Clement of Alexandria

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Monastic Theology Set 3 of 3




So we cut up as far as Chapter 6 and the Pedagogue of Clement on page 215. With any luck we should be able to finish this Book 1 of the Pedagogue today. Remember, the Pedagogue is connected even linguistically with the Child, with the Christ. In the first few chapters he was talking about the Instructor, the Pedagogue, and what he does. And then in Chapter 5 there was a long, really quite theological treatment of our character as children. And that moves right into Chapter 6 where he talks about baptism, and the argument here is the problem is that it would seem that a child somehow is, in some way, imperfect. And he's trying to say that our very perfection is childhood, and our childhood is perfection. And it's an anti-Gnostic polemic, of course, by God.


The whole chapter is about that, even the business about the milk and the meat and the blood later on, as an anti-Gnostic background. And it's all about these different levels of enlightenment. Whether there's a superior class who knows something that the common run of Christians don't know or not. And Clement actually is really beautiful in the way that he cuts right through that, saying that our illumination, our complete perfect enlightenment, somehow is in baptism. And yet he has to make room for the fact that there is a progress, that there is a further development. So, we'll see how he does that. And this is something, of course, that's been worked on now for 2,000 years. But still, you know, it's not... There's no really precise, verbal explanation of how you get those two sides of the paradox together. We've already covered a couple of passages on 2.15, but let's just touch them in the next book. Straightway on our regeneration.


Now, there are several words that are just simply synonyms for baptism, really. Technical words for baptism, that's one of them. Regeneration. We attained that perfection after which we aspired. For we were illuminated. And illumination, fotus most, also is a synonym for baptism. Which is to know God. He is not that imperfect who knows what is perfect. Now, there's an assumption in there, isn't there? A philosophical assumption in that he who knows what is perfect in some way is perfect. That knowledge perfects him. There's a whole lot of presupposition in that. But that's not the point that he's making. What the point is, is that your knowledge is perfect as soon as you have faith. As soon as you have the enlightenment of faith and baptism. And then later on he talks about the baptism of Jesus and he talks about our baptism. And he uses a curious argument there, which takes a little sympathy to be convincing. Nevertheless, it's very strong. Theologically, it's very strong. Logically, theology and logic are not always the same thing.


Theologically, it's very strong. Logically, it may not be. Presupposition is very strong. In the ordinary sense of the word, logic. It's a different logic. Like the logic of Jesus' argument about the resurrection of God and the evolution of God is the parallelism of the theory. Now, we call that perfect which wants nothing. But what is it wanting to him who knows God? Now, there's something here that's been expressed differently by different people. For instance, St. John of the Cross says the act of faith possesses God. See, the act of faith, even in darkness, an act of empty faith in the night of the soul possesses God fully. Whereas an act of knowledge can only possess him partially. So this is another development of the fundamentalism. That dark contemplation of John of the Cross is directly in line with this. But Clement doesn't talk in terms of darkness. He talks in terms of light, which is typical. Typical Clement.


Being perfectly, he constantly before he saws perfect gifts. Now, what kind of logic is that? It doesn't clinch at all. Except when you hear the deeper note underneath what he's saying. In other words, he gives himself. God gives himself. His perfection is not only in what he gives, but in the fact that his gift is himself. And that gift of himself is through the knowledge of himself, which is given in his word, which is Christ. In whom, into whom. We enter into him where we want. In fact, we hope him. Further release from evils is the beginning of salvation. That's from Plato, according to our religion. Then, what follows needs... This is on the top of 2.16. The translation that follows there isn't quite good. But it says, When we have merely touched the boundaries of life already, we are perfect. You see the paradox, which doesn't appear in the English translation. It says, We then, who first have touched the confines of life,


are already perfect. As soon as we cross the boundary line of life, we're already perfect. That's what he's saying. Because there's no grey area between darkness and light, between sin and faith. That's what he's saying. What was the better translation? Let me see if I can find it in the French. Ah. We have hardly attained the frontiers of life, and behold, we're perfect. And behold it, we live. We are separated from death. See? The idea of a total passing out. Salvation, according to the following, is the first for that which is in him to live. Thus, believing alone and regeneration is perfection in life. For God is never weak. Then what follows is a little fuzzy also, exactly what's intended.


His will is work, and this is named the world. You have a sense there that he's not getting through the translation. So, also his counsel, but the word in the Greek also means will. So there are two different wills. Two different words. Thelima and bulima. But it's rather rather refined in order to tell you the difference between these two wills. It's something that we can't really follow coming into it. His counsel, notice, one will is effectiveness in work. This is named the world. And this other will, which is, the first is called bourgeois, mentioned in the second volonté in the French translation. I don't know the distinction between these two wills in French. Is the salvation of men, and this has been called the church, note the theological structure between the creation and the revelation of salvation in the church. The world and the church, the churches of the world, are the seed of the mother. We are taught of God.


It is not then allowable to think of what is taught by him as imperfect and what is learned from him as the eternal salvation. The eternal salvation. He who is only regenerated as the name necessarily indicates, remember this is baptism, and is enlightened, is delivered forthwith from darkness and on the instant receives the light. As then those who have shaken off sleep forthwith become all awake within. Or removing a film from your eyes. No, it's not a kind of external enlightenment that happens, but your eyes themselves become your source of light. You see how the image doesn't quite carry it, because when a film is removed from your eyes, well that's what's obstructing you from seeing what's outside yourself. But he's almost saying like your eyes become, your eyes come into being, and the light that you have is within your eyes. It's yourself, it's inside of you. Not something else. You're not seeing something that's outside of you.


You're embracing a grace, a bliss, I bring you bliss, and I am a spiritual prisoner. You get some of that quality, and it's all in the enlightenment that you're doing. It's the source of all the good things, and the pleasure people have to enjoy life and not fear. That's right, that's the argument. And there's a truth to it, there's a reality to that. There's an energy in the human being that's somehow an energy of intelligence or a vision or something that is what he sees right there, rather than just that external thing that's distracting him. Father Peter probably has something to say about that. A good answer. So moving from the weaker to the stronger, in those two levels of bliss, in the upper level of bliss.


But Thelma and William, I think, from the weaker to the stronger, do you think? From the stronger to the weaker. So that the creation is simply a fact. The salvation, however, is a wish which takes some kind of completion, takes some kind of cooperation from us. A suggestion, an invitation. Something like that. And that's the church, is that invitation. That free will in themselves. Yes. Now this passage here about the eye of the spirit is really very deep and rich, and as always the concrete image contains more than will be drawn out of it with extract words. The idea


that what happens is that something is removed from you, not something is added to you, but something is removed from you in such a way that you receive yourself in that kind of luminous power which is your own being. That power of luminosity, or that power of vision, or that, whatever you want to call it, that is yourself. It's very deep. So it's as if the luminosity of your own being is unveiled by baptism, having been obscured by sin. And in the luminosity of your own being you see everything else. And that same luminosity is a participation in the light which is love. Now when Clement says, a little lower down, he says, man was called by the ancients phos, I'm not enough of a Greek linguist to say anything about that. You see the same word, I suppose a different accent, a different pronunciation, means both light and man. As if to say, I'm very used to this language, as if to say the human person is light


and is a participation in the light which is love. It's a very Greek kind of theology. Very true. By which alone we contemplate the divine, the Holy Spirit flowing down to us from above. When, as it were, the Holy Spirit flows down to us from above and gives us vision. There's an allusion to Plato there too. The idea of the eye of the Spirit according to him. This is the eternal, not adjustment, but ointment of the vision. Ointment or anointing. You see the Holy Spirit which somehow anoints our vision, which is itself the ointment, which is able to see the eternal light, since light loves light and the Spirit is God. That which is holy loves that from which holiness proceeds which is appropriately called light. So God is light, the Lord is light, and we are light too. And that


somehow, even in our creation, baptism restores it. So there's a great profundity there. And I think he's right on when he talks about baptism. And the way in which baptism is the fullness of enlightenment. But it's a virtual enlightenment in that we may not know anything in particular. It's the receiving of our very power of vision, participating in that light which is light. And a power of vision which is not just of things outside of ourselves, but also of ourselves. A reflective power of knowledge. And it's something that knows God in the very light which is God. In which you can't look at the light. But they say, that is the Gnostics, he has not yet received the perfect gift. He has no way of everything. I also ascend to this, but he is in the light and the darkness comprehends him not. There's nothing intermediate between light and darkness. See, that's a very precise and important


theological point about baptism and about grace. On the other hand, on the other side of it, you see, that's where theologians can really be concerned about the question of whether there is such a thing as a mortal sin. It doesn't have to be a mortal sin. It's a sin that cuts you off from the light. It doesn't remove faith. But the end is reserved for the resurrection. So now he's making room for the other pole, okay, for that development of the vessel. It is not the reception of some other thing, but the attaining of a promise previously made, and something which is already in you. For eternity and time are not the same, neither is the attempt and the final result. I think attempt, attempt is not the right word. The French is élan, so it's orme is the Greek, so it's thrust, the movement, and the final result. You get the idea of something, a dynamism, and then rest on that. And they're the same, so substantially in some of the world, mythologically.


Eternity and time are neither the thrust to the movement, the dynamism, and the final result, but both have reference to the same thing, and one and the same person is concerned with both. Faith is the dynamism generated in time. The final result is the attainment of the promise who gave to eternity, and rest. I was rewriting the next section there, perhaps it was not very clear. Eternity and time is not the same as the final result, and they are in some sense hidden. It's similar to the idea of the future of God being present in Christ, and at the same time something moving towards so that there's a kind of a mystery of the Kingdom of God is now present in Jesus as he's walking around there. And at the same time, all this present is something that would be incarnated in the future. Right. There are two questions that I'm entering.


One is the permanence of faith in heaven, which probably, whatever it is, referred to earlier. Not today, but earlier. And the other is, did Christ have faith? They overlap, in a sense. Did his faith move into heaven where the completeness of the substantial sum of that does? These three remain, faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of all, faith, hope, and love, is to some inside love. And on the other hand, did Christ have faith when he was on earth? Here's the word. According to his letter to Hebrews, he did. He was a pioneer, an author, and a protector of our faith. And somehow he walked in faith. He was a model of faith. Even though you can say that faith in Hebrews is not the same as faith in Romans, or something like that. It's basically the same. Now, this theology, I think, finally comes from experience. It's not something that's been worked out in school or something. It's simply a reflective insight of the Christians themselves of what they were experiencing


when they took position. Plus reading St. Paul, reading the Scriptures. Wherefore, he says, he that believes in the Son has everlasting life, which Jesus himself. If then those who have believed have life, what remains beyond the possession of eternal life? That sense of the completeness of the gift. Nothing is wanting to faith as it is perfect and complete in itself. It explains how Paul can talk the way he does in the other process, as if everything is right here. Everything is in moments. The life of God is poured out in moments. John's first study. Even though it still walks in the moment. And after the resurrection, what is now future in faith, we receive as present. So that in illumination, what we receive is knowledge, and the end of knowledge is rest. But illumination


is darkness disappearing. Darkness is ignorance through which we fall into sins. Note the connection of ignorance in some of these. It is a Greek kind of thinking which is of course also in their beliefs. Knowledge then is the illumination we receive which makes ignorance disappear and endows us with pure vision. But ignorance has bound, by knowledge, loose, the notion of liberation by the light. Sin is bondage, and ignorance bondage sin. That question is the idea. Our transgressions are taken away, and the bonds released by one theonian, what was his name? Theonius, whatever his name was. He was the great hearing god. The baptism of the word. You don't hear that today. The baptism of the word. Emerging of the notion of baptism is the notion of the word.


See, notice how the idea is that somehow baptism, immersion in the water, immerses you in the logos. You're plunged into the logos, you're plunged into the word, and hence you're plunged into the source of light and you're plunged into love. Now that notion, notice that notion, that strong notion of the word, and the logos. As well as the way the sacrament is immediately rooted into the logos. And it would be the same thing later on with the Eucharist in a different way in which the bread of life is both the sacramental bread and is Christ himself, the logos, as knowledge. So the sacrament and this enlightenment, this knowledge, are inseparable. They're still inseparable. And later they get smoother. So you don't even know they're connected. Yes. Yes.


Yeah. And then when they're plunged into the water, somehow they're plunged into the fullness of the word so that the light comes and the word should be one for them. Very much so. Very much. If something was lost that wasn't recovered, perhaps it should have been recovered in another way. Like the charismatic movement is largely an attempt to recover that sense of the experience and the fullness of baptism. But in itself, culturally, it's limited. So it comes across more as the Holy Spirit than as the word, than as the logos. So the theological fullness has been lost and so it can be very narrowed down so that it's an experience of the Spirit without all of its


this relationship, without the totality of the mystery being present there. But that's what the guy's doing. With his baptism while he's here, that's what he's doing. Trying to elicit the experience of that Spirit that's already in his body. And the word too. It's very difficult. It's very difficult. It is, but early in this confirmation is given at the same time. Confirmation. The sacraments of initiation are all given at once. Not for us. In the West, it's been strung out because of baptism.


In the Middle East even, baptism is given. Baptism, anointing, and first communion, all at the same time. You can do that with confirmation, but it's not the original form. Since they were together it seems in the beginning. Confirmation doesn't appear very distinctly. So you can use confirmation for that, but its meaning doesn't seem to be there. It seems to be in the sense that it seems to be more distinct than enlightenment. Because enlightenment is supposed to come first. But you can use that word to scale it out when you have that confirmation. And I think they're both baptism. See, the anointing of the Spirit is considered to be the same time as baptism. The anointing of the prism and the elimination of the spirit. I don't know when the first talk of confirmation


was held this way. Without a camera. ... [...]


... Ok. Baptism of the Word. This is the one grace of Illumination that our characters are not the same. The translation is we are not the same as before our worship. And since knowledge springs up with Illumination, now, here the translation doesn't quite bring it through. It means, along with the Illumination, that is, along with baptism, comes knowledge. With baptism comes Gnosis. Shedding its beams around the mind, the moment we hear, we who were untaught become disciples. I'll see if I can find it. We are entirely washed from our faults, from our sins, and in one sole coup, one blow, one stroke. We're not evil anymore. This is the unique grace of illumination, that is, of baptism. We are no longer the same than before the baptismal bed.


Now, as gnosis comes at the same time as the illumination, that is, of baptism, and enlightens or eclairs, enlightens, clarifies the intelligence, it follows that without having learned anything, we hear ourselves called disciples. The instruction has already come to us anteriorly, and one doesn't know at what moment. He's not referring there to the catechism, he's referring to the kind of quantum of instruction that we get by the enlightenment of baptism, the totality of receiving the whole organs of the faith in the baptismal world. Catechesis then leads progressively to faith. Faith, at the moment of holy baptism, receives the instruction of the Holy Spirit, as it is called, the total instruction, the quantum instruction. As faith is the unique and universal means of salvation and of humanity, and just and good God communicates himself equally and in the same way to all, the apostle has clearly


exposed himself in the interpretation of this instruction. Then, before faith came, we were kept under the law. That's a tricky passage, and we've got to be careful, because that's where St. Paul uses the word pedagogue. So, it would be easy to relegate the pedagogue to the Old Testament, and we need something new then of baptism. So he has to walk carefully. Shut up into the faith, which should afterward be revealed, so that the law became our schoolmaster, a pedagogue, the same word in the Greek, to bring us to Christ that we might be. So if law is a pedagogue, then Christ is the real pedagogue, justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a pedagogue, we are schoolmaster. Do you not hear that we are no longer under that law which was accompanied with fear, but under the word, the master of free choice? It's a beautifully compact passage. Whatever we think of the fear thing is something new.


The fact that you move from the law to the fullness of the word, do you see the power of that? You move from a kind of law written in stone, these precepts, these distinct commandments which are largely meditators, to a knowledge of the word, somehow by being one with the word, through your baptism into the word, in which liberates your power of free choice, it liberates your will in some way. So in some way you begin to live from within rather than from outside. You live from spontaneity rather than from instinct. Remember the Lord on the heart and so on. For you are all the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus, as many as you are baptized in Christ through faith in Christ. There are not then, now here directly it turns to the Gnostics. In the same word, in the same logo, some illuminated Gnostics, in some animal or natural, some of them. Remember they had three classes, the psychical, the psychical, and the psychical. But all who have abandoned the desires of the flesh are equal in spirituality to the


Lord. That surprises us to find out about the abandonment of the desires of the flesh. It seems to be out of context. And yet that somehow is necessary for the state of Gnosis. Not for the illumination of baptism. By one spirit are we all baptized in one body. We have all drunk of one cup. Actually it's the impulsiveness of one spirit. This idea of the filtration of the spirit, I think that was a Gnostic notion. It takes too long always to chase him down with his references. But he says that expression can be applied to baptism. That baptism is a filter.


And passing through that filter, we are purified. And it's as if what's filtered out is the passions, what's filtered out is the color of sin. The spirit in the accountance traces its steps. And whoever they are, they're the Gnostic spirits. In the same way also are we, depending on our sense of renouncing our iniquities, purified by baptism, the filter. Think of it as something that passed through. Speed back to the eternal life, taken to the Father. And then he quotes a passage from St. Luke where Jesus rejoices in the Holy Spirit. And marvelous what he says here. He exclaims in exultation and exceeding joy, as if lisping with the children. Like a child, Jesus himself exults. And it really is right, because when you read it in Luke and Matthew, Jesus is talking about the Father and the Son.


Nobody knows the Father but the Son. Nobody knows the Father but the Child. Somehow the one who is able to exult like a child. The whole context of freedom, of spontaneity, the yoke which is right, and so on. And the relation between the Son, the Child, and the Father, resonates with what he says there. So for those things which are concealed from the wise, and prudent in this world, that would be the Gnostics here. Like I made notes of those. Truly, then, are we the children of God. But put aside the old man. What is the contrast between the Child and the old man? Which is not what St. Paul means, of course. But old man doesn't mean an aged man. It means the old Adam. But here, the contrast works. Put on the immortality of the present, the Holy Spirit. Keep the man undeclared. As a babe, as God's little one, he's plunged from point A to point B. Then he gets into these texts from St. Paul. Now here it gets a little bit timed up.


The texts that he's talking about are from 1 Corinthians 13, 1 Corinthians 14, and then Galatians chapter 4. In 1 Corinthians 13, remember, when I was a child, I thought like a child, I spoke like a child, I had the things of a child. And when I became a man, I gave that up. Then the second passage in 1 Corinthians 14 is a short one, where he says, Brethren, do not be children in your thinking. Be babes in evil, but in thinking be mature. Now, I think you can take that in parallel with the first one, 1 Corinthians 13. It's moving from a state of immaturity, Christian immaturity, you can say, to Christian maturity. However, the other passage from Galatians doesn't fit in so easily. Galatians 4. It's Galatians 4, 1 to 5. I mean, the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave. He is the owner of the estate,


but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. Remember, the pedagogue fits into that in Galatians. So with us, when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his son born of woman born under the law to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because we were sons, God has sent the spirit of his son into our father. So through God, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir. No longer a mere child under a slave, in some way. No longer a slave, but you're in some way grown, a son, mature, and in possession of the inheritance. Now, notice the difficulty that Conant can get into there because those are two different situations. One is moving from immaturity in Christianity to Christian maturity through a deep faith. The other is moving from the law to the gospel, and they're not the same. And I think he confuses the two of them. His point is fighting against the Gnostics


and saying, well, there isn't any traditional esoteric doctrine that we get that's removed from immaturity and maturity in Christianity. But then he uses the parallel of Paul when he says, was a child when he was a Jew. This comes up on the next page. When I was a child, this is 2.18, the left-hand column at the top, wherefore the expression when I was a child may be elegantly expounded thus that is, when I was a Jew I thought as a child when I followed the law. Now, that doesn't correspond to what St. Paul is saying in 1 Corinthians 13. Although, if you go a little deeper, there is enough continuity to it so that there's a meaning. In that the movement from the things of a child for a Christian is very much like the movement from the things of a child which are the things of the law. It's a failure to fully grasp the simplicity and power, the liberating power


of the Gospel. A failure to fully grasp the meaning of Christ in faith. So, there is a parallel but it's dangerous to combine the two. In 1 Corinthians 13? Okay, let's take a look. It's almost the opposite in a sense of the law but it comes to the same thing because he was talking about those gifts those charismatic gifts that the Corinthians have. If you've got the spirit of prophecy if you've got the gift of tongues if you've got knowledge, gnosis if you've got all these things and you don't have love then you're on the level of a child. So, the things that are the things of a man are faith, hope and love and love is the greatest of these when a child passes away and those things are the charismatic gifts knowledge will pass away, tongues will cease prophecy won't be anymore but love, faith, faith and hope


will help you. So, there's a strong parallel between that and the Galatians because they're coming from two different angles one is coming from the constriction of the law the other is coming from the superabundance of gifts of the spirit which are, however, the kind of accidental gifts or marginal gifts they're not the essence of the gift and that's why he has to say this he's trying to get them back to the essence back to the essence oh yes, the powers that's it from the old man to the child they are apt to use


two different metaphors aren't they two opposite sets of metaphors the thrust of their metaphors in two opposite directions Paul has a preference for maturity for strength and in moving from Old Testament to New Testament he tends to prefer the idea of growing up rather than the idea of becoming younger whereas Clement is the opposite and part of the reason is that he's fighting Gnostics of course so he has to come back and press on as it were square one Paul is sometimes doing that but he seems to like in Colossians and Ephesians they say that he has Gnostics but he tends to choose another image he's fought once and for all as it were that idea of growing up to Christ and maturity and that notion of the body of Christ somehow growing to fullness he's got that image so firmly in his mind that it's difficult for him to reverse it and go back and play the child the idea of death and rebirth is so prevalent


I mean it's so much both conversable but also trying to convert people into working people how Paul feels about it death and rebirth what do you think? it doesn't seem so he talks a lot about that they say sometimes that false theology false mysticism is a death resurrection mysticism but the idea of rebirth in the sense of freshness and child-likeness simplicity simplicity because of the reality he's talking about it's not his line of metaphor so moving from the law the child to the man that is of Christ whom alone the scripture calls man St. Paul talks most of it the perfect language I put away childhood the childhood which is in Christ is maturity as compared to the law so he sort of rolls


the whole paradox up and that's marvelous childhood which is in Christ is maturity as compared to the law the marvel of that is the liberating simplicity of the maturity, of Christian maturity of really knowing Christ so that so that immaturity becomes a complex thing and maturity becomes a simple thing and therefore the three things, spontaneous we are trying to think the opposite that maturity is straight race in their context so we move towards simplicity having reached this point we must defend our childhood and now he starts our whole thing I hope you didn't get bogged down that long, I don't know what to call it it's kind of a physiological theology it's a liquid theology he pulls out every possible liquid symbol that he can think of it says something about Clement and it's not to be even though the intricacies of it can be very frustrating it's not to be totally despised


if you look at the Gospel of John actually there's a liquid metaphor, liquid symbolism in John which is quite important just remember Jesus on the cross water in the blood how important that is for John the accent that he puts on it and the importance of water itself in the Gospel of John and how water and femininity relate and I think that what we're looking at in Clement is a kind of symbolic sociology in other words a wisdom theology which is not fully reflective but which has a preference for these liquid symbols and for feminine symbols if you compare them with the metaphors, the imagery of Irenaeus or Ignatius I think you can see the difference there's a maternal relationship and I think that there's a Sophia trying to emerge here maybe a kind of tabulation


of his whole his whole chemistry and instead of going through the whole thing together let me read a series of statements it sounds rather derogatory and remember he's arguing against people who are basically saying that milk belongs to children and then something else, meat would be the strong food for the grown-up place, for the nostril place for the mature person so they would say that milk is a rather contemptible substance which is the elementary teaching and when you have grown up according to St. Paul, then you'll be eating something else, the solid food which would be some kind of esoteric teaching so whether the comparison is between milk and meat, solid food or whether it's between milk and blood so that's what Clement is opposing so here's a series of statements now the word is the milk of Christ the word turns out to be everything and what he's doing is exploring all of the different


spokes of that wheel which is the symbolic representation of the word and here the image is all of this liquid the word is both the beginning and the end and so is the milk the milk is there at the beginning and the milk is there at the end because the land of promise of rest is flowing with milk and honey and that's one of the problems he has to solve and of course it's evident in him and he should recognize it in the Old Testament because of freedom of the image so that the same image can be used in very different ways you can't expect a consistency of metaphor in poetry or in scripture now milk is knowledge drink at one point is perfect mature appropriation at another point it doesn't seem that way meat for him at one point is the face-to-face vision of heaven the word is both milk


and solid food milk and meat milk, gala meat actually is brahma solid food milk is the preaching of the gospel at one point there's a series of comparisons milk is the preaching of the gospel and one of his comparisons whereas meat, solid food is faith which is solidified within you so the milk is the gospel poured out and then it becomes solidified in you through faith, the marriage of the faith that you have and the word that comes in solidifies the solid food so the idea of solid or something, solid possession he comments John 6, eat my flesh and drink my blood in a kind of amazing way he says the flesh which is the body, is faith the blood is the soul is hope so he says hope is the blood of faith


the body is faith the blood is hope those are the flesh and blood of Jesus in John 6 note the transposition what matters is they interpret it in terms of the Greek perspective there's a lot more in it and what is it and notice you simply can't explain to consistency the way he uses these things it's a poetic point of view it's a childlike point of view and it's funny that he's arguing and playing with him at the same time it's hard to make an argument in this way the blood of faith is hope blood is liquid flesh milk is the sweeter finer part of blood the blood of the word is milk the church at one point is mother and nourishes with the milk of the word and this milk of the word is the body of Christ


the word is the body of Christ he doesn't speak there of the faithful being the body of Christ the word is being the body of Christ this is on 220 up on the left hand column when the kind and loving father had rained down the word himself became spiritual nourishment to the good himself became a mystic marvel the universal father is one and one the universal word and the holy spirit is one and the same everywhere and one is the only virgin mother notice 1,2,3,4 the father, the word, the spirit and the mother which is the church the virgin mother which is the church when did that identification really arise it seems to be almost a normal personal thing yes and I'm just wondering of the virgin


and the mother of the church yes there's already an indication of it in the new testament where Saint Paul says the Jerusalem above is our mother and also the feminine the bride in Revelation 21,22 and also the woman who is in childhood in the desert who brings forth the disciples of Jesus the children of Jesus it's all there potentially and it's completely present in the New Testament Vernaeus has a couple of very strong passages in the fifth book about that and that's the first time I know of it they say that Vernaeus is the founder of myology and of that kind of ecclesiology too because it seems that the father is a tool you don't talk about marriage without talking about the church in the same way I love to call her the church it kind of sounds a little like Saint Bernard


the fact that he personally speaks of his delight in that connection his mother when alone had not milked because at once she was not a woman she was once a virgin mother who is a virgin mother and is a mother calling her children to her she nurses them with holy milk that is with her word that surprises us there's so much stress on teaching there's so much stress on wisdom even at the expense of other dimensions that we are talking about a whole test is built the sacraments almost vanish, almost are swallowed up into this notion of wisdom of teaching therefore she had not milk for the milk was this child Vernaeus in the original text the milk is this child the word is he who becomes incarnate and then somehow can be given to children of the church there's a whole confusion of images the child, the body of Christ


which nourishes by the word the young girl now the sacrament is there not there at the same time I think sacramental theology would benefit a lot from getting this dimension back which ties all of the teaching all of the wisdom of the church I think it's like that and here's another interpretation down in the same column notice he moves from one angle to another these don't fit together they never go away not quite compatible let's play the flesh figuratively represents to us the Holy Spirit the flesh was created by him the blood points out to us the word now instinctively I think we'd be fine to say the opposite that the word with its solidity its distinctness its masculine quality is more like the flesh its fluidity of the spirit is more like the blood as rich blood the word has been infused into life, and the union of both


is the Lord, the food of the caves sometimes they speak of some of the Russians of the dial that the word and spirit have been so pure the food that is the Lord Jesus that is the word of God the spirit and flesh the heavenly flesh so this kind of physiognomy of linguistics the constellations the word is the rushing fountain of life and has been called a river of pure water the spirit of all of life the same thing may be both moving head and then it talks about the word as being the bread of life the mystery of the bread which is his flesh this is on 221 in left hand column consequently that has risen through fire as the wheat springs up from decay and germination and in truth


it has risen through fire for the joy of the truth for the joy of the church as bread baked now the fire there is the fire of the passion notice the double meaning of risen bread rises and the Lord has risen and in his rising somehow the bread becomes made for us becomes finished for us and it rises in the spirit and here it rises then he gets to rhyme thus in many ways the word is figuratively described as meat and flesh and food and bread and blood and health the Lord is always to give enjoyment to us who believe in him so that he summaries that before he was father and mother and through a nurse and here it's the bread the bread and then the blood of Abel the blood


is a word the blood is the word and therefore the blood cries out and the blood of Abel cries out prefiguring the passion of Jesus you find that in more than one place in the scriptures the blood cries out the first killing baptism baptism and teaching this is on let's see 221 right here on the right are blood and milk so here we get the sacraments brought back connected with one another baptism and the Eucharist are going to be connected with the teaching and then the teaching and each of the sacraments get connected get sewn together get woven together the blood is the passion of Jesus therefore it's baptism for us to receive it we participate in baptism and following that


is the milk or the teaching of the Lord milk is produced from blood and then milk has an affinity for water it mixes with water and so the word mixes with baptism the word somehow comes in and fills the space opened in us by baptism honey is mixed with milk so love is mixed with the word so the word is connected wine that is suffering is mixed with milk that is the word he even gets to butter if he keeps mixing this around he finds the butter he just mentions cheese in passing he doesn't stress where's the butter oh there it is


further many also use the fat of milk for butter for the lamp oil and the lamp oil and the lamp enlightenment and baptism and we're still in the word the function of the word since he alone is who nourishes the infants makes them grow and enlightens them he feeds them and enlightens them the oil he fed them he sucked honey from the rock and oil butter of gun and milk of sheep and then he Christ ate the same the birth of the child he prophesied the birth of the child so butter and honey shall he eat and ends up back at St. Paul I'll follow after if I may Philippians 3 and yet he reckons himself perfect


because he has been emancipated from his former life and strives after the better life not as perfect in knowledge but as aspiring after perfection perfection as oppressed as a tendency perfection as the renunciation of sin and regeneration into the place of the only perfect one and forgetting our former sins so that's his conclusive definition later on in chapter 11 there's mustard he talks about the word as being the mustard seed and he says that honey generates bile which is anger but mustard lessens and stops inflammation now we get to chapter 7 where once again it seems like a repetition of an earlier chapter he's speaking about who the instructor is before he said the instructor is the word


but now he seems to speak more of the word incarnate that is the instructor is Jesus who is also the shepherd that seems to be discussed here and Jesus is the guide of all humanity now here's something that sometimes we slip over without noticing it he's saying that Jesus was the guide of the Jews in the Old Testament Abraham and Jacob and so on and he extends that to say that that Jesus, the word, is the guide of all humanity now notice that translation because often we consider that revelation of the Old Testament as being a singular thing that's the special revelation of God but here he's extending that that influence of the word and therefore of Christ to all humanity and this seems to have been translated in the back of his mind when he was writing it I'd say that's a common historical mentality of the time which has an importance for us today


it doesn't eliminate the specialness of the revelation but it extends it further he's talking about the word the word is part of the way that he inspires us well, not that, but the fact that the way that when Clement says that he led, he guided the men of the Old Testament then he will say thus he is the guide of all humanity now see, today we would distinguish the Jews by the special revelation of the word from all of humanity you know, east and west and everywhere outside of the Jewish revelation but he's putting the two together making that extension yeah, that's right so, the other way in which that comes up is when he talks about the Greeks for instance and then somehow they tune the logos


but then he can be kind of he gets kind of, what do you call it stingy about it at times and he'll say, well I didn't even know that that came out of Moses Plato and Moses, none of those human beings but here he is he doesn't take time to do it so, here's the inspector of Abraham this is very reminiscent of Therameus, remember the men of the Old Testament walked with the word he was their instructor so it is with Abraham so it is that the word Christ is the one who wrestled with Jacob this is a nice passage here 2.23, right hand he is said too to have wrestled with him and Jacob was left alone and there wrestled with him a man the instructor to the one who was teaching this was the man who led and brought and wrestled with and anointed the athlete Jacob against evil there's a whole now that the word was at once Jacob's trainer


and the instructor of humanity he asked his name, tell me your name he wouldn't answer him for he reserved a new name for the new people, the babe the child that was to be born and was as yet one name, the Lord God not having become man now what is the name what does he mean by the name does he mean the name of Jesus does he mean that Jesus the word is the name of God he moves here into the theology, the biblical theology of the name of God and then the idea of the face of God and it's implicit in some way the word incarnate fills both of those places Jacob called the name of the place the face of God for I have seen it says God face to face and my life is preserved the face of God is the word of whom God is manifest he saw the word now that's straighter than that the face of God the word is the manifest


of God the father is the unmanifest great and also was he named Israel because he saw God the word as the instructor of the new people not by Moses but face to face so we don't have time to detail what's the question and then there follows some other dry chapters which we can skip through I don't know if you had that one in your notes so the next few chapters are about chapters 8, 9, 10 an answer to those who refuse to consider justice good I think it's an anti-gnostic chapter 9 goes through a whole rhetorical


catalogue of different ways of approaching and approving for the sake of education and 10 similarly the two modes of threat and of encouragement then we get to chapter 11 and we wanted to do something in the last two chapters I guess we'll have to cut to this one chapter 11 I would only point out the mustard seed that's on page 234 the mode of his love and his instruction were for he himself declaring himself very good if he likened himself to a grain of mustard seed and pointed out the spirituality of the word productiveness of its nature the power of the seed magnificence


and conspicuousness of the power of the word but something else also the pungency and the purifying virtue the punishment of profit that's in the word too after talking in these two long chapters on the threat and then on the persuasive the encouragement of the word he sums it up in a moment I think especially the punishment of the word and of course the punishment is always part of a larger educational process the punishment in scripture usually has a personality yeah I think so it sounds like Irenaeus always positive look at God's pedagogy but maybe he is putting something from the good side or something from the side of his philosophy


he seems to have a good deal maybe a little still I just Clement might be a lot of it might start with Clement I don't know the origin of Clement really overlapped in the contemporary I don't know if Thomas really calculated it here we have our onion by a small from which word springs the true health of the soul okay and then we go on to chapter 12 and a little summary which sounds very much like Irenaeus remember the antinostic thing is still in the back what he teaches is not very formidable nor is it altogether easy the view I take is that


he himself formed man of the dust and regenerated him by water and made him go by the spirit and gained him by his word the doctrine of salvation now remember there is a passage in Irenaeus towards the end of book 4 against the Pharisees where he sums up that whole image of God forming the human person gradually in the whole of history that's Irenaeus kind of changes the world a bit notice that he introduces water into the creation of man that's not in the account of Genesis although it's kind of implicit that spring that sprang up in water before transforming earth-born man into a holy and heavenly being by his advent I think Irenaeus would take more earth along he wouldn't comply with this the earthiness was left behind we talked a lot about it in here let us make man in our own image of likeness and the truth of Christ became the perfect realization of the gospel


the rest of Irenaeus conceived and created merely his image and then this is very much like Irenaeus let us listen to the word and take on the impress of the truly saving life of our Saviour let me read a little bit of that passage of Irenaeus this is in book 4 chapter 39 towards the end of book 4 offer to him your heart let's see await the hand of your Maker which creates everything in due time your creation is being carried out offer to him your heart in a soft and tractable state and preserve the form in which the Creator has fashioned you having moisture in yourself thus by becoming hardened you lose the impression of his fingers fulfill the Father's will let us all listen to the word take on the impress of the truly saving life of our Saviour notice that the hands, the fingers of God have disappeared let us anoint ourselves with the perennial


and autoglom of gladness we ask if that's the Holy Spirit I don't know but apparently it probably refers to Psalm 44 the vial of gladness and then okay let's go on we'll certainly finish next time meanwhile I'll try to get some pages from the stromata for you and there I think we'll concentrate on the Gnostic we'll have to narrow down our focus very much and just read one or two books of the stromata okay any questions or comments