Early Church Fathers
50 One ms. adds, "and concerning those who did not know this mystery." In another the chapter is divided, and this is the heading of the second part.
51 Or "this discourse concerning virtue."
52 [Alluding to the apostles, who are called in the beginning of ch. 15, "the best men of their age." Were it our province to criticise, we might notice the contrariety of such expressions as these to the account which Scripture gives us of those "unlearned and ignorant men," the feeble, and, in themselves, fallible instruments, whom God selected to further his wondrous designs of mercy to a ruined world.-Bag.] Were it in our province to criticise the critic, we might notice that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and refer to the whole Book of Proverbs. Any just conception of wisdom or true learning says the same thing. The man who knows that God and not fusij or tuxh manages the universe, is more learned than the wisest of those learned in things which are not so.
53 Christophorson extends ch. 10 to this point, and here introduces ch. II, with the heading "On the coming of Our Lord in the flesh; its nature and cause."
54 Preserved, preserver, and preservation = saved, saviour, and salvation. This represents the N. T. idea better than the popular conception which confuses Christ our Saviour with Christ our Redeemer. Redemption was a necessary part of his effort for our salvation, but the salvation itself was a saving, in literal English preserving. We have been redeemed; we are being saved.
55 Bag. follows here Valesius' translation and note where he makes the word "preservation" a conjectural emendation of Scaliger, inconsistent with the meaning of the passage, and omits translating "the cause of all things that exist." But Hein. does not even hint such reading, and his text (followed also by Molz.), so far from tending to disturb the whole meaning, gives much the more intelligent conception. Christ is the preserver (saviour) of things. Preservation of things is the effect of that cause, just as the Father is the cause of the Son, and the Son the effect of that cause. Therefore they preserver precedes created things as a cause precedes its effect.
56 Valesius expresses a preference for the reading kaqodou (advent) here instead of kaqolou (universal), but the latter is the reading of Heinichen, and undoubtedly correct. Bag. has followed Valesius.
57 "New mode" is a paraphrase supported by only one ms. The real meaning of noqhn is well expressed by Chr., "alienam quandam a communi hominum natura nascendi rationem sibi ex-cogitavit." Its usual meaning is "illegitimate."
58 This is supposed to refer to Heb. i. 3, although a different Greek word is used.
59 Various suggestions have been made regarding the dove which according to the literal rendering "flew from the ark of Noah." Christophorson (according to Valesius) supposes it to be that dove which Noah formerly sent out of the ark, this dove being a figure of the Holy Spirit which was afterward to come in the Virgin. Jerome, Ep. ad Oc., also regards the Noachic dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Vales., followed by 1711 and Bag., prefer to translate as if it were "like that," &c. This form of the story, according to which the Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove, is according to Valesius from the Apochrypha; perhaps, he suggests, from the "Gospel to the Hebrews." In later art the dove is the constant symbol of the Holy Spirit, and is often found in pictures of the annunciation, e.g. in pictures by Simeone Memmi, Dürer, Andrea del Sarto, and many others. It is found in six of the pictures of the annunciation given by Mrs. Jameson (Legends of the Madonna, p. 165 sq.).
60 The author seems to have here a reference to the Aristotelian distinction between prudence and wisdom (cf. Ethics, 6. 3; 7. 8, &c.). It reminds of that passage (vi. 7, ed. Grant ad. ii. 165-166), where the two are distinguished and defined, wisdom being "concerned with the immutable, and prudence with the variable"; and a little farther along wisdom is distinguished from "statesmanship," i.e. the "social" of Bag., which is a form of "prudence" (tr. Williams, p. 160), and indeed (vi. 8. 1) generically identical with prudence. So again (1, 2) "political art" is identified with ethics.
61 Social virtues or "political" virtues. Cf. the "political art" or "statesmanship" of Aristotle.
62 [Pollou cronou, "for a considerable time." This seems to be a rhetorical addition to the circumstances of the miracle, scarcely to be justified by the terms of the inspired narrative.-Bag.]
63 At this point Christophorson begins his chapter xii., "of those who did not know the mystery," &c.
64 The translator takes most extraordinary liberties with the word "philanthropy"; now it is "loving-kindness," now "love of their fellow-men," and so on in picturesque variety, and yet as appropriate as it is lacking in uniformity.
65 Cf. Rom. viii. 25; Gal. v. 5.
66 [The text, in the last clause of this passage, is undoubtedly corrupt. The above is an attempt to supply a probable sense.-Bag.] This is omitted by Hein. from his text.
67 i.e. healing the paralytics. This paraphrased passage reads more literally, "bidding those bereft of sense [i.e. sensation, feeling] to feel again." Still it may be that Molz. is right in thinking it refers to the senses-seeing, hearing, &c.-as well as feeling, though his translation will-hardly stand; "and to such as lacked any of the senses he granted the full use of all their senses again."
68 Literally and better, "through the confession." It refers to those who are technically known as confessors. Although in general the distinction prevails by which those who have suffered, but not unto death, are called "confessors," while those who lost their lives are called "martyrs" (cf. Pseud-Cypr. de dupl. Mart. c. 31), yet its use for martyrs is not uncommon (cf. Ambrose, ad Gratian, c. 2). Later the term was used of all, especially faithful professors of Christ.
69 Cf. John xvii. 3; 1 John v. 19-20.
70 This translation "to whom" accords with the reading of Valesius, followed by 1611, Molz., "Zimmermann," Cous. ("whose cause he has sustained"), but Hein. adopts the reading "who," preceded by Chr., who translates "who himself bravely endured martyrdom."
71 [Alluding to the tapers, &c., lighted at the tombs of martyrs on the anniversary of their death.-Bag.] Compare Scudamore, Lights, The Ceremnonial Use of, in Smith and Cheetham, Dict. 1 (1880), 993 sq.
73 [The text of this passage is defective. The conjectural restoration of Valesius, which seems probable, is chiefly followed.-Bag.] Heinichen, like Christophorson and Savil before him, "does not hesitate," with one of the mss., to omit this passage.
74 This is following with Heinichen, and meets the conjecture of Valesius as over against the mss. and other conjectures, which, substituting mania for omoia, read "for if it be madness to liken these things to him," &c.
75 Or "sensible"; i.e. world of sense or perception.
76 This is the word often rendered by Bag. as "spiritual."
77 This is supposed to refer to Rev. ii. 7-10; Rev iii. 11, &c. It might well have in mind Col. iii. 2-4, or best of all Rev. xxi. 7, as containing the thought of victory (nikaw = "overcome").
78 This accords with the "margin of the Geneva Edition," and mentioned by Valesius, who gives also "in the Saviour's commands" and "in the Father's commands," which latter is adopted by Heinichen.
79 Matt. xxvi. 52; for "all they that take the sword shall perish by the sword." Note the characteristic inflation of style. Matthew takes eight words, the English translators twelve, Constantine sixteen, and his translator twenty-two ponderous words.
80 Val. prefers proj ("besides") to para ("likewise, at the same time"), and is followed by Bag.
81 Not in text. This parenthesis is the least obnoxious of various proposed paraphrases.
82 Probably refers to its destruction by Diocletian, whom Constantine accompanied. See Prolegomena, Life, Early Years.
83 The text of this passage is most dubious. Bag., following Valesius, translates: "And an actual witness of the wretched fate which has befallen these cities. Memphis lies desolate; that city which was the pride of the once mighty Pharaoh whose power Moses crushed at the Divine command." This has been changed to accord with the text and punctuation of Heinichen. The change makes Constantine declare himself an eye-witness of the fate of Memphis alone, which is thought to accord with the facts; for while he was in fact in Egypt with Diocletian there is no evidence that he ever saw Babylon. And yet it is possible he did.
86 The sage commentators on this passage have thought it incumbent to explain and, as it were, apologize for the apparent tautology, "wise men or philosophers,-whichever you choose to call them" (Val. and Hein.). Colloquially speaking, there is a vast difference between being a philosopher and being a wise man. Probably this is no slip of style nor gracious option of language such as the editors impute, but some more or less clear distinction of technical terms.
87 "Spirit exhibited by these brethren in suffering martyrdom."
88 Molz. remarks that to get any intelligent meaning out of this mass of sounding words, the translator often has to guess and translate very freely.
89 [Anaireqeeishj keraunwn bolaij. This must be regarded as a rhetorical rather than historical allusion to the extinction of the Assyrian Empire. The critical reader will not fail to mark occasional instances of inaccuracy and looseness of statement in this chapter, and generally in the course of the oration.-Bag.] Valesius objects to this passage as follows in the language of 1711: "Neither do I well understand that. For Men, Towns, and Cities may be destroyed by Thunder-bolts, ...But, truly I can't see how a kingdom could be ruined by Thunder."
90 Constantine evidently believed in an eternal Christ.
91 "He adjudged to perish by the self-same sentence, and shut them up in the lions' den," is bracketed by Valesius and the second clause omitted by Bag.
92 "Eliminated them all." Valesius calls attention to the characteristic slight inaccuracies of our author! e.g. in the Biblical account (1) it was not the magi; (2) it was not Cambyses.
93 "Of their own selves."
94 [Daughter of Tiresias, and priestess at Delphi. She was called Sibyl, on account of the wildness of her looks and expressions when she delivered oracles (Lempriere in voc.).-Bag.]
95 [ 9Idrwsei gar xqwn, k.t.l.-Bag.]