Archelaus (Cont.)The Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes. (Cont.)

15. The judges said: We need not inquire as to the manner in which that primitive commerce took place until we have first seen it proved that there are two natural principles. For when once it is made clear that there are two unbegotten natures, then others of your averments may also gain our assent, even although something in them may not seem to fit in very readily with what is credible. For as the power of pronouncing judgment has been committed to us, we shall declare what may make itself clear to our mind. We may, however, also grant to Archelaus the liberty of speaking to these statements of yours, so that, by comparing what is said by each of you, we may be able to give our decision in accordance with the truth. Archelaus said: Notwithstanding, the adversary’s intent is replete with gross audacity and blasphemy. Manes said: Hear, O judges, what he has said of the adversary.116 He admits, then, that there are two objects. Archelaus said: It seems to me that this man is full of madness rather than of prudence, who would stir up a controversy with me to-day because I chance to speak of the adversary. But this objection of yours may be removed with few words, notwithstanding that you have supposed from this expression of mine that I shall allow that there are these two natures.117 You have come forward with a most extravagant118 doctrine; for neither of the assertions made by you holds good. For it is quite possible that one who is an adversary, not by nature, but by determination, may be made a friend, and cease to be an adversary; and thus, when the one of us has come to acquiesce with the other, we twain shall appear to be, as it were, one and the same object. This account also indicates that rational creatures have been entrusted with free-will,119 in virtue of which they also admit of conversions. And consequently there cannot be two unbegotten natures.120 What do you say, then? Are these two natures inconvertible? or are they convertible? or is one of them converted? Manes, however, held back, because he did not find a suitable reply; for he was pondering the conclusion which might be drawn from either of two answers which he might make, tutoring the matter over thus in his thoughts: If I say that they are converted, he will meet me with that statement which is recorded in the Gospel about the trees; ([Mat_7:15-20]) but if I say that they are not convertible, he will necessarily ask me to explain the condition and cause of their intermingling. In the meantime, after a little delay, Manes replied: They are indeed both inconvertible in so far as contraries are concerned; but they are convertible as far as properties121 are concerned. Archelaus then said: You seem to me to be out of your mind, and oblivious of your own propositions; yea, you do not appear even to recognise the powers or qualities of the very words which you have been learning.122 For you do not understand either what conversion is, or what is meant by unbegotten, or what duality implies, or what is past, or what is present, or what is future, as I have gathered from the opinions to which you have just now given expression. For you have affirmed, indeed, that each of these two natures is inconvertible so far as regards contraries, but convertible so far as regards properties. But I maintain that one who moves in properties does not pass out of himself, but subsists in these same properties, in which he is ever inconvertible; while in the case of one who is susceptible of conversion, the effect is that he is placed outside the pale of properties, and passes within the sphere of accidents.123


16. The judges said: Convertibility translates the person whom it befalls into another; as, for example, we might say that if a Jew were to make up his mind to become a Christian, or, on the other hand, if a Christian were to decide to be a Gentile, this would be a species of convertibility, and a cause of the same.124 But, again, if we suppose a Gentile to keep by all his own heathen properties, and to offer sacrifices to his gods, and to do service to the temples as usual, surely you would not be of opinion that he could be said to be converted, while he yet holds by his properties, and goes on in them? What, then, do you say? Do they sustain convertibility or not? And as Manes hesitated, Archelaus proceeded thus: If, indeed, he says that both natures are convertible,125 what is there to prevent our thinking them to be one and the same object? For if they are inconvertible, then surely in natures which are similarly inconvertible and similarly unbegotten there is no, distinction, neither can the one of them be recognised as good or as evil. But if they are both convertible, then, forsooth, the possible result may be both that the good is made evil, and that the evil is made good. If, however, this is the possible result, why should we not speak of one only as unbegotten,126 which would be a conception in worthier accordance with the reckoning of truth? For we have to consider how that evil one became so at first, or against what objects he exercised his wickedness before the formation of the world. When the heavens had not yet appeared, when the earth did not yet subsist, and when there was neither man nor animal, against whom did he put his wickedness in operation? whom did he oppress unjustly? whom did he rob and kill? But if you say that he first appeared in his evil nature to his own kin,127 then without doubt you give the proof that he comes of a good nature. And if, again, all these are also evil, how can Satan then cast out Satan? (Mar_3:23) But while thus reduced to a dilemma on this point, you may change your position in the discussion, and say that the good suffered violence from the evil. But none the more is it without peril for you to make such a statement, to the effect of affirming the vanquishing of the light; for what is vanquished has destruction near it.128 For what says the divine word? “Who can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he be stronger than he?” (Mar_3:27) But if you allege that he first appeared in his evil nature to men, and only from that time showed openly the marks of his wickedness, then it follows that before this time he was good, and that he took on this quality of conversion because the creation of man 129 was found to have emerged as the cause of his wickedness. But, in fine, let him tell us what he understands by evil, lest perchance he may be defending or setting up a mere name. And if it is not the name but the substance of evil that he speaks of, then let him set before us the fruits of this wickedness and iniquity, since the nature of a tree can never be known but by its fruit.


17. Manes said: Let it first be allowed on your side that there is an alien root of wickedness, which God has not planted, and then I shall tell you its fruits. Archelaus said: Truth’s reckoning does not make any such requirement; and I shall not admit to you that there is a root of any such evil tree, of the fruit whereof no one has ever tasted. But just as, when a man desires to make any purchase, he does not produce the money unless he first ascertains by tasting the object whether it is of a dry or a moist species, so I shall not admit to you that the tree is evil and utterly corrupt, unless the quality of its fruit is first exhibited; for it is written, that “the tree is known by its fruits.” (Mat_7:16) Tell us, therefore, O Manes, what fruit is yielded by that tree which is called evil, or of what nature it is, and what virtue it is, that we may also believe with you that the root of that same tree is of that character which you ascribe to it. Manes said: The root indeed is evil, and the tree is most corrupt, but the increase is not from God. Moreover, fornications, adulteries, murders, avarice, and all evil deeds, are the fruits of that evil root. Archelaus said: That we may credit you when you say that these are the fruits of that evil root, give us a taste of these things; for you have pronounced the substance of this tree to be ungenerate,130 the fruits of which are produced after its own likeness. Manes said: The very unrighteousness which subsists in men offers the proof itself, and in avarice too you may taste that evil root. Archelaus said: Well, then, as you have stated the question, those iniquities which prevail among men are fruits of this tree. Manes said: Quite so. Archelaus proceeded: If these, then, are the fruits, that is to say, the wicked deeds of men, it will follow that the men themselves will hold the place of the root and of the tree; for you have declared that they, produce fruits of this nature. Manes said: That is my statement. Archelaus answered: Not well say you, That is my statement: for surely that cannot be your statement; otherwise, when men cease from sinning, this tree of wickedness will appear to be unfruitful. Manes said: What you say is an impossibility; for even though one or another, or several, were to cease sinning, there would yet be others doing evil still. Archelaus said: If it is at all possible for one or another, or several, as you admit, not to sin, it is also possible for all to do the same; for they are all of one parent, and are all men of one lump. And, not to follow at my ease those affirmations which you have so confusedly made through all their absurdities, I shall conclude their refutation by certain unmistakeable counter-arguments. Do you allege that the fruits of the evil root and the evil tree are the deeds of men, that is to say, fornications, adulteries, perjuries, murders, and other similar things? Manes said: I do. Archelaus said: Well, then, if it happened that the race of men was to die off the face of the earth, so that they should not be able to sin any more, the substance of that tree would then perish, and it would bear fruit no more. Manes said: And when will that take place of which you speak? Archelaus said: What131 is in the future I know not, for I am but a man; nevertheless I shall not leave these words of yours unexamined. What say you of the race of men? Is it unbegotten, or is it a production? Manes said: It is a production. Archelaus said: If man is a production, who is the parent of adultery and fornication, and such other things? Whose fruit is this? Before man was made, who was there to be a fornicator, or an adulterer, or a murderer? Manes said: But if the man is fashioned of the evil nature, it is manifest that he is such a fruit,132 albeit he may sin, albeit he may not sin; whence also the name and race of men are once for all and absolutely of this character, whether they may do what is righteous or what is unrighteous. Archelaus said: Well, we may also take notice of that matter. If, as you aver the wicked one himself made man, why is it that he practises his malignity on him?


18. The judges said: We desire to have information from you on this point, Manichaeus, to wit, to what effect you have affirmed him to be evil. Do you mean that he has been so from the time when men were made, or before that period? For it is necessary that you should give some proof of his wickedness from the very time from which you declare him to have been evil, Be assured133 that the quality of a wine cannot be ascertained unless one first tastes it; and understand that, in like manner, every tree is known by its fruit. What say you, then? From what time has this personality been evil? For an explanation of this problem seems to us to be necessary. Manes said: He has always been so. Archelaus said: Well, then, I shall also show from this, most excellent friends, and most judicious auditors, that his statement is by no means correct. For iron, to take an example, has not been an evil thing always, but only from the period of man’s existence, and since his art turned it to evil by applying it to false uses; and every sin has come into existence since the period of man’s being. Even that great serpent himself was not evil previous to man, but only after man, in whom he displayed the fruit of his wickedness, because he willed it himself. If, then, the father of wickedness makes his appearance to us after man has come into being, according to the Scriptures, how can he be unbegotten who has thus been constituted evil subsequently to man, who is himself a production? But, again, why should he exhibit himself as evil just from the period when, on your supposition, he did himself create man?134 What did he desire in him? If man’s whole body was his own workmanship, what did he ardently affect in him? For one who ardently affects or desires, desires something which is different and better. If, indeed, man takes his origin from him in respect of the evil nature, we see how man was his own, as I have frequently shown.135 For if man was his own, he was also evil himself, just as it holds with our illustration of the like tree and the like fruit; for an evil tree, as you say, produces evil fruit. And seeing that all were evil, what did be desiderate, or in what could he show the beginning of his wickedness, if from the time of man’s formation man was the cause of his wickedness? Moreover, the law and precept having been given to the man himself, the man had not by any means the power to yield obedience to the serpent, and to the statements which were made, by him; and had the man then yielded no obedience to him, what occasion would there have been for him to be evil? But, again, if evil is unbegotten, how does it happen that man is sometimes found to be stronger than it? For, by obeying the law of God, he will often overcome every root of wickedness; and it would be a ridiculous thing if he, who is but the production, should be found to be stronger than the unbegotten. Moreover, whose is that law with its commandment – that commandment, I mean, which has been given to man? Without doubt it will be acknowledged to be God’s. And how, then, can the law be given to an alien? or who can give his commandment to an enemy? Or, to speak of him who receives the commandment, how can he contend against the devil? that is to say, on this supposition, how can he contend against his own creator, as if the son, while he is a debtor to him for deeds of kindness, were to choose to inflict injuries on the father? Thus you but mark out the profitlessness136 of man on this side, if you suppose him to be contradicting by the law and commandment him who has made him, and to be making the effort to get the better of him. Yea, we shall have to fancy the devil himself to have gone to such an excess of folly, as not to have perceived that in making man he made an adversary for himself, and neither to have considered what might be his future, nor to have foreseen the actual consequence of his act; whereas even in ourselves. who are but productions, there are at least some small gifts of knowledge, and a measure of prudence, and a moderate degree of consideration, which is sometimes of a very trustworthy nature. And how, then, can we believe that in the unbegotten there is not some little portion of prudence, or consideration, or intelligence? Or how can we make the contrary supposition, according to your assertion, namely, that he is discovered to be of the most senseless apprehension, and the dullest heart and in short rather like the brutes in his natural constitution? But if the case stands thus, again, how is it that man, who is possessed of no insignificant power in mental capacity and knowledge, could have received his substance from one who thus is, of all beings, the most ignorant and the bluntest in apprehension? How shall any one be rash enough to profess that man is the workmanship of an author of this character? But, again, if man consists both of soul and of body, and not merely of body without soul, and if the one cannot subsist apart from the other, why will you assert that these two are antagonistic and contrary to each other? For our Lord Jesus Christ, indeed, seems to me to have spoken of these in His parables, when He said: “No man can put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles will break, and the wine run out.” (Mat_9:17) But new wine is to be put into new bottles, as there is indeed one and the same Lord for the bottle and for the wine. For although the substance may be different, yet by these two substances, in their due powers, and in the maintenance of their proper mutual relations.137 the one person of man subsists. We do not say, indeed, that the soul is of one substance with the body, but we aver that they have each their own characteristic qualities; and as the bottle and the wine are applied in the similitude to one race and one species of men, so truth’s reckoning requires us to grant that man was produced complete by the one God: for the soul rejoices in the body, and loves and cherishes it; and none the less does the body rejoice that it is quickened by the soul. But if, on the other hand, a person maintains that the body is the work of the wicked one, inasmuch as it is so corruptible, and antiquated, and worthless, it would follow then that it is incapable of sustainting the virtue of the spirit or the movement of the soul, and the most splendid creation of the same. For just as, when a person puts a piece of new cloth into an old garment, the rent is made worse; (Mat_9:16) so also the body would perish if it were to be associated, under such conditions, with that most brilliant production the soul. Or, to use another illustration: just as, when a man carries the light of a lamp into a dark place the darkness is forthwith put to flight and makes no appearance; so we ought to understand that, on the soul’s introduction into the body the darkness is straightway banished, and one nature at once effected, and one man constituted in one species. And thus, agreeably therewith, it will be allowed that the new wine is put into new bottles, and that the piece of new cloth is not put into the old garment. But from this we are able to show that there is a unison of powers in these two substances, that is to say, in that of the body and in that of the soul; of which unison that greatest teacher in the Scriptures, Paul, speaks, when he tells us, that “God hath set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased Him.” (1Co_12:18)


19. But if it seems difficult for you to understand this, and if you do not acquiesce in these statements, I may at all events try to make them good by adducing illustrations. Contemplate man as a kind of temple, according to the similitude of Scripture: (1Co_3:17; 2Co_6:16) the spirit that is in man may thus be likened to the image that dwells in the temple. Well, then, a temple cannot be constituted unless first an occupant is acknowledged for the temple; and, on the other hand, an occupant cannot be settled in the temple unless the structure has been erected. Now, since these two objects, the occupant and the structure, are both consecrated together, how can any antagonism or contrariety be found between them, and how should it not rather appear that they have both been the products of subjects that are in amity and of one mind? And that you may know that this is the case, and that these subjects are truly at one both in fellowship and in lineage, He who knows and hears138 all has made this response, “Let us make man,” and so forth. For he who constructs139 the temple interrogates him who fashions the image, and I inquires carefully about the measurements of magnitude, and breadth, and bulk, in order that he may mark off the space for the foundations in accordance with these dimensions; and no one sets about the vain task of building a temple without first making himself acquainted with the measurement needed for the placing of the image. In like manner, therefore, the mode and the measure of the body are made the subject of inquiry, in order that the soul may be appropriately lodged in it by God, the Artificer of all things. But if any one say that he who has moulded the body is an enemy to the God who is the Creator of my soul,140 then how is it that, while regarding each other with a hostile eye, these two parties have not brought disrepute upon the work, by bringing it about either that he who constructs the temple should make it of such narrow dimensions as to render it incapable of accommodating what is placed within it, or that he who fashions the image should come with something so massive and ponderous, that, on its introduction into the temple, the edifice would at once collapse? If such is not the case, then, with these things, let us contemplate them in the light of what we know to be the objects and intents of antagonists. But if it is right for all to be disposed with the same measures and the same equity, and to be d splayed with like glory, what doubt should we still entertain on this subject? We add, if it please you, this one illustration more. Man appears to resemble a ship which has been constructed by the builder and launched into the deep, which, however, it is impossible to navigate without the rudder, by which it can be kept under command, and turned in whatsoever direction its steersman may wish to sail. Also, that the rudder and the whole body of the ship require the same artificer, is a matter admitting no doubt; for without the rudder the whole structure of the ship, that huge body, will be an inert mass. And thins, then, we say that the soul is the rudder of the body; that both these, moreover, are ruled by that liberty of judgment and sentiment which we possess, and which corresponds to the steersman; and that when these two are made one by, union,141 and thus possess a unison of function applicable to all kinds of work, whatever may be the products of their own operation, they bear a testimony to the fact that they have both one and the same author and maker.


20. On hearing these argumentations, the multitudes who were present were exceedingly delighted; so much so, indeed, that they were almost laying hands on Manes; and it was with difficulty that Archelaus restrained them, and kept them back, and made them quiet again. The judges said: Archelaus has given us proof sufficient of the fact that the body and soul of man are the works of one hand; because an object cannot subsist in any proper consonance and unison as the work of one hand, if there is any want of harmony in the design and plan. But if it is alleged that one could not possibly have sufficed to develop both these objects, namely, body and soul, this is simply to exhibit the incapacity of the artificer. For thus, even though one should grant that the soul is the creation of a good deity, it will be found to be but an idle work so far as the man is concerned, unless it also takes to itself the body. And if, again, the body is held to be the formation of an evil deity, the work will also none the less be idle unless it receives the soul; and, in truth, unless the soul be in unison with the body by commixture and due introduction, so that the two are in mutual connections, the man will not exist, neither can we speak of him. Hence we are of opinion that Archelaus has proved by a variety of illustrations that there is but one and the same maker for the whole man. Archelaus said: I doubt not, Manes, that you understand this, namely, that one who is born and created142 is called the son of him who begets or creates. But if the wicked one made man, then he ought to be his father, according to nature. And to whom, then, did the Lord Jesus address Himself, when in these terms He taught men to pray: “When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven;” (Mat_6:9; Luk_11:2) and again, “Pray to your Father which is in secret?” (Mat_6:6) But it was of Satan that He spoke when He said, that He “beheld him as lightning fall from heaven;” (Luk_10:18) so that no one dare say that He taught us to pray to him. And surely Jesus did not come down from heaven with the purpose of bringing men together, and reconciling them to Satan; but, on the contrary, He gave him over to be bruised beneath the feet of His faithful ones. However, for my part, I would say that those Gentiles are the more blessed who do indeed bring in a multitude of deities, but at least hold them all to be of one mind, and in amity with each other; whereas this man, though he brings in but two gods, does not blush to posit enmities and discordant sentiments between them. And, in sooth, if these Gentiles were to bring in143 their counterfeit deities under conditions of that kind, we would verily have it in our power to witness something like a gladiatorial contest proceeding between them, with their innumerable natures and diverse sentiments.


21. But now, what it is necessary for me to say on the subject of the inner and the outer man, may be expressed in the words of the Saviour to those who swallow a camel, and wear the outward garb of the hypocrite, begirt with blandishments and flatteries. It is to them that Jesus addresses Himself when He says: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of uncleanness. Or know you not, that He that made that which is without, made that which is within also?” (Mat_23:25; Luk_11:39) Now why did He speak of the cup and of the platter? Was He who uttered these words a glassworker, or a potter who made vessels of clay? Did He not speak most manifestly of the body and the soul? For the Pharisees truly looked to the “tithing of anise and cummin, and left undone the weightier matters of the law;” (Luk_11:42) and while devoting great care to the things which were external, they overlooked those which bore upon the salvation of the soul. For they also had respect to “greetings in the market-place,” (Mat_23:6; Mar_12:38; Luk_20:46) and “to the uppermost seats at feasts:”144 and to them the Lord Jesus, knowing their perdition, made this declaration, that they attended to those things only which were without, and despised as strange things those which were within, and understood not that He who made the body made also the soul. And who is so unimpressible and stolid in intellect, as not to see that those sayings of our Lord may suffice him for all cases? Moreover, it is in perfect harmony with these sayings that Paul speaks, when he interprets to the following intent certain things written in the law: “Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith He it altogether for our sakes?” (1Co_9:9) But why should we waste further time upon this subject? Nevertheless I shall add a few things out of many that might be offered. Suppose now that there are two unbegotten principles, and that we determine fixed localities for these: it follows then that God is separated,145 if He is supposed to be within a certain location, and not diffused everywhere; and He will consequently be represented as much inferior to the locality in which He is understood to be for the object which contains is always greater146 than the object which is contained in it: and thus God is made to be of that magnitude which corresponds with the magnitude of the locality in which He is contained, just as is the case with a man in a house.147 Then, further, reason asks who it is that has divided between them, or who has appointed for them their determinate limits; and thus both would be made out to be the decided inferiors of man’s own power.148 For Lysimachus and Alexander held the empire of the whole world, and were able to subdue all foreign nations, and the whole race of then; so that throughout that period there was no other in possession of empire besides themselves under heaven. And how will any one be rash enough to say that God, who is the true light that never suffers eclipse, and whose is also the kingdom that is holy and everlasting, is not everywhere present, as149 is the way with this most depraved man, who, in his impiety, refuses to ascribe to the Omnipotent God even equal power with men?150


22. The judges said: We know that a light shines through the whole house, and not in some single part of it; as Jesus also intimates when He says, that “no man lighting a candle puts it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that it may give light unto all that are in the house.” (Mat_5:16) If, then, God is a light, it must needs be that light (if Jesus is to be credited) shall shine on the whole world, and not on any portions of it merely. And if,151 then, that light holds possession of the whole world, where now can there be any ungenerated darkness? or how can darkness be understood to exist at all, unless it is something simply accidental? Archelaus said: Forasmuch, indeed, as the word of the Gospel is understood much better by you than by this person who puts himself forward as the Paraclete, although I could call him rather parasite than paraclete, I shall tell you how it has happened that there is darkness. When the light had been diffused everywhere, God began to constitute the universe, and commenced with the heaven and the earth; in which process this issue appeared, to wit, that the midst,152 which is the locality of earth covered with shadow, as a consequence of the interposition153 of the creatures which were called into being, was found to be obscure, in such wise that circumstances required light to be introduced into that place, which was thus situated in the midst. Hence in Genesis, where Moses gives an account of the construction of the world, he makes no mention of the darkness either as made or as not made. But he keeps silence on that subject, and leaves the explanation of it to be discovered by those who may be able to give proper attention to it. Neither, indeed, is that a very arduous and difficult task. For to whom may it not he made plain that this sun of ours is visible, when it has risen in the east, and taken its course toward the west, but that when it has gone beneath the earth, and been carried farther within that formation which among the Greeks is called the sphere, it then ceases to appear, being overshadowed in darkness in consequence of the interposition of the bodies?154 When it is thus covered, and when the body of the earth stands opposite it, a shadow is superinduced, which produces from itself the darkness; and it continues so until again, after the course of the inferior space has been traversed in the night, it rolls towards the east, and is seen to rise once more in its wonted seats. Thus, then, the cause of the shadow and the night is discovered in the solidity of the body of the earth, – a thing, indeed, which a man may understand from the fact of the shadow cast by his own body155 For before the heaven and the earth and all those corporeal creatures appeared, the light remained always constant, without waning or eclipse, as there existed no body which might produce shadow by its opposition or intervention; and consequently one must say that nowhere was there darkness then, and nowhere night. For if, to take an illustration, it should please Him who has the power of all things to do away with the quarter156 which lies to the west, then, as the sun would not direct its course toward that region, there would nowhere emerge either evening or darkness, but the sun would be on its course always, and would never set, but would almost always hold the centre tract of heaven, and would never cease to appear; and by this the whole world would be illumined with the clearest light, in virtue of which no part of it would suffer obscuration, but the equal power of one light would remain everywhere. But on the other hand, while the western quarter keeps its position, and the sun executes157 its course in three parts of the world, then those who are under the sun will be seen to be illuminated more brightly; so that I might almost say, that while the people who belong to the diverse tract are still asleep, those former are in possession of the day’s beginning. But just158 as those Orientals have the light rising on them earlier than the people who live in the west, so they have it also more quickly obscured, and they only who are settled in the middle of the globe see always an equality of light. For when the sun occupies the middle of the heavens, there is no place that can appear to be either brighter or darker (than another), but all parts of the world are illuminated equally and impartially by the sun’s effulgence.159 If, then, as we have said above, that portion of the western tract were done away with, the part which is adjacent to it would now no more suffer obscuration. And these things I could indeed set forth somewhat more simply, as I might also describe the zodiacal circle; but I have not thought of looking into these matters at present.160 I shall therefore say nothing of these, but shall revert to that capital objection urged by my adversary, in his affirming so strenuously161 that the darkness is ungenerated; which position, however, has also been confuted already, as far as that could have been done by us.


23. The judges said: If we consider that the light existed before the estate of the creatures was introduced, and that there was no object in an opposite position which might generate shadow, it must follow that the light was then diffused everywhere, and that all places were illuminated with its effulgence, as has been shown by what you have stated just now; and as we perceive that the true explanation is given in that, we assign the palm to the affirmations of Archelaus. For if the universe is clearly divided, as if some wall had been drawn through the centre of it, and if on the one side the light dwells, and on the other side the darkness, it is yet to be understood that this darkness has been brought accidentally about through the shadow generated in consequence of the objects which have been set up in the world; and hence again we must ask who it is that has built this wall between the two divisions, provided you indeed admit the existence of such a construction, O Manichaeus. But if we have to take account of this matter on the supposition that no such wall has been built, then again it comes to be understood that the universe forms but one locality, without any exception, and is placed under one power; and if so, then the darkness can in no way have an ungenerated nature. Archelaus said: Let him also explain the following subject with a view to what has been propounded. If God is seated in His kingdom, and if the wicked one in like manner is seated in his kingdom, who can have constructed the wall between them? For no object can divide two substances except one that is greater than either,162 even as it is said163 in the book of Genesis, that “God divided the light from the darkness.” (Gen_1:4) Consequently the constructor of this wall must also be some one of a capacity like that: for the wall marks the boundaries of these two parties, just as among people who dwell in the rural parts a stone is usually taken to mark off the portion of each several party; which custom, however, would afford a better apprehension of the case were we to take the division to refer specially to the marking out of an inheritance failing to brothers. But for the present I have not to speak of matters like these, however essential they may appear. For what we are in quest of is an answer to the question, Who can have constructed the wall required for the designation of the limits of the kingdom of each of these twain? No answer has been given. Let not this perfidious fellow hesitate, but let him now acknowledge that the substance of his duality has been reduced again to a unity. Let him mention any one who can have constructed that middle wall. What could the one of these two parties have been engaged in when the other was building? Was he asleep? or was he ignorant of the fact? or was he unable to withstand the attempt? or was he bought over with a price? Tell us what he was about, or tell us who in all the universe was the person that raised the construction. I address my appeal to you, O judges, whom God has sent to us with the fullest plenitude of intelligence; judge ye which of these two could have erected the structure, or what the one could have been doing all the while that the other was engaged in the building.


24. The judges said: Tell us, O Manes, who designated the boundaries for the kingdom of each, and who made the middle wall? For Archelaus begs that due importance be attached, to the practice of interrogation in this discussion. Manes said: The God who is good, and who has nothing in common with evil, placed the firmament in the midst, in order to make it plain164 that the wicked one is an alien to Him. Archelaus said: How fearfully you belie the dignity of that name! You do indeed call Him God, but you do so in name only, and you make His deity resemble man’s infirmities. At one time out of the non-existent, and at another time out of underlying matter, which indeed thus existed before Himself, you assert that He did build the structure, as builders among men are wont to do. Sometimes also you speak of Him as apprehensive, and sometimes as variable. It is, however, the part of God to do what is proper to God, and it is the part of man to do what is proper to man. If, then, God, as you say, has constructed a wall, this is a God who marks Himself out as apprehensive, and as possessed of no fortitude. For we know that it is always the case that those who are suspicious of the preparation of secret perils against them by strangers, and who are afraid of the plots of enemies, are accustomed to surround their cities with walls, by which procedure they at once secure themselves in their ignorance, and display their feeble capacity. But here, too, we have something which ought not to be passed over by us in silence, but rather brought prominently forward; so that even by the great abundance of our declarations on the subject our adversary’s manifold craftiness may be brought to nought, with the help of the truth on our side. We may grant, then, that the structure of the wall has been made with the purpose of serving to distinguish between the two kingdoms; for without this one division165 it is impossible for either of them to have his own proper kingdom. But granting this, then it follows further that in the same manner it will also be impossible for the wicked one to pass without his own proper limits and invade the territories of the good King, inasmuch as the wall stands there as an obstacle, unless it should chance first to be cast down, for we have heard that such things have been done by enemies, and indeed with our own eyes we have quite recently seen an achievement of that nature successfully carried out.166 And when a king attacks a citadel surrounded by a strong wall, he uses first of all the ballista167 and projectiles; then he endeavours to cut through the gates with axes, and to demolish the walls by the battering-rams; and when he at last obtains an entrance, and gains possession of the place, he does whatever he listeth, whether it be his pleasure to carry off the citizens into captivity, or to make a complete destruction of the fortress and its contents, or whether, on the. other hand, it may be his will to grant indulgence to the captured stronghold on the humble suit of the conquered. What, then, does my opponent here say to this analogy? Did no adversary substantially – which is as much as to say, designedly – overthrow the muniment cast up between the two?168 For in his former statements he has avouched that the darkness passed without its own limits, and supervened upon the kingdom of the good God. Who, then, overthrew that munition before the one could thus? have crossed over to the other? For it was impossible for the evil one to find any entrance while the munition stood fast. Why are you silent? Why do you hesitate, Manichaeus? Yet, although you may hold back, I shall proceed with the task of my own accord. For if we suppose you to say that God destroyed it, then I have to ask what moved Him in this way to demolish the very thing which He had Himself previously constructed on account of the importunity of the wicked one, and for the purpose of preserving the separation between them? In what fit of passion, or under what sense of injury, did He thus set about contending against Himself? Or was it that He lusted after some of the possessions of the wicked one? But if none of these things formed the real cause that led God to destroy those very things which He had constructed a long time before with the view of estranging and separating the wicked one from Him, then it must needs be considered no matter of surprise if God should also have become delighted with his society;169 for, on your supposition, the munition which had been set up with the purpose of securing God against trouble from him, will appear to have been removed just because now he is to be regarded no more as an enemy, but as a friend. And, on the other hand, if you aver that the wall was destroyed by the wicked one, tell us then how it can be possible for the works of the good God to be mastered by the wicked one. For if that is possible, then the evil nature will be proved to be stronger than God. Furthermore, how can that being, seeing that he is pure and total darkness, surprise the light and apprehend it, while the evangelist gives us the testimony that “the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not?” (Joh_1:5) How is this blind one armed? How does the darkness fight against the kingdom of light? For even as the creatures of God170 here cannot take in the rays of the sun with uninjured eye,171 so neither can that being bear the clear vision of the kingdom of light, but he remains for ever a stranger to it, and an alien.


25. Manes said: Not all receive the word of God, but only those to whom it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. (Mat_19:11) And even now172 I know who are ours; for “my sheep,” He says, “hear my voice.” (Joh_10:27) For the sake of those who belong to us, and to whom is given the understanding of the truth, I shall speak in similitudes. The wicked one is like a lion that sought to steal upon the flock of the good shepherd; and when the shepherd saw this, he dug a huge pit, and took one kid out of the flock and cast it into the pit. Then the lion, hungering to get at it, and bursting with passion to devour it, ran up to the pit and fell in, and discovered no strength sufficient to bring him out again. And thereupon the shepherd seized him and shut him up carefully in a den, and at the same time secured the safety of the kid which had been with him in the pit. And it is in this way that the wicked one has been enfeebled, – the lion, so to speak, possessing no more capacity for doing aught injurious; and so all the race of souls will be saved, and what once perished will yet be restored to its proper flock. Archelaus said: If you compare the wicked one to the lion, and God to the true shepherd, tell us, whereunto shall we liken the sheep and the kid? Manes said: The sheep and the kid seem to me to be of one nature: and they are taken as figures of souls. Archelaus said: Well, then, God gave a soul over to perdition when He set it before the lion in the pit. Manes said: By no means; far from it. But He was moved by a particular disposition,173 and in the future He will save that other, the soul. Archelaus said: Now, surely it would be an absurd procedure, my hearers, if a shepherd who dreaded the inroad of a lion were to expose to the beast’s devouring fury a lamb that he was wont to carry in his bosom, and if it were then to be said that he meant to save the creature hereafter. Is not this something supremely ridiculous? Yea, there is no kind of sense in this. For on the supposition implied in your similitude God thus handed over to Satan a soul that he might seize and ruin. But when did the shepherd ever do anything like that?174 Did not David deliver a sheep out of the mouth of a lion or of a bear? And we mention this on account of the expression, out of the mouth of the lion; for, on your theory, this would imply that the shepherd can bring forth out of the mouth of the lion, or out of the belly of the same, the very object which it has devoured.175 But you will perhaps make this answer, that it is of God we speak, and that He is able to do all things. Hear, however, what I have to say to that: Why then do you not rather assert His real capacity, and affirm simply His ability to overcome the lion in His own might, or with the pure power of God, and without the help of any sort of cunning devices, or by consigning a kid or a lamb to a pit?176 Tell me this, too, if the lion were to be supposed to come upon the shepherd at a time when he has no sheep, what would the consequence be? For he who is here called the shepherd is supposed to be unbegotten, and he who is here the lion is also unbegotten. Wherefore, when man did not yet exist – in other words, before the shepherd had a flock – if the lion had then come upon the shepherd, what would have followed, seeing that there could have been nothing for the lion to eat before the kid was in existence? Manes said: The lion certainly had nothing to devour, but yet he exercised his wickedness on whatever he was able to light upon as he coursed over the peaks of the mountains; and if at any time food was a matter of necessity with him, he seized some of the beasts which were under his own kingdom. Archelaus said: Are these two objects, then, of one substance – the beasts which are under the kingdom of the wicked one, and the kids which are in the kingdom of the good God?177 Manes said: Far from it; not at all: they have nothing in common either between themselves or between the properties which pertain to them severally. Archelaus said: There is but one and the same use made of the food in the lion’s eating. And though he sometimes got that food from the beasts belonging to himself, and sometimes from those belonging to the good God, there is still no difference between them as far as regards the meats furnished; and from this it is apparent that those are of but one substance. On the other hand, if we say that there is a great difference between the two, we do but ascribe ignorance to the shepherd,178 in so far as he did not present or set before the lion food adapted to his use, but rather alien meats. Or perchance again, in your desire to dissemble your real position, you will say to me that lion ate nothing. Well, supposing that to be the case, did God then in this way challenge that being to devour a soul while he knew not how to devour aught? and was the pit not the only thing which God sought to employ with the view of cheating him? – if indeed it is at all worthy of God to do that sort of thing, or to contrive deceitful schemes. And that would be to act like a king who, when war is made upon him, puts no kind of confidence in his own strength, but gets paralyzed with the fears of his own feebleness, and shuts himself up within the walls of his city, and erects around him a rampart and other fortifications, and gets them all equipped, and trusts nothing to his own hand and prowess; whereas, if he is a brave man, the king so placed will march a great distance from his own territories to meet the enemy there, and will put forth every possible exertion until he conquers and brings his adversary into his power.


26. The judges said: If you allege that the shepherd exposed the kid or the lamb to the lion, when the said lion was meditating an assault179 on the unbegotten, the case is closed. For seeing that the shepherd of the kids and lambs is himself proved to be in fault to them, on what creature can he pronounce judgment, if it happens that the lamb which has been given up180 through the shepherd’s weakness has proved unable to withstand the lion, and if the consequence is that the lamb has had to do whatever has been the lion’s pleasure? Or, to take another instance, that would be just as if a master were to drive out of his house, or deliver over in terror to his adversary, one of his slaves, whom he is unable afterwards to recover by his own strength. Or supposing that by any chance it were to come about that the slave was recovered, on what reasonable ground could the master inflict the torture on him, if it should turn out that the man yielded obedience to all that the enemy laid upon him, seeing that it was the master himself181 who gave him up to the enemy, just as the kid was given up to the lion? You affirm, too, that the shepherd understood the whole case beforehand. Surely, then, the lamb, when under the lash, and interrogated by the shepherd as to the reason why it had submitted to the lion in these matters, would make some such answer as this: “Thou didst thyself deliver me over to the lion, and thou didst offer no resistance to him, although thou didst know and foresee what would be my lot, when it was necessary for me to yield myself to his commandments.” And, not to dilate on this at greater length, we may say that by such an illustration neither is God exhibited as a perfect shepherd, nor is the lion shown to have tasted alien meats; and consequently, under the instruction of the truth itself, it has been made clear that we ought to give the palm to the reasonings adduced by Archelaus. Archelaus said: Considering that, on all the points which we have hitherto discussed, the thoughtfulness of the judges has assigned us the amplest scope, it will be well for us to pass over other subjects in silence, and reserve them for another period. For just as, if182 a person once crushes the head of a serpent, he will not need to lop off any of the other members of its body; so, if we once dispose183 of this question of the duality, as we have endeavoured to do to the best of our ability, other matters which have been maintained in connection with it may be held to be exploded along with it. Nevertheless I shall yet address myself, at least in a few sentences, to the assertor of these opinions himself, who is now in our presence; so that it may be thoroughly understood by all who he is, and whence he comes, and what manner of person he proves himself to be. For he has given out that he is that Paraclete whom Jesus on His departure promised to send to the race of man for the salvation of the souls of the faithful; and this profession he makes as if he were somewhat superior even to Paul184 who was an elect vessel and a called apostle, and who on that ground, while preaching the true doctrine, said:185 “Or seek yea proof of that Christ who speaks in me?”186 What I have to say, however, may become clearer by such an illustration as the following:187 – A certain man gathered into his store a very large quantity of corn, so that the place was perfectly full. This place he shut and sealed in a thoroughly satisfactory fashion, and gave directions to keep careful watch over it. And the master himself then departed. However, after a lengthened lapse of time another person came to the store, and affirmed that he had been despatched by the individual who had locked up and sealed the place with a commission also to collect and lay up a quantity of wheat in the same. And when the keepers of the store saw him, they demanded of him his credentials, in the production of the signet, in order that they might assure themselves of their liberty to open the store to him and to render their obedience to him as to one sent by the person who had sealed the place. And when he could188 neither exhibit the keys nor produce the credentials of the signet, for indeed he had no right, he was thrust out by the keepers, and compelled to flee. For instead of being what he professed to be, he was detected to be a thief and a robber by them, and was convicted and found out189 through the circumstance that, although, as it seemed, he had taken it into his head to make his appearance a long time after the period that had been determined on beforehand, he yet could neither produce keys, or signet, or any token whatsoever to the keepers, nor display any knowledge of the quantity of corn that was in store: all which things were so many unmistakeable proofs that he had not been sent across by the proper owner; and accordingly, as was matter of course,190 he was forbidden admittance by the keepers. 





133 Routh, however, points differently, so that the sense is: Be assured that is it necessary to give some proof, etc. … For the quality of a wine, etc.

134 The text is, “ex hominis tempore a se creati cur malus ostendatur,” which is taken to be equivalent to, “ex tempore quo hominem ipse creavit,” etc.

135 The reading adopted by Migne is, “si ergo ex eo homo est, mala natura, demonstratur quomodo suus fuit, ut frequenter ostendi.” Others put the sentence interrogatively = If man takes his origin from him, (and) the evil nature is thus demonstrated, in what sense was man his own, etc.? Routh suggests ex quo for ex eo = If the evil nature is demonstrated just from the time of man’s existence, how was man, etc.?

136 The reading is inutilitatem. But Routh points out that this is probably the translation of τὴν εὐτέλειαν, vilitatem, meanness.

137 Dominatione et observantiae usu.

138 The reading is scit et audit. Routh somewhat needlessly suggests scite audit = he who hears intelligently.

139 The codex gives “hic enim qui exstruis.” It is proposed to read “sic enim qui exstruit” = For in this very way he who constructs.

140 The text gives “quod si dicat quis inimicum esse eum qui plasmaverit corpus; Deus qui Creator,” etc. The Codex Casinensis reads Deum. We adopt the emendation Deo and the altered punctuation, thus: “quod si dicat quis inimicum esse eum qui plasmaverit corpus Deo qui creator est animae,” etc.

141 Reading “per conjunctionem” for the simple conjunctionem.

142 Reading “natus est et creatus.” The Codex Casinensis has “natus est creatus.”

143 Codex Casinensis gives introduceret; but, retaining the reference to the Gentiles, we read introducerent.

144 The Codex Casinensis gives a strangely corrupt reading here: “primos discipulos subitos in coenis, quod scientes Dominus.” It is restored thus: “primos discubitus in coenis, quos sciens Dominus,” etc.

145 Dividitur.

146 Reading majus for the inept malus of the Codex Casinensis.

147 Routh refers us here to Maximus, De Natura, § 2. See Reliquiae Sacrae, ii. 89-91.

148 The text is “multo inferior vertutis humanae,” which is probably a Graecism.

149 Reading ceu for the eu of the Codex Casinensis.

150 The Codex Casinensis gives “nec quae vellem quidem,” for which “nec aequalem quidem,” etc., is suggested, as in the translation.

151 The text gives a quo si, etc. Routh suggests atqui si, etc.

152 Medietas.

153 Reading objectu … creaturarum, instead of obtectu, etc., in Codex Casinensis.

154 The text of this sentence stands thus in Migne and Routh: “cui enim non fiat manifestum, solem istum visibilem, cum ab oriente fuerit exortus, et tetenderit iter suum ad occidentem, cum sub terram ierit, et interior effectus fuerit ea quae apud Graecos aphaera vocatur, quod tunc objectu corporum obumbratus non appareat?” The Codex Casinensis reads quod nunc oblectu, etc. We should add that it was held by Anaximander and others that there was a species of globe or sphere (σφαῖρα) which surrounded the universe. [Vol. 2. p. 136, n. 39.]

155 Reading ex suimet ipsius umbra for exuet ipsius umbra, which is given in the Codex Casinensis.

156 Plagam.

157 Ministrante.

158 The text is “Sicut autem ante,” etc. Routh suggests, Sole adeunte, etc.

159 Reading “ex aequo et justo, solis fulgore,” etc. The Codex Casinensis has “ex ea quo solis fulgure.”

160 The text is altogether corrupt – sed non intui hunc fieri ratus sum; so that the sense can only be guessed at. Routh suggests istud for intui.

161 Codex Casinensis gives “omni nisi,” for which we adopt “omni nisu.”

162 Reading utriusque majus. The Codex Casinensis has utrunque majus.

163 The text is dicit, for which dicitur may be adopted.

164 Reading “patefaceret” for the “partum faceret” of Codex Casinensis.

165 The text gives sine hoc uno. But perhaps Routh is right in suggesting muro for uno = without this wall.

166 Some suppose that Archelaus refers here to the taking of Charrae by the Persians in the time of Valerianus Augustus, or to its recapture and restoration to the Roman power by the Eastern king Odenathus during the empire of Gallienus.

167 The ballista was a large engine fitted with cords somewhat like a bow, by which large masses of stone and other missiles were hurled to a great distance.

168 The sense is obscure here. The text gives, “non substantia id est proposito adversarius quis dejecit,” etc. Migne edits the sentence without an interrogation. We adopt the interrogative form with Routh. The idea perhaps is, Did no adversary with materials such as the kings of earth use, and that is as much as to say also with a determinate plan, overthrow, etc.?

169 The Codex Casinensis has “nec mirum putandum est consortio,” etc. We read with Routh and others, si ejus consortio, or quod ejus consortio, etc.

170 The text gives simply, sicut enim haec. Routh suggests hae.

171 Reading illaesis oculis for the illius oculis of Codex Casinensis.

172 The text gives et jam quidem for the etiam quidem of the Codex Casinensis.

173 Apprehensus est hoc ingenio. For hoc here, Routh suggests hic in reference to the leo; so that the sense might be = But by this plan the lion was caught, and hereafter He will save the soul.

174 The text is, “Quando enim pastor, nonne David de ore leonis,” etc. We adopt the amended reading, “Quando enim pastor hoc fecit? Nonne David,” etc.

175 Routh would put this interrogatively = Can he bring out of the mouth or the belly of the lion what it has once devoured?

176 This seems to be the sense intended. The text in the Codex Casinensis runs thus: “Cur igitur quod possit non illud potius asseris quod poterit propria virtute vincere leonem, si et pura Dei potentia,” etc. For si et pura we may read sive pura, or si est pura, etc.

177 Routh takes it as a direct assertion = It follows, then, that these two objects are of one substance, etc.

178 The text runs, “sed aliud longe differre ignorantiam pastori ascribimus;” for which we adopt the emendation, “sed alium ab alio longe differre si dicamus, ignorantiam pastori ascribimus.”

179 Migne reads irrueret. Routh gives irruerat, had made an assault.

180 The text gives si causa traditus, etc. Routh suggests sive causa. Traditus, etc.: so that the sense would be, For on what creature can the shepherd of the kids and lambs pronounce judgment, seeing that he is himself proved to be in fault to them, or to be the cause of their position? For the lamb, having been given up, etc.

181 Reading eum ipse for eum ipsum.

182 Reading si quis for the simple quis of the Codex Casinensis.

183 Reading “quaestione rejecta” for the relecta of Codex Casinensis.

184 This seems to be the general sense of the corrupt text here, et non longe possit ei Paulus, etc., in which we must either suppose something to have been lost, or correct it in some such way as this: “ut non longe post sit ei Paulus.” Compare what Manes says also of Paul and himself in ch. xiii. above. It should be added, however, that another idea of the passage is thrown out in Routh. According to this, the ei refers to Jesus, and the text being emended thus, etsi non longe post sit ei, the sense would be: although not long after His departure He had Paul as an elect vessel, etc. The allusion thus would be to the circumstance that Manes made such a claim as he did, in spite of the fact that after Christ’s departure Paul was gifted with the Spirit in so eminent a measure for the building up of the faithful.

185 Reading aiebat for the agebat of Codex Casinensis.

186 2Co_13:3. The reading here is, “Aut documentum quaeritis,” etc. The Vulgate also gives An experimentum, for the Greek ἐπεί, etc.

187 The text is, “et quidem quod dico tali exemplo sed clarius.” For sed it is proposed to read fit, or sit, or est.

188 Codex Casinensis has quicunque. We adopt the correction qui cum nec.

189 Reading confutatus for confugatus.

190 The text gives “et ideo ut consequenter erat,” etc. Codex Casinensis omits the ut. Routh proposes, “et ideo consequenter thesaurus,” etc. = and thus, of course, the treasure was preserved, etc. Comp. ch. xxvii. and xxxiv.