Treatise XII.273 – Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews.
Cyprian to his son Quirinus, greeting. It was necessary, my beloved son, that I should obey your spiritual desire, which asked with most urgent petition for those divine teachings wherewith the Lord has condescended to teach and instruct us by the Holy Scriptures, that, being led away from the darkness of error, and enlightened by His pure and shining light, we may keep the way of life through the saving sacraments. And indeed, as you have asked, so has this discourse been arranged by me; and this treatise has been ordered in an abridged compendium, so that I should not scatter what was written in too diffuse an abundance, but, as far as my poor memory suggested, might collect all that was necessary in selected and connected heads, under which I may seem, not so much to have treated the subject, as to have afforded material for others to treat it. Moreover, to readers also, brevity of the same kind is of very great advantage, in that a treatise of too great length dissipates the understanding and perception of the reader, while a tenacious memory keeps that which is read in a more exact compendium. But I have comprised in my undertaking two books of equally moderate length: one wherein I have endeavoured to show that the Jews, according to what had before been foretold, had departed from God, and had lost God’s favour, which had been given them in past time, and had been promised them for the future; while the Christians had succeeded to their place, deserving well of the Lord by faith, and coming out of all nations and from the whole world. The second book likewise contains the sacrament of Christ, that He has come who was announced according to the Scriptures, and has done and perfected all those things whereby He was foretold as being able to be perceived and known.274 And these things may be of advantage to you meanwhile, as you read, for forming the first lineaments of your faith. More strength will be given you, and the intelligence of the heart will be effected more and more, as you examine more fully the Scriptures, old and new, and read through the complete volumes of the spiritual books.275 For now we have filled a small measure from the divine fountains, which in the meantime we would send to you. You will be able to drink more plentifully, and to be more abundantly satisfied, if you also will approach to drink together with us at the same springs of the divine fulness.276 I bid you, beloved son, always heartily farewell.
1. That the Jews have fallen under the heavy wrath of God, because they have departed from the Lord, and have followed idols.
2. Also because they did not believe the prophets, and put them to death.
3. That it was previously foretold that they would neither know the Lord, nor understand nor receive Him.
4. That the Jews would not understand the Holy Scriptures, but that they would be intelligible in the last times, after Christ had come.
5. That the Jews could understand nothing of the Scriptures unless they first believed on Christ.
6. That they would lose Jerusalem, and leave the land which they had received.
7. That they would also lose the Light of the Lord.
8. That the first circumcision of the flesh was made void, and a second circumcision of the spirit was promised instead.
9. That the former law, which was given by Moses, was about to cease.
10. That a new law was to be given.
11. That another dispensation and a new covenant was to be given.
12. That the old baptism was to cease, and a new one was to begin.
13. That the old yoke was to be made void, and a new yoke was to be given.
14. That the old pastors were to cease, and new ones to begin.
15. That Christ should be God’s house and temple, and that the old temple should pass away, and a new one should begin.
16. That the old sacrifice should be made void, and a new one should be celebrated.
17. That the old priesthood should cease, and a new priest should come who should be for ever.
18. That another prophet, such as Moses, was promised, to wit, who should give a new testament, and who was rather to be listened to.
19. That two peoples were foretold, the elder and the younger; that is, the ancient people of the Jews, and the new one which should be of us.
20. That the Church, which had previously been barren, should have more sons from among the Gentiles than the synagogue had had before.
21. That the Gentiles should rather believe in Christ.
22. That the Jews should lose the bread and the cup of Christ, and all His grace; while we should receive them, and that the new name of Christians should be blessed in the earth.
23. That rather the Gentiles than the Jews should attain to the kingdom of heaven.
24. That by this alone the Jews could obtain pardon of their sins, if they wash away the blood of Christ slain in His baptism, and, passing over into the Church, should obey His precepts.277
1. That the Jews have fallen under the heavy wrath of God because they have forsaken the Lord, and have followed idols.
In Exodus the people said to Aaron: “Arise and make us gods which shall go before us: because as for this man Moses, who brought us out of Egypt, we know not what has become of him.” (Exo_32:1) In the same place also Moses says to the Lord: “O Lord, I pray thee, this people have sinned! a great sin. They have made to themselves gods of gold and silver. And now, if thou wilt forgive them their sin, forgive; but if not, blot me out of the book which Thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, If any one hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” (Exo_32:31-33) Likewise in Deuteronomy: They sacrificed unto demons, and not unto God.” (Deu_32:17) In the book of Judges too: “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed the gods of the peoples that were round about them, and offended the Lord, and forsook God, and served Baal.” (Jdg_2:11-13) Also in the same place: “And the children of Israel added again to do evil278 in the sight of the Lord, and served Baal and the gods of the strangers, and forsook the Lord, and served Him not.” (Jdg_4:1) In Malachi: “Judah is forsaken, and has become an abomination in Israel and in Jerusalem, because Judah
has profaned the holiness of the Lord in those things wherein He hath loved, and courted strange gods. The Lord will cut off the man who doeth this, and he shall be made base in the tabernacles of Jacob.” (Mal_2:11)
2. Also because they did not believe the prophets, and put them to death.
In Jeremiah the Lord says: “I have sent unto I you my servants the prophets. Before the daylight I sent them (and ye heard me not, and did not listen with your ears), saying, Let every one of you be converted from his evil way, and from your most wicked desires; and ye shall dwell in that land which I have given you and your fathers for ever and ever.” (Jer_7:25, Jer_25:4) And again:179 “Go not after other gods, to serve them, and do not worship them; and provoke me not to anger in the works of your hands to scatter you abroad; and ye have not hearkened unto me.” (Jer_25:6, Jer_25:7) Also in the third book of the Kings, Elias saith unto the Lord: “In being jealous I have been jealous for the Lord God Almighty; because the children of Israel have forsaken Thee, have demolished Thine altars, and have slain Thy prophets with the sword; and I have remained solitary, and they seek my life, to take it away from me.” (1Ki_19:10) In Ezra also: “‘They have fallen away from Thee, and have cast Thy law behind their backs, and have killed Thy prophets which testified against them that they should return to Thee.” (Neh_9:26)
3. That it was previously foretold that they would neither know the Lord, nor understand, nor receive Him.
In Isaiah: “Hear, O heaven, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken; I have begotten and brought up children, but they have rejected me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not perceived me. Ah sinful nation, a people filled with sins, a wicked seed, corrupting children: ye have forsaken the Lord, and have sent that Holy One of Israel into anger.” (Isa_1:2-4) In the same also the Lord says: “Go and tell this people, Ye shall hear with the ear, and shall not understand; and seeing, ye shall see, and shall not perceive. For the heart of this people hath waxed gross, and they hardly hear with their ears, and they have shut up their eyes, lest haply they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should return, and I should heal them.” (Isa_6:9, Isa_6:10) Also in Jeremiah the Lord says: “They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and have dug for themselves worn-out cisterns, which could not hold water.” (Jer_2:13) Moreover, in the same: “Behold, the word of the Lord has become unto them a reproach, and they do not wish for it.” (Jer_6:10) Again in the same the Lord says: “The kite knoweth his time, the turtle, and the swallow;280 the sparrows of the field keep the time of their coming in; but my people doth not know the judgment of the Lord. How say ye, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? The false measurement281 has been made vain; the scribes are confounded the wise men have trembled, and been taken, because they have rejected the word of the Lord.” (Jer_8:7-9) In Solomon also: “Evil men seek me, and shall not find me; for they held wisdom in hatred and did not receive the word of the Lord.” (Pro_1:28, Pro_1:29) Also in the twenty-seventh Psalm: “Render to them their deserving, because they have not perceived in the works of the Lord.” (Psa_28:4, Psa_28:5) Also in the eighty-first Psalm: “They have not known, neither have they understood; they shall walk on in darkness.” (Psa_82:5) In the Gospel, too, according to John: “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God who believe on His name.” (Joh_1:11, Joh_1:12)
4. That the Jews would not understand the Holy Scriptures, but that they would be intelligible in the last times, after that Christ had come.
In Isaiah: “And all these words shall be unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which, if you shall give to a man that knoweth letters to read, he shall say, I cannot read, for it is sealed. But in that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and they who are in darkness and in a cloud; the eyes of the blind shall see.” (Isa_29:11-18) Also in Jeremiah: “In the last of the days ye shall know those things.” (Jer_23:20) In Daniel, moreover: “Secure the words, and seal the book until the time of consummation, until many learn, and knowledge is fulfilled, because when there shall be a dispersion they shall know all these things.” (Dan_12:4-7) Likewise in the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: “Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, that all our fathers were under the cloud.” (1Co_10:1) Also in the second Epistle to the Corinthians: “Their minds are blinded even unto this day, by this same veil which is taken away in Christ, while this same veil remains in the reading of the Old Testament, which is not unveiled, because it is made void in Christ; and even to this day, if at any time Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. But by and by, when they shall be turned unto the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.”282 In the Gospel, the Lord after His resurrection says: “These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures; and said unto them, That thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name even among all nations.” (Luk_24:44-47)
5. That the Jews could understand nothing of the Scriptures unless they first believed in Christ.
In Isaiah: “And if ye will not believe, neither will ye understand.” (Isa_7:9) Also the Lord in the Gospel: “For if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” (Joh_8:24) Moreover, that righteousness should subsist by faith, and that in it was life, was predicted in Habakkuk: “Now the just shall live by faith of me.” (Hab_2:4) Hence Abraham, the father of the nations, believed; in Genesis: “Abraham believed in God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Gen_15:6) In like manner, Paul to the Galatians: “Abraham believed in God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Ye know, therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are children of Abraham. But the Scripture, foreseeing that God justifieth the heathens by faith, foretold to Abraham that all nations should be blessed in him. Therefore they who are of faith are blessed283 with faithful Abraham.” (Gal_3:6-9)
6. That the Jews should lose Jerusalem, and should leave the land which they had received.
In Isaiah: “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers shall devour it in your sight; and the daughter of Zion shall be left deserted, and overthrown by foreign peoples, as a cottage in a vineyard, and as a keeper’s lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a city which is besieged. And unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we should have been as Sodoma, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” (Isa_1:7-9) Also in the Gospel the Lord says: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not! Behold, your house shall be left unto you desolate.” (Mat_23:37, Mat_23:38)
7. Also that they should lose the Light of the Lord.
In Isaiah: “Come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord. For He hath sent away His people, the house of Israel.” (Isa_2:5, Isa_2:6) In His Gospel also, according to John: “That was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into this world. He was in this world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” (Joh_1:9, Joh_1:10) Moreover, in the same place: “He that believeth not is judged already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light.” (Joh_3:18, Joh_3:19)
8. That the first circumcision of the flesh is made void, and the second circumcision of the spirit is promised instead.
In Jeremiah: “Thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah, and to them who inhabit Jerusalem, Renew newness among you, and do not sow among thorns: circumcise yourselves to your God, and circumcise the foreskin of your heart; lest my anger go forth like fire, and burn you up, and there be none to extinguish it.” (Jer_4:3, Jer_4:4) Also Moses says: “In the last days God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God.” (Deu_30:6) Also in Jesus the son of Nave: “And the Lord said unto Jesus, Make thee small knives of stone, very sharp, and set about to circumcise the children of Israel for the second time.” (Jos_5:2) Paul also, to the Colossians: “Ye are circumcised with the circumcision not made with hands in the putting off of the flesh, but with the circumcision of Christ.” (Col_2:11) Also, because Adam was first made by God uncircumcised, and righteous Abel, and Enoch, who pleased God and was translated; and Noah, who, when the world and men were perishing on account of transgressions, was chosen alone, that in him the human race might be preserved; and Melchizedek, the priest according to whose order Christ was promised. Then, because that sign did not avail women,284 but all are sealed by the sign of the Lord.
9. That the former law which was given by Moses was to cease.
In Isaiah: “Then shall they be manifest who seal the law, that they may not learn; and he shall say, I wait upon the Lord, who turneth away His face from the house of Jacob, and I shall trust in Him.” (Isa_8:16, Isa_8:17) In the Gospel also: “All the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” (Mat_11:13)
10. That a new law was to be given.
In Micah: “For the law shall go forth out of Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many peoples, and He shall subdue and uncover strong nations.” (Mic_4:2, Mic_4:3) Also in Isaiah: “For from Sion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem; and He shall judge among the nations.” (Isa_2:3, Isa_2:4) Likewise in the Gospel according to Matthew: “And behold a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” (Mat_17:5)
11. That another dispensation and a new covenant was to be given.
In Jeremiah: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, and I will complete for the house of Israel, and for the house of Judah, a new testament, not according to the testament which I ordered with their fathers in that day in which I took hold of their hands to bring them out of the land of Egypt, because they remained not in my testament, and I disregarded them, saith the Lord: Because this is the testament which will establish with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will give them my laws, and into their minds I will write them; and I will be to them for a God, and they shall be to me for a people; and they shall not teach every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least even to the greatest of them: for I will be merciful to their iniquities, and will no more be mindful of their sins.” (Jer_31:31-34)
12. That the old baptism should cease, and a new one should begin.
In Isaiah: “Therefore remember ye not the former things, neither reconsider the ancient things. Behold, I make new the things which shall now arise, and ye shall know it; and I will make in the desert a way, and rivers in a dry place, to give drink to my chosen race, my people whom I acquired, that they should show forth my praises.” (Isa_43:18-21) In the same also: “If they thirst, He will lead them through the deserts; He will bring forth water from the rock; the rock shall be cloven, and the water shall flow: and my people shall drink.” (Isa_48:21) Moreover, in the Gospel according to Matthew, John says: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” (Mat_3:11) Also according to John: “Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. For that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (Joh_3:5, Joh_3:6)
13. That the old yoke should be made void, and a new yoke should be given.
In the second Psalm: “For what purpose have the heathen raged, and the people imagined vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers have gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yoke from us.” (Psa_2:1-3) Likewise in the Gospel according to Matthew, the Lord says: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are burdened, and I will cause you to rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is excellent, and my burden is light.” (Mat_11:28-30) In Jeremiah: “In that day I will shatter the yoke from their neck, and will burst their fetters; and they shall not labour for others, but they shall labour for the Lord God; and I will raise up David a king unto them.” (Jer_30:8, Jer_30:9)
14. That the old pastors should cease and new ones begin.
In Ezekiel: “Wherefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I am above the shepherds; and I will require my sheep from their hands, and I will turn them away from feeding my sheep; and they shall feed them no more, and I will deliver my sheep from their mouth, and I will feed them with judgment.” (Eze_34:10-16) In Jeremiah the Lord says: “And I will give you shepherds according to my own heart, and they shall feed you with the food of discipline.” (Jer_3:15) In Jeremiah, moreover: “Hear the word of the Lord, ye nations, and tell it to the islands which are afar off. Say, He that scattereth Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd his flock: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and taken him out from the hand of him that was stronger than he.” (Jer_31:10, Jer_31:11)
15. That Christ should be the house and temple of God, and that the old temple should cease, and the new one should begin.
In the second book of Kings: “And the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the Lord, Thou shall not build me an house to dwell in; but it shall be, when thy days shall be fulfilled, and thou shall sleep with thy fathers, I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall come from thy bowels, and I will make ready his kingdom. He shall build me an house in my name, and I will raise up his throne for ever; and I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to me for a son: and his house shall obtain confidence, and his kingdom for evermore in my sight.” (2Sa_7:4, 2Sa_7:5, 2Sa_7:12-16) Also in the Gospel the Lord says: “There shall not be left in the temple one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.” (Mat_24:2) And “After three days another shall be raised up without hands.” (Joh_2:19; Mar_14:58)
16. That the ancient sacrifice should be made void, and a new one should be celebrated.
In Isaiah: “For what purpose to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? saith the Lord: I am full; I will not have the burnt sacrifices of rams, and fat of lambs, and blood of bulls and goats. For who hath required these things from your hands?” (Isa_1:11, Isa_1:12) Also in the forty-ninth Psalm: “I will not eat the flesh of bulls, nor drink the blood of goats. Offer to God the sacrifice of praise, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee: and thou shall glorify me.” (Psa_50:13-15) In the same Psalm, moreover: “The sacrifice of praise shall glorify me: therein is the way in which I will show him the salvation of God.” (Psa_50:23) In the fourth Psalm too: “Sacrifice the sacrifice of righteousness, and hope in the Lord.” (Psa_4:5) Likewise in Malachi: “I have no pleasure concerning you, saith the Lord, and I will not have an accepted offering from your hands. Because from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, my name is glorified among the Gentiles; and in every place odours of incense are offered to my name, and a pure sacrifice, because great is my name among the nations, saith the Lord.” (Mal_1:10, Mal_1:11)285
17. That the old priesthood should cease, and a new priest should come, who should be for ever.
In the 109th Psalm: “Before the morning star I begat thee. The Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psa_110:3) Also in the first book of Kings, God says to the priest Eli: “And I will raise up to me a faithful priest, who shall do all things which are in my heart: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall pass in the presence of my anointed ones for all days. And it shall be, whosoever shall remain in thine house, shall come to worship for an obolus of money, and for one loaf of bread.” (1Sa_2:35, 1Sa_2:36)
18. That another Prophet such as Moses was promised, to wit, one who should give a new testament, and who rather ought to be heard.
In Deuteronomy God said to Moses: “And the Lord said to me, A Prophet will I raise up to them from among their brethren, such as thee, and I will give my word in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them that which I shall command Him. And whosoever shall not hear whatsoever things that Prophet shall speak in my name, I will avenge it.” (Deu_18:18, Deu_18:19) Concerning whom also Christ says in the Gospel according to John: “Search the Scriptures, in which ye think ye have eternal life. These are they which set forth testimony concerning me; and ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. Do not think that I accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, on whom ye hope. For if ye had believed Moses, ye would also believe me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (Joh_5:39, Joh_5:40, Joh_5:45-47)
19. That two peoples were foretold, the elder and the younger; that is, the old people of the Jews, and the new one which should consist of us.
In Genesis: “And the Lord said unto Rebekah, Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be separated from thy belly; and the one people shall overcome the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” (Gen_25:23) Also in Hosea: “I will call them my people that are not my people, and her beloved that was not beloved. For it shall be, in that place in which it shall be called not my people, they shall be called the sons of the living God.” (Hos_2:23, Hos_1:10)
20. That the Church which before had been barren should have more children from among the Gentiles than what the synagogue had had before.
In Isaiah: “Rejoice, thou barren, that barest not; and break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: because many more are the children of the desolate one than of her who hath an husband. For the Lord hath said, Enlarge the place of thy tabernacle, and of thy curtains, and fasten them: spare not, make long thy measures, and strengthen thy stakes: stretch forth yet to thy right hand and to thy left hand; and thy seed shall possess the nations, and shall inhabit the deserted cities. Fear not; because thou shalt overcome: nor be afraid because thou art cursed; for thou shalt forget thy eternal confusion.” (Isa_54:1-4) Thus also to Abraham, when his former son was born of a bond-woman, Sarah remained long barren; and late in old age bare her son Isaac, of promise, who was the type of Christ. Thus also Jacob received two wives: the elder Leah, with weak eyes, a type of the synagogue; the younger the beautiful Rachel, a type of the Church, who also remained long barren, and afterwards brought forth Joseph, who also was himself a type of Christ. And in the first of Kings it is said that Elkanah had two wives: Peninnah, with her sons; and Hannah, barren, from whom is born Samuel, not according to the order of generation, but according to the mercy and promise of God, when she had prayed in the temple; and Samuel being born, was a type of Christ. Also in the first book of Kings: “The barren hath borne seven and she that had many children has grown weak.” (1Sa_2:5) [compare Treatise xi. p. 503, supra.] But the seven children are the seven churches. Whence also Paul wrote to seven churches; and the Apocalypse sets forth seven churches, that the number seven may be preserved; as the seven days in which God made the world; as the seven angels who stand and go in and out before the face of God, as Raphael the angel says in Tobit; and the sevenfold lamp in the tabernacle of witness; and the seven eyes of God, which keep watch over the world; and the stone with seven eyes, as Zechariah says; and the seven spirits; and the seven candlesticks in the Apocalypse; and the seven pillars upon which Wisdom hath builded her house in Solomon.
21. That the Gentiles should rather believe in Christ.
In Genesis: “And the Lord God said unto Abraham, Go out from thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, and go into that land which I shall show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and I will magnify thy name; and thou shalt be blessed: and I will bless him that blesseth thee, and I will curse him that curseth thee, and in thee shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed.” (Gen_11:1-3) On this same point in Genesis: “And Isaac blessed Jacob.286 Behold, the smell of my son is as the smell of a plentiful field which the Lord hath blessed: and God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fertility of the earth, abundance of corn, and wine, and oil: and peoples shall obey thee, and princes shall worship thee: and thou shalt be lord over thy brother, and the sons of thy father shall worship thee; and he that curseth thee shall be cursed, and he that blesseth thee shall be blessed.” (Gen_27:27-29) On this matter too in Genesis: “But when Joseph saw that his father placed his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it seemed displeasing to him: and Joseph laid hold of his father’s hand, to lift it from the head of Ephraim on to the head of Manasseh. Moreover, Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: this is my first-born; place thy right hand upon his head. But he would not, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: and he also shall be a people, and he shall be exalted; but his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.” (Gen_48:17-19)287 Moreover in Genesis: “Judah, thy brethren shall praise thee: thine hand shall be upon the back of thine enemies; the sons of thy father shall worship thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the slender twig,288 [Elucidation X.] my son, thou hast ascended: thou layedst down and sleepedst as a lion, and as a lion’s whelp. Who shall stir him up? There shalt not fail a prince from Judah, and a leader from his loins, until those things entrusted to him shall come; and he is the hope of the nations: binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the branch of the vine;289 he shall wash his garments in wine, and his clothing in the blood of the grape: terrible are his eyes with wine, and his teeth are whiter than milky,” (Gen_49:8-12) Hence in Numbers it is written concerning our people: “Behold, the people shall rise up as a lion-like people.” (Num_23:14) In Deuteronomy: “Ye Gentiles shall be for the head; but this unbelieving people shall be for the tail.” (Deu_28:44) Also in Jeremiah: “Hear the sound of the trumpet. And they said, We will not hear: for this cause the nations shall hear, and they who shall feed their cattle among them.” (Jer_6:18) In the seventeenth Psalm: “Thou shalt establish me the head of the nations: a people whom I have not known have served me: at the hearing of the ear they have obeyed me.” (Psa_18:43, Psa_18:44) Concerning this very thing the Lord says in Jeremiah: “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou wentest forth from the womb, I sanctified thee, and established thee as a prophet among the nations.” (Jer_1:5) Also in Isaiah: “Behold, I have manifested him for a witness to the nations, a prince and a commander to the peoples.” (Isa_55:4) Also in the same: “Nations which have not known Thee shall call upon Thee; and peoples which were ignorant of Thee shall flee to Thee.” (Isa_55:5) In the same, moreover: “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall rise to rule in all the nations; in Him shall the Gentiles hope: and His rest shall be honour.” (Isa_11:10) In the same again: “The land of Zebulon, and the land of Nephtalim, by the way of the sea, and ye others who inhabit the maritime places, and beyond Jordan290 of the nations. People that walk in darkness, behold yea great light; ye who dwell in the region of the shadow of death, the light shall shine upon you.” (Isa_9:1, Isa_9:2) Also in the same: “Thus saith the Lord God to Christ my Lord, whose right hand I hold, that the nations may hear Him; and I will break asunder the strength of kings, I will open before Him gates; and cities shall not be shut.” (Isa_45:1) Also in the same: “I come to gather together all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. And I will send out over them a standard, and I will send those that are preserved among them to the nations which are afar off, which have not heard my name nor seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory to the nations.” (Isa_66:18, Isa_66:19) Also in the same: “And in all these things they are not converted; therefore He shall lift up a standard to the nations which are afar, and He will draw them from the end of the earth.” (Isa_5:25, Isa_5:26) Also in the same: “Those who had not been told of Him shall see, and they who have not heard shall understand.” (Isa_52:15) Also in the same: “I have been made manifest to those who seek me not: I have been formal of those who asked not after me. I said, Lo, here am I, to a nation that has not called upon my! name.” (Isa_65:1) Of this same thing, in the Acts of the Apostles, Paul says: “It was necessary that the word of God should first be shown to you; but since ye put it from you, and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles: for thus said the Lord by the Scriptures, Behold, I have set Thee a light among the nations, that Thou shouldest be for salvation even to the ends of the earth.” (Act_13:46, Act_13:47)
22. That the Jews would lose while we should receive the bread and the cup of Christ and all His grace, and that the new name of Christians should be blessed in the earth.
In Isaiah: “Thus saith the Lord, Behold, they who serve me shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, they who serve me shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty:291 behold, they who serve me shall rejoice, but ye shall be confounded; the Lord shall slay you. But to those who serve me a new name shall be named, which shall be blessed in the earth.” (Isa_65:3-15) Also in the same place: “Therefore shall He lift up an ensign to the nations which are afar off, and He will draw them from the end of the earth; and, behold, they shall come swiftly with lightness; they shall not hunger nor thirst.” (Isa_5:26, Isa_5:27) Also in the same place: “Behold, therefore, the Ruler, the Lord of Sabaoth, shall take away from Judah and from Jerusalem the healthy man and the strong man, the strength of bread and the strength of water.” (Isa_3:1, Isa_3:2) Likewise in the thirty-third Psalm: “O taste and see how sweet is the Lord. Blessed is the man that hopeth in Him. Fear the Lord God, all ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. Rich men have wanted and have hungered; but they who seek the Lord shall never want any good thing.” (Psa_34:8-10) Moreover, in the Gospel according to John, the Lord says: “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that trusteth in me shall never thirst.” (Joh_6:35) Likewise He saith in that place: “If any one thirst, let him come and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (Joh_7:37, Joh_7:38) Moreover, He says in the same place: “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye shall have no life in you.” (Joh_6:53)
23. That the Gentiles rather than the Jews attain to the kingdom of heaven.
In the Gospel the Lord says: “Many shall come from the east and from the west, and shall lie down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall go out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Mat_8:11, Mat_8:12)
24. That by this alone the Jews can receive pardon of their sins, if they wash away the blood of Christ slain, in His baptism, and, passing over into His Church, obey His precepts.
In Isaiah the Lord says: “Now I will not release your sins. When ye stretch forth your hands, I will turn away my face from you; and if ye multiply prayers, I will not hear you: for your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; take away the wickedness from your souls from the sight of mine eyes; cease from your wickedness; learn to do good; seek judgment; keep him who suffers wrong; judge for the orphan, and justify the widow. And come, let us reason together, saith the Lord: and although your sins be as scarlet, I will whiten292 them as snow; and although they were as crimson, I will whiten293 them as wool. And if ye be willing and listen to me, ye shall eat of the good of the land; but if ye be unwilling, and will not hear me, the sword shall consume you; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken these things.” (Isa_1:15-20)
1. That Christ is the First-born, and that He is the Wisdom of God, by whom all things were made.
2. That Christ is the Wisdom of God; and about the sacrament of His incarnation, and passion, and cup, and altar, and the apostles who were sent and preached.
3. That Christ also is Himself the Word of God.
4. That the same Christ is God’s hand and arm.
5. That the same is Angel and God.
6. That Christ is God.
7. That Christ our God should come as the Illuminator and Saviour of the human race.
8. That although from the beginning He had been Son of God, He had yet to be begotten again according to the flesh.
9. That this should be the sign of His nativity, that He should be born of a virgin – man and God – Son of man and of God.
10. That Christ is man and God, compounded of either nature, that He might be a mediator between us and the Father.
11. That He was to be born of the seed of David after the flesh.
12. That He should be born in Bethlehem.
13. That He should come in lowly condition on His first advent.
14. That He was the righteous One whom the Jews should put to death.
15. That He was called a Sheep and a Lamb who would have to be slain, and concerning the sacrament of the passion.
16. That He is also called a Stone.
17. That subsequently that stone should become a mountain, and should fill the whole earth.
18. That in the last times the same mountain should be manifested, upon which the Gentiles t should come, and on which the righteous should go up.
19. That He is the Bridegroom, having the Church as His bride, from whom children should be spiritually born.
20. That the Jews should fasten Him to the Cross.
21. That in the passion and the sign of the cross is all virtue and power.
22. That in this sign of the cross is salvation for all who are marked on their foreheads.
23. That at mid-day, during His passion, there should be darkness.
24. That He should not be overcome of death, nor should remain in hell.
25. That He should rise again from hell on the third day.
26. That when He had risen, He should receive from His Father all power, and His power should be eternal.
27. That it is impossible to attain to God the Father, except through the Son Jesus Christ.
28. That He is to come as a Judge.
29. That He is to reign as a King for ever.
30. That He is both Judge and King.
1. That Christ is the First-born, and that He is the Wisdom of God, by whom all things were made.
In Solomon in the Proverbs: “The Lord established294 me in the beginning of His ways, into His works: before the world He rounded me. In the beginning, before He made the earth, and before He appointed the abysses, before the fountains of waters gushed forth, before the mountains were settled, before all the hills, the Lord begot me. He made the countries, and the uninhabitable places, and the uninhabitable bounds under heaven. When He prepared the heaven, I was present with Him; and when He set apart His seat. When He made the strong clouds above the winds, and when He placed the strengthened fountains under heaven, when He made the mighty foundations of the earth, I was by His side, ordering them: I was He in whom He delighted: moreover, I daily rejoiced before His face in all time, when He rejoiced in the perfected earth.” (Pro_8:22-31) Also in the same in Ecclesiasticus: “I went forth out of the mouth of the Most High, first-born before every creature: I made the unwearying light to rise in the heavens, and I covered the whole earth with a cloud: I dwelt in the high places, and my throne in the pillar of the cloud: I compassed the circle of heaven, and I penetrated into the depth of the abyss, and I walked on the waves of the sea, and I stood in all the earth; and in every people and in every nation I had the pre-eminence, and by my own strength I have trodden the hearts of all the excellent and the humble: in me is all hope of life and virtue: pass over to me, all ye who desire me.” (Sirach 24:3-7) Also in the eighty-eighth Psalm: “And I will establish Him as my first-born, the highest among the kings of the earth. I will keep my mercy for Him for ever, and my faithful covenant for Him; and I will establish his seed for ever and ever. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they profane my judgments, and do not observe my precepts, I will visit their wickednesses with a rod, and their sins with scourges; but my mercy will I not scatter away from them.” (Psa_89:3-7) Also in the Gospel according to John, the Lord says: “And this is life eternal, that they should know Thee, the only and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do. And now, do Thou glorify me with Thyself, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was made.” (Joh_17:3-5) Also Paul to the Colossians: “Who is the image of the invisible God, and the first-born of every creature.” (Col_1:15) Also in the same place: “The first-born from the dead, that He might in all things become the holder of the pre-eminence.” (Col_1:18) In the Apocalypse too: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto Him that is thirsting from the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Rev_21:6) That He also is both the wisdom and the power of God, Paul proves in his first Epistle to the Corinthians. “Because the Jews require a sign, and the Creeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews indeed a stumbling-block, and to the Gentiles foolishness; but to them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1Co_1:22-24)
2. That Christ is the Wisdom of God; and concerning the sacrament of His incarnation and of His passion, and cup and altar; and of the apostles who were sent, and preached.
In Solomon in the Proverbs: “Wisdom hath builded herself an house, and she has placed under it seven pillars; she has slain her victims; she hath mingled her wine in the goblet, and hath made ready her table,295 and hath sent her servants, calling with a loud announcement to the cup, saying, Let him who is foolish turn to me: and to them that want understanding she has said, Come, eat of my loaves, and drink the wine which I have mingled for you. Forsake foolishness, and seek wisdom, and correct knowledge by understanding.” (Pro_9:1-6)
3. That the same Christ is the Word of God.
In the forty-fourth Psalm: “My heart hath breathed out a good Word. I tell my works to the King.” (Psa_45:1)296 Also in the thirty-second Psalm: “By the Word of God were the heavens made fast; and all their strength by the breath of His mouth.” (Psa_33:6) Also in Isaiah: “A Word completing and shortening in righteousness, because a shortened word will God make in the whole earth.” (Isa_10:23) Also in the 106th Psalm: “He sent His Word, and healed them.” (Psa_107:20) Moreover, in the Gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (Joh_1:1-5) Also in the Apocalypse: “And I saw the heaven opened, and lo, a white horse; and he who sate upon him was called Faithful and True, judging rightly and justly; and He made war. And He was covered with a garment sprinkled with blood; and His name is called the Word of God.” (Rev_19:11-13)
4. That Christ is the Hand and Arm of God.297
In Isaiah: “Is God’s Hand not strong to save? or has He made His ear heavy, that He cannot hear? But your sins separate between you and God; and on account of your sins He turns His face away from you, that He may not pity. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with sins. Moreover, your lips have spoken wickedness, and your tongue meditates unrighteousness. No one speaketh truth, nor is there true judgment: they trust in vanity, and speak emptiness, who conceive sorrow, and bring forth wickedness.” (Isa_59:1-4) Also in the same place: “Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom is the Arm of God revealed?” (Isa_53:1) Also in the same: “Thus saith the Lord, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is the support of my feet. What house will ye build unto me? or what is the place for my rest? For all these things hath mine hand made.” (Isa_66:1, Isa_66:2) Also in the same: “O Lord God, Thine Arm is high, and they knew it not; but when they know it, they shall be confounded.” (Isa_26:11) Also in the same: “The Lord hath revealed His Arab that holy Arm, in the sight of all nations; all nations, even the ends of the earth, shall see salvation from God.” (Isa_52:10) Also in the same place: “Behold, I have made thee as the wheels of a thrashing chariot, new and turned back upon themselves;”298 and thou shalt thrash the mountains, and shalt beat the bills small, and shalt make them as chaff, and shall winnow them; and the wind shall seize them, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: but thou shall rejoice in the saints of Israel; and the poor and needy shall exult. For they shall seek water, and there shall be none. For their tongue shall be dry for thirst. I the Lord God, I the God of Israel, will hear them, and will not forsake them; but I will open rivers in the mountains, and fountains in the midst of the fields. I will make the wildernesses watery groves, and a thirsty land into watercourses. I will establish in the land of drought the cedar-tree and the box-tree, and the myrtle and the cypress, and the elm299 and the poplar, that they may see and acknowledge, and know and believe together, that the Hand of the Lord hath done these things, and the Holy One of Israel hath shown them.” (Isa_41:15-20)300
5. That Christ is at once Angel and God.301
In Genesis, to Abraham: “And the Angel of the Lord called him from heaven, and said unto him, Abraham, Abraham! And he said, Here am I. And He said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him. For now I know that thou fearest thy God, and hast not spared thy son, thy beloved son, for my sake.” (Gen_22:11-12) Also in the same place, to Jacob: “And the Angel of the Lord spake unto me in dreams, I am God, whom thou sawest in the place of God302 where thou anointedst me a pillar of stone, and vowedst to me a vow.” (Gen_31:13) Also in Exodus: “But God went before them by day indeed in a pillar of cloud, to show them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire.” (Exo_13:21) And afterwards, in the same place: “And the Angel of God moved forward, which went before the army of the children of Israel.” (Exo_14:19) Also in the same place: “Lo, I send my Angel before thy face, to keep thee in the way, that He may lead thee into the land which I have prepared for thee. Observe Him, and obey Him, and be not disobedient to Him, and He will not be wanting to thee. For my Name is in Him.” (Exo_23:21, Exo_23:22)303 Whence He Himself says in the Gospel: “I came in the name of my Father, and ye received me not. When another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (Joh_5:43) And again in the 117th Psalm: “Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Psa_118:26) Also in Malachi: “My covenant of life and peace was with Levi;304 and I gave him fear, that he should fear me, that he should go from the face of my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips. In the peace of the tongue correcting, he walked with us, and turned many away from unrighteousness. Because the lips of the priests shall keep knowledge, and they shall seek the law at His mouth; for He is the Angel of the Almighty.” (Mal_2:5-7)
6. That Christ is God.
In Genesis: “And God said unto Jacob, Arise, and go up to the place of Bethel, and dwell there; and make there an altar to that God who appeared unto thee when thou reddest from the face of thy brother Esau.” (Gen_35:1) Also in Isaiah: “Thus saith the Lord, the God of Sabaoth, Egypt is wearied; and the merchandise of the Ethiopians, and the tall men of the Sabeans, shall pass over unto Thee, and shall be Thy servants; and shall walk after Thee bound with chains; and shall worship Thee, and shall pray to Thee, because God is in Thee, and there is no other God beside Thee. For Thou art God, and we knew it not, O God of Israel, our Saviour. They shall all be confounded and fear who oppose Thee, and shall fall into confusion.” (Isa_45:14-16) Likewise in the same: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God. Every channel shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and all crooked places shall be made straight, and rough places plain; and the glory of the Lord shall be seen, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God, because the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isa_40:3-5) Moreover, in Jeremiah: This is our God, and no other shall be esteemed beside Him, who hath found all the way of knowledge, and hath given it to Jacob His son, and to Israel His beloved. After this He was seen upon earth, and He conversed with men.” (Baruch 3:35-37) Also in Zechariah God says: “And they shall cross over through the narrow sea, and they shall smite the waves in the sea, and they shall dry up all the depths of the rivers; and all the haughtiness of the Assyrians shall be confounded, and the sceptre of Egypt shall be taken away. And I will strengthen them in the Lord their God, and in His name shall they glory, saith the Lord.” (Zec_10:11-12) Moreover, in Hosea the Lord saith: “I will not do according to the anger of mine indignation, I will not allow Ephraim to be destroyed: for I am God, and there is not a holy man in thee: and I will not enter into the city; I will go after God.” (Hos_11:9, Hos_11:10) Also in the forty-fourth Psalm: “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: wherefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” (Psa_45:6-7) So, too, in the forty-fifth Psalm: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psa_45:10) Also in the eighty-first Psalm: “They have not known, neither have they understood: they will walk on in darkness.” (Psa_82:5) Also in the sixty-seventh Psalm: “Sing unto God, sing praises unto His name: make a way for Him who goeth up into the west: God is His name.” (Psa_68:4) Also in the Gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word.” (Joh_1:1) Also in the same: “The Lord said to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands: and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.” (Joh_20:27-29) Also Paul to the Romans: “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren and my kindred according to the flesh: who are Israelites: whose are the adoption, and the glory, and the covenant, and the appointment of the law, and the service (of God), and the promises; whose are the fathers, of whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is God over all, blessed for evermore.” (Rom_9:3-5) Also in the Apocalypse: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end I will give to him that is athirst, of the fountain of living water freely. He that overcometh shall possess these things, and their inheritance; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Rev_21:6, Rev_21:7) Also in the eighty-first Psalm: “God stood in the congregation of gods, and judging gods in the midst.” (Psa_82:1) And again in the same place: “I have said, Ye are gods; and ye are all the children of the Highest: but ye shall die like men.” (Psa_82:6, Psa_82:7) But if they who have been righteous, and have obeyed the divine precepts, may be called gods, how much more is Christ, the Son of God, God! Thus He Himself says in the Gospel according to John: “Is it not written in the law, that I said, Ye are gods? If He called them gods to whom the word of God was given, and the Scripture cannot be relaxed, do ye say to Him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, that thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God? But if I do not the works of my Father, believe me not; but if I do, and ye will not believe me, believe the works, and know that the Father is in me, and I in Him.” (Joh_10:34-38) Also in the Gospel according to Matthew: “And ye shall call His name Emmanuel, which is, being interpreted, God with us.” (Mat_1:23)
273 [Addressed to Quirinus, and dated A.D.248.]
274 This sentence is otherwise read, “whereby it may be perceived and known that it is He Himself who was foretold.”
275 [P. 227, note 128, supra. I cannot but note repeatedly how absolutely the primitive Fathers relied on the Holy Scriptures, and commended a Berean use of them. Act_17:11.]
276 [The canon assumed to be universally known.]
277 [These twenty-four propositions are specially worthy of the special consideration of the young theologian who would clearly comprehend the Old Law and the New as St. Paul has expounded them in his Epistle to the Romans, and elsewhere.]
278 “And again they did evil.”
279 The words “and again” are sometimes omitted; and sometimes read “Moreover, in the same place.”
280 According to the Oxford edition: “The turtle and the swallow knoweth its time,” etc.
281 Six ancient authorities have “your measurement.”
282 2Co_3:14-16. There is a singular confusion in the reading of this quotation. The translator has followed Migne’s text.
283 The Burgundian codex reads, “are justified.”
284 This appears to be the natural reading, but it rests on slight authority; the better accredited being “seminis” for “feminis.”
285 [P. 251, note 61, supra. The oblation of Melchizedek, Gen_14:18. The Oxford translator adds, “with this incense of pious prayers.” See Justin, vol. 1. p. 215, cap. xli., and Irenaeus, vol. 1. p. 484.]
286 The quotation in the Oxford edition begins from this point.
287 The whole of this quotation is wanting in more than one codex.
288 “Frutice.” The Oxford translator has here, without any authority as it appears, from the text, adopted the reading of the Vulgate, “ad praedam.” Cyprian has used the LXX, reading apparently, ἐκ βλαστοῦ. The Hebrew מִטֶּרֶף gives a colour to either reading. See Gesenius, Lex. in voce טֶרֶף.
289 Original, “ad cilicium;” LXX τῇ ἕλικι, “the tendril of the vine;” Oxford trans. “the choice vine.”
290 Oxford edition adds “Galilee.”
291 This second clause, “Behold, they who serve me shall drink,” etc., is wanting in some editions.
294 [Condidit. Bull, Opp., v. p. 515. ἐκτήσατο, Jerome; ἔκτισε, alii. See Justin, vol. 1. p. 264; Athenagoras, vol. 2. p. 133; Clement, ib., p. 194; and see note, Oxford translation. See Irenaeus, vol. 1. p. 488.]
295 [The house = the Church; the seven pillars = Isa_11:2, Isa_11:3; her table = the Lord’s table; her cup = the sacrament of the Blood; her loaves = of the body. Then her servants = preachers. So old authors.]
296 [דָּבָר טוֹב, Hebrew. λογόν, Sept. Verbum, Vulg. Matter, Eng. and Angl. Psalter.]
297 [Hence the Spirit, “the finger of God.” Luk_11:20]
298 Original: “Rotas vehiculi triturantis novas in se retornatas.” The Oxford edition reads the last three words. “in serras formatas;” and the translator gives, “the wheels of a thrashing instrument made with new teeth.”
299 Some editions omit “and the elm.”
300 [Irenaeus, vol. 1. p. 487. “Word and Wisdom = hands.”]
301 [i.e., the Jehovah-Angel. See Tertullian, vol. 3. p. 335.]
302 Scil., “Beth-el,” “the house of God.”
303 [See Tertullian, vol. 3. p. 335, a valuable passage. De Maistre has something to say on this, quite to the purpose. See Bull passim: e.g., vol. v. pp. 21-26, 33, 40; 745-760.]
304 Otherwise, “My covenant was with life and peace.”