Treatise on the Priesthood.
1. I had many genuine and true friends, men who understood the laws of friendship, and faithfully observed them; but out of this large number there was one who excelled all the rest in his attachment to me, striving to outstrip them as much as they themselves outstripped ordinary acquaintance. He was one of those who were constantly at my side; for we were engaged in the same studies, and employed the same teachers.1 Androgathius in philosophy, Libanius in rhetoric. We had the same eagerness and zeal about the studies at which we worked, and a passionate desire produced by the same circumstances was equally strong in both of us. For not only when we were attending school, but after we had left it, when it became necessary to consider what course of life it would be best for us to adopt, we found ourselves to be of the same mind.
2. And in addition to these, there were other things also which preserved and maintained this concord unbroken and secure. For as regarded the greatness of our fatherland neither had one cause to vaunt himself over the other, nor was I burdened with riches, and he pinched by poverty, but our means corresponded as closely as our tastes. Our families also were of equal rank, and thus everything concurred with our disposition.
3. But when it became our duty to pursue the blessed life of monks, and the true philosophy,2 An expression frequently employed by St. Chrysostom in the sense of a life of religious contemplation and study. our balance was no longer even, but his scale mounted high, while I, still entangled in the lusts of this world, dragged mine down and kept it low, weighting it with those fancies in which youths are apt to indulge. For the future our friendship indeed remained as firm as it was before, but our intercourse was interrupted; for it was impossible for persons who were not interested about the same things to spend much time together. But as soon as I also began to emerge a little from the flood of worldliness, he received me with open arms; yet not even thus could we maintain our former equality: for having got the start of me in time, and having displayed great earnestness, he rose again above my level, and soared to a great height.
4. Being a good man, however, and placing a high value on my friendship, he separated himself from all the rest (of the brethren), and spent the whole of his time with me, which he had desired to do before, but had been prevented as I was saying by my frivolity. For it was impossible for a man who attended the law-courts, and was in a flutter of excitement about the pleasures of the stage, to be often in the company of one who was nailed to his books, and never set foot in the market place. Consequently when the hindrances were removed, and he had brought me into the same condition of life as himself, he gave free vent to the desire with which he had long been laboring. He could not bear leaving me even for a moment, and he persistently urged that we should each of us abandon our own home and share a common dwelling:—in fact he persuaded me, and the affair was taken in hand.
5. But the continual lamentations of my mother hindered me from granting him the favor, or rather from receiving this boon at his hands. For when she perceived that I was meditating this step, she took me into her own private chamber, and, sitting near me on the bed where she had given birth to me, she shed torrents of tears, to which she added words yet more pitiable than her weeping, in the following lamentable strain: My child, it was not the will of Heaven that I should long enjoy the benefit of thy father’s virtue. For his death soon followed the pangs which I endured at thy birth, leaving thee an orphan and me a widow before my time to face all the horrors of widowhood, which only those who have experienced them can fairly understand. For no words are adequate to describe the tempest-tossed condition of a young woman who, having but lately left her paternal home, and being inexperienced in business, is suddenly racked by an overwhelming sorrow, and compelled to support a load of care too great for her age and sex. For she has to correct the laziness of servants, and to be on the watch for their rogueries, to repel the designs of relations, to bear bravely the threats of those who collect the public taxes,3 For an account of the oppressive way in which the public taxes were collected, see Gibbon’s History (Milman’s edition), vol. iii. 78. and harshness in the imposition of rates. And if the departed one should have left a child, even if it be a girl, great anxiety will be caused to the mother, although free from much expense and fear: but a boy fills her with ten thousand alarms and many anxieties every day, to say nothing of the great expense which one is compelled to incur if she wishes to bring him up in a liberal way. None of these things, however, induced me to enter into a second marriage, or introduce a second husband into thy father’s house: but I held on as I was, in the midst of the storm and uproar, and did not shun the iron furnace4 The iron furnace was a Hebrew proverbial expression signifying a “furnace hot enough to melt iron,” and so a condition of peculiar trial. See Deut. iv. 20, and Jer. xi. 4. of widowhood. My foremost help indeed was the grace from above; but it was no small consolation to me under those terrible trials to look continually on thy face and to preserve in thee a living image of him who had gone, an image indeed which was a fairly exact likeness.
On this account, even when thou wast an infant, and hadst not yet learned to speak, a time when children are the greatest delight to their parents, thou didst afford me much comfort. Nor indeed can you complain that, although I bore my widowhood bravely, I diminished thy patrimony, which I know has been the fate of many who have had the misfortune to be orphans. For, besides keeping the whole of it intact, I spared no expense which was needful to give you an honorable position, spending for this purpose some of my own fortune, and of my marriage dowry. Yet do not think that I say these things by way of reproaching you; only in return for all these benefits I beg one favor: do not plunge me into a second widowhood; nor revive the grief which is now laid to rest: wait for my death: it may be in a little while I shall depart. The young indeed look forward to a distant old age; but we who have grown old5 This must be regarded as a kind of rhetorical expression, as we learn from Chrysostom’s “Letter to a young widow” (see page 122) that his mother was not much past 40 at this time. have nothing but death to wait for. When, then, you shall have committed my body to the ground, and mingled my bones with thy father’s, embark for a long voyage, and set sail on any sea thou wilt: then there will be no one to hinder thee: but as long as my life lasts, be content to live with me. Do not, I pray you, oppose God in vain, involving me without cause, who have done you no wrong, in these great calamities. For if you have any reason to complain that I drag you into worldly cares, and force you to attend to business, do not be restrained by any reverence for the laws of nature, for training or custom, but fly from me as an enemy; but if, on the contrary, I do everything to provide leisure for thy journey through this life, let this bond at least if nothing else keep thee by me. For couldst thou say that ten thousand loved thee, yet no one will afford thee the enjoyment of so much liberty, seeing there is no one who is equally anxious for thy welfare.
6. These words, and more, my mother spake to me, and I related them to that noble youth. But he, so far from being disheartened by these speeches, was the more urgent in making the same request as before. Now while we were thus situated, he continually entreating, and I refusing my assent, we were both of us disturbed by a report suddenly reaching us that we were about to be advanced to the dignity of the episcopate.6 ἐπισκοπῆς is the reading of most mss but four have ίερωσύνης, “the priesthood,” which Bengel adopts, thinking that neither Basil nor Chrysostom could have been elected for the higher order at so early an age, but see below, p. 4, note 1. As soon as I heard this rumor I was seized with alarm and perplexity: with alarm lest I should be made captive against my will, and perplexity, inquiring as I often did whence any such idea concerning us could have entered the minds of these men; for looking to myself I found nothing worthy of such an honor. But that noble youth having come to me privately, and having conferred with me about these things as if with one who was ignorant of the rumor, begged that we might in this instance also as formerly shape our action and our counsels the same way: for he would readily follow me whichever course I might pursue, whether I attempted flight or submitted to be captured. Perceiving then his eagerness, and considering that I should inflict a loss upon the whole body of the Church if, owing to my own weakness, I were to deprive the flock of Christ of a young man who was so good and so well qualified for the supervision of large numbers, I abstained from disclosing to him the purpose which I had formed, although I had never before allowed any of my plans to be concealed from him. I now told him that it would be best to postpone our decision concerning this matter to another season, as it was not immediately pressing, and by so doing persuaded him to dismiss it from his thoughts, and at the same time encouraged him to hope that, if such a thing should ever happen to us, I should be of the same mind with him. But after a short time, when one who was to ordain us arrived, I kept myself concealed, but Basil, ignorant of this, was taken away on another pretext, and made to take the yoke, hoping from the promises which I had made to him that I should certainly follow, or rather supposing that he was following me. For some of those who were present, seeing that he resented being seized, deceived him by exclaiming how strange it was that one who was generally reputed to be the more hot tempered (meaning me), had yielded very mildly to the judgment of the Fathers, whereas he, who was reckoned a much wiser and milder kind of man, had shown himself hotheaded and conceited, being unruly, restive, and contradictory.7 Forcible ordinations were not uncommon in the Church at this time. St. Augustin was dragged weeping by the people before the Bishop, and his ordination demanded. St. Martin of Tours was torn from his cell, and conveyed to ordination under a guard. Possid. Vita Aug. 4; Sulp. Severus, Vit. St. Martin, i. 224. The affectation of reluctance to be consecrated became a fashion in the Coptic Church. The patriarch elect of Alexandria is still brought to Cairo loaded with chains, as if to prevent his escape. Stanley, Eastern Church, vii. p.226. Having yielded to these remonstrances, and afterwards having learned that I had escaped capture, he came to me in deep dejection, sat down near me and tried to speak, but was hindered by distress of mind and inability to express in words the violence to which he had been subjected. No sooner had he opened his mouth than he was prevented from utterance by grief cutting short his words before they could pass his lips. Seeing, then, his tearful and agitated condition, and knowing as I did the cause, I laughed for joy, and, seizing his right hand, I forced a kiss on him, and praised God that my plan had ended so successfully, as I had always prayed it might. But when he saw that I was delighted and beaming with joy, and understood that he had been deceived by me, he was yet more vexed and distressed.
7. And when he had a little recovered from this agitation of mind, he began: If you have rejected the part allotted to you, and have no further regard for me (I know not indeed for what cause), you ought at least to consider your own reputation; but as it is you have opened the mouths of all, and the world is saying that you have declined this ministry through love of vainglory, and there is no one who will deliver you from this accusation. As for me, I cannot bear to go into the market place; there are so many who come up to me and reproach me every day. For, when they see me anywhere in the city, all my intimate friends take me aside, and cast the greater part of the blame upon me. Knowing his intention, they say, for none of his affairs could be kept secret from you, you should not have concealed it, but ought to have communicated it to us, and we should have been at no loss to devise some plan for capturing him. But I am too much ashamed and abashed to tell them that I did not know you had long been plotting this trick, lest they should say that our friendship was a mere pretence. For even if it is so, as indeed it is—nor would you yourself deny it after what you have done to me—yet it is well to hide our misfortune from the outside world, and persons who entertain but a moderate opinion of us. I shrink from telling them the truth, and how things really stand with us, and I am compelled in future to keep silence, and look down on the ground, and turn away to avoid those whom I meet. For if I escape the condemnation on the former charge, I am forced to undergo judgment for speaking falsehood. For they will never believe me when I say that you ranged Basil amongst those who are not permitted to know your secret affairs. Of this, however, I will not take much account, since it has seemed agreeable to you, but how shall we endure the future disgrace? for some accuse you of arrogance, others of vainglory: while those who are our more merciful accusers, lay both these offences to our charge, and add that we have insulted those who did us honor, although had they experienced even greater indignity it would only have served them right for passing over so many and such distinguished men and advancing mere youths,8 Chrysostom was about 28 at this time. The Council of Neo Cæsarea (about 320) fixed 30 as the age at which men were eligible for the priesthood, and the same age at least must have been required for a bishop, yet Remigius was consecrated to the See of Reims at the age of 22, A.D. 457; and there are many other instances of bishops, under the prescribed age. who were but yesterday immersed in the interests of this world, to such a dignity as they never have dreamed of obtaining, in order that they may for a brief season knit the eyebrows, wear dusky garments, and put on a grave face. Those who from the dawn of manhood to extreme old age have diligently practised self-discipline, are now to be placed under the government of youths who have not even heard the laws which should regulate their administration of this office. I am perpetually assailed by persons who say such things and worse, and am at a loss how to reply to them; but I pray you tell me: for I do not suppose that you took to flight and incurred such hatred from such distinguished men without cause or consideration, but that your decision was made with reasoning and circumspection: whence also I conjecture that you have some argument ready for your defence. Tell me, then, whether there is any fair excuse which I can make to those who accuse us.
For I do not demand any account for the wrongs which I have sustained at your hands, nor for the deceit or treachery you have practised, nor for the advantage which you have derived from me in the past. For I placed my very life, so to say, in your hands, yet you have treated me with as much guile as if it had been your business to guard yourself against an enemy. Yet if you knew this decision of ours to be profitable, you ought not to have avoided the gain: if on the contrary injurious, you should have saved me also from the loss, as you always said that you esteemed me before every one else. But you have done everything to make me fall into the snare: and you had no need of guile and hypocrisy in dealing with one who was wont to display the utmost sincerity and candor in speech and action towards thee. Nevertheless, as I said, I do not now accuse you of any of these things, or reproach you for the lonely position in which you have placed me by breaking off those conferences from which we often derived no small pleasure and profit; but all these things I pass by, and bear in silence and meekness, not that thou hast acted meekly in transgressing against me, but because from the day that I cherished thy friendship I laid it down as a rule for myself, that whatever sorrow you might cause me I would never force you to the necessity of an apology. For you know yourself that you have inflicted no small loss on me if at least you remember what we were always saying ourselves, and the outside world also said concerning us, that it was a great gain for us to be of one mind and be guarded by each other’s friendship. Every one said, indeed, that our concord would bring no small advantage to many besides ourselves; I never perceived, however, so far as I am concerned, how it could be of advantage to others: but I did say that we should at least derive this benefit from it: that those who wished to contend with us would find us difficult to master. And I never ceased reminding you of these things: saying the age is a cruel one, and designing men are many, genuine love is no more, and the deadly pest of envy has crept into its place: we walk in the midst of snares, and on the edge of battlements;9 A metaphorical expression to denote a perilous position, as those who walked on the edge of the walls would be exposed to the missiles of the enemy. those who are ready to rejoice in our misfortunes, if any should befall us, are many and beset us from many quarters: whereas there is no one to condole with us, or at least the number of such may be easily counted. Beware that we do not by separation incur much ridicule, and damage worse than ridicule. Brother aided by brother is like a strong city, and well fortified kingdom.10 Proverbs xviii. 19. LXX. version. Do not dissolve this genuine intimacy, nor break down the fortress. Such things and more I was continually saying, not indeed that I ever suspected anything of this kind, but supposing you to be entirely sound in your relation towards me, I did it as a superfluous precaution, wishing to preserve in health one who was already sound; but unwittingly, as it seems, I was administering medicines to a sick man: and even so I have not been fortunate enough to do any good, and have gained nothing by my excess of forethought. For having totally cast away all these considerations, without giving them a thought, you have turned me adrift like an unballasted vessel on an untried ocean, taking no heed of those fierce billows which I must encounter. For if it should ever be my lot to undergo calumny, or mockery, or any other kind of insult or menace (and such things must frequently occur), to whom shall I fly for refuge: to whom shall I impart my distress, who will be willing to succour me and drive back my assailants and put a stop to their assaults? who will solace me and prepare me to bear the coarse ribaldry which may yet be in store for me. There is no one since you stand aloof from this terrible strife, and cannot even hear my cry. Seest thou then what mischief thou hast wrought? now that thou hast dealt the blow, dost thou perceive what a deadly wound thou hast inflicted? But let all this pass: for it is impossible to undo the past, or to find a path through pathless difficulties. What shall I say to the outside world? what defence shall I make to their accusations.
8. Chrysostom: Be of good cheer, I replied, for I am not only ready to answer for myself in these matters, but I will also endeavor as well as I am able to render an account of those for which you have not held me answerable. Indeed, if you wish it, I will make them the starting-point of my defence. For it would be a strange piece of stupidity on my part if, thinking only of praise from the outside public, and doing my best to silence their accusations, I were unable to convince my dearest of all friends that I am not wronging him, and were to treat him with indifference greater than the zeal which he has displayed on my behalf, treating me with such forbearance as even to refrain from accusing me of the wrongs which he says he has suffered from me, and putting his own interests out of the question in consideration for mine.
What is the wrong that I have done thee, since I have determined to embark from this point upon the sea of apology? Is it that I misled you and concealed my purpose? Yet I did it for the benefit of thyself who wast deceived, and of those to whom I surrendered you by means of this deceit. For if the evil of deception is absolute, and it is never right to make use of it, I am prepared to pay any penalty you please: or rather, as you will never endure to inflict punishment upon me, I shall subject myself to the same condemnation which is pronounced by judges on evil-doers when their accusers have convicted them. But if the thing is not always harmful, but becomes good or bad according to the intention of those who practise it, you must desist from complaining of deceit, and prove that it has been devised against you for a bad purpose; and as long as this proof is wanting it would only be fair for those who wish to conduct themselves prudently, not only to abstain from reproaches and accusation, but even to give a friendly reception to the deceiver. For a well-timed deception, undertaken with an upright intention, has such advantages, that many persons have often had to undergo punishment for abstaining from fraud. And if you investigate the history of generals who have enjoyed the highest reputation from the earliest ages, you will find that most of their triumphs were achieved by stratagem, and that such are more highly commended than those who conquer in open fight. For the latter conduct their campaigns with greater expenditure of money and men, so that they gain nothing by the victory, but suffer just as much distress as those who have been defeated, both in the sacrifice of troops and the exhaustion of funds. But, besides this, they are not even permitted to enjoy all the glory which pertains to the victory; for no small part of it is reaped by those who have fallen, because in spirit they were victorious, their defeat was only a bodily one: so that had it been possible for them not to fall when they were wounded, and death had not come and put the finishing stroke to their labors, there would have been no end of their prowess. But one who has been able to gain the victory by stratagem involves the enemy in ridicule as well as disaster. Again, in the other case both sides equally carry off the honors bestowed upon valor, whereas in this case they do not equally obtain those which are bestowed on wisdom, but the prize falls entirely to the victors, and, another point no less important is that they preserve the joy of the victory for the state unalloyed; for abundance of resources and multitudes of men are not like mental powers: the former indeed if continually used in war necessarily become exhausted, and fail those who possess them, whereas it is the nature of wisdom to increase the more it is exercised. And not in war only, but also in peace the need of deceit may be found, not merely in reference to the affairs of the state, but also in private life, in the dealings of husband with wife and wife with husband, son with father, friend with friend, and also children with a parent. For the daughter of Saul would not have been able to rescue her husband out of Saul’s hands11 1 Sam. xix. 12–18. except by deceiving her father. And her brother, wishing to save him whom she had rescued when he was again in danger, made use of the same weapon as the wife.12 1 Sam. xx. 11.
Basil: But none of these cases apply to me: for I am not an enemy, nor one of those who are striving to injure thee, but quite the contrary. For I entrusted all my interests to your judgment, and always followed it whenever you bid me.
Chrysostom: But, my admirable and excellent Sir, this is the very reason why I took the precaution of saying that it was a good thing to employ this kind of deceit, not only in war, and in dealing with enemies, but also in peace, and in dealing with our dearest friends. For as a proof that it is beneficial not only to the deceivers, but also to those who are deceived; if you go to any of the physicians and ask them how they relieve their patients from disease, they will tell you that they do not depend upon their professional skill alone, but sometimes conduct the sick to health by availing themselves of deceit, and blending the assistance which they derive from it with their art. For when the waywardness of the patient and the obstinacy of the complaint baffle the counsels of the physicians, it is then necessary to put on the mask of deceit in order that, as on the stage, they may be able to hide what really takes place. But, if you please, I will relate to you one instance of stratagem out of many which I have heard of being contrived by the sons of the healing art.13 Literally, “sons of physicians.” Compare the expression “sons of the prophets” in the Old Testament. A man was once suddenly attacked by a fever of great severity; the burning heat increased, and the patient rejected the remedies which could have reduced it and craved for a draught of pure wine, passionately entreating all who approached to give it him and enable him to satiate this deadly craving—I say deadly, for if any one had gratified this request he would not only have exasperated the fever, but also have driven the unhappy man frantic. Thereupon, professional skill being baffled, and at the end of its resources and utterly thrown away, stratagem stepped in and displayed its power in the way which I will now relate. For the physician took an earthen cup brought straight out of the furnace, and having steeped it in wine, then drew it out empty, filled it with water, and, having ordered the chamber where the sick man lay to be darkened with curtains that the light might not reveal the trick, he gave it him to drink, pretending that it was filled with undiluted wine. And the man, before he had taken it in his hands, being deceived by the smell, did not wait to examine what was given him, but convinced by the odor, and deceived by the darkness, eagerly gulped down the draught, and being satiated with it immediately shook off the feeling of suffocation and escaped the imminent peril.14 Clement of Alexandria (Stromata vii.) illustrates the same doctrine of allowable deceit for a useful purpose by a similar reference to the practice of physicians. Do you see the advantage of deceit? And if any one were to reckon up all the tricks of physicians the list would run on to an indefinite length. And not only those who heal the body but those also who attend to the diseases of the soul may be found continually making use of this remedy. Thus the blessed Paul attracted those multitudes of Jews:15 Acts xxi. 26. with this purpose he circumcised Timothy,16 Ib. xvi. 3. although he warned the Galatians in his letter17 Gal. v. 2. that Christ would not profit those who were circumcised. For this cause he submitted to the law, although he reckoned the righteousness which came from the law but loss after receiving the faith in Christ.18 Philipp. iii. 7. For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management, cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources fail, and making up for the defects of the mind. For I would not call Phinees a murderer, although he slew two human beings with one stroke:19 Numb. xxv. 7. nor yet Elias after the slaughter of the 100 soldiers, and the captain,20 2 Kings i. 9–12. and the torrents of blood which he caused to be shed by the destruction of those who sacrificed to devils.21 1 Kings xviii. 34. For if we were to concede this, and to examine the bare deeds in themselves apart from the intention of the doers, one might if he pleased judge Abraham guilty of child-murder22 Gen. xxii. 3. and accuse his grandson23 Ib. xxvii. 19. and descendant24 Exod. xi. 2. of wickedness and guile. For the one got possession of the birthright, and the other transferred the wealth of the Egyptians to the host of the Israelites. But this is not the case: away with the audacious thought! For we not only acquit them of blame, but also admire them because of these things, since even God commended them for the same. For that man would fairly deserve to be called a deceiver who made an unrighteous use of the practice, not one who did so with a salutary purpose. And often it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by means of this device, whereas he who has gone by a straight course has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived.
Τοῦ μακαρίου Ἰωάννου ἀρχιεπισκόπου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως τοῦ Χρυσοστόμου πρὸς τὸν ἐγκαλοῦντα ἐπὶ τῷ διαφυγεῖν τὴν ἱερωσύνην ΛΟΓΟΣ Αʹ αʹ. Ἀπόδειξις τῆς εὐνοίας τοῦ μεγάλου Βασιλείου περὶ ἡμᾶς Ἐμοὶ πολλοὶ μὲν ἐγένοντο φίλοι γνήσιοί τε καὶ ἀληθεῖς, καὶ τοὺς τῆς φιλίας νόμους καὶ εἰδότες καὶ φυλάττοντες ἀκριβῶς: εἷς δέ τις τουτωνὶ τῶν πολλῶν, ἅπαντας αὐτοὺς ὑπερβαλλόμενος τῇ πρὸς ἡμᾶς φιλίᾳ, τοσοῦτον ἐφιλονείκησεν ἀφεῖναι κατόπιν ἐκείνους ὅσον ἐκεῖνοι τοὺς ἁπλῶς πρὸς ἡμᾶς διακειμένους. Οὗτος τῶν τὸν ἅπαντά μοι χρόνον παρηκολουθηκότων ἦν: καὶ γὰρ μαθημάτων ἡψάμεθα τῶν αὐτῶν καὶ διδασκάλοις ἐχρησάμεθα τοῖς αὐτοῖς, ἦν δὲ ἡμῖν καὶ προθυμία καὶ σπουδὴ περὶ τοὺς λόγους οὓς ἐπονούμεθα μία, ἐπιθυμία τε ἴση καὶ ἐκ τῶν αὐτῶν τικτομένη πραγμάτων: οὐ γὰρ ὅτε εἰς διδασκάλους μόνον ἐφοιτῶμεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἡνίκα ἐκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντας βουλεύεσθαι ἐχρῆν ὁποίαν ἑλέσθαι τοῦ βίου βέλτιον ἡμῖν ὁδόν, καὶ ἐνταῦθα ὁμογνωμονοῦντες ἐφαινόμεθα. Καὶ ἕτερα δὲ πρὸς τούτοις ἡμῖν τὴν ὁμόνοιαν ταύτην ἐφύλαττεν ἀρραγῆ καὶ βεβαίαν: οὔτε γὰρ ἐπὶ πατρίδος μεγέθει μᾶλλον ἕτερος ἑτέρου φρονεῖν εἶχεν, οὔτε ἐμοὶ μὲν πλοῦτος ὑπέρογκος ἦν, ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἐσχάτῃ συνέζη πενίᾳ, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ τῆς οὐσίας μέτρον τὸ τῆς προαιρέσεως ἰσοστάσιον ἐμιμεῖτο καὶ γένος δὲ ἡμῖν ὁμότιμον ἦν καὶ πάντα τῇ γνώμῃ συνέτρεχεν. βʹ. Τί τὸ κωλῦσαν ἡμῖν αὐτὸν συνοικῆσαι Ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἔδει τὸν μακάριον τὸν τῶν μοναχῶν μεταδιώκειν βίον καὶ τὴν φιλοσοφίαν τὴν ἀληθῆ, καὶ οὐκέτι ἡμῖν ὁ ζυγὸς οὗτος ἴσος ἦν, ἀλλ' ἡ μὲν ἐκείνου πλάστιγξ ἐκουφίζετο μετέωρος, ἐγὼ δ' ἔτι ταῖς τοῦ κόσμου πεπεδημένος ἐπιθυμίαις καθεῖλκον τὴν ἐμαυτοῦ καὶ ἐβιαζόμην κάτω μένειν, νεωτερικαῖς αὐτὴν ἐπιβρίθων φαντασίαις, ἐνταῦθα λοιπὸν ἡ μὲν φιλία βέβαιος ἔμενεν ἡμῖν καθάπερ καὶ πρότερον, ἡ δὲ συνουσία διεκόπτετο: οὐ γὰρ ἦν τοὺς μὴ περὶ τὰ αὐτὰ σπουδάζοντας κοινὰς ποιεῖσθαι τὰς διατριβάς. Ὡς δέ ποτε καὶ αὐτὸς μικρὸν ἀνέκυψα τοῦ βιωτικοῦ κλύδωνος, δέχεται μὲν ἡμᾶς ἄμφω τὼ χεῖρε, τὴν δὲ ἰσότητα οὐδὲ οὕτως ἰσχύσαμεν φυλάξαι τὴν προτέραν. Καὶ γὰρ τῷ χρόνῳ φθάσας ἡμᾶς καὶ πολλὴν τὴν σφοδρότητα ἐπιδειξάμενος, ἀνωτέρω πάλιν ἡμῶν ἐφέρετο καὶ εἰς ὕψος ᾔρετο μέγα. Πλὴν ἀλλ' ἀγαθός τε ὢν καὶ πολλοῦ τὴν ἡμετέραν τιμώμενος φιλίαν, ἁπάντων ἑαυτὸν ἀποστήσας τῶν ἄλλων, ἡμῖν τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον συνῆν, ἐπιθυμῶν μὲν τούτου καὶ πρότερον, ὅπερ δὲ ἔφην, ὑπὸ τῆς ἡμετέρας κωλυόμενος ῥαθυμίας. Οὐ γὰρ ἦν τὸν ἐν τῷ δικαστηρίῳ προσεδρεύοντα καὶ περὶ τὰς ἐν τῇ σκηνῇ τέρψεις ἐπτοημένον συγγίνεσθαι πολλάκις τῷ βίβλοις προσηλωμένῳ καὶ μηδὲ εἰς ἀγορὰν ἐμβαλόντι ποτέ. Διὰ τοῦτο πρότερον διειργόμενος, ἐπειδή ποτε ἡμᾶς ἔλαβεν εἰς τὴν αὐτὴν τοῦ βίου κατάστασιν, ἀθρόως ἣν πάλαι ὤδινεν ἐπιθυμίαν ἀπέτεκε τότε καὶ οὐδὲ τὸ βραχύτατον τῆς ἡμέρας ἡμᾶς ἀπολιμπάνειν ἠνείχετο μέρος, διετέλει τε παρακαλῶν ἵνα τὴν οἰκίαν ἀφέντες ἕκαστος τὴν ἑαυτοῦ κοινὴν ἀμφότεροι τὴν οἴκησιν ἔχοιμεν: καὶ ἔπεισε καὶ τὸ πρᾶγμα ἦν ἐν χερσίν. Ἀλλά με αἱ συνεχεῖς τῆς μητρὸς ἐπῳδαὶ διεκώλυσαν δοῦναι ταύτην ἐκείνῳ τὴν χάριν, μᾶλλον δὲ λαβεῖν ταύτην παρ' ἐκείνου τὴν δωρεάν. Ἐπειδὴ γὰρ ᾔσθετο ταῦτα βουλευόμενον, λαβοῦσά με τῆς δεξιᾶς, εἰσήγαγεν εἰς τὸν ἀποτεταγμένον οἶκον αὐτῇ καὶ καθίσασα πλησίον ἐπὶ τῆς εὐνῆς ἧς ἡμᾶς ὤδινε, πηγάς τε ἠφίει δακρύων καὶ τῶν δακρύων ἐλεεινότερα προσετίθη τὰ ῥήματα, τοιαῦτα πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἀποδυρομένη. »Ἐγώ, παιδίον, φησί, τῆς ἀρετῆς τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ σοῦ οὐκ ἀφείθην ἀπολαῦσαι ἐπὶ πολύ, τῷ Θεῷ τοῦτο δοκοῦν: τὰς γὰρ ὠδῖνας τὰς ἐπὶ σοὶ διαδεξάμενος ὁ θάνατος ἐκείνου, σοὶ μὲν ὀρφανίαν, ἐμοὶ δὲ χηρείαν ἐπέστησεν ἄωρον καὶ τὰ τῆς χηρείας δεινὰ ἃ μόναι αἱ παθοῦσαι δύναιντ' ἂν εἰδέναι καλῶς. Λόγος γὰρ οὐδεὶς ἂν ἐφίκοιτο τοῦ χειμῶνος ἐκείνου καὶ τοῦ κλύδωνος ὃν ὑφίσταται κόρη, ἄρτι μὲν τῆς πατρῴας οἰκίας προελθοῦσα καὶ πραγμάτων ἄπειρος οὖσα, ἐξαίφνης δὲ πένθει τε ἀσχέτῳ βαλλομένη καὶ ἀναγκαζομένη φροντίδων καὶ τῆς ἡλικίας καὶ τῆς φύσεως ἀνέχεσθαι μειζόνων. Δεῖ γάρ, οἶμαι, ῥαθυμίας τε οἰκετῶν ἐπιστρέφειν καὶ κακουργίας παρατηρεῖν, συγγενῶν ἀποκρούεσθαι ἐπιβουλάς, τῶν τὰ δημόσια εἰσπραττόντων τὰς ἐπηρείας καὶ τὴν ἀπήνειαν ἐν ταῖς τῶν εἰσφορῶν καταβολαῖς φέρειν γενναίως. Ἐὰν δὲ καὶ παιδίον καταλιπὼν ὁ τεθνεὼς ἀπέλθῃ, θῆλυ μὲν ὄν, πολλὴν καὶ οὕτω παρέξει τῇ μητρὶ τὴν φροντίδα, ὅμως δὲ καὶ ἀναλωμάτων καὶ δέους ἀπηλλαγμένην, ὁ δὲ υἱὸς μυρίων αὐτὴν φόβων καθ' ἑκάστην ἐμπίμπλησι τὴν ἡμέραν καὶ πλειόνων φροντίδων: τὴν γὰρ τῶν χρημάτων ἐῶ δαπάνην ὅσην ὑπομένειν ἀναγκάζεται, ἐλευθερίως αὐτὸν θρέψαι ἐπιθυμοῦσα. Ἀλλ' ὅμως οὐδέν με τούτων ἔπεισε δευτέροις ὁμιλῆσαι γάμοις, οὐδὲ ἕτερον ἐπεισαγαγεῖν νυμφίον τῇ τοῦ πατρὸς οἰκίᾳ τοῦ σοῦ: ἀλλ' ἔμενον ἐν τῇ ζάλῃ καὶ τῷ θορύβῳ, καὶ τὴν σιδηρᾶν τῆς χηρείας οὐκ ἔφυγον κάμινον, πρῶτον μὲν ὑπὸ τῆς ἄνωθεν βοηθουμένη ῥοπῆς. Ἔφερε δέ μοι παραμυθίαν οὐ μικρὰν τῶν δεινῶν ἐκείνων καὶ τὸ συνεχῶς τὴν σὴν ὄψιν ὁρᾶν καὶ εἰκόνα μοι τοῦ τετελευτηκότος φυλάσσεσθαι ἔμψυχον καὶ πρὸς ἐκεῖνον ἀπηκριβωμένην καλῶς. Διά τοι τοῦτο καὶ ἔτι νήπιος ὢν καὶ μηδὲ φθέγγεσθαί πω μαθών, ὅτε μάλιστα τέρπουσι τοὺς τεκόντας οἱ παῖδες, πολλήν μοι παρεῖχες τὴν παράκλησιν. Καὶ μὴν οὐδὲ ἐκεῖνο ἂν ἔχοις εἰπεῖν καὶ αἰτιάσασθαι ὅτι τὴν μὲν χηρείαν γενναίως ἠνέγκαμεν, τὴν δὲ οὐσίαν σοι τὴν πατρῴαν ἠλαττώσαμεν διὰ τὴν τῆς χηρείας ἀνάγκην, ὅπερ πολλοὺς τῶν ὀρφανίᾳ δυστυχησάντων οἶδα παθόντας ἐγώ. Καὶ γὰρ καὶ ταύτην ἀκέραιον ἐφύλαξα πᾶσαν, καὶ τῶν ὀφειλόντων εἰς τὴν εὐδοκίμησιν δαπανηθῆναι τὴν σὴν ἐνέλιπον οὐδέν, ἐκ τῶν ἐμαυτῆς καὶ ὧν ἦλθον οἴκοθεν ἔχουσα δαπανῶσα χρημάτων. Καὶ μή τοι νομίσῃς ὀνειδίζουσάν με ταῦτα λέγειν νῦν: ἀλλ' ἀντὶ πάντων σε τούτων μίαν αἰτῶ χάριν, μή με δευτέρᾳ χηρείᾳ περιβαλεῖν, μηδὲ τὸ κοιμηθὲν ἤδη πένθος ἀνάψαι πάλιν, ἀλλὰ περίμεινον τὴν ἐμὴν τελευτήν: ἴσως μετὰ μικρὸν ἀπελεύσομαι χρόνον. Τοὺς μὲν γὰρ νέους ἐλπὶς καὶ εἰς γῆρας ἥξειν μακρόν: οἱ δὲ γεγηρακότες ἡμεῖς οὐδὲν ἕτερον ἢ τὸν θάνατον ἀναμένομεν. Ὅταν οὖν με τῇ γῇ παραδῷς καὶ τοῖς ὀστέοις τοῦ πατρὸς ἀναμίξῃς τοῦ σοῦ, στέλλου μακρὰς ἀποδημίας καὶ πλέε θάλατταν ἣν ἂν ἐθέλῃς: τότε ὁ κωλύσων οὐδείς. Ἕως δ' ἂν ἐμπνέωμεν, ἀνάσχου τὴν μεθ' ἡμῶν οἴκησιν: μὴ προσκρούσῃς Θεῷ μάτην καὶ εἰκῇ, τοσούτοις ἡμᾶς περιβάλλων κακοῖς ἠδικηκότας οὐδέν. Εἰ μὲν γὰρ ἔχεις ἐγκαλεῖν ὅτι σὲ εἰς βιωτικὰς περιέλκω φροντίδας καὶ τῶν πραγμάτων ἀναγκάζω προστῆναι τῶν σῶν, μὴ τοὺς τῆς φύσεως νόμους, μὴ τὴν ἀνατροφήν, μὴ τὴν συνήθειαν, μηδὲ ἄλλο μηδὲν αἰδεσθῇς, ὡς ἐπιβούλους φεῦγε καὶ πολεμίους: εἰ δὲ ἅπαντα πράττομεν ὑπὲρ τοῦ πολλήν σοι παρασκευάσαι σχολὴν εἰς τὴν τοῦ βίου τούτου πορείαν, εἰ καὶ μηδὲν ἕτερον, οὗτος γοῦν κατεχέτω σε παρ' ἡμῖν ὁ δεσμός. Κἂν γὰρ μυρίους σε λέγῃς φιλεῖν, οὐδείς σοι παρέξει τοσαύτης ἀπολαῦσαι ἐλευθερίας, ἐπειδὴ μηδὲ ἔστι τις ὅτῳ μέλει τῆς σῆς εὐδοκιμήσεως ἐξ ἴσης ἐμοί.« Ταῦτα καὶ τὰ τούτων πλείονα πρὸς ἐμὲ μὲν ἡ μήτηρ, ἐγὼ δὲ πρὸς τὸν γενναῖον ἔλεγον ἐκεῖνον: ὁ δὲ οὐ μόνον οὐκ ἐδυσωπεῖτο τοῖς ῥήμασι τούτοις, ἀλλὰ καὶ πλέον ἐνέκειτο, τὰ αὐτὰ ἀπαιτῶν ἅπερ καὶ πρότερον. γʹ. Ἀπάτη παρ' ἡμῶν ἐν τῷ συλληφθῆναι αὐτὸν γενομένη Ἐν τούτῳ δὲ ἡμῶν ὄντων καὶ τοῦ μὲν συνεχῶς ἱκετεύοντος, ἐμοῦ δὲ οὐκ ἐπινεύοντος, ἄφνω τις ἐπιστᾶσα φήμη διετάραξεν ἀμφοτέρους: ἡ δὲ φήμη ἦν, εἰς τὸ τῆς ἱερωσύνης ἡμᾶς ἀξίωμα μέλλειν παράγεσθαι. Ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν, ἅμα τῷ τὸν λόγον ἀκοῦσαι τοῦτον, δέει τε καὶ ἀπορίᾳ συνειχόμην: δέει μέν, μή ποτε καὶ ἄκων ἁλῶ, ἀπορίᾳ δέ, ζητῶν πολλάκις πόθεν ἐπῆλθε τοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἐκείνοις ἐνθυμηθῆναί τι τοιοῦτο περὶ ἡμῶν: εἰς γὰρ ἐμαυτὸν ἀφορῶν, οὐδὲν εὕρισκον ἔχοντα τῆς τιμῆς ἄξιον ἐκείνης. Ὁ δὲ γενναῖος οὑτοσὶ προσελθών μοι κατ' ἰδίαν καὶ κοινωσάμενος περὶ τούτων ὡς ἀνηκόῳ γε ὄντι τῆς φήμης, ἐδεῖτο κἀνταῦθα καὶ πράττοντας καὶ βουλευομένους ὀφθῆναι τὰ αὐτὰ καθάπερ καὶ πρότερον: ἕψεσθαι γὰρ αὐτὸν ἑτοίμως ἡμῖν καθ' ὁποτέραν ἂν ἡγώμεθα τῶν ὁδῶν, εἴτε φυγεῖν, εἴτε ἑλέσθαι δέοι. Αἰσθόμενος τοίνυν αὐτοῦ τῆς προθυμίας ἐγὼ καὶ ζημίαν ἡγησάμενος οἴσειν παντὶ τῷ κοινῷ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, εἰ νέον οὕτως ἀγαθὸν καὶ πρὸς τὴν τῶν πολλῶν ἐπιστασίαν ἐπιτήδειον ἀποστεροίην τοῦ Χριστοῦ τὴν ἀγέλην διὰ τὴν ἀσθένειαν τὴν ἐμαυτοῦ, οὐκ ἀπεκάλυψα τὴν γνώμην ἣν εἶχον περὶ τούτων ἐκείνῳ, καίτοι γε μηδέποτε πρότερον ἀνασχόμενος λαθεῖν τι τῶν βουλευμάτων αὐτὸν τῶν ἐμῶν, ἀλλ' εἰπὼν δεῖν τὴν ὑπὲρ τούτων βουλὴν εἰς ἕτερον ἀναβάλλεσθαι καιρόν, οὐ γὰρ νῦν τοῦτο κατεπείγειν, ἔπεισά τε εὐθέως μηδὲν ὑπὲρ τούτων φροντίζειν καὶ ὑπὲρ ἐμαυτοῦ παρέσχον θαρρεῖν ὡς ὁμογνωμονήσοντος, εἴ ποτε συμβαίη τοιοῦτό τι παθεῖν. Χρόνου δὲ παρελθόντος οὐ πολλοῦ καὶ τοῦ μέλλοντος ἡμᾶς χειροτονήσειν ἐλθόντος καὶ κρυπτομένου μου, μηδὲν τούτων εἰδώς, ἄγεται μὲν ὡς ἐφ' ἑτέρᾳ προφάσει: δέχεται δὲ τὸν ζυγόν, ἐλπίζων ἐξ ὧν ὑπεσχημένος ἤμην αὐτῷ καὶ ἡμᾶς πάντως ἕψεσθαι, μᾶλλον δὲ νομίζων ἡμῖν ἀκολουθεῖν. Καὶ γάρ τινες τῶν ἐκεῖ παρόντων, ἀσχάλλοντα πρὸς τὴν σύλληψιν ὁρῶντες, ἠπάτησαν βοῶντες ὡς ἄτοπον εἴη τὸν μὲν θρασύτερον εἶναι δοκοῦντα παρὰ πᾶσιν_ἐμὲ λέγοντες_μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς ἐπιεικείας εἶξαι τῇ τῶν πατέρων κρίσει, ἐκεῖνον δὲ τὸν πολὺ συνετώτερον καὶ ἐπιεικέστερον θρασύνεσθαι καὶ κενοδοξεῖν σκιρτῶντα καὶ ἀποπηδῶντα καὶ ἀντιλέγοντα. Τούτοις εἴξας τοῖς ῥήμασιν, ἐπειδὴ ἤκουσεν ὅτι διέφυγον, εἰσελθὼν πρός με μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς κατηφείας, καθέζεται πλησίον καὶ ἐβούλετο μέν τι καὶ εἰπεῖν, ὑπὸ δὲ τῆς ἀπορίας κατεχόμενος καὶ λόγῳ παραστῆσαι τὴν βίαν ἣν ὑπέμεινεν οὐκ ἔχων, ἅμα τῷ χᾶναι ἐκωλύετο φθέγξασθαι, τῆς ἀθυμίας πρὶν ἢ τοὺς ὀδόντας ὑπερβῆναι διακοπτούσης τὸν λόγον. Ὁρῶν τοίνυν ἐγὼ περίδακρυν ὄντα καὶ πολλῆς πεπληρωμένον τῆς ταραχῆς καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν εἰδώς, ἐγέλων τε ὑπὸ πολλῆς ἡδονῆς καὶ τὴν δεξιὰν κατέχων ἐβιαζόμην καταφιλεῖν καὶ τὸν Θεὸν ἐδόξαζον ὅτι μοι τὰ τῆς μηχανῆς τέλος εἶχε καλὸν καὶ οἷον ηὐχόμην ἀεί. Ὡς δὲ εἶδε περιχαρῆ τε ὄντα καὶ φαιδρόν, καὶ πρότερον ἠπατημένος ὑφ' ἡμῶν ᾔσθετο, μᾶλλον ἐδάκνετο καὶ ἐδυσχέραινε. δʹ. Ἐγκλήματα παρ' ἐκείνου τῆς ἀπάτης ἕνεκεν Καί ποτε μικρὸν ἀπ' ἐκείνου καταστὰς τοῦ θορύβου τῆς ψυχῆς: ΒΑΣ. Ἀλλ' εἰ καὶ τὸ ἡμέτερον, φησί, διέπτυσας καὶ λόγον ἡμῶν ἔχεις οὐδένα λοιπόν, ὡς ἔγωγε οὐκ οἶδα ἀνθ' ὅτου, τῆς γοῦν ὑπολήψεως ἔδει σε φροντίσαι τῆς σῆς. Νῦν δὲ τὰ πάντων ἠνέῳξας στόματα καὶ δόξης σε ἐρῶντα κενῆς τὴν λειτουργίαν ταύτην παρῃτῆσθαι λέγουσιν ἅπαντες: ὁ δὲ ἐξαιρησόμενός σε τῆς κατηγορίας ταύτης οὐκ ἔστιν. Ἐμοὶ δὲ οὐδὲ εἰς ἀγορὰν ἐμβαλεῖν ἀνεκτόν, τοσοῦτοι οἱ προσιόντες ἡμῖν καὶ καθ' ἑκάστην ἐγκαλοῦντες ἡμέραν. Ὅταν γὰρ ἴδωσι φανέντα που τῆς πόλεως, λαβόντες κατὰ μόνας ὅσοι πρὸς ἡμᾶς οἰκείως ἔχουσι, τῷ πλείονί με τῆς κατηγορίας ὑποβάλλουσι μέρει: Εἰδότα γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὴν γνώμην, φασίν_οὐδὲ γὰρ ἄν σε ἔλαθέ τι τῶν ἐκείνου_, οὐκ ἀποκρύψασθαι, ἀλλ' ἡμῖν ἀνακοινώσασθαι ἐχρῆν, καὶ πάντως οὐκ ἂν ἠπορήσαμεν πρὸς τὴν ἄγραν μηχανῆς. Ἐγὼ δὲ ὅτι μέν σε οὐκ ᾔδειν ἐκ πολλοῦ ταῦτα βουλευόμενον αἰσχύνομαι καὶ ἐρυθριῶ πρὸς ἐκείνους εἰπεῖν, μήποτε καὶ ὑπόκρισιν τὴν ἡμετέραν εἶναι νομίσωσι φιλίαν. Εἰ γὰρ καὶ ἔστιν_ὥσπερ οὖν καὶ ἔστιν καὶ οὐδ' ἂν αὐτὸς ἀρνηθείης ἐξ ὧν εἰς ἡμᾶς ἔπραξας νῦν_, ἀλλὰ τοὺς ἔξωθεν καὶ μετρίαν γοῦν περὶ ἡμῶν ἔχοντας δόξαν καλὸν τὰ ἡμέτερα κρύπτειν κακά. Εἰπεῖν μὲν οὖν πρὸς αὐτοὺς τἀληθὲς καὶ ὡς ἔχει τὰ καθ' ἡμᾶς ὀκνῶ: ἀναγκάζομαι δὲ λοιπὸν σιωπᾶν καὶ κύπτειν εἰς γῆν καὶ τοὺς ἀπαντῶντας ἐκτρέπεσθαι καὶ ἀποπηδᾶν. Κἂν γὰρ τὴν προτέραν ἐκφύγω κατάγνωσιν, ψεύδους ἀνάγκη με κρίνεσθαι λοιπόν: οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐθελήσουσί μοι πιστεῦσαί ποτε ὅτι καὶ Βασίλειον μετὰ τῶν ἄλλων ἔταξας οἷς οὐ θέμις εἰδέναι τὰ σά. Ἀλλὰ τούτων μὲν οὐ πολύς μοι λόγος, ἐπειδή σοι τοῦτο γέγονεν ἡδύ: τὴν δὲ λοιπὴν πῶς οἴσομεν τὴν αἰσχύνην; Οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἀπονοίας, οἱ δὲ φιλοδοξίας σε γράφονται: ὅσοι δέ εἰσιν ἀφειδέστεροι τῶν αἰτιωμένων ταῦτά τε ἡμῖν ἀμφότερα ἐγκαλοῦσιν ὁμοῦ καὶ προστιθέασι τὴν εἰς τοὺς τετιμηκότας ὕβριν, δίκαια πεπονθέναι λέγοντες αὐτοὺς καὶ εἰ μείζονα τούτων ἀτιμασθέντες ἔτυχον παρ' ἡμῶν ὅτι τοσούτους καὶ τηλικούτους ἀφέντες ἄνδρας, μειράκια χθὲς καὶ πρώην ἔτι ταῖς τοῦ βίου μερίμναις ἐγκαλινδούμενα, ἵνα χρόνον βραχὺν τὰς ὀφρῦς συναγάγωσι καὶ φαιὰ περιβάλλωνται καὶ κατήφειαν ὑποκρίνωνται, ἐξαίφνης εἰς τοσαύτην ἤγαγον τιμὴν ὅσην οὐδὲ ὄναρ λήψεσθαι προσεδόκησαν. Καὶ οἱ μὲν ἐκ πρώτης ἡλικίας εἰς ἔσχατον γῆρας τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἐκτείναντες ἄσκησιν ἐν τοῖς ἀρχομένοις εἰσίν: ἄρχουσι δὲ αὐτῶν οἱ παῖδες αὐτῶν καὶ μηδὲ τοὺς νόμους ἀκηκοότες καθ' οὓς ταύτην δεῖ διοικεῖν τὴν ἀρχήν. Ταῦτα καὶ πλείονα τούτων λέγοντες συνεχῶς ἡμῖν ἐπιφύονται. Ἐγὼ δὲ ὅ τι μὲν ἀπολογήσομαι πρὸς ταῦτα οὐκ ἔχω, δέομαι δὲ σοῦ: οὐ γὰρ ἁπλῶς οὐδὲ εἰκῇ ταύτην οἶμαί σε φυγεῖν τὴν φυγὴν καὶ πρὸς ἄνδρας οὕτω μεγάλους τοσαύτην ἀναδέξασθαι τὴν ἔχθραν, ἀλλὰ μετά τινος λογισμοῦ καὶ σκέψεως ἐπὶ τοῦτο ἐλθεῖν, ὅθεν καὶ λόγον ἕτοιμον εἶναί σοι πρὸς ἀπολογίαν στοχάζομαι. Εἰπὲ εἴ τινα πρόφασιν δικαίαν πρὸς τοὺς ἐγκαλοῦντας δυνησόμεθα λέγειν. Ὧν γὰρ αὐτὸς ἠδίκημαι παρὰ σοῦ, οὐδένα ἀπαιτῶ λόγον, οὐχ ὧν ἠπάτησας, οὐχ ὧν προὔδωκας, οὐχ ὧν ἀπέλαυσας παρ' ἡμῶν ἅπαντα τὸν ἔμπροσθεν χρόνον. Ἡμεῖς μὲν γὰρ καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν τὴν ἡμετέραν, ὡς εἰπεῖν, φέροντες ἐνεθήκαμέν σου ταῖς χερσί: σὺ δὲ τοσαύτῃ πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἐχρήσω τῇ πανουργίᾳ ὅσῃπερ ἂν εἰ πολεμίους σοί τινας φυλάξασθαι προὔκειτο. Καίτοι γε ἐχρῆν, εἰ μὲν ὠφέλιμον ταύτην ᾔδεις οὖσαν τὴν γνώμην, μηδὲ αὐτῆς τὸ κέρδος φυγεῖν: εἰ δὲ ἐπιβλαβῆ, καὶ ἡμᾶς οὓς πάντων ἀεὶ προτιμᾶν ἔλεγες ἀπαλλάξαι τῆς ζημίας. Σὺ δὲ καὶ ὅπως ἐμπεσούμεθα, ἅπαντα ἔπραξας, καὶ δόλου σοι καὶ ὑποκρίσεως ἐδέησεν οὐδὲν πρὸς τὸν ἀδόλως καὶ ἁπλῶς ἅπαντα καὶ λέγειν καὶ πράττειν εἰωθότα πρὸς σέ. Ἀλλ' ὅμως, ὅπερ ἔφην, οὐδὲν τούτων ἐγκαλῶ νῦν, οὐδὲ ὀνειδίζω τὴν ἐρημίαν εἰς ἣν κατέστησας ἡμᾶς, τὰς συνόδους διακόψας ἐκείνας ἐξ ὧν καὶ ἡδονὴν καὶ ὠφέλειαν οὐ τὴν τυχοῦσαν ἐκαρπωσάμεθα πολλάκις. Ἀλλὰ πάντα ταῦτα ἀφίημι καὶ φέρω σιγῇ καὶ πράως: οὐκ ἐπειδὴ πράως εἰς ἡμᾶς ἐπλημμέλησας, ἀλλ' ἐπειδὴ τοῦτον ἔθηκα ἐμαυτῷ τὸν νόμον ἀπὸ τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης ἧς τὴν φιλίαν ἔστερξα τὴν σὴν ὑπὲρ ὧν ἂν θέλῃς ἡμᾶς λυπεῖν, μηδέποτέ σε εἰς ἀπολογίας ἀνάγκην καθιστᾶν. Ἐπεὶ ὅτι γε οὐ μικρὰν τὴν ζημίαν ἡμῖν ἐπήγαγες, οἶσθα καὶ αὐτός, εἴγε μέμνησαι τῶν ῥημάτων καὶ τῶν παρὰ τῶν ἔξωθεν περὶ ἡμῶν καὶ τῶν ὑφ' ἡμῶν λεγομένων ἀεί: ταῦτα δὲ ἦν ὅτι πολὺ κέρδος ἡμῖν ὁμοψύχοις εἶναι καὶ φράττεσθαι τῇ πρὸς ἀλλήλους φιλίᾳ. Καὶ οἱ μὲν ἄλλοι πάντες ἔλεγον καὶ ἑτέροις πολλοῖς οὐ μικρὰν ὠφέλειαν τὴν ἡμετέραν οἴσειν ὁμόνοιαν, ἐγὼ δὲ ὠφέλειαν μὲν οὐδέποτε ἐνενόησα, τό γε εἰς ἐμὲ ἧκον, παρέξειν τισίν: ἔλεγον δὲ ὅτι τοῦτο γοῦν ἀπ' αὐτῆς κερδανοῦμεν κέρδος οὐ μικρόν, τὸ δυσχείρωτοι γενέσθαι τοῖς καταγωνίσασθαι βουλομένοις ἡμᾶς. Καὶ ταῦτά σε ὑπομιμνήσκων οὐκ ἐπαυσάμην ποτέ: χαλεπὸς ὁ καιρός, οἱ ἐπιβουλεύοντες πολλοί, τὸ τῆς ἀγάπης γνήσιον ἀπόλωλεν, ἀντεισῆκται δὲ ὁ τῆς βασκανίας ὄλεθρος, ἐν μέσῳ παγίδων διαβαίνομεν καὶ ἐπὶ ἐπάλξεων πόλεων περιπατοῦμεν: οἱ μὲν ἕτοιμοι τοῖς ἡμετέροις ἐφησθῆναι κακοῖς, εἴποτέ τι συμβαίη, πολλοὶ καὶ πολλαχόθεν ἐφεστήκασιν: ὁ δὲ συναλγήσων οὐδείς, ἢ καὶ εὐαρίθμητοι λίαν. Ὅρα μὴ διαστάντες ποτὲ πολὺν τὸν γέλωτα ὄφλωμεν καὶ τοῦ γέλωτος μείζονα τὴν ζημίαν. »Ἀδελφὸς ὑπὸ ἀδελφοῦ βοηθούμενος ὡς πόλις ὀχυρὰ καὶ ὡς μεμοχλευμένη βασιλεία.« Μὴ δὴ διαλύσῃς ταύτην τὴν γνησιότητα, μηδὲ διακόψῃς τὸν μοχλόν. Ταῦτα καὶ τούτων πλείονα ἔλεγον συνεχῶς, οὐδὲν μέν ποτε ὑποπτεύων τοιοῦτον, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάνυ σε τὰ πρὸς ἡμᾶς ὑγιαίνειν νομίζων, ἐκ περιουσίας δὲ καὶ ὑγιαίνοντα θεραπεύειν βουλόμενος: ἐλάνθανον δέ, ὡς ἔοικε, νοσοῦντι τὰ φάρμακα ἐπιτιθείς, καὶ οὐδὲ οὕτως ὁ δείλαιος ὤνησα, οὐδὲ γέγονεν ἐμοί τι πλέον ἐκ ταύτης τῆς ἄγαν προμηθείας. Πάντα γὰρ ἐκεῖνα ῥίψας ἀθρόως καὶ μηδὲ εἰς νοῦν βαλλόμενος, ὥσπερ ἀνερμάτιστον πλοῖον εἰς πέλαγος ἡμᾶς ἄπειρον ἀφῆκας, οὐδὲν τῶν ἀγρίων ἐκείνων ἐννοήσας κυμάτων ἅπερ ἡμᾶς ὑπομένειν ἀνάγκη. Εἰ γάρ ποτε συμβαίη συκοφαντίαν ἢ χλευασίαν ἢ καὶ ἄλλην τινὰ ὕβριν καὶ ἐπήρειαν ἐπενεχθῆναί ποθεν ἡμῖν_πολλάκις δὲ τὰ τοιαῦτα συμβαίνειν ἀνάγκη_, πρὸς τίνα καταφευξόμεθα; τίνι κοινωσόμεθα τὰς ἡμετέρας ἀθυμίας; τίς ἡμῖν ἀμῦναι θελήσει καὶ τοὺς μὲν λυποῦντας ἀνακόψει καὶ ποιήσει μηκέτι λυπεῖν, ἡμᾶς δὲ παραμυθήσεται καὶ παρασκευάσει τὰς ἑτέρων φέρειν ἀπαιδευσίας; Οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδείς, σοῦ πόρρωθεν ἑστηκότος τοῦ δεινοῦ τούτου πολέμου καὶ μηδὲ κραυγὴν ἀκοῦσαι δυναμένου. Ἆρα οἶδας ὅσον εἴργασταί σοι κακόν; ἆρα νῦν γοῦν μετὰ τὸ πλῆξαι ἐπιγινώσκεις ὡς καιρίαν ἡμῖν ἔδωκας τὴν πληγήν; Ἀλλὰ ταῦτα μὲν ἀφείσθω: οὐδὲ γὰρ ἔστι τὰ γενόμενα ἀναλῦσαι λοιπόν, οὐδὲ πόρον τοῖς ἀπόροις εὑρεῖν. Τί πρὸς τοὺς ἔξωθεν ἐροῦμεν; τί πρὸς τὰς αἰτίας ἀπολογησόμεθα τὰς ἐκείνων;
εʹ. Ἀπολογία ὑπὲρ τούτου ἡμετέρα ΙΩ. Θάρσει, ἔφην ἐγώ: οὐ γὰρ ὑπὲρ τούτων εἰμὶ μόνον ἕτοιμος εὐθύνας ὑπέχειν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὧν ἀνευθύνους ἡμᾶς ἀφῆκας, καὶ τούτων πειράσομαί σοι δοῦναι λόγον ὡς ἂν οἷός τε ὦ. Καὶ εἰ βούλει γε, ἀπ' αὐτῶν πρῶτον τῆς ἀπολογίας ποιήσομαι τὴν ἀρχήν: καὶ γὰρ ἂν εἴην ἄτοπος καὶ λίαν ἀγνώμων, εἰ τῆς παρὰ τῶν ἔξωθεν δόξης φροντίζων καὶ ὅπως παύσωνται ἡμῖν ἐγκαλοῦντες πάντα ποιῶν, τὸν ἁπάντων μοι φίλτατον καὶ τοσαύτῃ πρὸς ἡμᾶς αἰδοῖ κεχρημένον ὡς μηδὲ ὑπὲρ ὧν ἠδικῆσθαί φησιν ἐγκαλέσαι θελῆσαι, ἀλλὰ παρ' οὐδὲν τὰ αὑτοῦ θέμενον ἔτι τῶν ἡμετέρων φροντίζειν, μὴ δυναίμην ὡς οὐκ ἀδικῶ πεῖσαι, ἀλλὰ μείζονι περὶ αὐτὸν φαινοίμην κεχρημένος ῥαθυμίᾳ ἧς αὐτὸς περὶ ἡμᾶς ἐπεδείξατο σπουδῆς. Ϛʹ. Ὅτι ἔστιν ἀπάτῃ πρὸς τὸ συμφέρον κεχρῆσθαι Τί ποτ' οὖν σε ἠδικήκαμεν; ἐπειδὴ καὶ ἐντεῦθεν ἐγνώκαμεν εἰς τὸ τῆς ἀπολογίας ἀφεῖναι πέλαγος. Ἆρα ὅτι σε παρεκρουσάμεθα καὶ τὴν ἡμετέραν ἐκρύψαμεν γνώμην; ἀλλ' ἐπὶ κέρδει καὶ τοῦ ἀπατηθέντος σου καὶ οἷς ἀπατήσαντές σε προὐδώκαμεν. Εἰ μὲν γὰρ δι' ὅλου τὸ τῆς κλοπῆς κακὸν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν εἰς δέον αὐτῷ χρήσασθαί ποτε, δοῦναι ἕτοιμοι δίκην ἡμεῖς ἣν ἂν αὐτὸς ἐθέλῃς: μᾶλλον δὲ σὺ μὲν οὐδέποτε παρ' ἡμῶν ἀνέξῃ δίκην λαβεῖν, ἡμεῖς δὲ ἑαυτῶν καταγνωσόμεθα ταῦτα ἃ τῶν ἀδικούντων οἱ δικάζοντες ὅταν αὐτοὺς ἕλωσιν οἱ κατήγοροι. Εἰ δὲ οὐκ ἀεὶ τὸ πρᾶγμα ἐπιβλαβές, ἀλλὰ παρὰ τὴν τῶν χρωμένων προαίρεσιν γίνεται φαῦλον ἢ καλόν, ἀφεὶς ἐγκαλεῖν τὸ ἠπατῆσθαι, δεῖξον ἐπὶ κακῷ τοῦτο τεχνησαμένους: ὡς ἕως ἂν τοῦτο ἀπῇ, μὴ ὅτι μέμψεις καὶ αἰτίας ἐπάγειν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀποδέχεσθαι τὸν ἀπατῶντα δίκαιον ἂν εἴη τούς γε εὐγνωμόνως διακεῖσθαι βουλομένους. Τοσοῦτον γὰρ ἔχει κέρδος εὔκαιρος ἀπάτη καὶ μετὰ τῆς ὀρθῆς γινομένη διανοίας ὡς πολλοὺς ὅτι μὴ παρεκρούσαντο καὶ δίκην δοῦναι πολλάκις. Καὶ εἰ βούλει γε τῶν στρατηγῶν τοὺς ἐξ αἰῶνος εὐδοκιμήσαντας ἐξετάσαι, τὰ πλείονα αὐτῶν τρόπαια τῆς ἀπάτης εὑρήσεις ὄντα κατορθώματα καὶ μᾶλλον τούτους ἐπαινουμένους ἢ τοὺς ἐκ τοῦ φανεροῦ κρατοῦντας. Οἱ μὲν γὰρ μετὰ πλείονος τῆς δαπάνης καὶ τῆς τῶν χρημάτων καὶ τῆς τῶν σωμάτων κατορθοῦσι τοὺς πολέμους, ὡς μηδὲν πλέον αὐτοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς νίκης γίνεσθαι, ἀλλὰ παρ' οὐδὲν ἧττον τῶν ἡττωμένων τοὺς κρατήσαντας δυστυχεῖν, καὶ τῶν στρατευμάτων ἀνηλωμένων καὶ τῶν ταμιείων κεκενωμένων. Πρὸς δὲ τούτοις οὐδὲ τῆς ἐπὶ τῇ νίκῃ δόξης αὐτοὺς ἀφιᾶσιν ἀπολαῦσαι πάσης: μέρος γὰρ αὐτῆς οὐ μικρὸν συμβαίνει καὶ τοὺς πεπτωκότας καρποῦσθαι, διὰ τὸ ταῖς ψυχαῖς νικῶντας τοῖς σώμασιν ἡττηθῆναι μόνοις, ὡς εἴγε ἐνῆν βαλλομένους μὴ πίπτειν, μηδὲ ἐπελθὼν ὁ θάνατος αὐτοὺς ἔπαυσεν, οὐκ ἂν ἔστησαν τῆς προθυμίας ποτέ. Ὁ δὲ ἀπάτῃ κρατῆσαι δυνηθεὶς οὐ συμφορᾷ μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ γέλωτι περιβάλλει τοὺς πολεμίους: οὐ γὰρ ὥσπερ ἐκεῖ τοὺς ἐπαίνους ἐξ ἴσης ἀποφέρονται ἀμφότεροι τοὺς ἐπὶ τῇ ῥώμῃ, οὕτω καὶ ἐνταῦθα τοὺς ἐπὶ τῇ φρονήσει, ἀλλ' ὅλον τῶν νικώντων ἐστὶ τὸ βραβεῖον καί, τὸ τούτων οὐκ ἔλαττον, τὴν ἀπὸ τῆς νίκης ἡδονὴν ἀκέραιον τῇ πόλει φυλάττουσιν. Οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ὥσπερ ὁ τῶν χρημάτων πλοῦτος καὶ τὸ τῶν σωμάτων πλῆθος, ἡ τῆς ψυχῆς φρόνησις: ἀλλ' ἐκεῖνα μὲν ὅταν τις αὐτοῖς ἐν τοῖς πολέμοις χρῆται συνεχῶς δαπανᾶσθαι συμβαίνει καὶ ἀπολείπειν τοὺς ἔχοντας, αὕτη δὲ ὅσῳπερ ἄν τις αὐτὴν ἀνακινῇ τοσούτῳ μᾶλλον αὔξεσθαι πέφυκεν. Οὐκ ἐν τοῖς πολέμοις δὲ μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν εἰρήνῃ πολλὴν καὶ ἀναγκαίαν εὕροι τις ἂν τῆς ἀπάτης τὴν χρείαν: καὶ οὐ πρὸς τὰ τῆς πόλεως πράγματα μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν οἰκίᾳ πρὸς γυναῖκα ἀνδρὶ καὶ πρὸς ἄνδρα γυναικὶ καὶ πατρὶ πρὸς υἱὸν καὶ πρὸς φίλον φίλῳ, ἤδη δὲ καὶ πρὸς πατέρα παισί. Καὶ γὰρ τῶν τοῦ Σαοὺλ χειρῶν ἡ τοῦ Σαοὺλ θυγάτηρ οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἂν ἑτέρως ἐξελέσθαι τὸν ἄνδρα τὸν αὑτῆς, ἀλλ' ἢ μετὰ τοῦ παραλογίσασθαι τὸν πατέρα: ὁ ταύτης δὲ ἀδελφὸς τὸν ὑπ' ἐκείνης διασωθέντα σῶσαι βουλόμενος κινδυνεύοντα πάλιν τοῖς αὐτοῖς ὅπλοις ἐχρῆτο οἷσπερ καὶ ἡ γυνή. Καὶ ὁ Βασίλειος: Ἀλλ' οὐδὲν τούτων πρὸς ἐμέ, φησίν: οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐχθρὸς ἐγὼ καὶ πολέμιος, οὔτε τῶν ἀδικεῖν ἐπιχειρούντων, ἀλλ' ἅπαν τοὐναντίον: τῇ σῇ γνώμῃ τὰ ἐμαυτοῦ ἐπιτρέψας ἀεὶ ταύτῃ εἱπόμην ᾗπερ ἐκέλευσας.
ζʹ. Ὅτι οὐδὲ ἀπάτην τὸ τοιοῦτο δεῖ καλεῖν ἀλλ' οἰκονομίαν ΙΩ. Ἀλλ' ὦ θαυμάσιε καὶ ἀγαθώτατε, διὰ τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ αὐτὸς φθάσας εἶπον ὅτι οὐκ ἐν πολέμῳ μόνον, οὐδ' ἐπὶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν εἰρήνῃ καὶ ἐπὶ τοὺς φιλτάτους χρῆσθαι ταύτῃ καλόν. Ὅτι γὰρ οὐ τοῖς ἀπατῶσι μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς ἀπατωμένοις τοῦτο χρήσιμον, προσελθών τινι τῶν ἰατρῶν ἐρώτησον πῶς ἀπαλλάττουσι τῆς νόσου τοὺς κάμνοντας, καὶ ἀκούσῃ παρ' αὐτῶν ὅτι οὐκ ἀρκοῦνται τῇ τέχνῃ μόνῃ, ἀλλ' ἔστιν ὅπου καὶ τὴν ἀπάτην παραλαβόντες καὶ τὴν παρ' αὐτῆς βοήθειαν καταμίξαντες, οὕτως ἐπὶ τὴν ὑγίειαν τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας ἐπανήγαγον. Ὅταν γὰρ τὸ δυσάρεστον τῶν ἀρρωστούντων καὶ τῆς νόσου δὲ αὐτῆς τὸ δυστράπελον μὴ προσίηται τὰς τῶν ἰατρῶν συμβουλάς, τότε τὸ τῆς ἀπάτης ὑποδῦναι προσωπεῖον ἀνάγκη, ἵν' ὥσπερ ἐπὶ τῆς σκηνῆς τὴν τῶν γινομένων ἀλήθειαν κρύψαι δυνηθῶσιν. Εἰ δὲ βούλει, καὶ ἐγώ σοι διηγήσομαι δόλον ἕνα ἐκ πολλῶν ὧν ἤκουσα κατασκευάζειν ἰατρῶν παῖδας. Ἐπέπεσέ ποτέ τινι πυρετὸς ἀθρόως μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς σφοδρότητος καὶ ἡ φλὸξ ᾔρετο καὶ τὰ μὲν δυνάμενα σβέσαι τὸ πῦρ ἀπεστρέφετο ὁ νοσῶν, ἐπεθύμει δὲ καὶ πολὺς ἐνέκειτο, τοὺς εἰσιόντας πρὸς αὐτὸν ἅπαντας παρακαλῶν, ἄκρατον ὀρέξαι πολὺν καὶ παρασχεῖν ἐμφορηθῆναι τῆς ὀλεθρίου ταύτης ἐπιθυμίας: οὐ γὰρ τὸν πυρετὸν ἐκκαύσειν μόνον ἔμελλεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ παραπληξίᾳ παραδώσειν τὸν δείλαιον, εἴ τις αὐτῷ πρὸς ταύτην εἶξε τὴν χάριν. Ἐνταῦθα τῆς τέχνης ἀπορουμένης καὶ οὐδεμίαν ἐχούσης μηχανήν, ἀλλὰ παντελῶς ἐκβεβλημένης, εἰσελθοῦσα τοσαύτην ἐπεδείξατο τὴν αὑτῆς δύναμιν ἡ ἀπάτη ὅσην αὐτίκα παρ' ἡμῶν ἀκούσῃ. Ὁ γὰρ ἰατρὸς ἄρτι τῆς καμίνου προελθὸν ἄγγος ὀστράκου λαβὼν καὶ βάψας οἴνῳ πολλῷ, εἶτα ἀνασπάσας κενὸν καὶ πλήσας ὕδατος, κελεύει τὸ δωμάτιον ἔνθα κατέκειτο ὁ νοσῶν συσκιάσαι παραπετάσμασι πολλοῖς ἵνα μὴ τὸ φῶς ἐλέγξῃ τὸν δόλον καὶ δίδωσιν ἐκπιεῖν ὡς ἀκράτου πεπληρωμένον. Ὁ δὲ πρὶν εἰς τὰς χεῖρας λαβεῖν ὑπὸ τῆς ὀσμῆς προσπεσούσης εὐθέως ἀπατηθεὶς οὐδὲ πολυπραγμονεῖν ἠνέσχετο τὸ δοθέν, ἀλλὰ ταύτῃ πειθόμενος καὶ τῷ σκότει κλαπεὶς ὑπό τε τῆς ἐπιθυμίας ἐπειγόμενος ἔσπασε τὸ δοθὲν μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς προθυμίας: καὶ ἐμφορηθεὶς ἀπετινάξατο τὸ πνῖγος εὐθέως καὶ τὸν ἐπικείμενον ἐξέφυγε κίνδυνον. Εἶδες τῆς ἀπάτης τὸ κέρδος; Καὶ εἰ πάντας βούλοιτό τις τῶν ἰατρῶν καταλέγειν τοὺς δόλους, εἰς ἄπειρον ἐκπεσεῖται μῆκος ὁ λόγος. Οὐ μόνον δὲ τοὺς τὰ σώματα θεραπεύοντας, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὺς τῶν ψυχικῶν νοσημάτων ἐπιμελομένους εὕροι τις ἂν συνεχῶς τούτῳ κεχρημένους τῷ φαρμάκῳ. Οὕτω τὰς πολλὰς μυριάδας ἐκείνας τῶν Ἰουδαίων ὁ μακάριος προσηγάγετο Παῦλος. Μετὰ ταύτης τῆς προαιρέσεως τὸν Τιμόθεον περιέτεμε ὁ Γαλάταις ἀπειλῶν ὅτι Χριστὸς οὐδὲν ὠφελήσει τοὺς περιτεμνομένους: διὰ τοῦτο ὑπὸ νόμον ἐγίνετο ὁ ζημίαν ἡγούμενος μετὰ τὴν εἰς Χριστὸν πίστιν τὴν ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου δικαιοσύνην. Πολλὴ γὰρ ἡ τῆς ἀπάτης ἰσχύς, μόνον μὴ μετὰ δολερᾶς προαγέσθω τῆς προαιρέσεως: μᾶλλον δὲ οὐδὲ ἀπάτην τὸ τοιοῦτον δεῖ καλεῖν, ἀλλ' οἰκονομίαν τινὰ καὶ σοφίαν καὶ τέχνην ἱκανὴν πολλοὺς πόρους ἐν τοῖς ἀπόροις εὑρεῖν καὶ πλημμελείας ἐπανορθῶσαι ψυχῆς. Οὐδὲ γὰρ τὸν Φινεὲς ἀνδροφόνον εἴποιμ' ἂν ἔγωγε, καίτοι γε μιᾷ πληγῇ δύο σώματα ἀνεῖλεν: ὥσπερ οὐδὲ τὸν Ἠλίαν μετὰ τοὺς ἑκατὸν στρατιώτας καὶ τοὺς τούτων ἡγεμόνας, καὶ τὸν πολὺν τῶν αἱμάτων χειμάρρουν ὃν ἐκ τῆς τῶν ἱερωμένων τοῖς δαίμοσιν ἐποίησε ῥεῦσαι σφαγῆς. Εἰ γὰρ τοῦτο συγχωρήσαιμεν καὶ τὰ πράγματα τῆς τῶν πεποιηκότων προαιρέσεώς τις γυμνώσας ἐξετάζοι καθ' ἑαυτά, καὶ τὸν Ἀβραὰμ παιδοκτονίας ὁ βουλόμενος κρινεῖ καὶ τὸν ἔγγονον τὸν ἐκείνου καὶ τὸν ἀπόγονον κακουργίας καὶ δόλου γράψεται: οὕτω γὰρ ὁ μὲν τῶν τῆς φύσεως ἐκράτησε πρεσβείων, ὁ δὲ τὸν τῶν Αἰγυπτίων πλοῦτον εἰς τὸν τῶν Ἰσραηλιτῶν μετήνεγκε στρατόν. Ἀλλ' οὐκ ἔστι ταῦτα, οὐκ ἔστιν. Ἄπαγε τῆς τόλμης: οὐ γὰρ μόνον αὐτοὺς αἰτίας ἀφίεμεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ θαυμάζομεν διὰ ταῦτα ἐπεὶ καὶ ὁ Θεὸς αὐτοὺς διὰ ταῦτα ἐπῄνεσε. Καὶ γὰρ ἀπατεὼν ἐκεῖνος ἂν εἴη καλεῖσθαι δίκαιος ὁ τῷ πράγματι κεχρημένος ἀδίκως, καὶ πολλάκις ἀπατῆσαι δέον καὶ τὰ μέγιστα διὰ ταύτης ὠφελῆσαι τῆς τέχνης: ὁ δὲ ἐξ εὐθείας προσενεχθεὶς κακὰ μεγάλα τὸν οὐκ ἀπατηθέντα εἰργάσατο.