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or whether it is in motion, it is always the same, and desirous of the same objects. On which account, God adds that, “ Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." And this is equivalent to what has been said before.
Moreover this sentence also signifies, the beginning and the end are one and the same thing. For there hadst thou beginning in the perishable bodies of the earth ; and again, thou shalt end in them, during the interval of your life, between its beginning and its end, passing along a road which is not plain and easy, but rough, full of briars and thorns, the nature of which is to tear and wound thee.
A TREATISE ON THE CHERUBIM;
ON THE FLAMING SWORD;
ON THE FIRST-BORN CHILD OF MAN, CAIN.
I. “And God cast out Adam, and placed him opposite the paradise of happiness; and he placed there the cherubim and à flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
In this place Moses uses the expression, "He cast out," but previously he said, "He sent out," pot using the various expressions at random, but being well aware with reference to what parts he was employing them with propriety and felicity. Now a man who is sent out is not hindered from returning at some subsequent time; but he who is cast out by God must endure an eternal banishment, for it is granted to him who has not yet been completely and violently taken prisoner by wickedness, to repent, and so to return back to virtue, from which he has been driven, as to his great country; but he who is weighed down by, and wholly subjected to, a violent and incurable disease, must bear his misfortunes for ever, being for all times unalterably cast out into the place of the wicked,
• Genesis iii. 24.
that there he may endure unmitigated and everlasting misery.* Since we see Agar,t by whom we understand the middle kind of instruction which is confined to the encyclical system, twice going forth from Sarah, who is the symbol of predominant virtue, and once returning back by the same road, inasmuch as after she hąd fled the first time, without being banished by her mistress, she returned to see her master's house, having been met by an angel, as the holy scriptures read: but the second time, she is utterly cast out, and is never to be brought back again.
II. And we must speak of the causes of her first flight, and then again of her second perpetual banishment.
Before the names of the two were changed, that is to say, before they had been altered for the better as to the charac teristics of their souls, and had been endowed with better dispositions, but while the name of the man was still Abram, or the sublime father, who delighted in the lofty philosophy which investigates the events which take place in the air, and the sublime nature of the beings which exist in heaven, which inathematical science claims for itself as the most excellent part of natural philosophy, and the name of the woman was still Sarai; the symbol of my authority, for she is called my authority, and she had not yet changed her nature 80 as to become generic virtue, and all genus is imperishable, but was as yet classed among things particular and things in species; that is to say, such as the prudence which is in me, the temperance which is in me, the courage, the justice, and so on in the same manner; and these particular virtues are perishable, because the place which receives them, that is to Bay I, am also perishable. Then Agar, who is the middle kind of encyclical instruction, even if she should endeavour to escape from the austere and stern life of the lovers of virtue, will again return to it, since it is not, as yet, able to receive the generic and imperishable excellencies of virtue, but can only touch the particular virtues, and such as are spoken of in species, in which it is sufficient to attain to mediocrity instead of extreme perfection.
But when Abram, instead of an inquirer into natural philosophy, became a wise man and a lover of God, having his name changed to Abraham, which being interpreted means Genesis xvi. D.
+ Genesis xi. 14.
the great father of sounds; for language when uttered sounds, and the father of language is the mind, which has attained to what, is virtuous. And when Sarai instead of being my authority, had her name also changed to Sarah, the meaning of which is princess, and this change is equivalent to becoming generic and imperishable virtue, instead of virtue special and perishable: then will arise the genus of happiness that is to say, Isaac; and he, when all the feminine affections * have ceased, and when the passion of joy and cheerfuluess are dead, will eagerly pursue, not childish amusements, bnt divine objects; then too those elementary branches of instruction which bear the name of Agar, will be cast out, and their sophistical child will also be cast out, who is named Ishmael.
II. And they shall undergo eternal banishment, God himself confirining their expulsion, when he bids the wise man obey the word spoken by Sarah, and she urges himn expressly to cast out the serving woman and her son ; and it is good to be guided by virtue, and especially so when it teaches such lessons as this, that the most perfect natures are very greatly different from the mediocre habits, and that wisdom is a wholly different thing from sophistry; for the one labours to devise what is persuasive for the establishment of a false opinion, which is pernicious to the soul, but wisdom, with long ineditation on the truth by the knowledge of right reason, brings real advantage to the inteMcct. Why then do we wonder if God once for all banished Adam, that is to say, the mind out of the district of the virtues, after he had once contracted folls, that incurable disease, and if he never permitted him again to return, when he also drives out and banishes from wisdom and from the wise man every sophist, and the mother of sophists, the teaching that is of elementary instruction, while he calls the names of wisdom and of the wise man Abraham, and Sarah.
IV. Then also, “The flaming sword and the cherubim have an abode allotted to them exactly in front of paradise." The expression, " in front," is used partly to convey the idea of a resisting enemy, and partly as suitable to the notion of judgment, as a person whose cause is being decided appears in front of his judge: partly also in a friendly sense, in order
• The Greek text here is corrupt and unintelligible. I have followed the Latin translation of Ma"gey. Vul. I.
that they may be perceived, and may be considered in closer connection by reason of the more accurate view of them that is thus obtained, just as archetypal pictures and statues are placed in front of painters and statuaries.
Now the first example of an enemy placed directly in front of one is derived from what is said in the case of Cain, that
he went out from the face of God, and dwelt in the land of Nod, in the front of Eden."* Now Nod being interpreted means commotion, and Eden means delight. The one therefore is a symbol of wickedness agitating the soul, and the other of virtue which creates for the soul a state of tranquillity and happiness, not meaning by happiness that effeminate luxury which is derived from the indulgence of the irrational passion of pleasure, but a joy free from toil and free from hardship, which is enjoyed with great tranquillity. And it follows of necessity that when the mind goes forth from any imagination of God, by which it would be good and expedient for it to be supported, then immediately, after the fashion of a ship, which is tossed in the sea, when the winds oppose it with great violence, it is tossed about in every direction, having disturbance as it were for its country and its home, a thing which is the most contrary of all things to steadiness of soul, which is engendered by joy, which is a term synonymous with Eden.
V. Now of the kind of opposition of place which is connected with standing in front of a judge for judgment, we have an example in the caso of the woman who has been suspected of having committed adultery. For, says Moses,
For, says Moses, the priest shall cause the woman to stand in front of her lord, and sho shull uncover her head."* Let us now examine what he intends to show by this direction.
It often happens that what ought to be done is not done, in the manner in which it ought to be done, and sometimes too that which is not proper is nevertheless done in a proper
For instance, when the return of a deposit is not made in an honest spirit, but is intended either to work the injury of him who receives it back again, or by way of a snare to bear out a denial in the case of another deposit of greater value, in that case a proper action is done in an improper muuner. On the other hand, for a physician not to tell the exact truth to a sick patient, when he has decided on purging • Genesis iv. 10.
+ Numbers v. 18.
“ to pursue
him, or performing some operation with the knife or with tho cautery for the benefit of the patient, lest if the sick man were to be moved too strongly by the anticipation of the suffering, he might refuse to submit to the cure, or through weakness of mind might despair of its succeeding; or in the case of a wise man giving false information to the enemy to secure the safety of his country, fearing lest through his speaking the truth the affairs of the adversaries should succeed, in this case an action which is not intrinsically right is done in a proper manner.
In reference to which distinction Moses says, ahat is just justly,"* as if it were possible also to pursue it unjustly, if at any time the judge who gives sentence does not decide in an honest spirit. Since therefore what is said or done is openly notorious to all men, but since the intention, the consequence of which what is said is said, and what is done is done, is not notorious, but it is uncertain whether it be a sound and healthy motive, or an unhealthy design, stained with numerous pollutions; and since no created being is capable of discerning the secret intention of an invisible mind, but God alone; in reference to this Moses says that “all secret things are known to the Lord God, but only such as are manifest are. known to the creature.” And therefore it is enjoined to the priest and prophet, that is to say to reason, " to place the soul in front of God, with the head uncovered,"+ that is to say the soul must be laid bare as to its principal design, and the sentimeuts which it nourished must be revealed, in order that being brought before the judgment seat of the most accurate vision of the incorruptible God, it may be thoroughly examined as to all its concealed disguises, like a base coin, or, on the other hand, if it be found to be free from all participation in any kind of wickedness, it may wash away all the calumuies that have been uttered against its bringing bim for a testimony to its purity, who is alone able to behold the soul naked.
VI. This, then, is the meaning of coming in front of one's judge, when brought up for judgment. But the case of coming in front of any one which has a bearing upon connection or familiarity, may be illustrated by the example of the all-wise Abraham. “For," says Moses," he was still standing in front of God."$ And a proof of his familiarity is contained in the expression that " he came near to God, and spoke." For it • Deuteronomy xvi. 20. + Numbers v. 14. Genesis xviii. 22.