ATHANASIUS/ANTONY on
 
ASCETICAL PERSEVERANCE
and DISCERNMENT

The Life of Antony 16-44

  St. Antony,
  Athos, 18
th c. icon,.


[1] Perseverance in Asceticism (§16-21); [2] Demonic Tricks (§22-29);
 [
3Clarity and Foreknowledge (§ 30-34); [4]  Discernment (§35-42); [5] Conclusion [Joy & Heaven] (§42-44);


In explaining how to distinguish holy spirits and visions from evil ones Athanasius/Antony presents the complexes tht will become the traditional lists of ascetical virtues and vices

 

 

 

 

 THE LIFE of ANTONY
 ENGLISH tr.: modified from H. Ellershaw Athanasius, Select Works, ser.: The Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Second Series, v. 4  pp. 188-221.

Migne PG 26,865-908:  Vita Antonii   G.J.M. Bartelink, Sources Chrétiennes N° 400, (Paris: Cerf, 1994):pp. 176-255.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANTONYS GREAT DISCOURSE

ch. 16-44

 

 

 

 

[1]  Perseverance in Asceticism 

 [ch. 16-21]

 

 

16. One day when he had gone forth because all the monks had assembled to him and asked to hear words from him, he spoke to them in the Egyptian tongue as follows: ‘The Scriptures are enough for instruction (cf c.Gent.1, de Synod.6) , but it is a good thing to encourage one another in the faith, and to stir up with words. Wherefore you, as children, carry that which you know to your father; and I as the elder share my knowledge and what experience has taught me with you. Let this especially be the common aim of all, neither to give way having once begun, nor to faint in trouble, nor to say: We have lived in the discipline a long time: but rather as though making a beginning daily let us increase our earnestness. For the whole life of man is very short, measured by the ages to come, wherefore all our time is nothing compared with eternal life. And in the world everything is sold at its price, and a man exchanges one equivalent for another; but the promise of eternal life is bought for a trifle. For it is written, “The days of our life in them are threescore years and ten, but if they are in strength, fourscore years, and what is more than these is labour and sorrow” (Ps.40.10.LXX) . Whenever, therefore, we live full fourscore years, or even a hundred in the discipline, not for a hundred years only shall we reign, but instead of a hundred we shall reign for ever and ever. And though we fought on earth, we shall not receive our inheritance on earth, but we have the promises in heaven; and having put off the body which is corrupt, we shall receive it incorrupt.

16.  Μιᾷ γοῦν ἡμέρᾳ προελθὼν͵ καὶ πάντων τῶν μοναχῶν ἐλθόντων πρὸς αὐτὸν͵ ἀξιούντων τε παρ΄ 868 αὐτοῦ ἀκοῦσαι λόγον͵ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς τῇ Αἰγυπτιακῇ φωνῇ ταῦτα· Τὰς μὲν Γραφὰς ἱκανὰς εἶναι πρὸς δι δασκαλίαν· ἡμᾶς δὲ καλὸν παρακαλεῖν ἀλλήλους ἐν τῇ πίστει͵ καὶ ἀλείφειν ἐν τοῖς λόγοις. Καὶ ὑμεῖς τοίνυν ὡς τέκνα φέρετε τῷ πατρὶ λέγοντες ἃ οἴδατε· κἀγὼ δὲ ὡς τῇ ἡλικίᾳ πρεσβύτερος ὑμῶν͵ ἃ οἶδα καὶ ὧν πεπείραμαι μεταδίδωμι. Ἔστω δὲ προηγουμένως κοινὴ πᾶσιν αὕτη σπουδὴ͵ ἀρξαμένους μὴ ὑπενδοῦ ναι͵ μηδὲ ἐκκακεῖν ἐν τοῖς πόνοις͵ μηδὲ λέγειν· Ἐχρο νίσαμεν ἐν τῇ ἀσκήσει· ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ὡς ἀρχόμενοι καθ΄ ἡμέραν͵ τὴν προθυμίαν ἐπαυξήσωμεν. Ὅλος γὰρ ὁ τῶν ἀνθρώπων βίος βραχύτατός ἐστι͵ μετρού μενος πρὸς τοὺς μέλλοντας αἰῶνας· ὥστε καὶ πάντα τὸν χρόνον ἡμῶν μηδὲν εἶναι πρὸς τὴν αἰώνιον ζωήν. Καὶ πᾶν μὲν πρᾶγμα ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ τοῦ ἀξίου πιπρά σκεται͵ καὶ ἴσον ἴσῳ τις ἀντικαταλλάσσει· ἡ δὲ ἐπαγ γελία τῆς αἰωνίου ζωῆς ὀλίγου τινὸς ἀγοράζεται. Γέγραπται γάρ· Αἱ ἡμέραι τῆς ζωῆς ἡμῶν ἐν αὐτοῖς ἑβδομήκοντα ἔτη͵ ἐὰν δὲ ἐν δυναστείαις͵ ὀγδοήκοντα ἔτη͵ καὶ τὸ πλεῖον αὐτῶν͵ κόπος καὶ πόνος. Ὅταν τοίνυν πάντα τὰ ὀγδοήκοντα ἔτη͵ ἢ καὶ ἑκατὸν διαμείνωμεν ἐν τῇ ἀσκήσει͵ οὐκ ἴσα τοῖς ἑκατὸν ἔτεσι βασιλεύσομεν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἀντὶ τῶν ἑκατὸν αἰῶνας αἰώνων βασιλεύσομεν· καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς ἀγωνισά μενοι͵ οὐκ ἐν γῇ κληρονομοῦμεν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐν οὐρανοῖς ἔχομεν τὰς ἐπαγγελίας· πάλιν δὲ φθαρτὸν ἀποθέμε νοι τὸ σῶμα͵ ἄφθαρτον ἀπολαμβάνομεν αὐτό.

 

 

 

 

17. ‘Wherefore, children, let us not faint nor deem that the time is long, or that we are doing something great, “for the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us (Rom.8.18).” Nor let us think, as we look at the world, that we have renounced anything of much consequence, for the whole earth is very small compared with all the heaven. Wherefore if it even chanced that we were lords of all the earth and gave it all up, it would be nothing worthy of comparison with the kingdom of heaven. For as if a man should despise a copper drachma to gain a hundred drachmas of gold; so if a man were lord of all the earth and were to renounce it, that which he gives up is little, and he receives a hundredfold.

17. Ὥστε͵ τέκνα͵ μὴ ἐκκακῶμεν͵ μηδὲ νομί ζωμεν χρονίζειν͵ ἢ μέγα τι ποιεῖν. Οὐ γὰρ ἄξια τὰ παθήματα τοῦ νῦν καιροῦ πρὸς τὴν μέλλουσαν ἀποκαλυφθῆναι εἰς ἡμᾶς δόξαν. Μηδὲ εἰς τὸν κό σμον βλέποντες νομίζωμεν μεγάλοις τισὶν ἀποτε τάχθαι· καὶ γὰρ καὶ αὐτὴ πᾶσα ἡ γῆ βραχυτάτη πρὸς ὅλον τὸν οὐρανόν ἐστιν. Εἰ τοίνυν καὶ πάσης τῆς γῆς κύριοι ἐτυγχάνομεν͵ καὶ ἀπετασσόμεθα τῇ γῇ πάσῃ͵ οὐδὲν ἄξιον ἦν πάλιν πρὸς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν. Ὡς γὰρ εἴ τις καταφρονήσειε μιᾶς 869 χαλκῆς δραχμῆς͵ ἵνα κερδήσῃ χρυσᾶς δραχμὰς ἑκα τὸν͵ οὕτως ὁ πάσης τῆς γῆς κύριος ὢν͵ καὶ ἀποτασ σόμενος αὐτῇ͵ ὀλίγον ἀφίησι͵ καὶ ἑκατονταπλασίονα λαμβάνει.

But if not even the whole earth is equal in value to the heavens, then he who has given up a few acres leaves as it were nothing; and even if he have given up a house or much gold he ought not to boast nor be low-spirited. Further, we should consider that even if we do not relinquish them for virtue’s sake, still afterwards when we die we shall leave them behind—very often, as the Preacher says (Eccl.4.8, Eccl.6.2) , to those to whom we do not wish. Why then should we not give them up for virtue’s sake, that we may inherit even a kingdom? Therefore let the desire of possession take hold of no one, for what gain is it to acquire these things which we cannot take with us? Why not rather get those things which we can take away with us, namely: Εἰ δὲ οὐδὲ πᾶσα ἡ γῆ ἀξία τῶν οὐρανῶν ἐστιν͵ ὁ ἄρα ἀφεὶς ὀλίγας ἀρούρας͵ ὡς οὐδὲν κατα λιμπάνων͵ κἂν οἰκίαν ἢ χρυσίον ἱκανὸν ἀφῇ͵ οὐκ ὀφείλει καυχᾶσθαι ἢ ἀκηδιᾷν. Ἄλλως τε ὀφείλομεν λογίζεσθαι͵ ὅτι͵ κἂν μὴ ἀφῶμεν δι΄ ἀρετὴν͵ ἀλλ΄ ὕστερον ἀποθνήσκοντες καταλιμπάνομεν αὐτὰ πολ λάκις καὶ οἷς οὐ θέλομεν͵ ὡς ἐμνημόνευσεν ὁ Ἐκκλησιαστής. Διὰ τί οὖν μὴ δι΄ ἀρετὴν ἡμεῖς καταλιμπά νομεν͵ ἵνα καὶ βασιλείαν κληρονομήσωμεν; Διὰ τοῦτο μηδὲ τοῦ κτᾶσθαί τις ἡμῶν ἐπιθυμίαν λαμβανέτω. Τί γὰρ κέρδος ταῦτα κτᾶσθαι͵ ἃ μηδὲ αἴρομεν μεθ΄ ἑαυ τῶν; τί οὐ μᾶλλον ἐκεῖνα κτώμεθα͵ ἃ καὶ μεθ΄ ἑαυτῶν ἆραι δυνάμεθα͵ ἅτινά ἐστι

Christianized Aristotelian Tetrad (+)

of Virtues

[1] prudence, [2] justice, [3] temperance, [4] courage,

[5] understanding,

[6] love, [7] kindness to the poor,

[8] faith in Christ,

[9] freedom from wrath, [10] hospitality?

φρόνησις͵ δικαιοσύνη͵ σωφροσύνη͵ ἀνδρεία͵
    σύνεσις͵

ἀγάπη͵ φιλοπτωχία͵

πίστις ἡ εἰς Χριστὸν͵

ἀοργησία͵ φιλοξενία;

If we possess these, we shall find them of themselves preparing for us a welcome there in the land of the meek-hearted. Ταῦτα κτώμενοι͵ εὑρήσομεν αὐτὰ πρὸ ἑαυτῶν ἐκεῖ ποιοῦντα ἡμῖν ξενίαν ἐν τῇ γῇ τῶν πραέων.

 

 

 

 

18. ‘And so from such things let a man persuade himself not to make light of it, especially if he considers that he himself is the servant of the Lord, and ought to serve his Master. Wherefore as a servant would not dare to say, because I worked yesterday, I will not work today; and considering the past will do no work in the future; but, as it is written in the Gospel, daily shows the same readiness to please his master, and to avoid risk: 18.  Ὥστε καὶ ἐκ τοιούτων πειθέτω τις ἑαυτὸν μὴ ὀλιγωρεῖν· καὶ μάλιστα͵ ἐὰν λογίσηται͵ δοῦλον ἑαυτὸν εἶναι τοῦ Κυρίου͵ καὶ ὀφείλοντα τῷ δεσπότῃ δουλεύειν. Ὥσπερ οὖν ὁ δοῦλος οὐκ ἂν τολμήσῃ λέ γειν· Ἐπειδὴ χθὲς εἰργασάμην͵ οὐκ ἐργάζομαι σήμερον· οὐδὲ τὸν παρελθόντα χρόνον μετρῶν͵ παύσεται τῶν ἑξῆς ἡμερῶν͵ ἀλλὰ καθ΄ ἡμέραν͵ ὡς ἐν τῷ Εὐαγγελίῳ γέγραπται͵ τὴν αὐτὴν προθυμίαν δείκνυσιν͵ ἵνα τῷ κυρίῳ αὐτοῦ ἀρέσκῃ͵ καὶ μὴ κινδυ νεύσῃ·

so let us daily abide firm in our discipline, knowing that if we are careless for a single day the Lord will not pardon us, for the sake of the past, but will be wrath against us for our neglect. As also we have heard in Ezekiel (Ezek.18, 26); and as Judas because of one night destroyed his previous labor.

οὕτω καὶ ἡμεῖς καθ΄ ἡμέραν ἐπιμένωμεν τῇ ἀσκήσει͵ εἰδότες͵ ὅτι͵ ἐὰν μίαν ἡμέραν ἀμελήσωμεν͵ οὐ διὰ τὸν παρελθόντα χρόνον ἡμῖν συγχωρήσει͵ ἀλλὰ διὰ τὴν ἀμέλειαν ἀγανακτήσει καθ΄ ἡμῶν. Οὕτως καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἰεζεχιὴλ ἠκούσαμεν· οὕτως καὶ ὁ Ἰούδας διὰ νύκτα μίαν ἀπώλεσε καὶ τοῦ παρελθόντος χρόνου τὸν κάματον.

 

 

 

 

19. ‘Wherefore, children, let us hold fast our discipline, and let us not be careless. 19. 872 Ἐχώμεθα οὖν͵ τέκνα͵ τῆς ἀσκήσεως͵ καὶ μὴ ἀκηδιῶμεν.

[1] For in it the Lord is our fellow-worker, as it is written, “to all that choose the good, God works with them for good” (Rom.8.28).

 Ἔχομεν γὰρ ἐν τούτῳ καὶ τὸν Κύριον συνεργὸν͵ ὡς γέγραπται· Παντὶ τῷ προαιρουμένῳ τὸ ἀγαθὸν συνεργεῖ ὁ Θεὸς εἰς τὸ ἀγαθόν.

[2]  But to avoid being heedless, it is good to consider the word of the Apostle, “I die daily.” (1 Cor.15.31) For if we too live as though dying daily, we shall not sin. And the meaning of that saying is, that as we rise day by day we should think that we shall not abide till evening; and again, when about to lie down to sleep, we should think that we shall not rise up. For our life is naturally uncertain, and Providence allots it to us daily.

Εἰς δὲ τὸ μὴ ὀλιγωρεῖν ἡμᾶς καλὸν τὸ τοῦ Ἀποστόλου ῥητὸν μελετᾷν͵ τὸ͵ Καθ΄ ἡμέραν ἀποθνήσκω. Ἂν γὰρ καὶ ἡμεῖς͵ ὡς ἀποθνήσκοντες καθ΄ ἡμέραν͵ οὕτως ζῶμεν͵ οὐχ ἁμαρτήσομεν. Ἔστι δὲ τὸ λεγόμενον τοιοῦτον͵ ἵνα͵ ἐγειρόμενοι καθ΄ ἡμέραν͵ νομίζωμεν μὴ μένειν ἕως ἑσπέρας͵ καὶ πάλιν μέλλοντες κοιμᾶσθαι͵ νομί ζωμεν μὴ ἐγείρεσθαι· ἀδήλου φύσει καὶ τῆς ζωῆς ἡμῶν οὔσης͵ καὶ μετρουμένης καθ΄ ἡμέραν παρὰ τῆς Προνοίας.
But thus ordering our daily life, we shall Οὕτω δὲ διακείμενοι͵ καὶ καθ΄ ἡμέραν οὕτω ζῶντες͵

neither fall into sin,

nor have a lust for anything,

nor cherish wrath against any,

nor shall we heap up treasure upon earth.

οὔτε ἁμαρτήσομεν͵

οὔτε τινὸς ἐπιθυμίαν ἕξομεν͵

οὔτε μηνιοῦμέν τινι͵

οὔτε θησαυρίσομεν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς·

But, as though under the daily expectation of death, ἀλλ΄ ὡς καθ΄ ἡμέραν προσδοκῶντες ἀποθνήσκειν͵
we shall be without wealth, and shall forgive all things to all men, nor shall we retain at all the desire of women or of any other foul pleasure.  ἀκτήμονες ἐσόμεθα͵ καὶ πᾶσι πάντα συγχωρήσομεν· ἐπιθυμίας δὲ γυναικὸς͵ ἢ ἄλλης ῥυ παρᾶς ἡδονῆς͵
   

But we shall turn from it as past and gone, ever striving and looking forward to the day of Judgment. For the greater dread and danger of torment ever destroys the ease of pleasure, and sets up the soul if it is like to fall.

 οὐδ΄ ὅλως κρατήσομεν͵ ἀλλ΄ ὡς παρ ερχομένην ἀποστραφησόμεθα· ἀγωνιῶντες ἀεὶ καὶ προβλέποντες τὴν ἡμέραν τῆς κρίσεως. Ἀεὶ γὰρ ὁ μείζων φόβος καὶ ὁ ἀγὼν τῶν βασάνων διαλύει τὸ λεῖον τῆς ἡδονῆς͵ καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν κλίνουσαν ἀν ίστησιν.

 

 

 

 

20. ‘Wherefore having already begun and set out in the way of virtue, let us strive the more that we may attain those things that are before. And let no one turn to the things behind, like Lot’s wife, all the more so that the Lord hath said, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and turning back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven” (Phil.3.13; Gen.19.26; Luke 9.62).And this turning back is nothing else but to feel regret, and to be once more worldly-minded. 20. Οὐκοῦν ἀρξάμενοι καὶ ἐπιβάντες ἤδη τῇ ὁδῷ τῆς ἀρετῆς͵ ἐπεκτεινώμεθα μᾶλλον ἵνα φθάσωμεν ἐπὶ τὰ ἔμπροσθεν. Καὶ μηδεὶς εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω στρεφέσθω͵ ὡς ἡ γυνὴ τοῦ Λώτ· μάλιστα ὅτι Κύριος εἴρηκεν· Οὐδεὶς ἐπιβαλὼν τὴν χεῖρα ἐπ΄ ἄροτρον͵ καὶ στραφεὶς εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω͵ εὔθετός ἐστιν ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν. Τὸ δὲ στραφῆναι οὐδὲν ἕτερόν ἐστιν ἢ μεταμεληθῆναι͵ καὶ πάλιν κοσμικὰ φρονεῖν.

But do not be afraid to hear of virtue, nor be astonished at the name. For it is not far from us, nor is it outside of us, but it is within us, and is easy if only we are willing. That they may get knowledge, the Greeks live abroad and cross the sea, but we have no need to depart from home for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, nor to cross the sea for the sake of virtue. For the Lord had earlier said, “The kingdom of heaven is within you” (Luke 17.21)

Μὴ φοβεῖσθε δὲ ἀκούοντες περὶ ἀρετῆς͵ μηδὲ ξενίζεσθε περὶ τοῦ ὀνόματος· οὐ γὰρ μακρὰν ἀφ΄ ἡμῶν ἐστιν οὐδ΄ ἔξωθεν ἡμῶν συνίσταται͵ ἐν 873 ἡμῖν δέ ἐστι τὸ ἔργον͵ καὶ εὔκολόν ἐστι τὸ πρᾶγμα͵ ἐὰν μόνον θελήσωμεν. Ἕλληνες μὲν οὖν ἀποδημοῦσι͵ καὶ θάλατταν περῶσι͵ ἵνα γράμματα μάθωσιν· ἡμεῖς δὲ οὐ χρείαν ἔχομεν ἀποδημῆσαι διὰ τὴν βασι λείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν͵ οὔτε περᾶσαι θάλατταν διὰ τὴν ἀρετήν. Φθάσας γὰρ εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος· Ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ἐντὸς ὑμῶν ἐστιν·

Thus virtue requires only [the act of] our will, since it is in us and is formed from us. Οὐκοῦν ἡ ἀρετὴ τοῦ θέλειν ἡμῶν μόνου χρείαν ἔχει· ἐπειδήπερ ἐν ἡμῖν ἐστι͵ καὶ ἐξ ἡμῶν συνίσταται.
For when the spiritual faculty of the soul accords with nature virtue is formed. And it accords with nature when it remains as it came into existence. And when it came into existence it was beautiful and completely upright [straight]. Τῆς γὰρ ψυχῆς τὸ νοερὸν κατὰ φύσιν ἑκούσης͵ ἡ ἀρετὴ συνίσταται. Κατὰ φύσιν δὲ ἔχει͵ ὅτ΄ ἂν ὡς γέγονε μένει͵ γέγονε δὲ καλὴ καὶ εὐθὴς λίαν.
For this cause Joshua, the son of Nun, in his exhortation said to the people, “Make straight your heart unto the Lord God of Israel  ,” (Josh.24.23) and John, “Make your paths straight  .” (Matt.3.3) Διὰ τοῦτο ὁ μὲν τοῦ Ναυῆ Ἰησοῦς παραγγέλλων ἔλεγε τῷ λαῷ· Εὐθύνατε τὴν καρδίαν ὑμῶν πρὸς Κύριον τὸν Θεὸν Ἰσραήλ· ὁ δὲ Ἰωάννης· Εὐθείας ποιεῖτε τὰς τρί βους ὑμῶν.

For uprightness [straightness] of soul consists in its having its spiritual part as created according to nature (kata phusin) .

But on the other hand, when it swerves and turns away from [being]  according to nature (kata phusin), that is called vice of the soul.

Τὸ γὰρ εὐθεῖαν εἶναι τὴν ψυχὴν͵ τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ κατὰ φύσιν νοερὸν αὐτῆς ὡς ἐκτίσθη.

Πάλιν δὲ ὅτ΄ ἂν ἐκκλίνῃ͵ καὶ ἐν διαστροφῇ τοῦ κατὰ φύσιν γένηται͵ τότε κακία ψυχῆς λέγεται.

Thus the matter is not difficult.  

If we abide as we have been made, we are in a state of virtue,

but if we think of foul things we shall be judged vicious.

Οὐκοῦν οὐκ ἔστι δυσχερὲς τὸ πρᾶγμα· ἐὰν γὰρ μείνωμεν ὡς γεγόναμεν͵ ἐν τῇ ἀρετῇ ἐσμεν·

ἐὰν δὲ λογιζώμεθα τὰ φαῦλα͵ ὡς κακοὶ κρινόμεθα.

 If, therefore, this thing had to be acquired from without, it would be difficult in reality; but if it is in us, let us keep ourselves from foul thoughts. And as we have received the soul as a deposit, let us preserve it for the Lord, that He may recognise His work as being the same as He made it.  Εἰ μὲν οὖν ἔξωθεν ἦν πο ριστέον τὸ πρᾶγμα͵ δυσχερὲς ὄντως ἦν· εἰ δὲ ἐν ἡμῖν ἐστι͵ φυλάξωμεν ἑαυτοὺς ἀπὸ ῥυπαρῶν λογι σμῶν͵ καὶ ὡς παρακαταθήκην λαβόντες͵ τηρήσωμεν τῷ Κυρίῳ τὴν ψυχήν· ἵν΄ αὐτὸς ἐπιγνῷ τὸ ποίημα αὐτοῦ͵ οὕτως οὖσαν͵ ὥσπερ αὐτὴν καὶ πεποίηκεν αὐτήν.

 

 

 

 

21. ‘And let us strive that wrath rule us not nor lust overcome us, for it is written, “The wrath of man works not the righteousness of God. And lust, when it hath conceived, bears sin, and the sin when it is full grown brings forth death  .” (James 1.20 & 1.15) Thus living, let us keep guard carefully, and as it is written, “keep our hearts with all watchfulness  .” (Prov.4.23) For we have terrible and crafty foes—the evil spirits—and against them we wrestle, as the Apostle said, “Not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph.6.12) Great is their number in the air around us, and they are not far from us. Now there are great distinctions among them; and concerning their nature and distinctions much could be said, but such a description is for others of greater powers than we possess. But at this time it is pressing and necessary for us only to know their wiles against ourselves.

21. Ἔστω δὲ ἡμῖν ἀγὼν͵ ὥστε μὴ τυραννεῖν ἡμῶν θυμὸν͵ μηδὲ κρατεῖν ἡμῶν ἐπιθυμίαν. Γέγραπται γὰρ͵ ὅτι Ὀργὴ ἀνδρὸς δικαιοσύνην Θεοῦ οὐ κατεργά ζεται· ἡ δὲ ἐπιθυμία͵ συλλαβοῦσα͵ τίκτει ἁμαρ τίαν· ἡ δὲ ἁμαρτία͵ ἀποτελεσθεῖσα ἀποκύει θά νατον. Οὕτω δὲ πολιτευόμενοι νήφωμεν ἀσφαλῶς· καὶ͵ ὡς γέγραπται͵ πάσῃ φυλακῇ τηρῶμεν ἑαυ τῶν τὴν καρδίαν. Ἐχθροὺς γὰρ ἔχομεν δεινοὺς καὶ πανούργους͵ τοὺς πονηροὺς δαίμονας· καὶ πρὸς τού τους ἐστὶν ἡμῖν ἡ πάλη͵ ὡς εἶπεν ὁ Ἀπόστολος· Οὐ πρὸς αἷμα καὶ σάρκα͵ ἀλλὰ πρὸς τὰς ἀρχὰς͵ καὶ 876 πρὸς τὰς ἐξουσίας͵ πρὸς τοὺς κοσμοκράτορας τοῦ σκότους τούτου͵ πρὸς τὰ πνευματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας͵ ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις. Πολὺς μὲν οὖν ἐστιν αὐτῶν ὁ ὄχλος ἐν τῷ καθ΄ ἡμᾶς ἀέρι͵ καὶ μακρὰν οὐκ εἰσὶν ἀφ΄ ἡμῶν· πολλὴ δέ τίς ἐστιν ἐν αὐτοῖς ἡ διαφορά. Καὶ περὶ μὲν τῆς φύσεως αὐτῶν καὶ τῆς διαφορᾶς πολὺς ἂν εἴη λόγος͵ καὶ ἄλλων μει ζόνων ἢ καθ΄ ἡμᾶς ἐστι τὸ τοιοῦτον διήγημα· τὸ δὲ νῦν κατεπεῖγον καὶ ἀναγκαῖον ἡμῖν͵ γνῶναί ἐστι μό νον τὰς καθ΄ ἡμῶν αὐτῶν πανουργίας

[2] Demonic Tricks (§22-29)

 

 

 

[2]  Demonic Tricks 

 [ch.s 22-29]

 

 

22. First, therefore, we must know this: that the demons have not been created like what we mean when we call them by that name; for God made nothing evil, but even they have been made good. Having fallen, however, from the heavenly wisdom, since then they have been groveling on earth. On the one hand they deceived the Greeks with their displays, while out of envy of us Christians they move all things in their desire to hinder us from entry into the heavens; in order that we should not ascend up thither from whence they fell. Thus there is need of much prayer and of discipline, that when a man has received through the Spirit the gift of discerning spirits, he may have power to recognise their characteristics: which of them are less and which more evil; of what nature is the special pursuit of each, and how each of them is overthrown and cast out. For their villainies and the changes in their plots are many. The blessed Apostle and his followers knew such things when they said, “for we are not ignorant of his devices  ;” (2 Cor.2.11) and we, from the temptations we have suffered at their hands, ought to correct one another under them. Wherefore I, having had proof of them, speak as to children.

22. Πρῶτον τοίνυν τοῦτο γινώσκωμεν͵ ὅτι οἱ δαίμονες οὐ καθ΄ ὃ δαίμονες καλοῦνται͵ οὕτω γεγό νασιν· οὐδὲν γὰρ κακὸν ἐποίησεν ὁ Θεός· ἀλλὰ καλοὶ μὲν γεγόνασι καὶ αὐτοὶ͵ ἐκπεσόντες δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς οὐ ρανίου φρονήσεως͵ καὶ λοιπὸν περὶ τὴν γῆν καλιν δούμενοι͵ τοὺς μὲν Ἕλληνας ἠπάτησαν ταῖς φαντα σίαις͵ ἡμῖν δὲ τοῖς Χριστιανοῖς φθονοῦντες͵ πάντα κινοῦσι͵ θέλοντες ἐμποδίζειν ἡμᾶς τῆς εἰς οὐρανοὺς ἀνόδου· ἵνα μὴ ὅθεν ἐξέπεσον αὐτοὶ ἀνέλθωμεν ἡμεῖς. Δι΄ ὃ καὶ πολλῆς εὐχῆς͵ καὶ ἀσκήσεώς ἐστι χρεία· ἵνα τις͵ λαβὼν διὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος χάρισμα διακρί σεως πνευμάτων͵ γνῶναι δυνηθῇ τὰ κατ΄ αὐτούς· καὶ τίνες μὲν αὐτῶν εἰσιν ἔλαττον φαῦλοι͵ τίνες δὲ ἐκείνων φαυλότεροι͵ καὶ περὶ ποῖον ἐπιτήδευμα ἕκαστος αὐτῶν ἔχει τὴν σπουδὴν͵ καὶ πῶς ἕκαστος αὐτῶν ἀνατρέπεται καὶ ἐκβάλλεται. Πολλὰ γὰρ αὐ τῶν ἐστι τὰ πανουργεύματα͵ καὶ τὰ τῆς ἐπιβουλῆς κινήματα. Ὁ μὲν οὖν μακάριος Ἀπόστολος καὶ οἱ κατ΄ αὐτὸν ᾔδεισαν τὰ τοιαῦτα λέγοντες· Οὐ γὰρ αὐ τοῦ τὰ νοήματα ἀγνοοῦμεν· ἡμεῖς δὲ ἀφ΄ ὧν ἐπει ράθημεν παρ΄ αὐτῶν͵ ὀφείλομεν ἀλλήλους ὑπ΄ αὐτῶν διορθοῦσθαι. Ἐγὼ γοῦν͵ ἐκ μέρους πεῖραν αὐτῶν ἔχων͵ ὡς τέκνοις λέγω.

 

 

 

 

23. ‘The demons, therefore, if they see all Christians, and monks especially, labouring cheerfully and advancing, first make an attack by temptation and place hindrances to hamper our way, to wit, evil thoughts. But we need not fear their suggestions, for by prayer, fasting, and faith in the Lord their attack immediately fails. But even when it does they cease not, but knavishly by subtlety come on again. For when they cannot deceive the heart openly with foul pleasures they approach in different guise, and thenceforth shaping displays they attempt to strike fear, changing their shapes, taking the forms of women, wild beasts, creeping things, gigantic bodies, and troops of soldiers. But not even then need ye fear their deceitful displays. For they are nothing and quickly disappear, especially if a man fortify himself beforehand with faith and the sign of the cross  (cf. §13). Yet are they bold and very shameless, for if thus they are worsted they make an onslaught in another manner, and pretend to prophesy and foretell the future, and to shew themselves of a height reaching to the roof and of great breadth; that they may stealthily catch by such displays those who could not be deceived by their arguments. If here also they find the soul strengthened by faith and a hopeful mind, then they bring their leader to their aid.

23. Οὗτοι μὲν οὖν͵ ἐὰν ἴδωσι καὶ πάντας μὲν 877 Χριστιανοὺς͵ μάλιστα δὲ μοναχοὺς͵ φιλοπονοῦντας καὶ προκόπτοντας͵ πρῶτον μὲν ἐπιχειροῦσι καὶ πειρά ζουσιν͵ ἐχόμενα τρίβου τιθέντες σκάνδαλα· σκάνδαλα δὲ αὐτῶν εἰσιν οἱ πονηροὶ λογισμοί. Οὐ δεῖ δὲ ἡμᾶς φοβεῖσθαι τὰς ὑποβολὰς αὐτῶν· εὐχαῖς γὰρ καὶ νηστείαις καὶ τῇ εἰς τὸν Κύριον πίστει πίπτουσιν εὐθὺς ἐκεῖνοι. Ἀλλὰ καὶ πεσόντες οὐ παύονται͵ αὖ θις δὲ πάλιν προσέρχονται πανούργως καὶ δολίως. Ἐπειδὰν γὰρ ἐκ φανεροῦ καὶ ῥυπαρᾶς ἡδονῆς μὴ δυνηθῶσιν ἀπατῆσαι τὴν καρδίαν͵ ἄλλως πάλιν ἐπιβαίνουσι· καὶ λοιπὸν φαντασίας ἀναπλάττοντες ἐκφοβεῖν προσποιοῦνται͵ μετασχηματιζόμενοι͵ καὶ μιμούμενοι γυναῖκας͵ θηρία͵ ἑρπετὰ͵ καὶ μεγέθη σωμάτων͵ καὶ πλῆθος στρατιωτῶν. Ἀλλ΄ οὐδὲ οὕτως δεῖ τὰς τούτων φαντασίας δειλιᾷν· οὐδὲν γάρ εἰσιν͵ ἀλλὰ καὶ ταχέως ἀφανίζονται· ἐὰν μάλιστα τῇ πίστει καὶ τῷ σημείῳ τοῦ σταυροῦ ἑαυτόν τις περι φράττῃ. Τολμηροὶ δέ εἰσι καὶ λίαν ἀναιδεῖς. Ἐὰν γὰρ καὶ οὕτως ἡττηθῶσιν͵ ἄλλῳ τρόπῳ πάλιν ἐπι βαίνουσι. Καὶ προσποιοῦνται μαντεύεσθαι͵ καὶ προ λέγειν τὰ μεθ΄ ἡμέρας ἐρχόμενα͵ δεικνύειν τε ἑαυ τοὺς ὑψηλοὺς ἄχρι τῆς στέγης φθάνοντας͵ καὶ πλατεῖς τῷ μεγέθει· ἵνα οὓς οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν ἀπατῆσαι τοῖς λογισμοῖς͵ κἂν ταῖς τοιαύταις φαντασίαις ὑφαρπά σωσιν. Ἐὰν δὲ καὶ οὕτως εὕρωσι τὴν ψυχὴν ἠσφαλισμένην τῇ πίστει͵ καὶ τῇ ἐλπίδι τῆς διανοίας͵ λοιπὸν ἐπάγονται τὸν ἄρχοντα ἑαυτῶν

 

 

 

 

24. ‘And he said they often appeared as the Lord revealed the devil to Job, saying, “His eyes are as the morning star. From his mouth proceed burning lamps and hearths of fire are cast forth. The smoke of a furnace blazing with the fire of coals proceeds from his nostrils. His breath is coals and from his mouth issues flame  .” (Job 41.18, Job 41.19, Job 41.20 (vv.9–11, LXX.) When the prince of the demons appears in this wise, the crafty one, as I said before, strikes terror by speaking great things, as again the Lord convicted him saying to Job, for “he counteth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood, yea he counteth the sea as a pot of ointment, and the depth of the abyss as a captive, and the abyss as a covered walk  .” (Job 41.27 sq) And by the prophet, “the enemy said, I will pursue and overtake  ,” (Exod.15.9) and again by another, “I will grasp the whole world in my hand as a nest, and take it up as eggs that have been left  .” (Isai.10.14, cf.Ep Aeg.2) Such, in a word, are their boasts and professions that they may deceive the godly. But not even then ought we, the faithful, to fear his appearance or give heed to his words. For he is a liar and speaketh of truth never a word. And though speaking words so many and so great in his boldness, without doubt, like a dragon he was drawn with a hook by the Saviour  (Job 41.1), and as a beast of burden he received the halter round his nostrils, and as a runaway his nostrils were bound with a ring, and his lips bored with an armlet  (Job 41.1.-2.Cf.Job 40.19–24). And he was bound by the Lord as a sparrow, that we should mock him. And with him are placed the demons his fellows, like serpents and scorpions to be trodden underfoot by us Christians. And the proof of this is that we now live opposed to him. For he who threatened to dry the sea and seize upon the world, behold now cannot stay our discipline, nor even me speaking against him. Let us then heed not his words, for he is a liar: and let us not fear his visions, seeing that they themselves are deceptive. For that which appears in them is no true light, but they are rather the preludes and likenesses of the fire prepared for the demons who attempt to terrify men with those flames in which they themselves will be burned. Doubtless they appear; but in a moment disappear again, hurting none of the faithful, but bringing with them the likeness of that fire which is about to receive themselves. Wherefore it is unfitting that we should fear them on account of these things; for through the grace of Christ all their practices are in vain.

24. Καὶ φαίνεσθαι αὐτοὺς πολλάκις ἔλεγε τοιού τους͵ οἷον τὸν διάβολον τῷ Ἰὼβ ὁ Κύριος ἀπεκάλυψε͵ λέγων· Οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ αὐτοῦ ὡς εἶδος ἑωσφόρου. Ἐκ στόματος αὐτοῦ ἐκπορεύονται λαμπάδες και όμεναι͵ καὶ διαῤῥιπτοῦνται ἐσχάραι πυρός· ἐκ μυκτήρων αὐτοῦ ἐκπορεύεται καπνὸς καμίνου καιομένης πυρὶ ἀνθράκων. Ἡ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ ἄν θρακες· φλὸξ δὲ ἐκ στόματος αὐτοῦ ἐκπορεύε ται. Τοιοῦτος δὲ φαινόμενος ὁ τῶν δαιμονίων ἄρχων͵ ἐκφοβεῖ͵ καθὰ προεῖπον͵ μεγάλα λαλῶν ὁ πανοῦργος͵ ὡς πάλιν ἐξήλεγξεν αὐτὸν ὁ Κύριος͵ τῷ μὲν Ἰὼβ 880 λέγων· ῞Ηγηται μὲν γὰρ σίδηρον ἄχυρα͵ χαλκὸν δὲ ὥσπερ ξύλον σαθρόν· ἥγηται δὲ θάλασσαν ὥσπερ ἐξάλειπτρον͵ τὸν δὲ τάρταρον τῆς ἀβύσ σου ὥσπερ αἰχμάλωτον· ἐλογίσατο ἄβυσσον ὡς περίπατον· διὰ δὲ τοῦ προφήτου· Εἶπεν ὁ ἐχθρός· Διώξας καταλήψομαι· καὶ πάλιν δι΄ ἑτέρου· Τὴν οἰκουμένην ὅλην καταλήψομαι τῇ χειρί μου͵ ὡς νεοσσιὰν͵ καὶ ὡς καταλελειμμένα ὠὰ ἀρῶ. Καὶ ὅλως τοιαῦτα κομπάζειν ἐπιχειροῦσι͵ καὶ ἐπαγγέλ λονται ταῦτα͵ ὅπως ἀπατήσωσι τοὺς θεοσεβοῦν τας. Ἀλλ΄ ἡμᾶς οὐδ΄ οὕτως πάλιν χρὴ τοὺς πιστοὺς τάς τε φαντασίας αὐτοῦ φοβεῖσθαι͵ καὶ ταῖς φωναῖς αὐτοῦ προσέχειν. Ψεύδεται γὰρ͵ καὶ οὐδὲν ὅλως ἀλη θὲς λαλεῖ. Ἀμέλει τοιαῦτα καὶ τοσαῦτα λαλῶν καὶ θρασυνόμενος͵ ὡς μὲν δράκων εἱλκύσθη τῷ ἀγκίστρῳ παρὰ τοῦ Σωτῆρος͵ ὡς δὲ κτῆνος φορβαίαν ἔλαβε περὶ τὰς ῥῖνας͵ ὡς δὲ δραπέτης κρίκῳ δέδεται τοὺς μυκτῆρας͵ καὶ ψελλίῳ τετρύπηται τὰ χείλη. Καὶ δέδεται μὲν παρὰ τοῦ Κυρίου ὡς στρουθίον͵ εἰς τὸ καταπαίζεσθαι παρ΄ ἡμῶν· τέθεινται δὲ αὐτός τε καὶ οἱ σὺν αὐτῷ δαίμονες͵ ὡς σκορπίοι καὶ ὄφεις͵ εἰς τὸ καταπατεῖσθαι παρ΄ ἡμῶν τῶν Χριστιανῶν. Καὶ τούτου γνώρισμα͵ τὸ νῦν ἡμᾶς πολιτεύεσθαι κατ΄ αὐτοῦ. Ὁ γὰρ τὴν θάλασσαν ἐπαγγελλόμενος ἐξαλεί φειν καὶ τὴν οἰκουμένην καταλαμβάνειν͵ ἰδοὺ νῦν οὐ δύναται κωλῦσαι τὴν ἄσκησιν ὑμῶν͵ ἀλλ΄ οὐδὲ ἐμὲ λαλοῦντα κατ΄ αὐτοῦ. Μὴ τοίνυν προσέχωμεν οἷς ἂν λαλῇ (ψεύδεται γὰρ)͵ μηδὲ δειλιῶμεν αὐτοῦ τὰς φαν τασίας͵ ψευδεῖς καὶ αὐτὰς τυγχανούσας. Οὐ γὰρ φῶς ἐστιν ἀληθὲς τὸ φαινόμενον ἐν αὐταῖς· τοῦ δὲ ἡτοιμασμένου πυρὸς αὐτοῖς μᾶλλον τὰ προοίμια καὶ τὰς εἰκόνας φέρουσι· καὶ ἐν οἷς κατακαίεσθαι μέλ λουσιν͵ ἐν τούτοις ἐκφοβεῖν τοὺς ἀνθρώπους πειρά ζουσιν. Ἀμέλει φαίνονται͵ καὶ παρ΄ αὐτὰ πάλιν ἀφα νίζονται· βλάψαντες μὲν οὐδένα τῶν πιστῶν͵ φέροντες 881 δὲ μεθ΄ ἑαυτῶν τὴν ἀφομοίωσιν τοῦ μέλλοντος αὐτοὺς δέχεσθαι πυρός. Ὅθεν οὐδὲ οὕτως φοβεῖσθαι τούτους προσήκει· πάντα γὰρ αὐτῶν διὰ τὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ χάριν εἰς οὐδέν ἐστι τὰ ἐπιτηδεύματα.

 

 

 

 

25. ‘Again they are treacherous, and are ready to change themselves into all forms and assume all appearances. Very often also without appearing they imitate the music of harp and voice, and recall the words of Scripture. Sometimes, too, while we are reading they immediately repeat many times, like an echo, what is read. They arouse us from our sleep to prayers; and this constantly, hardly allowing us to sleep at all. At another time they assume the appearance of monks and feign the speech of holy men, that by their similarity they may deceive and thus drag their victims where they will. 25. Δόλιοι δέ εἰσι καὶ ἕτοιμοι πρὸς πάντα μετα βάλλεσθαι καὶ μετασχηματίζεσθαι. Πολλάκις γοῦν καὶ ψάλλειν μετ΄ ᾠδῆς προσποιοῦνται μὴ φαινόμε νοι͵ καὶ μνημονεύουσι τῶν ἀπὸ τῶν Γραφῶν λέξεων· ἔστι δὲ ὅτε καὶ ἀναγινωσκόντων ἡμῶν͵ εὐθὺς ὥσπερ ἠχὼ λέγουσιν αὐτοὶ τὰ αὐτὰ πολλάκις ἅπερ ἀνέγνω σται· καὶ κοιμωμένους ἡμᾶς διεγείρουσιν εἰς προσευχάς· καὶ τοῦτο συνεχῶς ποιοῦσι͵ σχεδὸν μὴ ἐπιτρέποντες ἡμῖν μηδὲ κοιμᾶσθαι. Ἔστι δὲ ὅτε καὶ ἀποτυποῦντες ἑαυτοὺς εἰς σχήματα μοναχῶν͵ ὡς εὐ λαβεῖς προσποιοῦνται λαλεῖν͵ ἵνα τῷ ὁμοίῳ σχή ματι πλανήσωσι͵ καὶ λοιπὸν ἔνθα θέλουσιν ἑλκύσωσι τοὺς ἀπατηθέντας παρ΄ αὐτῶν.

But no heed must be paid them even if they arouse to prayer, even if they counsel us not to eat at all, even though they seem to accuse and cast shame upon us for those things which once they allowed. For they do this not for the sake of piety or truth, but that they may carry off the simple to despair; and that they may say the discipline is useless, and make men loathe the solitary life as a trouble and burden, and hinder those who in spite of them walk in it.

 Ἀλλ΄ οὐ χρὴ προσέχειν αὐτοῖς͵ κἂν εἰς προσευχὴν διεγείρωσι͵ κἂν συμβουλεύωσι μήθ΄ ὅλως ἐσθίειν͵ κἂν κατηγορεῖν καὶ ὀνειδίζειν προσποιῶνται͵ ἐν οἷς ποτε συν έγνωσαν ἡμῖν. Οὐ γὰρ δι΄ εὐλάβειαν ἢ ἀλήθειαν ταῦτα ποιοῦσιν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἵνα τοὺς ἀκεραίους εἰς ἀπό γνωσιν ἐνέγκωσιν͵ καὶ ἀνωφελῆ τὴν ἄσκησιν εἴπωσι͵ ναυτιᾶσαί τε ποιήσωσι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους͵ ὡς φορτικοῦ καὶ βαρυτάτου ὄντος τοῦ μονήρους βίου͵ καὶ ἐμποδίσωσι τοὺς κατ΄ αὐτῶν πολιτευομένους.

 

 

 

 

26. ‘Wherefore the prophet sent by the Lord declared them to be wretched, saying: “Wo is he who giveth his neighbours to drink muddy destruction  .” (Habak.2.15.LXX) For such practices and devices are subversive of the way which leads to virtue. And the Lord Himself, even if the demons spoke the truth,—for they said truly “You are the Son of God  ” (Luke 4.41)—still bridled their mouths and suffered them not to speak; lest haply they should sow their evil along with the truth, and that He might accustom us never to give heed to them even though they appear to speak what is true. For it is unseemly that we, having the holy Scriptures and freedom from the Saviour, should be taught by the devil who hath not kept his own order but hath gone from one mind to another  (ετερα ανθʼ ετερων, as in de Incar.11.4). Wherefore even when he uses the language of Scripture He forbids him, saying: “But to the sinner said God, Wherefore dost you declare My ordinances and takest My covenant in thy mouth  ?” (Ps.50.16, Ep Aeg.3) For the demons do all things—they prate, they confuse, they dissemble, they confound— to deceive the simple. They din, laugh madly, and whistle; but if no heed is paid to them forthwith they weep and lament as though vanquished.’

26. Ὁ μὲν οὖν προφήτης ἀποσταλεὶς παρὰ τοῦ Κυρίου͵ ἐταλάνιζε τοὺς τοιούτους λέγων· Οὐαὶ ὁ πο τίζων τὸν πλησίον αὐτοῦ ἀνατροπὴν θολεράν. Τὰ γὰρ τοιαῦτα ἐπιτηδεύματα καὶ ἐνθυμήματα ἀνα τρεπτικὰ τῆς εἰς ἀρετὴν φερούσης ἐστὶν ὁδοῦ. Ὁ δὲ Κύριος αὐτὸς δι΄ ἑαυτοῦ͵ καίτοι τἀληθῆ λέγοντας τοὺς δαίμονας (ἀληθῆ γὰρ ἔλεγον· Σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱὸς Θεοῦ) ὅμως ἐφίμου͵ καὶ λαλεῖν ἐκώλυε͵ μή ποτε μετὰ τῆς ἀληθείας καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν κακίαν ἐπισπείρωσι͵ καὶ ἵνα καὶ ἡμᾶς συνεθίσῃ͵ μηδέποτε τοῖς τοιούτοις προσ έχειν͵ κἂν δοκῶσι τἀληθῆ λέγειν· καὶ γὰρ ἀπρεπὲς͵ ἔχοντας ἡμᾶς τὰς ἁγίας Γραφὰς͵ καὶ τὴν παρὰ τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἐλευθερίαν͵ διδάσκεσθαι παρὰ τοῦ διαβόλου͵ τοῦ μὴ τηρήσαντος τὴν ἰδίαν τάξιν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἕτερα ἀνθ΄ ἑτέρων φρονήσαντος. Διὰ τοῦτο καὶ λαλοῦντα τοῦτον τὰς ἀπὸ τῶν Γραφῶν λέξεις κωλύει λέγων· Τῷ δὲ ἁμαρτωλῷ εἶπεν ὁ Θεός· Ἵνα τί σὺ ἐκδιηγῇ τὰ 884 δικαιώματά μου͵ καὶ ἀναλαμβάνεις τὴν διαθήκην μου διὰ στόματός σου; Πάντα γὰρ ποιοῦσι͵ καὶ λαλοῦσι͵ καὶ θορυβοῦσι͵ καὶ ὑποκρίνονται͵ καὶ ταράττουσι πρὸς ἀπάτην τῶν ἀκεραίων. Καὶ κτύπους γοῦν ποιοῦσι͵ καὶ γελῶσιν ἀφρόνως καὶ συρίττουσιν· ἂν δὲ μή τις αὐτοῖς προσέχῃ͵ λοιπὸν κλαίουσι καὶ θρηνοῦσιν ὡς ἡττηθέντες.

 

 

 

 

27. ‘The Lord therefore, as God, stayed the mouths of the demons: and it is fitting that we, taught by the saints, should do like them and imitate their courage. For they when they saw these things used to say: “When the sinner rose against me, I was dumb and humble, and kept silence from good words  .” (Ps.39.2) And again: “But I was as a deaf man and heard not, and as a dumb man who openeth not his mouth, and I became as a man who heareth not  .” (Ps.38.14) So let us neither hear them as being strangers to us, nor give heed to them even through they arouse us to prayer and speak concerning fasting. But let us rather apply ourselves to our resolve of discipline, and let us not be deceived by them who do all things in deceit, even though they threaten death. For they are weak and can do nothing but threaten.

Ὁ μὲν οὖν Κύριος ὡς Θεὸς ἐφίμου τοὺς δαίμονας· ἡμᾶς δὲ͵ μαθόντας ἀπὸ τῶν ἁγίων͵ πρέπει κατ΄ ἐκείνους ποιεῖν͵ καὶ μιμεῖσθαι τὴν ἀνδρίαν αὐ τῶν. Καὶ γὰρ κἀκεῖνοι ταῦτα βλέποντες ἔλεγον· Ἐν τῷ συστῆναι τὸν ἁμαρτωλὸν ἐναντίον μου͵ ἐκωφώθην͵ καὶ ἐταπεινώθην͵ καὶ ἐσίγησα ἐξ ἀγα θῶν· καὶ πάλιν· Ἐγὼ δὲ ὡσεὶ κωφὸς οὐκ ἤκουον͵ καὶ ὡσεὶ ἄλαλος οὐκ ἀνοίγων τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ. Καὶ ἐγενήθην ὡσεὶ ἄνθρωπος οὐκ ἀκούων. Οὐκοῦν καὶ ἡμεῖς μήτε ἀκούωμεν αὐτῶν ὡς ἀλλο τρίων ὄντων ἡμῶν͵ μήτε ὑπακούωμεν αὐτῶν͵ κἂν εἰς εὐχὴν ἐγείρωσι͵ κἂν λαλῶσι περὶ νηστειῶν· τῇ δὲ προθέσει τῆς ἀσκήσεως ἑαυτῶν μᾶλλον προσέχωμεν͵ καὶ μὴ παρ΄ ἐκείνων ἀπατώμεθα πάντα πραττόντων μετὰ δόλου. Οὐ δεῖ δὲ φοβεῖσθαι αὐτοὺς͵ κἂν ἐπέρ χεσθαι δοκῶσι͵ κἂν θάνατον ἀπειλῶσιν· ἀσθενεῖς γάρ εἰσι͵ καὶ οὐδὲν δύνανται͵ ἢ μόνον ἀπειλεῖν.

 

 

 

 

   

28. ‘Already in passing I have spoken on these things, and now I must not shrink from speaking on them at greater length, for to put you in remembrance will be a source of safety. Since the Lord visited earth  (Cf.de Incar.47, 48), the enemy is fallen and his powers weakened. Wherefore although he could do nothing, still like a tyrant, he did not bear his fall quietly, but threatened, though his threats were words only. And let each one of you consider this, and he will be able to despise the demons. Now if they were hampered with such bodies as we are, it would be possible for them to say, “Men when they are hidden we cannot find, but whenever we do find them we do them hurt.” And we also by lying in concealment could escape them, shutting the doors against them. But if they are not of such a nature as this, but are able to enter in, though the doors be shut, and haunt all the air, both they and their leader the devil, and are wishful for evil and ready to injure; and, as the Saviour said, “From the beginning the devil is a manslayer and a father of vice  ;” (John 8.44.) while we, though this is so, are alive, and spend our lives all the more in opposing him; it is plain they are powerless. For place is no hindrance to their plots, nor do they look on us as friends that they should spare us; nor are they lovers of good that they should amend. But on the contrary they are evil, and nothing is so much sought after by them as wounding them that love virtue and fear God. But since they have no power to effect anything, they do nothing but threaten. But if they could, they would not hesitate, but forthwith work evil (for all their desire is set on this), and especially against us. Behold now we are gathered together and speak against them, and they know when we advance they grow weak. If therefore they had power they would permit none of us Christians to live, for godliness is an abomination to a sinner  (Eccl.us. 1.25). But since they can do nothing they inflict the greater wounds on themselves; for they can fulfil none of their threats. Next this ought to be considered, that we may be in no fear of them: that if they had the power they would not come in crowds, nor fashion displays, nor with change of form would they frame deceits. But it would suffice that one only should come and accomplish that which he was both able and willing to do: especially as every one who has the power neither slays with display nor strikes fear with tumult, but forthwith makes full use of his authority as he wishes. But the demons as they have no power are like actors on the stage changing their shape and frightening children with tumultuous apparition and various forms: from which they ought rather to be despised as showing their weakness. At least the true angel of the Lord sent against the Assyrian had no need for tumults nor displays from without, nor noises nor rattlings, but in quiet he used his power and forthwith destroyed a hundred and eighty-five thousand. But demons like these, who have no power, try to terrify at least by their displays  (2 Kings 19.35).

῎Ηδη μὲν οὖν περὶ τούτου παρερχόμενος εἴρη κα· καὶ νῦν δὲ πλατύτερον εἰπεῖν τὰ περὶ αὐτῶν οὐκ ὀκνητέον· ἀσφαλὴς γὰρ ὑμῖν ἡ ὑπόμνησις ἔσται͵ Ἐπιδημήσαντος τοῦ Κυρίου͵ πέπτωκεν ὁ ἐχθρὸς͵ καὶ ἠσθένησαν αἱ δυνάμεις αὐτοῦ. Διὰ τοῦτο γοῦν μηδὲν δυνάμενος ὅμως ὡς τύραννος͵ καὶ πεσὼν οὐκ ἠρε μεῖ͵ ἀλλὰ κἂν λόγοις μόνον ἀπειλεῖ· καὶ τοῦτο ἕκα 885 στος ὑμῶν λογιζέσθω͵ καὶ δύναται καταφρονεῖν τῶν δαιμόνων. Εἰ μὲν οὖν τοιούτοις σώμασιν ἦσαν ἐνδε θέντες͵ ὥσπερ ἐσμὲν ἡμεῖς͵ δυνατὸν ἦν αὐτοῖς λέγειν͵ ὅτι Κρυπτομένους μὲν τοὺς ἀνθρώπους οὐχ εὑρίσκο μεν͵ εὑρόντες δὲ βλάπτομεν. Ἠδυνάμεθα δὲ καὶ ἡμεῖς κρυπτόμενοι λανθάνειν αὐτοὺς͵ κλείοντες κατ΄ αὐτῶν θύρας. Εἰ δὲ οὐκ εἰσὶν οὕτως͵ ἀλλὰ κεκλεισμένων τῶν θυρῶν εἰσελθεῖν δύνανται͵ καὶ ἐν τῷ παντὶ ἀέρι τυγ χάνουσιν αὐτοί τε καὶ ὁ τούτων πρῶτος διάβολος· εἰσὶ δὲ κακοθελεῖς καὶ πρὸς τὸ βλάπτειν ἕτοιμοι͵ καὶ͵ ὡς εἶπεν ὁ Σωτὴρ͵ ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἀνθρωποκτόνος ἐστὶν ὁ τῆς κακίας πατὴρ διάβολος· ζῶμεν δὲ νῦν ἡμεῖς καὶ μᾶλ λον κατ΄ αὐτοῦ πολιτευόμεθα· δῆλοί εἰσι μηδὲν ἰσχύοντες. Οὔτε γὰρ τόπος αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ἐπιβουλεύειν κωλύει͵ οὔτε φίλους ἡμᾶς ὁρῶσιν ἑαυτῶν͵ ἵνα φεί σωνται͵ οὔτε φιλάγαθοί εἰσιν͵ ἵνα διορθώσωνται· ἀλλὰ καὶ μᾶλλόν εἰσι πονηροί· καὶ οὐδὲν αὐτοῖς ἐστι περι σπούδαστον ὡς τὸ βλάπτειν τοὺς φιλαρέτους καὶ θεο σεβοῦντας. Διὰ δὲ τὸ μηδὲν δύνασθαι ποιεῖν͵ διὰ τοῦ το οὐδὲν ποιοῦσιν͵ ἢ μόνον ἀπειλοῦσιν· εἰ γὰρ ἠδύ ναντο͵ οὐκ ἂν ἔμελλον͵ ἀλλ΄ εὐθὺς ἐνήργουν τὸ κακὸν͵ ἑτοίμην ἔχοντες εἰς τοῦτο τὴν προαίρεσιν͵ καὶ μάλι στα καθ΄ ἡμῶν. Ἰδοὺ γοῦν νῦν συνελθόντες κατ΄ αὐ τῶν λαλοῦμεν͵ καὶ ἴσασιν͵ ὅτι͵ προκοπτόντων ἡμῶν͵ ἀσθενοῦσιν αὐτοί. Εἰ τοίνυν εἶχον ἐξουσίαν͵ οὐδένα ἂν ἡμῶν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀφῆκαν ζῇν· βδέλυγμα γὰρ ἁμαρτωλῷ θεοσέβεια. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ οὐδὲν δύναν ται͵ διὰ τοῦτο μᾶλλον ἑαυτοὺς τιτρώσκουσιν· ὅτι μηδὲν δύνανται ποιεῖν ὧν ἀπειλοῦσιν. Ἔπειτα κἀκεῖνο λογίζεσθαι χρὴ͵ πρὸς τὸ μὴ φοβεῖσθαι τού τους· εἰ τὸ δυνατὸν ὑπῆρχεν αὐτοῖς͵ οὐκ ἂν ἤρχοντο μετ΄ ὄχλου͵ οὐδὲ φαντασίας ἐποίουν͵ οὐδὲ μετασχη ματιζόμενοι ἐμεθόδευον· ἀλλ΄ ἤρκει καὶ μόνον ἐλθεῖν ἕνα͵ καὶ ποιῆσαι τοῦτο ὅπερ δύναται καὶ βούλεται· καὶ μάλιστα ὅτι πᾶς ὁ τὴν ἐξουσίαν ἔχων οὐ μετὰ φαντασίας ἀναιρεῖ͵ οὐδὲ τοῖς ὄχλοις ἐκφοβεῖ͵ ἀλλ΄ εὐ θὺς ὡς βούλεται τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ καταχρᾶται. Ἀλλ΄ 888 οἱ δαίμονες͵ μηδὲν δυνάμενοι͵ παίζουσιν ὡς ἐπὶ σκη νῆς͵ ἀλλάττοντες τὰς μορφὰς͵ καὶ τοὺς παῖδας ἐκφο βοῦντες͵ τῇ τῶν ὄχλων φαντασίᾳ καὶ τοῖς σχηματι σμοῖς· ἐξ ὧν μᾶλλον καταφρονητέοι ὡς ἀσθενεῖς ὀφεί λουσιν εἶναι. Ὁ γοῦν ἀληθινὸς ἄγγελος͵ ἀποσταλεὶς παρὰ τοῦ Κυρίου κατὰ τῶν Ἀσσυρίων͵ οὐ χρείαν ἔσχεν ὄχλων͵ οὐ φαντασίας τῆς ἔξωθεν͵ οὐ κτύπων͵ οὐ κρότων· ἀλλ΄ ἠρέμα τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ ἐκέχρητο͵ καὶ ἀνεῖ λεν εὐθὺς ἑκατὸν ὀγδοήκοντα πέντε χιλιάδας. Οἱ δὲ μηδὲν δυνάμενοι δαίμονες͵ οἷοί εἰσιν οὗτοι͵ κἂν ταῖς φαντασίαις ἐκφοβεῖν πειράζουσιν.

 

 

 

 

29. ‘But if any one having in mind the history of Job  (Job 1. Job 2) should say, Why then hath the devil gone forth and accomplished all things against him; and stripped him of all his possessions, and slew his children, and smote him with evil ulcers? let such a one, on the other hand, recognise that the devil was not the strong man, but God who delivered Job to him to be tried. Certainly he had no power to do anything, but he asked, and having received it, he hath wrought what he did. So also from this the enemy is the more to be condemned, for although willing he could not prevail against one just man. For if he could have, he would not have asked permission. But having asked not once but also a second time, he shows his weakness and want of power. And it is no wonder if he could do nothing against Job, when destruction would not have come even on his cattle had not God allowed it. And he has not the power over swine, for as it is written in the Gospel, they besought the Lord, saying, “Let us enter the swine  .” (Matt.8.31). But if they had power not even against swine, much less have they any over men formed (Cf.de Incar.3.3, & passim.) in the image of God.

Ἐὰν δέ τις τὰ τοῦ Ἰὼβ λογίσηται͵ καὶ εἴπῃ͵ Διὰ τί οὖν ἐξελθὼν ὁ διάβολος πάντα κατ΄ αὐτοῦ πε ποίηκε; καὶ τῶν μὲν ὑπαρχόντων αὐτὸν ἐψίλωσε͵ τὰ δὲ τέκνα ἀνεῖλε͵ καὶ ἐκεῖνον ἔπαισεν ἕλκει πονηρῷ; γινωσκέτω πάλιν ὁ τοιοῦτος͵ ὡς οὐκ ἦν ὁ διάβολος ὁ ἰσχύων͵ ἀλλ΄ ὁ Θεὸς ὁ παραδιδοὺς αὐτῷ πρὸς πεῖραν τὸν Ἰώβ· ἀμέλει μηδὲν δυνάμενος ποιῆσαι͵ ᾔτησε καὶ λαβὼν πεποίηκεν. Ὥστε καὶ ἐκ τούτου μᾶλλον καταγνωστέος ἐστὶν ὁ ἐχθρὸς͵ ὅτι͵ καίτοι θέ λων͵ οὐδὲ καθ΄ ἑνὸς ἴσχυσεν ἀνθρώπου δικαίου· εἰ γὰρ ἴσχυσεν͵ οὐκ ἂν ᾔτησεν· αἰτήσας δὲ οὐχ ἅπαξ͵ ἀλλὰ καὶ δεύτερον͵ φαίνεται ἀσθενὴς καὶ μηδὲν δυνάμενος. Καὶ οὐ θαυμαστὸν εἰ κατὰ τοῦ Ἰὼβ οὐκ ἴσχυσεν͵ ὅπου γε οὐδὲ κατὰ τῶν κτηνῶν αὐτοῦ ἐγίνετο ὄλεθρος͵ εἰ μὴ συγχωρήσας ἦν ὁ Θεός· ἀλλ΄ οὐδὲ κατὰ χοίρων ἔχει τὴν ἐξουσίαν· Παρεκάλουν γὰρ͵ ὡς ἐν τῷ Εὐαγ γελίῳ γέγραπται͵ τὸν Κύριον͵ λέγοντες· Ἐπίτρεψον ἡμῖν ἀπελθεῖν εἰς τοὺς χοίρους. Εἰ δὲ μηδὲ χοί ρων ἔχουσιν ἐξουσίαν͵ πολλῷ μᾶλλον τῶν κατ΄ εἰκόνα Θεοῦ γεγενημένων ἀνθρώπων οὐκ ἔχουσι.

[3Clarity and Foreknowledge (§ 30-34)

 

 

 

[3]  Clarity and Foreknowledge 

 [ch.s 30-34]

 

 

30. ‘So then we ought to fear God only, and despise the demons, and be in no fear of them. But the more they do these things the more let us intensify our discipline against them, for a good life and faith in God is a great weapon. At any rate they fear the fasting, the sleeplessness, the prayers, the meekness, the quietness, the contempt of money and vainglory, the humility, the love of the poor, the alms, the freedom from anger of the ascetics, and, chief of all, their piety towards Christ. Wherefore they do all things that they may not have any that trample on them, knowing the grace given to the faithful against them by the Savior, when He says, “Behold I have given to you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy  .” (Luke 10.19)

Τὸν Θεὸν ἄρα μόνον φοβεῖσθαι δεῖ· τούτων δὲ καταφρονεῖν͵ καὶ μηδ΄ ὅλως αὐτοὺς δεδιέναι. Ἀλλὰ καὶ μᾶλλον ὅσον ταῦτα ποιοῦσιν͵ ἐπιτείνωμεν ἡμεῖς τὴν ἄσκησιν κατ΄ αὐτῶν. Μέγα γὰρ ὅπλον ἐστὶ 889 κατ΄ αὐτῶν βίος ὀρθὸς͵ καὶ ἡ πρὸς Θεὸν πίστις. Φο βοῦνται γοῦν τῶν ἀσκητῶν τὴν νηστείαν͵ τὴν ἀγρυ πνίαν͵ τὰς εὐχὰς͵ τὸ πρᾶον͵ τὸ ἥσυχον͵ τὸ ἀφιλάργυ ρον͵ τὸ ἀκενόδοξον͵ τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνην͵ τὸ φιλόπτω χον͵ τὰς ἐλεημοσύνας͵ τὸ ἀόργητον͵ καὶ προηγουμέ νως τὴν εἰς τὸν Χριστὸν εὐσέβειαν. Διὰ τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ πάντα ποιοῦσιν͵ ἵνα μὴ ἔχωσι τοὺς καταπατοῦντας αὐτούς. Ἴσασι γὰρ τὴν κατ΄ αὐτῶν δοθεῖσαν χάριν τοῖς πιστοῖς παρὰ τοῦ Σωτῆρος͵ λέγοντος αὐτοῦ· Ἰδοὺ δέδωκα ὑμῖν ἐξουσίαν πατεῖν ἐπάνω ὄφεων καὶ σκορπίων͵ καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ.

 

 

 

 

31. ‘Wherefore if they pretend to foretell the future, let no one give heed, for often they announce beforehand that the brethren are coming days after. And they do come. The demons, however, do this not from any care for the hearers, but to gain their trust, and that then at length, having got them in their power, they may destroy them. Whence we must give no heed to them, but ought rather to confute them when speaking, since we do not need them. For what wonder is it, if with more subtle bodies than men have  , when they have seen them start on their journey, they surpass them in speed, and announce their coming? Just as a horseman getting a start of a man on foot announces the arrival of the latter beforehand, so in this there is no need for us to wonder at them. Ἂν τοίνυν καὶ προλέγειν ὑποκρίνωνται͵ μὴ προσποιείσθω τις. Πολλάκις γὰρ πρὸ ἡμερῶν λέγουσι τοὺς μεθ΄ ἡμέρας ἀπαντῶντας ἀδελφούς· καὶ ἔρχονται μὲν ἐκεῖνοι. Ποιοῦσι δὲ τοῦτο οὗτοι͵ οὐ κηδόμενοι τῶν ἀκουόντων͵ ἀλλ΄ ἵνα πιστεύειν αὐτοῖς πείσωσιν αὐτοὺς͵ καὶ τότε λοιπὸν ὑποχειρίους ἔχοντες͵ ἀπολέσωσιν· ὅθεν οὐ δεῖ προσέχειν αὐτοῖς͵ ἀλλὰ καὶ λέγοντας ἀνα τρέπειν χρὴ͵ ὅτι μὴ χρείαν ἔχομεν ἡμεῖς τούτων. Τί γὰρ θαυμαστὸν͵ εἰ λεπτοτέροις χρώμενοι σώμασι μᾶλλον τῶν ἀνθρώπων͵ καὶ τοὺς ἀρξαμένους ὁδεύειν ἑωρακότες͵ προλαμβάνουσι τῷ δρόμῳ καὶ ἀπαγγέλ λουσι; τοῦτο καὶ ἵππῳ τις ἐπικαθήμενος προλέγει͵ προλαμβάνων τοῦ ὁδεύοντος τοῖς ποσίν· ὥστε οὐδ΄ ἐν τούτῳ χρὴ θαυμάζειν αὐτούς.

For they know none of those things which are not yet in existence; but God only is He who knoweth all things before their birth  (Susann.42). But these, like thieves, running off first with what they see, proclaim it: to how many already have they announced our business—that we are assembled together, and discuss measures against them, before any one of us could go and tell these things. This in good truth a fleet-footed boy could do, getting far ahead of one less swift. But what I mean is this. If any one begins to walk from the Thebaid, or from any other district, before he begins to walk, they do not know whether he will walk. But when they have seen him walking they run on, and before he comes up report his approach. And so it falls out that after a few days the travelers arrive. But often the walkers turn back, and the demons prove false.’

Οὐδὲν γὰρ τῶν μὴ γενομένων προγινώσκουσιν· ἀλλὰ μόνος ὁ Θεός ἐστιν ὁ πάντα γινώσκων πρὶν γενέσεως αὐτῶν. Οὗτοι δὲ ἃ βλέπουσιν͵ ὡς κλέπται͵ προτρέχοντες ἀπαγγέλλουσι. Πόσοις νῦν τὰ ἡμῶν͵ καὶ ὅτι συνήλθομεν͵ καὶ ὁμιλοῦ μεν κατ΄ αὐτῶν σημαίνουσι͵ πρὶν παρ΄ ἡμῶν τις ἀπελ θὼν ἀπαγγείλῃ Τοῦτο δὲ καὶ παῖς τις ταχυδρό μος ποιῆσαι δύναται͵ προλαβὼν τὸν βραδύναντα. Ὃ δὲ λέγω͵ τοιοῦτόν ἐστιν. Ἄν τις ἄρξηται περιπατεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς Θηβαΐδος͵ ἢ ἀπό τινος ἄλλης χώρας͵ πρὶν μὲν ἄρξηται περιπατεῖν͵ οὐκ ἴσασιν εἰ περιπατήσει· πε ριπατοῦντα δὲ τοῦτον ἑωρακότες͵ προτρέχουσι͵ καὶ πρὶν αὐτὸν ἐλθεῖν͵ ἀπαγγέλλουσι· καὶ οὕτω συμβαίνει τού 892 τους μεθ΄ ἡμέρας ἐλθεῖν. Πολλάκις δὲ τῶν περιπα τούντων ὑποστρεφόντων͵ ἐψεύσαντο αὐτοί.

 

 

 

 

32. ‘So, too, with respect to the water of the river, they sometimes make foolish statements, For having seen that there has been much rain in the regions of Ethiopia, and knowing that they are the cause of the flood of the river before the water has come to Egypt they run on and announce it. And this men could have told, if they had as great power of running as the demons. And as David’s spy (2 Sam.18.24) going up to a lofty place saw the man approaching better than one who stayed down below, and the forerunner himself announced, before the others came up, not those things which had not taken place, but those things which were already on the way and were being accomplished, so these also prefer to labour, and declare what is happening to others simply for the sake of deceiving them. If, however, Providence meantime plans anything different for the waters or wayfarers—for Providence can do this—the demons are deceived, and those who gave heed to them cheated.’

Οὕτω καὶ περὶ τοῦ ποταμίου ὕδατος ἔστιν ὅτε φλυαροῦσιν· ἑωρακότες γὰρ πολλοὺς ὑετοὺς γινομέ νους ἐν τοῖς τῆς Αἰθιοπίας μέρεσι͵ καὶ εἰδότες͵ ὡς ἐξ ἐκείνων ἡ πλημμύρα τοῦ ποταμοῦ γίνεται͵ πρὶν ἐλ θεῖν εἰς τὴν Αἴγυπτον τὸ ὕδωρ͵ προτρέχοντες λέγουσι. Τοῦτο δ΄ ἂν καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἰρήκασιν͵ εἰ τοσοῦτον ἠδύναντο δραμεῖν͵ ὅσον ἐκεῖνοι. Καὶ ὥσπερ ὁ σκοπὸς τοῦ Δαβὶδ͵ ἀνερχόμενος εἰς ὑψηλὸν͵ μᾶλλον τοῦ κάτω μένοντος προέβλεπε τὸν ἐρχόμενον· καὶ αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ προτρέχων ἔλεγε πρὸ τῶν ἄλλων͵ οὐ τὰ μὴ γενόμενα͵ ἀλλὰ τὰ ἤδη ὁδεύοντα καὶ γινόμενα· οὕτω καὶ οὗτοι κάμνειν αἱροῦνται͵ καὶ σημαίνουσιν ἄλλοις͵ ἵνα μόνον ἀπατῶσιν· ἂν μέντοι ἡ Πρόνοια μεταξύ τι βουλεύσηται περὶ τῶν ὑδάτων ἢ τῶν ὁδευόντων (ἔξεστι γὰρ αὐτῇ)͵ ἐψεύσαντο οἱ δαίμονες͵ καὶ ἠπατήθησαν οἱ προσεσχηκότες αὐτοῖς.

 

 

 

 

33. ‘Thus in days gone by arose the oracles of the Greeks, and thus they were led astray by the demons. But thus also thenceforth their deception was brought to an end by the coming of the Lord  (De Incar.47), who brought to nothing the demons and their devices. For they know nothing of themselves, but, like thieves, what they get to know from others they pass on, and guess at rather than foretell things. Therefore if sometimes they speak the truth, let no one marvel at them for this. For experienced physicians also, since they see the same malady in different people, often foretell what it is, making it out by their acquaintance with it. Pilots, too, and farmers, from their familiarity with the weather, tell at a glance the state of the atmosphere, and forecast whether it will be stormy or fine. And no one would say that they do this by inspiration, but from experience and practice. So if the demons sometimes do the same by guesswork, let no one wonder at it or heed them. For what use to the hearers is it to know from them what is going to happen before the time? Or what concern have we to know such things, even if the knowledge be true? For it is not productive of virtue, nor is it any token of goodness. For none of us is judged for what he knows not, and no one is called blessed because he hath learning and knowledge. But each one will be called to judgment in these points—whether he have kept the faith and truly observed the commandments.’

Οὕτω συνέστη τὰ τῶν Ἑλλήνων μαντεῖα͵ καὶ οὕτως ἐπλανήθησαν παρὰ τῶν δαιμόνων τὸ πρίν· ἀλλὰ καὶ οὕτω πέπαυται λοιπὸν ἡ πλάνη. ῏Ηλθε γὰρ ὁ Κύριος ὁ σὺν αὐτῇ τῇ πανουργίᾳ αὐτῶν καὶ τοὺς δαίμονας καταργήσας. Οὐδὲν γὰρ γινώσκουσιν ἀφ΄ ἑαυτῶν· ἀλλ΄ ὡς κλέπται͵ ἃ παρ΄ ἄλλοις ὁρῶσι͵ ταῦτα διαβάλλουσι· καὶ μᾶλλον στοχασταί εἰσιν ἢ προ γνῶσται. Διὸ͵ κἂν ἀληθῆ ποτε τοιαῦτα λέγωσι͵ μηδ΄ οὕτως αὐτοὺς θαυμαζέτω τις. Καὶ γὰρ καὶ ἰατροὶ πεῖραν ἔχοντες τῶν νοσημάτων͵ ἐπειδὰν θεωρήσωσιν ἐν ἄλλοις τὴν αὐτὴν νόσον͵ πολλάκις στοχαζόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς συνηθείας προλέγουσι. Καὶ κυβερνῆται δὲ καὶ γεωργοὶ πάλιν͵ ἀπὸ τῆς συνηθείας βλέποντες τὴν τοῦ ἀέρος κατάστασιν͵ προλέγουσιν ἢ χειμῶνα ἢ εὔδιον ἀέρα ἔσεσθαι· καὶ οὐ διὰ τοῦτο ἐκ θείας ἐπιπνοίας αὐτοὺς ἄν τις εἴποι προλέγειν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἀπὸ τῆς πείρας καὶ τῆς συνηθείας. Ὅθεν εἰ καὶ οἱ δαίμονες τὰ αὐτά ποτε στοχαζόμενοι λέγουσι͵ μὴ διὰ τοῦτό τις αὐτοὺς θαυμαζέτω͵ μηδὲ προσεχέτω τούτοις. Τί γὰρ χρήσι 893 μον τοῖς ἀκούουσι τὸ εἰδέναι παρὰ τούτων πρὸ ἡμε ρῶν τὰ ἐρχόμενα; ἢ ποία σπουδὴ τὰ τοιαῦτα γινώ σκειν͵ κἂν ἀληθῶς γινώσκῃ; οὐ γὰρ ἀρετῆς ἐστι τοῦτο ποιητικὸν͵ οὐδὲ ἤθους ἀγαθοῦ πάντως ἐστὶ τοῦτο γνώ ρισμα. Οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἡμῶν κρίνεται διὰ τί οὐκ οἶδε͵ καὶ οὐδεὶς μακαρίζεται͵ ὅτι μεμάθηκε καὶ ἔγνω· ἀλλ΄ ἐν τούτοις ἕκαστος ἔχει τὴν κρίσιν͵ εἰ τὴν πίστιν τετή ρηκε͵ καὶ τὰς ἐντολὰς γνησίως ἐφύλαξεν.

 

 

 

 

34. ‘Wherefore there is no need to set much value on these things, nor for the sake of them to practise a life of discipline and labour; but that living well we may please God. And we neither ought to pray to know the future, nor to ask for it as the reward of our discipline; but our prayer should be that the Lord may be our fellow-helper for victory over the devil. Ὅθεν οὐ δεῖ περὶ πολλοῦ ταῦτα ποιεῖσθαι· οὐδὲ διὰ ταῦτα ἀσκεῖσθαι καὶ πονεῖν͵ ἵνα προ γινώσκωμεν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἵνα Θεῷ καλῶς πολιτευόμενοι ἀρέ σωμεν. Εὔχεσθαί τε χρὴ͵ οὐχ ἵνα προγινώσκωμεν͵ οὐδὲ τοῦτον τῆς ἀσκήσεως ἀπαιτεῖν μισθόν· ἀλλ΄ ἵνα συνεργὸς ἡμῖν εἰς τὴν κατὰ τοῦ διαβόλου νίκην ὁ Κύριος γένηται.

And if even once we have a desire to know the future, let us be pure in mind, for I believe that if a soul is perfectly pure and in in accordance with nature [kata phusin], it is able, being clear-sighted, to see more and further than the demons—for it has the Lord who reveals to it—like the soul of Elisha, which saw what was done  (2 Kings 5.26) by Gehazi, and beheld the hosts  (2Kings 6.17)  standing on its side.’

Εἰ δὲ ἅπαξ καὶ τοῦ προγινώσκειν ἡμῖν μέλει͵ καθαρεύωμεν τῇ διανοίᾳ. Ἐγὼ γὰρ πιστεύω͵ ὅτι καθαρεύουσα ψυχὴ πανταχόθεν͵ καὶ κατὰ φύσιν ἑστῶσα͵ δύναται͵ διορατικὴ γενομένη͵ πλείονα καὶ μακρότερα βλέπειν τῶν δαιμόνων͵ ἔχουσα τὸν ἀποκα λύπτοντα Κύριον αὐτῇ· οἵα ἦν ἡ τοῦ Ἐλισσαίου βλέ πουσα τὰ κατὰ τὸν Γιεζῆ͵ καὶ ὁρῶσα τὰς παρ΄ αὐτὴν ἑστώσας δυνάμεις.

[4]  Discernment (§35-44)

 

 

 

[4]  Discernment 

 [ch.s 35-42]

 

 

35. ‘When, therefore, they come by night to you and wish to tell the future, or say, “we are the angels,” pay no attention, for they lie. Even if they praise your discipline [ascesis] and call you blessed, hear them not, and have no dealings with them; but rather sign yourselves and your houses, and pray, and you shall see them vanish. For they are cowards, and greatly fear the sign of the Lord’s Cross, since of a truth in it the Savior stripped them, and made an example of them  (Col.2.15). But if they shamelessly stand their ground, capering and changing their forms of appearance, fear them not, nor shrink, nor heed them as though they were good spirits. Ὅταν τοίνυν νυκτὸς ἔρχωνται πρὸς ὑμᾶς͵ καὶ θέλωσι τὰ μέλλοντα λαλεῖν͵ ἢ λέγωσιν· Ἡμεῖς ἐσμεν οἱ ἄγγελοι· μὴ προσέχετε͵ ψεύδονται γάρ. Ἂν δὲ καὶ ἐπαινῶσι τὴν ἄσκησιν ὑμῶν͵ καὶ μακαρίζωσιν ὑμᾶς· μήτε ὑπακούετε͵ μήθ΄ ὅλως προσποιεῖσθε τούτους· σφραγίζετε δὲ μᾶλλον ἑαυτοὺς καὶ τὸν οἶκον͵ καὶ εὔ χεσθε· καὶ ὄψεσθε αὐτοὺς καὶ γινομένους ἀφανεῖς· δειλοὶ γάρ εἰσι͵ καὶ πάνυ φοβοῦνται τὸ σημεῖον τοῦ Κυριακοῦ σταυροῦ· ἐπειδήπερ ἐν αὐτῷ τούτους ἀπο δυσάμενος͵ παρεδειγμάτισεν ὁ Σωτήρ. Ἐὰν δὲ καὶ ἀναιδέστερον στήκωσιν͵ ἐξορχούμενοι καὶ ποικιλλό μενοι ταῖς φαντασίαις· μὴ δειλιάσητε͵ μηδὲ πτήξητε͵ μηδὲ ὡς καλοῖς αὐτοῖς προσέχητε·
FOR the presence either of the good or evil by the help of God can easily be distinguished[:] καὶ γὰρ τὴν τῶν ἀγαθῶν καὶ τῶν φαύλων παρουσίαν εὐχερὲς καὶ  896 δυνατόν ἐστι διαγνῶναι͵ τοῦ Θεοῦ διδόντος οὕτως.
THE vision of the holy ones does not cast into confusion: “For they will not strive, nor cry, nor shall any one hear their voice.” (Matt.12.19, cf. Isai. 42.2)  Ἡ μὲν γὰρ τῶν ἁγίων ὀπτασία οὐκ ἔστι τεταραγμένη. Οὐκ ἐρίσει γὰρ͵ οὔτε κραυγάσει͵ οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις τῆς φωνῆς αὐτῶν.
But it comes so [1] quietly and [2] gently that immediately Ἡσύχως δὲ καὶ πράως γίνεται οὕτως͵ ὡς εὐθὺς

[3] joy,

[4] gladness and

[5] courage

χαρὰν καὶ

ἀγαλλίασιν καὶ

 θάρσος

arise in the soul.  
For the Lord who is our joy is with them, and the power of God the Father. And the thoughts of the soul remain ἐγγίνε σθαι τῇ ψυχῇ· ἔστι γὰρ μετ΄ αὐτῶν ὁ Κύριος͵ ὅς ἐστιν ἡμῶν μὲν χαρὰ͵ τοῦ δὲ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς ἡ δύναμις· οἵ τε λογισμοὶ αὐτῆς

[6] unruffled and

[7] undisturbed, so that it,

[8] enlightened as it were with rays, beholds by itself those who appear.

ἀτάραχοι καὶ

ἀκύμαντοι διαμένουσιν· ὥστε

 καταυγαζομένην αὐτὴν ὑπ΄ αὐτῆς͵ τοὺς φαινομένους θεωρεῖν.

[9] For the urgent longing of what is divine and of the things to come possesses it, and willingly it would be wholly joined with them if it could depart along with them.

Καὶ γὰρ πόθος τῶν θείων καὶ τῶν μελλόντων αὐτῇ ἐπεισέρχεται͵ καὶ θελήσει πάντως συναφθῆναι τούτοις͵ εἰ ἀπήρχετο μετ΄ αὐτῶν.

But if, being men, some fear the vision of the good, those who appear immediately take fear away; as Gabriel  (Luke 1.13) did in the case of Zacharias, and as the angel  (Matt.28.5.) did who appeared to the women at the holy sepulchre, and as He did who said to the shepherds in the Gospel, “Fear not.” For their fear arose not from timidity, but from the recognition of the presence of superior beings. Such then is the nature of the visions of the holy ones’.

Ἐὰν δὲ καὶ͵ ὡς ἄνθρωποι͵ τινὲς φοβηθῶσι τὴν τῶν καλῶν ὀπτασίαν͵ ἀφαιροῦσιν οἱ φαινόμενοι τὸν φόβον παρ΄ αὐτὰ τῇ ἀγάπῃ· ὡς ἐποίησε Γαβριὴλ τῷ Ζαχαρίᾳ͵ καὶ ὁ φανεὶς ἄγγελος ἐν τῷ θείῳ μνημείῳ ταῖς γυναιξὶ͵ καὶ ὁ τοῖς ποιμέσι λέγων ἐν τῷ Εὐαγ γελίῳ· Μὴ φοβεῖσθε. Ἔστι γὰρ ὁ φόβος ἐκείνων οὐ κατὰ δειλίαν ψυχῆς͵ ἀλλὰ κατ΄ ἐπίγνωσιν τῆς τῶν κρειττόνων παρουσίας. Τοιαύτη μὲν οὖν ἡ τῶν ἁγίων ὀπτασία.

 

 

 

 

36.BUT the inroad and the display of the evil [ones] is fraught with confusion, with din, with sounds and cryings such as the disturbance of boorish youths or robbers would occasion. From which arise[:] Ἡ δὲ τῶν φαύλων ἐπιδρομὴ καὶ φαντασία τεταραγμένη͵ μετὰ κτύπου καὶ ἤχου καὶ κραυγῆς· οἵα ἂν γένοιτο νεωτέρων ἀπαιδεύτων καὶ λῃστῶν κίνησις. Ἐξ ὧν εὐθὺς γίνεται

[1] cowardice in the heart,

[2] tumult and confusion of thought,

[3] dejection,

 δειλία ψυχῆς

τάραχος καὶ ἀταξία λογισμῶν͵

 κατήφεια͵

[4] hatred towards them who live a life of discipline,

[5] indifference,

[6] grief,

μῖσος πρὸς τοὺς ἀσκητὰς͵

ἀκηδία͵

λύπη͵

[7] remembrance of kinsfolk and

[8] fear of death, and finally

[9] desire of evil things,

μνήμη τῶν οἰκείων͵

καὶ φόβος θανάτου·

καὶ λοιπὸν ἐπιθυμία κακῶν͵

[10] disregard of virtue and

[11] unsettled habits.

ὀλιγωρία πρὸς τὴν ἀρετὴν͵

καὶ τοῦ ἤθους ἀκαταστασία.

 

 

WHENEVER, therefore, you have contemplated and are afraid, if your fear is immediately taken away and in place of it comes Ὅταν τοίνυν θεωρήσαντές τινα φοβηθῆτε͵ ἐὰν μὲν εὐθὺς ὁ φόβος ἀφαιρεθῇ͵ καὶ ἀντ΄ ἐκείνου γένηται

[1] inexpressible joy,

[2] cheerfulness,

[3] courage,

[4] renewed strength,

χαρὰ ἀνεκλάλητος͵ καὶ

εὐθυμία͵ καὶ

θάρσος͵ καὶ

ἀνάκτησις͵

[5] calmness of thought and all those I named before[:]

[6] boldness and

[7] love toward God, —

καὶ τῶν λογισμῶν ἀταραξία͵ καὶ τὰ ἄλλα ὅσα προεῖπον͵

ἀνδρία τε καὶ

ἀγάπη εἰς τὸν Θεὸν͵

take courage and pray. θαρσεῖτε καὶ εὔχεσθε·
For joy and the [stable] state of [your] soul show the holiness of him who is present. Thus Abraham beholding the Lord rejoiced  (John 8.56); so also John  (Luke 1.41) at the voice of Mary, the God-bearer (θεοτοκος, as in Orat.3.14) , leaped for gladness. ἡ γὰρ χαρὰ καὶ ἡ κατάστασις τῆς ψυχῆς δείκνυσι τοῦ παρόντος τὴν ἁγιό τητα. Οὕτως Ἀβραὰμ ἰδὼν τὸν Κύριον ἠγαλλιάσατο· 897 καὶ ὁ Ἰωάννης͵ γενομένης φωνῆς παρὰ τῆς Θεοτόκου Μαρίας͵ ἐσκίρτησεν ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει.

 

 

BUT if at the appearance of any there is confusion, knocking without, worldly display, threats of death and the other things which I have already mentioned, know ye that it is an onslaught of evil spirits.’ Ἐὰν δὲ φανέντων τινῶν ταραχὴ γένηται͵ καὶ κτύπος ἔξωθεν͵ καὶ φαντασία κοσμικὴ͵ καὶ ἀπειλὴ θανάτου͵ καὶ ὅσα προεῖπον· γινώσκετε ὅτι φαύλων ἐστὶν ἡ ἔφοδος.

 

 

 

 

37. ‘And let this also be a token for you: Καὶ γὰρ καὶ τοῦτο γνώρισμα ὑμῖν ἔστω·

whenever the soul remains cowardly there is a presence of the enemies.

ὅτ΄ ἂν τοίνυν ἐπιμένῃ δειλιῶσα ἡ ψυχὴ͵ παρουσία τῶν ἐχθρῶν ἐστιν.

 For the demons do not take away the cowardice at their presence as the great archangel Gabriel did for Mary and Zacharias, and as he did who appeared to the women at the tomb; but rather whenever they see men afraid they increase their delusions that men may be terrified the more; and at last attacking they mock them, saying, “fall down and worship.” Thus they deceived the Greeks, and thus by them they were considered gods, falsely so called. But the Lord did not suffer us to be deceived by the devil, for He rebuked him whenever he framed such delusions against Him, saying: “Get behind me, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shall you serve  .” (Matt.4.10) More and more, therefore, let the deceiver be despised by us; for what the Lord hath said, this for our sakes He hath done: that the demons hearing like words from us may be put to flight through the Lord who rebuked them in those words.’

 Οὐ γὰρ ἀφαιροῦνται τὴν δειλίαν τῶν τοιούτων οἱ δαίμονες͵ ὥσπερ πεποίηκεν ὁ μέγας ἀρχάγγελος Γαβριὴλ τῇ Μαρίᾳ καὶ τῷ Ζαχαρίᾳ͵ καὶ ὁ φανεὶς ἐν τῷ μνημείῳ ταῖς γυναιξίν· ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ὅταν ἴδωσι δειλιῶντας͵ αὐξάνουσι τὰς φαντασίας͵ ἵνα μειζόνως αὐτοὺς καταπτήξωσι· καὶ λοιπὸν ἐπιβάν τες͵ προσπαίζωσι λέγοντες· Πεσόντες προσκυνήσατε. Τοὺς μὲν οὖν Ἕλληνας οὕτως ἠπάτησαν· οὕτως γὰρ ἐνομίσθησαν παρ΄ αὐτοῖς ψευδώνυμοι θεοί· ἡμᾶς δὲ οὐκ ἀφῆκεν ὁ Κύριος ἀπατηθῆναι παρὰ τοῦ διαβόλου͵ ὁπηνίκα τὰς τοιαύτας αὐτῷ ποιοῦντι φαντασίας ἐπιτιμῶν εἴρηκεν· Ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου͵ Σατανᾶ· γέγραπται γάρ· Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου προσκυνήσεις͵ καὶ αὐτῷ μόνῳ λατρεύσεις. Μᾶλλον οὖν καὶ μᾶλλον ὁ πανοῦργος διὰ ταῦτα καταφρονείσθω παρ΄ ἡμῶν· ὃ γὰρ εἴρηκεν ὁ Κύριος͵ τοῦτο ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν πεποίηκεν· ἵνα καὶ παρ΄ ἡμῶν ἀκούοντες οἱ δαίμονες τὰς τοιαύτας φωνὰς ἀνα τρέπωνται διὰ τὸν Κύριον͵ τὸν ἐν ταύταις αὐτοῖς ἐπιτιμήσαντα.

 

 

 

 

38. ‘And it is not fitting to boast at the casting forth of the demons, nor to be uplifted by the healing of diseases: nor is it fitting that he who casts out devils should alone be highly esteemed, while he who casts them not out should be considered nothing. But let a man learn the discipline of each one and either imitate, rival, or correct it. For the working of signs is not ours but the Savior’s work: and so He said to His disciples: “Rejoice not that the demons are subject to you, but that your names are written in the heavens  .” (Luke 10.20) For the fact that our names are written in heaven is a proof of our virtuous life, but to cast out demons is a favor of the Saviour who granted it. Wherefore to those who boasted in signs but not in virtue, and said: “Lord, in Thy name did we not cast out demons, and in Thy name did many mighty works (Matt.7.22) ?” He answered, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not;” for the Lord knows not the ways of the wicked. But we ought always to pray, as I said above, that we may receive the gift of discerning spirits; that, as it is written  (1 John 4.1), we may not believe every spirit.’

Οὐ δεῖ δὲ ἐπὶ τῷ δαίμονας ἐκβάλλειν καυχᾶ σθαι͵ οὐδ΄ ἐπὶ ταῖς θεραπείαις ἐπαίρεσθαι· οὐδὲ τὸν μὲν ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια θαυμάζειν μόνον͵ τὸν δὲ μὴ ἐκβάλλοντα ἐξουθενεῖν· ἑκάστου δὲ τὴν ἄσκησιν καταμανθανέτω τις͵ καὶ ἢ μιμείσθω καὶ ζηλούτω͵ ἢ διορθούσθω. Τὸ γὰρ ποιεῖν σημεῖα οὐχ ἡμῶν· τοῦτο Σωτῆρος ἔργον ἐστί· τοῖς γοῦν μαθηταῖς ἔλεγε· Μὴ χαίρετε͵ ὅτι τὰ δαιμόνια ὑμῖν ὑπο τάσσεται· ἀλλ΄ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν γέγραπται ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. Τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἐν οὐρανῷ γεγράφθαι 900 τὰ ὀνόματα͵ μαρτύριόν ἐστι τῆς ἡμῶν ἀρετῆς καὶ τοῦ βίου· τὸ δὲ ἐκβάλλειν δαίμονας͵ τοῦ δεδωκότος Σωτῆρός ἐστιν ἡ χάρις αὕτη. Ὅθεν τοῖς μὴ ἐν ἀρε τῇ͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐν σημείοις καυχωμένοις͵ καὶ λέγουσι· Κύ ριε͵ οὐ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι δαιμόνια ἐξεβάλο μεν͵ καὶ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι δυνάμεις πολλὰς ἐποιή σαμεν; ἀπεκρίνατο· Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν͵ οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς. Οὐ γὰρ γινώσκει Κύριος τὰς ὁδοὺς τῶν ἀσε βῶν. Καθόλου δὲ εὔχεσθαι δεῖ͵ καθὰ προεῖπον͵ λαμβάνειν χάρισμα διακρίσεως πνευμάτων· ἵνα͵ καθὼς γέγραπται͵ μὴ παντὶ πνεύματι πιστεύω μεν.

 

 

 

 

39. ‘I should have liked to speak no further and to say nothing from my own promptings, satisfied with what I have said: but lest you should think that I speak at random and believe that I detail these things without experience or truth; for this cause even though I should become as a fool, yet the Lord who hears knows the clearness of my conscience, and that it is not for my own sake, but on account of your affection towards me and at your petition that I again tell what I saw of the practices of evil spirits. How often have they called me blessed and I have cursed them in the name of the Lord! How often have they predicted the rising of the river, and I answered them, “What have you to do with it?” Once they came threatening and surrounded me like soldiers in full armor. At another time they filled the house with horses, wild beasts and creeping things, and I sang: “Some in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the Lord our God  ;” (Ps.20.7) and at the prayers they were turned to flight by the Lord. Once they came in darkness, bearing the appearance of a light, and said, “We are come to give you a light, Antony.” But I closed my eyes and prayed, and immediately the light of the wicked ones was quenched. And a few months after they came as though singing psalms and babbling the words of Scripture, “But I like a deaf man, heard not  .” (Ps.38.14) Once they shook the cell (μοναστηριον) with an earthquake, but I continued praying with unshaken heart. And after this they came again making noises, whistling and dancing. But as I prayed and lay singing psalms to myself they forthwith began to lament and weep, as if their strength had failed them. But I gave glory to the Lord who had brought down and made an example of their daring and madness.’

Ἐβουλόμην μὲν οὖν σιωπῆσαι͵ καὶ μηδὲν ἐξ ἐμαυτοῦ λέγειν͵ ἀρκεῖσθαι δὲ μόνοις τούτοις· ἵνα δὲ μὴ νομίσητε ταῦτά με λέγειν ἁπλῶς͵ ἀλλ΄ ἀπὸ πείρας καὶ ἀληθείας πιστεύσητε ταῦτά με διηγεῖσθαι· διὰ τοῦτο͵ κἂν ὡς ἄφρων γένωμαι͵ ἀλλ΄ οἶδεν ὁ ἀκούων Κύριος τὸ τοῦ συνειδότος καθαρὸν͵ καὶ ὅτι οὐ δι΄ ἐμαυτὸν͵ τῆς δὲ ὑμῶν ἀγάπης χάριν καὶ προτροπῆς͵ ἃ εἶδον τῶν δαιμόνων ἐπιτηδεύματα͵ ταῦτα πάλιν λέγω. Ποσάκις ἐμακάρισάν με͵ κἀγὼ κατηρασάμην αὐτοὺς ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου. Ποσάκις προειρήκασι περὶ τοῦ ποταμίου ὕδατος͵ κἀγὼ πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἔλεγον· Καὶ ὑμῖν τί περὶ τούτου μέλει; ῏Ηλθόν ποτε ἀπειλοῦντες͵ καὶ ἐκύκλωσάν με ὡς στρατιῶται μετὰ πανοπλίας. Καὶ ἄλλοτε ἵππων καὶ θηρίων καὶ ἑρπετῶν ἐπλήρωσαν τὸν οἶκον· κἀγὼ ἔψαλλον· Οὗτοι ἐν ἅρμασι͵ καὶ οὗτοι ἐν ἵπποις· ἡμεῖς δὲ ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου Θεοῦ ἡμῶν μεγαλυνθησόμεθα· καὶ ταῖς εὐχαῖς ἀνετράπησαν ἐκεῖνοι παρὰ τοῦ Κυ ρίου. ῏Ηλθόν ποτε ἐν σκοτίᾳ͵ φωτὸς ἔχοντες φαν τασίαν͵ καὶ ἔλεγον· ῎Ηλθομεν φᾶναί σοι͵ Ἀντώνιε· ἐγὼ δὲ͵ καμμύων τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς͵ ηὐχόμην͵ καὶ εὐθὺς ἐσβέσθη τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀσεβῶν. Καὶ μετὰ μῆνας ὀλίγους ἦλθον ὡς ψάλλοντες͵ καὶ λαλοῦντες ἀπὸ τῶν Γραφῶν· Ἐγὼ δὲ ὡσεὶ κωφὸς οὐκ ἤκουον. Ἔσει σάν ποτε τὸ μοναστήριον· ἐγὼ δὲ ηὐχόμην ἀκίνητος μένων τῷ φρονήματι. Καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα πάλιν 901 ἐλθόντες ἐκρότουν͵ ἐσύριττον͵ ὠρχοῦντο. Ὡς δὲ ηὐ χόμην͵ καὶ ἀνεκείμην ψάλλων κατ΄ ἐμαυτόν· εὐθὺς ἤρξαντο θρηνεῖν καὶ κλαίειν͵ ὥσπερ ἐξατονήσαντες· ἐγὼ δὲ ἐδόξαζον τὸν Κύριον͵ τὸν καθελόντα καὶ παραδειγματίσαντα τὴν τόλμαν καὶ τὴν μανίαν αὐτῶν.

 

 

 

 

40. ‘Once a demon exceeding high appeared with pomp, and dared to say, “I am the power of God and I am Providence, what dost you wish that I shall give thee?” But I then so much the more breathed upon him  , and spoke the name of Christ, and set about to smite him. And I seemed to have smitten him, and forthwith he, big as he was, together with all his demons, disappeared at the name of Christ. At another time, while I was fasting, he came full of craft, under the semblance of a monk, with what seemed to be loaves, and gave me counsel, saying, “Eat and cease from thy many labours. You also art a man and art like to fall sick.” But I, perceiving his device, rose up to pray; and he endured it not, for he departed, and through the door there seemed to go out as it were smoke. How often in the desert has he displayed what resembled gold, that I should only touch it and look on it. But I sang psalms against him, and he vanished away. Often they would beat me with stripes, and I repeated again and again, “Nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ  ,” (Rom.8.35) and at this they rather fell to beating one another. Nor was it I that stayed them and destroyed their power, but it was the Lord, who said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heavens;  ” (Luke 10.18) but I, children, mindful of the Apostle’s words, transferred (1 Cor.4.6) this to myself, that you might learn not to faint in discipline, nor to fear the devil nor the delusions of the demons.’

Ἐφάνη ποτὲ δαίμων ὑψηλὸς λίαν μετὰ φαντα σίας͵ καὶ τετόλμηκεν εἰπεῖν· Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ δύναμις τοῦ Θεοῦ· καὶ͵ Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ πρόνοια· τί σοι θέλεις χαρίσωμαι; Ἐγὼ δὲ τότε μᾶλλον ἐνεφύσησα κατ΄ αὐτοῦ͵ τὸν Χριστὸν ὀνομάσας͵ καὶ τύψαι τοῦτον ἐπεχείρησα· καὶ ἔδοξα τετυφέναι͵ καὶ εὐθὺς ὁ τη λικοῦτος σὺν πᾶσι τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ δαίμοσι ἠφανίσθη ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ Χριστοῦ. ῏Ηλθέ ποτε νηστεύοντός μου͵ καὶ ὡς μοναχὸς ὁ δόλιος͵ ἔχων ἄρτων φαντασίαν· καὶ συνεβούλευε λέγων· Φάγε͵ καὶ παῦσαι τῶν πολ λῶν πόνων· ἄνθρωπος εἶ καὶ σὺ͵ καὶ μέλλεις ἀσθενεῖν. Ἐγὼ δὲ͵ νοήσας αὐτοῦ τὴν μεθοδείαν͵ ἀνέστην εὔξασθαι. Κἀκεῖνος οὐκ ἤνεγκεν· ἐξέλιπε γὰρ͵ καὶ διὰ τῆς θύρας ὡς καπνὸς ἐξερχόμενος ἐφάνη. Ποσά κις ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ φαντασίαν ἔδειξε χρυσοῦ͵ ἵνα μόνον ἅψωμαι͵ καὶ βλέψω ἐγὼ δὲ κατέψαλλον αὐτοῦ͵ κἀ κεῖνος ἐτήκετο. Πολλάκις ἔκοπτόν με πληγαῖς͵ κἀγὼ ἔλεγον· Οὐδέν με χωρίσει ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Χρι στοῦ· καὶ μᾶλλον αὐτοὶ μετὰ ταῦτα κατέκοπτον ἀλ λήλους. Οὐκ ἐγὼ δὲ ἤμην ὁ παύων ἐκείνους καὶ κατ αργῶν· ἀλλ΄ ὁ Κύριος ἦν͵ ὁ λέγων· Ἐθεώρουν τὸν Σατανᾶν ὡς ἀστραπὴν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πεσόντα. Ἐγὼ δὲ͵ τέκνα͵ μνημονεύων τοῦ ἀποστολικοῦ ῥητοῦ͵ μετεσχημάτισα ταῦτα εἰς ἐμαυτὸν͵ ἵνα μάθητε μὴ ἐκκακεῖν ἐν τῇ ἀσκήσει͵ μηδὲ φοβεῖσθαι τοῦ διαβόλου καὶ τῶν δαιμόνων αὐτοῦ τὰς φαντασίας.

 

 

 

 

41. ‘And since I have become a fool in detailing these things, receive this also as an aid to your safety and fearlessness; and believe me for I do not lie. Once some one knocked at the door of my cell, and going forth I saw one who seemed of great size and tall. Then when I enquired, “Who art thou?” he said, “I am Satan.” Then when I said, “Why art you here?” he answered, “Why do the monks and all other Christians blame me undeservedly? Why do they curse me hourly?” Then I answered, “Wherefore dost you trouble them?” He said, “I am not he who troubles them, but they trouble themselves, for I am become weak. Have they not read (Ps.8.6) ,” “The swords of the enemy have come to an end, and you hast destroyed the cities?” “I have no longer a place, a weapon, a city. The Christians are spread everywhere, and at length even the desert is filled with monks. Let them take heed to themselves, and let them not curse me undeservedly.” Then I marveled at the grace of the Lord, and said to him: “You who are always a liar and never speak the truth, this finally, even against your will, you have truly spoken. For the coming of Christ has made you weak, and He has cast you down and stripped you.” But he having heard the Savior’s name, and not being able to bear the burning from it, vanished.’

  904 Καὶ ἐπειδὴ γέγονα ἄφρων διηγούμενος͵ δέξασθε καὶ τοῦτο πρὸς ἀσφάλειαν καὶ ἀφοβίαν· καὶ πιστεύσατέ μοι· οὐ ψεύδομαι γάρ. Ἔκρουσέ ποτέ τις ἐν τῷ μοναστηρίῳ τὴν ἐμὴν θύραν· καὶ ἐξελθὼν͵ εἶδόν τινα μακρὸν καὶ ὑψηλὸν φαινόμενον. Εἶτα πυ θομένου μου· Σὺ τίς εἶ; ἔφη· Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Σα τανᾶς. Εἶτα λέγοντός μου· Τί οὖν ἐνταῦθα πάρει; ἔλεγεν ἐκεῖνος· Τί μέμφονταί με μάτην οἱ μοναχοὶ͵ καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι πάντες Χριστιανοί; Τί μοι καταρῶνται καθ΄ ὥραν; Ἐμοῦ δὲ εἰπόντος· Τί γὰρ αὐτοῖς ἐν οχλεῖς; ἔφη· Οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐγὼ ὁ ἐνοχλῶν αὐτοῖς͵ ἀλλ΄ αὐτοὶ ταράττουσιν ἑαυτούς· ἐγὼ γὰρ ἀσθενὴς γέγονα. Οὐκ ἀνέγνωσαν͵ ὅτι Τοῦ ἐχθροῦ ἐξέλιπον αἱ ῥομ φαῖαι εἰς τέλος͵ καὶ πόλεις καθεῖλες; οὐκ ἔτι τόπον ἔχω͵ οὐ βέλος͵ οὐ πόλιν. Πανταχοῦ Χριστιανοὶ γεγόνασι· λοιπὸν καὶ ἡ ἔρημος πεπλήρωται μοναχῶν. Ἑαυτοὺς τηρείτωσαν͵ καὶ μὴ μάτην με καταράσθω σαν. Τότε θαυμάσας ἐγὼ τοῦ Κυρίου τὴν χάριν͵ εἶπον πρὸς αὐτόν· Ἀεὶ ψεύστης ὢν͵ καὶ μηδέποτε λέγων ἀλήθειαν͵ ὅμως τοῦτο νῦν͵ καὶ μὴ θέλων͵ εἴρηκας ἀληθές· ὁ γὰρ Χριστὸς͵ ἐλθὼν͵ ἀσθενῆ σε πεποίηκε͵ καὶ καταβαλὼν ἐγύμνωσεν. Ἐκεῖνος͵ ἀκούσας τὸ τοῦ Σωτῆρος ὄνομα͵ καὶ μὴ φέρων τὴν ἐκ τούτου καῦσιν͵ ἀφανὴς γέγονεν.

 

 

 

 

42. ‘If, therefore, the devil himself confesses that his power is gone, we ought utterly to despise both him and his demons; and since the enemy with his hounds has but devices of this sort, we, having got to know their weakness, are able to despise them. Wherefore let us not despond after this fashion, nor let us have a thought of cowardice in our heart, nor frame fears for ourselves, saying, I am afraid lest a demon should come and overthrow me; lest he should lift me up and cast me down; or lest rising against me on a sudden he confound me. Εἰ τοίνυν καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ διάβολος ὁμολογεῖ μηδὲν δύνασθαι͵ ὀφείλομεν παντελῶς καταφρονεῖν αὐτοῦ τε καὶ τῶν δαιμόνων αὐτοῦ. Ὁ μὲν οὖν ἐχθρὸς μετὰ τῶν ἑαυτοῦ κυνῶν τοσαύτας ἔχει τὰς πανουργίας· ἡμεῖς δὲ͵ μαθόντες αὐτῶν τὴν ἀσθένειαν͵ καταφρο νεῖν αὐτῶν δυνάμεθα. Τοῦτον οὖν τὸν τρόπον μὴ προ καταπίπτωμεν τῇ διανοίᾳ͵ μηδὲ λογιζώμεθα ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ δειλίας͵ μηδὲ ἀναπλάττωμεν ἑαυτοῖς φό βους͵ λέγοντες· Μὴ ἄρα δαίμων ἐλθὼν ἀνατρέψῃ με· μὴ ἄρα βαστάξας καταβάλῃ͵ ἢ ἐξαίφνης ἐπιστὰς 905 ἐκταράξῃ.

 

 

[5]  Conclusion (Think on Joy and Heaven) 

 [ch.s 42-44]

 

 

LET us not reflect on these things at all, nor let us be sorrowful as though we were perishing; Μηδ΄ ὅλως ἐνθυμώμεθα τοιαῦτα͵ μηδὲ λυπώμεθα ὡς ἀπολλύμενοι·

but rather let us be courageous and rejoice always, like those who are saved

θαῤῥῶμεν δὲ μᾶλλον καὶ χαίρωμεν ἀεὶ͵ ὡς σωζόμενοι·

Let us consider in our soul that the Lord is with us, who put the evil spirits to flight and broke their power.

καὶ λογιζώμεθα τῇ ψυχῇ͵ ὅτι Κύριος μεθ΄ ἡμῶν ἐστιν͵ ὁ τροπώσας καὶ καταργήσας αὐτούς.

Let us bear in mind and reflect that while the Lord is with us, our enemies can do nothing to us.

  Καὶ διανοώμεθα δὲ καὶ ἐνθυμώμεθα ἀεὶ͵ ὅτι͵ ὄντος τοῦ Κυρίου μεθ΄ ἡμῶν͵ οὐδὲν ἡμῖν οἱ ἐχθροὶ ποιήσουσιν.

For when they come they approach us in a form corresponding to the state in which they discover us, and adapt their delusions to the condition of mind in which they find us.  Ἐλθόντες γὰρ͵ ὁποίους ἂν εὕρωσιν ἡμᾶς͵ τοιοῦτοι καὶ αὐτοὶ γίνον ται πρὸς ἡμᾶς͵ καὶ πρὸς ἃς εὑρίσκουσιν ἐν ἡμῖν ἐννοίας͵ οὕτω καὶ αὐτοὶ τὰς φαντασίας ἀφομοιοῦσιν.
If, therefore, they find us timid and confused, they forthwith beset the place, like robbers, having found it unguarded; and what we of ourselves are thinking, they do, and more also. For if they find us faint-hearted and cowardly, they mightily increase our terror, by their delusions and threats; and with these the unhappy soul is thenceforth tormented.  Ἐὰν μὲν οὖν δειλιῶντας εὕρωσι καὶ ταραττομένους͵ εὐθὺς αὐτοὶ͵ ὡς λῃσταὶ͵ τὸν τόπον ἀφύλακτον εὑρόν τες͵ ἐπιβαίνουσι· καὶ ὅπερ ἀφ΄ ἑαυτῶν λογιζόμεθα͵ τοῦτο μετὰ προσθήκης ποιοῦσιν. Ἐὰν γὰρ βλέ πωσιν ἡμᾶς φοβουμένους καὶ δειλιῶντας͵ μειζόνως αὐξάνουσι τὴν δειλίαν ἐν ταῖς φαντασίαις καὶ ταῖς ἀπειλαῖς͵ καὶ λοιπὸν ἐν τούτοις ἡ ταλαίπωρος κολά ζεται ψυχή·
But if they see us ἐὰν δὲ

rejoicing in the Lord,

χαίροντας ἡμᾶς εὕρωσιν ἐν Κυρίῳ͵

reflecting on [our] future bliss,

καὶ λογιζομένους περὶ τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν͵

considering the things of the Lord[:]

καὶ ἐνθυμουμένους τὰ τοῦ Κυρίου͵

deeming all things in His hand,

and that no evil spirit has any strength against the Christian,

nor any power at all over any one —

 καὶ διαλογιζομένους͵ ὅτι πάντα ἐν χειρὶ Κυρίου ἐστὶ͵

  καὶ οὐδὲν ἰσχύει δαίμων κατὰ Χριστιανοῦ͵

 οὐδὲ ὅλως ἐξουσίαν ἔχει κατά τινος·

when they behold the soul fortified with these thoughts  they are discomfited and turned backwards.  βλέποντες ἠσφαλισμέ νην τὴν ψυχὴν τοῖς τοιούτοις λογισμοῖς͵ ἀποστρέφον ται κατῃσχυμμένοι.
Thus the enemy, seeing Job fenced round with them, withdrew from him; but finding Judas unguarded, him he took captive. Οὕτως τὸν μὲν Ἰὼβ ἰδὼν ὁ ἐχθρὸς περιπεφραγμένον͵ ἀνεχώρησεν ἀπ΄ αὐτοῦ· τὸν δὲ Ἰούδαν γυμνὸν ἀπὸ τούτων εὑρὼν͵ ᾐχμαλώτισεν.
Thus if we wish to despise the enemy,  Ὥστε͵ εἰ θέλομεν καταφρονεῖν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ͵

let us always reflect [inwardly] on the things of the Lord,

λογιζώμεθα ἀεὶ τὰ τοῦ Κυρίου͵

and let the soul ever rejoice in hope.

καὶ χαιρέτω ἀεὶ ἡ ψυχὴ τῇ ἐλπίδι·

And we shall see the snares of the demon are like smoke, and the evil ones themselves flee rather than pursue. For they are, as I said before, exceeding fearful, ever looking forward to the fire prepared for them.’

καὶ ὀψόμεθα ὡς καπνὸν τὰ τῶν δαιμόνων παίγνια͵ καὶ μᾶλλον φεύγοντας αὐτοὺς ἢ διώκοντας. Εἰσὶ γὰρ λίαν αὐτοὶ͵ καθὰ προεῖπον͵ δειλοὶ͵ προσδο κῶντες ἀεὶ τὸ ἡτοιμασμένον αὐτοῖς πῦρ. Καὶ τοῦτο δὲ πρὸς ἀφοβίαν κατ΄ ἐκείνων ἔχετε παρ΄ ἑαυτοῖς τὸ τεκμήριον·

 

 

 

 

43. ‘And for your fearlessness against them hold this sure sign—whenever there is any apparition, be not prostrate with fear, but whatsoever it be, first boldly ask, “Who are you, and where do you come from?” Ὅταν τις φαντασία γένηται͵ μὴ προκατάπιπτε ἐν δειλίᾳ͵ ἀλλ΄ ὁποία ἂν ᾖ͵ θαῤῥῶν ἐρώτα πρῶτον· Τίς εἶ σὺ͵ καὶ πόθεν;

And if it should be a vision of holy ones they will assure you, and change your fear into joy.

908 Καὶ ἐὰν μὲν ᾖ ἁγίων ὀπτασία͵ πληροφοροῦσί σε͵ καὶ τὸν φόβον σου εἰς χαρὰν μεταβάλλουσιν·

But if the vision should be from the devil, immediately it becomes feeble, beholding your firm purpose of mind.

ἐὰν δὲ δια βολική τις ᾖ͵ εὐθὺς ἐξασθενεῖ͵ βλέπουσα ἐῤῥωμένην τὴν διάνοιαν·

 For merely to ask, “Who are you, and where do you come from?” is a proof of calmness. By thus asking, the son of Nun learned who his helper was (Josh.5.13);  nor did the enemy escape the questioning of Daniel  (Susann.51–59).’

 ἀταραξίας γὰρ τεκμήριον τὸ ὅλως πυνθάνεσθαι· Τίς εἶ͵ καὶ πόθεν; Οὕτως ὁ μὲν τοῦ Ναυῆ͵ ἐρωτήσας͵ ἔμαθεν· ὁ δὲ ἐχθρὸς οὐκ ἔλαθεν ἐρωτήσαντα τὸν Δανιήλ.

 

 

 

 

44. While Antony was thus speaking all rejoiced; in some the love of virtue increased, in others carelessness was thrown aside, the self-conceit of others was stopped; and all were persuaded to despise the demonic assaults, and marveled at the grace given to Antony from the Lord for the discerning of spirits.

Ταῦτα διαλεγομένου τοῦ Ἀντωνίου͵ πάντες ἔχαιρον· καὶ τῶν μὲν ὁ ἔρως τῆς ἀρετῆς ηὔξανε͵ τῶν δὲ ἡ ὀλιγωρία παρεκβαλεῖτο͵ καὶ ἄλλων ἡ οἴησις ἐπαύετο· πάντες τε ἐπείθοντο καταφρονεῖν τῆς δαιμονικῆς ἐπιβουλῆς͵ θαυμάζοντες τὴν δοθεῖσαν παρὰ τοῦ Κυρίου Ἀντωνίῳ χάριν εἰς τὴν διάκρισιν τῶν πνευμάτων.

Thus were their monasteries in the mountains, like tents filled with divine choirs who[:] ῏Ην οὖν ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσι τὰ μοναστήρια ὡς σκηναὶ πεπληρωμέναι θείων χορῶν͵

[1] sang psalms,

[2] loved reading,

[3] fasted,

ψαλλόντων͵

 φιλολογούντων͵

νηστευόντων͵

[4] prayed,

[5] rejoiced in the hope of things to come,

εὐχομένων͵

ἀγαλλιωμένων ἐπὶ τῇ τῶν μελλόντων ἐλπίδι͵

[6] labored in almsgiving,

[7] and preserved love and harmony with one another.

καὶ ἐργα ζομένων εἰς τὸ ποιεῖν ἐλεημοσύνας͵

ἀγάπην τε καὶ συμφωνίαν ἐχόντων εἰς ἀλλήλους.

 

 

 

 

And truly it was possible, as it were, to behold a land set by itself, filled with piety and justice. For there was [among them] neither the evil-doer, nor the injured, nor the reproaches of the tax-gatherer: but instead a multitude of ascetics; Καὶ ἦν ἀληθῶς ἰδεῖν ὥσπερ χώραν τινὰ καθ΄ ἑαυτὴν οὖσαν θεοσε βείας καὶ δικαιοσύνης. Οὐκ ἦν γὰρ ἐκεῖ ὁ ἀδικῶν ἢ ὁ ἀδικούμενος͵ οὐδὲ μέμψις φορολόγου· ἀλλὰ πλῆθος μὲν ἀσκητῶν͵

and the [sole] aspiration of them all was for virtue.

 ἓν δὲ τῶν πάντων εἰς ἀρετὴν τὸ φρόνημα·

 So that any one beholding the cells again, and seeing such good order among the monks, would lift up his voice and say, ‘How goodly are thy dwellings, O Jacob, and thy tents, O Israel; as shady glens and as a garden by a river; as tents which the Lord hath pitched, and like cedars near waters  (Num.24.5, Num.24.6).’  ὥστε ἰδόντα τινὰ πάλιν τὰ μοναστήρια͵ καὶ τὴν τοιαύτην τῶν μοναχῶν τάξιν͵ ἀναφωνῆσαι καὶ εἰπεῖν· Ὡς καλοί σου οἱ οἶκοι͵ Ἰακὼβ͵ αἱ σκηναί σου͵ Ἰσραήλ ὡσεὶ νάπαι σκιάζουσαι͵ καὶ ὡσεὶ παράδεισος ἐπὶ ποταμὸν͵ καὶ ὡσεὶ σκηναὶ͵ ἃς ἔπηξεν ὁ Κύριος͵ καὶ ὡσεὶ κέδροι παρ΄ ὕδασιν.

Virtue is the soul's original state of goodness.

When one turns inward one discovers battles with the demons.

Effects of the demons are the classical lists of monastic vices

The key is to stay focused on the joys of heaven, and attend only to things that increase or create such joy.

Antony's gift is the grace of discerning spirits


This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 1990....x....  .