Dionysius (Cont.)Extant Fragments. (Cont.)

Part I. (Cont.)

V. That to Work Is Not a Matter of Pain and Weariness to God.

Now to work, and administer, and do good, and exercise care, and such like actions, may perhaps be hard tasks for the idle, and silly, and weak, and wicked; in whose number truly Epicurus reckons himself, when he propounds such notions about the gods. But to the earnest, and powerful, and intelligent, and prudent, such as philosophers ought to be – and how much more so, therefore, the gods! – these things are not only not disagreeable and irksome, but ever the most delightful, and by far the most welcome of all. To persons of this character, negligence and procrastination in the doing of what is good are a reproach, as the poet admonishes them in these words of counsel: – 

“Delay not aught till the morrow”57

And then he adds this further sentence of threatening: – 

“The lazy procrastinator is ever wrestling with miseries.”58

And the prophet teaches us the same lesson in a more solemn fashion, and declares that deeds done according to the standard of virtue are truly worthy of God,59 and that the man who gives no heed to these is accursed: “For cursed be he that doeth the works of the Lord carelessly.”60 Moreover, those who are unversed in any art, and unable to prosecute it perfectly, feel it to be wearisome when they make their first attempts in it, just by reason of the novelty61 of their experience, and their want of practice in the works. But those, on the other hand, who have made some advance, and much more those who are perfectly trained in the art, accomplish easily and successfully the objects of their labours, and have great pleasure in the work, and would choose rather thus, in the discharge of the pursuits to which they are accustomed, to finish and carry perfectly out what their efforts aim at, than to be made masters of all those things which are reckoned advantageous among men. Yea, Democritus himself, as it is reported, averred that he would prefer the discovery of one true cause to being put in possession of the kingdom of Persia. And that was the declaration of a man who had only a vain and groundless conception of the causes of things,62 inasmuch as he started with an unfounded principle, and an erroneous hypothesis, and did not discern the real root and the common law of necessity in the constitution of natural things, and held as the greatest wisdom the apprehension of things that come about simply in an unintelligent and random way, and set up chance63 as the mistress and queen of things universal, and even things divine, and endeavoured to demonstrate that all things happen by the determination of the same, although at the same time he kept it outside the sphere of the life of men, and convicted those of senselessness who worshipped it. At any rate, at the very beginning of his Precepts64 he speaks thus: “Men have made an image65 of chance, as a cover66 for their own lack of knowledge. For intellect and chance are in their very nature antagonistic to each other.67 And men have maintained that this greatest adversary to intelligence is its sovereign. Yea, rather, they completely subvert and do away, with the one, while they establish the other in its place. For they do not celebrate intelligence as the fortunate,68 but they laud chance69 as the most intelligent.”70 Moreover, those who attend to things conducing to the good of life, take special pleasure in what serves the interests of those of the same race with themselves, and seek the recompense of praise and glory in return for labours undertaken in behalf of the general good; while some exert themselves as purveyors of ways and means,71 others as magistrates, others as physicians, others as statesmen; and even philosophers pride themselves greatly in their efforts after the education of men. Will, then, Epicurus or Democritus be bold enough to assert that in the exertion of philosophizing they only cause distress to themselves? Nay, rather they will reckon this a pleasure of mind second to none. For even though they maintain the opinion that the good is pleasure, they will be ashamed to deny that philosophizing is the greater pleasure to them.72 But as to the gods, of whom the poets among them sing that they are the “bestowers of good gifts,”73 these philosophers scoffingly celebrate them in strains like these: “The gods are neither the bestowers nor the sharers in any good thing.” And in what manner, forsooth, can they demonstrate that there are gods at all, when they neither perceive their presence, nor discern them as the doers of aught, wherein, indeed, they resemble those who, in their admiration and wonder at the sun and the moon and the stars, have held these to have been named gods,74 from their running75 such courses: when, further, they do not attribute to them any function or power of operation,76 so as to bold them gods77 from their constituting,78 that is, from their making objects,79 for thereby in all truth the one maker and operator of all things must be God: and when, in fine, they do not set forth any administration, or judgment, or beneficence of theirs in relation to men, so that we might be bound either by fear or by reverence to worship them? Has Epicurus then been able, forsooth, to see beyond this world, and to overpass the precincts of heaven? or has he gone forth by some secret gates known to himself alone, and thus obtained sight of the gods in the void?80 and, deeming them blessed in their full felicity, and then becoming himself a passionate aspirant after such pleasure, and an ardent scholar in that life which they pursue in the void, does he now call upon all to participate in this felicity, and urge them thus to make themselves like the gods, preparing81 as their true symposium of blessedness neither heaven nor Olympus, as the poets feign, but the sheer void, and setting before them the ambrosia of atoms,82 and pledging them in83 nectar made of the same? However, in matters which have no relation to us, he introduces into his books a myriad oaths and solemn asseverations, swearing constantly both negatively and affirmatively by Jove, and making those whom he meets, and with whom he discusses his doctrines, swear also by the gods, not certainly that he fears them himself, or has any dread of perjury, but that he pronounces all this to be vain, and false, and idle, and unintelligible, and uses it simply as a kind of accompaniment to his words, just as he might also clear his throat, or spit, or twist his face, or move his hand. So completely senseless and empty a pretence was this whole matter of the naming of the gods, in his estimation. But this is also a very patent fact, that, being in fear of the Athenians after (the warning of) the death of Socrates, and being desirous of preventing his being taken for what he really was – an atheist – the subtle charlatan invented for them certain empty shadows of unsubstantial gods. But never surely did he look up to heaven with eyes of true intelligence, so as to hear the clear voice from above, which another attentive spectator did hear, and of which he testified when he said, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” (Psa_19:1) And never surely did he look down upon the world’s surface with due reflection for then would he have learned that “the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Psa_33:5) and that “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof;” (Psa_24:1) and that, as we also read, “After this the Lord looked upon the earth, and filled it with His blessings. With all manner of living things hath He covered the face thereof.” (Ecclus. 16:29, 30) And if these men are not hopelessly blinded, let them but survey the vast wealth and variety of living creatures, land animals, and winged creatures, and aquatic; and let them understand then that the declaration made by the Lord on the occasion of His judgment of all things84 is true: “And all things, in accordance with His command, appeared good.”85


III. – From the Books Against Sabellius.86

On the Notion That Matter Is Ungenerated.87

These certainly are not to be deemed pious who hold that matter is ungenerated, while they allow, indeed, that it is brought under the hand of God so far as its arrangement and regulation are concerned; for they do admit that, being naturally passive88 and pliable, it yields readily to the alterations impressed upon it by God. It is for them, however, to show us plainly how it can possibly be that the like and the unlike should be predicated as subsisting together in God and matter. For it becomes necessary thus to think of one as a superior to either, and that is a thought which cannot legitimately be entertained with regard to God. For if there is this defect of generation which is said to be the thing like in both, and if there is this point of difference which is conceived of besides in the two, whence has this arisen in them? If, indeed, God is the ungenerated, and if this defect of generation is, as we may say, His very essence, then matter cannot be ungenerated; for God and matter are not one and the same. But if each subsists properly and independently – namely, God and matter – and if the defect of generation also belongs to both, then it is evident that there is something different from each, and older and higher than both. But the difference of their contrasted constitutions is completely subversive of the idea that these can subsist on an equality together, and more, that this one of the two – namely, matter – can subsist of itself. For then they will have to furnish an explanation of the fact that, though both are supposed to be ungenerated, God is nevertheless impassible, immutable, imperturbable, energetic; while matter is the opposite, impressible, mutable, variable, alterable. And now, how can these properties harmoniously co-exist and unite? Is it that God has adapted Himself to the nature of the matter, and thus has skilfully wrought it? But it would be absurd to suppose that God works in gold, as men are wont to do, or hews or polishes stone, or puts His hand to any of the other arts by which different kinds of matter are made capable of receiving form and figure. But if, on the other hand, He has fashioned matter according to His own will, and after the dictates of His own wisdom, impressing upon it the rich and manifold forms produced by His own operation, then is this account of ours one both good and true, and still further one that establishes the position that the ungenerated God is the hypostasis (the life and foundation) of all things in the universe. For with this fact of the defect of generation it conjoins the proper mode of His being. Much, indeed, might be said in confutation of these teachers, but that is not what is before us at present. And if they are put alongside the most impious polytheists,89 these will seem the more pious in their speech.


IV. – Epistle to Dionysius Bishop of Rome90

From the First Book.

1. There certainly was not a time when God was not the Father.91


2. Neither, indeed, as though He had not brought forth these things, did God afterwards beget the Son, but because the Son has existence not flora Himself, but from the Father.


And after a few words he says of the Son Himself: – 


3. Being the brightness of the eternal Light, He Himself also is absolutely eternal. For since light is always in existence, it is manifest that its brightness also exists, because light is perceived to exist from the fact that it shines, and it is impossible that light should not shine. And let us once more come to illustrations. If the sun exists, there is also day; if nothing of this be manifest, it is impossible that the sun should be there. If then the sun were eternal, the day would never end; but now, for such is not really the state of the case, the day begins with the beginning of the sun, and ends with its ending. But God is the eternal Light, which has neither had a beginning, nor shall ever fail. Therefore the eternal brightness shines forth before Him, and co-exists with Him, in that, existing without a beginning, and always begotten, He always shines before Him; and He is that Wisdom which says, “I was that wherein He delighted, and I was daily His delight before His face at all times.” (Pro_8:30)


And a little after he thus pursues his discourse from the same point: – 


4. Since, therefore, the Father is eternal, the Son also is eternal, Light of Light. For where there is the begetter, there is also the offspring. And if there is no offspring, how and of what can He be the begetter? But both are, and always are. Since, then, God is the Light, Christ is the Brightness. And since He is a Spirit – for says He, “God is a Spirit” (Joh_4:24) – fittingly again is Christ called Breath; for “He,”92 saith He, “is the breath of God’s power.” (Wis. 7:25)


And again he says: – 


5. Moreover, the Son alone, always co-existing with the Father, and filled with Him who is, Himself also is, since He is of the Father.


From the Same First Book.

6. But when I spoke of things created, and certain works to be considered, I hastily put forward illustrations of such things, as it were little appropriate, when I said neither is the plant the same as the husbandman, nor the boat the same as the boatbuilder.93 But then I lingered rather upon things suitable and more adapted to the nature of the thing, and I unfolded in many words, by various carefully considered arguments, what things were more true; which things, moreover, I have set forth to you in another letter. And in these things I have also proved the falsehood of the charge which they bring against me – to wit, that I do not maintain that Christ is consubstantial with God. For although I say that I have never either found or read this word in the sacred Scriptures, yet other reasonings, which I immediately subjoined, are in no wise discrepant from this view, because I brought forward as an illustration human offspring, which assuredly is of the same kind as the begetter; and I said that parents are absolutely distinguished from their children by the fact alone that they themselves are not their children, or that it would assuredly be a matter of necessity that there would neither be parents nor children. But, as I said before, I have not the letter in my possession, on account of the present condition of affairs; otherwise I would have sent you the very words that I then wrote, yea, and a copy of the whole letter, and I will send it if at any time I shall have the opportunity. I remember, further, that I added many similitudes from things kindred to one another. For I said that the plant, whether it grows up from seed or from a root, is different from that whence it sprouted, although it is absolutely of the same nature; and similarly, that a river flowing from a spring takes another form and name: for that neither is the spring called the river, nor the river the spring, but that these are two things, and that the spring indeed is, as it were, the father, while the river is the water from the spring. But they feign that they do not see these things and the like to them which are written, as if they were blind; but they endeavour to assail me from a distance with expressions too carelessly used, as if they were stones, not observing that on things of which they are ignorant, and which require interpretation to be understood, illustrations that are not only remote, but even contrary, will often throw light.


From the Same First Book.

7. It was said above that God is the spring of all good things, but the Son was called the river flowing from Him; because the word is an emanation of the mind, and – to speak after human fashion – is emitted from the heart by the mouth. But the mind which springs forth by the tongue is different from the word which exists in the heart. For this latter, after it has emitted the former, remains and is what it was before; but the mind sent forth flies away, and is carried everywhere around, and thus each is in each although one is from the other, and they are one although they are two. And it is thus that the Father and the Son are said to be one, and to be in one another.


From the Second Book.

8. The individual names uttered by me can neither be separated from one another, nor parted.94 I spoke of the Father, and before I made mention of the Son I already signified Him in the Father. I added the Son; and the Father, even although I had not previously named Him, had already been absolutely comprehended in the Son. I added the Holy Spirit; but, at the same time, I conveyed under the name whence and by whom He proceeded. But they are ignorant that neither the Father, in that He is Father, can be separated from the Son, for that name is the evident ground of coherence and conjunction; nor can the Son be separated from the Father, for this word Father indicates association between them. And there is, moreover, evident a Spirit who can neither be disjoined from Him who sends, nor from Him who brings Him. How, then, should I who use such names think that these are absolutely divided and separated the one from the other?


After a few words he adds: – 


9. Thus, indeed, we expand the indivisible Unity into a Trinity; and again we contract the Trinity, which cannot be diminished, into a Unity.


From the Same Second Book.

10. But if any quibbler, from the fact that I said that God is the Maker and Creator of all things, thinks that I said that He is also Creator of Christ, let him observe that I first called Him Father, in which word the Son also is at the same time expressed.95 For after I called the Father the Creator, I added, Neither is He the Father of those things whereof He is Creator, if He who begot is properly understood to be a Father (for we will consider the latitude of this word Father in what follows). Nor is a maker a father, if it is only a framer who is called a maker. For among the Greeks, they who are wise are said to be makers of their books. The apostle also says, “a doer (scil. maker) of the law.”96 Moreover, of matters of the heart, of which kind are virtue and vice, men are called doers (scil. makers); after which manner God said, “I expected that it should make judgment, but it made iniquity.” (Isa_5:7)


11. That neither must this saying be thus blamed;97 for he says that he used the name of Maker on account of the flesh which the Word had assumed, and which certainly was made. But if any one should suspect that that had been said of the Word, even this also was to be heard without contentiousness. For as I do not think that the Word was a thing made, so I do not say that God was its Maker, but its Father. Yet still, if at any time, discoursing of the Son, I may have casually said that God was His Maker, even this mode of speaking would not be without defence. For the wise men among the Greeks call themselves the makers of their books, although the same are fathers of their books. Moreover, divine Scripture calls us makers of those motions which proceed from the heart, when it calls us doers of the law of judgment and of justice.


From the Same Second Book.

12. In the beginning was the Word.98 But that was not the Word which produced the Word.99 For “the Word was with God.”98 The Lord is Wisdom; it was not therefore Wisdom that produced Wisdom; for “I was that” says He, “wherein He delighted (Pro_8:30) Christ is truth; but “blessed,” says He, “is the God of truth.”


From the Third Book.

13. Life is begotten of life in the same way as the river has flowed forth from the spring, and the brilliant light is ignited from the inextinguishable light.100


From the Fourth Book.

14. Even as our mind emits from itself a word,98 – as says the prophet, “My heart hath uttered forth a good word,” (Psa_35:1) – and each of the two is distinct the one from the other, and maintaining a peculiar place, and one that is distinguished from the other; since the former indeed abides and is stirred in the heart, while the latter has its place in the tongue and in the mouth. And yet they are not apart from one another, nor deprived of one another; neither is the mind without the word, nor is the word without the mind; but the mind makes the word and appears in the word, and the word exhibits the mind wherein it was made. And the mind indeed is, as it were, the word immanent, while the word is the mind breaking forth.101 The mind passes into the word, and the word transmits the mind to the surrounding hearers; and thus the mind by means of the word takes its place in the souls of the hearers, entering in at the same time as the word. And indeed the mind is, as it were, the father of the word, existing in itself; but the word is as the son of the mind, and cannot be made before it nor without it, but exists with it, whence it has taken its seed and origin. In the same manner, also, the Almighty Father and Universal Mind has before all things the Son, the Word, and the discourse,102 as the interpreter and messenger of Himself.

About the Middle of the Treatise.

15. If, from the fact that there are three hypostases, they say that they are divided, there are three whether they like it or no, or else let them get rid of the divine Trinity altogether.103

And Again:

For on this account after the Unity there is also the most divine Trinity.104


The Conclusion of the Entire Treatise.

16. In accordance with all these things, the: form, moreover, and rule being received from the elders who have lived before us, we also, with a voice in accordance with them, will both acquit ourselves of thanks to you, and of the letter which we are now writing. And to God the Father, and His Son our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.105


V. – The Epistle to Bishop Basilides.106

Canon I.

Dionysius to Basilides, my beloved son, and my brother, a fellow-minister with me in holy things, and an obedient servant of God, in the Lord greeting.


You have sent to me, most faithful and accomplished son, in order to inquire what is the proper hour for bringing the fast to a close107 on the day of Pentecost.108 For you say that there are some of the brethren who hold that that should be done at cockcrow, and others who hold that it should be at nightfall.109 For the brethren in Rome, as they say, wait for the cock; whereas, regarding those here, you told us that they would have it earlier.110 And it is your anxious desire, accordingly, to have the hour presented accurately, and determined with perfect exactness, 110 which indeed is a matter of difficulty and uncertainty. However, it will be acknowledged cordially by all, that from the date of the resurrection of our Lord, those who up to that time have been humbling their souls with fastings, ought at once to begin their festal joy and gladness. But in what you have written to me you have made out very clearly, and with an intelligent understanding of the Holy Scriptures, that no very exact account seems to be offered in them of the hour at which He rose. For the evangelists have given different descriptions of the parties who came to the sepulchre one after another,111 and all have declared that they found the Lord risen already. It was “in the end of the Sabbath,” as Matthew has said; (Mat_28:1) it was “early, when it was yet dark,” as John writes; (Joh_20:1) it was “very early in the morning,” as Luke puts it; and it was “very early in the morning, at the rising of the sun,” as Mark tells us. Thus no one has shown us clearly the exact time when He rose. It is admitted, however, that those who came to the sepulchre in the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,112 found Him no longer lying in it. And let us not suppose that the evangelists disagree or contradict each other. But even although there may seem to be some small difficulty as to the subject of our inquiry, if they all agree that the light of the world, our Lord, rose on that one night, while they differ with respect to the hour, we may well seek with wise and faithful mind to harmonize their statements. The narrative by Matthew then, runs thus: “In the end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,113 came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. And his countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.” (Mat_28:1-6) Now this phrase “in the end” will be thought by some to signify, according to the common use114 of the word, the evening of the Sabbath; while others, with a better perception of the fact, will say that it does not indicate that, but a late hour in the night,115 as the phrase “in the end”116 denotes slowness and length of time. Also because he speaks of night, and not of evening, he has added the words, “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” And the parties here did not come yet, as the others say, “bearing spices,” but “to see the sepulchre;” and they discovered the occurrence of the earthquake, and the angel sitting upon the stone, and heard from him the declaration, “He is not here, He is risen.” And to the same effect is the testimony of John. “The first day of the week,” says he, “came Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.” (Joh_20:1) Only, according to this “when it was yet dark,” she had come in advance.117 And Luke says: “They rested the Sabbath-day, according to the commandment. Now, upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared; and they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.” (Luk_23:56; Luk_24:1, Luk_24:2) This phrase “very early in the morning”118 probably indicates the early dawn119 of the first day of the week; and thus, when the Sabbath itself was wholly past, and also the whole night succeeding it, and when another day had begun, they came, bringing spices and myrrh, and then it became apparent that He had already risen long before. And Mark follows this, and says: “They had bought sweet spices, in order that they might come and anoint Him. And very early (in the morning), the first day of the week, they come unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.” (Mar_16:1, Mar_16:2) For this evangelist also has used the term “very early,” which is just the same as the “very early in the morning” employed by the former; and he has added, “at the rising of the sun.” Thus they set out, and took their way first when it was “very early in the morning,” or (as Mark says) when it was “very early;” but on the road, and by their stay at the sepulchre, they spent the time till it was sunrise. And then the young man clad in white said to them, “He is risen, He is not here.” As the case stands thus, we make the following statement and explanation to those who seek an exact account of the specific hour, or half-hour, or quarter of an hour, at which it is proper to begin their rejoicing over our Lord’s rising from the dead. Those who are too hasty, and give up even before midnight,120 we reprehend as remiss and intemperate, and as almost breaking off from their course in their precipitation,121 for it is a wise man’s word, “That is not little in life which is within a little.” And those who hold out and continue for a very long time, and persevere even on to the fourth watch, which is also the time at which our Saviour manifested Himself walking upon the sea to those who were then on the deep, we receive as noble and laborious disciples. On those, again, who pause and refresh themselves in the course as they are moved or as they are able, let us not press very hard:122 for all do not carry out the six days of fasting123 either equally or alike; but some pass even all the days as a fast, remaining without food through the whole; while others take but two, and others three, and others four, and others not even one. And to those who have laboured painfully through these protracted fasts. and have thereafter become exhausted and well-nigh undone, pardon ought to be extended if they are somewhat precipitate in taking food. But if there are any who not only decline such protracted fasting, but refuse at the first to fast at all, and rather indulge themselves luxuriously during the first four days, and then when they reach the last two days – viz., the preparation and the Sabbath – fast with due rigour during these, and these alone, and think that they do something grand and brilliant if they hold out till the morning, I cannot think that they have gone through the time on equal terms with those who have been practising the same during several days before. This is the counsel which, in accordance with my apprehension of the question, I have offered you in writing on these matters.124


Canon II.

The question touching women in the time of their separation, whether it is proper for them when in such a condition to enter the house of God, I consider a superfluous inquiry. For I do not think that, if they are believing and pious women, they will themselves be rash enough in such a condition either to approach the holy table or to touch the body and blood of the Lord. Certainly the woman who had the issue of blood of twelve years’ standing did not touch the Lord Himself, but only the hem of His garment, with a view to her cure. (Mat_9:20; Luk_8:43) For to pray, however a person may be situated, and to remember the Lord, in whatever condition a person may be, and to offer up petitions for the obtaining of help, are exercises altogether blameless. But the individual who is not perfectly pure both in soul and in body, shall be interdicted from approaching the holy of holies.


Canon III.

Moreover, those who are competent, and who are advanced in years, ought to be judges of themselves in these matters. For that it is proper to abstain from each other by consent, in order that they may be free for a season to give themselves to prayer, and then come together again, they have heard from Paul in his epistle.125


Canon IV.

As to those who are overtaken by an involuntary flux in the night-time, let such follow the testimony of their own conscience, and consider themselves as to whether they are doubtfully minded126 in this matter or not. And he that doubteth in the matter of meats, the apostle tells us, “is damned if he eat.”127 In these things, therefore, let every one who approaches God be of a good conscience, and of a proper confidence, so far as his own judgment is concerned. And, indeed, it is in order to show your regard for us (for you are not ignorant, beloved,) that you have proposed these questions to us, making us of one mind, as indeed we are, and of one spirit with yourself. And I, for my part, have thus set forth my opinions in public, not as a teacher, but only as it becomes us with all simplicity to confer with each other. And when you have examined this opinion of mine, my most intelligent son, you will write back to me your notion of these matters, and let me know whatever may seem to you to be just and preferable, and whether you approve of my judgment in these things.128 That it may fare well with you, my beloved son, as you minister to the Lord in peace, is my prayer.





57 Hesiod’s Works and Days, v. 408.

58 Hesiod’s Works and Days, v. 411.

59 θεοπρεπῆ.

60 ἀμελῶς. Jer_48:10.

61 The text gives, δια το τῆς πεἰρας ἀληθες. We adopt Viger’s emendation, ἄηθες.

62 [“Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.” But see Hippolytus (vol. 5.), and compare Clement, vol. 2. pp. 565-567, this series.]

63 τύχην.

64 ὑποθηκῶν.

65 εἴδωλον.

66 πρόφασιν.

67 φύσει γὰρ γνώμη τυχῇ μάχεται. Viger refers to the parallel in Tullius, pro Marcello, sec. 7: “Nunquam temeritas cum sapientia commiscetur, nec ad consilium casus admittitur.”

68 εὐτυχῆ.

69 Fortune, τὐχην.

70 ἐμφρονεστάτην.

71 τρεφοντες.

72 The text gives, ἡδυ ὄν αὐτοῖς εἶναι τὸ φιλοσοφεῖν. Viger suggests ἡδιον for ἡδυ ὄν.

73 δωτῆρας ἐάων. See Homer, Odyssey, viii. 325 and 335.

74 θεούς.

75 διὰ τὸ θέειν.

76 δημιουργίαν αὐτοῖς ἢ κατασκευήν.

77 θεοποιησωσιν.

78 ἐκ τοῦ θεῖναι.

79 ποιῆσαι.

80 The text gives, οὓς ἐν τῷ κενῷ κατεῖδε θεούς. Viger proposes τούς for οὓς.

81 συγκροτῶν.

82 For ἀτόμων Viger suggests ἀτμῶν, “of vapours.”

83 Or, giving them to drink.

84 The text is, ἐπὶ τῇ πάντων κρίσει. Viger suggests κτίσει, “at the creation of all things.”

85 The quotation runs thus: καὶ πάντα κατὰ σὺτοῦ πρόσταξιν πεφηνε καλά. Eusebius adds the remark here: “These passages have been culled by me out of a very large number composed against Epicurus by Dionysius, a bishop of our own time.” [Among the many excellent works which have appeared against the “hopelessly blinded” Epicureans of this age, let me note Darwinism tested by Language, by E. Bateman, M.D. London, Rivingtons, 1877.]

86 In Eusebius, Praepar. Evangel., book vii. Jer_19:1-15.

87 Eusebius introduces this extract thus: “And I shall adduce the words of those who have most thoroughly examined the dogma before us, and first of all Dionysius indeed, who, in the first book of his Exercitations against Sabellius, writes in these terms on the subject in hand.” [Note the primary position of our author in the refutation of Sabellianism, and see (vol. 5.) the story of Callistus.]

88 παθητήν.

89 πρὸς τοὐς ἀθεωτάτους πολυθέους.

90 Fragments of a second epistle of Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, or of the treatise which was inscribed the “Elenchus et Apologia.” [A former epistle was written when Dionysius (of Rome) was a presbyter.]

91 And in what follows (says Athanasius) he professes that Christ is always, as being the Word, and the Wisdom, and the Power.

92 Scil. Wisdom.

93 From Athan., Ep. de decret. Nic. Syn., 4. 18 [See remarks on inevitable discrepancies of language and figurative illustrations at this formative period, vol. 4. p. 223.]

94 Ex. Athan., Ep. de decret. Nic. Syn., 4. 17.

95 Ex. Athan., Ep. de decret. Nic. Syn., 4. 20.

96 Rom_2:13; Jam_4:12. The Greek word ποιητής meaning either maker or doer, causes the ambiguity here and below.

97 Athanasius adds (ut supra, 4. 21), that Dionysius gave various replies to those that blamed him for saying that God is the Maker of Christ, whereby he cleared himself.

98 Joh_1:1. [For ῥημα, see vol. 2. p. 15, this series.]

99 Ex Athan., Ep. de decret. Nic. Syn., 4. 25. [P. 94, notes 101, 102, infra.]

9 Ex. Athan., Ep. de decret. Nic. Syn., 4. 18.

101 Emanant. [P. 49, supra, and vol. 3. p. 299, this series.]

102 Sermonem. [So Tertullian, Sermo, vol. 3. p. 299, note 44.]

103 Ex Basilio, lib. de Spir. Sancto, chap. 29.

104 Ex Basilio, lib. de Spir. Sancto, cap. penult., p. 61.

105 Of the work itself Athanasius thus speaks: Finally, Dionysius complains that his accusers do not quote his opinions in their integrity, but mutilated, and that they do not speak out of a good conscience, but for evil inclination; and he says that they are like those who cavilled at the epistles of the blessed apostle. Certainly he meets the individual words of his accusers, and gives a solution to all their arguments; and as in those earlier writings of his he confuted Sabellius most evidently, so in these later ones he entirely declares his own pious faith. [Conf. Hermas, vol. 2. p. 15, note 74, with note 102, supra.]

106 Containing explanations which were given as answers to questions proposed by that bishop on various topics, and which have been received as canons. [The Scholium, p. 79, is transposed from here.]

107 ἀπονηστίζεσθαι δεῖ. Gentianus Hervetus renders this by jejunandus sit dies Paschae; and thus he translates the word by jejunare, “to fast,” wherever it occurs, whereas it rather means always, jejunium solvere, “to have done fasting.” In this sense the word is used in the Apostolic Constitutions repeatedly: see book 5. chap. 12, 18, etc. It occurs in the same sense in the 89th Canon of the Concilium Trullanum. The usage must evidently be the same here: so that is does not mean, What is the proper hour for fasting on the day of Pentecost? but, What is the hour at which the ante-paschal fast ought to be terminated – whether on the evening preceding the paschal festival itself, or at cockcrowing, or at another time? – Gall. See also the very full article in Suicer, s.v.

108 I give the beginning of this epistle of Dionysius of Alexandria also as it is found in not a few manuscripts, viz., ἐπεστειλάς μοι … τῇ τοῦ πάσχα περιλύσει, – the common reading being, τὴν τοῦ πάσχα ἡμέραν. And the περιλυσις τοῦ πάσχα denotes the close of the paschal fast, as Eusebius (Hist. Eccles., v. 23) uses the phrase τὰς τῶν ἀσιτιῶν ἐπιλυσεις, – the verbs περιλύειν, ἀπολύειν, ἐπιλύειν, καταλύειν, being often used in this sense. – Cotelerius on the Apostolic Constitutions, v. 15.

109 ἀφ ̓ ἑσπέρας.

110 [Note this, and the Nicene decision which made the Alexandrian bishop the authority concerning the paschal annually, vol. 2. Elucidation II. p. 343.]

110 πάνυ μεμετρημένην.

111 κατὰ καιροὺς ἐνηλλαγμένους.

112 τῇ ἐπιφωσκούσῃ μιᾷ Σαββάτων.

113 τῆ ἐπιφωσκούσῃ εἰς μίαν Σαββάτων.

114 κοινοτητα.

115 νύκτα βαθείαν.

116 ὀψέ, late.

117 παρὰ τοῦτο … προεληλύθει.

118 ὄρθρου βαθέος.

119 προΰποφαινομένην αὐτὴν ἑωθινὴν ἐμφανίζει.

120 πρὸ νυκτος ἔγγυς ἤδη μεσούσης ἀνιέντας.

121 ὡς παρ ̓ ὀλίγον προκαταλύοντας τὁν δρομον.

122 [1Ti_4:8. Mark the moderation of our author in contrast with superstition. But in our days the peril is one of an opposite kind. Contrast St. Paul, 2Co_11:27.]

123 That is, as Balsamon explains, the six days of the week of our Lord’s passion.

124 To these canons are appended the comments of Balsamon and Zonaras, which it is not necessary to give here.

125 Referring to the relations of marriage, dealt with in 1Co_7:5, etc.

126 διακρίνονται.

127 Rom_14:23. [Gr. κατακέκριται = is condemned = self-condemned. Wordsworth cites Cicero. De Officiis, i. 30.

128 [The entire absence of despotic authority in these episcopal teachings is to be noted. 2Co_1:24.]