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29. And thus, in thy Word, it was not the depth of the sea
but "the earth," separated from the brackishness
of the water, that brought forth, not "the creeping and
the flying creature that has life," but "the living soul"
And now this soul no longer has need of baptism, as the
heathen had, or as it did when it was covered with the waters--and
there can be no other entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven,
since thou hast appointed that baptism should be the entrance.
Nor does it seek great, miraculous works by which to buttress
faith. For such a soul does not refuse to believe unless
it sees signs and marvels, now that "the faithful earth"
is separated from "the waters" of the sea, which have been
made bitter by infidelity. Thus, for them, "tongues are
for a sign, not to those who believe but to those who do
And the earth which thou hast founded above the waters does
not stand in need of those flying creatures which the waters
brought forth at thy word. Send forth thy word into it by
the agency of thy messengers. For we only tell of their
works, but it is thou who dost the works in them, so that
they may bring forth "a living soul" in the earth.
The earth brings forth "the living soul" because "the earth"
is the cause of such things being done by thy messengers,
just as the sea was the cause of the production of the creeping
creatures having life and the flying fowl under the firmament
of heaven. "The earth" no longer needs them, although it
feeds on the Fish which was taken out of the deep,
set out on that table which thou preparest in the presence
of those who believe. To this end he was raised from the
deep: that he might feed "the dry land." And "the fowl,"
even though they were bred in the sea, will yet be multiplied
on the earth. The preaching of the first evangelists was
called forth by reason of man's infidelity, but the faithful
also are exhorted and blessed by them in manifold ways,
day by day. "The living soul" has its origin from "the earth,"
because only to the faithful is there any profit in restraining
themselves from the love of this world, so that their soul
may live to thee. This soul was dead while it was living
in pleasures--in pleasures that bear death in them--whereas
thou, O Lord, art the living delight of the pure heart.
30. Now, therefore, let thy ministers do their work on "the
earth"--not as they did formerly in "the waters" of infidelity,
when they had to preach and speak by miracles and mysteries
and mystical expressions, in which ignorance--the mother
of wonder--gives them an attentive ear because of its fear
of occult and strange things. For this is the entry into
faith for the sons of Adam who are forgetful of thee, who
hide themselves from thy face, and who have become a darkened
abyss. Instead, let thy ministers work even as on "the dry
land," safe from the whirlpools of the abyss. Let them be
an example unto the faithful by living before them and stirring
them up to imitation.
For in such a setting, men will heed, not with the mere
intent to hear, but also to act. Seek the Lord and your
soul shall live
and "the earth" may bring forth "the living soul." Be not
conformed to this world;
separate yourselves from it. The soul lives by avoiding
those things which bring death if they are loved. Restrain
yourselves from the unbridled wildness of pride, from the
indolent passions of luxury, and from what is falsely called
Thus may the wild beast be tamed, the cattle subdued, and
the serpent made harmless. For, in allegory, these figures
are the motions of our mind: that is to say, the haughtiness
of pride, the delight of lust, and the poison of curiosity
are motions of the dead soul--not so dead that it has lost
all motion, but dead because it has deserted the fountain
of life, and so has been taken up by this transitory world
and conformed to it.
31. But thy Word, O God, is a fountain of life eternal,
and it does not pass away. Therefore, this desertion is
restrained by thy Word when it says to us, "Be not conformed
to this world," to the end that "the earth" may bring forth
a "living soul" in the fountain of life--a soul disciplined
by thy Word, by thy evangelists, by the following of the
followers of thy Christ. For this is the meaning of "after
his kind." A man tends to follow the example of his friend.
Thus, he [Paul] says, "Become as I am, because I have become
as you are."
Thus, in this "living soul" there shall be good beasts,
acting meekly. For thou hast commanded this, saying: "Do
your work in meekness and you shall be loved by all men."
And the cattle will be good, for if they eat much they shall
not suffer from satiety; and if they do not eat at all they
will suffer no lack. And the serpents will be good, not
poisonous to do harm, but only cunning in their watchfulness--exploring
only as much of this temporal nature as is necessary in
order that the eternal nature may "be clearly seen, understood
through the things that have been made."
For all these animals will obey reason when, having been
restrained from their death-dealing ways, they live and