights of heaven, nor over that hidden heaven itself, nor over the day and the night, which You called before the foundation of the heaven, nor over the gathering together of the waters, which is the sea; but He received dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and over all cattle, and over all the earth, and over all creeping things which creep upon the earth. For He judges and approves what He finds right, and He disallows what He finds amiss, whether in the celebration of those Sacraments by which such are initiated, as Your mercy searches out in many waters: or in that, in which that Fish is set forth, which, taken out of the deep, the devout earth feeds upon: or in the expressions and signs of words, subject to the authority of Your Book, -such signs, as proceed out of the mouth, and sound forth, flying as it were under the firmament, by interpreting, expounding, discoursing disputing, consecrating, or praying unto You, so that the people may answer, Amen. The vocal pronouncing of all which words, is occasioned by the deep of this world, and the blindness of the flesh, which cannot see thoughts; So that there is need to speak aloud into the ears; so that, although flying fowls be multiplied upon the earth, yet they derive their beginning from the waters. The spiritual man judges also by allowing of what is right, and disallowing what he finds amiss, in the works and lives of the faithful; their alms, as it were the earth bringing forth fruit, and of the living soul, living by the taming of the affections, in chastity, in fasting, in holy meditations; and of those things, which are perceived by the senses of the body. Upon all these is he now said to judge, wherein he has also power of correction.
24. But what is this, and what kind of mystery? Behold, You bless mankind, O Lord, that they may increase and multiply, and replenish the earth; do You not thereby give us a hint to understand something? why did You not as well bless the light, which You called day; nor the firmament of heaven, nor the lights, nor the stars, nor the earth, nor the sea? I might say that You, O God, who created created us after your Image, I might say, that it had been Your good pleasure to bestow this blessing peculiarly upon man; had You not in like manner blessed the fishes and the whales, that they should increase and multiply, and replenish the waters of the sea, and that the fowls should be multiplied upon the earth. I might say likewise, that this blessing pertained properly unto such creatures, as are bred of their own kind, had I found it given to the fruit-trees, and plants, and beasts of the earth. But now neither unto the herbs, nor the trees, nor the beasts, nor serpents is it said, Increase and multiply; notwithstanding all these as well as the fishes, fowls, or men, do by generation increase and continue their kind.
What then shall I say, O Truth my Light? "that it was idly said, and without meaning?" Not so, O Father of piety, far he it from a minister of Your word to say so. And if I understand not what You mean by that phrase, let my betters, that is, those of more understanding than myself, make better use of it, according as You, my God, have given to each man to understand. But let my confession also be pleasing in your eyes, wherein I confess unto You, that I believe, O Lord, that You spoke not so in vain; nor will I suppress, what this lesson suggests to me. For it is true, nor do I see what should hinder me from thus understanding the figurative sayings of Your Bible. For I know a thing to be manifoldly signified by corporeal expressions, which is understood one way by the mind; and that understood many ways in the mind, which is signified one way by corporeal expression. Behold, the single love of God and our neighbour, by what manifold sacraments, and innumerable languages, and in each several language, in how innumerable modes of speaking, it is corporeally expressed. Thus do the offspring of the waters increase and multiply. Observe again, whosoever read this; behold, what Scripture delivers, and the voice pronounces one only way, In the Beginning God created heaven and earth; is it not understood manifoldly, not through any deceit of error, but by various kinds of true senses? Thus do man's offspring increase and multiply.
If therefore we conceive of the natures of the things themselves, not allegorically, but properly, then does the phrase increase and multiply, agree unto all things, that come of seed. But if we treat of the words as figuratively spoken (which I rather suppose to be the purpose of the Scripture, which does not, surely, superfluously ascribe this benediction to the offspring of aquatic animals and man only); then do we find "multitude" to belong to creatures spiritual as well as corporeal, as in heaven and earth, and to righteous and unrighteous, as in light and darkness; and to holy authors who have been the ministers of the Law unto us, as in the firmament which is settled betwixt the waters and the waters; and to the society of people yet in the bitterness of infidelity, as in the sea; and to the zeal of holy souls, as in the dry land; and to works of mercy belonging to this present life, as in the herbs bearing seed, and in trees bearing fruit; and to spiritual gifts set forth for edification, as in the lights of heaven; and to affections formed unto temperance, as in the living soul. In all these instances we meet with multitudes, abundance, and increase; but what shall in such wise increase and multiply that one thing may be expressed many ways, and one expression understood many ways; we find not, except in signs corporeally expressed, and in things mentally conceived. By signs corporeally pronounced we understand the generations of the waters, necessarily occasioned by the depth of the flesh; by things mentally conceived, human generations, on account of the fruitfulness of reason. And for this end do we believe You, Lord, to have said to these kinds, Increase and multiply. For in this blessing, I conceive You to have granted us a power and a faculty, both to express several ways what we understand but one; and to understand several ways, what we read to be obscurely delivered but in one. Thus are the waters of the sea replenished, which are not moved but by several significations: thus with human increase is the earth also replenished, whose dryness appears in its longing, and reason rules over it.
25. I would also say, O Lord my God, what the following Scripture minds me of; yea, I will say, and not fear. For I will say the truth, Yourself inspiring me with what You willed me to deliver out of those words. But by no other inspiration than yours, do I believe myself to speak truth, seeing You are the Truth, and every man a liar. He therefore that speaks a lie, speaks of his own; that therefore I may speak truth, I will speak of yours. Behold, You have given unto us for food every herb bearing seed which is upon all the earth; and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed. And not to us alone, but also to all the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the earth, and to all creeping things; but unto the fishes and to the great whales, have You not given them. Now we said that by these fruits of the earth were signified, and figured in an allegory, the works of mercy which are provided for the necessities of this life out of the fruitful earth. Such an earth was the devout Onesiphorus, unto whose house You gave mercy, because he often refreshed Your Paul, and was not ashamed of his chain. Thus did also the brethren, and such fruit did they bear, who out of Macedonia supplied what was lacking to him. But how grieved he for some trees, which did not afford him the fruit due unto him, where he said, At my first answer no man stood by me, but all men forsook me. I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. For these fruits are due to such as minister the spiritual doctrine unto us out of their understanding of the divine mysteries; and they are due to them, as men; yea and due to them also, as the living soul, which gives itself as an example, in all continency; and due unto them also, as flying creatures, for their blessings which are multiplied upon the earth, because their sound went out into all lands.
26. But they are fed by these fruits, that are delighted with them; nor are they delighted with them, whose God is their belly. For neither in them that yield them, are the things yielded the fruit, but with what mind they yield them. He therefore that served God, and not his own belly, I plainly see why he rejoiced; I see it, and I rejoice with him. For he had received from the Philippians, what they had sent by Epaphroditus unto him: and yet I perceive why he rejoiced. For whereat he rejoiced upon that he fed; for, speaking in truth, I rejoiced (said he) greatly in the Lord, that now at the last Your care of me has flourished again, wherein ye were also careful, but it had become wearisome unto You. These Philippians then had now dried up, with a long weariness, and withered as it were as to bearing this fruit of a good work; and he rejoices for them, that they flourished again, not for himself, that they supplied his wants. Therefore subjoins he, not that I speak in respect of want, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full, and to be hungry; both to abound, and to suffer need. I can do all things through Him which strengthens me.
Whereat then rejoice You, O great Paul? whereat rejoice You? whereon feed You, O man, renewed in the knowledge of God, after the image of Him that created You, You living soul, of so much continency, You tongue like flying fowls, speaking mysteries? (for to such creatures, is this food due;) what is it that feeds You? joy. Hear we what follows: notwithstanding, ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Hereat he rejoices, hereon feeds; because they had well done, not because his strait was eased, who said unto You, You have enlarged me when I was in distress; for that he knew to abound, and to suffer want, in You Who strengthen him. For ye Philippians also knows (said he), that in the beginning of the Gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no Church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Unto these good works, he now rejoices that they are returned; and is gladdened that they flourished again, as when a fruitful field resumes its green.
Was it for his own necessities, because he said, Ye sent unto my necessity? rejoices he for that? Verily not for that. But how know we this? Because himself says immediately, not because I desire a gift, but I desire fruit. I have learned of You, my God, to distinguish betwixt a gift, and fruit. A gift, is the thing itself which he gives, that imparts these necessaries unto us; as money, meat, drink, clothing, shelter, help: but the fruit, is the good and right will of the giver. For the Good Master said not only, He that receives a prophet, but added, in the name of a prophet: nor did He only say, He that receives a righteous man, but added, in the name of a righteous man. So verily shall the one receive the reward of a prophet, the other, the reward of a righteous man: nor said He only, He that shall give to drink a cup of cold water to one of my little ones; but added, in the name of a disciple: and so concludes, Verily I say unto You, he shall not lose his reward. The gift is, to receive a prophet, to receive a righteous man, to give a cup of cold water to a disciple: but the fruit, to do this in the name of a prophet, in the name of a righteous man, in the name of a disciple. With fruit was Elijah fed by the widow that knew she fed a man of God, and therefore fed him: but by the raven was he fed with a gift. Nor was the inner man of Elijah so fed, but the outer only; which might also for want of that food have perished.
27. I will then speak what is true in Your sight, O Lord, that when carnal men and infidels (for the gaining and initiating whom, the initiatory Sacraments and the mighty workings of miracles are necessary, which we suppose to be signified by the name of fishes and whales) undertake the bodily refreshment, or otherwise succour Your servant with something useful for this present life; whereas they be ignorant, why this is to be done, and to what end; neither do they feed these, nor are these fed by them; because neither do the one do it out of an holy and right intent; nor do the other rejoice at their gifts, whose fruit they as yet behold not. For upon that is the mind fed, of which it is glad. And therefore do not the fishes and whales feed upon such meats, as the earth brings not forth until after it was separated and divided from the bitterness of the waves of the sea.
28. And You, O God, saw every thing that You had made, and, behold, it was very good. Yea we also see the same, and behold, all things are very good. Of the several kinds of Your works, when You had said "let them be," and they were, You saw each that it was good. Seven times have I counted it to be written, that You saw that that which You made was good: and this is the eighth, that You saw every thing that You had made, and, behold, it was not only good, but also very good, as being now altogether. For severally, they were only good; but altogether, both good, and very good. All beautiful bodies express the same; by reason that a body consisting of members all beautiful, is far more beautiful than the same members by themselves are, by whose well-ordered blending the whole is perfected; notwithstanding that the members severally be also beautiful.
29. And I looked narrowly to find, whether seven, or eight times You saw that Your works were good, when they pleased you; but in Your seeing I found no times, whereby I might understand that You saw so often, what You made. And I said, "Lord, is not this Your Scripture true, since You are true, and being Truth, have set it forth? why then do You say unto me, 'that in Your seeing there be no times'; whereas this Your Scripture tells me, that what You made each day, You saw that it was good: and when I counted them, I found how often." Unto this You answer me, for You are my God, and with a strong voice tell Your servant in his inner ear, breaking through my deafness and crying, "O man, that which My Scripture said, I say: and yet does that speak in time; but time has no relation to My Word; because My Word exists in equal eternity with Myself. So the things which ye see through My Spirit, I see; like as what ye speak by My Spirit, I speak. And so when ye see those things in time, I see them not in time; as when ye speak in time, I speak them not in time."
30. And I heard, O Lord my God, and drank up a drop of sweetness out of Your truth, and understood, that certain men there be who mislike Your works; and say, that many of them You made, compelled by necessity; such as the fabric of the heavens, and harmony of the stars; and that You made them not of what was yours, but that they were otherwhere and from other sources created, for You to bring together and compact and combine, when out of Your conquered enemies You raised up the walls of the universe; that they, bound down by the structure, might not again be able to rebel against You. For other things, they say You neither made them, nor even compacted them, such as all flesh and all very minute creatures, and whatsoever has its root in the earth; but that a mind at enmity with You, and another nature not created by You, and contrary unto You, did, in these lower stages of the world, beget and frame these things. Frenzied are they who say thus, because they see not Your works by Your Spirit, nor recognise You in them.
31. But they who by Your Spirit see these things, You see in them. Therefore when they see that these things are good, You see that they are good; and whatsoever things for Your sake please, You please in them, and what through Your Spirit please us, they please You in us. For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of a man, which is in him? even so the things of God knows no one, but the Spirit of God. Now we (said he) have received, not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. And I am admonished, "Truly the things of God knows no one, but the Spirit of God: how then do we also know, what things are given us of God?" Answer is made me; "because the things which we know by His Spirit, even these no one knows, but the Spirit of God. For as it is rightly said unto those that were to speak by the Spirit of God, it is not ye that speak: so is it rightly said to them that know through the Spirit of God, 'It is not ye that know.' And no less then is it rightly said to those that see through the Spirit of God, 'It is not ye that see'; so whatsoever through the Spirit of God they see to be good, it is not they, but God that sees that it is good." It is one thing then for a man to think that to be ill which is good, as the forenamed do; another, that that which is good, a man should see that it is good (as Your creatures be pleasing unto many, because they be good, whom yet You please not in them, when they prefer to enjoy them, to you); and another, that when a man sees a thing that it is good, God should in him see that it is good, so, namely, that He should be loved in that which He made, Who cannot be loved, but by the Holy Ghost which He has given. Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Which is given unto us: by Whom we see that whatsoever in any degree is, is good. For from Him it is, who Himself Is not in degree, but what He Is, Is.
32. Thanks to You, O Lord. We behold the heaven and earth, whether the corporeal part, superior and inferior, or the spiritual and corporeal creature; and in the adorning of these parts, whereof the universal pile of the world, or rather the universal creation, does consist, we see light made, and divided from the darkness. We see the firmament of heaven, whether that primary body of the world, between the spiritual upper waters and the inferior corporeal waters, or (since this also is called heaven) this space of air through which wander the fowls of heaven, betwixt those waters which are in vapours borne above them, and in clear nights distill down in dew; and those heavier waters which flow along the earth. We behold a face of waters gathered together in the fields of the sea; and the dry land both void, and formed so as to be visible and harmonized, yea and the matter of herbs and trees. We behold the lights shining from above, the sun to suffice for the day, the moon and the stars to cheer the night; and that by all these, times should be marked and signified. We behold on all sides a moist element, replenished with fishes, beasts, and birds; because the grossness of the air, which bears up the flights of birds, thickens itself by the exhalation of the waters. We behold the face of the earth decked out with earthly creatures, and man, created after Your image and likeness, even through that Your very image and likeness (that is the power of reason and understanding), set over all irrational creatures. And as in his soul there is one power which has dominion by directing, another made subject, that it might obey; so was there for the man, corporeally also, made a woman, who in the mind of her reasonable understanding should have a parity of nature, but in the sex of her body, should be in like manner subject to the sex of her husband, as the appetite of doing is fain to conceive the skill of right-doing from the reason of the mind. These things we behold, and they are severally good, and altogether very good.
33. Let Your works praise You, that we may love you; and let us love You, that Your works may praise You, which from time have beginning and ending, rising and setting, growth and decay, form and privation. They have then their succession of morning and evening, part secretly, part apparently; for they were made of nothing, by You, not of you; not of any matter not yours, or that was before, but of matter concreated (that is, at the same time created by you), because to its state without form, You without any interval of time did give form. For seeing the matter of heaven and earth is one thing, and the form another, You made the matter of merely nothing, but the form of the world out of the matter without form: yet both together, so that the form should follow the matter, without any interval of delay.
34. We have also examined what You willed to be shadowed forth, whether by the creation, or the relation of things in such an order. And we have seen, that things singly are good, and together very good, in Your Word, in Your Only-Begotten, both heaven and earth, the Head and the body of the Church, in Your predestination before all times, without morning and evening. But when You began to execute in time the things predestinated, to the end You might reveal hidden things, and rectify our disorders; for our sins hung over us, and we had sunk into the dark deep; and Your good Spirit was borne over us, to help us in due season; and You did justify the ungodly, and divide them from the wicked; and You made the firmament of authority of Your Book between those placed above, who were to he docile unto You, and those under, who were to be subject to them: and You gathered together the society of unbelievers into one conspiracy, that the zeal of the faithful might appear, and they might bring forth works of mercy, even distributing to the poor their earthly riches, to obtain heavenly. And after this did You kindle certain lights in the firmament, Your Holy ones, having the word of life; and shining with an eminent authority set on high through spiritual gifts; after that again, for the initiation of the unbelieving Gentiles, did You out of corporeal matter produce the Sacraments, and visible miracles, and forms of words according to the firmament of Your Book, by which the faithful should be blessed and multiplied. Next did You form the living soul of the faithful, through affections well ordered by the vigour of continency: and after that, the mind subjected to You alone and needing to imitate no human authority, have You renewed after Your image and likeness; and did subject its rational actions to the excellency of the understanding, as the woman to the man; and to all Offices of Your Ministry, necessary for the perfecting of the faithful in this life, You willed, that for their temporal uses, good things, fruitful to themselves in time to come, be given by the same faithful. All these we see, and they are very good, because You see them in us, Who have given unto us Your Spirit, by which we might see them, and in them love You.
35. O Lord God, give peace unto us: (for You have given us all things;) the peace of rest, the peace of the Sabbath, which has no evening. For all this most goodly array of things very good, having finished their courses, is to pass away, for in them there was morning and evening.
36. But the seventh day has no evening, nor has it setting; because You have sanctified it to an everlasting continuance; that that which You did after Your works which were very good, resting the seventh day, although You made them in unbroken rest, that may the voice of Your Book announce beforehand unto us, that we also after our works (therefore very good, because You have given them us), shall rest in You also in the Sabbath of eternal life.
37. For then shall You rest in us, as now You work in us; and so shall that be Your rest through us, as these are Your works through us. But You, Lord, ever work, and are ever at rest. Nor do You see in time, nor are moved in time, nor rest in a time; and yet You make things seen in time, yea the times themselves, and the rest which results from time.
38. We therefore see these things which You made, because they are: but they are, because You see them. And we see without, that they are, and within, that they are good, but You saw them there, when made, where You saw them, yet to be made. And we were at a later time moved to do well, after our hearts had conceived of Your Spirit; but in the former time we were moved to do evil, forsaking you; but You, the One, the Good God, did never cease doing good. And we also have some good works, of Your gift, but not eternal; after them we trust to rest in Your great hallowing. But You, being the Good which needs no good, are ever at rest, because Your rest is You Yourself. And what man can teach man to understand this? or what Angel, an Angel? or what Angel, a man? Let it be asked of You, sought in You, knocked for at you; so, so shall it be received, so shall it be found, so shall it be opened. Amen.