Dionysius the Areopagite, Works (1897

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Dionysius the Areopagite

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Dionysius the Areopagite, Works (1897)
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/dionysius/works.html
Dionysius the Areopagite
Parker, John (Translator)
Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library
James Parker and Co, London: 1897
London: James Parker and Co, 1897
public domain
2005-02-14
Transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2004
All; Classic; Mysticism

Dionysius the Areopagite, Works (1897)

Dionysius the Areopagite

Table of Contents
About This Book. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Title Page - Volume 1.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Volume 1.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Prefatory Material. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Principal Works on Dionysius the Areopagite.
Books to Be Read. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
On Divine Names. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Preface to the “Divine Names.”. . . . . . . . . .
On Divine Names. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput I.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput II.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput III.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput IV.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput V.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput VI.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput VII.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput VIII.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput IX.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput X.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput XI.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput XII.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput XIII.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Note. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mystic Theology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Preface to Mystic Theology.. . . . . . . . . . . .
Mystic Theology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput I.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput II.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput III.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput IV.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caput V.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Letters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Preface to the Letters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Letters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Letter I. To Gaius Therapeutes.. . . . . . . . .
iii

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p. ii
p. 1
p. 3
p. 3
p. 3
p. 4
p. 6
p. 6
p. 9
p. 9
p. 14
p. 21
p. 23
p. 41
p. 46
p. 47
p. 51
p. 54
p. 58
p. 59
p. 63
p. 64
p. 66
p. 67
p. 67
p. 67
p. 67
p. 69
p. 69
p. 70
p. 71
p. 71
p. 71
p. 72
p. 72

To the same Gaius. . . what the bowl. . . p.. . . . . . p. asking by letter what is the house of wisdom. . . . . . . . . . . . . p. . . .. . . .Volume 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . . . . . To Demophilus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . p. . p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. . . . . . . 103 On the Heavenly Hierarchy. . . . Philosopher. . 102 Dedication. 134 iv . . . . . . 131 Caput XIV. . . p. . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . p. . . . . . . . . 84 Letter X. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Letter VI. .Dionysius the Areopagite. 75 Letter VIII. . . . . . . . . . 134 Caput XV. . . . 110 Caput I. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and kindness. . . . . . . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Therapeutes. p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. . 102 Prefatory Material. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bishop of the Athenians. . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. . . . Apostle and Evangelist. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . p.. . . . . 120 Caput VII. . . 126 Caput X. p. . . 91 Preface to Liturgy. . . . . . . . 111 Caput III. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. . 124 Caput IX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Letter V. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . p. and what are its meats and drinks?. . . . . . . . . . . .. 102 Books to Be Read. . . . . . . . 110 Caput II. . . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . . . 92 Objections to Genuineness. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Letter XI. . . . p. . . . Theologos. . . . . . . . 129 Caput XII. . . . . . 74 Letter VII. 73 Letter IV. . . . . . . . . . .. Dionysius to Apollophanes. . . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Letter IX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 Caput VIII. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. . . . . . 116 Caput IV. . To Polycarp—Hierarch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 117 Caput V. p. . . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . To the same Gaius Therapeutes. To the same Gaius Therapeutes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . To Titus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . imprisoned in the Isle of Patmos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . To Sopatros—Priest. p. . . . . p.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . . 130 Caput XIII. 101 Volume 2. . . . . 73 Letter III. . . 91 Liturgy of St. . . . Leitourgos. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Dionysius the Areopagite and the Alexandrine School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 128 Caput XI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. About minding ones own business. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Title Page . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . To John. . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Liturgy. . . . .. . . . . . . Hierarch. . . .. p. To Dorotheus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dionysius. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Letter II. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. .. . . . . 102 Contents. .. . . . . .. . . . p. . p. . . . . .. . 120 Caput VI. . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . . p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . v . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . Latin Words and Phrases. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apostolic Traditions Generally in Abeyance. . . Appendix. . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 171 p. . . p. . . . . . . . .. . . Caput V. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index of Pages of the Print Edition. . . List of Bishops. . . . 191 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 p. . . . . . . . 187 p. . Caput Ii. . . . . . Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. . . . . . . . . 187 p. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . 165 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Caput VII. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Caput VI. . . . . Indexes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Caput IV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189 p. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 p. . . . . Caput I. 143 p. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Greek Words and Phrases. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 . .. . . . . . . . . . Caput III. . . . . . . . . 159 p. . . .Dionysius the Areopagite. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . Index of Scripture References. . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 p. . . . . . . . . . .

Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite vi .Dionysius the Areopagite.

” “How charming is Divine Philosophy! Not harsh and crabbed.” James Parker and Co. But musical as is Apollo’s lute. NOW FIRST TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH. DEDICATED TO L’ABBÉ J. 6 SOUTHAMPTON-STREET. STRAND.. as dull fools suppose. C. 1897.A. AND 27 BROAD-STREET. LONDON. Dawes. OXFORD. Author of “Christianity Chronologically Confirmed. for careful revision of the translation.Dionysius the Areopagite. BY THE REV.. . JOHN PARKER. FABRE D’ENVIEU. M. A. M.” “Why am I a Christian ?” “Dionysius the Areopagite. FROM THE ORIGINAL GREEK. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite THE WORKS OF DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE. My thanks are due to Miss M.

tantos et tales meruisti suscipere sacerdotes. IN THANKFUL RECOGNITION OF THE CONFIRMATION GIVEN TO THE FAITH. DENIS. BY HIS “LIVRE DU PROPHÈTE DANIEL.” Felix es Gallia! quae. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite HON. v 2 .Dionysius the Areopagite. CANON OF ST.

and Ecc. Add. Frère Jean de St. Paraphrase. Joseph Huzaja. Migne (Paris). Phocas. Latin. 530. German. 12151-2. 22370. Fabure Stapulensis. bar. Syriac. Sergius of Edessa. H. Lupton. Monseigneur Darboy. Parker. Ficinnus. Cel. 490. Hier.D. B. 3 . A. Sergius of Ras’ain. Antwerp. Dr. Johannes Scotus.. J. Ceslaus Maria Schneider. Balthasar Corderius. Rev. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite PRINCIPAL WORKS ON DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE. Venice. Dean Colet by Rev. J. Commentaries. Dean Colet French. Johannes Sarracinus. Translations. Mus. English. Editions. François. John of Scythopolis. L’Abbé Dulac. Ambrosius Camaldulensis.Dionysius the Areopagite.

Baltenweck. Pearson. Victor. Robert of Lincoln.” Cambridge.Dionysius the Areopagite. Bishop of Dara. Erasmus.D. Hilduinus Areopagatica. Trophime d’Arles. Altona. “Refutation of all heresies. 1893. “Ignatii vindiciae.” 1642. Canon Bernard. Maximus. 1863. Migne. George Smith. 31. Vidieu. 1625-7. 1884. vi BOOKS TO BE READ Vindiciae Areopagaticae.E. C. John Murray. 1563. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite John. “Ratio verae.. Scholia. The Conversion of India.” 1859. St. 4 . Jahn. J.” 1889. premier evêque de Paris. Pachymera. Bishop of Alexandria. St. 1888. Vives. Hugo of St. Denis l’Areopagite. Galenus. J. St. “Areopagitica. A. 1889.I. Schneider. Dionysius. Theodore. “Responsio ad De duobus Dionysiis. St. Paris. Zarudi of Edessa. bar. Sergius of Ras’ain. “Dionysiaca. L’Abbé Barras. Myrothecum sacrorum Elaeochrismaton. religionis. 9th Century.” Hippolytus.” with two letters of “Vossius. Dexter’s Chronicon. 1702. John of Salisbury. Thomas Aquinas. Tom. Millet. Albertus Magnus. Denis. Dionysius Carthusianus. Sutter. Firmin Didot. La question de l’authenticité des écrits Rixheim.” Regensburg. Göttingen.” and “Institutio. 250. Manz.

D. J. 5 . 7189). Paul’s visit to Athens was fourteen years after the darkness in Egypt. 1666. 16 Editions. There is another pathetic letter to Timothy describing the martyrdom of St. Hipler. St. translation of which is promised by Professor A. Paris. Leyden. superb MSS. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite WORKS AGAINST GENUINENESS. and the Book of Hierotheus (Add. A. and p. Brill. 660. There is. p. Leyden. no doubt as seen in death. which were publicly read and found to agree with St. Paris. Dionysius sent to fetch his notes. 15th century.D. Schneider II. which would place the conversion of Dionysius A. Launoy. Nirschl. between 1498 and 1600. a letter in Latin from Dionysius to St. Histpolit Blatter. 44. In the Bibliothèque Nationale. Preface to the “Divine Names” ix DIVINE NAMES 1 Note — Ignatius 128 Preface to Mystic Theology 129 MYSTIC THEOLOGY 130 1 See Science de Dieu. Paul.Dionysius the Areopagite. Daillé. and 40 Treatises. in which he speaks of the beauty of the blessed Virgin. 1660. In Bibliothèque Nationale. and his own desolation. 1888. L. in the Vatican. in the Lateran. made in Egypt. Rich. Paul described the Crucifixion in his speech at Athens. Unfortunately the Codex produced at the Greek and Latin Council. 12 Editions. 1886. Paul. CONTENTS PAGE PRINCIPAL WORKS ON DIONYSIUS THE v AREOPAGITE BOOKS TO BE READ vi WORKS AGAINST GENUINENESS ib. Manz. In Rome there are many editions. in which it is stated that when St. 1848. p. 257-2701 vii In British Museum there are about 30 Editions. E. the whole Library in the tower of Santa Francisca having been destroyed in 1219. is not in the Vatican. Frothingham. Montet. Paul. both as to day and hour. 229. with marginal scholia. vol. It says. 172-184. Avignon. 1861. there is an autobiography in Syriac.

“by which we know. in a form more easily understood. even as we are known.Dionysius the Areopagite. and can only be known through that union with God. is Life and God. by some startling phraseology. It does not pretend to describe the unrevealed God. Paul. on the question of Exemplars2 and some other points. some of the lost writings of Dionysius are in part preserved in those writers and in Clement of Alexandria. in a style which Daillé confesses to be always of the same “colour. is God. Most probably. The Treatise. But.” proves only a very meagre acquaintance with Dionysius. § 2. Who is beyond expression and conception. The phrase of Luther. is called “father of God4.” as “brother of God” David. as a matter of fact. “the Lord’s brother3. and Holy Ghost. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Preface to the Letters of Dionysius the Areopagite 139 LETTERS OF AREOPAGITE DIONYSIUS Preface to Liturgy THE 141 185 LITURGY OF ST DIONYSIUS. born of a pure Virgin. Ἀδελφόθεος. the 2 3 4 C. but Dionysius is the Master. we need not be sensitive as to the admission of Plato’s authority.” Holy Scripture is the sole authority. Paul. Θεοπάτορ. and was so versed in the Pentateuch.” When speaking of the entombment of the Blessed Virgin. from whom was born Christ after the flesh. 6 . and further that Jesus is God. Who made all things. The Greek language is moulded in a marvellous manner to express the newly revealed Christian Faith in its most exalted form. that of Plato and Aristotle . but Plato and Aristotle are not authorities here. naturally. Like St. beyond which we must neither think nor speak of Almighty God.” x THE Treatise on “Divine Names” was written by Dionysius. and the Hypostatic Union. Dionysius affirms that He. Its purpose is to explain the epithets in Holy Scripture applied alike to the whole Godhead—Father. Son.” and Pearson. for the purpose of exploding the puerile supposition that such complex writings as these could have been evolved from the elementary treatises of Proclus and Plotinus.” thus testifying that Jesus. He describes the miracles of Jesus as being. rather than Christianising. “always like itself. and at the instigation of Hierotheus. He speaks of James.” Jahn has followed Dionysius step by step in order to trace the connection between the language of Plato and Dionysius. When Plato treated his Hebrew instructor with such reverence. “Platonising. the phraseology is. to express. who was his chief instructor after St. being written by one of the most learned Greeks. BISHOP OF 187 THE ATHENIANS OBJECTIONS TO GENUINENESS 202 PREFACE TO THE “DIVINE NAMES. the opinions of Plato are expressly refuted. as it were. he speaks of her body as the “Life-springing” and “God-receptive body. at the request of Timothy. V. the more abstract Treatise of Hierotheus. not Pupil! The works are very distinct and precise upon the Divinity of Christ.

at the request of a delegation from India for that purpose. xiii Jerome informs us (Scr. and which in later times became prominent in the Church. Dionysius anticipated many errors—ancient and modern. Pantaenus found a copy of the Hebrew Gospel of St. and become liberated from all. having stood apart from all existing things. It is “the most Divine knowledge of Almighty God. is Elymas. that St. There is a tradition that Dionysius erected the altar in Athens “to God unknown. The Earlier Years of Christianity. 12. in that country. when thou hast cast away all.” Thus. Pantaenus discovered. “Divine Gloom” is the darkness from excessive light. Can we reasonably doubt that Pantaenus took 5 6 7 As beyond knowledge. There are two words. Growse. Paul to have been contemporaneous with the Crucifixion. by manifestation of the truth. 193. and intellectual efforts. leave behind both sensible perception. p. p. Works (1897) xi xii Dionysius the Areopagite new and God-incarnate energy of God become Man. p. which he observed in Egypt. In refuting these heresies. within the union beyond mind. on his arrival. Who is above all things known. by Demetrius. Now. Bartholomew (one of the twelve) had preached the coming of Jesus Christ. contained in the Scholia of Maximus. and also by the extract from a letter of the same Dionysius.—that the negative of abstraction denotes the superlative positive. He formed an eclectic system from the Old Testament and the Christian Faith. Vidieu. recently discovered in the British Museum7 (Nos. 12151-2). For by the resistless and absolute ecstacy from thyself. Dionysius exhorts Timothy thus. Matthew in India. Paul adapt his discourse at Athens to the conversion of Dionysius? The only heresiarch. and all objects of sense and intelligence. and then.Dionysius the Areopagite. we must pass beyond all things known.” as author of the inexplicable darkness. Bishop of Toledo. Pressensé. thou. being illuminated by the unsearchable wisdom. were disciples of Simon before their conversion to Christ.” which illustrate a principle running through these writings. Simon Magus. ἀγνώστως—unknowingly5.—to the union with Him above every essence and knowledge. “Agnosia” and “Divine Gloom. to India. O dear Timothy. 7 . if we would attain the highest conception of Him.—“But. by the extract. and found afterwards from St. Did St. 271. “Agnosia” is neither ignorance nor knowledge intensified: but a supra-knowledge of Him. having dismissed itself. thou wilt be carried high to the superessential ray of the Divine darkness. whom Dionysius mentions by name. Bishop of that city. A. and He is still to be worshipped unknowingly. The tenets of Elymas are described by Hippolytus. 46) that Pantaenus6. “Who passeth all understanding. the Sorcerer. by F. was sent. The History of Mathurâ (Muttra). and all things being. S. when the mind.” In the Mystic Theology.” God “unknown” is still the God of Dionysius. II. we know that the writings of Dionysius the Areopagite were known and treasured in Alexandria a few years after the death of Pantaenus. Flavius Clemens and Eugenius. and be raised aloft as far as attainable.D. Vol. The newly-coined words indicate an original thinker moulding the Greek language to a newly acquired faith. has been united to the superluminous rays—thence and there. a man of great intellectual attainments and a considerable author. Ecc. one of the most celebrated Christian philosophers of Alexandria. 73. on the glorification of the Divine Name. and all things being and not being. and with Cerinthus and Carpocrates originated many heresies to which the apostolic epistles allude. and lie passive under the illuminating ray of God. from the Scholia of Dionysius of Alexandria (250) upon the Divine Names. Conversion of India. in all purity.

15—31. and presenting the books of the “Divine Names “to him. and not through the most ignorant.— “in vivis”—although his first Timothy. to whom the works of Dionysius were originally dedicated. 851. on account of his excellent disposition. Bishop of Ephesus. those who naturally and properly followed his lead. J. 55. Dionysius was first converted. 98. 119. and the more abstract works of Hierotheus. 334.Dionysius the Areopagite. 8 . Among the earliest Bishops of Toledo.” Râmânuja as “non-dual. John. 97. xv Bivarius says he was of the house and family of Caesar. From the archives of the Church of Toledo and other cities he compiled a chronicle from A. He resided two years in Toledo. enrolled both Chronicle and Author amongst his “illustrious men. and the “Divine Names?” Sankara treats of the Supreme as “absolutely One. in the best and only effectual way—by communities and not by individuals—through the most learned and devout. Timothy. on account of his noble birth.—Marcellus. was martyred during the reign of Nerva. Râmânuja’s explained. the Metropolitan of Persia.” p. A.D. giving a brief summary of the Church events in Spain.” Both these truths are combined and expressed in Dionysius. &c. A. 8 9 Sankara’s doctrine. Timothy.” p. signed also as “of the great India.D. Johannes. A. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite the writings of Dionysius. and then.” Merv was an Episcopal See. Dexter further records that Dionysius surnamed Marcellus.” It was at the request of Dexter that Jerome wrote his book on Ecclesiastical Writers. after his visit to St. Dexter was a friend of Jerome. who. and sent to Toledo.D. “migravit ad Christum. A.D. Bishop of Ephesus. Respecting him.D. Polycrates. and was one of the most illustrious statesmen of his time. 1 to A. in the Râmâyana of Tulsidâs are Christian Truths under a Hindu dress9. of India. That chronicle he dedicated to Jerome. LUCIUS FLAVIUS DEXTER. Upon the return of Dionysius to Gaul. the Redeemer. Dexter describes a remarkable man. 430. Con. being uncle to the Emperor Hadrian. because they have a more exalted conception of the Supreme God than Christians themselves. Murray. through him. pp. I submit that the “Divine Names” will be instrumental in bringing India to the Christian Faith. and Râmânuja in the thirteenth century.” A. to India? Have we not here an explanation of the remarkable similarity between the Hindu philosophy.” and describes him as “clarus apud saeculum et Christi fidei deditus. Many learned Hindus affirm that it is needless for them to become Christian. released from Patmos. Dexter records that Dionysius dedicated the books of the Divine Names to him. relates that Timothy. with qualification. At Council of Nicea in 325. we find him calling his friend Marcellus.D. Marcellus was consecrated Bishop by Dionysius the Areopagite at Aries.” Dexter became Prefect of the Pretorian Oriental Guards.D. Jerome even addresses him as “filius amicus.—surnamed Eugenius. Sir Monier Williams. 98.c. in order that he might still have a Timothy on earth. “Brahmanism. as expressed by Sankara8 in the eighth. xiv I cannot but believe that many of the beautiful expressions about Vishnu. u. “Brahmanism. 96-97.

10. 2nd Ed. Jaffi. “Ye shall be witnesses of Me unto the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts Chap. ON DIVINE NAMES. As Jesus said..B. John. have understood theology!! xvii DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE. so the Apostles planted the Church of Christ in Gaul. As He commanded the Apostles to preach the Gospel throughout the world. Mansi I. Hist. Chap. DIONYSIUS THE PRESBYTER. and what the tradition concerning Divine Names. 698. but they confine themselves to the internal proofs. 1. by Ewald. xvi N. 9 . Spain and Britain. Dr. CAPUT I. Ecc. v. Regesta Rom. by an unprejudiced mind. They pretend that the doctrine is too clear and precise to have been written in the apostolic age. TIMOTHY. SECTION I. 367. written more than 1400 years ago. I. Pon. reasonable proof that the “Divine Names” were written previous to A. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite This touch of nature. Vol. there would have been a Christian Emperor in the first century. may fairly be deemed. TO MY FELLOW PRESBYTER.. Paul wrote his Epistle to the Colossians. who was son of a Bishop celebrated for learning and sanctity. 23 (τοῦ κηρυχθέντος ἐν πάσῃ κτίσει). Schneider informs me “that in Germany they now admit that the external proofs are in favour of genuineness of Dionysius. with its threefold ministry. Paul. preserved in a chronicle. v.D. I. Theologus. but for the cruel massacre of Flavius10 Clemens and his family for the Christian Faith. 98. so the Gospel was preached when St. and the familiar friend of St. and by the end of the second century there was an organised Church throughout each of those territories11. by an illustrious statesman.Dionysius the Areopagite. that. and with such success amongst the most learned and noble. 8). 10 11 Burton.” How could the chief Areopagite. What is the purpose of the discourse. p. p. the convert and companion of St. As the result of some research I affirm that our Saviour’s last commission is the Key to Church history in the first century.

not only as invisible and incomprehensible. but also as inscrutable and untraceable. For Agnosia. 2 But. by aid of which we are brought into contact with things unutterable and unknown. persistently fixed in Itself. let the rule of the Oracles be here also prescribed for us. as has been said. it is not permitted to speak or even to think beyond the things divinely revealed to us in the sacred Oracles. beyond those things divinely revealed to us in the sacred Oracles13. as best I can. For. and elevates to Its permitted contemplation and 12 13 14 15 Cap. that we shall establish the truth of the things spoken concerning God. but benignly sheds forth its superessential ray. and the One above conception is inconceivable to all conceptions. and the intangible and unshaped formlessness of things without body. and superessential essence and mind inconceivable. things Divine are revealed and contemplated in proportion to the capacity of each of the minds. 3. in proportion to the superior union of the reasoning and intuitive faculty and operation within us. whilst we restrain ourselves in our approach to the higher glories by prudence and piety as regards things Divine. speechlessness14 and inconception15. as things intelligible cannot be comprehended and contemplated by things of sense. since the supremely Divine Goodness distributes Divinely its immeasurableness (as that which cannot be contained) with a justice which preserves those whose capacity is limited. not in the persuasive words of man’s wisdom. and the Unity above mind above the Minds. For even as Itself has taught (as becomes Its goodness) in the Oracles. concerning the superessential and hidden Deity. I. since there is no trace of those who have penetrated to Its hidden infinitude. The Good indeed is not entirely uncommunicated to any single created being. Mystic Theology. who have celebrated It. I will pass to the interpretation of the Divine Names. but Itself not being. 3 SECTION II. For.Dionysius the Areopagite. in a manner unutterable and unknown. and namelessness—being after the manner of no existing being. ἀνοησία. viz. and as It may manifest Itself properly and scientifically concerning Itself. in accordance with the self-same analogy of the truth. and Word unutterable. it must we attribute the superessential science. as beyond every essence.. 3. anything. Ib. and things uncompounded and unformed by things compounded and formed. by illuminations analogous to each several being. and Cause of being to all. but in demonstration of the Spirit-moved power of the Theologians. the science and contemplation of Itself in Its essential Nature is beyond the reach of all created things. if we must place any confidence in the All Wise and most trustworthy Theology. the superessential and hidden Deity. by those formed according to the shapes of bodies. c. as towering superessentially above all. s. By no means then is it permitted to speak. the superessential Illimitability is placed above things essential. or even to think. and the Good above word is unutterable by word—Unit making one every unit. (supra-knowledge) of its superessentiality above reason and mind and essence—to. as the ray of the supremely Divine Oracles imparts itself. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Now then. alogia. so far aspiring to the Highest. 10 . And you will find many of the Theologians. O Blessed One. after the Theological Outlines12. Concerning this then.

as far as is right. on account of the tri-personal manifestation of the superessential productiveness. and is named. so to speak. both as Monad and unity. source of perfection. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite communion and likeness. as Itself has taught concerning Itself in the sacred Oracles. of those being illuminated. we are collected into a godlike unit and divinely-imitated union. both wise and good. Following then. of those being deified. so as both to see the supremely Divine illuminations given to us by them. and essence of things that be. steadfastness. and. renewal and reformation. by which we are supermundane ly enlightened and moulded to the sacred Songs of Praise. we elevate ourselves to the glories which illuminate us in the sacred Oracles. of all life and essence. and who are neither impotently boastful towards that which is higher than the harmoniously imparted Divine manifestation. a protecting Conductor. and when our divided diversities have been folded together. and of those who have lapsed to the perversion of the Divine likeness. These things we have learned from the Divine Oracles. as an unifying power. lapse downward through their inclining to the worse. of those being simplified. also. are elevated with a holy reverence. but. of every origin superessentially super-original origin. by their proportioned love of permitted illuminations. as on new wings. origin and cause. 4 5 SECTION III. unity. since all things were brought into being on account of Its creative goodness. as cause of things existing. the life of the living. in their being. because Its goodness produces and sustains things that be. in a manner supermundane. of God with a view to make known and praise the beneficent progressions of the Godhead. and are led by their light to the supremely Divine Hymns. but who elevate themselves determinately and unwaveringly to the ray shining upon them. of those who have continued to stand. and you will find all the sacred Hymnology. in regard to a lower level. SECTION IV. with inscrutable and holy reverence of mind. that It is cause and origin and essence and life of all things. of those who are being conducted to It. prudently and piously.Dionysius the Areopagite. both recalling and resurrection. source of deification. and even of those who fall away from It. on account of the simplicity and oneness of Its supernatural indivisibility from which. of those being perfected. and to praise the good-giving Source of every holy manifestation of light. we are unified. of those being unified. because all things. according to our capacities. from which all paternity in heaven and on earth is. which also govern the whole holy ranks of the supercelestial orders. we see in almost every theological treatise the Godhead religiously celebrated. For instance. simplification. beneficent communication. as far as is lawful and reverent. strive after It. and. whilst preserving the properties 11 . these. also as Triad. Hence. illumination. with a prudent silence. and things unutterable.—whilst honouring the unrevealed of the Godhead which is beyond mind and matter. the supremely Divine standards. a religious stability. nor. and of the Hidden. of the Theologians arranging the Names. those holy minds. who. in one word. of those who are tossed about in a sort of irreligious unsteadiness.

as the truth of the Oracles affirms. nor contact. and of It. and. and He. and multiply and fashion the supernatural and formless simplicity in the variedness of the divided symbols. that. through the agnostic and most blessed efforts after rays of surpassing brilliancy. and the Everlasting took a temporal duration. in one of Its Persons (subsistencies). nor name. and participating in His gift of spiritual light. became within our nature.” fulfilled. and sons of God. if all kinds of knowledge are of things existing. then. nor science. but. in most brilliant splendours. and after our every conception of things godlike. as loving towards man. on account of Its being pre-eminently above all things. and things superessential in things that are. with unimpassioned and immaterial mind. the secret tradition of our inspired leaders bequeathed to us for our enlightenment. and from these again we elevate ourselves. SECTION V. For. made known in the Oracles and hierarchical traditions. being sons of the resurrection. as we said when we put forth the Theological Outlines. if It is superior to every expression and every knowledge. and Its being firmly fixed by Its absolute power. but Itself is altogether incomprehensible to all. and Its having previously contained within Itself. beyond all essence. which envelop things intellectual in things sensible. nor entirely in any way to contemplate.—being such as embraces and unites and comprehends and anticipates all things. in a more Divine imitation of the supercelestial minds. above all. the simplex Jesus was composed. the Superessential self-existing Good is. according to our capacity. through all-pure contemplations. towards the superessential ray. recalling to Itself and replacing the human extremity. we use symbols appropriate to things Divine. the Unknown. in which all the terms of every kind of knowledge pre-existed in a manner beyond expression. even the supercelestial minds. when the superessential Deity is shewn to be without Name.—in what way can our treatise thoroughly investigate the meaning of the Divine Names. it is not possible either to express or to conceive what the One. even in the union beyond conception. and is altogether placed above mind and essence. to the best of our ability. Who is superessentially exalted above every rank throughout all nature. nor expression. and are limited to things existing. now indeed. Works (1897) 6 7 Dionysius the Areopagite of their own nature unimpaired. in these also we have been initiated. we cast ourselves. in a manner unutterable. nor surmise. laying aside our mental energies. to the best of our ability. For we shall be equal to the angels. according to the Divine saying. and place forms and shapes around the formless and shapeless. there is neither perception nor imagination. as the disciples in the most Divine Transfiguration. according to our degree. which it is neither possible to conceive nor express. with the visible manifestation of God covering us with glory. is also elevated above all knowledge. are filled with every inspired harmony and holy comeliness. to the simple and unified truth of the spiritual visions. But now. conformable to the Oracles. and super-unknown. And whatever other divinely-wrought illuminations. and above Name? But. and have reached the Christlike and most blessed repose. we shall be “ever with the Lord.—I mean the 12 . whilst retaining the unchangeable and unconfused steadfastness of His own properties. out of which. through the sacred veils of the loving-kindness towards man. in things belonging to us.Dionysius the Areopagite. superessentially. because It truly and wholly shared. the whole perfections of all kinds of essential knowledge and power. when we have become incorruptible and immortal. but pre-eminently. 8 And yet.

that which is above every Name—the Nameless—that fixed above every name which is named. SECTION VI. by the very fact of Its being. as when they say that the Godhead Itself. or substantial and habitual aptitude. 13 . star—fire—water—spirit—dew—cloud—self-hewn stone and rock—all things existing—and not one of things existing. sun. conception. as Author of all things. and by Its being is the production and sustenance of the whole. such as befit angels. from all created things—as Good—as Beautiful—as Wise—as Beloved—as God of gods—as Lord of lords—as Holy of Holies—as Eternal—as Being—as Author of Ages—as Provider of Life—as Wisdom—as Mind—as Word—as Knowing—as preeminently possessing all the treasures of all knowledge—as Power—as Powerful—as King of kings—as Ancient of days—as never growing old—and Unchangeable—as Preservation—as Righteousness—as Sanctification — as Redemption—as surpassing all things in greatness—and as in a gentle breeze. and in souls. above angelic knowledge. through imitation of angels as far as attainable (since it is during cessation of every mental energy that such an union as this of the deified minds towards the super-divine light takes place) celebrate It most appropriately through the abstraction of all created things—enlightened in this matter. all things whatever. and It is before all things. whether we must call them efforts after. Works (1897) 9 Dionysius the Areopagite threefold Unity. Who is—the Life—the Light—the God—the Truth. from all created things must we celebrate the benevolent Providence of the Godhead. and at once. through the senses. having knowledge of this.—neither as word or power. and the alike Good. the super-Unknown and surpassing Goodness. Without name. by means of knowledge—things inferior to these. “I am He. “and why dost thou ask my Name? “and this (Name) “is wonderful. in one of those mystical apparitions of the symbolical Divine manifestation. of the holy Powers. name. and all things aspire to It—the intellectual and rational. rebuked him who said. It is cause of all things that be. essence. truly and super-naturally from the most blessed union towards It—that It is Cause Indeed of all things existing. as being superessentially elevated above all. the alike God. movement. both without Name and from every Name. But even the unions. as sustaining source of goodness. neither as mind or life or essence. position. “What is thy name?” and as leading him away from all knowledge of the Divine Name. said this.Dionysius the Areopagite. indeed. as “many named. The godlike minds (men) made one by these unions. 10 The theologians. To none. or receptions from. and exist in those angels alone who. who are lovers of the Truth above all Truth. the same in the same—in the world—around the world—above the world—supercelestial.—Yea. thought. life. surmise. union. boundary.” as when they again introduce It as saying. but as pre-eminently separated from every condition. and all things in It consist. superessential.” And when the wise of God themselves celebrate Him. they also say that He is in minds. stability. but Itself none of them. is it permitted to celebrate the supremely-Divine Essentiality—that which is the super-subsistence of the super-goodness. infinitude. and other things by living movement. word. are both unutterable and unknown. and in bodies. and in heaven and in earth. celebrate It. imagination. whether in this age or in that which is to come? Also. for all things are both around It and for It. But since.” And is not this in reality the wonderful Name. under many Names. are deemed worthy of them.

and keeping our eyes upon them. 14 . and hinder parts and feet. in our Symbolic Theology. and clothe It in forms and shapes of man. in a manner worthy of God.” and truly sung as of all. and drinking vessels and bowls. 11 Thus. and may He not take away a word of truth from my mouth. we will speak as best we can. and that all things may be around It and dependent upon It. collecting from the Oracles so much as serves the purpose of our present treatise. which is also above all.—so that from this or that forethought alone the Goodness above Name should be named. in the sacred temples or elsewhere. Be it thine. and celebrate Its eyes and ears. SECTION VIII. And let us bring religious ears to the unfoldings of the Holy Names of God. according to the Divine tradition. after one or other causes and powers. For It is not only cause of sustenance. as cause. or electron. let us advance to the unfolding of the Names of God.Dionysius the Areopagite. 12 Further also. purifying them from their fighting against God in this matter. or objects of His forethought. but also from certain occasional Divine Visions. in order that there may be strictly a kingly rule over the whole. and using the things aforesaid. concerning which. the numerous beneficent Names of the uncalled and unnamed Deity. may be the “all in all. and to make the things Divine neither spoken nor known to the uninitiated. as a kind of Canon. according to the Divine saying. implanting the Holy in the Holy. and. irresistibly and pre-eminently. And Itself. 16 Letter to Titus. Also they assign to It crowns16 and seats. to guard these things. then. and locks of hair. then. but It previously embraced in Itself all things existing. which enlightened the initiated or the Prophets. and hands. rather. and arms. or fire. or life. and certain other things mystical. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite SECTION VII. and wings. and removing it from the laughter and jeers of the uninitiated. and back. they name the surpassing bright Goodness which is above Name. the Theologians do not honour alone the Names of God which are given from universal or particular Providences. as do all the names of things existing. as beginning. let us become initiated (to speak authoritatively) in the godlike contemplations with a god-enlightened conception. or perfection. may Almighty God give me to celebrate. if certain men really are such. CAPUT II. producing. yea. which fall within the range of our understanding. absolutely and without limit. according to the most holy leading. as end. directing and perfecting and sustaining guard. and by all created things in joint accord It is celebrated and named. But now. and that uniformly. and countenance. For myself. by the complete benefactions of His one and all-creating forethought. O excellent Timothy. and turning towards Itself. and shrine. what the hierarchical rule always teaches us throughout every phase of theology. the “Nameless “befits the cause of all.

when they say “all things are from Almighty God. the Oracles introduce into all the supremely Divine hymnody—collectively. entirely. not partitively.” and this. what else is there to learn from the sacred theology. 2 Cor. and that all of them are referred impartitively. are celebrated by the Oracles. Who maketh alive24?” But. leading the way. Neh. 14. i. 8. the word “Lord “is repeated in the Word of God.” and “all that the Father hath are Mine. xx. Who is to come. to all the Entirety of the entirely complete and every Deity. which is.” If they shall say that this is said. as applied to Father and Son25. that one may speak summarily. one can scarcely say. in reference to the Paternal Deity. 15 .” And again this. that the whole Deity holds the Lordship over the whole. this.” and “Thou shalt send forth Thy Spirit. 63. to cleave asunder the super-unified Unity. vi. unreservedly. Ib. which proceedeth from the Father22. when it affirms that the Godhead Itself. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Concerning common and distinctive theology. not of the whole Deity. so also the Son maketh alive whom He will23. but should violently limit it to one part. saith He. Who was. that this is to be received respecting the whole Deity. specifically. and the deifying. says. i. and dares. but as applied to the whole and entire and complete and full Godhead.” and “Thou art the same21.” and “all things in Him consist. he blasphemes. John v. “I am He. “I and the Father are One. 15. as when they say. i. And the light. “I am Good17. how is the sacred Word true which said. absolutely. all the God-becoming Names of God.” and that “the Spirit is He.” and. iii. SECTION I. the Almighty20. “but. “Spirit of truth. we have thoroughly demonstrated elsewhere. and the cause. ix.” And a certain one of the God-rapt Prophets celebrates the Spirit as “the Good18. then. Heb. 13 14 LET then the self-existent Goodness be sung from the Oracles as defining and manifesting the whole supremely-Divine-Subsistence in its essential nature.Dionysius the Areopagite. 17. And “the beautiful and the wise” are also sung respecting the whole Deity. For. John xv. as I think how many times. that always. 20. “Why dost thou ask me concerning the Good?—None is Good except God alone.” And. iii. 26. or the Filial. “As the Father raiseth the dead and maketh alive. “all things were made through Him and to Him. We must affirm. and they shall be made. And verily as we have mentioned in the Theological Outlines. For even the essentially Good Word Himself said. without right. But the Spirit also is Lord26. Who is. how will they understand this? “These things. Rev. 1 Cor. 12. if any one should say that this is not spoken concerning the whole Deity. Who is19.” Now. the supremely Divine Word Himself said. “All Mine are Thine. Ex. and what is the Divine Union and distinction. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Matt. and whatever pertains to the whole Godhead. 21.” And if they say that the supremely Divine Life is not coextensive with the whole. 30.

will oppose this. the Super-God. as a most excellent canon of truth. collectively and in common—the works of God—the homage. but that following It according to our ability. and Son and Spirit. He attributes. 16 SECTION III. how shall we care for his guidance to the theological science? But. But if any one should say that we introduce in so doing a confusion. from His goodly gifts. according to the divinely perfect Word. to resume and to set forth the complete fashion of the Divine union and distinction. who have been nourished in the Divine Oracles with unprejudiced conceptions. for. by affirming that theology transmits some things as common. by taking thence the Divine revelations. we have demonstrated and defined these things from the Oracles. but others as distinctive. the Life-producing. in their native simplicity and integrity and identity—being ourselves guarded in our guard of the Oracles. and whatever else belongs to the superlative abstraction. if he regards the truth of the Oracles. whatever pertains to the Father and Himself. with which also. which is to be received as referring to the whole Deity. in order that the whole discourse may be seen at a glance to reject everything ambiguous and indistinct. the Super-Wise. that all things befitting God belong to the whole Godhead. the Being. if there is any one who has placed himself entirely in opposition to the Oracles. since no interchange or community in these is in any way introduced. the Wise. we also. For. But it is rather necessary. we ought to rise to the Divine splendours. Works (1897) 15 Dionysius the Areopagite and Thine. SECTION IV. to the supremely Divine Spirit. the sacred instructors of our theological tradition call the “Divine Unions” 16 . But there is a further distinction. as we have demonstrated from the Oracles. are the Super-Good. as best we can. as I said elsewhere. the fontal and ceaseless cause and the distribution of the goodly gifts. the complete and unaltered existence of Jesus amongst us. The (Names) then. he will be also entirely apart from our. nor to confuse the distinctive. viz. But the distinctive Names are the superessential name and property of Father. in disparagement of the distinction which befits God. none of those. the Beautiful. And I think.” And again. the Good. but elsewhere sufficiently—we will undertake to unfold every Divine Name whatsoever. and whatever Names are given to the Cause of all Good. and to define critically and distinctly the proper Names. Mine. philosophy. the Super-essential. we do not think that such a statement as this is itself sufficient to convince that it is true. if he has no care for the divine Wisdom of the Oracles. all those denoting Cause.Dionysius the Areopagite. and neither is it meet to divide the common. and all the mysteries of love towards man actually existing within it. will advance unwaveringly to the answer. For. we strive to guard the things lying there.—here indeed partially. Since. and. I suppose.. SECTION II. and from these receiving strength to guard those who guard them. using this canon and illumination. by many instances in the Theological Outlines. common to the whole Deity. the Super-Living. as far as possible. then.

the Placing of all. Father. to the whole Divinity. since whole in whole are mixed together without being mingled. the whole light belonging to it will depart with it. since the hymns reverently guard their own characteristics for each of the supremely Divine Persons. These then are the unions and distinctions within the unutterable Union and sustaining Source. the light even itself being dependent on the material fire. and to see one without the other. that is. But. the wise-making. and in minds themselves. The Father is sole Fountain of the superessential Deity. there is kindred and common to the One-springing Triad. and. indeed. just as lights of lamps (to use sensible illustrations familiar to our capacity). yet. since the Father is not Son. possess. are the resistless distributions. in which are many lamps. in a manner unmingled and supermundane. Cause of all. being one in distinction and distinct in union. the super-Divine Deity. and then. and by none partially. following the sacred Oracles. the abiding and steadfastness in each other.” the goodly progressions and manifestations of the Godhead. But. nor any of its own light left with the other. that there are certain specific unions and distinctions. the Abstraction of all. multiplying itself super-uniquely through Goodness. the super-good Goodness. the Comprehended by all. the Agnosia. if I may so speak. that it is all entire. with regard to the Divine Union. and this actually in a body. which. “and again of the distinction. and taking to itself many forms. as I said. the superessential sustaining Source. Works (1897) 17 18 Dionysius the Areopagite the hidden and unrevealed sublimities of the super-unutterable and super-unknown Isolation. they mention also properties of the aforesaid “Union. the complete union of all with all. and in no part confused. but also above those in souls themselves. unmingled throughout. wholly super-united and in no part commingled of the One-springing Persons. the supreme identity of the whole supreme Idiosyncrasy. and. Whence we affirm that the superessential Union is fixed above not only the unions in bodies. For example. 19 But there is a distinction in the superessential nomenclature of God. if any one were to take out from the chamber one particular burner. no particle of the other lights being drawn along with it. the substance-giving.Dionysius the Areopagite. are both wholly distinct in each other throughout. And this is kindred and common. Just as a point in 17 . the Much-speaking. common within the Divine distinction. and keep the distinction from each other specifically and perfectly maintained. the Superessentiality. and one. is also a Divine distinction. SECTION V. as beseems a participation analogous to those who participate in the Union elevated above all. unmingled and unconfused. and the other gifts of the Goodness. that which is above all affirmation and abstraction. the life-giving. whole through whole. For there was. the Unspeakable. as I suppose. the lights of all united to form one certain light and lighting up one combined radiance. but the “distinctions. when in one house. no one would be able to distinguish in the air containing all the lights the light of one or other lamp from the rest. participated by each of the Participants. but also that the properties of the superessential Divine Production are not convertible in regard to one another. after which from the participations and those participating are celebrated the things imparticipatively participated. the Oneness above source of one. not only that which I have mentioned. nor the Son. we may see in a house. if the goodly progression of the Divine Union. the air. namely. the Godlike and supercelestial Illuminations. that each of the One-springing Persons is fixed in the union itself.

if the wax were soft and impressionable. and in none partial in any respect. and neither unimpressionable and hard. except perhaps. but others. or Light. and themselves. and as it were Flowers and 27 The radii. for it imparts itself all and the same to each. as the things Divine themselves. or essence whatever. For instance. or Life. But superior to these is the impartibility of the Deity—Cause of all—from the fact that there is no contact with it. But of this the seal is not the cause. For all the Divine properties. qua God and Word of God. even those revealed to us. Thus we. but the Lord Jesus and the Spirit are. strive to unite and distinguish in the Word the things Divine. Further. too. if one may so speak. God. there is a distinction from the goodly work of God towards us. or Essence. 20 And yet some one might say the seal is not whole and the same in the images throughout. as being full of mystery. and distinctions. did when He had been born amongst us. in that the superessential Word was invested with being amongst us—from us—wholly and truly. since the archetype is one and complete and the same. such as they are in their own source and abode. the Father and the Spirit in no respect communicated. and whatever else arises from inaptitude for reception. and by conducting the religious and unpolluted mind to the bright visions of the Oracles. and smooth and unstamped. or Word (λόγος). nor running and dissolving. by approaching them according to the Divine tradition. and as regards all the pre-eminent and unutterable work of God which the unchangeable. such as is strictly like the Cause pre-eminently elevated above all.Dionysius the Areopagite. seeing no deification. Again. it will have the figure clear and sharp and fixed. but the difference of the recipients makes the figures dissimilar. but to Itself we approach during the cessation of all the intellectual energies. SECTION VI. 21 Now we have set forth in the Theological Outlines whatever Divine Causes we have found in the Oracles. by explaining some things. For in these. and as many impressions of a seal participate in the archetypal seal. as regards the benign and philanthropic purpose. if we have named the superessential Hiddenness. are above mind and all essence and knowledge. or wisdom-imparting. according to our ability. or life-bearing. and did and suffered whatever things are choice and pre-eminent in His human work of God. 18 . But if it should lack any of the aforesaid aptitudes. For instance. which is superior to mental energy. of these unions. one might say. and in each of the impressions the seal is whole and the same. by treating each separately. are known by the participations alone. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite a circle’s centre participates in all the circumjacent27 straight lines in the circle. that the Father is fontal Deity. Nor has it any commingled communion with the things participating. SECTION VII. God-planted shoots. we have no other thought than that the powers brought to us from It are deifying. or life. this will be the cause of the non-participative and un-figured and indistinct. or essentiating. are united and distinguished. and unfolding them. by the infallible Word.

SECTION IX. if any one should say that the self-existent Life lives. SECTION VIII. with regard to all the other features of the super-physical physiology of Jesus. either from the sacred theologians. He took substance as man. and from his sympathy with them. in fewest words. he should say this after another fashion. having a bodily bulk and weight of matter. up to this point. He was formed. 22 But. search of the Oracles.— since the supremely Divine Spirit is seated above all intellectual immateriality. and deification. from which the godlike become both gods. perhaps. that all divine paternity and sonship have been bequeathed from the Source of paternity and Source of sonship—pre-eminent above all—both to us and to the supercelestial powers. Now. and how. or that the self-existent Light is enlightened. but how these things are. 19 . if I may so speak. The fact indeed that. and fathers of gods. having been perfected to their untaught and mystic union and acceptance. in his Theological Elements. i. unless. For there is no strict likeness. namely. immaterially. the following are the things he says. we have received as a mystery. according to the ratio of their proper origin. The caused indeed possess the accepted likenesses of the causes. in my view he will not speak correctly. and so. intellectually. even to the very foremost of the most reverend angels. and are named Minds. concerning the Lord Jesus. pleasures and pains are said to be productive of pleasure and pain. And that we may display. and sons of gods. in the Theological Elements compiled by him. And.Dionysius the Areopagite. 23 Further also. And. from manifold struggles and investigations respecting the same. with dry feet. to use illustrations suitable to ourselves.e. and they have been celebrated by our illustrious leader. from virginal bloods. such a paternity and sonship being of course accomplished spiritually. but having felt the pangs of things Divine. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite superessential Lights of the God-bearing Deity. or comprehended from the scientific. we have elsewhere sufficiently spoken of these things. by a different law. beyond nature. and the Father and the Son are pre-eminently elevated above all divine paternity and sonship. is not said to be burnt and heated. but we do not know in what manner. between the caused and the causes. incorporeally. nor to conceive. not only having learnt. the many and blessed visions of his most excellent intelligence. our utmost power of mental energy carries us. in a manner far beyond natural ability—things which that illustrious man acquired. we have received from the holy Oracles. He marched upon the liquid and unstable substance28. or was instructed from a sort of more Divine Inspiration. it is neither possible to say. that the properties of the caused are abundantly and essentially pre-existent in the causes. 28 Letter IV. but these themselves feel neither pleasure nor pain. the most conspicuous fact of all theology—the God-formation of Jesus amongst us—is both unutterable by every expression and unknown to every mind. whilst heating and burning. but the causes themselves are elevated and established above the caused. And fire.

suffering no loss as regards His super-fulness. the goodly progressions of the Godhead. to things existing—One. as source of perfection. and thus is neither one. as it were. superessentially. and is neither part nor whole. as we have said. in things that need. 20 . unspeakable. He has come even to nature.Dionysius the Areopagite. and before age—full. but imperfect in the perfect. and One in the multiplicity.— the Cause and Completing of all.—Essence. But. and above age. not only in so far as He communicated with us without alteration and without confusion. and in these He has the supernatural and super-substantial. He was in our physical condition super-physical—in things substantial. since through love towards man. and pre-perfect—Form producing form. in things without form. and by the unique production of the whole. and Unified during the progression. and age. being neither a part of the multitude. above the one. Further. 24 Deity of the Lord Jesus. For example. From the Theological Elements of the most holy Hierotheus. super-full in things full. whilst It remains undiminished. He is One. and produces the whole Essences. and whole and part. and multitude 29 Letter IV. let us now advance to the purpose of the discourse by unfolding. It is distinguished uniformly. penetrating without stain the essences throughout. as Source of form—formless in the forms. and complete in the distinction. And. and multiplied uniquely. nor whole from parts. nor partakes of one. since Almighty God is superessentially Being. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite SECTION X. unutterable. to the best of our ability. whilst being self-centred. as embracing in Itself everything both part and whole. from His unutterable emptying of Himself—but also. above mind. both by being superessentially exalted above all beings. and by the un-lessened stream of His undiminished distributions. which preserves the parts concordant with the whole. superessentially. Hence.—the superessential. SECTION XI. and really became substantial. and is moulded into many from the One. For. above life. we call Divine distinction. above essence. It is measure also of things existing. being One. super-substantial. beyond these. both to one and to multitude. in order. which are beyond mind and expression). It has the supernatural. and established above every principality and order. but the Being is bequeathed to things being. by being given to all things existing. in order that we may first distinctly define everything. excelling all the things—of us—from us—above us. 25 This then is sufficient on these matters. He is One. and superessential. supernaturally. by the production from Itself of the many beings. as super-perfect. and being above and before—is perfect indeed in the imperfect. exalted above every essence—setting bounds to the whole principalities and orders. nor has the one. and having distributed the One. that One Being is said to be fashioned in many forms. as above form. the kindred and common Names of the Divine distinction. and pouring forth the whole imparted goods in abundance. and the Super-God lived as Man29 (may He be merciful with regard to the things we are celebrating. both to every part and whole. because the newest of all new things.

and concerning the blessed Hierotheus.” For. as Source of good. with your permission. 5. the Father. that every beneficent Name of God. and super-God. or rather the goodly progressions of the whole Deity. let us examine the all-perfect Name of Goodness. as there are gods many and lords many. even if there are who are called gods. through Him30. and super-good Triad—the Name which indicates Its whole best Providences. even after the self-centred and unified distinction. we will endeavour to the best of our ability to celebrate from the Names of God. falls short of Its infinitude (which is) above all. as we have said. having invoked the supremely good. the mutual and common distinctions.Dionysius the Areopagite. But even the statement that It is in all existing beings. and embracing all. but. and of our leader to the Divine gift of light. we also are present to It. by our prayers. 21 . For. and are none the less unified. there seems. but to us there is One God.—first. by the Divine likeness of many who become gods. unfilled super-fulness. superessentially One God. having laid down.—as if a luminous chain 30 1 Cor. Again. when we have invoked It.—undivided in things divided. according to their several capacity. What is the power of prayer. which is indicative of the whole progressions of Almighty God. we must first be raised up to It. and we unto Him. viii. is to be understood with reference to the whole Supremely Divine wholeness unreservedly. but all are not present to It. whether in heaven or upon earth. or should pass from one to another. who is great in Divine mysteries—the light of the world—had thought out this in a manner above natural ability. and concerning reverence and covenant in the Word of God. It is not in a place. producing and perfecting and sustaining every one thing and multitude. be initiated as to the all good gifts which are established around It. and is said to be. and by our aptitude towards Divine Union. 27 CAPUT III. and we. FIRST. in his sacred writings—“For. which make them known in the Oracles. 6. with regard to things Divine.—he. through Whom are all things. And when the common conductor of ourselves. Works (1897) 26 Dionysius the Areopagite indivisible. These.—he speaks as follows. by all pure prayers and unpolluted mind. For. For It is indeed present to all. from the inspiration of God. He is none the less the Supreme God. a distinction and multiplication of the One God. Let us then elevate our very selves by our prayers to the higher ascent of the Divine and good rays. both unmingled and unmultiplied in the many. the unions overrule the distinctions. SECTION I. to whichever of the supremely Divine Persons it may be applied. by the Deification from Itself. and precede them. from Whom are all things.—and One Lord Jesus Christ. and by a nearer approach to It. But then. so that It should be absent from a particular place. unified in Himself.

but in reality we do not draw it down. amongst our inspired hierarchs (when both we. and in proportion as he pushes that away. as if. 29 30 Perhaps also. and had gone through the sum of all theology. is compiling his Theological Elements. but ourselves. we should not. handle the same tautologically. then. he will do nothing to the stationary and unmoved rock. But for people. for us to seize. and next to the Anointed of God. this is worthy of apology. needs presbyterial power. seem indeed to draw it down. but ourselves are carried upwards to the higher splendours of the luminous rays. before everything. by ever clutching this upwards. Or. that whilst our illustrious leader. set forth comprehensive definitions. and when there were present also James. And yet. such as are given out. And yet. and are holding on to the cables reaching from some rock. in fact. as it were. and Peter. as to have attempted alone theological questions. Correctly. For. for this reason. yourself. Works (1897) 28 Dionysius the Areopagite being suspended from the celestial heights. have composed others. if any one standing on the ship pushes away the rock by the sea shore. how great perfection is required that the same should feed others. and to as many as with us were teachers of the newly-initiated souls. as you know. we. Hierotheus. even as certain second Oracles. the comprehensive and uniform compositions of the most intellectual capacity of that illustrious man. and yourself. the brother of God. Wherefore. or to indulge in vain talk by saying superfluously the same things twice over. and you. he is so far hurled from it. were gathered together to the depositing of the Life-springing and God-receptive body. if that man had deigned to treat systematically all the theological treatises. Or to take another example.Dionysius the Areopagite. after Paul the Divine. we must begin with prayer. and many of our holy brethren. both teacher and friend. whilst teaching things divine. but as. for the same elucidation of the Divine text expounded by him. as if those were not sufficient. For. we. according to our capacity. conducting ourselves to. by detailed expositions. But. who have been instructed from his discourses. and in addition to do injustice to one. with an accurate elucidation. we do not draw the rock to us. to the rock. we should not have gone to such a height of folly. which is everywhere and nowhere present. and reaching down hither. and this present theological treatise. if strong meat belongs to the perfect. we have affirmed this. that. such as we are. but he separates himself from it. it being both above and below. in any way. first with one hand. by language commensurate with our ability. in a manner above natural capacity. or stupidity. we will transmit things Divine. that the self-perceptive vision of the intelligible Oracles. but the science and the thorough teaching of the reasons which lead to this. and such as embraced many things in one. fittingly belong to those purified and hallowed persons placed in a subordinate position. and then with the other. as regards the things that have been thoroughly investigated by him. our divine leader. and making ourselves one with. and their comprehensive teaching. either more lucidly or divinely than he. and the ship. in a manner suitable to presbyters. as were suitable to us. and sent back the very book. we too distinguish him as a teacher of perfect and presbyterial conceptions for those who are above the common people. as being of transcendent value. and that we. the foremost and 22 . should filch for our own glorification his most illustrious contemplation and elucidation. he. and especially theology. SECTION II. we have insisted upon this with the utmost care. commanding us to unfold and disentangle. after we have embarked on a ship. by our godly reminiscences and invocations. have oftentimes urged us to this. since in fact. it. then. not as though we ourselves were drawing the power.

unless we had grasped in our mind.Dionysius the Areopagite. as each was capable. from much inquisition into things above us. that we may neither advance to understand sufficiently the intelligible of Divine things. he so excelled the majority of sacred teachers. to pursue things Divine. 32 But to pass over the mystical things there. after the Theologians. Light. SECTION III. and as unattainable. persistently urges us to graciously impart to others also whatever is permitted and given to us to learn. wholly raised from himself. both as forbidden to the multitude and as known to thee. 23 . surpassed. entirely come to this—neither to hear nor to speak anything respecting divine philosophy. as regards theological truth. but by more easy and more detailed expositions to disentangle and elucidate the things spoken by the Hierotheus indeed. nor in things being. that every one of the hierarchs should celebrate. Jealousy. he. being wholly entranced. which prohibits us. and was regarded as an inspired and divine Psalmist by all. when it was determined after the depositing. For. yet. Beauty. but also not bearing to leave unassisted those who are unable to contemplate things too high for us. and know. as above our degree. being far removed from the skill of those divine men. CAPUT IV. the Omnipotent Goodness of the supremely Divine Weakness). many a time do I remember to have heard from thee certain portions of those inspired songs of praise. when it was necessary to communicate to the multitude. by whom he was heard and seen and known. through excessive reverence. but also by the most excellent order itself of the Divine institutions. Ecstasy. and accuracy of demonstrations. Yielding then to these considerations. nor to express and declare the things spoken of the divine knowledge. And why should I say anything to thee concerning the things there divinely spoken? For. that we should scarcely have dared to look so great a sun straight in the face. not daring indeed to introduce anything new. Concerning Good. and to bring as many as possible to the sacred knowledge amongst ourselves. if I do not forget myself. all the other divine instructors. For we are thus far conscious in ourselves. on the one hand. and not known. Works (1897) 31 Dionysius the Areopagite most honoured pinnacle of the Theologians. we have brought ourselves to composition. as you know. on the other hand. and neither shirking nor flinching from the attainable discovery of things Divine. not cursorily. And to this we were persuaded. we are so inferior that we should have. both by use of time and purity of mind. such was thy zeal. and by his other sacred discourses. Love. nor from existent. and that the Evil is neither existent. and experiencing the pain of his fellowship with the things celebrated. not only by the innate aspirations of the minds which always lovingly cling to the permitted contemplation of the supernatural. that we must not neglect the knowledge of things divine received by us.

SECTION II. and the revealing in themselves the hidden Goodness. heralds of the Divine silence. and that angels are. are from the all-creative and fontal Goodness. thence bubbling forth. as they are able. but by its very being. the providences of the more exalted for those below them. and whatever is good in souls is by reason of the super-good Goodness—the fact that they are intellectual—that they have essential life—indestructible—the very being itself—and that they are able. continuous and undiminished. the identities and sublimities around the aspiration after the Good. and whatever else we have enumerated in our Treatise concerning the soul. they have both being and good being. and such as 24 . from which was given to them the form of Goodness. they are both patterns of good. the unconfused distinctions. and sanctuary of good things. purified from all corruption and death and matter. as I conjecture. the guardings of things pertaining to each power. and they have their abiding from Goodness. as it were. BE it so then. Goodness. as essential Good. and being conformed to It. or living creatures. is above an obscure image—by Its very existence sends to all things that be. By reason of these they are. and generation. and project. and have their life. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite SECTION I. and to participate in the goodlike gift. whilst elevated themselves to the angelic lives. extends Its Goodness to all things that be. as it were. the powers elevating the inferior to the superior. the rays of Its whole goodness. and separated from the unstable and fluctuating and vacillating mutability. and impart to those after them. according to the capacity of each. By reason of these (rays) subsisted all the intelligible and intelligent essences and powers and energies. according to their capacity. But also.Dionysius the Areopagite. the gifts which have passed through to themselves from the Good. even as our sun—not as calculating or choosing. which the Theologians ascribe pre-eminently and exclusively to the super-Divine Deity. and as minds they think in a manner supermundane. after these—the sacred and holy minds—the souls. to be conducted by them as good guides to the good Origin of all good things. and to become partakers of the illuminations. enlightens all things able to partake of its light in their own degree—so too the Good—as superior to a sun. the purifications befitting angels. Further. if one may be permitted to speak of the irrational souls. the unions amongst themselves. and are conceived of as incorporeal and immaterial. as is attainable. and the things perfecting the whole angelic perfection. and are illuminated as to the reasons of things. Further also. the supermundane illuminations. and they again convey to their kindred spirits things appropriate to them. by calling the supremely Divine Subsistence. 34 Thence come to them the supermundane orders. and whilst aspiring to It. in a manner peculiar to themselves. the mutual penetrations. and unbroken convolutions around themselves. such as cleave the air. and thence comes to them stability and consistence and protection. 33 For. as the Divine Law directs. Let us come to the appellation “Good. and because the Good. whatever things belong to the heavenly Hierarchy.” already mentioned in our discourse. by Its being. as the archetype par excellence. and whatever is said in our Treatise concerning the angelic properties and orders. luminous lights revealing Him Who is in secret.

wholly bright and ever luminous. and even soulless and lifeless substance is by reason of the Good.” from the same to the same quarter. all plants have their growing and moving life from the Good. it contributes to the generation of sensible bodies. too. and the beauties and lights. and possesses the light in the highest degree of purity. and end. wherefore also the Good is celebrated under the name of Light. as the goodness of the Deity.Dionysius the Areopagite. has inherited its substantial condition. the Good is Cause of the celestial movements in their commencements and terminations. and whatever is in the Good is of a superlative formation of the formless. But. and cause. mark and number and arrange and comprehend the circular movements of time and things temporal. nor the things below eluding its grasp. even all these have their soul and life. and number. this our great sun. SECTION III. and is measure of things existing. not diminishing. and burrow within it. Works (1897) 35 Dionysius the Areopagite walk on earth. even in Itself alone. if one may so speak. above and beneath. neither the foremost outstripping its superiority. with the surpassing greatness of its own splendour. as a most distant echo of the Good. No doubt the ray passing over many things in such condition. Further also. and the progressive swift motion of certain stars. beyond all. and an image of the Goodness.—the really Superessential—to the exclusion of all things. which the Oracles call “great. and grasp. and grasps. and stabilities. and such as creep along earth. so. 36 37 But what slipped from our view in the midst of our discourse. and in one word. if the Good is above all things being. and by reason of It. and of the noiseless movements. and those whose life is in waters. and forms and enlivens. and moves them to life. and yet is above all. but is owing to the inaptitude for light-reception of the things which do not unfold themselves for the participation of light. by reason of the Good. both the non-essential is a pre-eminence of essence. and perfects. what would any one say of the very ray of the sun? For the light is from the Good. But. and formulates the formless. and months and years being measured. after which our days and nights being marked. and completely changeless. and if anything does not participate in them. 25 . as in a portrait the original is manifested. and if one may venture to say so. such as have the sensible soul or life. SECTION IV. and order. or amphibious. but it both enlightens all that are capable. the splendours of its own rays. and age. of the vast celestial transit. and of the astral orders. unfolding to the visible universe. and such as live concealed under earth. 31 ευροίας. enlightens the things after them. permeates from the highest and most honoured substances even to the lowest. of their not increasing. Moreover. and the non-living is a superior life. both enlightens whatever is capable of participating in it. and struggles somehow to be even itself in the Good. and of the periodical return of the two luminaries. and the mindless a superior wisdom. the brilliant likeness of the Divine Goodness. For. as indeed it is. even the nonexistent itself aspires to the Good above all things existing. course31. this is not owing to the inertness or deficiency of its distribution of light. and there is no visible thing which it does not reach.

and all our time. 39 But we have spoken of these things in our Symbolical Theology. 2. because it makes all things altogether (ἀολλῆ). whilst they taste. more fully gives Itself. c. being understood by the things that are made. from ignorance.” See Book of Hierotheus. or to be moved and enlightened. and expels all ignorance and error from all souls in which they may be. and is chief collector of things scattered. and to Which all things are turned. SECTION VI. and collects things scattered. and desire it more. as One-springing and One-making Deity. and to be wholly held together by the light. and the sensible through the senses. under Which we contemplate the Good. the light also collects and turns to itself all things existing—things with sight —things with motion—things enlightened—things heated—things wholly held together by its brilliant splendours—whence also. and purifies and renews. days. by itself. and renewing their whole mental powers. aspire to it. as Source and Bond and End. and cleanses their mental vision from the mist which envelops them. which in connection with φῶς is rendered here “spiritual light. but that the invisible things of God are clearly seen from the foundation of the world. on the ground that He fills every supercelestial mind with spiritual light.” and ever elevates them to things in advance. And all creatures. through knowledge. and embracing them all by its over-shadowing. and the light is both measure and number of hours. and in one word. by embracing and having previously and pre-eminently the whole 32 33 34 See Dulac. and those bereft of sensible perception by the innate movement of the aspiration after life. and all things aspire to It. and imparts to them all sacred light. which the divine Moses declared to have fixed that first Triad32 of our days. just as Goodness turns all things to Itself. that as being God and Creator of the universe. and more abundantly enlightens them. and heated. because “they have loved much. By no means do I affirm. even though it was then without form. and increases. as to their own proper end. endowed with sensible perceptions. the Good. and merely being. and stirs up and unfolds those enclosed by the great weight of darkness. governs the luminous world. and declare that He.Dionysius the Areopagite. shining upon every mind. Let us now then celebrate the spiritual Name of Light. and in the world. the sun. a measured radiance. and those without life. SECTION V. the light. and stream of light welling over. is called spiritual33 Light. as fontal ray. And. 26 . The Good then above every light is called spiritual Light. and in Which all things consisted. as befits the analogy of each for aspiration. Works (1897) 38 Dionysius the Areopagite and nourishes. and to Which all aspire —the intellectual and rational indeed. by their aptitude for mere substantial participation. and perfects. as it were. at first. then. after the same method of its illustrious original. even His eternal power and Deity. from its fulness. Theology anticipates Science. Helios. above. and are being brought into being by an all-perfect Cause. after the statement of antiquity. For it is the light itself. and being above all by its exaltation. as guarded and governed in an all-controlling route. as the Oracles say. The Greek word is νοητὸν. and imparts. as aspiring either to see. around34. and it is the Good. from Which all things subsisted.

the similarities. with regard to all created things. the superessential Beautiful is called Beauty. always being beautiful. the Beautiful is identical with the Good. all beauty. the dissimilarities. the participation of the beautifying Cause of all the beautiful things. and neither coming into being nor perishing. the diversities. SECTION VII. both perfecting and further turning them towards the true Being. fancies. on account of the beauty communicated from Itself to all beautiful things. and as Beloved. by the simplex and supernatural nature of all beautiful things. the identities. as a creating Cause. But the beautiful and Beauty are not to be divided. into one true. pure and uniform knowledge.Dionysius the Areopagite. Wherefore. the commingling of things unified. neither waxing nor waning. and there is no existing thing which does not participate in the Beautiful and the Good. and as collecting all in all to Itself. the unions. and inter-communions. that even the non-existing participates in the Beautiful and Good. This. and everything beautiful. the distinctions. and all the other Divine Names which beseem the beautifying and highly-favoured comeliness. From this are all the substantial beginnings of things existing. and always being under the same conditions and in the same manner beautiful. For as ignorance puts asunder those who have gone astray. and beloved. uniform. both by moving the whole and holding it together by the love of its own peculiar Beauty. reason will dare to say even this. in a manner appropriate to each. and not there. because all things aspire to the Beautiful and Good. and friendships. But. nor at one time beautiful. as (being) at once beautiful and super-beautiful. with Itself. both as beautiful and as Beauty. and making them one altogether. nor here. and as calling (καλοῦν) all things to Itself (whence also it is called Beauty) (κάλλος). but as Itself. From this Beautiful (comes) being to all existing things. because all things are determined according to It. and by comprehending in itself all things intellectual. and as having beforehand in Itself pre-eminently the fontal beauty of everything beautiful. by dividing them into participations and participants. one and unifying. For. For. but beauty. pre-existed uniquely as to Cause. neither in this beautiful. the mutual cohesions of those of the same rank. the protecting and immoveable abidings and stabilities of their 27 . also. or. and not beautiful to others. as being beautiful to some. is uniquely Cause of all the many things beautiful and good. the providences of the superior. and as Love. on every account. and at another not. we call beautiful that which participates in Beauty. and by the Beautiful all things are made one. when in God it is celebrated superessentially to the exclusion of all. and as Cause of the good harmony and brightness of all things which flashes like light to all the beautifying distributions of its fontal ray. Yea. and by reason of the Beautiful are the adaptations of all things. and the Beautiful is origin of all things. and by filling them with light. and in relation to another ugly. 40 41 This Good is celebrated by the sacred theologians. nor in that ugly. by turning them from the many notions and collecting the various views. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite sovereignty of the light-dispensing faculty. For then even it is beautiful and good. and all things rational. so the presence of the spiritual light is collective and unifying of those being enlightened. the communions of the contraries. to speak more correctly. the one Good and Beautiful. as final Cause (for all things exist for the sake of the Beautiful) and exemplary (Cause). in Itself. (And it is called) Beautiful.—that each is beautiful in its own proper order. as regards the Cause which has embraced the whole in one. nor in relation to one thing beautiful. as being source of light and above all light. the attentions of the more needy. and end of all things.

Dionysius the Areopagite. SECTION IX. as I said. and moves each thing in the law of its own being to its proper movement. and being moved by unique intuition (for this. the connections of parts. the minutiae. as to the divine kinds of knowledge. and adaptations and unmingled friendships and harmonies of the whole. in a manner proper to itself. is every repose and movement. the equalities. there is a movement of soul. and for sake of which. the entireties. first to itself. the size. is the circular). and towards which. all the standards and the analogies of beings. in a manner peculiar to each. the parts. on the other hand. the weight. Of these three motions then in everything perceptible here below. the communions of all things among all. without beginning and without end. and the undissolved connections of existing things. the unions of every multitude. in so far as it is illuminated. and. in identity. but advancing to things around itself. and both of mind and soul and every nature. and from things without. that which is established above every rest. But a soul is moved spirally. Works (1897) 42 Dionysius the Areopagite whole selves and. but in a direct line. the perfections of the entireties. as it were. around the good and beautiful Cause of their identity. they remain fixedly. by accomplishing all things directly. For. not entering into itself. it is. from the many things without. but in a straight line. is a rest and movement to all. the divine minds35 are said to be moved circularly indeed. all rests and movements. and the unified convolution of its intellectual powers. in a sort of circle. not intuitively and at once. Now. which is above all things being. the 35 Angels. the quality. and turning and collecting itself. 43 Further. by being united to the illuminations of the Beautiful and Good. by reason of which. whenever they advance to the succour of a subordinate. but logically and discursively. SECTION VIII. and without beginning and without end. then. For. bequeathing to it inerrancy. of the minds. to the simple and unified contemplations. as it were. and much more of the abidings and repose and fixity of each. because even in providing for the more indigent. of the bodies. but spirally. conducted from certain symbols.—the entrance into itself from things without. which is above all repose and movement. the Beautiful and Good. both from It and through It is both Essence and every life. the infinitude. is Cause and Bond and End. varied and multiplied. and multitude. the never-failing successions of the generations. every one thing. when. SECTION X. and from which. of the souls. circular indeed. and harmonies and compositions. and in which. the blendings in the whole. uniting with the uniquely unified powers. by mingled and relative operations. and One and the Same. the magnitudes. and every movement. as having become single. as it were. and thus conducting to the Beautiful and Good. ceaselessly dancing around. 28 .

irrational and stupid not to cling to the force of the meaning. every conception. or motherland by fatherland. and those of the same rank. their fellows brotherly. having become godlike. creative. 46 We ought to know. and even the Divine Love is Good of Good. the less love the greater suppliantly.Dionysius the Areopagite. Works (1897) 44 Dionysius the Areopagite compounds. every power. then. every energy. when the soul. but of those who receive empty sounds and keep the same just at the ears from passing through from outside. on account of the sensible perceptions. every bond. and it is of all. and in one word. are and come to being by reason of the Beautiful and Good. and in It. every science. 36 Creation through Goodness not necessity. it may be boldly said with truth. and by reason of It. 29 . and syllables. and descriptions. around their lips and ears. and in what way one ought to distinctly represent it. and all things non-existing are superessentially in the Beautiful and Good. and in the Beautiful and Good. the elements. as says the Sacred Word. SECTION XI. by many parts of speech. which do not pass through to the mental part of their soul. the benefactor of things that be. and to It. and by It are moved and held together. Further. since when our soul is moved by the intellectual energies to the things contemplated. every beginning. formative. and turn themselves to the Beautiful and Good. the sensible perceptions by aid of sensible objects are superfluous. did not permit itself to remain unproductive in itself. or to speak summarily. and to It all things look. or any other. pre-existing overflowingly in the Good. sustains all. that even the very Author of all things. final. which are and come to being. and words unknown. loves all. just as also the intellectual powers. above beginning and above term. every term. and syllables. and for the sake of It. every contact. according to the correct account. 45 By all things. but who specially affect sounds and signs without meaning. and words. And let no one fancy that we honour the Name of Love beyond the Oracles. every term. because from It. all the bounds. and these severally love the things of themselves continuously. but to the mere words. which signify the self-same thing. Moreover. all things existing are from the Beautiful and Good. and are not willing to know what such a word signifies. but moved itself to creation36. that we use sounds. by reason of overflowing Goodness. every infinitude. or straight lines by direct lines. and phrases. every essence. as befits the overflow which is generative of all. the distinctions. do and wish all things whatever they do and wish. but buzz without. and in one word. all things existing are from the Beautiful and Good. through other words of the same force and more explanatory. and. perfects all. by twice two. every reason. and for the sake of It. all things whatever. is every source exemplary. are all things. beginning and term. every union. by reason of It. elemental. in my opinion. every sensible perception. and the greater. as though it were not permitted to signify the number four. the Beautiful and Good is desired and beloved and cherished. the less considerately. and all things by aspiring to the Beautiful and Good. by reason of the Good. attracts all. the orders. every condition. for it is. and in It. makes all. For Love itself. the forms. and this is not the characteristic of those who have wished to comprehend things Divine. the pre-eminences. and through It.

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throws itself, through a union beyond knowledge, against the rays of the unapproachable light, by
sightless efforts. But, when the mind strives to be moved upwards, through objects of sense, to
contemplative conceptions, the clearer interpretations are altogether preferable to the sensible
perceptions, and the more definite descriptions are things more distinct than things seen; since when
objects near are not made clear to the sensible perceptions, neither will these perceptions be well
able to present the things perceived to the mind. But that we may not seem, in speaking thus, to be
pushing aside the Divine Oracles, let those who libel the Name of Love (Ἔρωτος) hear them. “Be
in love with It,” they say, “and It will keep thee—Rejoice over It, and It will exalt thee—Honour
It, in order that It may encompass thee,”—and whatever else is sung respecting Love, in the Word
of God.
SECTION XII.

47

48

And yet it seemed to some of our sacred expounders that the Name of Love is more Divine than
that of loving-kindness (ἀγάπης). But even the Divine Ignatius37 writes, “my own Love (ἔρως) is
crucified;” and in the introductions to the Oracles you will find a certain One saying of the Divine
Wisdom, “1 became enamoured of her Beauty.” So that we, certainly, need not be afraid of this
Name of Love, nor let any alarming statement about it terrify us. For the theologians seem to me
to treat as equivalent the name of Loving-kindness, and that of Love; and on this ground, to attribute,
by preference, the veritable Love, to things Divine, because of the misplaced prejudice of such men
as these. For, since the veritable Love is sung of in a sense befitting God, not by us only, but also
by the Oracles themselves, the multitude, not having comprehended the Oneness of the Divine
Name of Love, fell away, as might be expected of them, to the divided and corporeal and sundered,
seeing it is not a real love, but a shadow, or rather a falling from the veritable Love. For the Oneness
of the Divine and one Love is incomprehensible to the multitude, wherefore also, as seeming a very
hard name to the multitude, it is assigned to the Divine Wisdom, for the purpose of leading back
and restoring them to the knowledge of the veritable Love; and for their liberation from the difficulty
respecting it. And again, as regards ourselves, where it happened often that men of an earthly
character imagined something out of place, (there is used) what appears more euphonius. A certain
one says, “Thy affection fell upon me, as the affection of the women.” For those who have rightly
listened to things Divine, the name of Loving-kindness and of Love is placed by the holy theologians
in the same category throughout the Divine revelations, and this is of a power unifying, and binding
together, and mingling pre-eminently in the Beautiful and Good; pre-existing by reason of the
beautiful and good, and imparted from the beautiful and good, by reason of the Beautiful and Good;
and sustaining things of the same rank, within their mutual coherence, but moving the first to
forethought for the inferior, and attaching the inferior to the superior by respect.
SECTION XIII.

37

See note, p. 128.

30

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49

Dionysius the Areopagite

But Divine Love is extatic, not permitting (any) to be lovers of themselves, but of those beloved.
They shew this too, the superior by becoming mindful of the inferior; and the equals by their mutual
coherence; and the inferior, by a more divine respect towards things superior. Wherefore also, Paul
the Great, when possessed by the Divine Love, and participating in its extatic power, says with
inspired lips, “I live no longer, but Christ lives in me.” As a true lover, and beside himself, as he
says, to Almighty God, and not living the life of himself, but the life of the Beloved, as a life
excessively esteemed. One might make bold to say even this, on behalf of truth, that the very Author
of all things, by the beautiful and good love of everything, through an overflow of His loving
goodness, becomes out of Himself, by His providences for all existing things, and is, as it were,
cozened by goodness and affection and love, and is led down from the Eminence above all, and
surpassing all, to being in all, as befits an extatic superessential power centred in Himself. Wherefore,
those skilled in Divine things call Him even Jealous, as (being) that vast good Love towards all
beings, and as rousing His loving inclination to jealousy,—and as proclaiming Himself Jealous—to
Whom the things desired are objects of jealousy, and as though the objects of His providential care
were objects of jealousy for Him. And, in short, the lovable is of the Beautiful and Good, and Love
preexisted both in the Beautiful and Good, and on account of the Beautiful and Good, is and takes
Being.
SECTION XIV.

50

But what do the theologians mean when at one time they call Him Love, and Loving-kindness, and
at another, Loved and Esteemed? For, of the one, He is Author and, as it were, Producer and Father;
but the other, He Himself is; and by one He is moved, but by the other He moves; or (when they
say), that He Himself is Procurer and Mover of Himself and by Himself. In this sense, they call
Him esteemed and loved, as Beautiful and Good: but again Love and Loving-kindness, as being at
once moving and conducting Power to Himself;—the alone—self Beautiful and Good, by reason
of Itself, and, being, as it were, a manifestation of Itself through Itself, and a good Progression of
the surpassing union, and a loving Movement, simplex, self-moved, self-operating, pre-existing
in the Good, and from the Good bubbling forth to things existing, and again returning to the Good,
in which also the Divine Love indicates distinctly Its own unending and unbeginning, as it were a
sort of everlasting circle whirling round in unerring combination, by reason of the Good, from the
Good, and in the Good, and to the Good, and ever advancing and remaining and returning in the
same and throughout the same. And these things our illustrious initiator divinely set forth throughout
His Hymns of Love, of which we may appropriately make mention, and, as it were, place as a
certain sacred chapter to our treatise concerning Love.
SECTION XV.
Extract from the “Hymns of Love” by the most holy Hierotheus:—

31

Dionysius the Areopagite, Works (1897)

Dionysius the Areopagite

Love, whether we speak of Divine, or Angelic, or intelligent, or psychical, or physical, let us regard
as a certain unifying and combining power, moving the superior to forethought for the inferior, and
the equals to a mutual fellowship, and lastly, the inferior to respect towards the higher and superior.
SECTION XVI.
Of the same, from the same Erotic Hymns.

51

Since we have arranged the many loves from the one, by telling, in due order, what are the kinds
of knowledge and powers of the mundane and supermundane loves; over which, according to the
defined purpose of the discourse, the orders and ranks of the mental and intelligible loves preside;
next after38 which are placed the self-existent intelligible and divine, over the really beautiful loves
there which have been appropriately celebrated by us; now, on the other hand, by restoring all back
to the One and enfolded Love, and Father of them all, let us collect and gather them together from
the many, by contracting It into two Powers entirely lovable, over which rules and precedes altogether
the Cause, resistless from Its universal Love beyond all, and to which is elevated, according to the
nature of each severally, the whole love from all existing things.
SECTION XVII.
Of the same, from the same Hymns of Love.
Come then, whilst collecting these again into one, let us say, that it is a certain simplex power,
which of itself moves to a sort of unifying combination from the Good, to the lowest of things
existing, and from that again in due order, circling round again, through all to the Good from Itself,
and through Itself and by Itself, and rolling back to Itself always in the same way.
SECTION XVIII.

52

And yet, any one might say, “if the Beautiful and Good is beloved and desired, and esteemed by
all (for even that which is non-existing desires It, as we have said, and struggles how to be in It;
and Itself is the form-giving, even of things without form, and by It alone, even the non-existing
is said to be, and is superessentially)—“How is it that the host of demons do not desire the Beautiful
and Good, but, through their earthly proclivities, having fallen away from the angelic identity, as
regards the desire of the Good, have become cause of all evils both to themselves and to all the
others who are said to be corrupted? and why, in short, when the tribes of demons have been brought
into being from the Good, are they not like the Good? or how, after being a good production from
the Good, were they changed? and what is that which depraved them, and in short, what is evil?
and from what source did it spring? and in which of things existing is it? and how did He, Who is
38

i.e. in ascending order.

32

then. And I. how shall the Evil be in things existing. will pray the objector to look to the truth of the facts. and righteousness and unrighteousness.. this does not expel the Evil from existence. And. long before the difference between the just man and his opposite is made manifest externally. and generator of things existing. nor of good to bring into being things not good. in the very soul itself the vices stand altogether apart from the virtues. nor will the Evil itself be. both itself existing. and if it is the destruction of things existing. For if the Evil is not. if the things existing desire the Beautiful and Good. Now. in consequence of which it wholly is. what other cause is there for things existing. For the Good is not contrary to Itself. The Evil40 then is in things existing. 1763. but to destroy and to dissolve. are contraries. it is not the nature of fire to make cold. and every purpose of things existing has the Good for its beginning and end (for nothing looking to the Evil qua evil. it is not the Evil. and from this we must grant some evil contrary to the Good. if it should be evil even to itself. not even that which opposes itself to virtue will be evil. unless it should be spoken of as in the Good superessentially. when there is a Providence. then there is existing in the Good even the non-existing. when He willed it. or. but the Evil is neither in things existing. for the absolutely non-existing will be nothing. it is alien and more unsubstantial. is there evil.Dionysius the Areopagite. wholly being. 33 . both universally and particularly. but. and. Where then is the Evil? some one may perchance say. The Good. if this be not the case. or not destroyed? And how does any existing thing desire it. and if all things that be are from the Good (for to produce and to preserve is natural to the Good. and the temperate and intemperate man. the Evil is not altogether evil. Nor yet is the lesser good opposed to the greater. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Good. they do for the sake of that which seems good. speak in reference to the just and unjust man. will to bring it into being? and how. Theaet. but has some portion of the Good. and the Good is above all things existing. the Good. It rejoices in fellowship and unity and friendship. if it be not so. to the Evil). it is not altogether evil. but it will be. and yet sobriety and license. how. and if it is from the Good. The Evil is not from the Good. but also. Theaet. does what it does). how has it been seduced from such a good yearning? Also if all the things existing are from the Good.—virtue and vice are the same. was He able? And if evil is from another cause. nor in things non-existing. and will make bold to say this first. nor non-existing. beside the Good? Further. Or. on our part. will be fixed far above both the absolutely existing and the non-existing.39 53 54 Such a statement as this might be alleged by way of objection. for neither is the less heat or cold opposed to the greater. Does not frequently the destruction of one become birth of another? 39 40 Plato. and the passions rebel against the reason. but the Evil is not existing. there is no existing thing from the Evil. however. by no means. and is opposed. We. but as the product from one Source and one Cause. and is in opposition to. For. being further distant from the Good than the non-existing itself. either coming into existence at all. and is existing. and whatever they do. in comparison with the Good? SECTION XIX.

and are able to subsist. in passing through all. nor is able to be. both are. nor is good. with regard to the rest. the most Divine and honoured would occupy the rank of the lowest. even the things fighting against It. not only passes to the All-good beings around Itself. as each existing thing is able to participate in It. by Its power. pollutes and destroys the subsistence of things existing. as far as it can. in so far as they are deprived of the Good. nor generative. For. but only. but extends Itself to the most remote. but nevertheless he participates in the Good. to others subordinately. even Anger participates in the Good. when not all are in the same way adapted to its whole participation? Now. with a view to the entire participation of itself. this is the exceeding greatness of the power of the Good. things exist. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite and the Evil will be contributing to the completion of the whole. or has not become completely developed. and supplying through itself non-imperfection to the whole. that It empowers. And. whilst others are deprived of It. that it is productive of being. And some things. if one must make bold to speak the truth. the absolutely Evil is neither existing nor good. but that which approaches more or less near the Good will be proportionately good. by the 34 .Dionysius the Areopagite. by being present to some thoroughly. or is. even if he have been deprived of the Good. but. nor desires realities. both are good. and qua evil. 55 56 57 SECTION XX. and impure. but the Good in whatever things it may be perfectly engendered. and. indeed. and the Evil will be destruction indeed. it is both existing and good-existing. Yea. makes them perfect and pure. such as heat or cold. by reason of itself. and that by destruction of one it gives birth to another. or will be. and are able to fight. nor as self-acting destruction). and when the heat has departed from them. by reason of the Good. as regards his irrational lust. in a more or less degree. And (thus) the Evil altogether. in one word. the licentious man. by reason of the Good. since the All-perfect Goodness. we must truly answer. rather (for neither will the same by itself be both good and evil. are neither good. For if the Good were not present according to the capacity of each. nor productive of things being and good. in so far as they are. but. participate in the Good entirely. that not qua destruction it gives birth. but to the rest. And how were it possible that all should participate in the Good uniformly. it destroys and pollutes only. and to the rest. And. in no way or manner ever was. Yea rather. in his very obscure echo of union and friendship. and productive of things good. in order that I may speak summarily. both things deprived. and thoroughly good. Now to all this true reason will answer. superessentially). even when the condition has departed.—but the things which partake of it in a less degree are both imperfectly good. many of them are deprived both of life and intelligence (now Almighty God is outside essence. even with regard to the other conditions. and the deprivation of Itself. there are things which have been heated. but qua destruction and evil. nor the self-same power be of itself destruction and birth—neither as self-acting power. but that which is every way deprived of the Good. nor do they exist. it is neither existing. all things which are. But. that the Evil qua evil makes no single essence or birth. and is. by reason of the lack of the Good. in the most remote degree. and from the Good. if any one says. is not. in this respect he neither is. nor productive of things existing. nor good producing. the Good is present as a most distant echo. but others possess a more obscure participation in the Good. but it becomes birth and essence. For example. but producer of birth by reason of the Good.

for. it is an evil to those things to which it was opposed. by reason of the Good in things existing. vice versa. if you should entirely take away the Good. if the Evil is an imperfect good. And. it is impossible that the same things. the Evil. as wholly desirous of life and that which seems best to him. and in consequence of this in things existing. and. But. if this were granted. by the very fact of desiring. For that which is altogether deprived of the Good. or the Good from the Evil. but a presence of a lesser good. For. there will be neither anything altogether good. fight no doubt against a certain good. and be seen. and partially not good. when on the one hand. for neither is cold in fire. For. and desiring life. it is absurd and impossible. And the Evil. is not. or it will be in the Good. For. Works (1897) 58 59 Dionysius the Areopagite very movement and desire to direct and turn the seeming evils to the seeming good. that which in no ways is at all. so far it is. who desires the very worst life. should fight against each other. and in the whole. and embraces all. even Almighty God will not be in repose. even it is sustained by the participation of the Good. nor free from disquietude. (then) by the entire absence of the Good. and certainly it is not possible that there should be two contrary sources of things existing. But. The Evil then is not an actual thing. that birth is born from destruction.—that which has altogether fallen from the Good—will be good. but so far as it has participated in the Being. nor compound. by having the lowest possible order of essence. if all things existing are from the Good. nor in things existing. not simplex and unique. more or less. as the infallibility of the Oracles affirms. in so far as it has fallen from the ever Being. for. and its non-being. is sustained and preserved. and the Good is in all things existing. not even the disease itself will continue to exist. But neither is the Evil in things existing. nor movement. it is absurd that two entirely contraries should proceed and be from one and the same. and that these should be contending in each other. For. under the same conditions in every respect. Further. not total—for. nor to do evil in Him. and certainly it will not be in the Good. or. and in this continues to exist as a parasite. but the partially good. will not be at all. is expelled from other things on account of their goodness. if it shall be. Yea rather. nor life. and. on the other. if this should be. and be changed. and then only will be. that a “good tree should bring forth evil fruits. For. it is evident that it will be from another source and cause. wholly by the participation of Itself. if there 35 . is not a power of evil. but partially is not. but the compound. Who turns even the evil to good. is neither existing. and that the self-same source should be. and the Good gives essence even to the privation of Itself. when the Good has entirely departed. either the Evil will not be in things existing. neither in the more nor in the less. how will the Evil be in the Good? If forsooth. if this be not possible. nor anything else. So that the fact. but not against the whole Good. and contrary to itself. there will be neither essence. if not from Itself. nor absolute evil. and looking to a best life.Dionysius the Areopagite. both the imperfect and the perfect Good will be absent. even as disease is a defect of order. all things existing will so far be. and its whole being. either the Evil will be from the Good. nor yearning. And the very man. as they participate in the Good.” nor certainly. but that which partially is. is also existing in so far as it participates in the Good. but the disease remains and is. both the Good and the Evil will be from another source and cause. for no dual is source. but a Unit will be source of every dual. even as respects the self-existing Being. but divided and double. from Itself. For it is not possible. SECTION XXI. participates in the Good.

for if the good-like angel proclaims the goodness of God. and some. and produces good things. evil. even as regards the very Divinest thing of all. and similar. and such a disease will be even a destruction of itself. if they are evil by nature. neither are the demons evil by nature. And with regard to the destruction of power and energy the principle is the same. but a defective good. everything will be in disorder. evil? For the Good brings forth and sustains good things. for the complete lack of power takes away even the disease and the subject. if in God. and. the principle of harmony and proportion lacks the power to remain as it was. and sometimes He will have it. but. the Cause. nor. and kind. in fact. will be sometimes Being. then. Then. The Evil. He will then have it from another. and Giver of Peace. God. SECTION XXIII. and yet the Good distributes friendship to all existing things. neither is this an evil for every one. and unholy and unfit for things un-defiled. and affable to each other.Dionysius the Areopagite. but the becoming worthy of punishment. but things receptive of destruction. Yet they are called evil. both as very Peace. nor the being deservedly expelled from Holy things. in the first place. such a thing is not an evil. or He does good. either He is not good. so far as is possible. and marshalled to one good. and always fighting. for they do not destroy things indestructible by nature. 62 But. neither are they from the Good. Then. the Angel is a likeness of Almighty God—a manifestation of the unmanifested light—a mirror untarnished—most transparent—without flaw—pure—without spot— receiving. are they evil to themselves or to others? If to themselves. the being punished is not an evil. is not from God. But. not even any existing thing is destroyed. for that which has no part of the Good will not be amongst things which exist. then. but the becoming accursed of God. and always. and the Evil is not inspired by God. But neither is the Evil from God. or what destroying?—Essence. seeing they come into being from God. SECTION XXII. in so far as it is essence and nature. so that. they also destroy themselves. but by the defect of nature’s order. But by punishing sinners are they evil? By this rule. But the lack of strength is not complete. And yet. and those of the priests who shut out the profane from the Divine Mysteries. So that the Evil is not in God. the punishers of transgressors are evil. or power. not once in a way. for this would argue transition and change. how are the demons. nor amongst things existing. 61 But neither is the Evil in Angels. and is celebrated by the holy theologians. for. But 36 . neither absolutely nor occasionally. for. when changing from the Good. and in every case. but if to others. it is not contrary to nature. did they change from good. and sometimes not Being. every one. the Good is sustaining essence. Then. nor in God. then. if I may so speak. and products of one life. how destroying. Wherefore. is not even in Angels. or energy? If indeed Essence. shedding forth undefiledly in itself. the goodness of the Silence. being by nature. and not all. But. being by participation in a secondary degree that which the Announced is in the first degree as Cause. The Evil. which dwells in innermost shrines. Works (1897) 60 Dionysius the Areopagite were indeed something bringing disturbance even to Him. if He has the Good by participation. and sometimes not. and at another time not. things good are both friendly and harmonious. some one may say. Then. the full beauty of the Good-stamped likeness of God—and without stain.

Otherwise. they are not evil by nature. And they are not altogether without part in the good. But does some one say that souls are evil? If it be that they meet with evil things providentially. and are complete. But. So far as they are. and the dog. that which enlightens even the darkness. as the Oracles affirm. if we say that souls become evil. even if they are in demons. by reason of their own lack of strength.” For in what. and the whole good which was given to them was not changed. nor in every respect. and a weakness and departure.—But these. the nature of the living creature which possesses them. The Evil. they are not evil. in them. SECTION XXV. by aspiring to the realities. and to admit those of the 37 . but. and Life. as they are not. and live and think. and which are not absolutely evil in their own nature. although the demons themselves do not see. and in one word—as there is a sort of movement of aspiration in them. tell me. if they are always in the same condition. but they exist. and yet the light itself is always light. and all luminous. except in the failure of their good habits and energies. and are evil as regards what they are not: and by aspiring to the non-existent. when he has become gentle to every body. But the possession saves. But. then. we by no means affirm that they were changed. But neither is the Evil in irrational creatures. But they are said to be evil. but the loss. Therefore. and falling away from the power which preserves their integrity in them. but themselves fell from the whole good given. The tribe of demons then is not evil. and an evil. for to be ever the same is a characteristic of the Good. will not be a dog. evils. but by wavering from the angelic good qualities. For even with regard to other living creatures. and obtained a good being). and makes to be. do we affirm that the demons become evil. and aspire to the Beautiful and the Good. and a missing of aim. they are both from the Good. since to keep guard is a dog’s duty. through having blunted their powers of seeing good. they are called evil. and by the privation and departure and declension from the good things befitting them. missing their aim and tripping? For we also say. not the possession of these. Works (1897) 63 64 Dionysius the Areopagite not as they are (for they are from the Good. is neither in demons nor in us. The evil then. they are always evil. and. “to keep their first estate. in so far as they both are. as an existent evil. but as a failure and dearth of the perfection of our own proper goods. and with a view to their preservation. And the angelic gifts which were given to them. what is evil in demons? An irrational anger—a senseless desire—a headlong fancy. by reason of their weakness as regards their action according to nature. and from the Good. and are good. this is not an evil. they aspire to the Evil. for if you should take away anger and lust. and imperfection and impotence. but so far as it is not. so far as it is according to nature. and Thought. if the demons are evil by nature. and the other things which we speak of. that the air around us becomes dark by failure and absence of light. is a turning aside and a stepping out of things befitting themselves. yet evil is unstable. except in the ceasing in the habit and energy for good things Divine? Otherwise. are not altogether. the lion having lost his boldness and fierceness will not be a lion.Dionysius the Areopagite. in what respect do they become evil. by not having had strength. nor in themselves alone. but a good. Being. Who makes even the evil good. SECTION XXIV. if they are not always evil. is both destruction to the creature.

41 Jahn. and another in another. SECTION XXVII. how is matter an evil? For the Evil is one thing. as in demons. But malady of nature. or further. p. if they say that matter is necessary. there are two first principles. and all things existing are from the Good. 65 SECTION XXVI. for a completion of the whole Cosmos. evil? For the Evil shuns the nature of the Good. But if matter. as being from the Good. but to drive away the stranger. is the deprivation of things of nature. by itself.Dionysius the Areopagite. is to the other. But that the body is not cause of baseness to the soul is evident. neither is the Evil in bodies. 66. for if all the methods of nature are from universal nature. nor nourishes. but this is evil to nature. but a destruction of nature. nor preserves anything. but a less good. For even it participates in ornament and beauty and form. And this is not altogether an evil. nor solely produces. which. And how does matter. even it would be from the Good. generate and nourish nature? For the Evil. or even the Good. and either the Good is productive of the Evil. quâ evil. how is that.) the weakness and declension from the habitude of their own proper goods. is impassive? Besides how is matter an evil? for. For this is evil to minds and souls and bodies. (viz. that which is the contrary to nature. 38 . and a deprivation of order. how does He. as from the Evil. 66 But neither (a thing which they say over and over again) is the evil in matter. bring anything to birth from the Evil? or. contrary to nature. weakness. or the Evil is capable of producing the Good. But in each individual (nature) one thing will be according to nature. the inability to accomplish the things of one’s proper nature. And. But. But. it is neither good nor evil but if it is any how existing. and that which is according to nature to one. the body itself will be gone. So that there is not an evil nature. if all things through generation in time have their perfection. and failure of the natural habitudes and energies and powers. for if a dissolution of beauty and form and order become complete. if it does not exist in any way whatever. the imperfect is not altogether contrary to universal nature. and these suspended from another one head. and the necessary41 is another. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite household. by itself is without quality and without form. is evil. from the fact that baseness continues to coexist even without a body. being without these. But neither is the Evil in nature throughout. neither generates. For deformity and disease are a defect of form. so far as it is matter. Who is Good. how does matter produce anything—matter. which needs the Good. So the fact that nature is not destroyed is not an evil. being evil. SECTION XXVIII. For one thing is contrary to nature in one. or the Evil. is good. there is nothing contrary to it. And. and another not according to nature.

SECTION XXXI. The Cause of things good is One. when matter was dragging them entirely to the Evil? So that the Evil in souls is not from matter. But. and. an evil. the many causes of the Evil. if they say this further. for the 42 43 Jahn. but in so far as it is not a complete privation. nor is there any raison d’ etre for want of art in art. Neither are things evil unmoved. it has become an accomplished fact. and when. 39 . by its energies. for. or the necessary an evil? SECTION XXIX. whence are the virtues? Since it (the soul) comes into being without even seeming good. how is the Evil necessary. even things evil. and does. and is. and undefined. even its existence is an evil. or by the Good from the Evil. and a mixing of things dissimilar without proportion. But if by energies. and creates. with Him. but the Evil is from many and partial defects. or by both from another cause? Everything that is according to nature comes into being from a defined cause. and borne along in different things. that it does not make baseness in souls. it is not according to nature. But neither is it this which we affirm—the “privation fights against the Good by its own power42”. but that they are dragged to it. but endless and undefined. and want of strength. for the complete privation is altogether powerless. the Good is from the one and the whole Cause. It remains then that the Evil is a weakness and a falling short of the Good. it is not. how is it essentially evil? For good are all things born of this. Is then the soul cause of things evil. exists sometimes in one condition. certainly those productive of things evil. If the Evil is contrary to the Good. to speak briefly. but from a disordered and discordant movement. 68 But. are not principles and powers. is it from the good Cause creative of the whole universe? But. is the nature of the soul then good. and if not. but. not in respect of privation. and unstable matter is necessary for those who are unable to stand firmly by themselves. neither is this invariable. whence do these come to it? Is it either from the Good. p.Dionysius the Areopagite. if from this. But. And if the Evil is without cause. if they should say. SECTION XXX. and those endless. 67. and the partial has the power. as fire of burning. the causes of the evils are powers producing good43. the nature of the evil has departed also. and does it fill everything that it happens to touch with baseness? Or. and has power. and always in the same condition. as yet. and sometimes in another? If indeed by nature. and whence then does it derive its existence? Or. whilst privation of good is partial. if the Evil is eternal. that they invariably follow matter. Out of evil forth producing good. Almighty God knows the Evil qua good. and yet how did this take place. but want of power. how will this be true? for many of them look towards the good. For there is not in nature what is contrary to nature. For. Works (1897) 67 Dionysius the Areopagite But. The Good will be beginning and end of all.

and without reason.—be capable of anything? Not all things are evil to all. and beside limit. both those that are good. and want of proportion. and no existing thing is deprived absolutely of the Good. and unessential. but the lack of the Good is an evil. if the Good is both an actual thing and an object of desire. How. and intention. qua evil. neither as an actual thing nor as in things existing. and beside cause. SECTION XXXII. And no single thing is without a Providence. For neither is the Evil an actual thing existing unmixed with the Good. either individual or general. if no single thing is without participation in the Good. and inactive. SECTION XXXIII. as Providence is conservative of the nature of each. and dark. of themselves or others. and not of itself. is not. as befits Its goodness. but that in reality it is not right for the reason that we think that which is not good to be good. and power. and without limit. can evil do anything by its mixture with the Good? For that which is altogether without participation in the Good. how will the contrary to the Good. and beside purpose. nor the same things evil in every respect. And. uses even evils which happen for the benefit. and beside nature. as far as the nature of those provided for admits the providential benefits of its universal and manifold Providence. and without beauty. are there evils when there is a Providence? The Evil. and want of strength. and disordered. and limitless. For we do even these as desiring the Good (for no one does what he does with a view to the Evil). and want of attainment. and without result. and without production. 71 How. and beside beginning. The Evil then is privation and failure. it provides for the free. evil is to be contrary to the good-like mind—to a soul. and without completeness. and for the whole. according to the wants of all and each. distributed proportionably to each. and being itself nothing in any manner of way whatever. wherefore the Evil has not a subsistence. and beside intention. The desired is shewn to be one thing. and individuals. to be contrary to nature. To a demon. and without life. and beside the mark. but a parasitical subsistence. and powerful and effective. and those that are contrary. and without mind. Works (1897) 69 Dionysius the Areopagite sake of the Good. even against our will.—that which has been deprived of essence. coming into being for the sake of the Good. and thus that that which comes into being appears to be right. and that which comes to pass is another. The Evil. as free. the Divine Providence is in all existing things. nor is capable of anything. Wherefore we will not admit the vain statement of the multitude. to be contrary to reason—to a body. and without cause. because it comes into being for the sake of the Good. who say that Providence ought to lead us to virtue. and no single thing is without Providence. neither is anything. But Providence. For to destroy nature is not a function of Providence. in short. are all things. is beside the path. Hence. 40 . and not from its own origin. and beside end. For. 70 It is to be laid down that being belongs to the Evil as an accident and by reason of something else. in short. and want of purpose. and dissimilar. and suitably provides for each being.Dionysius the Areopagite. and energy. then. and without stability.

and loved. the weakness is not punishable. the Evil (as we have often said) is want of strength and want of power. as for the demons. and the fact that evil comes into being is not in consequence of power. Now. But their evil is from the declension from their own proper goods. but are weak concerning the faith. SECTION I. but on the contrary is pardonable. or of the energy of the Good. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite SECTION XXXIV. 72 Now the Oracles call conscious transgressors those who are thoroughly weak as regards the ever memorable knowledge or the practise of the Good. or the energy of the Good. is not an actual thing. and good. And in short. Who giveth. and the privation of Itself—as by all desired. but. in so far as they aspire to be and to live and to think. but a missing of the true aspiration. the Good has been sufficiently praised. and a change—the weakness. the true statement. Concerning Being—in which also concerning Exemplars.Dionysius the Areopagite. do not perform it. qua evil. 73 CAPUT V. and esteemed. as I deem. The Evil. And. or of the aspiration. or the never to be forgotten knowledge. 41 . and this is not aspiration. And for some. but by reason of weakness. then. For the Evil. Yet. they aspire to the non-existent. of the angelic perfection befitting them. speaking injustice and falsehood against Almighty God. and who. if power comes from the Good. what they are is both from the Good. nor is the Evil in things existing. some one may say. it is against their will to understand to do good. the statement might hold good. has demonstrated in the preceding. the failure and deviation.—those who are hearers indeed. by reason of the deviation or weakness of the will. and whatever else. But now. is nowhere. according to the Oracles. knowing the will. SECTION XXXV. And in so far as they do not aspire to the Good. the things suitable to all absolutely. and departure and declension of the possession from the Good of our own proper goods is not praiseworthy. or of the faith. But let these things suffice to have been sufficiently said according to our ability in our writings “Concerning just and Divine chastisement” throughout which sacred treatise the infallibility of the Oracles has cast aside those sophistical statements as senseless words. according to our ability. if the power were not granted. and defect. as really lovable.—as beginning and end of all—as embracing things existing—as giving form to things not existing—as Cause of all good things—as guiltless of things evil—as Providence and Goodness complete—and soaring above things that are and things that are not—and turning to good things evil. And they aspire to the Good. either of the knowledge. as regards their identity and condition.

Who veritably is. and wise-making. participating in It more abundantly. and without life. and that the one epithet makes known the complete Providence of the one God. celebrated by us. But it does not affirm that the Good is one thing. and the Name of Wisdom is extended to all the intellectual and rational and sensible. and participate in. and is above things living. Yet. of the very superessential Deity. that the purpose of our treatise is not to make known the superessential Essence—qua superessential—(for this is inexpressible. and that Life is other than Wisdom. But it celebrates the beneficial Providence. above sensible perception and reason. as making known the whole progressions of the Cause of all. and things not being.—and the Minds44 above the rational. As also. and is above things being. by their superiority in the abundance of reason. and surpassing the union itself). and reason. which gives essence to all things being. and altogether unrevealed. and sense. and unknowable. for what reason do we affirm that Life is superior to Being. But if the Divine Minds are both above all the rest of beings. of those who partake of essence. nor that the Causes are many. are of one God. then. and Life. And this. and. and having received larger and greater gifts from It. SECTION II. and Essence. beyond all the other existing beings. and Wisdom. aspire to. and are around God. as the Oracles affirm. and things not being. and Life. For the Divine Name of the Good. and others. 75 Yet. and that some deities produce one thing and others another. the Beautiful and Good. is true. and life. some one might say. 74 The treatise.Dionysius the Areopagite. both to things being. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite LET us now then pass to the name “Being”—given in the Oracles as veritably that of Him. SECTION III. and mind. But we will recall to your remembrance this much. and is above things being. and Life.—and the Name of Life is extended to all things living. seeks to celebrate these. by their life. but that the others are indicative of His more general and more particular providences. and these. and Deity. 42 . But the Name of Being is extended to all things being. that the things which participate more in the One and 44 Angels. and Wisdom to Life? Things with life no doubt are above things that merely exist—things sensible above those which merely live. as superior and inferior. and Wisdom. and live above the other living beings. But if any one assumed the intellectual to be without being.—and things rational above these. must needs be better and superior to the rest. by their sensible perception. and Wisdom. For it does not profess to express the very superessential Goodness.—in secret places. and is above all these. and the Being another. things which partake of greater gifts from God. the Names of God. which has been set forth as preeminently Goodness and Cause of all good things. Which is seated above all Goodness. and think and know. they are more around the Good. as I think. the rational creatures excel those of sensible perception. is extended. and are more near to Him. and as Being. which set forth His Providence. but that the whole good progressions and the Names of God. but to celebrate the progression of the supremely Divine Source of Essence. and Essence.—the Cause essentiating and vivifying. the statement might hold good.

nor will be. Who is. that the self-existent Life is source of living things. as living. both being. is age. 77 Summing up. as many as. as united. then. SECTION V. come then. let us say. And all things participate in Him. Naturally. the being is pre-supposed. since the whole being both is. And absolutely. than those who come behind them (in gifts). to Being Itself. and first are. before all these participate in being. in any way whatsoever. He is also called King of the ages. And every age and time is from Him. But He is the Being to things that be. howsoever existing. and from no single existing thing does He stand aloof. since we are speaking of these things. and super-possessing being. nor became. but absolutely and unboundedly. yea. and thing born. and being. Birth of things howsoever born. or many. and essence. and are sources. And. or many. And He is before all things. are more near to Him. before all the other participations in Him. He pre-established all being. from the prior of His other gifts. more chiefly than all the rest.Dionysius the Areopagite. And then. and subjected everything. Time of things coming into being. 76 Now. of things similar as similar. as participating in being. both are. the realities in things that be. and let us praise the Good. SECTION IV. For He is the Age of ages—the Existing before the ages. and not things that be only. And self-existent Being has precedence of the being self-existent Life. and is contemplated. I mean self-existent being. of which existing things participate. having comprehended and anticipated the whole Being in Himself. then. neither is. Almighty God is celebrated as Being. first participating in being. and Age of things that be. and is preserved in the Pre-existing. Who is. Source and Measure of ages. And there is nothing existent. of things united. And of every age and time.—then being sources of this or that. and more divine. first remaining. For Almighty God is not relatively a Being. and the being self-existent Wisdom. Being of things howsoever being. and 43 . in whatever gifts participating. nor will become—yea rather. if you wish to say. He. by participating in this or that. and the other beings. it both is. is superessential. and Framer of times. are this or that. or both. participate in the self-existent Being. and giving essence to all things that be. and by their being. and by their participating in being. of which the self-existent Being is not essence and age. but the very being of things that be. and is sustained. for pre-possessing even pre-existence. essence. and then are sources. and the self-existent Union. and the self-existent Similitude. in Him and around Him. and the being self-existent Divine Likeness. From Him. and time. and birth. or both. is from the Preexisting. all self-existent things. and all things in Him consist. and the self-existent Order. as ordered and of the rest. Wherefore. the Pre-existing is Source and Cause. as veritably Being. existence. nature. And. and Creator of being. that the being to all beings and to the ages. nor becomes. all the sources of beings. sustaining Cause of the whole potential Being. and of everything. and super-existence. absolutely from before the ages. subsistence. And He neither was. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite boundless-giving God. of things ordered. you will find the self-existent participations themselves. if anything is. howsoever existing. and things howsoever existing and subsisting. rather.

and that irresistibly. as also the sources of things being. and to the one source from which they proceeded. and in the soul. Maximus. every endurance. and those of the souls. 79 But all the proportions of nature individually are comprehended in the whole nature of the whole. every habit. or by reflection. every movement. much more the things participating in them. SECTION VII. but so far as it advances from the monad. and the monad holds every number in itself singly. and the things howsoever sustained by being. if these are by their participation of being. i. 78 The self-existent Super-goodness then. and in It. sec. the more they are united to it and to each other? and the more they stand apart from it. characterize all things being. by ascending from obscure images to the Cause of all. in the vestibule of the superessential Triad. every word. 44 . they are slightly separated. the powers of each several part are provident of the whole body in a uniform fashion. the more they stand apart from each other. and in It. more so. every source. we should contemplate. every conception. every immortality. the subordinate. every sensible perception. every term. every number preexists in the form of a unit. all things whatsoever said to be either in others. every difference. but standing slightly distant from it. every life. 45 46 i. For It is Source of things existing. the nearer they are to the centre. and have the being and the godlike being. For even in a monad. uniformly united. are from It. within one unconfused union. with supermundane eyes. every harmony. and being itself is from It. And in one word. 4. SECTION VI. every agreement. and comprehensively and uniformly. every standing. and in the centre itself they are completely united. are the higher and lower intellectual46 essences of the godlike angels. and whatever other things existing by being. cap. every mingling. and established. from which are both being itself. every power. and all things however being. the radii. and the natures of the whole Cosmos. And in a centre. after a single fashion and unitedly. all the lines45 of the circle coexist within one union.Dionysius the Areopagite. as projecting the first gift of self-existent being. that. And every number is united in the monad. every stability. and the point holds all the straight lines in itself. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite being participated. There is nothing out of place then.e. even those contrary to each other. even the all holy and most honoured Powers veritably being. But. but when more apart. all things in the Cause of all. every friendship. every union. both to each other. Yea. as regards Angels. every wisdom. and after them. And from the same Cause of all. every limit. as it were. SECTION VIII. every protection. is celebrated by the elder and first of the participations. so far it is distributed and multiplied. every order. Scholia. and all the things that be.

and transforms. and to It. as superessentially super-being before all. if the Philosopher Clemens thinks good. And He is above all. which theology calls predeterminations. and all the other beings. that the higher amongst beings should be called exemplars in relation to something. by having from the Pre-existing their being and their well-being. by the Oracles. But.” are properly sung respecting Him. and containing and pre-holding in Himself all governments. without beauty. And the souls. and gives life to all. but not that. And for this reason. Works (1897) 80 81 Dionysius the Areopagite subordinately. we must call to mind the Word of God. to be correctly said. and Middle and End. all controls. according to the same rule. and awakens. most remotely. and ends of things existing. beginning. and He is not of being. according to every conception of beings. and He is both age and beginning. and He is none of them all. giving essence to things that be. we affirm that the exemplars are the methods in God. But. since He produces even essences. as Cause of all. have their being. also. and of Him is being. and the “Was” and the “Is. the causes of the many participants. and fosters. and Cause in every way of things existing. But being itself never at any time fails all existing beings. which define and produce things existing. beginnings and middles. and measure of being. renews the essences and qualities of sensible creatures.” 45 . For He is not this. and being possesses Him. SECTION IX. and establishes.” and the “Becomes. and not He possesses being. For all these. and He is not in being.” and the “Became. although they are many and various. And in It are both being and well-being. irresistibly and preeminently. and shedding forth without flaw. terminated. uniformly. and are well. but that through the proportionate knowledge of these we may be led up to the Cause of all. which says. And the prerogatives of being he distributes to the superior beings. not through correct and perfect and simple names. and makes to be productive. and in It. and nourishes and guards. and being and age and all things. and unites. and from It. which the Oracles call even eternal. guarded. as beseems One superessential Oneness. but as regards ourselves. For. and Divine and good wills. participates in the same and one sun. according to which (predeterminations) the Superessential both predetermined and brought into existence everything that exists. and the one sun anticipated in himself. and perfects and distinguishes. but not in some other. of pre-essence. to those who think worthily of God. and their well-being. And even self-existent being is from the Pre-existent. his statement advances. if our sun. as beseems the egression from essence. ought we to concede that It first presides over. all things are predicated of Him and together. nor is He in some way. in a manner appropriate to itself.” and the “Will become. supermundanely. when we have conceded even this. (the light of) being to all. all the exemplars.Dionysius the Areopagite. of every kind. as we are capable. as beseems a One and super-united Cause. the veritably Pre-existing is represented under many forms. and makes to grow. being essentiating Source. 82 But. of all existing things. and are. without form. and the remotest. of every shape. and each of the whole. signify by every conception His being superessentially. but He is all things. at the same time that he is one and sheds a uniform light.” and the “Will be.—and in Him is being. anticipating in Himself. “I have not shewn thee these things for the purpose of going after them. and increases. Wherefore. and pre-existing uniformly. of things existing. much more with regard to the Cause of it and of all things.

and the measures of things existing. and the immortality of the immortal Angels. as it were. entirely come up to Him. but from the vivifying Cause forming and sustaining all life. or those temporarily subsisting. and is participated in by all uniquely. the essentiating Progression and Goodness. so also here again (we say) that the Divine Life. all existing things to It. is participated in by many ears as one. and rejoicing over all things being. that He is Age even of the self-existing Being. because not from themselves have they their immortality and eternal life. SECTION X. and plants in their most remote echo of life. and from which. and standing and moving. which is above life. and the same. both is. For in One. rejecting all duplicity by an one superfluity of simplicity. or middle. and infinitude of all infinitude. 84 Now let us sing the Eternal Life. of things that are. Who is. He is Eternity itself. neither in any of the existing things. whilst being one and the same. and term. beginning indeed as Cause.Dionysius the Areopagite. and as we said of Him. nor being any of the existing things. Certainly the life. and everywhere. as beseems its super-simplified Infinity. and all things eternal and temporal. and every life and life-giving movement is from the Life which is above every life. And when It is 46 . neither having beginning. as we have often said. and things existing. and all source of all life. being present to all. and issuing forth to all. Wherefore. is distributed the power to live appropriately to each. opposed. He both pre-holds and sustains all existing things. and every life. not immortal. then. or end. and all living creatures. pre-holds all things in Itself. to all things however partaking of life. even the souls have their indestructibility. and term of all. they are also called living always and immortal. and by reason of It. But It grasps all things in the same way. Concerning Life. especially. and filling all things with Its own being. CAPUT VI. From It. both penetrating all. and end as for whom. is life-giving and sustaining even of the self-existing Life. even as a voice. and things measured through Him and from Him. and as the every same. both as regards the one. SECTION I. Wherefore also. and again. and neither standing nor moving. 83 The Pre-existing then is beginning and end of existing things. and is sustained from It. But let us speak of these things more opportunely on another occasion. and abiding in Himself. as beseems One Union pre-eminent above all. have their power to live. and the very indestructibility of the angelic perpetual motion. since by starting from Being. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite We must attribute. but He towers above time and eternity. And neither does any of the things eternally existing. from which comes the self-existing Life.

whilst extending Itself through excess of goodness. neither has this its being from another cause. So that the contradictory statements of Simon’s folly on this matter. even to the life of demons47. which is above every life.” I understand our visible nature. as Cause. uniformly pre-existed. through their inability to participate in It. it both lives and thrives. SECTION II. but to me. and to the individual life. all life fails. whilst thinking to be wise.—a fact which perhaps seems to Antiquity contrary to nature. so far as is possible to compound being. that the right-thinking man ought not to use the visible reason of the sensible perception. 29. causing to live and super-living. For the super-living. or essence of life. not the all-powerful nature of the Divine Life. or sensible. and to the truth. the Self-living. and contemplated. both all living creatures and plants draw their life and nourishment. or rational. and to thee. and as without need. as an ally against the invisible Cause of all. and to It even things that have failed. “For the gifts of God are without repentance. to a perfect life and immortality. in consequence of its numerous generation of all lives. for to It nothing is contrary. as I imagine. and the unswerving and undeviating perpetual movement.” according to the Divine saying. and. let them be far repelled from a Divine assembly. and bodies their yoke-fellows). and this must be our reply to him. yea. what is still more Divine. 85 And It gives chiefly to the self-existing Life to be a life. and above every life. both Divine and above nature. For. And to the supercelestial lives It gives the immaterial and godlike. CAPUT VII.” 47 . and is generative. and sung by every life. Further. For this escaped him. as Manifold. and in It. but from It life has both its being and its continuance. and unchangeable immortality. when again returning. and life-springing Life is Cause both of all life. rather. or source of life. as being nature of all the living creatures. SECTION III. or nourishing. and whether you speak of intellectual. But. or whatever.Dionysius the Areopagite. that his statement is against nature. superfull of life. It bequeaths even to men the angelic life. again become living creatures. and to every life. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite “taken away. no life is against nature. For. or above nature. life. and especially the more Divine. by “above nature. and from thy reverent soul. and is to be celebrated from every life. and calls us back to Itself. and through an overflowing love towards man turns. or in whatever way one might extol the life which is unutterable by human speech. from It. even when we are departing from It. xi. 47 Rom. or growing. to this. promises to transfer even our whole selves (I mean souls. and dividing of life. that each should be conformable to that which nature intended it to be. and completive. 86 From It.

as sustaining all wisdom. and in It all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.. the irrational and mindless and foolish Wisdom. by taking the things above us. and being superior to all wisdom and understanding. faith. or from portions. when the truly divine man. in an opposite sense. in a sense familiar to ourselves. 87 COME then. not in portions. through which it views things intellectual. and Him. and by comparing things Divine with our own conditions. to be unutterable and without name. Reason. standing out of our whole selves. Section VI. Who is often sung. Who is present to all. and of many names. For. not only is Almighty God superfull of wisdom. but He is fixed above all reason and mind and wisdom. and as wisdom’s self. and Him.Dionysius the Areopagite. had thought this out.” that which appears unexpected and absurd in it. Mind. but that the union through which it is brought into contact with things beyond itself surpasses the nature of the mind. immaterially and uniformly. the super-wise. even now. rather. to be incomprehensible and past finding out. things of privation. not after ourselves. or sensible perceptions. and not of ourselves. and all wisdom and understanding. but that it is even usual with the theologians to deny. Celebrating then. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Concerning Wisdom. and of our leader. and is found of all. the Oracles declare. and all-wise Cause is a mainstay48 even of the self-existing Wisdom. Thus. and they have their intellectual power and energy resplendent with the unmixed and undefiled purity. agreeably to the things already spoken. invisible. we affirm that It is Cause of all mind and reason. he says. We must then contemplate things Divine. For thus things Divine will. and from It every knowledge and understanding. SECTION I. We ought to know that our mind has the power for thought. if you please. this. and of It is every counsel. in a sense above nature. but purified from everything material and multitudinous. they contemplate the conceptions of Divine things intuitively. and see at a glance the Divine conceptions indivisibly and 48 See Caput XI. For it is better to be of God. after this Union. collecting their divine knowledge. In this very way. or detailed reasonings. SECTION II. and becoming wholly of God. in a superlative sense. (but) which leads to the truth which is unutterable and before all reason. as I elsewhere said. the common sun of us.” (meaning) not only that all human intelligence is a sort of error. yea. and by being entangled by what is congenial to sensible perceptions. But. be given to those who become dear to God. 48 . with respect to God. 88 From It the contemplated and contemplating powers of the angelic Minds have their simple and blessed conceptions. let us sing the good and eternal Life. Truth. “the foolishness of God is wiser than men. but by our whole selves. and of His understanding there is no number. both the universal and the individual. or arguing from something common to these things. the All-luminous Light. the Divine Apostle is said to have celebrated as “foolishness of God. And. For. we are led astray through following the Divine and mystical reason after a mere appearance. both as wise. when tried by the stability and durability of the Divine and most perfect conceptions.

the super-wise. by knowing Itself. peculiar to Himself. so to speak. so far as is proper and attainable to souls. and mainstay. presupposes in itself the notion of darkness. and of every kind. and Pre-perfect. as Cause. if one called them an echo of wisdom. and in Itself. And souls have their reasoning power. we must contemplate things Divine. He will know all things. and things many. that the angels also know things on the earth. as I have been accustomed to say many times before. 91 49 . not knowing the darkness otherwise than from the light. not by a knowledge of things existing. and every sensible perception. seeing He has not intellectual operations? or how will He know the objects of sense. knowing all things. I presume. by excess—not by defect. we must attribute to God. not as learning existing things from existing things. and completion and guard. but by a proper power and nature of the Godlike Mind. and another. this. as attainable by reason of the Divine Wisdom. from the Source Itself. by the collection of many towards the One. but so far as a mind is irrational. how then is Almighty God Himself. So the Divine Mind comprehends all things. even of conceptions equal to the angels. qua mind. seeing He is fixed above all sensible perception? Yet the Oracles affirm that He knoweth all things. and knowing all the rest from within. if as becomes one Cause. even the mind of demons. the sacred text teaches. it pre-holds and pre-comprehends the notion and knowledge. and. and essence of all things. does the Divine Mind know. I think. has not one knowledge. and through their divided and manifold variety falling short of the single minds. and term of wisdom itself. “He. as cause. and by bringing into being. in a manner becoming God. having anticipated within Himself the knowledge of all. will know all things.” For. as being from Himself. and not wishing to attain what it aspires to. how will He conceive any of the objects of intelligence. unique Cause. by His knowledge surpassing all. and the impalpable. when it says. For the Oracles affirm. Almighty God. but. and the insensible. before their birth. investigating the truth of things by detailed steps and rotation. and are by the Godlike One moulded. Works (1897) 89 90 Dionysius the Areopagite immaterially. For even. as beseems the Cause of all. as beseems the self-same. and that nothing escapes the Divine Knowledge. but by that of Himself. but from Itself. although objects of sensible perception. immaterially. just as the light. Almighty God knows existing things. indivisibly. to the Divine and Super-wise Mind and Reason. He will be provider of the knowledge of themselves. and imperfection. just as we attribute the irrational to Him Who is above reason. deemed worthy. but knowing and containing all things. since the Divine Wisdom is called source. then. not approaching each several thing according to its kind. Almighty God distributes being to all things that be. by knowing Itself. and cause. And. to the light which is inaccessible on account of excess of the visible light. within one grasp of the Cause.Dionysius the Areopagite. But. But. and of every mind and reason. but even to each of them. which embraces in common all things existing. In this way then. But. and not from things that be will He receive the knowledge of them. to the Super-perfect. For the mindless. even as regards the sensible perceptions themselves. we must call it more properly a declension from wisdom. not as knowing them by sensible perceptions. is from It. and of the mutual knowledge of each other. knowing and producing angels. be ignorant of the things from Itself. that of Himself. and invisible gloom. things by Itself. things material. Yet. not knowing. one would not miss the mark. the One. before angels came to being. and of which It is Cause. and things divisible. and pre-established in Himself. uniformly. will hardly. celebrated as Mind and Reason and Knowledge? For. both knowing and producing all. The Divine Wisdom then. for the very Cause of all things.

which is known. according to the analogy of all things. This “Logos “is the simple and really existing truth. And He is all in all. and ever harmonizing all. by an unchangeable identity. and (Cause) of the indissoluble adaptation and order of all. has been made one with the super-luminous rays. the most Divine Knowledge of Almighty God. we both say these things correctly concerning God. from true Faith’s Sanctuary upon which he will have the steadfastness of his unmoved. nor is He known in any one of existing things. that he is wandering from error to the truth. For. and science. 92 In addition to these things. solitarily in Himself. around which. not only because He is provider of reason and mind and wisdom. they having the pure knowledge of the truth of the things believed. who has been united to the Truth. then. and surpasses all reason and mind). and in the Cause of all. But. nothing will move one who has believed in the truth. Yet. and nothing in none. and of separation from himself. unchangeable identity. 50 . even from all things.Dionysius the Areopagite. Almighty God is known. as far as we have power. then having dismissed also itself. For. because the Divine Word surpasses every simplicity. and sensible perception. Who is neither an object of intellectual nor of sensible perception. as the Oracles say. And there is.” For it probably escapes them. nor expressed. and all the rest. SECTION IV. as the Superessential. Never. 49 True theory of evolution. And He is known to all. and containing a sort of images and similitudes of His Divine exemplars. not from His own nature (for that is unknown. And there is. even to the end of all things. and He is celebrated from all existing things. but. through not knowing (αγνοσια) during the union above mind. but because He anticipated the causes of all. and ever uniting49 the ends of the former to the beginnings of those that follow. by method and order in the abstraction and pre-eminence of all. if knowledge unites the knowing and the known. from all. and the truth in them. when the mind. as a pure and unerring knowledge of the whole. well does he know. that it is well with him although the multitude may admonish him as “wandering. and contact. that we know God. and beautifying the one symphony and harmony of the whole. thence and there being illuminated by the unsearchable depth of wisdom. And He is neither conceived. having stood apart from all existing things. through the veritable faith. of which He is Cause. is it true to say. we ascend. and name. as I said. Wherefore. 93 But Almighty God is celebrated in the holy Oracles as “Logos”. And He is not any of existing things. the Cause formative of all. and apart from all. and is set free from all. but ignorance is ever a cause to the ignorant person of change. nor is absolutely anything of things existing. And through knowledge. further. for It is. and imagination. For. and to none from none. and because He passes through all. the Divine Faith is—the enduring foundation of the believers—which establishes them in the truth. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite SECTION III. of Him. according to the sacred text. we must examine how we know God. from the ordering of all existing things. and even more than these. and through agnosia. nor named. Almighty God is known even in all. we may know It. to that which is beyond all. as projected from Himself. both conception. he truly knows himself. and expression. according to the sacred Logos. and opinion.

For that which does not hear at all is not hearing. not only by the production of all power. and holds together and preserves the remotest of its echoes. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite not. through the simple. justice. and similar truth. howsoever being and conceived. and they say. Thus then the early leaders50 of our Divine Theosophy are dying every day. SECTION I. every power in Himself. that the Godhead is pre-eminent above. come then. and by the unutterable and unknown. on behalf of truth. preservation. either the universal or particular. How then do the theologians sing it also as a Power. and by His bringing into existence. but by being above all. 95 We say. even when brought into existence without end. and inconceivable nature of His all-surpassing power. existent Power. to the one knowledge of the truth of the Christians. and ever the same. redemption. as pre-having. as also we may see even with regard to the powerful insensible perception. mad. 94 BUT since the theologians sing the Divine truth fulness and super-wise wisdom. and by His superior power. and producing everything as beseems a Power inflexible and unencompassed. that it is of all. both by every word and deed. and as being Author of the very existence of power. which. ad infinitum. Concerning power. yea rather. Now. are not able to blunt the super-endless production of His power-making power. both as power and as justice. let us unfold these Divine Names also. testifying as is natural. even the self. 50 First persecution of Nero. and as Author of every power. both more simple and more Divine. in which also concerning inequality. but as liberated from the unstable and variable course around the manifold variety of error. 51 . as best we can. CAPUT VIII. and by the fact that the endless powers. and that which does not see at all is not sight. as they say. and surpasses every power.Dionysius the Areopagite. I do not suppose any of those nourished in the Divine Oracles does not know. even when distinguishing It from the supercelestial powers themselves. For on many occasions the Word of God attributes the Lordship to It. which is pre-eminent above every power? or how ought we to understand the name of power as applied to It? SECTION II. and super-having. and designate It preservation and redemption. that it is the sole true and one and simple knowledge of God. through abundance of the powerful. endless powers other than the existing powers. gives power even to weakness. that the loud sounds enter even into ears which are not very well adapted to the reception of sounds. that Almighty God is Power. and as boundless in power. then. that the super-brilliant lights reach even to obscure visions.

and the entire nature of the universe. how is He said by your theologian. and to be such. “if Almighty God is All-powerful. and without mingling. self-existent being has power to be from the superessential Power. since It commits to them the power to be. by furnishing a power for this to those who are being deified. and It empowers things united for their mutual friendship and communion. and things divided for their being each within their own sphere and limit. SECTION V. who said. or rational. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite SECTION III. without confusion. not to be able to do some thing “? But he calumniates the Divine Paul. and disperses the revolutions of time by their progressions. and plants. but it has either intellectual.Dionysius the Areopagite. yea even. neither is. And in a word. and the rills of water unfailing. 96 97 But the gifts of the unfailing Power pass on. SECTION VI. or sensible. SECTION IV. both to men and living creatures. they have their immutability. “that 51 οὐσίας 52 . nor is there any sort of position of it whatever. and their equilibrium itself. if one may say so. and sets bounds to the aerial current. Yet Elymas. and establishes the earth upon nothing. passes to all beings. and holds together the bond of soul and body. they have received from the Power boundless in goodness. of boundless power. from Almighty God. there is absolutely no single thing which is deprived of the overruling surety and embrace of the Divine Power. and without division. and sustains the essential powers of the whole. nor is anything. and preserves the order and good relations of the whole. and guards the undying lives of the individual angels inviolate. and preserves the mutual harmony and mingling of the elements without confusion. or essential power. and collects them together by their returns. are the godlike powers of the angelic ranks. then. and arouses the nourishing and growing powers of plants. From It. and secures the continuance of the universe without dissolution. and the heavenly and the life-giving and astral bodies51 and orders without change: and makes the period of time possible to be. the Magician. says. and all their intellectual and immortal perpetual movements. for their own proper good. from It. For that which absolutely has no power. and guards its life-giving throes from perishing. or vital. and the power itself to aspire to have the power always. and to aspire always to be. and there is no single being which is utterly deprived of the possession of some power. and their undiminishable aspiration after good. The distribution. and bequeaths the deification Itself. and makes the powers of fire unquenchable.

as beseems abundance of surpassing power. they have altogether fallen from the Divine Love. they assign the properties of one thing to another. And I do not know how they could be called pious. SECTION VII. and manfully making a show of fight with them. and marking out all distributions and orders for each. as both super-having and pre-having all existing things. Works (1897) 98 Dionysius the Areopagite Almighty God is not able to deny Himself. The wise man. the powerless is not powerful. which are zealously sought after by the earthly. that immortality ought to be in mortals. and perfect power in the weak. all those who abuse the Divine Justice. and the denial of the truth a falling from the existent. and preserving all things unmingled and unconfused.—but rather. and in one word. 99 But further. as in no respect fallen from things existing. And. they who desire certain things 53 . and arrangement. who. conjecturing the meaning of the Theologian to the best of our ability. then. and perfection in the imperfect. and non-existence is not. as reigning in the kingdom of Eternity itself. and as having bequeathed to all things being. and proclaim themselves victors (though) not yet having experienced their rivals’ strength. imitates those inexperienced wrestlers. as beseems Power superessential. when they are ground down by evil men. and the temporal should be eternal. when they unjustly treat things truly loveable and divine. and as being Cause for all of the free action of each. as Omnipotent. because it distributes to all the things proper to themselves. from all.Dionysius the Areopagite.” Now in advancing this. when absent. But we. I very much fear lest I should incur ridicule for folly. as blessed. and things moveable by nature. and courageously beating the air with empty blows. the power to be. according to that which truly is the most just limit. but the truth is an existent. and only Lord. that. which do not at once surpass in influence in their estimation things undesirable and unloveable. gives to all existing beings things convenient for each. unchangeable. and this their being in an ungrudging stream. and ignorance. if those whom you call pious do indeed love things on earth. and good order. if we speak correctly. To which we must reply. it is not the mark of justice to leave pious men without assistance. both due measure. does not know. by privation. unconsciously convict themselves of a manifest injustice. and preserves the nature of each in its own order and capacity. For they say. and the falling from the truth is a falling from the existent. But some one may say. not having understood this. celebrate the Super-powerful God. is a falling from truth. and imposed necessity in the free. For. and identity in the variable. and beauty. They ought to know that the Divine Justice in this respect is really a true justice. and as being eager to aim at the theological intelligence of this. Almighty God is celebrated as justice. For the Divine Justice arranges and disposes all things. very often. If. think that they have overcome their antagonists. and that temporary pleasures should be eternal. Almighty God cannot fall from the existent. as if it were some inaccessible mark. as distributing things suitable to all. by assuming that their adversaries are weak. according to the due falling to each existing thing. But. SECTION VIII. as undertaking to pull down frail houses. built upon the sand by little boys at play. according to the fitness of each existing thing. if they love the realities. the denial of Himself. according to their own opinion. the truth is an existent. as any one might say.

and guards all things without strife and without war. but keeping all existing things within each particular kind. is celebrated also even as preservation of the whole. but to establish them in the excellent and harsh condition. and we will deem him worthy to define this even as the principal preservation of the whole. as rescuing savingly the whole from the worse. when. as far as possible. in their perils. on behalf of the beautiful? So that. which preserves all things in themselves. dissimilar. and should suffer any diminution of the perfection of its own proper goods. when they have become mingled throughout. by the gifts of earthly things. similar. and as being genuine cause of each minding its own business in the whole. But. establishing in the good. if any one should interpret inequality as distinctions in the whole. if any one should attempt to do this. they withdraw from the affection for earthly things. supplying what is deficient. and excludes all inequality and minding others’ business. without missing the mark of the sacred theology. even this it redeems from passion and listlessness and loss.Dionysius the Areopagite. things meet for them. from falling away from their own proper goods. undisturbed and unswaying to the worse. as preserving and guarding the essence and order of each. 54 . by being exercised very manfully to this. and making it complete. and from migrating. as being such. equality. Justice guards even this. Concerning great. which arises from deprivation of the equality. of the whole. rather. and paternally overlooking the slackness. 102 CAPUT IX. movement. and maintains the relations of each from falling to things contrary. nor. and filling -up the leaking good. both so far as it does not permit things really being to fall away to non-existence. and concerning Justice. to leave them without assistance. if any one should also celebrate this preservation. to be. 101 This Divine Justice. in accordance with which the equality of all is measured and defined. without change. But let this suffice concerning these matters. we will entirely accept this as the cantique of the manifold preservation. distinct and pure from the rest. it is true to say. and arranging and adorning its disorder and deformity. standing. each being regulated by their own methods. Are they not then nearer the angelic virtues. and so far as. and liberating it from all its blemishes. in each thing severally. and every inequality. not permitting the whole. Works (1897) 100 Dionysius the Areopagite ought to rejoice when they attain the things desired. SECTION IX. then. wherefore also the Theologians name it redemption. And since. by aspiration after things Divine. is excluded. and to dispense to them. one might celebrate this preservation as redeeming all things existing. and raising up from evil. yea. small. that this is rather a property of the Divine Justice—not to pamper and destroy the bravery of the best. from the whole. For. same. so far as the nature of each of those who are being preserved admits. in relation to the whole. to be thrown into confusion. different. if anything should have been led astray to discord and disorder. in which each was intended by nature. by the goodness which is preservative of all.

as of many shapes and many forms. and are not lessened by the impartations. This Greatness then is infinite. then. and as dissimilar to all. SECTION II. both in greatness and in a gentle breeze. and the dissimilar. without bound. are altogether undiminished. SECTION IV. surpassing every number. is celebrated in the Oracles as great.e. Yet the little is Elemental52 Cause of all. and piercing through. without restraint. and extends itself outside of all greatness. but are even still more bubbling over. 103 Almighty God. and mighty operation. comprehending all things. as going forth to all. in so far as these. but itself incomprehensible. and operating. and “discerning thoughts and intents of heart. Almighty God. and as the same.Dionysius the Areopagite. without impediment. without limit. and as similar. and joints and marrow”. as mainstay of things similar and similitude. to “a dividing of soul and spirit. of the same force with these. going through every infinitude. But little. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite SECTION I. and seated for ever. then. as the like of whom there is not. and unmoved. when He is depicted. such as have been manifested to us. 55 . embracing every place. For there is not a creature unmanifest in His sight. are celebrated by the Oracles. and as moving. is named great in reference to His own peculiar greatness. and the different. when the Oracles declare “thou art the same”. BUT since even the great and the small are attributed to the Cause of all. and penetrates through all. 52 Atomic theory. both in reference to its super-fulness. and without measure and without number. and the standing. fine. This littleness is without quality and without quantity. and through all. and whatever other Divine Names. arid the same. Come! and let us gaze upon these images of the Divine Names.—that which leaves behind every mass and distance. SECTION III. and overflows. and as standing. which manifests the Divine littleness. and the movement. which imparts itself to all things great. and the similar. without hindrance. and have the same super-fulness. And this is the preeminence as regards the absolute and surpassing flood of the incomprehensible greatness. by the same Oracles. and as different. for nowhere will you find the idea of the little unparticipated. and its fontal gifts. i. is affirmed respecting Him. being participated by all in a stream of boundless gifts. Thus then the little must be received as regards God as penetrating to all.” yea rather—all things that be.

we have for this reason spoken concerning these things in the Symbolic Theology. abundance and cause of identity. And there is the power of the Divine similitude. in our explanation. under a bodily form. 105 106 But the different. and fashions bodily members around the memberless. legs and feet. as when language depicts the soul itself. and imparting Himself with an unbending power. unmingled. and His own identity within Himself. but as the single multiplication of itself. surpassing the whole identity. without increase. not as not yet come into being. breast. for deification of those turned to Him. and absolutely unoriginated. and itself by itself.Dionysius the Areopagite. and ever being. and opinion neck. as really not a sort of change from the super-immovable identity. as beseems an energy. always being in the same condition and manner. immaterial. present to all in the same manner. by confounding the incorporeal Divine Names with those given through symbols of objects of sense. as beseems the One and unique Cause. in His essential nature. for the sake of the preservation of all. But now. that the Progression of Almighty God. one and ceaseless. And if you wish to apply the threefold shapes of bodies to the impalpable and shapeless God. nor as being in no manner of way whatever. if any one might speak of Almighty God as the same. since Almighty God is present to all providentially. or that. similar to Himself—abidingly and indivisibly. we think differently of the members attributed to it. But. signifies that certain things are different from the phenomena under which they appear. preholding identically in itself even things contrary. that we may not forget ourselves. you must say. or not having become from this. and lust. Who is above every limit and expression. without changing. as respects Him. and mystic explanations. SECTION VI. and we call the mind head. is similar to none. SECTION V. and shedding sameness from itself to all things adapted to participate in It. as befits the soul’s memberless condition. unalterable. firmly and purely fixed in the most beautiful limits of the superessential sameness. Much more then. inconvertible. For. upon itself. resting upon Himself. most simplex. let us suppose the Divine difference. we must not despise the Divine Name of the Similar. but the Theologians affirm that the God above all. of the different shapes and forms. without swerving. which spreads out to all things. during the multiform visions. or unperfected. and the uniform progressions of its fecundity to all. belly. 56 . Who is beyond all. and depth. and becomes all in all. the power extending itself over the whole. And we must suppose that the difference of the manifold shapes of Almighty God. Works (1897) 104 Dionysius the Areopagite But the same is superessentially everlasting. without diminution. but as all unoriginated. and assigning things different to those different. and differentiated by itself in one sole and same form. as being wholly throughout. using the names of the members as symbols of the powers. by imitation according to their capacity. self-sufficient. and the constitution. but that He bequeaths a Divine similarity to those who turn to Him. is a Divine extension. and being the same by itself. the hiddenness and imperception incomprehensible to all creatures.—as intermediate between rational and irrational—and anger. unoriginated. without falling. standing. and length. But similar. is it necessary to make clear the difference of forms and shapes by reverent and God-becoming. and being self-complete. abiding in itself.

not as beseems carriage. to celebrate in a sense becoming God. for the same things are both similar to God. the being similar is bequeathed. but that Almighty God brings into being and sustains everything. not to these. and of the same rank with none. and that the similarity corresponds to each. and. after a preceding appearance of like. 107 And what must we say concerning this? For the Word of God Itself extols the fact that He is dissimilar. But. the latter as regards the dependence of the things caused upon the cause. or the straight. or those. and in reference to the same object. and dissimilar—the former as regards the received imitation53 of the inimitable. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite which turns all created things to the Cause. and is abidingly fixed in unmoved identity. and that superessentially. with regard to those of the same rank. SECTION VIII. that the unmoved goes forth to all. neither must we say that Almighty God is similar to them. or the spiritual. For. entirely immovable. and in Him all things consist. or the physical. what is more paradoxical. it is possible that these should be similar to each other. and that He acts according to the same conditions. or that from both (curvative). then. But we must concede to our discourse. and that He exists altogether. For. These things. when the Theologians say. or turning. and in the same way. and is present. in Himself. with respect to the Cause and the things caused. And the straight must be 53 Letter 2. SECTION VII. i. seat? What other than that Almighty God remains Himself. both after a Divine likeness and similitude. or alteration. or change. 108 But what again. as “different” even from everything. to all. 57 . the immovable. and provides in every way for everything. and their being inferior in degrees. being kept from falling out of the state of their own proper goods. and by His providential progressions and operations to all existing things. we do not accept the correspondence. and that both are similar to each other. must be said to be similar to Almighty God. and as beseems the immovability Itself. But what also do we say concerning the Divine standing. even movements of God. For He is Cause of the standing and sitting of all. or local movement. says there is nothing that is similar to Him. and is moved? Must we not understand this in a sense befitting God? For we must reverently suppose that He is moved. Almighty God becomes Cause of their being similar. but to all those who participate in similarity. as beseems the immutability from Himself. and is firmly established on high. endless and incalculable. Who is above all sitting and standing.Dionysius the Areopagite. because neither is a man like his own image. alone. or the intellectual. or the circular.e. by the irresistible embrace of all. Yet the expression is not contrary to the similarity towards Him. For. SECTION IX. and the similar in all is similar to a soft of footprint of the Divine Similarity and completes their Oneness. and is mainstay of the self-existing Similarity itself.

which is productive of every equality. securing all the things embraced.” in the sense of “the equal. and the holding together the middle and extremities.” we must say. then. within one grasp superior to all. and not permitting them. “Ancient of days” in which also. to sing the God of many Names. and the equal gift distributed to all.—and the turning to Him of the things which proceeded from Him. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite considered (to be) the unswerving and the undeviating progression of the operation. as beseems the Power over all. and according as He has anticipated pre-eminently and uniquely in Himself. is come for our discourse. rational. and completing the whole. 226. and from itself. He equally effects the same passage. producing the whole. and as being desired and beloved by all. and as placing upon all the voluntary yokes. and the participation of those who receive equally. that Almighty God is equal. 58 . by reason that He is an all-controlling basis. voluntary. according to the aptitude of each. SECTION I. purely. but also as going forth to all. equally. SECTION X. SECTION II. CAPUT X.” and as “Ancient of days. essential. and establishing and supporting. physical. when fallen from itself to be destroyed. and the curvative—the steady progression and the productive condition. intelligible. not only as indivisible and unswerving. according to due. But the Godhead is called Sovereign. as moved from an all-perfect sanctuary. as it were from a Sovereign root. 109 But. Concerning Sovereign Lord.” or that of “justice. which encompass and are encompassed. sensible. of “the same. and turning to itself the whole. every equality. in conformity with which. as “Sovereign Lord. 110 THE time. and the production from Himself of the whole. and as foundation of the self-existent Equality. intelligent.” For He is called the former. and through all. and the circular the same. as to a sovereign parent stock. and holding them together as an all-embracing basis of all.Dionysius the Areopagite. p. and in dissolvable love of the Goodness itself. Continuous in itself. binding and embracing the whole. through all things mutually. 54 Dulac. both as controlling and governing the members of His household. if any one should take the Divine Name in the Oracles. concerning Age and Time54. and the sweet pangs of the Divine and Sovereign. and tightening.

and the measurement of existence throughout. the Elder having the first place in Time. And yet we must affirm that He is Time and Day. But if we know them better and more accurately. 55 τὰ ὄντα—actual. and as changing appointed seasons and times. as I think. because the unit. CAPUT XI. “since each manifests the priority of God. as Author of every time and eternity. the former indeed signifying the “Ancient” and being from the beginning. hut whatever participates partly in eternity and partly in time. when we have reached the Eternity which is imperishable and ever the same. and sometimes the other. and time as eternal. and “Ancient of days. and before Age and Time. and things subject to generation by time. we should understand things eternal and temporal according to the hopes recognized by them. in a sense befitting God. but the Younger the priority in number. But they call time that concerned in generation and decay and change. He is represented as both old and young. It is necessary then to suppose that things called eternal are not absolutely co-eternal with God. are nearer the beginning than numbers further advanced. and as being Author of Age and Time and Days. a kingdom of all the Ages. in so far as the ancient and unchangeable. and again they call the whole duration of our time Eternity. and above time. eternal. for they do not always (merely) call all the things absolutely unoriginated and really everlasting. and the latter His never growing old. but that following unswervingly the most august Oracles. as things midway between things spiritual and things being born. and again as being before ages. and things near the unit. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite But Almighty God is celebrated as “Ancient of days” because He is of all things both Age and Time. and things which are in like fashion. 111 112 But we must. and Age. Who is before Eternity. Amen.—or as our Divine initiator says. or both teaching that He advances through all things from beginning to end. Wherefore also. see from the Oracles the nature of Time and Eternity.Dionysius the Areopagite. but also things imperishable and immortal and unchangeable. the Word of God says that even we. eternal doors. in the sacred Divine manifestations of the mystic visions. But sometimes eternity is celebrated in the Oracles. who are bounded here by time. even as temporal.” and the like. And often they characterize the things the most ancient by the name of Eternity. and in His ever moving remaining in Himself.—and before Days. and appointed Time. is a characteristic of Eternity. as being throughout every movement unchangeable and unmoved. as when they say. things spiritual55 are spoken of and denoted by Eternity. shall partake of Eternity. in so far as He is both before eternity and above eternity and His kingdom. both as eternity and time. and sometimes the one. But Almighty God we ought to celebrate.” as before time. SECTION III. Wherefore. 59 . “be ye opened.

and Source of conciliation. both unmingled and mingled together. Let us then contemplate a certain One and simple nature of the peaceful Union. which. and to become intermingled m each other. when separated. passing in-divisibly to the whole. by reason of which. and.. being united without confusion. and effects the agreement and fellowship of all. and how it is in itself. to the union above conception. by reason of excess of its Union surpassing all. even all things aspire to it. and when entering into itself. But. and held together 60 . 113 COME. how it rests and is at ease. and engenders. and to us. which the holy Justus calls unutterableness. and within itself. and that It mingles all things with each other within their unconfused union. this must be said. and to the one Source of Peace of the whole. and to become without order. but even proceeds to all. then. to rush to infinity and the boundless. it is neither permitted. and to the things conceived. within its Divine Harmony. as possible to men. nor attainable to any existing being. and to the One and all-perfect Source and Cause of the Peace of all. SECTION II. let us examine its conceived and uttered participations. these indeed are united to themselves and to each other. souls. that It is mainstay of the self-existent Peace. SECTION I. and to itself entire is super-united. in every sort of confusion. and destitute of God. whilst remaining entire within. this. being united. and to depart from the union amongst themselves. immobility. as beseems which. and the things (that are) under them. as regards their own proper kind. unifying all things to Itself. by uniting their manifold reasonings. nor blunting any of their unifying distinctness and purity. With regard. the Divine Peace and Repose. neither loses its own Union. let us extol the Peace Divine. Concerning then. the one and indissoluble connection of all is established. and collecting them together to an One intellectual Purity. as being beyond all. and without stability. and such like expressions. as compared with every known progression. and to each other. these they unite also to themselves and to each other. and is harmonized by complete concord and agreement and fellowship. and this. having premised this. and multiplying itself. advance in a manner proper to themselves. what is the self-existent Life. by method and order. united indivisibly. 114 First then. and preserving all things in an unconfused grasp of all. and again they ascend to the unknowable contact of things fixed above mind. either to express or to understand. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Concerning Peace. and what the self-existent Power. as inferior to many good men. Wherefore. through the immaterial and indivisible conception. and do not permit them. by the participation of the divine Peace. to the more reverend of the conciliating powers. both the general and the particular. are united to their own conceptions. by reason of which. which turns their divided multiplicity into the thorough Oneness. as if by a kind of bolts. as unutterable and unknowable. and to themselves. by hymns of peace! For this it is which unifies all. by reason of which the divine Minds. not muddled through their mingling with the opposite. and at the same time they severally continuously unmingled stand. limits and terminates and secures everything. and entire. and unifies the tribal war of the whole into a homogeneous dwelling together.Dionysius the Areopagite. then. and what is meant by the self-existent Being. which bind together things that are separated.

and they are disturbed by the non-attainment of the pleasures which overpowered them. which at any time is willing to destroy this (identity). the altogether unstable and infinite. and unmingled presence of Its unifying power. he affirms. so that the things moved. For all things love to dwell at peace. they imagine that they will pacify themselves by the gratification of things which ever elude them. be willingly in repose. in affirming the diversity as a falling from peace. For the fulness of the perfect Peace passes through to all existing things. and there overflows an abundance of peaceful fertility. and making all things of one family. Works (1897) 115 Dionysius the Areopagite without division. and to be unmoved and unfallen from themselves. and ignorantly aspiring to calm them. for many things rejoice in diversity and division. which are yoked together in an one connatural friendship. and not stepping out of Its own identity. both as regards themselves and each other. as beseems the most simple. the identities. who rejoice in strife and anger and changes and disturbances. But if. And if all things in motion desire. SECTION III. through excess of union. but ever to make known their own proper movement. but would declare even this an aspiration after peace. and imparts Itself to all. nor in things actual.Dionysius the Areopagite. perform their own proper functions. if in saying this. and It remains. and that there is no existent thing whatever. towards their own peace and immobility. super-united. 116 SECTION IV. he insists that peace is not beloved by all. and showing all in one. being at peace amongst themselves. the conjunctions of the Divine Peace. to and throughout Its whole self. making all One. which preserves all things from falling away of their own accord. of their own accord. standing of course indivisibly. being vexed by tumultuous passions. in a manner appropriate to them. SECTION V. even these are controlled by obscure images of a peaceful aspiration. and binding the extremes through the intermediate to the extremes. and always in the same condition. Now. and establishes all things by a stable and unswerving power. some one may say. But how. and the things of themselves. and would not. not repose. And the perfect Peace seeks to guard the idiosyncrasy of each unmoved and unconfused. is neither an actual thing. What would 61 . do all things aspire to peace. For It advances to all. and to be united amongst themselves. entire. preserving everything unmoved and unconfused. by the unities. the unions. and bestowing the enjoyment of Itself. even to the furthest extremities of the whole. and passing through all. that those are inimical to peace. and guards the idiosyncrasy and moving life of all moving things unmoved and free from falling. at any time. But if he says. and unestablished. by its peace-giving forethought. and without limit. even this is an aspiration after the Divine Peace of the whole. verily there is no existing being which has entirely fallen from every kind of union. and good things of peace. neither would we in any way contradict this. for. that the identity of each existing thing is diversity and division.

Wherefore also. He is called the good Mainstay of the first of these. self-existent living. self-existent deification. the One Superior and Superessential Source and Cause. existing. or the self-existent Life. neither they themselves knew (for they are non-existent). in Spirit. according to our power. is self-existent beauty. Works (1897) 117 Dionysius the Areopagite any one say of the peaceful stream of love towards man in Christ. the self-existent Wisdom. and has a simple explanation. either with ourselves. as Cause of all existing things. then of the portions of them. and creators of existing things. there is no contradiction in saying that Almighty God is self-existent Power. whilst the Oracles of the sacred inspiration furnish us with additional testimony. the providential Powers. or each other. and living. as Cause of the being of all things. And why must we speak of these things. things existing. nor to speak summarily. and things absolutely beautiful. and is a Life Causative of the self-existent Life. affirm that the Super-good and Super-divine self-existent Goodness and Deity. Mainstay of the self-existent Life. concerning which supernatural gifts it is sufficiently spoken in the Theological Outlines. is a sort of Divine or angelic essence (for the Superessential alone is Source and Essence and Cause of the existence of all things. SECTION VI. in order that we may now resume that which I have said a thousand times already. besides the Super-divine. And first then. at one time. But you say. produces Life for all that live. I thought it necessary. as being above all. but as regards Impartation. and Deity. as regards at least Source. and whole beauty. to also free you from this difficulty. and things partially beautiful. For the latter. and partial beauty. and the former. that issue forth from God the unparticipating. then of the whole of them. what in the world I consider the self-existent Being. both are. even the first existing of beings. then of those who participate in them in part. and reconciles us to Himself. being above superessentially. in an ungrudging 62 . and that the self-existent beautifying stream. 118 119 But. the self-existent Life. then of those who participate in them entirely. or self-existent Life. to speak truly and properly. and self-existent Deity. and said that you debated with yourself how. after the purpose of Jesus. but that with them. and that He is Mainstay of the self-existent Life or Peace or Power. and forms a peace unutterable and pre-determined from Eternity. O holy man of God. and are said to be. or with angels. He is named from things existing. (these we call) the self-existent essentiation.—whom. and at another. since you once asked me by letter. is Mainstay even of the self-existent Goodness and Deity. so that superficial people have named them both gods. we should also be fellow-workers in Divine things. by participating in which according to their own capacity. For we do not say that the self-existent Being. nor their fathers. and Cause. self-existent Life. since some of our divine instructors in holy things. nor that another Deity. what in the world do we call the self-existent Being. and specially from the first existing. Who worketh all in all. and through Himself and in Himself to the Father. affirming that the good-making and deifying gift issued forth from God. according to which we have learned no longer to wage war. that essences and personalities originate and make existing things. and self-existent Life.Dionysius the Areopagite. this is not crooked but straight. or whatever we lay down to be absolutely and originally and to have stood forth primarily from God? And we reply. so far as lay in my power. I call Almighty God. and of the self-existent Being). and full of God—and the rest in the same way. which declare that providences and goodnesses issuing forth from God the unparticipating. and whatever other things are said and shall be said after the same fashion.—but we call self-existent Being.

and filling with Itself. and God of Gods. and we must add that It surpasses Holiness. and want of symmetry. And first we must say. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite stream. and leads round things. Kingdom is the assignment of every limit and order. and with perfect goodness both circumscribing and grasping all. and surpassing all things which enjoy Its forethought. From It is all the perfect and complete possession of all. but also the perfect possession. whilst It excludes want of harmony and want of equality. 121 These things. and what Kingdom. Concerning Holy of Holies. καὶ τὸ κυριστῶν56. in every respect. individually and collectively. Wherefore Lordship is parallel to τὸ Κῦρος καί κύριον. and as ruling eternity and for ever and beyond. are participated by existing things. then. and what Lordship. and ordinance and rank. of the Beautiful and Good. the lordly. and most simplex57 Deity. deemed worthy to participate in Itself. must be sung absolutely. SECTION II. were born and distributed every untarnished distinctness of every spotless purity. and Kingdom. and altogether unstained. CAPUT XII. and Deity is the Providence watching over all. Letter 2. and Lordship is not only the superiority over the worse. and what the Oracles wish to denote by the duplication of the names. Lord of Lords. the whole arrangement and regulation of things existing. what we think Holiness Itself is. 120 BUT since whatever we have to say on these matters has reached. SECTION I. and as Lord of Lords. in my opinion. be above things of any sort of essence and nature whatever. King of Kings. both as Holy of Holies and King of Kings.Dionysius the Areopagite. watching and sustaining 56 57 The rendering of which may be. and Lordship. a fitting conclusion. and bubble over in order that distinctly the Cause of all may be beyond all. and the lordlier. and what Divinity. God of Gods. and a true and unswerving stability. and the Superessential and Supernatural may. good things. every respect. every good forethought. 63 . and the lordliest. Holiness then is (so far as we can say) the purity free from every pollution. we must sing Him of endless names. and all perfect. For. SECTION III. from It. and rejoices over the well-ordered identity and rectitude. respecting the Cause surpassing all. in.

He is sung as Holy of Holies and the rest. because He is uniquely all. in accordance with which He perfects all perfect things. and solitarily separated within Himself. So much then on these matters. which does not participate 58 [Greek]. and throughout most perfect. But since the Cause of all is super-full of all. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite the objects of Its forethought. and above all. respecting the Cause of all.—holy or divine. or kingly. and same. and extols Him both as Perfect and as One58. 64 . the Oracles call the higher orders in each. as pre-holding all things in Himself. He Who is above all things that be. and by none contained or comprehended. He is called perfect. the Neuter is used in the Greek. and limiting every infinitude. by Himself. Him and His are used in this Section. and is Cause of all without departing from the One. SECTION II. He is then perfect not only as self-perfect. but let us now at last. and a towering Pre-eminence. both as without increase. 123 But One. but even extending at once to all. to such an extent is seated above all things that be.Dionysius the Areopagite. so far as the things which are. For the Word of God predicates everything. For there is no single existing being. by His unfailing gratuities and endless energies. It should be noted that where He. and super-full. for deification of those who are turned to It. the variety of which. singly and collectively. as befits Its goodness. with your good pleasure. and fills them with His own perfection. Concerning “Perfect” and “One”. and always perfect. as beseems an overflowing Cause. and the self-existent participations. But. but also as super-perfect. on the other hand. abundance. and overflowing as beseems one. SECTION IV. As one might say. SECTION I. inexhaustible. and the unparticipating Cause of all the participants and the participations. the superior orders carefully and divinely collect to their own Oneness. through whom the inferior in participating the gifts from God. and undiminished. imparting Itself. as beseems His pre-eminence over all. as beseems the One superfluity which surpasses all. 122 CAPUT XIII.—surpass the things which are not. approach the most difficult subject in the whole discourse. But Holy and Kings and Lords and Gods. and as undiminished. or lordly. and surpassing every term. as beseems an excess of unique Oneness. multiply the simplicity of their distribution around their own diversities. their participants.

For the one. and is uniquely Cause of all. pre-held and comprehended all things in itself. and determinative of every one and multitude. as Cause of all. and at the same time before all. and are held together. and one Lord Jesus Christ. by the epithet of the One. the Deity above all is neither Unit nor Triad. and through Which. all and whole. and. And the Cause of all is not One. we name the Deity. And neither do we apply 65 . For this reason. and bounding the One existing Itself.Dionysius the Areopagite. and abide. but as every number participates in an unit. which is not what it is. Especially must this be known. and Itself is. And indeed. and the many by the species. but without the multitude there will be the one. Order. even as the unit previous to every multiplied number. of both one and number. and perfected and preserved. the Superessential. is one by the species. and part and whole. brings forth the hiddenness. and in Which. both one God the Father. and to Which. For there is no multitude which does not partake in some way or other of the one. that which is many by parts. as one of many. nor any other single existing thing. and are super-unified. and above all. all things are justly referred and attributed to It. if any one should suppose. or expression. and are with It Superessentially. in order that we may celebrate truly. Yea. and every being. and above the One existing Itself. is one in the whole. things united are said to be made one. and are co-ordinated. whilst celebrated as Unit and Triad. Which is inexpressible to things that be. and the one is elemental of all. since the One existing—that in things being—is numbered. that we being turned from the many to the One. that according to the pre-conceived species of each one. even the things opposed. there will be neither totality nor part. nor number nor unity. which uniformly pre-held in the uniqueness throughout all. without the one there will not be a multitude. and one dual and one decade is spoken of. by the power of the Divine Oneness. but. by reason of the surpassing indivisibility of the whole Divine Oneness. and term and infinity. But no Unit nor Triad. and part of everything participates in the one. and number participates in essence. 124 125 SECTION III. and are turned towards It. and one third and tenth. And you would not find any existing thing. then. Its super-oneness. individually and collectively. the All will be one in the whole. as understood by us or by any other sort of being. and one half. Wherefore also. or thing known to any existing thing. all things are. Wherefore also. and every number. and Divine generation. is one by the source. all existing things are. and limit and illimitability. of the Super-Deity Which is above all superessentially. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite in the one. in which all things are uniquely collected. And it is necessary also. by Which and from Which. Source and Cause. is one by the subject. but before every one and multitude. by the threefold and single name of God. so everything. by the One. and are filled. even the Being Itself. and by the fact that the One is. above every expression and every mind. should celebrate as One the whole and one Deity—the one Cause of all—which is before every one and multitude. Nor has It a Name. and the many by the number or the powers. and Number and. nor any other existing thing. is one by the genus. the Word of God celebrates the whole Godhead. which bounds all things that be. that all things are united to all. and if you should take away the one. all. and the many by the progressions. after which the whole Deity is superessentially named. And there is no single thing which does not participate in some way in the one. and one and the same Spirit. uniformly. but is elevated above in the inaccessible. but the superessential One bounds both the One existing. nor productiveness. and the many by the accidents.

as far as in us lies. NOTE. 127 We then. bestows first the power to speak. have really reached the perception of the unfolding of the Divine Names. nor of their followers or companions. not willingly. 128 59 See letter to Titus. And if any one of the Names of the same force has been passed over. and every expression and knowledge. Works (1897) 126 Dionysius the Areopagite the very Name of Goodness. and let this indeed be our conclusion to the intelligible Divine Names. doing injury in no respect to the tradition. we consecrate the most august of Names to It. if at least we do not fail in the conception and expression thereof. and others from others. as is well pleasing to Almighty God. both to you and to other holy men. 1896. that we also have kept to ourselves none of the hierarchical communications transmitted to us. if we. have unfolded them to the best of our ability. But. let these things be held and spoken in such way. in the first degree. and conducting it through all the Divine conceptions. but through a desire of understanding and saying something concerning that inexpressible nature. and will continue to transmit them. 66 . that also you must understand according to the same methods. 27 October. if these things are either incorrect or imperfect. who unwillingly is ignorant. even they have given the preference to the ascent through negations. and. But I will now pass to the Symbolic Theology59. (for this truly. and those to whom we speak. but even of those who are of the same rank as ourselves. Himself. and to heal him. even Angels might say) nor only of their praises as sung by Angels (and the chief of our Theologians come behind the lowest of them). yet we shall fall short of the truth of the facts. By no means grow weary in doing good to a man thy friend.Dionysius the Areopagite. Wherefore. for thou perceivest. and to vouchsafe assistance to him. above which towers that which is above every name. who. who wishes to learn. as making it adequate to It. nor indeed of the Theologians themselves. with God for my Guide. is sick. so that. and at the furthest extremity attaching it to Him. having collected these intelligible Divine Names. but have transmitted them without flaw. and we have wandered from the truth. as far indeed as is possible for us to be attached to that Being. and to impart a word to him. as we may be sufficient to speak. and receiving all from the good to transfer them also to us. and having found out some things from thyself. falling short not only of the precision which belongs to them. Who. as lifting the soul out of things kindred to itself. if the things spoken should be correct. But. then to speak well. SECTION IV. may it be of thy brotherly kindness to correct him. let the fact be ascribed to the Author of all good things. who has not power in himself. to hear. last and subordinate to them. yea. and although we should be in accord in this matter with the theologians. either wholly or partially.

powerful. TRIAD supernal. where the simple and absolute and changeless mysteries of theology lie hidden within the 67 . Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite IGNATIUS. spirit. Which is mine. A. he seems to use "love" in the sense of human passion or fire.” God is good. The Angel ascending is the “negative” which distinguishes Almighty God from all created things. I do not think it a quotation from the letter of Ignatius written just previous to his martyrdom. to shew the exalted use of Love. nor even being itself. The Angel descending is the “Affirmative. any being. 130 MYSTIC THEOLOGY. 119. In any case." Upon this passage I differ from all the commentators that I know. What is the Divine Gloom? SECTION I. mind. Guardian of the Theosophy of Christian men. both super-God and super-good. the Being. 129 PREFACE TO MYSTIC THEOLOGY.D. " MY love is crucified. I think Dionysius quoted some previous writing of Ignatius. MYSTIC THEOLOGY is like that ladder set up on the earth whose top reached to Heaven on which the angels of God were ascending and descending.Dionysius the Areopagite. Dionysius. I believe the passage to have been written and inserted in the text by Dionysius when writing this letter. until we come to Symbolic Theology. and says that that is crucified in him. In the letter of Ignatius to the Romans. but above and beyond all these. 107." That is the sense in this passage. wise. CAPUT I. in which he spoke of our Saviour as "My Love. direct us aright to the super-unknown and super-brilliant and highest summit of the mystic Oracles. which denotes Him under material forms and conditions: Theology prefers the negative because Almighty God is more appropriately presented by distinction than by comparison. Ignatius was martyred A. there is no chronological difficulty.D. 98. God is not matter—soul.D. which must have been before A. and above which stood Almighty God.

and enters into the gloom of the Agnosia. 68 . and ascend above every ascent of all holy summits. Now this I think signifies that the most Divine and Highest of the things seen and contemplated are a sort of suggestive expression. He seems to me to have comprehended this supernaturally. thou wilt be carried on high. and be raised aloft unknowingly to the union. This then be my prayer. then. For by the resistless and absolute ecstasy in all purity. and then to be separated from those who are not so. a gloom veritably mystic. to the superessential ray of the Divine darkness. and become free from all. Him. that the good Cause of all is both of much utterance. as Cause of all. when thou hast cast away all. and leave behind all divine lights and sounds. what would any one say respecting those still more uninitiated. as being above all. although even then he does not meet with Almighty God Himself. within which he closes all perceptions of knowledge and enters into the altogether impalpable and unseen. if the Divine initiations are above such. and at the same time of briefest utterance and without utterance. which is above every abstraction and definition. as having neither utterance nor conception. revealing hidden things. from thyself and all. and say that It in no wise excels the no-gods fashioned by themselves and of manifold shapes. and fancy there is nothing superessentially above things being. and more properly to deny them all to It. and the Gospel broad and great. and manifested without veil and in truth. such as both portray the Cause exalted above all. with Him Who is above every essence and knowledge. and sees many lights. but far rather that It. which in its deepest darkness shines above the most super-brilliant. leave behind both sensible perceptions and intellectual efforts. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite super-luminous gloom of the silence. by their own knowledge. 131 SECTION II. He Who is beyond all. through which His wholly inconceivable Presence is shown. and on the other hand concise. shedding pure and streaming rays. SECTION III. But. and in the altogether impalpable and invisible. For even the divine Moses is himself strictly bidden to be first purified. the divine Bartholomew says that Theology is much and least. then he is separated from the multitude. and with the chosen priests goes first to the summit of the divine ascents. is above the privations. but thou. O dear Timothy. But see that none of the uninitiated listen to these things—those I mean who are entangled in things being. and enter into the gloom. but imagine that they know. Who has placed darkness as His hiding-place. as far as attainable. from the lowest of things created. as the Oracles say. and then he (Moses) is freed from them who are both seen and seeing. reaching to the highest spiritual summits of His most holy places. by thy persistent commerce with the mystic visions. because It is superessentially exalted above all. it being our duty both to attribute and affirm all the attributes of things existing to It. and not to consider the negations to be in opposition to the affirmations. of the things subject to Him Who is above all. to those alone who pass through both all things consecrated and pure.Dionysius the Areopagite. where really is. fills to overflowing the eyeless minds with glories of surpassing beauty. and all things not being and being. and after entire cleansing hears the many-voiced trumpets. and all objects of sense and intelligence. but views not Him (for He is viewless) but the place where He is. and heavenly words. 132 Thus.

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being wholly of Him Who is beyond all, and of none, neither himself nor other; and by inactivity
of all knowledge, united in his better part to. the altogether Unknown, and by knowing nothing,
knowing above mind.
133

CAPUT II.
How we ought both to be united and render praise to the Cause of all and above all.
SECTION I.
WE pray to enter within the super-bright gloom, and through not seeing and not knowing, to see
and to know that the not to see nor to know is itself the above sight and knowledge. For this is
veritably to see and to know and to celebrate super-essentially the Superessential, through the
abstraction of all existing things, just as those who make a lifelike statue, by extracting all the
encumbrances which have been placed upon the clear view of the concealed, and by bringing to
light, by the mere cutting away60, the genuine beauty concealed in it. And, it is necessary, as I think,
to celebrate the abstractions in an opposite way to the definitions. For, we used to place these latter
by beginning from the foremost and descending through the middle to the lowest, but, in this case,
by making the ascents from the lowest to the highest, we abstract everything, in order that, without
veil, we may know that Agnosia, which is enshrouded under all the known, in all things that be,
and may see that superessential gloom, which is hidden by all the light in existing things.
134

CAPUT III.
What are the affirmative expressions respecting God, and what the negative.
SECTION I.
IN the Theological Outlines, then, we celebrated the principal affirmative expressions respecting
God—how the Divine and good Nature is spoken of as One—how as Threefold—what is that
within it which is spoken of as Paternity and Sonship—what the Divine name of “the Spirit “is
meant to signify,—how from the immaterial and indivisible Good the Lights dwelling in the heart
of Goodness sprang forth, and remained, in their branching forth, without departing from the
coeternal abiding in Himself and in Themselves and in each other,—how the super-essential Jesus
60

i.e. the abstraction.

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135

136

Dionysius the Areopagite

takes substance in veritable human nature—and whatever other things, made known by the Oracles,
are celebrated throughout the Theological Outlines; and in the treatise concerning Divine Names,
how He is named Good—how Being—how Life and Wisdom and Power—and whatever else
belongs to the nomenclature of God. Further, in the Symbolical Theology, what are the Names
transferred from objects of sense to things Divine?—what are the Divine forms?—what the Divine
appearances, and parts and organs?—what the Divine places and ornaments?—what the
angers?—what the griefs?—and the Divine wrath?—what the carousals, and the ensuing
sicknesses?—what the oaths,—and what the curses?—what the sleepings, and what the
awakings?—and all the other Divinely formed representations, which belong to the description of
God, through symbols. And I imagine that you have comprehended, how the lowest are expressed
in somewhat more words than the first. For, it was necessary that the Theological Outlines, and the
unfolding of the Divine Names should be expressed in fewer words than the Symbolic Theology;
since, in proportion as we ascend to the higher, in such a degree the expressions are circumscribed
by the contemplations of the things intelligible. As even now, when entering into the gloom which
is above mind, we shall find, not a little speaking, but a complete absence of speech, and absence
of conception. In the other case, the discourse, in descending from the above to the lowest, is
widened according to the descent, to a proportionate extent; but now, in ascending from below to
that which is above, in proportion to the ascent, it is contracted, and after a complete ascent, it will
become wholly voiceless, and will be wholly united to the unutterable. But, for what reason in
short, you say, having attributed the Divine attributes from the foremost, do we begin the Divine
abstraction from things lowest? Because it is necessary that they who place attributes on that which
is above every attribute, should place the attributive affirmation from that which is more cognate
to it; but that they who abstract, with regard to that which is above every abstraction, should make
the abstraction from things which are further removed from it. Are not life and goodness more
(cognate) than air and stone? and He is not given to debauch and to wrath, more (removed) than
He is not expressed nor conceived.

CAPUT IV.
That the pre-eminent Cause of every object of sensible perception is none of the objects of sensible
perception.
SECTION I.
WE say then- that the Cause of all, which is above all, is neither without being, nor without life—nor
with- out reason, nor without mind, nor is a body—nor has shape—nor form—nor quality, or
quantity, or bulk—nor is in a place—nor is seen—nor has sensible contact—nor perceives, nor is
perceived, by the senses—nor has disorder and confusion, as being vexed by earthly passions,—nor

70

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is powerless, as being subject to casualties of sense,—nor is in need of light;—neither is It, nor has
It, change, or decay, or division, or deprivation, or flux,—or any other of the objects of sense.

CAPUT V.
That the pre-eminent Cause of every object of intelligible perception is none of the objects of
intelligible perception.

137

139

ON the other hand, ascending, we say, that It is neither soul, nor mind, nor has imagination, or
opinion, or reason, or conception; neither is expressed, nor conceived; neither is number, nor order,
nor greatness, nor littleness; nor equality, nor inequality; nor similarity, nor dissimilarity; neither
is standing, nor moving; nor at rest; neither has power, nor is power, nor light; neither lives, nor is
life; neither is essence nor eternity, nor time; neither is Its touch intelligible, neither is It science,
nor truth; nor kingdom, nor wisdom; neither one, nor oneness; neither Deity, nor Goodness; nor is
It Spirit according to our understanding; nor Sonship, nor Paternity; nor any other thing of those
known to us, or to any other existing being; neither is It any of non-existing nor of existing things,
nor do things existing know It, as It is; nor does It know existing things, qua existing; neither is
there expression of It, nor name, nor knowledge; neither is It darkness, nor light; nor error, nor
truth; neither is there any definition at all of It, nor any abstraction. But when making the predications
and abstractions of things after It, we neither predicate, nor abstract from It; since the all-perfect
and uniform Cause of all is both above every definition and the pre-eminence of Him, Who is
absolutely freed from all, and beyond the whole, is also above every abstraction.

PREFACE TO THE LETTERS
OF DIONYSIUS THE
AREOPAGITE.
THESE Letters attest the existence of the writings, and the wisdom spoken among the perfect, in
the Apostolic Age.—To Gaius, who is commemorated by St. John and St. Paul, we owe the
explanation of Agnosia, and valued teaching on the Personality of our Lord; to Dorotheus we are
indebted for a fuller explanation of the Divine Gloom; to Sosipater, twice mentioned in the Acts
and Romans, we owe the wisest letter ever penned for the instruction of the Christian Apologist
and Missionary. The Letter to Polycarp touches on those mysterious signs in the heavens, by which
Almighty God shewed His universal power. Dionysius shews his reverence for God’s holy word,
by never seeking to explain away, or to substitute what seems a less miracle for a greater. The
trifold Mithra commemorated amongst the Babylonians shews that Hezekiah’s sign was not merely
visible and observed in Judea. The King, as High Priest of his people, was already robed for evening
71

where the messengers from Corinth found him. But He Himself. LETTER I. CANNES. we know that the prayers of Dionysius for the conversion of his friend did not fall to the ground. and knowledge of things being. DARKNESS becomes invisible by light. in its superior sense. and one day became almost three. highly established above mind. and specially by much light. who presented his “Apology” to the Emperor Hadrian. we owe a knowledge of Church-law and order. I. Paris. LETTERS OF DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE. i. 72 . which teaches the Christian duty of being “sent. We do not explain and interpret the facts recorded in the Gospel. Dionysius describes the darkness at the time of the Crucifixion. and especially much varied knowledge. he did not see Him. Paul.Dionysius the Areopagite. Varied knowledge (αἰ γνώσεις). and is hidden from every knowledge. and above essence. Paul’s being cast into chains at Philippi. and is recorded by Phlegon. To Titus. C. if any one. we owe the preservation of the sum of the Symbolic Theology. 61 62 See “Correspondence of St. the wife of Apollophanes. Circumcision. Fishbacher. escapes those who possess existing light. John in Patmos. by the very fact of His being wholly unknown.” and which should teach clergy to obey their Bishop. And the all-perfect Agnosia.” From the letter to Apollophanes. or by treating the same testimony outside the Gospel as superstitious. through whom he sent the Epistle recently brought to light61. And. when he observed the sun gone back. Take this in a superlative. 1897. and that St. by denying them. and reply with superlative truth. thirty-two hours instead of thirty-six. p. and not being. From the letter to St. John was then Called the “Sun of the Gospel. The conversion of Statonice. To Demophilus.e. Apollophanes was tutor to Polemon. Who is above all known things. To Gaius Therapeutes. that the Agnosia. Works (1897) p140 Dionysius the Areopagite prayer. makes the Agnosia62 to vanish. as it appeared in Egypt. and not merely the Act of uniformity. both is super-essentially. who again was tutor to Aristides. was the cause of St. and His pre-eminent darkness is both concealed by every light. and is known above mind. understood what he saw. John arid Dionysius. § 1. but some of His creatures that are existing and known. but not in a defective sense. we learn the love between St. 20. is a knowledge of Him. respecting God.” Carrière et Berger. having seen God.

you ask. taking substance. as yet.—Who is super-source of every source. and not to be retained—excels the imitations and retentions. But we do not define the Lord Jesus.64 To the same Gaius Therapeutes. above men and after men. by a supernatural power standing together so as not to be divided. even after the manifestation. into the manifestation amongst us. and the inimitable imitation of the super-divine and super-good (gift). or to speak more divinely. τῇ ταύτης περιουσίᾳ. disregards the excess65 of this. if this becomes source of the deification and making good of those who are being deified and made good. 143 LETTER IV. I think that the Word of God suggests even this. § 6. 73 . Who is beyond all. and the mystery with respect to Him has been reached by no word nor mind. “Sudden” is that which. moreover. And it is nothing less. But. He Who is pre-eminently a lover of man. remains unsaid. contrary to expectation. and unstable water. even of the so-called Deity and Goodness. § 6. and out of the. II. by having taken substance as man. but even when spoken. Who is beyond all63. And a virgin supernaturally conceiving. For. from the substance of men.Dionysius the Areopagite. But with regard to Christ’s love of man. unmanifest. for He is not man only. is brought into the manifest. even in the manifestation. He. holding up weight of material and earthly feet. he who looks with a divine 63 64 65 C. Why should any one go through the rest. demonstrate this. which are very many? Through which. for in truth this of Jesus has been kept hidden. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite LETTER II. is Jesus. C. both above source of Divinity and above source of Good? Provided you understand Deity and Goodness. ranked essentially with all men? For. the Super-essential. that the Superessential proceeded forth out of the hidden. and the things which are imitated and those participating. LETTER III. but truly man. but. 142 How is He. (neither superessential nor man only). the ever Superessential. seeing He is beyond source of Divinity and source of Goodness. and above man works things of man. by aid of which we are deified and made good. To the same Gaius. How. and when conceived unknown. and having come truly into substance. super-full of super-essentiality. as the very Actuality of the Good-making and God-making gift. not as Author of men is He here called man. and not giving way. He is hidden. humanly. II. in so far as He is inimitable. took substance above substance. but as being in absolute whole essence truly man. To the same Gaius Therapeutes.

Acts xx.Dionysius the Areopagite. of (the Lord) Jesus. xi. “Thy knowledge was regarded as wonderful by me.—things which possess a force of superlative negation. For neither. 7. as having found Him Who is above all. is 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 1 Tim. 6. Who is above vision and knowledge. “His ways are past finding out69 and His Judgements inscrutable. but exercising for us a certain new God-incarnate energy of God having become man. Do not imagine this a victory. Leitourgos. 2 Cor. 15. holy Sopatros. Works (1897) 144 Dionysius the Areopagite vision. not having done things Divine as God. by having known Him as being above all conception and knowledge. both that you and others. enters every one deemed worthy to know and to see God. i. To Sopatros72—Priest. to have denounced73 a devotion.” and that His peace surpasses every mind71. and was above man. 6. even. he says. even the things affirmed respecting the love towards man. or an opinion. by being Cause of all. 145 LETTER VI. if anything is not red. and unapproachable on account of the excess of the superessential stream of light. but as being from men was beyond men. nor if something is not a horse. 74 . 9. which apparently is not good. not as not being man. LETTER V. on account of the surpassing brightness. For. that. Ib. by the very fact of neither seeing nor knowing. invisible67 indeed. vi. I can by no means attain unto it68. He is beyond all. Rom. and saying in the words of the Prophet. iv. is it therefore white. 4. whilst occupied in many things that are false and apparent. Rom. cxxxix. nor things human as man. Tit. that He is after all the object of sensible and intelligent perception. Phil. He was not man. Wherefore also. 17. For it is possible. which is One and hidden. For neither—even if you should have convicted it accurately—are the (teachings) of Sopatros consequently good.” and His gifts “indescribable70. 33. iii. knowing this very thing. Ps. It was confirmed. having truly been born man. and for the rest. And in this gloom. will know beyond mind. to speak summarily. should overlook the true.” even as the Divine Paul is said to have known Almighty God. and having known this which is above conception. xvi. To Dorotheus. really entering in Him. The Divine gloom is the unapproachable light in which God is said to dwell66. 21. ix.

for by the knowledge of things created. and by the divine Paul named Wisdom of God. It is superfluous then. 21. and calls me parricide. at any rate. if you follow my advice. it were more true for us to say. am not conscious. ought to recognise that nothing could otherwise be removed from its heavenly course and movement. well called Philosophy by him. according to a law of truth. and has remained unrefuted by all the rest. And I am not speaking of the opinion of the multitude. and dissimilar. who cling tenaciously to the writings of the poets. LETTER VII. first to know about truth. things Divine against things Divine. not piously. the writings of Greeks against the Greeks. 7. by the impregnable stability of the really true. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite it necessarily a man. and that which is seeming rather than real. Dan. 147 But you say. that every thing said is altogether unquestionable.Dionysius the Areopagite. attempting through the wisdom of Almighty God to eject the Divine Worship. not piously. that the expounder of truth should contend with these or those74. the Sophist Apollophanes rails at me. you will cease indeed to speak against others. with earthly and impassioned proclivities. For each affirms himself to have the royal coin. who forms all things. 75 . and Worship the creature75 rather than the Creator. if you refute this. See note. and then the other. but it is sufficient for me (and may God grant this). that Greeks use. when speaking in reply to Greeks or others. when this is correctly demonstrated in its essential nature. ii. as it really is in itself. To Polycarp—Hierarch. or that of himself. 1 Cor. How then does he not worship Him. But. every thing which is not so in every respect is cast down of itself. Having then as I think well understood this. but will so speak on behalf of truth. and “transforms them76” according to the sacred text. every thing which is otherwise. if it had not the Sustainer and Cause of its being moving it thereto. known 74 75 76 Greeks or others. in reply to him. 146 I. SECTION II. SECTION I. And. then. will contend concerning the same. but even Apollophanes himself uses not piously things Divine against things Divine. ii. And in order that he may not improperly impute to me the opinion of others. Apollophanes. when the true statement itself has been correctly laid down. p. For. 184. the true philosophers ought to have been elevated to the Cause of things created and of the knowledge of them. will be convicted of being other than the reality. and perchance has some deceptive image of a certain portion of the true. to speak as it is fitting to speak. But thus will you do. being a wise man. and simulates the truth. first the one. of fancying to assist good men. and has been established without flaw. Yet. having known. as using. in case they should be able to know and speak the very truth. I have not been over zealous to speak in reply to Greeks or to others.

and (was) turned back by the thus very most supernatural backward revolutions. 1. but the well-known and celestial ones. were fixed by them to entire immobility. by a power and stability most supernatural. which were renowned in every place and by all persons. to our surprise. Mark xv. by reason of his ignorance or his inexperience. and to this day. by no means do I allege the great works in Egypt81. Isaiah xxviii.M. The thirty-two hours are four hours less than thirty-six. 4.Dionysius the Areopagite. the time of three days of twelve hours each. Luke xxiii. which took place at the time of the saving Cross83?” For both of us at that time. In returning there were ten hours more. those embraced did not follow in their course. which together make thirty hours. Isaiah xxxix. Works (1897) 148 149 Dionysius the Areopagite to us even from this. 14. and again. which took place elsewhere. brought them into subjection to Hezekiah. make thirty-two hours. And in 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 Joshua x. without battle. “What do you affirm concerning the eclipse. and again. and Schema. Eccl. Isaiah xxxviii. 21. 76 . 8. and to me. not taking place from the same point. if occasion serves. and going towards the edge of the sun’s disc. 2 Kings xx. But let him disbelieve these things. when sun77 and moon. the re-clearing to the sun. 12. and possible to Christ alone. And. both the contact and the re-clearing84. however. to our surprise (for it was not appointed time for conjunction). at Heliopolis. vii. and saw and judged and wondered with thee at them all. The two hours. who was then both present with thee. or certain other Divine portents. as though he were a somebody equal to God. This thing indeed naturally astounded even Babylonians80. See notes on this letter in Ant. See Dulac. from 6 A. 44. And remind him also of something further. refute them. A degree represents an hour. So great are the supernatural things of that appointed time. even in twenty whole hours79. the contact itself beginning from the east. 258. having contracted its five-fold motion in ten hours. if when the whole and the greater and embracing were thus carried along. 12-14. all the constellations stood in the same places. vol. and verily being God of the whole. the Babylonians commemorated the threefold Mythra —the Sun—in consequence. of which there is not number. this is reported by the Persian sacerdotal legends. See Dulac. These things say. but from that diametrically opposite. and in retracing the route ten hours more. being present. and if possible. and superior to ordinary men. to complete the day of twelve hours. For he knows that we saw. Who worketh great things and marvellous. The Sun had then run already a course of ten hours. The “twenty hours” which made one day almost equal to three are reckoned thus. and. or the sun. and standing together. Ex. either the universe retraced contrary routes for so long a time. Whatever we may think the facts. 2. Ed. xlvi. saw the moon approaching the sun. O Apollophanes. SECTION III. together with the universe. and when a certain other day78 was almost tripled in duration. Of twelve hours: 2 Kings xx. The Sun went down ten degrees = ten hours. At any rate then. Magi celebrate the memorials of the threefold Mithrus82. supernaturally placed back again into a line opposite the sun. Say to him. then receding back. to 4 P.M. in its own course. admiring Him for His all causative and super-inexpressible power. 9-11. for a measure of a whole day. the Cause of all. But Apollophanes is ever saying that these things are not true. by traversing a sort of new route. 33. retrogressively again retraced it in the other ten hours. The contact or adumbration refers to the moon. p. 31. or (which is greater than even this). and. from the ninth hour to the evening. One day was thus nearly equal to three. 2 Chron. xxxii.

and love of rule. as if conjecturing the things taking place.” and deemed more fit for vision of God than all Prophets. 151 The histories of the Hebrews say. that the familiar with God the Good should be moulded. 150 LETTER VIII. xii. Matt. when they even rose up against him. xxiv. and were already almost upon him. Jehovah was angry with him with wrath. that. and who perhaps will not disdain to meekly learn the truth. l.” Let so much be said by us by letter. And. and opposing the Divine Counsels. and without suspicion. And the Word of God proclaims all the good 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 Num. they do not cast him out from God for his meekness. 14. he is proclaimed. as being free from injury. SECTION I. About minding ones own business. and should be conscious within himself of the performance of deeds of good friendship. and on this account is called “Servant of God. even that holy. to that which is specially most like the Good. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite truth Apollophanes begins prophesying at that time. And Job91 was pronounced just. the meek man invoked the Good for preservation. 21. when certain envious87 people were contending with him and Aaron. and referred the presidency over the people to the Divine judgment. the father of God. a generous injunction was given. The Super-Good. But when they make him proclaimed by his God-discerned deserts. were threatening him. Ex.” Further also. he was superior to all love of honour. both to supply the deficiency. For he was very meek. O noble Demophilus. And Joseph92 did not take revenge upon the brethren who had plotted against him. O excellent Dionysius. Therapeutes. but very suitably asserted that he would be guiltless of all evils to the governed. from his pre-eminent imitation of the Good. if at any time they describe him as being excluded from the vision86 of God. distinguished Moses was deemed worthy of the Divine manifestation on account of his great meekness85. who is wise in many things. To Demophilus. Now. But they say that when speaking very rashly. about the High Priesthood and government of the tribes. xvi. 3-8. xxiii. 14. Num. Ex. and Abel. accompanied the fratricide. For he knew that it is necessary. and kindness. Job i. 1-16. And. Gen. of our religion. I know not whence. 4. And what made David88. “these things. i. to care for even one’s enemy’s beasts of burden90. and to me he said. and to bring eventually to God that distinguished man. are requitals of Divine deeds. a friend of God? Even for being good and generous towards enemies89. 77 . as far as is attainable. 1-11.Dionysius the Areopagite. xiii. and the Friend of Good says—“I have found a man after mine own heart. but you are capable. and reproaching him concerning the precedency. I Sam. which is above wisdom. iv. 7. 8. at once.

by the baseness of others95. 45. that “I have providentially preserved the things sacred. 11. as thy letters testify. and He bears with those who heedlessly reproach Him101. and wishes all things ever to become near to Himself. being in thy senses. 20. and when His entire self has embraced their entire selves. For assuredly is it not of a Goodness inexpressible and beyond conception. xii. v. not proclaiming the gentleness of holy men. of all persons in the world. and throwing their shield over the evil. and is generous to the unthankful. nor whatever else the Word of God teaches concerning the beneficent angels99. He kisses them. and justifying the unholy. 7. And at last. who. 98 Luke xv. as thou sayest. but neither being changed from the good. and over life of those who are dead. after the example of God96. Then this one entreated and confessed that he has come for healing of evil deeds. good men.” 93 1 Cor. 12. contrary to permission. 95 Rom. and holds a feast. is at enmity with. 96 Matt. 21. according to the aptitude of each? And why? Because He clings lovingly to those who even depart from Him. “ought not the good to rejoice over safety of the lost. in order that the household may be altogether rejoicing. But let us ascend higher.” And. immediately that they approach. xv. and further promises to serve them.Dionysius the Areopagite. on the contrary. as a matter of course. not doing them94. Ps. 103 1 John ii. and Himself makes excuse for them. and didst burst. 10. 94 78 . whilst being grieved over calamities. but rejoices over the present. and to their own similitude. But thou. thou saidst to the priest. by them let us be lighted on our path. and brought all things themselves to being. yet rejoice over the safety of those who are being called back to things good98. and does not reproach them for former things. into the sanctuary. but. 100 Matt. “Go out with thy like”. that is to say. He raises upon His shoulders that which with difficulty has been turned from error. 101 Luke xxiii. and generously calling them to their own abundant goodness. xci. xiii. Works (1897) 152 153 Dionysius the Areopagite as not devising evil things93. I do not know how. and calls together the friends. 99 Ps. the good. nor kindness of philanthropic angels. and am still keeping them undefiled. but even insolently didst cover with abuse the good priest. and rejoices. Demophilus. and defiledst the Holy of holies. to His Divine works of Goodness. and runs towards and meets102 even those who hold themselves aloof. but. 102 Ib. 34. and invoke good97 on their behalf. and writest to us. was unholy and a sinner. and punish the destructive and devastating mobs. and strives100 and beseeches not to be disowned by those beloved who are themselves coy. as doing good to. 97 Zech. hast spurned one fallen down before the priest. but thou didst not shiver.) “For how. that He makes all things existing to be. and. and makes His sun to rise upon evil and good. for shewing compassion to a penitent. 19. which were about to be profaned. vi. and presents His very soul103 as an offering on behalf of those who are fleeing from Him. who take compassion upon nations. and participants of Himself. and teaches beautiful things to. xv. 3. 5. (But. i.” He says. whilst in silence welcoming the beneficent rays of the really good and super-good Christ. and very justly rebukes. and summons the good angels to rejoicing.

what were those domineering demons109. 16-19. art thus rash in what concerns the affairs of the meek and good. or condemning any one. And even if same civil Governor undertook what was not commanded him by a King. against its will. 106 Ec. to be strutted over by thee. nor possessest any of the things belonging to the priests. For even those who always stand around the Divine Altar. 110 Lev. hear our view. is a departure from the most Divine institutions and decrees. xxvi. they shew. through the intermediate Leitourgoi. as neither hast thou known the truth of the Oracles. xvi. nor heard. 18. although thou neither hast known. until thou didst tyrannically burst into them. Is. as the Oracles affirm105. 19. who were truly proclaiming the Lord Jesus God? But every one who meddles with other people’s business. xii. things holy which had been beautifully guarded without pollution. Works (1897) 154 155 156 Dionysius the Areopagite Now. 109 Mark iii. see and hear things Divine revealed to themselves in all clearness. part 2. Hier. after the hierarchs. for. For what was Ozias107 doing out of place. But the gates of the sanctuary are bounded by the appointed Therapeutae. even though he should seem to act irreverently towards things Divine. and his hierarchical jurisdiction. 26. (for I do not go so far as to say to vituperate). For. enjoining the impartation of these to others. if want of order. and to the holy people. when justifying. for is not the Holy of holies altogether simply separated from all. and at the same time thought to cast him from his government. Whence the holy regulation of the priests orders them to participate in things Divine. and thou sayest. that thou holdest and guardest the sacred things. that is to say. 108 I Sam. c. xiii. who are above thee. and teaching of themselves that they are nearer the people than the priesthood. within which they are both ordained. to the subject Therapeutae. but thou. and each one shall be in the rank of his own service. learn from them through whom thou wast deemed worthy to be a Therapeutes. is outlawed by the Word of God. the more inward. further. “how then shall His kingdom stand104?” And if the judgment is of God. the things Divine suitable for thyself106. and alone the High Priest110 shall enter into 104 Matt. and compelledst the Holy of holies.Dionysius the Areopagite. and following these. and want of regulation. It is not lawful that a priest should be corrected by the Leitourgoi. For Almighty God is not divided against Himself. and at the same time thinks that he acts properly. when opportunity serves. 6. and advancing generously to things outside the Divine Veils. 107 2 Chron. or by the Therapeutae. and though he should be convicted of having done some other thing forbidden. that of the Leitourgoi. and to the orders under purification. it is not reasonable that the divinely transmitted order should be changed on God’s behalf. who are of the same rank with thee. not to guard them. and the order of the consecrators is in closer proximity to it than the rank of the priests. justly would any one of the subordinates standing by be punished who dared to criticise the Governor. 2. xxx. then. for a symbolical purpose. but for order. and around which they stand. man. of the Divine judgments. whilst cavilling about them each day to subversion of the hearers. We are bound to say these things. according to their meetness. For this is not within the powers of any one. when offering incense to Almighty God? and what Saul108 in sacrificing? Yea. And do not the Divine Symbols proclaim this. 105 79 . and the priests are angels and interpreters. 11. when any one undertakes what is above his rank.

20. xix. as the holy Oracles say. and I spake not to them yet they prophesied115. 157 SECTION II. xlvi. ii. xvi. ii. iv. the all-perfect justice of Almighty God does not tolerate the disregarders of law. iv. And he seems.Dionysius the Areopagite. 18. (is) as he who slays a dog.” He retorts. 123 Eph. “I did not send them.” and to speak briefly. “And I know you not. and He says. how do they announce to the people the Divine virtues. xxx. 113 Num. and does not blush. rash who. yet they ran. 3. go from Me all ye workers of lawlessness. and more illuminating. but each must keep to himself119. 120 Rom. xxiii. 10. And the priests113 encompass the holy things. and this in the full legal hierarchical purification112. are at once more luminous. and fancying that God does not know the 111 Ex. 2. 115 Jer. and Mariam114 becomes leprous. is more godlike than that which stands further away. entirely has he fallen from the priestly rank and power. how do they impart the Divine Spirit. And the demons fastened on the sons of Sceva.” “And the profane116 who sacrifices to me a calf. who glory in law. through the transgression of the Law? “And how are the priests interpreters122 of Almighty God? For. 15. 23. 7. 158 For each rank of those about God. 117 Matt. 21. when not according to order118. and do not understand the nearness topically. “is it not necessary to correct the priests who are acting irreverently. If. and once only throughout the year111. Ib. And those which are somewhat nearer to the true light. xii. communicate light? Further. being such. undertakes the priestly functions. and not meditate things too high and too deep for him120. who are in darkness123. and has no fear. but whilst they are saying “in Thy117 Name. or convicted of something else out of place. 124 Acts xix.” thou sayest. 21. and the Levites must not touch the holy things. but according to God-receptive aptitude. because she had presumed to lay down laws for the lawgiver. by habit and truth do not believe whether there is a Holy Spirit124? Now I will give thee an answer to these things. contrary to propriety. but to those only. or perhaps rather (he becomes) the unilluminated. shall it be permitted to dishonour Almighty God121. nor will I tolerate that thou shouldst be overreached by Satan. 114 Ib. even to pursue things that are just. 10. but contemplate alone things prescribed for him according to order. we ourselves did many wonderful works. 121 Rom. And Jehovah was angry with wrath at the rashness of Ozias. 116 Is. who. to me at least. 3-6. xii. 16. who do not know the power of them? or how do they.” So that it is not permissible. 122 Mal. iv. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite the Holy of holies. lest they die. For truly my Demophilus is not an enemy. who does not illuminate. the order of the priests is the illuminating. then. 119 1 Tim. 23. “ What then. 118 Deut. vii. 112 80 . when performing things Divine.

an elder. a city. This one is not a priest. and a younger man. the priests. and who. even among these. who have been ordered by God to superintend others. after the example of Christ. let the divine Leitourgoi assign the due limit. of whom dost thou suppose thou wast 125 Deut. he who has governed himself will also govern another. and let him not maltreat the regulation of himself. since even to angels it is just that things meet be assigned and apportioned.” I know not how I shall bewail the scandal of my beloved. he shall be put right by the holy men of the same rank. the Apostles and the successors of the Apostles. a house. not beyond their own meetness or rank126. if one were to see. in the market-place. O Demophilus. 20. concerning the inhuman treatment towards that man. For. this must be pursued by all justly. is faithful also in much.” and “he who is unfaithful in little. 2 Cor. but each shall be in his own rank. but let the superior reason bear rule over things inferior. 10. assign their due limit to passion and anger and reason.Dionysius the Areopagite. “he who is faithful in little. For. iii. if the Word of God commands to pursue just things justly125 (but to pursue just things is. 160 Thyself. but not from us. but through them to us. and cast out of the sovereignty given by God. perchance.—No!—but devilish—crafty —a deceiver of himself—and a wolf to the people of God.” SECTION IV. and to the priests. But. another. 126 81 . 127 1 Tim. and to the hierarchs. For. amongst all existing things their due is assigned through the first to the second. And to thyself. and presumes to repeat his cursed blasphemies (for I would not say prayers) over the Divine symbols. distribute after themselves their due to their inferiors. should have failed in what is becoming. it is not to Demophilus that it is permitted to put these things straight. also a nation. 5. xvi. from us. and insurrection and confusion? Naturally. and to these. also a city. But. and who. xiii. SECTION III. hierarchs. on behalf of knowing and doing one’s own business. a servant abusing a master. even though perhaps they were first guilty of injustice. And to speak briefly as the Oracles affirm. and to them through the angels who are still more pre-eminent. when any one wishes to distribute to each one things that are meet). and in his own service. let Demophilus apportion their due to reason and anger and passion. who has not already well presided over his own house127. So much for thee. then. will also govern a house. our blessed Law-giver from God does not deem right that one should preside over the Church of God. and thinks to mislead Him Who is falsely called by him Father. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite very things of which he is conscious in himself. when we see reason maltreated by anger and passion. and when we raise in our own selves an irreverent and unjust disorder. and rank shall not be turned against rank. For. any. or also a son. of God. we should seem even to fail in reverence if we did not run and succour the superior. And if. then. whom thou callest “irreverent and sinner. Let those. And to speak shortly. how then shall we not blush. a father. and who. is unfaithful also in much. clothed in sheep’s clothing. by the well-ordered and most just forethought of all. and in addition attacking and inflicting wounds. 159 But.

not thyself. He was displeased with the disciples. through clemency. not if you should allege a thousand times your Phineas and your Elias. graciously given to himself. at the very time of His suffering.” “He shall not strive nor cry. Works (1897) 161 Dionysius the Areopagite ordained Therapeutes by us? For if it were not of the Good. as being good. when the Lord Jesus heard these things. and He rebukes even the disciples. from being separate of sinners. and to be a cruel minister of thine own fierceness. to bear the ignorances of the people. and from our whole religion. so that we will not approve your unenviable attacks. but Almighty God. that Almighty God. when wandering upon the mountains. with difficulty. and I distrust myself. after the example of the unholy. 129 82 . For. but is both without sin and merciful. Who is good to all. and Himself propitiatory for our sins. For they. the supremely Divine Priest pursued a different (course). For. which both myself and Demophilus must take care to avoid. not knowing in what we offend. nor drive the sword against ourselves. and that as the Oracles say. we must teach. seeks. and it is time for thee both to seek a God.Dionysius the Areopagite. they would not have persuaded me if indeed any other had thought good to persuade me concerning thee. For. For. as we do not punish the blind. But. “Who cannot be touched with our infirmities. because without mercy they thought it right to convict of impiety the Samaritans who drove Him away. not avenge ourselves upon. whilst really not seeing130? Heaven was startled at this. Jer. is not also compassionate towards men. him who did not forgive his fellow-servant the debt. 13-35. and have no need of the divine compassion for ourselves128. been perfected to the altogether Good. places upon His shoulders. This. forsooth. 130 Rom. and I shivered. yea further. and when he is approaching with much modesty. that they also are compassed with infirmity. after striking him on the cheek. 27. For. He invokes remission from the Father. But thou. and He condemns him to enjoy his own deserts. do not let us thus injuriously counsel for ourselves. who is beginning to rise to the truth. i. whom the Lord Christ. and that he himself has no need of the Merciful or the Saviour. this is enough to make one shudder). nor impart a portion of that manifold goodness. the ignorant. have we ourselves. I pray. and calls to Him. he deposes those priests who are deemed worthy. is the thousand times repeated theme of thy impudent letter (for thou repeatest the same from beginning to end). that thou hast avenged. 162 Avaunt! We have not a High Priest. ii. 10. who undertake to injure any 128 Luke xvi. even for those who were treating Him impiously. it is necessary that thou shouldst be altogether alien from Him and from us. or do we commit the double sin129. when fleeing from Him. that Demophilus supposes. and is Himself meek. and makes the most gentle tending of the sheep a proof of the love towards Himself. and He stigmatizes as wicked. and when. Tell me (dost thou avenge) the Good by means of evil? SECTION V. as the Oracles say. even our most divine preceptor teaches in meekness those who opposed themselves to the teaching of Almighty God. And unless I had met with thy letters (as know well I would I had not). but even justifying ourselves and supposing we see. but rather lead them by the hand. Do not. and amongst them to become brutal rather than perfected. rustiest upon that man. and other priests. and who well know. indeed. thou insolently kickest him away (certainly. who at that time lacked the meek and good spirit. found.

and from the roof divided into two in the midst. with innumerable angels. that it was not just that godless men. 83 . to a sort of yawning and dark chasm. and not to be separated. but. In this evil condition he went to sleep. within the mouth of the chasm. he saw. as his fellow-helper. most fitted. whilst saying this. so that the things disputed by them might be clearly determined. For which reason. on account of great purity of mind. when they have brought into their house vice or virtue. I will mention a divine vision of a certain holy man. who pervert the straight ways of the Lord. 13. might be compelled to be wiser by a judgment according to law. to convert the one. whilst saying this. pitiful. and. his slumbers. and to overcome the other by goodness132. and. And. suddenly. Jesus. and taking God. but for themselves. unless a propitious vision were first manifested to him during his preparatory devout prayers. Now. both here and there. will inherit the most blessed inheritances for the ever-continuing age. for the Divine melodies) he arose. upon whom he had invoked a curse. of his own accord. he affirmed that he saw the very foundation ripped in two. and will be ever with God. of all others. that he ought compassionately to have prayed on behalf of both. who were irrationally bold. trembling. when some one of the unbelievers had at one time grieved him (and his grief was. and himself marvelled. Rom. which were many and continually broken. with all peace and freedom from all evil. for it was evening. as he had never before experienced this. And. he was guiltily vexed and displeased. and to be ever with the Lord. and upon the back of the heaven. or on the contrary to do them good. and thus to lead them to the knowledge of God. standing around Him. he declared. will be filled either with Divine virtues. the heaven itself giving way. first torn asunder. and a sort of gleaming fire before his eyes (for the place seemed now under the open sky) borne down from the heavenly region close to him. iv. Divine Converse. along with the evil.—a man. This indeed. and those very men. to cut short the lives of them both. xi. not having enjoyed. from the most Just One. 21. we have an earnest desire to become companions of God. undisturbed. as followers and companions of good angels. should live. when Carpus had bent down. do not always effect what they wish. above. 164 165 When I was once in Crete. saying. standing before his eyes. And these indeed. whilst undergoing that which is due from ourselves. and not to have ceased warning them so long as he lived until this day. the other will fall both from the divine and their own peace. which I fear most of all. will be companions with cruel demons. and after death. and here. or ungovernable passions. But. that he seemed to see suddenly the house in which he stood. without mercy. he besought Almighty God. Now. for Divine Vision. when he stood collected for the. and those. only just not yet carried down by the 131 132 2 Tim. He said then. I do not know how he then went to bed with such a surfeit of ill-will and bitterness. and pray to have no share in anything evil. and at midnight (for he was accustomed at that appointed hour to rise. for I am speaking true.Dionysius the Areopagite. but below. the Saviour. whilst the days of rejoicing were still being celebrated for him). the greatest of all blessings. SECTION VI. by some stroke of lightning. Works (1897) 163 Dionysius the Areopagite one. the Good. and do not laugh. in the form of men. he never undertook the holy celebrations of the Mysteries. that he had led astray to ungodliness a certain member of the Church. with your permission. the holy Carpus131 entertained me.

where Rutilus. asking by letter what is the house of wisdom. and the Lord Jesus said to Carpus. to test the truth of the voice. To Titus. and at the same time resigned. and descending to them. partly against their will. which told him to quit this place and save his soul. this letter. whom he attended to Antioch. and that he was forgetful of the things above. when he did not succeed. and with serpents. around their feet. He consecrated the second Bishop of Alexandria. provided that other men do not commit sin. what the bowl. as he saw it before. He was then sent to Jerusalem by the pro-consul of Crete to report upon the reality of the miracles said to be performed by Jesus Christ. was converted to the Faith by Titus. who was versed in the science of law. TITUS. In A. to Seleucia and to Crete. and what are its meats and drinks? 84 . and that Pliny. 167 ZENAS. and became one of the seventy-two.Dionysius the Areopagite. the younger. whilst looking below. was baptized. Opening Isaiah. co-operating with the serpents against these men. vv 1-5. for that with God. St. his eye fell on chapter xli. the Apostles consecrated him. for I am ready. and then had a revelation which bade him read the Hebrew Scriptures. and sent him with Paul. and that. creeping up and gliding from underneath. even again. and Titus appointed Bishop. another. and all the time endeavouring to pull them down into the yawning gulf. King of Crete. taking hold of the two men. almost overcome by the calamity. Hierarch. And Carpus said. and His miracles.” These are the things which I heard myself. and believe to be true. Paul addressed his Epistle to Titus. and the good and philanthropic angels. standing up from His supercelestial throne. further. and stretching a helping hand. one from one place and another from. one of the seventy-two disciples. whether it is well for thee to exchange the dwelling in the chasm. at once tearing and pushing and beating them down. he saw the heaven again. moved with pity at what was taking place. and Jesus. wrote a life of Titus. when he heard a voice from heaven. Titus gave himself to the study of Homer and Philosophy till his twentieth year. and that he often attempted to accomplish the fact. and from below the chasm. and the angels. 64. because they had not already fallen. when with difficulty he raised himself. “Strike against Me in future. partly by their will. He witnessed the Passion and Ascension. co-operating with Him. and this is pleasing to Me. and lifting them up. LETTER IX. He saw our Saviour. and that certain men also were in the midst. And.D. And they seemed to be on the point of falling. and believed. he was both irritated and cursed. that he himself was glad. But see. Works (1897) 166 Dionysius the Areopagite mere slipping of their feet. and about the same time Dionysius also. serpents. pro-consul. and says that he was descended from the family of Minos. to suffer for the salvation of men. and weighing them down. He waited one year. whilst His hand was yet extended. Dexter records that Titus visited Spain. and died at the age of 94. now contriving to drag them away. and again inflaming or irritating with their teeth or their tails. that he was vexed and made light of it.

and in the varied shape of wild beasts and other living creatures. or seductive light productions of reflected splendours. he will find every one of them mystical and Godlike. if any one were able to see their inner hidden beauty. For let us not think. thus contemplating them. but a knowledge surpassing every kind of knowledge. and filled with abundant theological light. in the Symbolic Theology. the repentances. but on behalf of their own safety? And that counsel devised in heaven to deceive and mislead Achab133. What would any one say concerning the angers. manifestations. both for him and for others. forms filled? For instance. as it were to a sort of artisan. either gifts. the griefs. or weapons of savages. and this when they were contriving the building. For. the various oaths. we should reverence a fountain of Life flowing into Itself—viewing It even standing by Itself. or abidings. and all the other sacred compositions which appear in the description of God. unfold the varied forms of the Divine” representations of God in symbols. and flowers and roots. or distinctions. and plants. and in a furnace. We must then strip them. For they give a colour of incongruity dreadful to the uninitiated souls. and as a kind of single power. which eructates it. and placing under Him. For. during which He is said to scheme against those powerful and great men. or representing these things after the manner of plants. but with regard to the intelligible providences of Almighty God. or progressions. horses and chariots and thrones. 20. or properties. as far as possible. We thought it necessary then. breathed forth from a mouth. not abandoning Itself. certainly hidden and daring enigmas. and stones. that we should. and attributing to Him ornaments of women. or repose.Dionysius the Areopagite. and those mundane and meritricious passions of the Canticles. unapproachable by the profane. or unions. clothing Almighty God in human form. Wherefore also. and always contemplating Itself. and representing Him as drinking. or powers. the manifold and dubious excuses for the failure of promises. as projections. 168 169 170 I do not know. with regard to the superessential Divine generation. O excellent Titus. and divisions of things one and undivided. and drunken. deaf to some of the theological symbols which were explained by me. and branches. and sleeping. and formative and manifold forms of the shapeless and unformed. bodily. whether the holy Timothy departed. the many discredit the expressions concerning the Divine Mysteries. through certain. and assigning working in clay. when the Fathers of the unutterable wisdom explain the Divine and Mystical Truth. and a breath. and suffering from excess. and spreading before Him certain dainty meats delicately cooked. that the appearances of the 133 I Kings xxii. and view them by themselves in their naked purity. and self-worked. we contemplate them only through the sensible symbols that have grown upon them. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite SECTION I. and describing a word flowing out into air from a man’s heart. the battle of giants in Genesis. which stick at nothing. 85 . self-moved. and celebrating God-bearing bosoms embracing a son of God. simple. or fountains of waters y. For. we have thoroughly investigated for him all the expressions of the Oracles concerning God. and producing certain trees. through Itself. the curses. which appear to the multitude to be monstrous. not with a view to injustice towards other people. But. with what incredible and simulated monstrosities are its external. of which. representing a body of God corporally generating God. or certain other sacred representations which explain superessential descriptions of God. as examples. and multiplications of hidden things. the revenges. bubbling forth.

nor those of the law. and at another. abstain from the God-befitting symbols. but that they shield the science unutterable and invisible to the multitude. that the teaching. and empyrean shapes. but are manifested to those only who are genuine lovers of piety. And differently must we take the same likeness of fire. and some things humanly. but other things supermundanely and perfectly. weave in themselves a sort of type. represented in various forms through the typical symbols. we see even the most holy Angels. also. not only are the superessential lights. as their contemplation. neither our holy instructors. and the intelligible Oracles of Almighty God. SECTION II. as such (coverings) are. But also the very order of the visible universe sets forth the invisible things of Almighty God. and manifest images of the unutterable and supernatural visions. And certainly. And all those who are hearers of a distinct theology without symbols. which conducts them to the conception of the aforesaid theology. does not contain a bare history. secret and mystical—the other. the other acts and implants in Almighty God. things Divine. products and moulds of the Divine characteristics. but other things. at the same time. but further. when spoken with regard to the inconceivable God. Wherefore. and aptitude of contemplative faculty. and all its details. it was seemly. by nature. The. are described under varied forms.—and the unspoken is intertwined with the spoken. as says both Paul and the infallible Word. not only that the Holy of holies should be preserved undefiled by the multitude. at one time indeed. in opposition to the vulgar conception concerning them. For. we must also consider this. and Jesus Himself. and to limit the passionless part of the soul to the simple. both contemplated and contemplating. handed down by the Theologians is two-fold—one. but that its impassioned part should wait upon. but the other as originated. speaking the word of God in parables. the Theologians view some things politically and legally. For the whole statement lying before them. spoken of as fire. symbolical and initiative—the other. purely and without flaw. but a vivifying perfection. open and better known—one. 86 . Works (1897) 171 172 173 Dionysius the Areopagite compositions have been formed for their own sake. since things all-holy are not within the reach of the profane. and transmitting the divinely wrought mysteries. to the simple and supernatural and elevated truth of the symbols. but also that the Divine knowledge should illuminate the human life. We must then. The one persuades. and desiderates the truth of the things expressed. and different things differently. and differently respecting the Angels. from the laws which are manifest. from the institutions which are unmanifest. mystically advancing things Divine through enigmas. reverently enter within the sacred symbols. being as they are. and differently with regard to His intelligible providences or words. and mediately. who reject all childish fancy respecting the holy symbols. and manifold likenesses.Dionysius the Areopagite. as flames of fire. and most inward visions of the most godlike images. and are capable to pass with simplicity of mind. the most Divine coverings. as the superessential God. Yea. and. throughout the celebrations of the most holy mysteries. congenial to it. in a manner suitable to itself. through a typical spreading of a table. and the third as participative. Besides. even the godlike orders of the angels. through the pre-arranged representations of the typical symbols. philosophic and demonstrative. and not dishonour them. which is at once indivisible and divisible. by instructions in mysteries not learnt by teaching. in one word. and scientific arrangements suggest. strive after. one as causal. For. as befits the holy writings and minds and souls under consideration. and things intelligible. and.

the same. He. and we affirm that every nourishment is perfective of those nourished. as placing a mystical bowl. and further conducting those who are properly nourished as to goodness. solid and fixed. is nothing in anything at all. but overtops the whole. and unifying. both connaturally and supernaturally. then. or the origins. and on the other hand. as one might say. and reviving. after partaking of wisdom. is both an all-perfect providence. or the orders. SECTION IV. through things variegated and many and divided. par excellence. as in water. identically and always. SECTION III. but. let us come at once to the very question propounded by you. and of the well being. and growth-giving. eager to advance. but we must unfold them suitably to the causes. and tending the weak.Dionysius the Areopagite. and whilst going forth to all. being spherical and open. but that the liquid is suggestive of the stream. or the dignities of which they are explanatory tokens. and comes into being in everything. imparts his really solid nourishment. without beginning and without end. and unmoved abiding. and to milk. but the other liquid and flowing forth. and wine. But since. and standing always. in order that I may not extend my letter beyond the bounds of propriety. remaining by Himself alone. Now the bowl. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite And never must we confuse the sacred symbols haphazard. and advances to all. sets forth the two-fold food. by those contemplating organs of sense. and ever being in the same condition and in the same way. and shrine. and water. one indeed. making to sprout. The Divine Wisdom. and in one word. But what is the solid food and what the liquid? For the Good Wisdom is celebrated as at once bestowing and providing these. as in wine. and neither standing. having His providential energies. It remains in Itself. and pouring forth its sacred drink. and in a bowl furnishes Its own providential generosities. and never departing from Itself. within which. nor moving Himself. and His steadiness in His Providence. the bowl also itself stands fixedly and unmovably. and stands fixed in unmoved sameness. 87 .—yea even. and embraces them all. on account of their life-producing power. or the powers. Himself being in Himself. in His steadfastness. and moving Himself. to the simple and invariable knowledge of God. even while going forth to all. and resting. so that it may be evident to those who understand things Divine in a manner becoming God. nor falling from His own session. that the solid food is suggestive of the intellectual and abiding perfection and sameness. But Wisdom is also said to build a house for itself. as in milk. filling up their imperfection and their lack. that the Author of the being. by which the most Divine Paul. at once flowing through and to all. and with a loud voice Itself benignly soliciting those who seek It. and renewing and bequeathing to them a vivifying wellbeing. and honey. and the bowl. and remaining. the super-wise and Good Wisdom is celebrated by the Oracles. let it be a symbol of the Providence over the whole. and contributing towards their comfort and perfection. and strong. in the same. and never becoming outside Himself. I suppose then. and indivisible knowledge. in it. urging the slackening and imperfect. of all things. Wherefore the divine and spiritually perceived Oracles are likened to dew. but first setting forth the solid meats. benevolently exercising His complete and all-perfect providences. and standing. and in it to set forth the solid meats and drinks. 174 175 Beautifully then. and guarding their lives. which at once expands Itself and encircles all. things Divine are participated as a stable. And.

This. is an awakening. and Himself bequeaths their everlasting rest. respecting God. SECTION V. more than the things solicited in your letters. and. For. and a church of the first born. is the veritable good cheer. Himself the Author of all good things. and spirits of just men made perfect by all good things. and furnishes this delight. What is the sickness arising from the inebriety of Almighty 88 . in which He overtops our conception. drunkenness is both an immoderate repletion. we should seem to say different things. within which you will find. SECTION VI. whilst Jesus both makes them recline. in the best sense. within which they are filled with every delight. and. or His preservation. a stream of ungrudging and unfailing good cheer. Starting then from these. And what is the mingling of the wine. and outside of. as in honey. we imagine. then. in the worst sense. and that the attention to His Providential cares of those who need His discipline. as being above conception and above being conceived. a cessation from their many labours. also the seven pillars investigated. all good things whatever. and a godly citizenship in light and place of living souls. we send the whole of our Symbolical Theology. and in short. good condition of Almighty God. you will pass to other symbols of the Word of God. thinking it superfluous that by running through the same things to the same. so. by reason of the super-full. it is celebrated. I well know you will further ask that the propitious sleep of Almighty God. replete with every holy bliss. Wherefore. and replete with all good things. which follows upon drunkenness. and again. whose names are written in heavens. persons. and above being itself.Dionysius the Areopagite. is said to be inebriated. and its solid food divided into sacrifices and breads. as I think. of the good cheer. and His awakening. having set forth. together with the house of wisdom. and an ungrudging provision of every sort of blessed goods. Works (1897) 176 Dionysius the Areopagite and both purifying and preserving. and at once distributes and pours forth the fulness of good things. and beyond conception. For these things. 178 But. as being at once a super-full hyperbole of every immeasurableness of them all. when we have said. upon the good things of God. Now these things manifest a common and concordant communion of the holy. even in respect to being out of wits. and will Himself minister to them. the King Himself will come and make them recline. For He says. Further. and ministers to them. or to speak more properly. which is above conception. in the Kingdom of Almighty God. as at once life-giving and nourishing and perfecting. on this account. And. as dwelling outside and beyond the whole. and being out of mind and wits. and the reclining. and again. Almighty God is inebriated with. we will take in the same fashion even the feasting of the pious. and furnishes and fills to overflowing. conscious that you assent to things that are good. we ought not to imagine drunkenness as anything else beyond the super-full immeasurableness of all good things pre-existing in Him as Cause. and His incommunicability with the objects of His Providence is a Divine sleep. and ineffable. But. even Almighty God. at the same time. as regards us. 177 According to this sacred explanation of good cheer. we finish this letter at what we have said. immeasurableness. that the superiority of Almighty God. and a life without pain. the Divine Wisdom gives to those approaching it. should be explained. we must consider the pre-eminence of Almighty God.

will Almighty God be Cause of the just separations from Himself. For. themselves bringing upon themselves their due. and departing from the holy. and will transmit them to those after you. in my judgment. and the renewal of this. and the unjust banish His disciples from their cities134. and will perform there imitations of the good God. and the other good attributes. but I am persuaded that you ate sensible of the bodily sufferings merely to appraise them. even as we observe the others. that you will both be liberated from your imprisonment in Patmos. with complete cessation of passion. imprisoned in the Isle of Patmos. and may draw you to themselves.” For thou rememberest with what a mild and benevolent disposition I have been accustomed to rebuke thy obstinacy in error. LETTER XI. which I have formerly undergone on thy account. To John. not correctly. I pray that by separating themselves from those things which they are bringing upon themselves they may be turned to the good. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite God? and in fact. But for ourselves. For. O Love of my heart. Theologos. by living. and a Divine love of all things good. I would never be so crazy as to imagine that you feel any suffering. as for those who are unjustly treating you. they depart from the proclivities of things material. xxiii. and fancying to imprison. thy true theology: but shortly after (for I will say it. and love peace in a complete freedom from all things evil. I am altogether trustworthy. And it is. a correct enquiry into all the symbols of the Word of God. the life which is to come. and deification and goodness. and agreeable to the sacred traditions and truths of the Oracles. since being lovers of truth. As for you then. becoming here already with Almighty God. the sun of the Gospel. in a manner suitable to angels. if Christ speaks truly. 89 . But. Dionysius to Apollophanes.Dionysius the Areopagite. and start their purification. but they by having separated themselves entirely from Almighty God. who are even now about to read the record. Philosopher. neither in the ages which are approaching. even from the present life. whilst fairly blaming them. and the accursed severing themselves. Truly things seen are manifest images of things unseen. the contrary will not deprive us of the all-luminous ray of John. Apostle and Evangelist. and may participate in the light. about to be united to you yourself. in the midst of mankind. 34. and will return to the Asiatic coast. the things now spoken of are explained in it more explicitly. from having learned. LETTER X. and recall to thy memory the many anxieties and solicitudes. and reading the things made foreknown to you by God. Hail! O truly beloved! And to the truly Loveable and Desired. the holy soul! O beloved one! and this for me is more appropriate than for most. At length I send a word to thee. 134 Matt. 179 180 I salute thee. very beloved! Why should it be a marvel. even though it be rash).

and contemplating the orbs of heaven. not even that of the image of death. “These are. united in friendship with God. could not bear to shine. through the moon passing over it. O part of my soul. by its testifying signs. Further. thought of it. often have I set before you. gave such an answer as remained fixed in my mind. then I gave my hand to 90 . and had perceived that. and had covered the whole orb. it used to approach from the west. For. although that was a time which called neither for the presence of the moon. the sun. thus addressed thee—“What thinkest thou of this thing. at once He put into my inmost heart. But now. who had left the customs of my country’s religion. you now delight to enforce. by a black mist of darkness. to our great surprise. when we were staying in Heliopolis (I was then about twenty-five. but other divine prophets subsequently. adoring the supreme toleration of the Divine long-suffering towards thee. as a turncoat. occur. who was calling people from things terrestrial to things celestial. you now delight to affirm. and that you were entirely ignorant. even who that Moses was. the globe trotter. I offer thee my congratulations. Next. For. O treasury of manifold learning.” At last. that I should recall to your mind the whole counsel of God. that you rejected with scorn the Gospel of Jesus Christ. in order that I might uproot those vain opinions with which thou wast deceived. To which statement of mine. O man most wise. then. or.performed many wonders. what was otherwise well known. after the supernal light of the paternal glory of His own will sent the rays of His own splendour upon the darkness of your mind. and the sins of the world were punished by the flood. but because a creature of God. we learned. by the power and action of the same God. Then I earnestly asked thee. Thou. who long before foretold that God should take the nature of man from a Virgin. we noted that when it had reached the extreme edge of the sun. O excellent Dionysius. once when I was hanging upon his lips. But. and was leading people to iniquitous sacrilege.Dionysius the Areopagite. until it covered the whole. what even Moses committed to writing. that time. when its very true light was setting. at that time. published similar things. and urged me to unlearn the things in which I was placing my trust. and deem it sufficient to keep what was my own. nor for the conjunction of the sun. not because it is a god. and your age was nearly the same as mine). whereas. . and in process of time. when I had taken note of the day and year. and the institutions of my fathers. but often. Nor Moses only. How. since I was incapable of understanding so great a mystery. you were unwilling to receive. Works (1897) 181 182 183 Dionysius the Areopagite although with scant reason. now that you are turning your eyes to your soul’s health. O Apollophanes. and that no oblivion. what thou. Lastly. and the things that you used to reject with scorn. and a scatterer of words. even the very things which formerly you delighted to spurn. Further also. that man was first made by God. agreed with that which Paul announced to me. lest I should be found to detract from the honour due to divine deities. Who is God of all Majesty—which you used to call mine. mirror of learning?” “Of what mysteries do these unaccustomed portents appear to you to be indications?” Thou then. at other times. Further. not once. and the sun’s disk had begun again to be purged and to shine anew. that you did not know whether these things were true. you reproach me. at least. ever allowed to escape. I therefore. and whether he was white or black. we observed that the moon approached the sun from the east. rather than with speech of human voice. you replied. For. for instance. not infrequently. that it then went back towards the east. “changes of things divine. and that with great precision. that an eclipse of the sun could not. with inspired lips.” thou saidst. and about the sixth hour. when the whole orb had been throughout darkened. that I should put away other people’s things. and intercepted its rays. then taking the table of Philip Aridaeus. that Paul. both in Egypt and the exodus from Egypt. became obscured. from mud. on a certain sixth day. that the same Moses.

A note of primitive antiquity is found in the description of the Church. to vex the innermost recesses of our breast. holy. and other Liturgies. merely to taste. from the Latin Version. to venture to suggest the Greek text. Wherefore as formerly. and probably not later than A. without profound study. as thou thyself used to say. Some expressions are obscure. as you showed yourself perverse towards us. if thou shalt adhere henceforth to the same truth. so now.D. and with the Liturgy of St. Basil. The Greek original might be restored from the writings of Dionysius. I. 67. translated by the Marquess of Bute. it shrank from your mental palate. Works (1897) 184 Dionysius the Areopagite the truth. intelligent and provident. and Apostolic Orthodox Church. this Liturgy was written for the Therapeutae near Alexandria. No one could reasonably doubt that the Author of the Writings and the Liturgy was the same. at length. with admiration. Bishop of Athens. will henceforth die joyful. be so much more obstinate against those who have urged you to the false. but when you had brought yourself to it. acted in the best possible manner. who occupied themselves with the contemplation of the Divine Names. when we invited you.Dionysius the Areopagite. for the purpose of being sent by him to Gaul. Basil. thou hast been accustomed by pretexts brought from various quarters. adapted from this. For thus. and do not surrender. In consequence of this. and true light. for things that are not. as truly wise. so as to associate with us more closely. only. as used by the Uniat Copts.D. at the request of St. and it would be rash. In my opinion. disdained to find a resting-place in your stomach. since thou also livest in Him. A. to the truth. For thou yieldedst to life when thou renounced death. This Liturgy should be compared with the Coptic Liturgy of Dionysius. elevate thyself to things supernal. with all our force. Dionysius was frequently commemorated in the diptychs as one of the Doctors of the Church. the knowledge of Christian doctrine. And surely thou hast. It was written not earlier than the death of James. when Dionysius. as blunting the edge of my mind. both preach and urge upon thee—which is life and way. 42. THIS Liturgy gives the doctrine of Dionysius in a liturgical form. and his excellent writings.” There is no “one. Catholic.—yea. and by a gorgeous glow of eloquence. Apostle and Martyr. 91 . as “from one end of the earth to the other. in the Lord Jesus.” as in the later Liturgy of St. May his prayer be with us! 185 186 PREFACE TO LITURGY. and extricated my feet from the meshes of error. described by Philo in his “contemplative life. was not savoury to thee. Which truth. henceforth. things which really are.—to which even thou at last. Whose Presence is my being and my life. even sometimes to probe us sharply by occasional stings of malice.—which lighteth every man coming into this world. and the heavenly Hierarchy. Paul. by the splendour of whose words. Therefore in future. End of Dionysius the Areopagite. and as it were. after you have acquired a heart. hast yielded. For those lips will henceforth be on our side. left Athens to meet the Apostle at Rome. I.” who were Christians. disciple of Paul. although savoury.

“Amen. deceit. by communicating therein.” D. 1847. “And with thy spirit. O Lord.” P. “It is meet and right.” P. and with Whom is due to Thee. § 5. and lead them back to an union with charity.” P. “Giver of Holiness. without any change of Thy sublimity. and adorn us with piety and justice. 188 189 Pr. Thou didst take away the filthy garments. who works the same. and being like temples crowned with glory. through that Thy Peace pacifying all. § 4. as it were with a garment. P. and creatures endowed with intelligence. Peace. nevertheless art present with us. Whose goodness every existing thing longs for and desires. O Lord. through the unanimity of a good mind. and may feast. and render to Thee glory and praise. holily to complete the ministry of these life-giving Sacraments. Renaudoti. and with Whom. that clothed with Thee alone. “Pax” (to all). whilst we. O Lord. “The Mercies of God. Peaceful repose. N. D. II. and hast made us worthy to stand before the sublime throne of Thy majesty. “Let us stand becomingly. and distributor of every good. is due to Thee.” Pr. which is from Thee.” Pr. p. 135 Liturgiarum Orien. the intelligible indeed. although Thou art One essentially. the son of Josedec the High Priest.” Pr.” P.” Pr. Who art simplex. us Thy servants.” P. both with ourselves and with one another. of those who participate in the Divine Nature. through Whom. and hidden in essence sublime! God the Father. II.. treachery. = Priest. = Populus. 187 1st. “And with thy spirit.” P. “All. from Whom all paternity which is in heaven and earth is named138. C. 138 C. = Deacon. enmities. O Lord. as from Jesus. enjoy this sacrifice set before us. sanctify. P. “Post.” P. through their senses. we may see Thee unveiled with a mind divinely illuminated. “Lift up your hearts. C. that we may be found before Thee simplex and not divided. who bow before Thee. hatred. “Amen.” D.” D. ii. Source of Divinity.137 “O Lord God. Collectio E. in which Thou hast called and led us to these Thy holy mysteries. Who. through Whom. glory and honour. not compound. through Thy Holy Spirit. “For truly the celebration of Thy benefits. free us from all servile passions of sin.” P. whilst celebrating this mystery. through the heavenly Pontiff. the cloke of iniquity in which we are enfolded. which has a kind of similitude to Thy sublime essence: and as Thou art One above all. “Amen. those endowed with sense.” P. Who sanctifiest every rational creature with sanctification. “We lift them to the Lord. Jesus Christ. 1. and that through the embraces of Charity and bonds of Love. Good above all good. D. and amongst us. The Prayer before the Pax136. compose the dissensions which divide us from one another. T. from envy. 136 92 . “Before Thee. in this hour. one. “Let each one give the Peace. “Charity. through the Grace and Compassion and Love towards man of Thine Only-begotten Son. that we may be worthy. and from all ages.Dionysius the Areopagite. Par. § 11. and we. honour and dominion. and from him. DIONYSIUS. and Beautiful above all beautiful.” Priest (bending low). Whose nature is incomprehensible. 201. glory. BISHOP OF THE ATHENIANS135. and Perfector of those who attain perfection. Who art near and present to all. Thine Only-begotten Son. and to handle the sacred vessels of Thy ministry with our impure hands: take away from us. “Essentially existing. through intelligence. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite LITURGY OF ST. Concord and Union of all souls. “Let us give thanks to the Lord. we may be spiritually one. as Thou didst adorn him with a vestment of glory. 137 Pr.” Pr. with Thy most holy Spirit.” Pr.

and disposed for this life-giving feast. Splendours of light eternal—mirrors without flaw—holy essences—recipients of wisdom sublime—beyond all. 93 . suffered extreme poverty. Who. was born. that it might make Him prepared beforehand unto holiness. furnished with six wings intertwined. He took bread into His pure and holy hands. Likewise. blessed. the powers of mind. the Word. “Likewise. in the end and consummation of His dispensation on our behalf. giving thanks. because Thou art essentially good and beyond all praise. Heaven and earth glorify Thee. in exile from Paradise. and flying on every side. and hosts of Angels.” P. saying. crying with one hymn. O God. to glorify Thee worthily. Triad. the Only-begotten Son. by their voices. He blessed. Power and Wisdom of the Father. Omnipotent. and by voices becoming a rational creature. Troops of Archangels. and whatever is in them. “Amen.” Priest (bending)—“Holy art Thou. but in a manner beyond nature. for the expiation of faults. He. and inasmuch as the Word existed before the ages. sin excepted. He gave thanks. being made like to it in all things. from Thee. more sublime than the world and mental faculty. Thrones and Seats inaccessible exalt Thee. and making all things holy. Perfector and Sanctifier of Saints. sanctified. of speech. and by power and miracles. the vocal. and also that intellectual. and gave to the same disciples and holy apostles. all the lights in the firmament. who veil their faces with their wings. was testified that He was such. in the same manner. those virtues. from the very fact that He has freely imparted a complete healing and a perfect salvation to the whole human race. placed above sensible perception. many eyed Cherubim of most subtle movement. brake and gave to His disciples. The voiceless. send benedictions to Thine abode. ‘Take. Holy art Thou. Holy art Thou. Virtues. sweet chants.” P. This visible and sensible creature praises Thee. rendering to Thee. such as became the Maker of all. investigators of the will hidden from all. drink from it. and sensible.” Pr. worthy of God. Rays of light. holy. Thou art holy. in her changes. bless Thee. and from virgin blood of the Virgin Mary. in his course. all of you. and before His saving Cross. eminent and hidden. over the cup also. praises Thee. saying. which He mingled with wine and water. the remission of sins. sea and dry land. Who didst not leave that. For. and clapping with their wings. O God. pure from every thing material. was born indeed Man. O God the Father. Seraphin. it in very truth. “Take and eat from it and believe that it is my body. and of thought. and cover their feet with wings. words and hymns. cry Sanctus unto Thee. Principalities and Orders praise Thee. took. as was worthy of God. in the presence of the” world. the Moon. holy genitrix of God. Maker and Creator of every creature—Invisible and visible. and saying. by their silence. and Man in the flesh. neither is sufficient every mouth. send their sanctus to Thy glory. Sea and air proclaim Thee. and was acknowledged God in the Spirit. Powers and dominions venerate Thee. Lord and our Saviour Jesus Christ. our very race. the Holy Spirit. and eternal life. (Raising his voice) Who being conceived.Dionysius the Areopagite. mind and tongue. perpetually bless Thee. eternal glory. whilst the law and properties of nature were preserved. venerates Thee. sun and moon. Works (1897) 190 191 192 Dionysius the Areopagite surpasses. that same. O God the Father. with their Jubilate. Holy and undivided:—co-essential and of equal glory. and receiving Deity in Flesh. formed and configured by the Holy Spirit. although in the meantime involved in every kind of sin. by Thy word the heavens were made. which for you and for many is broken and given. The sun. existing in Thy essence incomprehensibly. “Holy. (that they may not be devoured by Thy devouring fire) sing one to another with equal harmony of all. Whose compassion towards our race is most effusive. in clearest modulations of inimitable tones. holy. and from the pure and most holy body of the same. sanctified. and looked to Thee. and by the breath of Thy mouth all the celestial powers. the holy Apostles. but wast manifested to it by the Word. Those very ones.

O God. for I do not extend my hands to Thee with presumption. and through it we commemorate Thy charity towards us. we perform a memorial. our wise Church. saying”— P. “Amen. This sacrifice.” D. through Thy grace. O Lord. according to the tradition.Dionysius the Areopagite. that Thou wouldst send Him upon me. “I invoke Thee. I crave Thy holy Spirit. worthy of wrath. and from the punishments of those who work iniquity. and from the cruel attack of demons. and through Thee. “We also. who were eye witnesses of Thy mysteries. says the prayer of the invocation of the Holy Spirit. and interpreters of Thy wonderful acts. Thou wilt take vengeance for Thy image upon those who have corrupted it through evil passions. from all things created and made: and justly. for remission of sins to those receiving them. For. and Divine recommendation of those. “Through His alighting upon them. and upon Thy faithful people.” P. and eternal life. for the expiation of faults.” P.” Pr. O Lord. which is shed and given for you and for many. gave a precept to the whole company and congregation of the faithful. through the same holy Apostles. through this sacrifice in perpetual mystery. ‘This do to the memory of Me. in Spirit ineffable. 94 . the uncleanness of my evil deeds.” Pr. here set forth. and the vivification of our mortality. “How tremendous is this hour. have mercy upon us. Thy sovereign precept. “Of Thy death. for those receiving it. and the sufferings which Thou didst endure on the Cross for us. and procuring life to all our souls. “Amen. then. and His overshadowing. in this world. O Lord. is shed upon Thy creatures. implores Thee. and wash away. which is in this cup. to this congregation of those adoring Thee. ye shall perform a commemoration of My death until I come.) Pr. we await also Thy second coming. May coals of fire be kept from those who are tinged with Thy blood.” P.” three times. may He make this bread indeed. in Thy loving-kindness. and on this account.” Pr. here celebrated. and seated upon the lofty throne of Thy majesty. saying. “Himself also. O God the Father. reserved for the wicked. “Amen. Thou wilt exact the acknowledgment of Thy royal power. Pr. Thy Father. and as oft as ye shall eat this bread and drink the commixture which is in this cup. and eternal life. which. at all hours.” (The Priest bending. and upon these oblations. through Thy mercy. nor in other have we hope of attaining salvation. “Have mercy. and Lover of men. But. O Lord. remission of sins. body salutary—body celestial—body saving our souls and bodies—body of our Lord God and Saviour. blood salutary—blood celestial—blood saving our souls and bodies—blood of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ. O Good. who attack our souls. may He make living blood. Jesus Christ—for remission of sins. and celebrating a commemoration of Thy death and resurrection. not simply. what I have done. the renovation of our race. and shall celebrate this feast. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite and believe that this is My blood of the new covenant. we commemorate to Thee. in that hour full. and procuring life to our souls. strengthening my mind. living body. “And the commixture. and wouldst snatch us from the wrath. “Hear me.’” P.” Pr. and sealed by Thy sacraments in Thy holy Name. grace and long-suffering. of fear and trembling. and with Thee. and the universal dispensation of Thine Only-begotten One.” Pr. and to all sons of the holy Church. bought by Thy precious blood. since indeed Thou art the Helper and Saviour of our race.” 193 194 Pr. that Thou wouldst also be reminded through it of Thy mercy. for neither do we know others beside Thee. Thou wilt terribly come. as formerly the Babylonian flame from the youths of the house of Hanania. cognate and natural to Thee. we offer this Eucharist before Thee.’” P. “Kyrie eleison. “Further. “Obeying. but with glory worthy of God. for I am not able even to look to heaven on account of the multitude of my iniquities and the filth of my wickedness. Be propitious. through all our lips and tongues. destroy.

the Jerusalem of the firstborn. Lover of men. Rejoice then now. that great is the joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth. and there let us spiritually glorify Thee. Thou hast said. O King of Kings. Works (1897) 195 196 197 Dionysius the Areopagite when we shall go hence. of Peter and Paul.” P. O Lord. there also delights incorruptible. O God the Father. faithful ones.” (Raising his voice) “Send also perfect attention and full health to all those who have the charge of the poor. &c. and those also. and all unjust attacks of enemies. who provide food for orphans and widows. the wrath of kings. exultation over us. who embrace the word of life. because thou art Lord of each age. who are modest. through true. and the sentences pronounced against us by Justice. through them may be received our oblations and prayers.” Pr. and we will render to Thee. who. who stand here before Thee. Restore to them. at this holy Altar. in the conversion of Thy servants. mitigate the fury of soldiers. that cannot lie. (bending) “Restrain. in one troop. both here and there. who. in doctrines evangelical and apostolical.” (Raising his voice) “And since indeed Thou art Omnipotent. and Thine Only-begotten Son. and of the holy company of the Apostles. we may sing perpetual hymns of praise. join our weakness. preserve it from all pests of fury. And from hence. add also.” P. and turn into the gentleness of benignity”.” Pr. “Amen. to Thee and to Thine Only-begotten Son. who ask the prayers of our littleness. who occupy themselves in words and acts worthy of a Christian. may there be one act of praise to-day. before the lofty throne of Thy Majesty. by the dogmas of true religion: through holy Priests. and perform the pure and royal ministry without flaw. with a good and temperate condition of atmosphere. to that blessed congregation. and preserved in tranquillity and peace. and variety of flowers. out of the world. that without any injury of passion. that. (bending) “By Thy words. and to Thine Only-begotten Son. with them and after them. O Lord. of Stephen also. have pleased Thee—chiefly indeed of the Holy genitrix of God. visit it with Thy benefits and the care of Thy mercy.” P. Baptist and Forerunner. of John the Messenger. and visit the infirm and afflicted. and of the whole multitude of Martyrs.” P. bearing about in their members the life-giving mortification of Thy Only-begotten Son. concede to the earth and all its inhabitants. to this Divine part. and do please Thee. inasmuch as we are weak and infirm. (raising his voice) “Tranquillity and Peace from Thee. and instructing. O Lord. have pleased. by offerings—by tenths—by ministry—and by oblations. and at that more exalted one in heaven. and wouldst make us worthy of Thy kingdom. and by Thy most true teachings. and wanting in 95 . “Assist also.Dionysius the Areopagite. be established. before Thee. which is from one end of the earth to the other. whose names are written in the heavens. may Thy holy Church. copiousness of fruits. to the souls of the pious and just Fathers — Patriarchs — Prophets — Apostles —Preachers — Evangelists — Martyrs — Confessors —Zealots” of Divine Worship—Benefactors—Givers of Alms—of those who minister to the necessities of the poor—and from all. and the habitations of those who have kept Thy precepts. “Amen. may we all be sent to that Church. may there be a good remembrance of all those. all those who assist Thy Holy Church. before them. “Amen. and abundance of crops. O Lord. by Divine Hierarchs. here indeed abundance and goods. glory and the giving of thanks. and other things of the same kind. And to Thee beseems beneficence. “Amen. cast down the pride of heretics. and in the heavenly Jerusalem. and of all those.” (Elevating his voice) “And on account of these. and distributor of immense reward. O Lord.” Pr. to the company of those beloved ones and to Thy family. (bending) “At this altar. rightly dispensing the word of truth. may Thy love for mankind overcome.” Pr. both spiritual and sensible. and Thy Holy Spirit. take away wars and seditions. through choirs of virgins of each sex. and carry themselves illustriously in dispensing Thy celestial mysteries: through Deacons. give to them the object of those their prayers.

which art in heaven. and by name. Jesus Christ. grant to us.” Pr. &c. and with purity of soul. Brothers and Masters. (bending) “Remember. and those. nor bringing to their memory the things which they have foolishly done.” P. “Peace. More especially. and surpassing our forces. 96 . “Peace.” Pr. that in all and in each may be adored and praised. Take not away Thy grace from us. N. Thine Only-begotten Son. through whom we also have hope of obtaining mercy. have pleased. that we may stand without fault on the right hand. which He shall pronounce at the last day to the Blessed. and raisest the beggar from the dunghill.” Pr.” “that in this. departure with mercy.” P. which can bring loss to our body or soul. Simplex139. into the hearts of each. Which is above all things—Light eternal. with open face. send to each one good returns for their petitions.” P. our Fathers. and their zeal for the true religion. Thy servants and sons. adhering to their footsteps. Guard us.” Pr. most difficult. from all temptations. broad and immense. and infirm. O Lord.” “Blessed of my Father receive the inheritance of the heavenly kingdom.” (Coram. and Fountain of Light. Thy most venerated Name. through Thy beloved Son. Who callest the poor from the dust. holy and heavenly. and of the crowns of victory which are prepared for them in Thy heavenly kingdom. of Thy mercy. O Lord. For no one is tied to the flesh. knowingly or ignorantly committed. their true faith. and there.. and from his universal power. God the Father Omnipotent.” Pr.” P. &c. their sincere charity without defect. upon Thy faithful people. C. their names. who bend before Thee. to this present day. all those who are fallen asleep. and from all griefs. and by favour of whom. and may hear from Him. before “Our Father. in the true faith. who feast and rejoice in Thee. their morals without stain. O Lord.Dionysius the Areopagite. “Before” (Ante). innocent in Thy sight.” (Raising his voice) “Engraft in us. O Lord. with the names of Thy Saints in the blessed habitation of those. Looking then. holy sons. “Amen. and cast us not away from 139 D. (bending) “Remember. and. and Beginning. that blessed voice.” P. (bending) “Remitting our and their voluntary sins. together with them. at the same time from the evil one. run to meet the arising of Thine Only-begotten Son. we may sing to Thee.” (Raising his voice) “And grant to us a peaceful end. and await Thy gift. rejected. our sin and our righteousness are as nothing in comparison with the ocean.” The Priest breaks the Host. and with a godly mind. and cleanness of intellect. For One alone has been seen on earth without sin. Be propitious. and may also perform all our ministry after a blameless manner. O God the Father. Our Father. and that of Thine Only-begotten Son. “Look. and from his most pernicious devices.” P.” Pr. whenever we invoke Thee. Glory unceasing. on behalf of whom.” P. and to Thee we render glory. who came to composition. and at the same time. “Keep quiet. P. Works (1897) 198 199 200 Dionysius the Areopagite confidence before Thee. and confidence. Bishop and Martyr. and do please Thee. “And with thy spirit. not recalling against them the memory of their sins. Which illuminates all natures endowed with reason. “And with thy spirit. who from James. “That. who have laid themselves down in Thy hope. and not unworthy of the name. § 4.” P. Thy Majesty.” (raising his voice) “join. we pray and say. we may be partakers of their reward. “Father of all. “Hallowed be Thy Name. “Amen. I. Doctors and Prelates of Thy holy Church. may be glorified and praised. to the liberty and household dignity of Thy sons.) Pr. and to Thy Only-begotten Son. that we may appear in Thy sight. all Bishops. as in all. “Free us. “Amen. and His second and glorious manifestation from heaven. Apostle. O Lord. in order that. O Lord.” D. and contemplate the deposit of the Sacraments of Thy Only-begotten. “Before Thee.” Pr. For Thou art King of all. and says the prayer. lost. Lover of men. Forsooth. and hast called us. those. O Lord. this holy oblation is offered.

according to the modest computation of Doublet. that they will not suffer from not being mentioned by him. and to stand before Thy Majesty. glory.” P.” D. “O Christ. “After” (Post). Preserve in us.” CANNES. the deposit of Thy Divine Mysteries. and from participation in Thy sacraments. “Amen. “One holy Father. through. may recline in a spiritual habitation. Who takest away the sin of the world. “We give thanks to Thee. Jerome fallows Dionysius on the Heavenly Hierarchy. so illustrious in themselves. 1896. “Let us stand becomingly. “And with thy spirit.” Pr. and may be made worthy of the pleasure of Thy kingdom. and from whatever makes us far from the familiarity of Thy household. THE most plausible objection to the genuineness of these writings is thus expressed by Dupin: “Eusebius and Jerome wrote an accurate catalogue of each author known to them—with a few obscure exceptions. through the grace. and may be found ready for that last consummation. “Before Thee.” Pr. “With fear. glorious and endless.” P. O Lord. and hast entrusted this religious ministry to us. Lamb of God. is due to Thee. O Lord.Dionysius the Areopagite.” Pr. O Lord. and hast made us members of Thy household. “Peace. “Holy things to holy persons. and Father of the Age to come. and of Thy most holy Spirit. 97 . and with Whom. of Thy Only-begotten Son. or thought.” Pr. that our bodies may be guarded by Thy body. and worthy of this feast. and in a life. mercy and love towards man. according to Schneider. And may Thy benediction. “Amen.—and yet never mention the writings of the Areopagite.” Pr.” D.” P. and hast made us worthy of this spiritual table. 202 OBJECTIONS TO GENUINENESS. “Amen. The Library of Caesarea contained three hundred thousand volumes. that we may be pure and without flaw.” Great is the rejoicing in the House of the Anti-Areopagites over this PROOF. and dismiss the foolishness of Thy flock. spare the sins of Thy people. O Lord. Jerome’s Catalogue of Illustrious Men contains one hundred and thirty-five names. heavenly Hierarch. but prepare us. Holy Sacrifice. through Whom. from every sin. “Bless. that we may be secured and inseparable through the reception of Thy holy (mysteries). “Before Thee. from nothing. because. and our souls renewed through Thy sacraments. and may Thou be glorified in us. and may render to Thee glory and praise.—but what are the facts? Eusebius acknowledges that innumerable works have not come to him—Jerome disclaims either to know or to give an accurate catalogue either of authors or works. with a conscience unblamable. the communication of Thy Sacraments. and with grateful mind we acknowledge Thy loving-kindness. and may Thy right hand rest upon us. many more—Jerome says there are some writings. be in our whole man. honour. after the fashion of the angels. and that of Thy blessed Father. we may ever enjoy His precious body and blood. O Lord. and that.” P.” D.” P. the King of Glory. and may feast at the table of Thy kingdom. Preserve us. &c. P. Thou hast led us forth to that which we are. whether it be committed by word. and by us. or deed. that we may frame and complete our life in Thy sight. “Peace. “And with thy spirit. Christmas. within and without. and sons of Thy sacraments. performing Thy great and perfect will.” P. Works (1897) 201 Dionysius the Areopagite Thy ministry.” P.” D.

How could the Areopagite. not from facts140. Erasmus. Erasmus. was. page 107.” the “Mystic and Symbolic Theology. and third centuries. he left the decision of the whole matter to the judgment of a more learned person. Every “erudite” person regarded them in his day as written in the fourth century. But when Pearson had re-surveyed the evidence. He so moulds Dionysius into his book. with shame. is owing to “odium theologicum. Pearson. but his literary instinct places his Article on Dionysius before that on Origen. “ratio verae religionis. Westcott. to account for his silence. fourth. assumes the non-genuineness. living in apostolic times. not Platonic. not Aristotelian. gives the shortest and best summary in favour of the genuineness. FALLACY OF NAMES. with a few obscure exceptions. and Pantaenus. Valla. maintained that opinion for his own reputation. that though he had given. not Stoic. that it becomes Dionysius writing elegant Latin. His silence.Dionysius the Areopagite. according to Dionysius. Daillé. Dr. The Book would fill about 125 pages. could possibly have penned such a mirror of apostolic doctrine. Vossius pulverises Blundellum. of Athenagoras. though disciple of Paul.” Erasmus not only enumerates the “Divine Names. he also said. Westcott. yet Dupin would have us believe that he gives a complete catalogue. 98 . but “celestial” philosophy. as the date of the works. what seemed to him a true opinion. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Josephus is mentioned for his testimony to Christ —Seneca. Erasmus repudiates Valla. for his correspondence with St. both true when properly understood. but when misunderstood—“Hinc lachrymae illae”—Dupin formed his premise for his conclusion. writes thus:—“Divus ille Dionysius qui fecit tres Hierarchias. The only reason which outweighed with him all external testimony. and Dionysius of Alexandria. He does not give the writings of Hymenseus and Narcissus. and he assumed the date of Eusebius’ death.” According to Eusebius. following Dupin. Blundellum. 203 The “Ecclesiastical History” of Eusebius treats of the nature of Christ. pronounce against the genuineness. in the xth Chapter of Ignatii Vindiciae. that Erasmus could not imagine that any man. “No one is so ignorant as not to know that these writings were recognised as genuine by the best judges in the sixth. Origen. and familiar friend of John Theologus. Lupton. Jesus is διττός. in my opinion. Jesus is ἁπλοῦς. he confessed.” but calls them. nor a complete list of Clement. fifth.” Unhappily. Paul—Philo. in his “Institutio” of a Christian Prince. 204 Pearson. who wished to pass for erudite. the companions of the Apostles. Dean Colet bumps the scale against Mr. for his description of the Therapeutse of Alexandria.” In his prime work. Lupton. Yet Dupin would have the unwary infer that Jerome gives a full catalogue of each Author known to him. possibly be 140 Vidieu. Hence every inerudite person. and so far removed from the age of Erasmus. Speaking of the scholars of his own day. Who are you? But Pearson demolishes Daillé. the Martyrdoms—the succession of Bishops—the persecutions—the folk-lore of the Church to the fourth Century. he says.

Then Gregory misreads “Claudio “for “consulibus Decio.” “Under Claudius —sub CLDIO—Peter the Apostle sent certain disciples into Gaul to preach. and yet they affirm that he arrived in Gaul. 143 See Monuments inédits de M. Denis of France is not identical with Dionysius the Areopagite. A. Gregory omits Valerius. 205 Gregory is the great authority of those who think that the St. Their “actes authentiques146” of Dionysius acknowledge that he was sent to Gaul by Clement. sent by Clement. Such is the basis upon which our critical friends build their house upon the sand.. and misunderstands the ancient document142. Ibid. GENERAL OBJECTION. and inserts Dionysius —who was not converted to the Christian Faith till A. A. 15th or 18th Bishop of Aries from Trophimus. He gives several martyrdoms under Nero. Peter into Gaul.” as of no historic value. They are critical. and yet follow the gross blunder of Gregory of Tours. Saturninus. The Pères Bolandistes are a wonder in Christendom. 250. t. successor of Peter. to Gregory XIII. we have a letter from Cyprian. and misquotes. 141 L’Abbé Darras.”—These men were sent A. p. 293-300. in Gaul. successor of Peter. Happily. ii. A. 44 or 49. 34. Martial. At the very time that Trophimus144 is thus supposed to have arrived at Aries. and subsequent Emperors. and many companions. Gatianus. Faillon. urging Pope Stephen to depose Marcion.D. John Damascene did not possess the same critical apparatus for proving the authenticity of the writings of Dionysius. for a thousand years147. II.” and adds. GREGORY OF TOURS141. “that Martial of Limoges was an apostolic man145. and thus proves the Apostolic Evangelisation of Gaul. who succeeded Peter and Paul. 254. p. They think that St. 147 Clement I. Austremonius. 250. when right. p. 51.—they were. “Concerning143 seven men sent by St.—in Gallias—to preach. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite so learned as the author of these writings? Such is the testimony of the two Theologians who have been permitted to be doubtful of the genuineness. p. that we possess in the xixth Century. 145 See Surius. 146 Darras. 14. arrives in Gaul A. Cl. 375. “Grato” as the fellow-consul.. 42–43. there was not another Clement. They pronounce the solemn declaration of Pope John XIXth.Dionysius the Areopagite. Denys l’Areopagite. Valerius. They belong to the papal obedience.D. and yet prefer Gregory of Tours when wrong.D. 67. Gregory collects the more obscure martyrdoms. and the identical names of his companions recur miraculously in the third century.. 1046. under Nero. Les petits Bolandistes are more rational and critical than their Pères. After Clement I. 142 99 .D. Paulus. Thus a disciple of the Apostles. Gregory quotes. 144 Darras.D. 206 THE PÈRES BOLANDISTES. Bishop of Rome. Trophimus. St. The authority is worthy of their critical acumen..D.

Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite “The style. that the Holy Spirit should recall to them whatever He had said to them. John. Oxford. St. and the further testimony. and further. 100 .—the first written in the Canon of the New Testament. to whom St. HOLY SCRIPTURES IN CHURCH OF ROME. The works abound in names recorded in the New Testament. The Antwerp edition gives about five hundred references to Holy Scripture in the Writings of Dionysius.—will bear comparison with the book of Job for ornate diction. The Apostolic Epistles allude to the leaven of heresy already working. than acknowledge one natural fact. APOSTOLIC TRADITIONS ACCORDING TO THE COUNCIL OF TRENT. and a triumphant testimony that Faith is more trustworthy than criticism. There is not a single allusion to persons or events after the first century. in the ivth century.. to see the scriptural knowledge of the Apostles. He quotes every book in the Bible. in the first century. except the two last particular Epistles of St. A. or John Presbyter. respecting Himself. St.D. that Jesus opened their understanding. Dionysius writes four letters to Gaius. that they had been with Jesus. The Epistle of St. Luke. that a Syrian. We have. prove the writings written after the apostolic age. Those who would rather assume twenty miracles. Printed by James Parker and Co. Thanks be to God! Other Works by same Author. St. a proof that the Canonical Scriptures were quoted as the Oracles of God. that they should understand the testimony of the Scriptures. therefore. John. Men use the testimony of the High Priests. and nearly the whole of the New Testament is written under the form of Epistles. in the writings of this Apostolic man. unless it be supposed that the Epistle of Ignatius. Peter. the language and allusions. John wrote his third Epistle. Paul.Dionysius the Areopagite. Crown Yard. the theological learning. but omit their testimony that they took knowledge of them. 108. is quoted. may have written Greek permeated with technical expressions of Plato and Aristotle. surmise. James. Peter. THE CELESTIAL AND ECCLESIASTICAL HIERARCHY. Consult the marginal references to the Epistle of St. that the Apostles were unlearned and ignorant men.” 207 208 Is the Epistolary style the proof? St.

M. 101 . JOHN PARKER. THE HEAVENLY HIERARCHY. 1899. FROM THE ORIGINAL GREEK. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite THE WORKS OF DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE. James Parker and Co. AND THE ECCLESIASTICAL HIERARCHY NOW FIRST TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH. PART II. BY THE REV. OXFORD. AND 27 BROAD-STREET. LONDON.Dionysius the Areopagite.A. Author of “Christianity Chronologically Confirmed.. STRAND.” &c. 6 SOUTHAMPTON-STREET.

” Spence. to the Gentiles. 102 . “The doctrine of the Lord. THEOLOGIAN OF THE CHURCH OF BRITAIN. PAGE Dionysius the Areopagite and the Alexandrine v School On the Heavenly Hierarchy 1 On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy 67 Appendix:— Lists of Bishops 163 Apostolic Traditions generally in abeyance 167 Index 168 TO THE MEMORY OF EDWARD BOUVERIE PUSEY.Dionysius the Areopagite. Nisbet. BOOKS TO BE READ. through the Twelve Apostles. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite CONTENTS. 1st.

in Alexandria. Pantaenus and Ammonius-Saccus were chief founders of the Alexandrine School. Hierocles on “Golden Verses” of Pythagoras. 1845.” Lagarde. Aristobulus.d. 1863. a. but Athens was its birthplace. Stoic. 6th. 1654. vi Pantaenus was born in Athens. 8th. As the Old Testament was a Schoolmaster. a. l’Areopagite. Justin Martyr—for Liturgy. They both drew their teaching from the Word of God.d. 1672. 213. which. then Pythagorean. “ the Fountain of Wisdom. Tattam. 1862. 9th.” Darras. Plato. Vives. and Dionysius the Areopagite—Bishops of Athens. Anastasius-Sinaita describes him as “one of the early expositors who agreed with each other in treating the first six days of Creation as prophetic of Christ and the whole Church. “Ecclesiastical History (in Greek) from establishment of the Church to our own time. First. 103 . “Refutation of all heresies. and Presbyter of the Church in. 11th. Philo. 120. Göttingen. 4th.” By Professor Kyriakos. as from father to son. so the Septuagint.” Hall. Denys. from St. Hippolitus. 1898. at which date he was appointed chief instructor in the Didaskeleion. but that he certainly had not listened to any of them themselves. leading to Christ.” and from the writings of Hierotheus. 7th. He was Greek by nationality. ALEXANDRIA became the home of Christian Philosophy. T. Pythagoras. “The Apostolic Constitutions. Pantaenus recognised the preparation for the Christian Faith in the Greek Philosophy. he became Christian some time before a. by Demetrius.d. Dexter’s Chronicle. Williams and Norgate. Faillon. Roger Daniel. 5th. clothed itself in the bright robes of Divine Philosophy. Paul and other Apostles. Oxon. “Coptic Constitutions. 1859.” Lagarde. Alexandria by vocation. Monuments inédits. Gale’s “Court of the Gentiles. They were both Christian. Athens. 3rd. Phptius records that Pantaenus was pupil of those who had seen the Apostles. “St.” Eusebius says. For several centuries there had been a Greek preparation for the Alexandrine School. London. premier Evèque de Paris. and Apollos were heralds who prepared the minds of men for that fulness of light and truth in Jesus Christ. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite 2nd. 10th. Paris. Migne.” Duncker. Bishop of Alexandria. 186. 31.Dionysius the Areopagite. that “Pantaenus expounded the treasures of the Divine dogmas preserved direct. DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE AND THE ALEXANDRINE SCHOOL. and died in Alexandria.

but I never listened to his oral teaching. but we affirm that He knows things being” as His 104 . St. collected from the Archives of Toledo and other churches in Spain. Who is above all things. Pusey. to this day. should comprehend things being. Dionysius the Areopagite expressly calls. Routh gives two fragments of Pantaenus. the writings of two Presbyters who had seen the Apostles—both. c. it would be the height of absurdity to affirm that such writings were unknown to Pantaenus and Ammonius. Paul his “chief initiator. Paul. c. affirms “that no one can intelligently dispute their paternity—that no one penetrated more profoundly than Dionysius into the mysterious depths of Holy Scripture—that Dionysius was disciple of St. in the sixth chapter of the Heavenly Hierarchy. I am pupil through his writings. Dionysius Areopagita dicat Eugenio Marcello. For it is not possible that He.Dionysius the Areopagite.C.” Dionysius of Alexandria. Paul as his “chief instructor.—-whose writings contain the treasures of the Divine dogmas. merely because they confirm the Christian Faith. we may fairly infer that Pantaenus would know. nor things intelligible intellectually. The second is a distinct echo of Dionysius. it is natural to infer that he was pupil through their writings. and frequently describes St.” and as such.” If. and explains the text. Those two Presbyters are Hierotheus and Dionysius the Areopagite. writing to Tope Sixtus II. but from Himself. and in Himself. 98). Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Now. in his Chronicle. when Pantaenus delivered his lectures in that city. speaking of creation. as Cause. and only seven years after the death of Ammonius. and knowing. 250. gives this testimony:— “U. I am a pupil of Dr. Thus Almighty God knows existing things. and piously governed the Church of Athens. declares that the Divine and good volitions of Almighty God define and produce existing things. not listened to their oral teaching. if Pantaenus was pupil of those who had seen the Apostles. 7). propter ingenii excellentiam. Paul. 851 (a. not approaching each several thing according to its kind.” vii If. and in those letters affirmed the writings to be undoubtedly written by Dionysius the Areopagite. Historical criticism does not permit us to reject probabilities.” Dionysius. dicto. then. but by that of Himself. Dexter. respecting the writings of Dionysius the Areopagite. s. knowing all things before their birth” as proving that “not as learning existing things from existing things. viii But we do not need to base our proof on mere supposition. Paul and the other Apostles. the writings penned by the Chief of his own Areopagus. V. and yet had. but knowing and containing all things within one grasp of the cause. Paul. gives his teaching on the holy Angels. Timotheo. there exist.d. received from St. converts to the faith through St. Pantaenus teaches the same: “Neither does He know things sensible sensibly (αἰσθητῶς). we can prove that the writings of Dionysius existed before and were known in Alexandria. the Divine Being pre-holds and pre-comprehends the notions and essence of all things. the Bishops of Alexandria and Rome exchanged letters only a few years after the death of Pantaenus. In Divine Names (c. libros de Divinis Nominibus. Now.. not by a knowledge of existing things. then. 8. would use. Dionysius discusses how Almighty God knows existing things. and Bishop of his own Athens. after things being (κατὰ τα ὄντα). “He. both ordained Bishop of Athens by St.

we possess abundant writings of two pupils. conducting ourselves to. to which they were united during this present life. those riding at anchor at sea. we do not draw the rock to us. Almighty God knows things being. and has also endured the suffering of chains. their yoke-fellows). Clement writes: “As then. and making ourselves one with It. III. θελήματα. “what is still more divine.” Dionysius. should be rejected as unworthy and the other should receive its crown? Such a fact would undoubtedly argue on the part of God. and its companion the body.Dionysius the Areopagite. but themselves to the anchor. It promises to “transfer our whole selves (I mean souls and bodies. s. not as though we ourselves were drawing the power.” Dionysius (E. Do the writings of Origen bear the stamp of Dionysius and Hierotheus? Origen. Wherefore. V. but ourselves. and. has borne the savage torments of persecutions. . says. “Now the pure bodies of the holy souls.—that this should be deprived of the prizes of such contests. N. and the ship. and especially theology.. Clement speaks of Pantaenus as his “great instructor and collaborator. when the time for rewards has come.” The teaching of Ammonius-Saccus is the same.” Such is the similarity between the writings of Clement and Dionysius.. as if after we have embarked on ship. by having become members of Christ. the gallows of the cross. Others again do this injustice to bodies. says. should receive the crown. equally with the soul. to the rock. they will receive in return the godlike and incorruptible immortality and blessed inheritance. from which we may gather the teaching of their master. but do not drag it to themselves. which together strove during the divine contests. and has further suffered the cruel teeth of wild beasts.” “For if the man have passed a life dear to God in soul and 105 . and has been tortured with fire. which is everywhere. Dionysius and Pantaenus. will together receive their own resurrection. we must begin with prayer. when they have come to the goal of their most divine course. that the flesh. and are holding on to the cable. mentioned by Dionysius. resisting for Christ its natural vices. as Source of Creation.) says. Ammonius uses the word βούλημα. 2) says. find themselves unconsciously led to God.—how does it not seem contrary to all reason. c. before everything. If forsooth. D. yea. VI. c.” Dionysius (D..” In Mystic Theology. and guarding its virginity with immense labour. by our godly reminiscences and invocations. and rods. and fellow travellers. c.—that one. enrolled together as yoke-fellows. ix x xi But. For. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite own volitions . attached to some rock.. s.” Origen confessed that Pantaenus was his superior in the philosophy of the schools. that. H. of God. “Almighty God does not know existing things. Clement of Alexandria and Origen. VII. to a perfect life and immortality. which served it with much labour. was Clement of Alexandria! I give only one familiar illustration. throughout the Divine Life. that some have hazarded the conjecture that Clement the Philosopher. . which not alone contended. having been made one with the holy souls. in the unmoved steadfastness of the souls. and nowhere present. beaten with the sword. 1. they unjustly deprive them of the holy retributions. the soul alone. thus those who are drawn to God in the gnostic life. qua existing. after having toiled with the holy souls. and its innate lust. drag the anchor. though the known fragments of Pantaenus are few. for its agony and victory. N. since by willing (θέλων). should attain no recompense. as His own volitions. Dionysius says. “or. “For how does it not seem absurd that this body which has endured scars for Christ. He made all things being. and divers kinds of punishments. either a lack of justice or a lack of power. on the resurrection of the body. but as. c. and that he moulded his teaching upon the model of Pantaenus.

Is it not.” he designated Hierotheus and Dionysius the Areopagite. which Hierocles published. a legitimate inference. and that. Porphyry. Shakespere. a. a. and to make all one in Christ. (Cod. until the death of Ammonius. by his works as described by Photius. a. generally known under that title? xii Ammonius Saccus was born of Christian parents in Alexandria.” recall those of the lost books of Dionysius. “This is what I sought.Dionysius the Areopagite. that when Photius says “ that Pantaenus was a pupil of the Presbyters who had seen the Apostles. the body which has contended throughout the Divine struggles will be honoured together with the devout soul. we give an extract from his letter to Gregory: “Would that you might both participate in and continually augment this part. Mus. xiii Dionysius was indebted to Hierotheus—Ammonius drew from Dionysius. “the Presbyters. a. Patrum. 244. 251-214. he exclaimed. in the schools of Alexandria. and through the Son to the Father.” and Hierocles. ‘we are partakers of Christ. Virgil. in order that we may have the prevailing proof. committed 148 149 c. (Ad. say that this is the gradation and method of those who are saved.” Papias148. as well as reproduced his other works.) says. were great geniuses in themselves. 270. the Son will yield up His work to the Father. Br.’ but also partakers of God. Plotinus was born in Lycopolis. This we shall shew.” Who the Presbyters.” or “Harmony of the Gospels. Pressensé beautifully describes him as a man who wished to believe and to know—to adore and to comprehend—to conciliate the Greek Philosophy with the Mysteries of the East. he began to search for truth. then. Anastasius Sinaita calls him “the Wise. in due time. He was the great conciliator. Milton.d. Plotinus was not a refined scholar. 236. In a.d. 7189) 106 . who sought the good in every system.d. moreover. He wandered from teacher to teacher. he wrote the “Diatesseron.” Besides being famous for his expositions of Holy Scripture. and died in that city. 242. and that they advance through steps of this nature. 205. therefore. of testimony not necessarily Christian. not as we might. so that you may not only say. of which we have only a summary in his known works. and that.) Ammonius was surnamed Saccus from having been a corn carrier. In a. they ascend through the Spirit to the Son. and died in Campagna.d. “the taught of God. his disciple. 140. we can better understand their achievements. such as “Providence” and “Free Will.d. 242. Bishop of Hierapolis (fragment V.” in which the very same doctrine is taught. but when we know the sources from which they drew. to some minds. Plotinus began to teach in Rome.” Plotinus remained under him eleven years. Rich. but from Plotinus.d. the disciples of the Apostles were.” To shew that Origen knew the works of Hierotheus. the disciples of the Apostles. After listening to him. mentioned by Photius. he wrote the agreement between Moses and Jesus. At the age of 29. The titles of his books. but could find no rest until he was persuaded to go and hear Ammonius-Saccus. we may gather from the three last chapters of the “Book of Hierotheus149.” contained in the Bib. He wrote a commentary on the golden verses of Pythagoras. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite body.

“that the eye soiled with impurity could never bear the sight. that though the teaching of Plotinus comes to us through Porphyry. Son. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite his teaching to writing. Let us now hear what Dionysius says of the “Good and 107 . Dionysius treats of “One” and “Perfect” as applied to Almighty God.—the Beautiful surpassing earth and heaven! The miserable is not he. then.” Occasionally Plotinus uses “Logos” instead of “Mind. of the sea. there is not a word in the Enneades. Plotinus says. he who has seen Him.” “Mind. in His simplicity.’ as source. Porphyry was regarded as the greatest enemy to the Christian Faith in the early centuries. admires Him as the sovereign Beauty. Plotinus became concordant with Christ’s religion. What transport of love must not he feel who sees Him! with what ardour ought he not to desire to be united to Him! He. from Whom all hold existence.” The “One” represents the Father. Who sees himself excluded from the possession of Beauty—a possession in comparison with which he ought to disdain royalty. who speaks of the Triad. by quibbles of unbelief. ‘One. but we prefer to rest our proof on Porphyry. and Spirit. and heaven itself. Augustine say. “One springing. XII.” No wonder that Gregory and Basil quoted so largely from Plotinus. 6-7).Dionysius the Areopagite. xiv xv Let us then first see what Plotinus teaches respecting the Holy Trinity. which has no other origin than Itself.” Dionysius speaks of the “Father” as sole source of Godhead. against the Christian Faith.” But even this substitution of “One” for “Father” may be traced to Dionysius. He says. nor power. This is what happens to those to whom have appeared the forms of gods and demons. it sees face to face. to rise to the contemplation of the Beautiful. until being raised above everything alien. or attain to the vision of that Beauty. it is alone he. on the ground that his teaching was coloured by Porphyry. that “with the change of a few words. and says that “the Godhead is undiminished by the gifts imparted. which have been revived to-day as “New Criticism. life and thought. Who has neither fresh colour nor comely form. as not being prejudiced in favour of the truth. it is a startling fact.” and “Soul. of Divine Names. What think you. Now. who has not seen Him. and in all His purity. “The soul advances in its ascent towards God.” whereas Dionysius gives the formula “Father. nor royalty.” Well might St. We must render the organs of vision analogous and like to the object that they would contemplate.” Porphyry wrote against the Holy Scriptures with a bitterness engendered by a conviction of their truth. by abandoning. in which the teaching of Plotinus is given. should he experience who has seen the Beautiful Himself. to Whom all aspire. Let Us now hear Plotinus on the “Beautiful” Enneades (I. “We may represent the first principle. if he should be able.—they no longer care For the beauty of other bodies. desires Him as the Good.” In Chap. face to face. disdains the things which heretofore he called by the name of Beauty. by despising all these. Him upon Whom all hangs. but Porphyry sought to undermine their faith in the Holy Scriptures. and struck at once with astonishment and pleasure. Plotinus says. It is true that Eutochius published another version of the teaching of Plotinus. Persecutors burned the bodies of Christians. Every man ought to begin by rendering himself beautiful and divine to obtain a Vision of the Beautiful and the Deity.” Plotinus also recognised. and which pours Itself in a multitude of streams without being diminished by what it gives. It is true that Plotinus presents that Trinity as “One. ἐναρχικὴ and even ἐναρχικῶν ὑποστὰσεων. rule of the whole earth. “We need not go beyond the three Hypostaseis” (Persons).

Plotinus traces evil to matter.” Read the Fourth Chapter of the Divine Names. and all things not being and being.” c. Bishop Pearson proves that the best judges in the sixth.d. All things aspire to the Beautiful and Good. Bishop of Athens. Which writings appeared first? that is the question. I. Professor Stiglmayr fills seven pages with parallel passages. all things aspire to It. 250).. xviii Polycarp quotes Dionysius verbatim as “a certain one. declares that no one can intelligently doubt that the writings are those of Dionysius. Porphyry records that Plotinus attained to that vision of the Beautiful three times during his life. Gregory calls Dionysius “an ancient and venerable Father. But the crowning proof that Dionysius was the source from which the Alexandrine School drew much of its wisdom. Hilaire says that Dionysius and Scotus Erigena. leave behind both sensible perceptions and intellectual efforts. xvii Plotinus differs from Dionysius in regarding creation as an act of necessity.” Ammonius had such extasy during his lectures. thou wilt be carried on high to the superessential Ray of the Divine Darkness.” The Second Council of Nicea quotes the very words. the convert of St.—whom Photius approved. the doctrine of Neo-Platonism. Works (1897) xvi Dionysius the Areopagite Beautiful”:— “Goodness turns all things to Itself. and says the whole doctrine of Dionysius seems to be a commentary upon the Theology of Alexandria. s.” Jerome quotes him as “quidam Graecorum. when thou hast cast away all and become free from all. as attainable. writing to Sixtus II. Suidas affirmed long ago that Proclus cribbed whole passages from Dionysius.—and there is no existing thing which does not participate in the Beautiful and Good. in which he seemed to have Divine visions.d. From this Beautiful comes being to all existing things. a.” Origen quotes him by name. whereas Dionysius regards it as an act of love. Dionysius describes in the “Mystic Theology:”—“But thou. as source and bond and end. in all purity. Professor Langen finds in Dionysius the “characteristics of Neo-Platonic speculation. by thy persistent commerce with the mystic visions. Dionysius to the fallacious choice of a free agent.d. fourth and third centuries regarded the writings as written: by Dionysius the 150 From Tabularia of Toledo. is Proclus (450-485). and all objects of sense and intelligence. 98150. Barthélémy St. Matter is more profound. fifth.Dionysius the Areopagite. How that vision of the Beautiful is to be attained. Plotinus treats evil as “an elongation from God.” The similarity of doctrine is denied by none. Tertullian. in the middle age. with Him Who is above every essence and knowledge. contained in the “Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. Theodore (a. word for word. almost entirely implanted. Vachérot describes certain chapters of the “Divine Names” as extracts from Proclus. expresses the Agnosia “nihil scire omnia scire. 98. and all. Paul.” Dionysius of Alexandria (a. and be raised aloft agnostically to the union. Dexter commemorates the “Divine Names” a. O dear Timothy. May it not be that the pagan colouring of Porphyry in these respects led Eutochius to give a more faithful and consistent account of the teaching of Plotinus.d. 4. from thyself. For by unchecked and absolute extasy. 420) answers objections.” Dionysius speaks of Almighty God as immanent in matter the most elongated from spirit. as those of the great Dionysius. 108 .

Maximus. justify the conclusion that the Alexandrine School was Biblical. Christian. Rational men will not hazard the surmise that works known in the first century were gleaned from writings composed four hundred years afterwards. and their disciples. to add lustre to incomparable works. Ammonius. John Damascene. “the Prologue of St. Dei. in which Amelius says. being Eternal. For sketch of Life. to whom our Saviour revealed the mysteries of the Father. and placed in the most conspicuous place in every church.” It was probably he who said.” De Civ. He was the “arbiter” of all literary questions. Bishops of Athens.. and that the main sources of its Divine Philosophy were the writings of Hierotheus and Dionysius. were foisted upon a credulous Christendom. fictitious allusions to persons and events of the apostolic.—the convert and disciple of St. would incorporate. things becoming became. L. They can. and the extracts from Pantaenus. Epiphany. accepted them as the genuine works of Dipnysius. St. John’s Gospel ought to be written in gold. the famous secretary of Zenobia. Internal Evidence of date. by a learned Greek. on account of the precise theology.Dionysius the Areopagite. believe that the Author of these Divine writings.—the familiar friend of St. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Areopagite. whose century no one can fix. The tone of the Alexandrine School may be further illustrated from Amelius and Dionysius the Sublime. and numbers St.” xx We claim that the testimony of these illustrious men. as Heraclitus would say. They can believe that writings. and External Testimony to genuineness during first nine centuries.—Chief of the Areopagus—who forsook all to follow Christ. and the Council of Nicea. He expresses his admiration. LX. as a man who propounded a “dogma beyond demonstration. so that Dionysius of Alexandria. and Philosophical. cannot believe that the works were written. and possibly a Syrian.) 109 . age. 9. by Whom. but those critics can believe that an unknown man. Dionysius. I do not belong to that school. attended the lectures of Ammonius-Saccus. 6d. Amelius attended Plotinus twenty-four years as companion and pupil. “This plainly was the Word. Only unbelief could believe anything so incredible. 2s. 1899. John and other Apostles. Paul amongst the most brilliant Greek orators. see “Celestial and Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. that its Philosophy was a Divine Philosophy of the Faith. xix Yet eccentric critics. 29.” (Skeffington. so composed. Paul. JOHN PARKER. and to impute them to another. De sub. not a pagan philosophy against the Faith. Cannes. c. German scholars to-day admit that the external testimony is in favour of their genuineness. of the diction of Moses in the description of the six days’ creation. Eusebius gives an extract from his writings. may have gleaned from writers of the first four centuries these theological pearls expressed in Greek in a style unique and always like itself.

Doc. as far as is attainable. remains simplex. according to their capacity. 157 Plato Rep. of the supremely Divine Father. but multiplied and going forth. Clark. CAPUT I. as becomes its goodness. 7-11. Read Allegory of Cave. v. For153 all things are from Him. 156 Syr. the Paternal Light.151 Dionysius the Presbyter. That every divine illumination. the True. v. with immaterial and unflinching mental156 eyes. and let us gaze. for an elevating and unifying blending of the objects of its care. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE ON THE HEAVENLY HIERARCHY. let us aspire. those who lawfully aspire to it. 2 Invoking then Jesus. every procession of illuminating light. to the illuminations handed down by our fathers in the most sacred Oracles. be elevated to its simple splendour157. and makes them one. For it never loses its own unique inwardness. the Real. upon the Hierarchies of the Heavenly Minds manifested by them symbolically for our instruction. 9. 61. 155 Rom. James i. and to a deifying simplicity. as we may. and raises. “which lighteth154 every man coming into the world. xi. which manifests to us the most blessed Hierarchies of the Angels in types and symbols. restores us again gradually as an unifying power. and cometh down from the Father of Lights. the gift of Light. whilst going forth lovingly to the objects of its forethought under various forms. from it. 36. It also unifies the things illuminated. 1. 121-126. “Every good gift152 and every perfect gift is from above. let us then. 17. proceeding from the Father. after the example of its own 151 1 Pet. 152 110 . To my Fellow Presbyter Timothy. as said the Sacred Word.” “through155 Whom we have access to the Father. Nor is this all. remains firmly and solitarily centred within itself in its unmoved sameness. And when we have received. primal and super-primal. 6. 154 John i. whilst visiting us as a gift of goodness. Section II.” Source of Light. Section I. and turns us to the oneness of our conducting Father. 2. 153 Rom.Dionysius the Areopagite. p.” Further also. and to Him.

and arranged naturally and appropriately. so far as in us lies. then. even through dissimilar symbols. 160 John vii. 1. Section III. except so far as it is enveloped. 9. of the harmonious and regulated habit. transmitted to us our most Holy Hierarchy. from the most sacred pictures to the instructions and similitudes without symbol and without type. 9. and whatever other things were transmitted to Heavenly Beings supermundanely. and the reception of the most Divine Eucharist. For it is not possible for our mind to be raised to that immaterial representation and contemplation of the Heavenly Hierarchies. in order that It might lead us through the sensible to the intelligible164. That Divine and Heavenly things are appropriately revealed. Section I. Luke 11. and the sweet158 odours of the senses as emblems of the spiritual distribution. described under sensible likeness the supercelestial Minds.Dionysius the Areopagite. accounting the visiblePs. CAPUT II. in the inspired compositions of the Oracles. and the material159 lights as a likeness of the gift of the immaterial enlightenment. of the partaking162 of Jesus. of the feast of contemplation within the mind. 2. but to us symbolically. beauties as reflections of the invisible comeliness. xv. having deemed it worthy of the supermundane imitation of the Heavenly Hierarchies. and having depicted the aforesaid immaterial Hierarchies in material figures and bodily compositions. xix. 158 Num. without using the material guidance suitable to itself. in variegated sacred veils. 3 4 Wherefore. the Divine Institution of sacred Rites. for the purpose of instruction. with regard to Divine things. For the sake. 163 1 Pet ii. 159 111 . through our imitation of their Godlike priestliness163. 162 1 Cor. by paternal forethought. by manifesting the Heavenly Hierarchies to us. and the detailed sacred instructions160. as far as our capacity permits. for such as we are. x. xiii. and from inspired symbols to the simple sublimities of the Heavenly Hierarchies. the philanthropic Source of sacred mysteries. of this our proportioned deification. 164 νόητα. in order that we might be borne. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite unifying Oneness. 3. and the ranks161 of the orders here. 16. 14. and constituting our Hierarchy as fellow-ministers with them. For it is not possible that the supremely Divine Ray should otherwise illuminate us. 161 Rom.

Section II. irreverently think that the heavenly and Godlike minds are certain many-footed165 and many-faced166 creatures. taken. so to speak. as I think. 7. taking forethought. and that all this is. i. and what benefit each one confers upon its followers. and should imagine that there are certain wheels169 of fire above the heaven. like the vulgar. in order that we also may not. out of regard to our intelligence.. i. Ibid. at any rate. in the descriptions of the Heavenly Minds. and impassioned. or the feathery down of birds168. and beyond our contemplation. i. vii. for a so-called explanation. And indeed. 8. i. and pernicious. respecting the shapeless minds. and whatever else was transmitted by the Oracles to us under multifarious symbols of sacred imagery. the investigation of the truth demonstrates the most sacred wisdom of the Oracles. and troops of horses. but the other both does violence without authority to the Divine powers. to represent and display them by appropriate and. consulting a mode of education proper and natural to it.. and likewise leads astray our minds. and further says that the theologians ought. as far as possible. and fashioned like the hooked beaks of eaglesIbid. 9. and whatever else the similitudes of the Oracles. when they have come to the bodily representation of creatures altogether without body. cognate figures. iii. as that wisdom does.Dionysius the Areopagite. or moulded to the brutishness of oxen167. but thinks the imagery of the holy minds in the Oracles is incongruous. 14. describe. 172 Joshua v. 170 Dan. the Word of God173 artlessly makes use of poetic representations of sacred things. 168 Ibid. 2 Macc. and material and less honourable things. to say in what sacred forms the holy writings of the Oracles depict the celestial orders. and next to celebrate the Heavenly Hierarchies according to their revelation in the Oracles. 6 But if any one think well to accept the sacred compositions as of things simple and unknown in their own nature. in my opinion. wholly 165 Ezek. 173 Θεολογία. 6. now. and ought not to clothe the heavenly and Godlike simple essences with the many forms of the lowest creatures to be found on the earth (for the one would perhaps be more adapted to our instruction. and to what sort of simplicity we must be carried through the representations. i. or certain many-coloured171 horses. in every respect dissimilar. Works (1897) 5 Dionysius the Areopagite It is necessary then. 167 Ibid. and other living creatures. or material thrones170 upon which the Godhead may recline. 13. 171 Zech. so to speak. and flocks of birds. and perhaps he will also think that the super-heavenly places are filled with certain herds of lions. or the savage form of lionsIbid. 9. vii. then following these Oracles. first to set forth what we think is the purpose of every Hierarchy. 10. a rude scenic representation of the angelic names. and spear-bearing leaders of the host172. from our most honoured and immaterial and exalted beings. through dwelling upon these irreverent descriptions). 6-8. and bellowing songs of praise. but which verge towards the absurd. 25. and moulding the inspired writings for it. 166 112 . and would not degrade the celestial explanations to incongruous dissimilitudes. 169 Dan.

of the formless and supernatural objects of contemplation. and demonstrate through these their supermundane superiority over all. For any one might say that the cause why forms are naturally attributed to the formless. and shapes to the shapeless. While such sacred descriptions are more reverent. does knowledge belong to all174. since. and seem in a certain way to be superior to the material images. But if any one should blame the descriptions as being incongruous. For it is not every one that is holy. as is natural. material things. viii. as one may say. vi. to do violence to the Divine Powers. as the Oracles affirm. by the Oracles themselves. 7 Section III. and unutterable indefinability. through dissimilar representations. indeed. 33. when they make them known by dissimilar pictorial forms. as I think. is more appropriate to It. expresses its character. For this. in reality fall short of the supremely Divine similitude. and do not expose to shame. nor. as the secret and sacerdotal tradition taught. xi. the negations respecting things Divine are true. 176 Ps. but the affirmations are inharmonious. and infinite180. indeed. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite for each. and to keep the holy and secret truth respecting the supermundane minds inaccessible to the multitude. so as neither. through dissimilar forms. and they describe It as light178. 4. 180 Ps. is not alone our capacity which is unable immediately to elevate itself to the intelligible contemplations. but the other. manifesting its God-becoming expression and wisdom. No light. proceeding through likenesses that are similar. it is enough to reply that the method of Divine revelation is twofold. 5. we rightly describe its non-relationship to things created. when they affirm that it is invisible179. and that it needs appropriate and cognate instructions which present images. John i.Dionysius the Areopagite. and inconceivable. 1. 177 Exod. both as really being Origin. and Mind176. Thus the sacred descriptions of the Oracles honour. And I do not suppose that any sensible man will gainsay that the incongruous elevate our 174 1 Cor. 16. through mystical and sacred enigmas. 7. No doubt. then. they yet. 178 John i. iii. the Heavenly Orders. and true Cause of the origin of things being. and incomprehensible181. is more appropriate to the hiddenness of things unutterable. For It is above every essence and life. nor at the same time to enthral us in the grovelling passions of the debased imagery. and call it life. the mystical traditions of the revealing Oracles sometimes extol the august Blessedness of the super-essential Godhead. 14. the revelation as regards things invisible. li. but further. even thus. but what it is not. through dissimilar revelations. that it is most agreeable to the revealing Oracles to conceal. and when there is signified. 181 Rom. cxlv. If. not what it is. cxxxvi. suitable to us. 179 1 Tim. fashioning them into entire unlikeness and incongruity. but we do not know its superessential. 15. and of a sacred character. and Essence177. 175 113 . Jer. by saying that it is shameful to attribute shapes so repugnant to the Godlike and most holy Orders. one. 8 But at other times its praises are supermundanely sung. and every description and mind incomparably fall short of Its similitude. 13. as Word175.

184 Acts vi. the aforesaid dissimilar similitudes. and 182 Acts i. that we should be led astray. and for the really perpetual and intelligible fellowship in that pure and most exalted splendour. even for the most earthly conceptions. For instance. and their movement. as is evident and the truth of the Oracles affirms. and the whole tendency towards the really desired. 10. Works (1897) 9 Dionysius the Areopagite mind more than the similitudes. 183 114 . shedding forth innocuous flame. according to my judgment. and certain men with the appearance of light182. not permitting our earthly part to rest fixed in the base images. i. in the irrational creatures. or intimacy in things subject to change. 3. 31. with regard to the irrational creatures. with regard to the more sublime representations of heavenly things. the elevating wisdom of the pious theologians reverently conducts to the incongruous dissimilarities. but urging the upward tendency of the soul. arising incontinently from an innate movement. possible to frame in one’s mind good contemplations from everything. and the inflexible and determined longing for the supernally pure and passionless contemplation. and goading it by the unseemliness of the phrases (to see) that it belongs neither to lawful nor seeming truth. Further also this must particularly be borne in mind. so as to think that the Heavenly Beings are certain creatures with the appearance of gold. we appropriately call their irrationality and want of sensible perception a deprivation of reason and sensible perception. for there is a likelihood. In like manner we say. appetite. and the irrational supremacy of the bodily desire. which nothing can repulse. But with regard to the intelligent. we reverently acknowledge their superiority. as supermundane beings. or soulless matter. 10 It is. that the most heavenly and Divine visions are actually like things so base. But when we attribute “lust” to spiritual beings. is full of all kinds of unreasonableness. all things are very beautiful185. that not even one of the things existing is altogether deprived of participation in the beautiful. both for the intelligible and the intelligent. 185 Gen. takes its rise in the passions. which drives the whole organism towards the object of sensual inclination. clothed in bright shining raiment. by clothing them with dissimilar similitudes. since the intelligent hold in a different fashion things which are attributed to things sensible differently. and in the abiding and beautifying comeliness.Dionysius the Areopagite. over our discursive and bodily reason. with which the Word of God has depicted the Heavenly Minds. as denoting. by thinking they are nothing more exalted than their beau tiful appearance. their manly style. In order that men might not suffer from this. 15. Section IV. from things material. and so with regard to all the other shapes and appropriate forms. and their determined persistence in their Godlike and unchangeable steadfastness. we must think that it is a Divine love of the immaterial. on account of the pure and changeless love for the Divine beauty. that lust is a certain uncircumspect and earthly passionate attachment. we must think of the appetite in another fashion. handsome184. And with regard to the immaterial and intelligent beings. then. above expression and thought. and to depict. And 'incontinence’ we may take for the persistent and inflexible. since. But with regard to the irrational living beings. Matt. xxviii. and glittering like lightning183. which takes the form of appetite.

and interpreters of the secret inspiration. and at other times. and by comparisons with the lowest things. At one time. 2. permissible to depict forms. sometimes. 193 Hos. dissimilarly. 2 Pet. 12 We shall find the Mystic Theologians enfolding these things not only around the illustrations of the Heavenly Orders. and at other times. as Fire189. as sweet-smelling ointment191. 192 Eph. 188 John i. from things most remote. and it is possible through these to be led to the immaterial archetypes—things most similar being taken. 2. as has been said. around the supremely Divine Revelations Themselves. 197 ἅγια τῶν ἅγιων. shedding its innocuous light. and the identities being denned. i. 190 John vii.. but harmoniously. i. I will also add. to keep them undefined. furnishing a fulness of life. Section V. 195 Ibid. There is then nothing absurd if they depict even the Heavenly Beings under incongruous dissimilar similitudes. For probably not even we should have come to an investigation. 7. 19. and attach to It identity with a Lion193. and appropriately. through things in our midst. they extol It under exalted imagery as Sun186 of Righteousness. that distinguished theologians have shewn it to us as representing Itself under the form of a worm196.—unless the deformity of the descriptions representing the Angels had shocked us. But. But they also clothe It in forms of wild beasts. nor those who diligently contemplate the Divine imagery rest in the types as though they were true. It is. and a rushing BearIbid. viz. which are diverse from their proper resemblance. and. and Panther194. 6. 194 Ibid. 8. flowing into a belly. and so Divine things should be honoured by the true negations. and prefer the dissimilar description of holy things. even from portions of matter which are the least honourable. since even it. xiii. then. from not seeing our way. that which seems to be more dishonourable than all. has throughout the whole range of matter some echoes of the intellectual comeliness. Thus do all the godly-wise. not permitting our mind to linger in the discordant representations. but rousing us utterly to reject the earthly proclivities. Works (1897) 11 Dionysius the Areopagite the material perception of the senses which is alien to the incorporeal Minds. and accustoming us to elevate 186 Mal. xxii. to speak symbolically. and say that it shall be a Leopard195. having had its beginning from the Essentially Beautiful. to the celestial beings. as Morning187 Star rising divinely in the mind. 189 Exod. as Water190. as regards the intellectual and sensible beings. 8. Num. 187 115 . for causes aforesaid. xxiv. separate the holy of holies197 from the uninitiated and the unholy. not in the same way. iv. 191 Cant. which are not discordant. iii. 38. and as Light188 illuming without veil and for contemplation. 17. indeed.—not to say to mystic meaning through an accurate enquiry into Divine things.Dionysius the Areopagite. but also. as Head Corner-stone192. 20. 2. ii. so that Divine things should neither be easily reached by the profane. and the most incongruous. 196 Ps. and bubbling forth rivers flowing irresistibly. 5.

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ourselves through things that are seen, to their supermundane mystical meanings. Let these things
suffice to have been said on account of the material and incongruous descriptions of the holy Angels
in the Holy Oracles. And next, it is necessary to define what we think the Hierarchy is in itself, and
what benefit those who possess a Hierarchy derive; from the same. But let Christ lead the
discourse—if it be lawful to me to say—He Who is mine,—the Inspiration of all Hierarchical
revelation. And thou, my son, after the pious rule of our Hierarchical tradition, do thou religiously
listen to things religiously uttered, becoming inspired through instruction in inspired things; and
when thou hast enfolded the Divine things in the secret recesses of thy mind, guard them closely
from the profane multitude as being uniform, for it is not lawful, as the Oracles say, to cast to swine
the unsullied and bright and beautifying comeliness of the intelligible pearls.

CAPUT III.
What is Hierarchy? and what the use of Hierarchy?
Section I.
Hierarchy is, in my judgment, a sacred order and science and operation, assimilated, as far as
attainable, to the likeness of God, and conducted to the illuminations granted to it from God,
according to capacity, with a view to the Divine imitation. Now the God-becoming Beauty, as
simple, as good, as source of initiation, is altogether free from any dissimilarity, and imparts its
own proper light to each according to their fitness, and perfects in most Divine initiation, as becomes
the undeviating moulding of those who are being initiated harmoniously to itself.
14

Section II.
The purpose, then, of Hierarchy is the assimilation and union, as far as attainable, with God, having
Him Leader of all religious science and operation, by looking unflinchingly to His most Divine
comeliness, and copying, as far as possible, and by perfecting its own followers as Divine images,
mirrors most luminous and without flaw, receptive of the primal light and the supremely Divine
ray, and devoutly filled with the entrusted radiance, and again, spreading this radiance ungrudgingly
to those after it, in accordance with the supremely Divine regulations. For it is not lawful for the
Mystic Rites of sacred things, or for things religiously done, to practise anything whatever beyond
the sacred regulations of their own proper function. Nor even must they attempt otherwise, if they
desire to attain its deifying splendour, and look to it religiously, and are moulded after the example
of each of the holy minds. He, then, who mentions Hierarchy, denotes a certain altogether Holy
Order, an image of the supremely Divine freshness, ministering the mysteries of its own illumination
in hierarchical ranks, and sciences, and assimilated to its own proper Head as far as lawful.

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For each of those who have been called into the Hierarchy, find their perfection in being carried to
the Divine imitation198 in their own proper degree; and, what is more Divine than all, in becoming
a fellow-worker199 with God, as the Oracles say, and in shewing the Divine energy in himself
manifested as far as possible. For it is an Hierarchical regulation that some are purified and that
others purify200; that some are enlightened and others enlighten201; that some are perfected and others
perfect; the Divine imitation will fit each one in this fashion. The Divine blessedness, to speak after
the manner of men, is indeed unstained by any dissimilarity202, and is full of invisible
light203—perfect204, and needing no perfection; cleansing, illuminating, and perfecting, yea, rather
a holy purification, and illumination, and perfection—above purification, above light, preeminently
perfect, self-perfect source and cause of every Hierarchy, and elevated pre-eminently above every
holy thing.
Section III.

16

It is necessary then, as I think, that those who are being purified should be entirely perfected, without
stain, and be freed from all dissimilar confusion; that those who are being illuminated should be
filled with the Divine Light, conducted to the habit and faculty of contemplation in all purity of
mind; that those who are being initiated should be separated from the imperfect, and become
recipients of that perfecting science of the sacred things contemplated. Further, that those who
purify should impart, from their own abundance of purity, their own proper holiness; that those
who illuminate, as being more luminous intelligences, whose function it is to- receive and to impart
light, and who are joyfully filled with holy gladness, that these should overflow, in proportion to
their own overflowing light, towards those who are worthy of enlightenment; and that those who
make perfect, as being skilled in the impartation of perfection, should perfect those being perfected,
through the holy instruction, in the science of the holy things contemplated. Thus each rank of the
Hierarchical Order is led, in its own degree, to the Divine co-operation, by performing, through
grace and God-given power, those things which are naturally and supernaturally in the Godhead,
and accomplished by It superessentially, and manifested hierarchically, for the attainable imitation
of the God-loving Minds205.

CAPUT IV.

198

Eph. v. 1.
1 Cor. iii. 9.
200 Ps. li. 9.
201 Ibid. cxix. 18.
202 Deut. vi. 4.
203 John xii. 46.
204 Matt. v. 48.
205 The Holy Angels.
199

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What is meant by the appellation “Angels?”
Section I.

17

Now that the Hierarchy itself has been, in my judgment, sufficiently defined, we must next extol
the Angelic Hierarchy, and we must contemplate, with supermundane eyes, its sacred formations,
depicted in the Oracles, in order that we may be borne aloft to their Divinely resplendent simplicity,
through the mystic representations, and may extol the source of all Hierarchical science with
God-becoming reverence and with thanksgivings. First of all, however, let this truth be spoken
—that it was through goodness that the superessential Godhead, having fixed all the essences of
things being, brought them into being. For this is the peculiar characteristic of the Cause of all
things, and of goodness surpassing all, to call things being to participation of Itself, as each order
of things being was determined from its own analogy. For all things being share in a Providence,
which bubbles forth from the superessential Deity, Cause of all things. For they would not be,
unless they had participated in the Essence and Origin of things being. All things then, without life,
participate in It by their being. For the being of all things is the Deity, above being; things living
participate in its life-giving power, above all life; things rational and intellectual participate in its
self-perfect and preeminently perfect wisdom, above all reason and mind. It is evident, then, that
all those Beings are around It, which have participated in It, in many forms.
Section II.

18

The holy orders, then, of the Heavenly Beings share in the supremely Divine participation, in a
higher degree than things which merely exist, or which lead an irrational life, or which are rational
like ourselves. For by moulding themselves intelligibly to the Divine imitation, and looking
supermundanely to the supremely Divine likeness, and striving to mould their intellectual appearance,
they naturally have more ungrudging communications with It, being near and ever moving upwards,
as far as lawful, elevating themselves with the intensity of the Divine unswerving love, and receiving
the primal illuminations without earthly stain, and ranging themselves to these, and having their
whole life intellectual. These, then, are they who, at first hand, and under many forms, participate
in the Divine, and, at first hand, and under many forms, make known the supremely Divine
Hiddenness. Wherefore, beyond all, they are deemed pre-eminently worthy of the appellation
Angelic, on the ground that the supremely Divine illumination comes to them at first hand, and,
through them, there pass to us manifestations above us. Thus, then, the Law, as the Word of God
affirms, was given to us through the ministration of Angels206; and Angels led our illustrious fathers207
before the Law, and after the Law, to the Divine Being, either by leading208 them to what was to
be done, and by converting them from error, and an unholy life, to the straight way of truth209, or

206

Gal. iii. 18.
Acts vii. 53.
208 Gen. xxii. 12.
209 Acts x. 3.
207

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by Divine grace. there are first. in her. the second are brought to the Divine Being. and last ranks and powers. within each Hierarchy. the most divine Gabriel instructed Zachariah.Dionysius the Areopagite. that no one hath seen. and participation. the Hierarch. and the divine persons themselves are religiously initiated into some mystery. 18. and he revealed to Mary. But our illustrious fathers were initiated into these Divine visions. as though the Divine regulation were laying down this rule. 12. 1 John iv. as becomes the Divine goodness. through the mediation of the Heavenly Powers. Thus. 16. to the Divine access. beyond hope. nor ever shall see. 2. and. or certain Divine predictions through the Prophets212. or supermundane mysteries211. how. in order that it may teach us this truth. ii. to be manifested to the world for its salvation. in its Wisdom. xii. and their quiet life. Now Divine manifestations were made to the pious as befits revelations of God. that. 214 John i. that is to say. should be fulfilled the things Divinely promised to his ancestor David. with him. Now the all-wise Word of God (Theologia) naturally calls Theophany that particular vision which manifests the Divine similitude depicted in itself as in a shaping of the shapeless. For not only with regard to the superior and inferior minds. or hidden visions. Ibid. for I perceive that even Jesus Himself. Section III. should be born the supremely Divine mystery of the unutterable God-formation. 212 2 Cor. Yet another Angel instructed Joseph. through certain holy visions analogous to those who see them. 1 Tim. given to Moses. Let us then ascend to the highest manifestations of light contained in the Oracles. that the son who was to be born to him. But I observe that Angels first were initiated in the Divine mystery of the love of Jesus towards man. the superessential Cause of the 210 Dan. let him learn. 20 Section IV. Another declared glad tidings to the shepherds. since through it a divine illumination comes to the beholders. this Law has been established by the superessential supreme ordinance. then. as being purified by their separation from the multitude. teaches this also—that it came to us through Angels. 13. and illumination. through the first. as coming straight from God. 213 Matt. through them. that it is an outline of a Divine and holy legislation? But the Word of God. should be a prophet of the God-incarnate work of the Lord Jesus. for example. that. how. 16. 211 119 . vi. vii. and that distinctly. a multitude of the Heavenly Host announced to those on earth that often-sung doxology. but even for those of the same rank. from the elevation of the beholders to the Divine Being. from the most Holy Oracles. the gift of its knowledge passed to us. and middle. in very truth. 10. the “hidden” τὸ κρύφιον of Almighty God as it is in itself214. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite by making known to them sacred ordinances210. Does not the tradition of the Oracles describe the holy legislation of the Law. and that the more divine are instructors and conductors of the less. 19 But if any one should say that Divine manifestations were made directly and immediately to some holy men213.

or Seraphim. that all the angelic appellations are common. we affirm that throughout every sacred ordinance the superior ranks possess the illuminations and powers of their subordinates. but. Except perhaps some one might say this also. But. after the manner of an Angel. through Angels. so also. and Powers. And through Angels we see Him subjecting Himself to the Father’s decrees. as it conducts our inspired Hierarchs to the splendours of the Godhead known to it. is the reason for the appellation Angelic in the Oracles.” that which completes the full tale of the Divine and Heavenly Hosts. and. then. without change. in order that the question may be better investigated. For I forbear to speak. both concerning the Angel who strengthened the Lord Jesus. I suppose.” CAPUT V. they name exclusively.” for they “also make known the supremely Divine illumination. or that even Jesus Himself. He announced to us.” but when they come to a more accurate description of the supermundane orders. For. But there is no reason to call the lowest rank of the celestial Minds. but the lowest have not the same powers as those who are above them. in common. 23 CAPUT VI. and as many Beings as the revealing traditions of the Oracles recognize as superior to them. which had been arranged by the Father. the saintly powers of the Beings above it are conductors. let us reverently examine the saintly characteristics set forth respecting each celestial Order in the Oracles.Dionysius the Areopagite. of that Order which completes the Angelic Hierarchies. they range pre-eminently. Principalities. We must now. as regards the subordinate and superior communication of all the celestial powers towards the Divine likeness. was called Angel of Great Counsel. Before this. in our judgment. the Authorities. 22 This. For what reason all the Heavenly Beings are called. “angelic rank. was announced to Joseph the departure of the Son to Egypt. which Himself arranged and took. The theologians also call the most holy ranks of the highest Beings “Angels. as He Himself says. as addressing one who knows the teaching of our hierarchical tradition. through their mediation. did not overstep the good order which becomes mankind. but readily subjected Himself to the dispositions of the Father and God. For it does not possess the highest powers. when He had come to manifest the good work of our beneficent salvation. the Orders of Archangels. Which is the first Order of the Heavenly Beings? which the middle? and which the last? 120 . or Thrones. Angels. Now. and the gift of light from God. “Whatsoever He heard from the Father. and again the return to Judaea from Egypt. Works (1897) 21 Dionysius the Areopagite super-heavenly Beings. when He had come to our condition. enquire for what reason the theologians call all the Heavenly Beings together “Angels. towards the Divine Being. however. and the Principalities.

and of what sort. whilst admitting this as the arrangement of the holy Hierarchies. that it is established immediately around God. and concerning their first Hierarchy. I affirm. as initiated in these. and the light-like and light-shedding characteristic which can never be concealed or consumed. as knowing perfectly their own condition. that every appellation of the celestial Minds denotes the Godlike characteristic of each. and the seething of that persistent.Dionysius the Areopagite. a rank which is higher than all. from the fact. He also says that that which is always around God is first and is declared by tradition to be united closely and immediately. and inflexible perpetual motion. as giving new life and rekindling them to the same heat. We. and those who know Hebrew affirm. and purifying through fire and burnt-offering. Naturally. CAPUT VII. are established immediately around God. which shew their functions. so far as the Godhead has revealed to us. and really first Hierarchy. to Him. and that of Cherubim. that the holy designation of the Seraphim denotes either that they are kindling or burning. and further. with a nearness superior to all. are the Orders of the supercelestial Beings. but whatever angelic visions have been gazed upon by the holy Prophets of God. and Powers is second. as it does. holding. indomitable. and the vigorous assimilation and elevation of the subordinate. we. and. then. 25 We. For he says that the teaching of the Holy Oracles declares. that which is composed of the Authorities. will utter nothing as from ourselves. the Order of the Angels and Archangels and Principalities is third. our illustrious Guide spoke of as one. by appellations. But he says. the first (order) of the Heavenly Hierarchies is ministered by the most exalted Beings. the deifying Author of their consecration alone distinctly knows. and 121 . These our Divine Initiator divides into three threefold Orders. and warmth. For it is impossible that we should know the mysteries of the supercelestial Minds and their most holy perfections. except. named in the Hebrew tongue Cherubim and Seraphim. before all the rest. The appellation of Seraphim plainly teaches their ever moving around things Divine. that the most Holy Thrones. than which there is not another more Godlike or immediately nearer to the earliest illuminations of the Godhead. and constancy. will set forth as best we can. and keenness. then. through them. then. and how the Hierarchies are classified amongst themselves. This threefold order. and their sacred and supermundane regularity. as being nearest. The Word of God has designated the whole Heavenly Beings as nine. They are called. Concerning the Seraphim and Cherubim and Thrones. and Stream of Wisdom—by a name which sets forth their Godlike conditions. then. and Lordships. “Burning. affirm. and the many-eyed and many-winged hosts. some one might say. and of equal rank. and that the first-wrought Divine manifestations and perfections pass earlier to it. a fulness of knowledge or stream of wisdom. Works (1897) 24 Dionysius the Areopagite How many. that they know their own proper powers and illuminations. as respects the lowest of the Heavenly Hierarchies. Section I.” and Thrones.

is the revelation of their names. as permissible. to the first Beings. with the whole force of their powers. that the Hierarchy is akin. and their supermundane tendency towards higher things. in Its very vestibule. and their being filled anew with the impartation which maketh wise. which destroys and dispels every kind of obscure darkness. that the purpose of every Hierarchy is an unswerving devotion to the divine imitation of the Divine Likeness. and their unswerving separation from all remoteness. and clinging unflinchingly to their own self-moved and same-moved rank in their invariable love of God. in the power of a first manifestation. who surpass every unseen and seen created power. but as being filled with all kinds of immaterial knowledge of higher light. and that every Hierarchical function is set apart for the sacred reception and distribution of an undefiled purification. and satiated. And now I pray that I may speak worthily of the most exalted Minds—how the Hierarchy amongst them is exhibited through the Oracles. and perfecting science. in first participation of the knowledge of His deifying illuminations. they do not stamp pictorially the deifying similitude in divinely-formed images. This. 26 Section II. nor as being led to the Divine Being by the varied texture of holy representations written for meditation. nay more. not through other holy Beings. and again. but as far exalted above every stain of remissness and every inferior holiness. that the imitation of God is given to them in the highest possible degree. but. being deemed worthy of the Communion with Jesus. and their readiness to receive the highest gift of light. but having the unsullied fixity of their own Godlike identity—never liable to fall. and they participate.” not contemplators of intellectual symbols as sensible. and who are marshalled. possible in Angels.Dionysius the Areopagite. who gave them Being. and their bearing God. For. and. 27 One must consider. in the absence of all passion and earthly tendency. But the appellation of the Cherubim denotes their knowledge and their vision of God. For I suppose we have sufficiently shewn above. and always unmoved. then. nor yet as though they were unreceptive of earthly fancies. and we ought to say what we think their Hierarchy is. as befits the highest degree of purity—established above the most Godlike powers. but as being filled with a first and pre-eminent deification. as “contemplative. in His deifying and philanthropic virtues. and their ungrudging communication to those next to them. and the ardent expansion of themselves for the Divine receptions. as it were. so far as we can give it. by the stream of the given wisdom. so far as is allowable to them. as beseems the most exalted science of the works of God. and their receptivity of the supremely Divine approach. and in every respect like. as being really near to Him. We must then regard them as pure. not as though they had been freed from unholy stains and blemishes. who are established after the Godhead.” not as being illuminated with an analytic science of sacred variety. and thus. The appellation of the most exalted and pre-eminent Thrones denotes their manifest exaltation above every grovelling inferiority. and Divine Light. conscious in no respect whatever of any declivity to a worse condition. with the beautifying and original beauty of super-essential and thrice manifested contemplation. but being ministered from the very Godhead. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite remains always the same. then. and their power of contemplating the super-Divine comeliness in its first revealed power. likewise as “perfected. and their invariable and firmly-fixed settlement around the veritable Highest. by the 122 .

at first hand. “Wherefore are Thy garments red? “ but they first raise the question among themselves. as being first and around God. according to my science. dances round His eternal knowledge in the most exalted ever-moving stability as in Angels. by those of a higher rank. of the Heavenly Minds is purified. For they introduce some of them as being religiously instructed. and that those who are higher than all are illuminated from Godhead itself. and enlightened. in due order.—many indeed by the first-given profusion. should reverently strive after the supremely Divine illuminations. not inappropriately. and others. and perfected. I may say this. But to sum up. deemed worthy indeed of much participation and co-operation with God. 29 The first Hierarchy.) that the subordinate Orders of the Heavenly Beings are taught by the superior. and without interruption.” He says. This. shewing that they desire to learn. 30 This. with the altogether most holy purification of the unproachable Light of the pre-perfect source of initiation. of their excellent 123 .Dionysius the Areopagite. then. For they do not ask directly. unstained indeed by any remissness. then. surpassing all. through the abiding science of the mysteries made clearly manifest. and enlightenment. and perfecting. by their power. Section IV. and are initiated into the scientific methods of the works of God. as far as permissible. through its elevation to It immediately. is the first rank of the Heavenly Beings which encircle and stand immediately around God. viewing purely many and blessed contemplations. from ignorance. that the reception of the supremely Divine Science is. the theologians distinctly shew (viz. as far as attainable. both purification. and filled with Divine nourishment. in revelations of the Divine mysteries. and perfected by its participation in first-given knowledge and science. and not anticipating the illumination given after a Divine procedure. that He. by the self-same Light. as far as permissible. as questioning Jesus Himself. being ministered. as desiring to be instructed in the science of His Divine work on our behalf. His beneficent work out of love to man. is Lord of the Heavenly Powers and King of Glory. “am speaking of righteousness and judgment of Salvation. by their assimilation to Him. and illuminated with simple and immediate splendours. and without symbol. through which it also purifies. from the very source of consecration. and enlightening by the self-same Divine knowledge. then. as intermediate Beings. and perfecting further. according to its degree. by the knowledge of the more perfect revelations imparted to it according to fitness. they are both established near the All-Holy without any shadow of turning. being filled. the deifying sciences. and Jesus Himself teaching them immediately. that which did not before contemplate the things which are now made manifest through the higher illumination. and rank. and shewing to them.” Now I am astonished that even the first of the Beings in Heaven. Section III. Works (1897) 28 Dionysius the Areopagite immediate elevation to It. in the highest degree. and are conducted for contemplation to the immaterial and intelligible comeliness. by being ministered from the very Author of initiation. For “I.—purifying. and full of primal Light. and so far above all. but one by the unvariegated and unifying oneness of the supremely Divine banquet. as it were. and crave the deifying knowledge. Who was raised to Heaven as Man.

Section I. as a cruel Lordship. and knowing many Divine things pre-eminently. but unflinchingly 124 . and all-praiseworthy—should be known and extolled by the God-receptive minds.” teaching briefly this. as is lawful. the whole earth is full of His glory. Holy. Lord of Sabaoth. indomitable to every subserviency. Holy. for all those Godlike energies within them—not feebly weak for the reception of any of the Divine illuminations vouchsafed to it—vigorously conducted to the Divine imitation. and the appellation of the Holy Powers denotes a certain courageous and unflinching virility. as an image of goodness. itself. Works (1897) 31 Dionysius the Areopagite habits and energies. as is attainable. by way of remembrance. and those after it. For some of its members. with supermundane eyes upon those Lordships. to speak after sensible perception.” and have spoken sufficiently concerning them in that Treatise. namely. CAPUT VIII.Dionysius the Areopagite. ever aspiring to the true Lordship. Wherefore the Word of God has transmitted its hymns to those on earth. I think. turning itself wholly to none of the things that vainly seem. and moulding. and source of Lordship. that the explanatory name of the Holy Lordships denotes a certain unslavish elevation. to its utmost ability. as super-original Origin and Cause of every essence. as attainable. “That the first Order. “Holy. then. it is enough to produce so much as is necessary to the present occasion. free from all grovelling subserviency. not forsaking the Godlike movement through its own unmanliness. Concerning Lordships and Powers and Authorities. and participating in supremely Divine science and knowledge. from which. to its Lordly bearing.” These most excellent hymnologies of the supercelestial Minds we have already unfolded to the best of our ability in the “Treatise concerning the Divine Hymns. and further. 32 Let us now pass to the middle Order of the Heavenly Minds. gazing. in theological science. from the super-heavenly Minds to the lowest of the earth. in which are Divinely shewn the excellency of its most exalted illumination. as the Oracles say. not submitting itself in any way whatever to one of the tyrannical dissimilarities. and the truly terrible visions of the Divine Authorities and Powers. as a Hierarchy reflecting that Goodness transmitted to those next after it. and elevated above every dissimilarity. that It is Monad and Unit tri-subsistent. from this the supremely Divine goodness.” “Blessed is the glory of the Lord from His place” and others cry aloud that frequent and most august hymn of God. having been illuminated. sending forth His most kindly forethought to all things being. the Divine places of the supremely Divine repose. superior to every kind of cringing slavery. but to the Lordly Being. For each appellation of the Beings above us manifests their God-imitating characteristics of the Divine Likeness. and ever sharing in the Lordly Likeness of God. as far as we may. and grasping all things super-essentially in a resistless embrace. for they as images of God are. and concerning their middle Hierarchy. proclaim as a “voice of many waters. as becomes the free. “That it is just and right that the august Godhead — Itself both above praise. as permissible.

and mildly led them back. and becoming a powerlike image of this. The middle Order of the Heavenly Minds having these Godlike characteristics. this is divinely fixed absolutely by the Divine source of order that. not using the authoritative powers imperiously for base purposes. in gift of Power. as men skilled in our sacred initiations say. and that the appellation of the Holy Authorities. For. Thus. 125 . by the Divine illuminations vouchsafed to it at second hand. in the consecrating purifications. as far as is permissible to them. him who was bound about the loins with a sapphire. with good order.Dionysius the Areopagite. says that this was righteously ordained by the glorious Deity Itself. as far as is attainable. to their former state of comfort. which is said to pass through one angel to another. when the Divine and Paternal Love towards man whilst chastening. through the first. as I think. by a righteousness worthy of God. as regards that message. of the same rank as the Divine Lordships and Powers. and wore displayed the robe coming down to the feet. and perfections. the first Minds are named perfecting. of inferior rank. one of the theologians. (denotes) the beautiful and unconfused good order. to them all). and charged to reveal to the theologian that Jerusalem should be abundantly occupied by a multitude of people. But the Divine Government enjoins the other Angels. the immediate participation of the Angelic ranks elevated in first degree to God. and making this visible. through the first Hierarchical Order. seated above the Cherubim. as Source of Power. but conducted indomitably. and near God. as I said. 34 No doubt. conducting Israel as we have said through chastisement to better things. and assimilated. by various leadings of His guided people to better things. and conducting those after it benignly. And another theologian. as a Hierarchical symbol. and another Angel. Wherefore by our sacerdotal tradition. Section II. as far as permissible. This you will find declared by the theologians in many ways. by him instructed in the Divine purpose as from a Hierarch. towards Divine things. with regard to the Divine receptions. (for the Angelic appellation is common. For. and in likeness to God. I think. and illuminating. for their religious preservation. sees one of the first Angels. and illuminations. and the discipline of the supermundane and intellectual authority. as for reception and participation of enlightenment: then. Zechariah. For. who bore the battle-axes. This is first revealed to one after the Cherubim. and passing through this middle as a secondary manifestation. concerning this matter. and obscured by reason of its passage to the second rank. both liberated them from their misery. is more clear than those perfected through the instrumentality of others. to the superessential Origin of all things. we may take it as a symbol of a perfecting completed from afar. who are conducted. advancing to meet the first. as is possible to Angels. and participate. learning from God Himself the comforting words. after delivering them to terrible and savage nations for correction. Ezekiel. through them. in the well-ordered ranks of the authoritative power within it. deemed right to separate the guilty from the guiltless. as they are called. to the Authoritative Source of authority. Works (1897) 33 Dionysius the Areopagite looking to the superessential and powerful-making power. is purified and illuminated and perfected in the manner described. in a startling manner. and purifying Powers of the subordinate. and powerfully turned to this. the second partake of the supremely Divine illuminations. through His compassion. His people Israel. and issuing forth to those next in degree. the fulness of Divine things manifested directly to ourselves is more perfecting than the Divine contemplations imparted through others. For Paternal Love towards man.

to one. and is moulded to It as far as attainable. Works (1897) 35 Dionysius the Areopagite to be instructed from the former. to the Principalities because it is turned in a princely fashion to the superessential Princedom. with order religious and most befitting the Princely.” or whatever else is recorded by the holy theologians concerning the Godlike order of the Heavenly Hierarchies. receiving hierarchically the Divine illuminations 126 . and it belongs to the Angels. moulded through it. and concerning their last Hierarchy.Dionysius the Areopagite. and their being wholly turned to the super-princely Prince. that divided into the Godlike Principalities. as far as possible. and leading others in princely fashion. but to the others. 36 There remains for our reverent contemplation a Division which completes the Angelic Hierarchies. of them and the Angels. and unites the Angels after the fashion of its own well-regulated and marshalled and invisible leadings. as it were. and being moulded. But since there is not a Hierarchy which does not possess first and middle and last powers. but to every one upon whom is the sign draw not near. and draw not back your eyes. and conducted to the superessential Source of order in every Hierarchy. And I think it necessary.” What would any one say concerning the Angel. Concerning the Principalities. the discipline of our Hierarchy will have the Angelic comeliness. For that of the Heavenly Principalities manifests their princely and leading function. and to manifest its superessential princely order. because it is of the messenger Order. For there is one Hierarchy and Division. Archangels. for it belongs alike to the most holy Principalities and to the holy Angels. who took the fire from the midst of the Cherubim. after the Divine example. the holy order of Archangels occupies the middle position in the Hierarchy between the extremes. For. that the Cherubim casts the fire into the hands of him who wears the sacred vestment. as I said. The (Order) of the Holy Archangels is of the same rank with the heavenly Principalities. and said to him. Archangels. Section I. and place the sign upon the forehead of the innocent men. CAPUT IX. and Angels. Section II. or what is more remarkable than this for shewing the good order amongst the Angels. “Go into the city after him and strike. “Make this man understand the vision. in reflection. as to the Divine judgment in this matter. who said to Daniel. “The word has gone forth?” or concerning him the first. He said that he should go through the midst of Jerusalem. to declare first the meaning of their sacred appellations to the best of my ability. to that prince-making Princedom Itself. by the regularity of the princely powers. by being assimilated to which. or concerning Him Who called the most divine Gabriel. and Angels. as far as possible.

manifesting to us. as we have already said. “How then were the people of the Hebrews alone conducted to the supremely Divine illuminations?” we must answer. but more hiddenly than the Order after it. diverse. and is more particularly concerned with the things of the world. but that they themselves. “Thou I hast cast away knowledge of God. yet there is one Head of all. For the very highest Order. for even if. and through their irrational veneration for things which appeared to them worthy of God. and to this. 127 . and union with God may be in due order. the Word of God has assigned our Hierarchy to Angels.Dionysius the Areopagite. but the inaptitude of the mental visions makes the overflowing light-gift of the paternal goodness. and conversion. most dear to God. the Angels. or great. and passing to all in common. For the Most High established borders of nations according to number of Angels of God. conduct those who follow them. But if any one should say. and others over other nations. but of the truly most high God). through Angels. over the other nations (from whom we also have emerged to that boundless and bounteous sea of Divine Light.” For neither have we a life governed by necessity. through each other. Hence. over the Hierarchies amongst men. nor on account of the free will of those who are objects of providential care. either altogether unparticipated or inpenetrable to their resistance. that not only was he himself turned to the true God. but further that he was guide to others. as Hierarch of the elevation to the true and only Godhead. for the godly-wise did not call Melchizedek simply dear to God. leads the Hierarchy of the Principalities and Archangels and Angels. complete the whole series of Heavenly Minds. fell away from the direct leading towards the Divine Being. further. in proportion to the religious aptitude of each of the godly persons illuminated. that we ought not to throw the blame of the other nations wandering after those which are no gods upon the direct guidance of the Angels. in order that they may clearly shew to the wise. as being the last Order of the Heavenly Beings who possess the Angelic characteristic. as being placed in the first rank near the Hidden One. or makes the participations of the one fontal ray. through self-conceit and self-will. hiddenly. which is readily-expanded for the ready reception of all). in order that the elevation. yea. and hast gone after thine own heart. and the revealing order of the Principalities. who religiously direct each nation. and. rather. more clearly indeed than the first Hierarchy. by their own declension. and that the second. (not of gods which are not. and Angels. by naming Michael as Ruler of the Jewish people. they are more properly named Angels by us than those of higher degree. and. Archangels. may be also with most sacred regularity. because their Hierarchy is occupied with the more manifest. Let us consider Melchizedek as being a Hierarch. Section III. For the Angels. and always the same and ever overflowing. we must consider as directing in spiritual things the second. Works (1897) 37 38 39 Dionysius the Areopagite from the first powers. presides. Even the Hebrew people are said to have suffered the same thing. which is composed of the holy Lordships and Powers and Authorities. obscure. for He says. small. also that the procession from God vouchsafed benignly to all the Hierarchies. Section IV. certain not alien gods were wont to preside. but also Priest. although that ray is one and simple. and announcing the same to the Angels in a godly manner. are the Divine rays of the providential illumination blunted. and communion. or brilliant.

that the most reverend Order of the Minds around God. or that certain other gods. to one of the holy Angels. superessentially established above all the powers. for the recognition. and that Angels. indeed. as being a first gift and a first manifestation. and recognition of the true Lord-Hence the Word of God. For there is one Prince and Providence over all. savingly. as shewing that Israel elected himself for the worship of the true God. Works (1897) 40 Dionysius the Areopagite Let me also recall this to your Hierarchical judgment—that both to Pharaoh. from the Angel who presided over the Egyptians. and for those nations. is purified. We have concluded. in due degree. yet Israel. and that all the Angels who preside over each nation. “He became Lord’s portion. Section I. to It as their proper Head. and to the Babylonian Prince. and had been elected by lot to the government and leadership of Israel. 128 . as being more intelligible. But that particular phrase of the Divine Word must be accepted according to the following sacred intention. the third. and from the second. the watchful and ruling care of the Providence and Lordship over all. and illuminated. And never must we think that the Godhead is leader of Jews by lot.” demonstrating distinctly that there is one Providence of the whole. of the Head of all. 41 CAPUT X. with other gods. turned himself to the Light-gift. the second. and more unifying. Daniel and Joseph. Section II. was interpreted in visions. ministered by the perfecting illumination through its immediate elevation to it. more manifest. almost alone in comparison with all. through him. not as though God had divided government amongst men. more hidden and more manifest—more hidden.” and as indicating that he was assigned equally with the other nations. says this. but in this sense—whilst the one Providence of Highest over all. then. and more complete. or Angels. And from this (Order) again. and from the third. and perfected by a gift of light from the Godhead. preside over the other nations. and more affused to it as transparent. A Repetition and Summary of the Angelic discipline.Dionysius the Areopagite. or in opposition. in Divine harmony and proportion. from his own Angel. assigned all mankind. independently. according to the self-same law of well-ordered regularity. our Hierarchy. or as of equal rank. to the directing conduct of their own Angels. is reverently conducted to the super-original Origin and End of all good order. elevate. said “That Michael became leader of the (Jewish) people. those who follow them with a willing mind. and more simplifying. for the interpretation of things shaped by Angelic visions revealed from God through Angels to holy men akin to the Angels. the worshippers of the true God were appointed leaders. unseen and seen. as far as possible.

But. are often in common called by us. has been placed in sacred order. indeed. are called Heavenly Powers. according to which. except the really Self-perfect and preeminently Perfect. the most copious light. For the last do not enjoy the whole characteristics of the highest. Section II. as I think by this. but never Seraphim and Thrones and Lordships. Section I. for the aforesaid particular mystical meanings of the Hierarchical illuminations. in common. in conjunction with the other holy Beings. and Principalities. the most reverend. indicating distinctly. and middle. we do not introduce a sort of. whilst often using the appellation. inasmuch as all the 129 . so far as is lawful and attainable to him. the pre-eminent perfection. as we may of the Angels. and last Powers. Section III. He distinguished each Division itself. in the most spotless purification. For what reason all the Heavenly Beings. manifested severally in due degree. Heavenly Powers. I might add this not inappropriately. confusion of the characteristics of each Order. or absolutely without need of perfecting. Heavenly Powers. But to speak accurately. For it is not possible to say. and those above the Angels—Archangels. that each heavenly and human mind has within itself its own special first. and on this account all the Divine Minds are called Heavenly Powers. in due degree. 43 Now that we have defined these things. that each rank of the Hierarchies. of those who have been moved by God. The Orders of the superior Beings share in the saintly illumination. wherefore the theologians say that the most Divine Seraphim cry one to another. that the first impart their knowledge of divine things to the second.—placed by the Word of God after the Powers. For there is nothing that is self-perfect. to such an extent has the superessential harmony of all things provided for the religious order and the regulated conduct of each of the rational and intellectual beings. and we observe every Hierarchy distributed into first. and Authorities. Works (1897) 42 Dionysius the Areopagite Now all Angels are interpreters of those above them. of God. Who moves them. and the rest. that the Order of the holy Powers is last of all. and powers. CAPUT XI. for all in common. But we affirm that. each one participates-. it is worthy of consideration for what reason we are accustomed to call all the Angelic Beings together. Heavenly Powers. of the last. For the Angels.Dionysius the Areopagite. and middle. For. by the same Divine harmonies. and last ranks. but the last in no wise of the first.

or some of them. the superior Orders possess abundantly the sacred characteristics of the inferior. as I think. for they participate in the partial and analogous. for. There is. and in a lower degree. CAPUT XII. we must consider that we manifest those about whom we speak in a general way. for we say that the last lack the complete and pre-eminent Power of the more reverend Divisions. if the Word of God calls our Hierarch. 45 Now the statement. they also. and power. but the being near and first. nothing absurd. For example. according to his own capacity.—into essence. as I think. to the Beings which are entirely inferior to them. then. so as to overthrow the unconfused order of the Angelic ranks. not indeed in the same degree. but the lowest do not possess the superior completeness of the more reverend. the rank of the holy Cherubim participates in higher wisdom and knowledge. so the last possess those of the superior. For the participation of wisdom and knowledge throughout is common to all the minds which bear the image of God.Dionysius the Areopagite. is not contrary to what has been before defined. as compared with them. as far as attainable to men. Works (1897) 44 Dionysius the Areopagite Divine Minds. but subordinately. but nevertheless partially. in proportion to their capacity. from their essence or power severally. are distributed into three. Inasmuch as the lowest Orders do not possess the completeness of the superior. by the supermundane description given of them. as Heavenly Beings or Heavenly Powers. and energy. according to the one harmonious and binding fellowship of all things. through the first Order. whom we have already sufficiently distinguished. This also one might safely define respecting all the Divine Minds. since the first-manifested illuminations are revealed to them. Section I. For according to the correct account which we have already frequently given. since he participates. as has been determined for each in its own degree. Why the Hierarchs amongst men are called Angels. “Angel of the Sovereign Lord?” Section II. indiscriminately. for what reason is our Hierarch named by the Oracles. but the Divisions of the Beings beneath them. 130 . but. or second and inferior. participate. Angel. and elevates himself. as the first possess abundantly the saintly characteristics of the inferior. is not common. in wisdom and knowledge. For we must not apply the superior characteristic of those holy Powers.—when we speak of them all. But this is sometimes also asked by diligent contemplators of the intelligible Oracles. to the likeness of their revealing office. in the messenger characteristic of the Angels.

But you will find that the Word of God calls gods. by their imitation of God. was through fire. but as secretly 131 . affirmed that the supremely Divine Power in visiting all. why the Seraphim is said to be sent to one of the Theologians. whoever he was. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Section III. and yet is invisible to all. then. as having come for the cleansing of the Theologian. and after God. Section III. For he said that that great one.—referred his own cleansing function to God. as far as attainable. placed over us as a sacred Minister of the Prophet’s cleansing. Section II. let us examine this as best we can. Some. For what reason the Prophet Isaiah is said to have been purified by the Seraphim. to the first working Hierarchy. properly and wholly be said to be like unto It. as the Seraphim.Dionysius the Areopagite. not only as being superessentially elevated above all. advances and penetrates all irresistibly. on the ground that the removal of the faults spoken of. except those intellectual and rational Beings who are entirely and wholly turned to Its Oneness as far as possible. cleanses the Prophet. and are deemed worthy of the same divine name. but he. that not one of the inferior Angels. but that some one of the Angels. for some one may object. then. according to the definition already given of the mutual relation of all the Minds. and holy men amongst us. 46 CAPUT XIII.—the Angel who formed this vision for the purpose of teaching the theologian Divine things. the enrolled amongst the most reverend Beings. the Logion does not name one of the highest around God. and they say that the Logion speaks simply of one of the Seraphim. not one of those who are established around God. affirm that. but one of the Powers set over us for the purpose of cleansing. and who elevate themselves incessantly to Its Divine illuminations. 47 Now another man brought forward to me a by no means foolish defence of the present position. and the restoration of him who was cleansed for the Divine mission. according to their power. and the most beloved of God. if I may so speak. and no created Being can. both the Heavenly Beings above us. Section I. is called by the same name. And was not this statement certainly true? For he who said this. Come. although the Divine Hiddenness is transcendently elevated and established above all.

as Essence of Light. but subordinately. or to speak more strictly. 132 . since. the heat of fire transmits itself chiefly to things that are more receptive. and by conducting Its own gift of Light to the most reverend Beings. through them. The first Order. after God. the characteristic of fire. All the remaining Angelic Beings. from the inaptitude of the materials illuminated for transmission of the gift of Light. faculty. or a very light. and further. and the characteristic of Thrones. and through these. lights up its own splendours. The aforesaid holy characteristics. as being more transparent than all. either it leaves none. and Cause of Being. then. by the fact. Wherefore. and through them. viz. the distribution of the sun’s ray passes with easy distribution to first matter.Dionysius the Areopagite. Works (1897) 48 49 Dionysius the Areopagite transmitting its providential energies to all. it is manifested to all the intellectual Beings in due degree. the first rank imparts its gift to that after it. both visible and invisible. so as to almost entirely exclude the passage of Light. After the same rule. that the Divine rays are poured through it to that.. There is. and to become first-workers. but. the Beings after them partake of the Divine ray. through it with greater clearness. the wise. in due proportion. Section IV. it comes in contact with things not congenial. by ordinance. then. and conductive to assimilation to itself. as first. the regulation of all good order. but. in abundant streams. with providential forethought. the knowing. Who is exalted above all. as first agents and teachers of things Divine. they refer every holy energy of Divine imitation to God indeed as Cause. and through them heats proportionately either water or something else which is not easily heated. and.—first. and the faculty of knowing the highest science of the Divine illuminations. it perchance makes things easily changed to heating hot. and for Divine imitation. exhibiting their expansion for the reception of God. when through substances favourable to its proper action. the supremely Divine illumination is distributed to all. of every God-knowledge and God-imitation. after God. through the first. as knowing God first. For these. but to the first Godlike Minds. yea. and to us. according to the power of each Division to bear the vision of God. and the ranks of the subordinate Beings possess indeed the empyrean. then. are deemed worthy of the power and energy for the imitation of God. the relatively superior (is source) for each after it. then. naturally regard the highest Order of the Heavenly Minds as source. trace of its fiery energy. and striving preeminently after Divine virtue. God. as attainable. Again. but when it strikes more dense materials. its distributed brilliancy becomes more obscure. and the Divine Light thus rests upon all. and through familiar illustrations (for if they fall short of the Glory of God. It distributes in due order to the subordinate. and yielding. in first manifestation to the most exalted Beings. are conducted to the attainable likeness of God. by nature. more than all. of Nature’s well-ordered method. as far as possible. then. for all those who are illuminated. which the Beings after them possess. as regards repellent opposing substances. a Source of illumination. and Vision itself. and from this it is naturally contracted. of the holy Angels possesses. the God-receptive. and properly. and by looking to the first. and these benevolently elevate the beings after them to an equality. and throughout each Order. they attribute to those Beings themselves. as being deemed worthy of the Divine imitation in first operation. through them. rather. yet they are more illustrating for us). by imparting ungrudgingly to them the splendour which rests upon themselves. and really. and the streaming distribution of supremely Divine wisdom. and these again to the subordinate. as Hierarchs. manifests supernaturally the brightness of its own gift of Light.

as Absolute—not even like to the first of created Beings. through one of the holy and blessed Angels set over us. that the participation. or us. and that from his illuminating direction. through the first. as the Reality of all things. then. it is firstly brought from hiddenness to manifestation through the first powers. 133 . after God. The Theologian then learned. is said himself to purify and enlighten. and the sacred reverence which they have. and. even that It is exalted above all. then. yea. yea. so It contracts its brilliant illumination to the single unknowable of its own hiddenness. Which is both the being and the well-being of the most exalted Powers themselves. so also the Angel who effected the purification of the Theologian attributes his 215 216 John 1. for all the sacred Minds by a superessential hiddenness. and all the supremely Divine operations. and last conceptions. seated on high in the midst of the superior Powers. as regards the Divine likeness. Works (1897) 50 51 52 Dionysius the Areopagite He who said this. the Divine Being was seated incomparably above every visible and invisible power. Then he revealed that the Godlike powers of the most holy Seraphim. as each is distant from. the characteristic of purification by fire. the Theologian was taught by the Angel who was leading him to Light—that purification. illuminating through the first Beings. and further. Wherefore he reasonably attributed to the Seraphim. concerning which we shall shortly speak as best we can. and the perpetual movement of their middle wings—was brought to the intelligible knowledge of the things seen. in the supremely Divine and radiant purity. for the bold and courageous and unattainable scrutiny into higher and deeper mysteries. absurd. is a purification to the pure however pure. as far as attainable. but with regard to the second. and of the incessant and high-flying perpetual movement of their Godlike energies in due proportion. This. the lowest mental powers. severally. used to affirm. if the Seraphim is said to purify the Prophet.—further also. is in a manner more clear. in a higher degree. when purifying or enlightening through his Leitourgoi or Priests. by viewing the description of free and most exalted elevation of the sixfold wings to the Divine Being in first. and with God. For. he was elevated to that intellectual contemplation in which he saw the most exalted Beings seated (to speak symbolically) under God. the holy Theologian. Or super-original. There is nothing. to the highest powers around It. and exhibits and distributes itself. and unalterable Fixity of the undissolved continuance of all things. from. as far as possible. rather (for I use a familiar illustration) just as our Hierarch. that this vision was shewn to the Theologian. and the super-princely216 Eminence elevated unspeakably above them and all. from the things seen. But he was also taught the hidden mysteries of that supremely Divine and much esteemed Hymn of Praise—whilst the Angel who formed the vision imparts. their endless feet and many faces. by being cause of every purification. since there was manifested to him the power of the most exalted minds for deep penetration and contemplation. whose sacred appellation signifies the Fiery. And it illuminates the second. He also taught him this. as God purifies all. 1.Dionysius the Areopagite. And. as compared with every super-essential pre-eminence. themselves. since the Orders consecrated through him attribute to him their own proper sacred operations. that It is source and essentiating Cause. according to the relation of each for the deifying participations. are distributed to all the rest. his own sacred knowledge to the Theologian. and it being accomplished from the very Godhead by most exalted causes. as seen in vision. and the other over their faces. conducted the elevations of the empyrean power to the Divine likeness. supermundanely. if one must speak briefly. that. and around215 God. middle. and their extended wings—one under their feet.

a view more luminous if it should be so. to find out from yourself something more allied to the real truth. and to honour this before the other as having likelihood and good reason. indeed. shewing clearly. “There is a preeminent Source. and holds them together by their fixity around Himself. and myriad myriads.Dionysius the Areopagite. giving expression. and to me specially welcome. Works (1897) 53 Dionysius the Areopagite own purifying science and power to God. and Essence. as any one might say with Angelic reverence. the supreme limits of our numbers. through these. For many are the blessed hosts of the supermundane minds. and Angels supplying it. that the ranks of the Heavenly Beings cannot be numbered by us. of intellectual attention. who cleanses thee through me. he taught me. and Cause of the cleansing wrought upon you from me. moving them to the first participations of His own Providential energies (for this.” These things. He Who taught me these things used to say. What are the morphic likenesses of the Angelic Powers? what the fiery? what the anthromorphic? what are the eyes? what the nostrils? what the ears? what the mouths? 134 . either. and I impart them to thee. whilst teaching one who was being purified by him. accumulating and multiplying. surpassing the weak and contracted measurement of our material number. What the traditional number of the Angels signifies. (God. 54 CAPUT XV. and. but as Hierarch and Leader after God.) and to reveal to us. Let it be a part of thy intellectual and discriminating skill. the friends of Angels. then. but to the Seraphim as first-operating Hierarch. shews the mission of the Seraphim). the truth. the Marshal of the most exalted Beings. which is given to them in profusion by the supremely Divine and Omniscient Framer of Wisdom. and perhaps. in my opinion. and essentiating Cause and connecting Force. of course. This also is worthy. through whom the Cause and Creator of all cleansing brought forth His own provident energies from the Hidden even to us. and encompassing Term of all created things together. He Who brings both the first Beings into Being. and being definitely known by their own supermundane and heavenly intelligence and science alone. that the tradition of the Oracles concerning the Angels affirms that they are thousand thousands. to themselves. and keeps them without change and without fall. or. and Worker. CAPUT XIV. to acquit each of the causes assigned from objection. or to learn from another. as Cause. from whom I was taught to purify after the example of God — this is he.

and middle. and last powers —without introducing anything absurd into the description. in our first explanation of the types. But we must keep our discourse within bounds. as it were. and rivers of flame flowing with irresistible force. the thing would manifestly be absurd. You will find it. and it attributes the characteristic and energy of fire to them. as from images. it 135 . but no longer the self-same. and. one might say appropriately that the Divinely pictured presentations in the Oracles may sometimes attribute. Now the straining elevation to things above. and rules those below. 55 56 Come. are ruled by those same who are being ruled. flashing. rest our mental vision from the strain of lofty contemplation. it shews from their appellation. as has been said. like lightning. and also it says that the thrones are of fire. pre-eminently and wholly. befitting Angels. but that each same is ruled by those before. although some. and last powers. or from the self-same. in preference to almost every other. at other times. representing not only wheels of fire. and throughout. as we have often said. as being guardians of their own proper powers. But if we say that the same rule and are ruled. and then that they rule the same. Section II. and must search. having first. befit truly all the Heavenly Beings. For if indeed we were to say that some are ruled by those above them. according to the following method of explanation. that the explanations of the sacredly depicted likenesses represent the same ranks of the Heavenly Beings as sometimes ruling.Dionysius the Areopagite. ruling. being ruled. the very same. and mixed with all sorts of confusion. properly and truly. as being ruled. and that those above. let us at last. and that they participate in the providential faculty to provide for those below them by mutual communication. and the last. and the first. for what reason the Word of God prefers the sacred description of fire. and placing around the Heavenly Beings themselves heaps of coals of fire. and then return analytically from the same. But let this first be made plain to you. then. and that the most exalted Seraphim glow with fire. above and below. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite what the touch? what the eyelids? what the eyebrows? what the prime? what the teeth? what the shoulders? what the elbows and the hands? what the heart? what the breasts? what the back? what the feet? what the wings? what the nakedness? what the robe? what the shining raiment? what the sacerdotal? what the girdles? what the rods? what the spears? what the battle-axes? what the measuring lines? what the winds? what the clouds? what the brass? what the electron? what the choirs? what the clapping of hands? what the colours of different stones? what the appearance of the lion? what the appearance of the ox? what the appearance of the eagle? what the horses? what the varieties of coloured horses? what the rivers? what the chariots? what the wheels? what the so-called joy of the Angels? Section I. and descend to the divided and manifold breadth of the many-shaped variety of the Angelic forms. and their being drawn unswervingly around each other. and men. whilst ruling those below. and middle. but also living creatures of fire. then. to the simplicity of the Heavenly Minds. and others partially and subordinately. and the same. both to first. if you please.

the tender. present to all invisibly. self-moving. elevating. and bringing under its own energy anything in which it may happen to be. and by their dominion in consequence of rational science. for the holy theologians frequently describe the superessential and formless essence by fire. varying. as in things visible. free from all passion. penetrating. powerful. reception. shewing their Godlikeness. yet ruling over all by their superior power of mind. and their innate faculty of ruling and guiding. I think. in its essential nature. if I may be permitted to say so. and whilst all-luminous. 302. 24. unobserved. and imitation of God. as it were. and their innate unslavishness and indomitableness of soul. needing no other. but sensitive. then. I think. and their having powers of looking upwards. of the supremely Divine property. and pure. and again flying away impalpably. whatever they may be. The Godly-wise. unknown. displaying its own majesty to the materials receiving it. moving other things. undiminished in all the joyful distributions of itself.Dionysius the Areopagite. as far as attainable. and the reception of the Divine and nourishing streams. unchangeable. and again. the similitude of fire217 denotes the likeness of the Heavenly Minds to God in the highest degree. self-subduing all things. of the supremely Divine illuminations. i. knowing this. as having many likenesses. It is both uncontrollable and invisible. 136 . Works (1897) 57 Dionysius the Areopagite prefers pre-eminently the representation by the image of fire. 58 But they also depict them under the likeness of men218. then. seeming not to be. subject to no grovelling inferiority. by affirming that the powers of vision denote the most transparent elevation towards the Divine lights. The powers of taste denote the fulness of the intelligible nourishments. energetic. to find within each of the many parts of our body harmonious images of the Heavenly Powers. and to distinguish accurately things which are not such. and passes through everything unmingled. And one might find many characteristics of fire. and their straight and erect form. Now the discriminating powers of the nostrils denote the being able to receive. The powers of the ears denote the participation and conscious reception of the supremely Divine inspiration. imparting itself to all things near it. as far as attainable. separating. when there is no material lying near it upon which it may shew its proper energy. the sweet-smelling largess beyond conception. and manifesting itself suddenly according to its own proper nature by friction. ever moving. hidden. It is possible. and to entirely reject. and not repellent. then. as it were by a sort of seeking. and giving light by its uncovered illuminations. in everything. lofty. depict the celestial Beings from fire. Section III. appropriate to display the supremely Divine Energy. so to speak. xxxii. as in sensible images. renewing by its rousing heat. and unfolded. is. Gen. 217 218 Le Cratyle de Platon. and whilst being least. invincible. on account of the intellectual faculty. incomprehended. unmingled. in physical strength as compared with the other powers of irrational creatures. For the sensible fire is. imperceptibly increasing itself. and springs from all. comprehending. and liquid.

and their complete illuminating intelligibly. and being drawn around Itself by an unbroken identity. and distributes certain implements to them to carry. and free from all external superfluity. and skilfulness of the perpetual movement advancing towards Divine things. let us unfold. The chest again denotes the invincible and protective faculty of the life-giving distribution. 60 The feet denote the moving and quickness. the sacred garments and implements of the celestial Minds. 137 . The shoulders and elbows. 1. by a provident faculty. according to our power. The teeth denote the dividing of the nourishing perfection given to us. and further. as beseems the good. as being placed above the heart. s. and unrestrained. the holding together the whole productive powers of life. and the sacerdotal robe denotes their conducting to Divine and mystical visions. and assimilation to the Divine simplicity. 219 See Maximus D. 4. Section V. I think. and the consecration of their whole life. and their enlightening.N. But since again the simple and variegated wisdom both clothes the naked. denote the power of making. The heart again is a symbol of the Godlike life. The back. and operating. for the wing displays the elevating quickness and the heavenly progress towards higher things. and the lightness of the wings denotes their being in no respect earthly. in a well-ordered circle. but undefiledly and lightly raised to the sublime. the hands.Dionysius the Areopagite. and the superiority to every grovelling thing by reason of the ascending. and the collected habit of being turned uniformly to It. as far as attainable. and their being illuminated intellectually219. agile. and accomplishing. and the naked and unshod denotes the unfettered. The shining and glowing raiment. for each intellectual Being divides and multiplies. Wherefore also the Word of God arranged the feet of the holy Minds under their wings. Section IV. signifies the Divine likeness after the image of fire. c. And the girdles signify the guard over their productive powers. 59 The figures of manhood and youth denote the perpetual bloom and vigour of life. come. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite The powers of touch denote the skilful discrimination of that which is suitable or injurious. where is the Light. in consequence of their repose in Heaven. The eyelids and eyebrows denote the guarding of the conceptions which see God. the unified conception given to it by the more Divine for the proportionate elevation of the inferior. dispersing its own life-giving power to the objects of its forethought.

also denotes the Divine likeness of the Heavenly Minds. further. in any case whatever. and within each likeness you will find an explanation which teaches the inner meaning of the typical images. or as red. and many-coloured stones. and undiminished. or as green. as in gold. which summons the receptive womb of the earth. must be attributed either the likeness of fire or that of gold. or as yellow. the Word of God attributes to the Heavenly Beings a likeness to Brass. and the brightness. after the fashion of the intelligible production of showers. and the sharp and energetic and drastic operation of the discriminating powers. and again from below to above. partly like silver.Dionysius the Areopagite. For He says. receiving the first manifestation without boasting over it as such. for this also bears a likeness and type of the supremely Divine energy (as we have demonstrated more fully in the symbolic theology. and unexpended. yea. Nor would a discriminating mind. through this. or addition of other gifts. representing His correcting instruction or avenging righteousness. Works (1897) 61 Dionysius the Areopagite The rods signify the kingly and directing faculty. sensible or intelligible. and spotless brilliancy. or end of education. the golden. as a secondary manifestation. The geometrical and technical articles denote the founding. “Thou knowest not whence it cometh nor whither it goeth. this has been sufficiently said. denotes the incorruptible. to the aerial spirit. as in silver. and the rapid and resistless development of Nature. that the productive. or resumption of former well-being. others. But to the Brass. 63 We must consider that the many-coloured appearances of stones denote either as white. Electron. Also. But since. and building. and life-producing. 10. and the Hiddenness of the moving sources and terminations to us unknown and invisible. as being partly like gold. But sometimes the implements assigned to the holy Angels are the symbols of God’s judgments to ourselves. and whatever else belongs to the elevating and guiding forethought for the subordinate Orders. Section VI. and in proportion to capacity. i. making all things straight. according to the reasons assigned. I think. which they distribute ungrudgingly to the second. to the life-giving pangs of birth. passing almost instantaneously to all things. and moving the first to a common and provident advance of the inferior Orders. The spears and the battle-axes denote the dividing of things unlike. the luminous. that the holy minds are filled super-mundanely with the hidden Light. the youthful and the full grown. have any difficulty in properly adapting things visible to things invisible. 138 . and completing. freedom from peril. and their transporting movement in passing from above to below. 62 But the fact that they are named winds denotes their rapid action. But perhaps some one would say that the appellation of wind. and a luminous and heavenly radiance. some. and perfecting power is enshrined in them. according to our power. Section VII. small or great. We must 220 Ezek. by fruitful rains. signifying. in our explanation of the four elements) in accordance with the moving and life-producing.” But also the Word of God attributes to them the appearance of a cloud. the fiery. their elevating the second to the height above. Electron. and increasing. let us pass to the sacred explanation of the Divine representations of the Heavenly Minds through wild beasts220.

Dionysius the Areopagite. 65 But we must examine the fact that rivers are spoken of. and of those who are white. towards the same unflinching and straight swoop of their every intellectual track. we might. 222 139 . and wanness. but of those who are dark blue. and their desire. to intellectual manliness. the fiery and vigorous. by the concealment of the intellectual footprints222. during Divine illumination. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite consider that the shape of a Lion221 signifies the leading. to the unutterable Godhead. and joining the first to the second. 224 Ibid. 10. and to speak summarily. the conjoined communion of those of the same rank. Now if we did not consult the proportion of our discourse. reciprocally and considerately. The Image of the Ox223 denotes the strong and the mature. and the Horns. and the unimpeded. as far as possible. and advancing without turning and without deviation. and quickness in search of the nourishment which makes strong. and many parts of irrational beings. and all their bodily representations to the Heavenly Powers. the wheels being winged. for instance. the uniting of the extremes by the power passing through them. Section VIII. That of Horses represents obedience and docility. and of those red. turning up the intellectual furrows for the reception of the heavenly and productive showers. supermundanely straight and direct way. to the Divine love. of which anger is the remotest echo. their appearance of anger. and indomitable. 223 Ezek. and unflinching gaze towards the bounteous and brilliant splendour of the Divine rays of the sun. the chariots. adapt the particular characteristics of the aforesaid living creatures. and cleverness. and Wheels and Chariots attached to the Heavenly Beings. and of the piebald. and as especially congenial to the Divine Light. the guarding and indomitable. brilliancy. after another mystical 221 Ibid. Now not only is this sufficient for the wise. The Lion was said to erase his footsteps by his tail. after the same fashion. i. with the robust extension of the visual powers. and swift in flight. and the second to the first. and robust. and by the mystically modest covering of the path. the Hidden. upon the principle of dissimilar similitudes. and soaring. and the assimilation. to the immaterial conceptions and unified Powers of the Heavenly Beings. The rivers of fire signify the supremely Divine streams furnishing to them an ungrudging and incessant flow. and agility. but even an explanation of one of the dissimilar representations would be sufficient for the accurate description of similar things. Section IX. and nourishing the productive powers of life. leading to It. Also it is possible to explain. the power of their advancing energy within a straight and direct path. straight. not inappropriately. referring all the sensible perceptions. 64 The representation of the Eagle224 denotes the kingly.

that we do not possess the supermundane science of some. There remains for accurate explanation. carefully guarding them from the 140 . then. Other things. 67 ECCLESIASTICAL HIERARCHY. according to the Hebrew tongue. most pious of pious sons. from being servilely entangled in the resemblance of the types. Works (1897) 66 Dionysius the Areopagite meaning. I think. we have need of another to conduct to light and to reveal. for those who have been initiated with the initiation of the sacred revelation derived from the hierarchical mysteries. Michael and All Angels. depicted in the Oracles. Let it suffice. CAPUT I. This shews. as befits their Divine good nature. by their perpetual movement around the Good Itself. no doubt. but rather treat them reverently. to have said this much concerning the Divine representations. by the manifestation of things hidden. for the name Gel. beyond description. falls short of their accurate explanation. whilst the deifying illuminations of the Deity rest upon them. which. and by the elevation of things at our feet. beyond our capacity. however. indeed. that ours is a Hierarchy of the inspired and Divine and Deifying science. the sacred description of the intellectual wheels. St. of which also holy men often partake. or operations. 1898. the statement respecting the rejoicing of the Heavenly Orders. for they are utterly incapable of our impassioned pleasure. We must. that you do not put to scorn things most holy (Holy of Holies). revolutions and revelations. as being parallel to the things said. as the theologian says. and by the descending procession of the sublime illuminations to things below. Dionysius the Presbyter. out of regard to the symmetry of the discourse. and you will honour the things of the hidden God by intellectual and obscure researches. and the hiddenness. and of operation. Now they are said to rejoice with God over the discovery of what was lost.Dionysius the Areopagite. we answer in truth. demonstrate from the supermundane and most sacred Oracles and traditions. To my Fellow Presbyter Timothy. in regard to them. For the Empyrean and Godlike wheels have revolutions. or likenesses. then. we have omitted. and that joy. we have honoured by silence. but which will prevent us. But if you should say that we have not mentioned in order the whole Angelic Powers. Gel. however. and further. and of consecration. but revelations. and that Godlike and ungrudging rejoicing over the care and salvation of those who are turned to God. See. is given to them. What is the traditional view of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy and what is its purpose? Section I.

to the uniform deification —God and Divine virtue. as far as possible. perfected and perfecting. comformably to ourselves. and reverently gazing upon whatever. as minds. Nevertheless. and by our love of things beautiful elevated to Him. and their Hierarchy is both intelligible and supermundane. 141 . But the Beings and ranks above us. give the lead to others. according to our power. and workers. by which. according to laws laid down for themselves. participates in the truly Beautiful. even Jesus Himself—the most supremely Divine Mind and superessential. and that some go before. and which elevates us. and assimilates them to His own Light. and with226 God. abounding in the variety of the sensible symbols. as is possible to us. Powers and Lordships. hierarchically according to our measure. and every Hierarchy extolled now by us. and that the Hierarch himself. of whom we have already made a reverent mention. and elevate the inferior towards things in advance. and most supremely Divine Power of every Hierarchy and Sanctification and Divine operation—illuminates the blessed Beings who are superior to us. are both incorporeal. and reverently sharing holy things with the holy alone. we ourselves become nearer to the Beings above us. and at the same time more intellectual. For thus. and. but they do not partake uniformly of this One 225 226 See Epistle to Trallians. in proportion to our capacity. John i. and that each. and illuminated with the knowledge of the visions. has one and the same power. throughout the whole Hierarchical transaction. by a holy enlightenment. to their abiding and: unchangeable holy steadfastness. you will find in the books we have written—not as befits their dignity but to the best of our ability—and as the Theology of the most holy Scriptures guided. images of Light. also that the subordinates follow the superior. and of supermundane Principalities and Authorities. folds together our many diversities. through this the inspired and sacerdotal harmony. and Divine Thrones. and thus by looking upwards to the blessed and supremely Divine self of Jesus. and is deified and imparts to the subordinates. to speak truly. Section II. that both that. but we are led by sensible figures to the Divine contemplations. Works (1897) 68 Dionysius the Areopagite participation and defilement of the uninitiated. 69 70 Then what is the Hierarchy of the Angels225 and Archangels. and Wise. as regards the science of Divine mysteries. 1. the Source and Essence. in a manner more clear. to Whom all the Godlike aspire. or of the Beings of the same ranks as the Thrones—which the Word of God declares to be near. purified and purifiers. and after perfecting into a uniform and Divine life and habit and operation. is initiated in Divine things. we shall be able to become. it is necessary to say this. as far as may be. And. we are permitted to see. and analogy. from which by approaching to the holy exercise of the priestly office. as the Word of God has taught us who feast at His Banquet. holily bequeaths the power of the Divine Priesthood. naming them in the Hebrew tongue Cherubim and Seraphim—by pondering the sacred ranks and divisions of their Orders and Hierarchies. and rank. we are conducted. according to his essence. with God. They indeed. by assimilation. and Good. and always about God. but let us view our Hierarchy. as far as possible.Dionysius the Areopagite. when they extolled their Hierarchy. there is One. think. according to the meetness of each for the sacred deification which comes to him from God.

C. and deifying every man elevated towards it. the really Being. is bequeathed from the Divinely transmitted Oracles. a most complete summary of the sacred rites of this or that Hierarchy. and enveloped. but intelligibly. and is. the source and Perfecting of all Hierarchies. as far as attainable. Section IV. For the Divinely transmitted Oracles are essence of our Hierarchy. the Essence of Goodness. as chief of Hierarchy. And this is the common goal of every Hierarchy. And to the supermundane and blessed inheritances there is bequeathed something more immaterial and intellectual (for Almighty God does not move them to things divine. 72 Let us affirm. Every Hierarchy. but known to Itself. according to which the divine Hierarch. and union with. 142 . denotes the inspired and godly man—the skilled in all sacred knowledge—in whom the whole Hierarchy is clearly completed and recognized within himself. according to our august tradition. from without. but as the Divine balance distributes to each the meet inheritance. by reason of goodness228. except those who are. Creation through goodness—not necessity. the essential Deity. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite and the Same. as best I can. the whole account of the sacred things falling under it. Section III. but to us—that which has been bequeathed to them. For as he who speaks of Hierarchy speaks of the order of the whole sacred rites collectively. since they are illuminated as to the most Divine will from within. is called. is the rational preservation of beings amongst us and above us. inscrutable to us. for preservation. will have the communication of all the most sacred things within himself. as we are able to receive it. uniformly. then. who mentions Hierarch. from Which comes the deification of those deified. Of this most supremely Divine blessedness —exalted beyond all. Our Hierarchy. and deification of all rational and intellectual Beings. and previous to this. as far as attainable. as the case may be. both its source and essence. God. by Divine Goodness. the banquet of contemplation. Cause of things that be.” But now I will attempt to describe our Hierarchy. so he. viii. in a variety and multitude of divisible symbols. 16.—the clinging love towards God and Divine things divinely and uniformly ministered. the Source of deification. is deification. but that (preservation) cannot otherwise take place.Dionysius the Areopagite. from Which both being and well-being come to things that be. the comprehensive system of the whole sacred rites included within it. then. invoking Jesus. the one Triad. bequeathed. And 227 228 Ap. nourishing intelligibly. being initiated. being saved are being deified. the vision and science of sacred truth. Now these things have been treated more systematically in the Treatise concerning “Intelligible and Sensible227. then. the Hierarchy. 71 Head of this Hierarchy is the Fountain of Life. that the supremely Divine Blessedness. the inspired communication of the uniform perfection of the One Itself. is. Now the assimilation to. the threefold Monad. with brilliancy pure and immaterial). the knowledge of things as they are in themselves. the complete and unswerving removal of things contrary.—the Will.

by things material. reverently affirmed that this is the purpose of our Hierarchy. For it is not every one that is hallowed. Nevertheless the reasons of the symbols have been revealed to the Divine initiators. which needs things sensible. and already akin. a kind of symbol adapted to our condition. by a less material initiation. indeed. as far as attainable. according to hierarchical regulation.Dionysius the Areopagite. and. and My Father will love him. I. and things Divine. then. whatever our leaders have revealed to us from the same holy men. in addition to many other Hierarchical gifts. and in proportionate and sacred distributions of that which was convenient to each. does knowledge belong to all. Wherefore trusting in thy sacred promises (for it is a pious duty to recall them to thy recollection) — that. our assimilation and union with God. to whom it is not permitted even to touch the symbols. 143 . nor. and sent. then. knowing that the Lawgivers of things divinely transmitted deliberately arranged the Hierarchy in well-established and unconfused ranks. I have entrusted this Divine gift to thee. the enfolded. Section V. and wilt persuade them to promise. and things altogether most holy to the holy. from mind to mind. Concerning things done in Illumination. CAPUT II. as I said. for our more Divine elevation from these to things intelligible.. We have. and things perfect to those capable of perfection. as godly. by the supremely Divine Goodness. by things human. without writing. and to communicate the mysteries of God to the godly alone. and things immaterial. things supercelestial. to touch pure things purely. through the medium of speech. but nevertheless more immaterial. corporeal. but because our Hierarchy is. by things belonging to us. Nor did they do this merely on account of the unhallowed. viz. the first leaders of our Hierarchy. 23. which it is not permitted to explain to those who are yet being initiated. to the Heavenly Hierarchy. we shall attain this only by the love and the religious performance of the most worshipful Commandments. and we will come unto 229 John xiv. as the Oracles affirm. to extend the same gift successively. in conceptions clear to the commonalty of worshippers. 73 74 Necessarily. and the superessential. after having been filled themselves with the sacred gift. thou wilt not communicate to any other but those Godlike initiators of the same rank with thyself. as the Divine Oracles teach. since every Hierarchical sacred word is of binding force. presented to us—by their written and unwritten revelations—in accordance with their sacred injunctions. from the superessential Godhead. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite we affirm that these Oracles—all such as were given from our godly initiators in inspired Letters of the Word of God —are most august. And. but in sacred symbols. Nor did the inspired Hierarchs transmit these things. and further. earnestly desiring themselves the elevation and deification of those after them. by sensible images. by variety and multitude. as it were. according to fitness. For He says: “He229 that loveth Me will keep My Word.

who does not exist at all. and prays him to undertake the superintendence of his introduction. 5. And I pray. For. 232 See Baptismal Offices. For right was the priesthood of the Law. 62. because they treated things. and then to do. not of bloods. in proportion to their aptitude for deification. as I think. deigned Himself to come to us with outstretched arms. our affairs? Since he. viii. to assimilate. nor of will of flesh. who were begotten. and certainly never perform. lib. and persuades him to act as his conductor to the Hierarch. II. never would he know. let no uninitiated person approach the sight233. like as by fire. wishing that all men whatsoever should be saved by their assimilation towards God. though religiously longing 230 Ibid. has neither movement nor even beginning. 76 Section I. and of all his after life. because to things sacred above his capacity. and come to recognition of truth. Let us next contemplate the Divine symbols of the birth in God. proclaims to all the veritable Good News. as our illustrious Leader used to say. since he. comes to some one of the initiated. This. who in some way exists. C. by the union with Him. things that have been made one. or suffers. those things suitable to his own nature.” What. i. unholily. and. any of the Divine instructions. must we not first begin to be.Dionysius the Areopagite. to them gave He power to become children of God—to those who believe on His Name. alone does. because he put his hand to sacred things. Ibid. 231 144 . then. by reason of loving-kindness towards men. out of His own proper and innate goodness. the very first movement of the mind towards Divine things is the willing reception of Almighty God. s. 13. Ap. The Hierarch. Works (1897) 75 Dionysius the Areopagite him. within their own province. He then professes wholly to follow the teaching that shall be given to him. which forms the habits of our souls into an aptitude for the reception of the other sacred sayings and doings230. Mysterion of Illumination. iii. c. 38. and Nadab and Abihu. the transmission of our holy and most divine regeneration231. but of God234. For if our232 being from God is the Divine engendering. is clear. To speak after the manner of men. for neither is it without danger to gaze upon the glorious rays of the sun with weak eyes. who has felt a religious longing to participate in these truly supermundane gifts. nor is it without peril to put our hand to things above us. when rejecting Osias. Now he. 2. is source of the religious performance of the most august commandments? Our preparation for the restitution of the supercelestial rest. and Korah. He. then. “For as many as received Him. 40.” Section II. then. and will make Our abode with him. that God being compassionate towards those upon earth. II. but the very earliest step of the religious reception towards the religious performance of the Divine commandments is the unutterable operation of our being from God. who had not had his beginning to be in God. 234 Coptic Con. 233 C.

and prays.Dionysius the Areopagite. from Which. are saved. and again. to attain to God and Divine things. Then. when he has placed him facing the west and beating his hands. and those who are being saved. he gives thanks. and without blemish. that his approach ought to be entire. and lays his hand upon him. commands the priests to register the man and his sponsor. 145 . through his holy mediation. through the Leitourgoi. he first chants a certain hymn. if he would thus live. and all the Divinely transmitted Oracles of God. the two men. and further. out of love to God. as the sheep upon his shoulders. when with joy he has received. and common rejoicing over the man’s salvation. according to the instruction of his sponsor. those who are being called. to profess the words of the renunciation. he attests again for him his threefold profession. is suddenly seized with a shivering and sense of incapacity. and has demanded of him. when he has thrice professed. he advances to the man before him. 78 When the man. he makes a holy prayer. his ungodliness. with a good grace. at last. to do what is requested. his ignorance of the really beautiful. and extended his hands thitherward. and for thanksgiving for the Divine Goodness. and takes and leads him to the chief Hierarch. he agrees. and when he has sealed him. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite for his salvation. after prayer. found in the Oracles.—after his promise he places his right hand upon his head. has confessed. and demands of him. he turns him back to the east. When these have enrolled the names. he (the Hierarch) testifies to him. 77 Section III. accompanied by the whole body of the Church. When the man has done this. nevertheless. and when he has expounded to him fully the godly course of life. when he has kissed the holy table. when he measures human infirmity against the loftiness of the undertaking. and has first worshipped. and removes his clothing. his insufficiency for the life in God. he commands him thrice to breathe scorn upon Satan. averted towards the same quarter. Section VI. and after this. and when he has looked up to heaven. he looses his sandals. what has brought him here? Section V. then. he commands him to be enrolled under Christ. Then collecting a full religious assembly into the sacred place. for co-operation. are called. Section IV. glorifies with a mental thanksgiving and bodily prostration the One beneficent Source. after he has professed this thrice. as to God Who is All Perfect. When he has witnessed his threefold renunciation. and when the whole Church have completed this with him. He.

60. For how should it appear misleading? Even when the very divine meaning of the things done is passed over in silence. and when he has purified the water within it by the holy invocations. as one.Dionysius the Areopagite. Section VIII. he is conducted by the Priests near the water to the hand of the Hierarch. as in symbols. lib. p. III. but (contains) enigmas of a contemplation worthy of God. Doc. religiously pursuing as it does the good life of the candidate. who. Con. c. to the contemplation of things237 first. The Priests then take him. at no time or manner. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Section VII. have cast over the initiated appropriate clothing. pronounces him to be henceforward partaker of the most Divinely initiating Eucharist. Then the Hierarch. 237 From outward signs to inward grace. has nothing unbecoming or irreverent. Then he begins the anointing. through the threefold sealing. at the three immersions and emersions of the initiated. and perfected it by three cruciform effusions of the altogether most pure Muron235. 238 Catechism. 236 Syr. and has invoked the sacred melody of the inspiration of the God-rapt Prophets. the Hierarch dips him three times. while himself advances to the mother of filial adoption. ii. nor anything of the sensible images. they lead him again to the Hierarch. turns himself to any other thing whatever than those which are peculiarly his own. Clark. 14. in conjunction with him. who. standing above. for the anointing of his whole body. from the register. 79 When the Deacons have entirely unclothed him. he orders the man to be brought forward. by the physical cleansing through the 235 μύπος is the unguent prepared from myrrh. through a virtuous and Divine life. Ap. invoking the threefold Subsistence of the Divine Blessedness. likened to physical and human images. when he has sealed the man with the most Divinely operating Muron. and when one of the Priests. and for the rest assigns the man to the Priests. and μυροσταγὴς (μυπος and σταζω) dripping with ditto. the Priests bring the holy oil of the anointing. This initiation. then. of the holy birth in God. and when they. when the Priests have again called aloud near the Hierarch within the water the name of the initiated. he elevates himself from his progression to things secondary.238 the divine Instruction might convince. has announced him236 and his surety. Section I. μυποθεγγὴς is shining with such unguent. enjoining upon him the purification from every kind of evil. and entrust him to the Sponsor and guide of his introduction. being led by the hand to him. and by the same number of injections of the all holy Muron. 80 When he has finished these things.—is persistently and always ranging himself under the banner of the supremely Divine Spirit. 146 . but from things Divine to Divine. Contemplation.

but. Let this. as is distinctly shewn in the Treatise concerning “Intelligible and Sensible. and rashly undertake to gaze upon the rays superior to its vision. as becomes a Hierarch. after the Divine example.Dionysius the Areopagite. the complete purification from the evil life. or should it overstep the bounds of the visible given to it in due proportion. the Divine Light is always unfolded beneficently to the intellectual visions. without grudging. Section IV. to which they lead and shew the way. 81 Section II. the luminous rays of his inspired teaching. To this imitation the divine Hierarch is fashioned. unfolding the beneficent rays of its own light upon all the intellectual visions without grudging. 82 Let us affirm. shall recognize of what moulds they are the reliefs. in fitness. by stupidly disregarding the due proportion. But we. and in proportion to the aptitude of each for holy things. the self-choosing self-sufficiency of the contemplators either turn away from the light contemplated. by closing. would fail through its own fault. Should. and it is possible for them to seize it when present. would not be without religious value. in a manner becoming God. which separates. then. and things intelligible are source and science of things hierarchical cognizable by the senses. by imperfectly approaching thing’s perfect. for the uninitiated. But. and always being most ready for the distribution of things appropriate. then. unfolding to all. 147 . through love of evil. and. as I said. Section III. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite agency of water in a bodily form. but it. and have been religiously taught these (sources). neither using a grudging nor an unholy wrath for former back-slidings or excess. through the total bodily purification by water. introducing a discipline of a well-regulated life. as I think. always enlightening by his conducting light those who approach him. it would be separated from the light present to it. after the example of God. then. being most ready to enlighten the proselyte. and. would not attain to things unsuitable. the faculties for enlightenment naturally implanted within it. as is meet things sacred and uniform from multiplicity. a conducting guidance of the soul. and apportions the harmonious elevation to the Orders severally in turn. but shining upon it when shortsighted and turning its face from light generously running to it. even if it had nothing more divine. and order. This symbolic teaching then of the things done. For. who have ascended by sacred gradations to the sources of the things performed. be. that the goodness of the Divine Blessedness is always in the same condition and manner. suggesting mysteriously. the light indeed will do nothing beyond its proper functions. and. and of what invisible things they are the likenesses.” sacred things in sensible forms are copies of things intelligible. not turned away.

but he must be also bravely obdurate and ever fearless against the baneful submission to it. in the complete separation from baseness. makes him stand naked and barefoot. into communion with Itself. given to the proselyte. and sacred ordering. will depart from the gloomy recesses of ignorance. at once desire the most perfect union and participation of God. by continuous and persistent struggles towards one. qualities thoroughly opposed. Section VI. and receiving his sacred promises of entire consort with the One. the participations in the gloomy baseness.—the one indeed. he. conjointly. of his former life. and when perfected. always religiously pursuing his upward course.Dionysius the Areopagite. as regards all separations from the uniform. beside himself also his sponsor. as the first holy gift. For it is necessary that a man should not only depart from every kind of baseness. Yet it is not possible to hold. Now he. but being imperfect he will not. Works (1897) 83 84 85 Dionysius the Areopagite But. to the supremely Divine summit. looking away towards the west. and will acquire this. to those versed in Hierarchical matters. declaring clearly that his position and recovery will be purely in the Divine Light. become remiss in his sacred love of the truth. registering him amongst those who are being saved. An illustration of this decorous and sacred order is the modesty of the proselyte. to the more perfect mysteries of the Godhead. and his prudence in his own affairs in having the sponsor as leader of the way to the Hierarch. of his own accord. as it were. but little by little will be carried orderly and reverently through things present to things more forward. and through these to things foremost. When the man has thus become invincible and separate from evil. and professes the entire renunciation of everything contrary to the Divine likeness. but he must be resistless and resolute. by stripping the proselyte. will see his proper self in what he was originally. if he clings to the firm participation in the One. The Divine Blessedness receives the man. and the saving enrolment of the priests are a sacred symbol. whilst he spurns. as it were. it turns him towards the east. Yet it is pretty evident. and discarding to the very utmost the habits within that life. making him godly and sharer of the inheritance of the godly. as an unerring conductor of his follower by the Divinely-taught directions. from his recovery to the light. Section V. as a true lover of the life-giving way to truth and a companion of a godly guide. by the aversion of his hands. within which the holy Minds regulate themselves. thus conducted. and the Priests under him complete 148 . who recurs to the proper view of Nature. at any time. nor that a man who has had a certain fellowship with the One should have divided lives. For the Godlike Hierarch starts with the holy anointing. the habit of dissimilarity which he had acquired. of which things the Hierarch’s seal. and placing in the sacred memorials. and the other. as I think. since he has become uniform through love of the truth. and breathes out. but with all his power persistently and perpetually be elevated towards it. This it is which the teaching of the symbols reverently and enigmatically intimates. that things intellectual acquire the unchangeableness of the Godlike habit. Now you may see the distinct illustrations of these things in the religious rites performed by the Hierarch. and by the entire destruction and annihilation of things contrary. and imparts to him the proper light as a kind of sign. Nor must he. who has well looked upon his own proper condition with unbiassed eyes. inasmuch as the Divine Being is source of sacred order.

And consider attentively. the soul indeed becoming invisible through deprivation of the body. for the holy perfecting of the Divine birth unites those who have been perfected to the supremely Divine Spirit. on behalf of their freedom and victory. the whole covering by water would be taken as an image of death. 149 . in Baptism. I pray. and contends according to them. but the separating of things united. with what appropriateness the holy symbols are presented. The symbolical teaching. and imparts to him the communion of the perfecting mysteries. white as light. and as generous. and the body. I leave to the mental consciousness of those who are deemed worthy of the sacred and deifying participation of the Holy Spirit within their mind. as God. leading to that which is invisible to us. for their power over death and destruction. Next. He is Institutor of the awards of contest. and by his persistent inclination towards the One. rejoicing. in Whom. the prizes suitable to the victors. the Prince of the world found nothing. For since death is with us not an annihilation of being. Section VII. so far as Divine imitation is attainable to men. he has overthrown. according to the mystical and secret teaching of the sacred text. He devotedly entered the lists with them. and the invisible tomb. becoming invisible to human ken. being made brilliant by his luminous life. as being most unutterable. over the man initiated.Dionysius the Areopagite. appropriately. as being enrolled under a good Lord and Leader of the awards: and when after following in the Divine footsteps of the first of athletes. and abides by the regulations of the Wise. 87 Section VIII. and as wise. the Hierarch calls the man initiated to the most Holy Eucharist. by the three immersions in the water. CAPUT III. within which he is placed under Christ as Umpire: since. then. And this is yet more Divine. as others surmise. He placed its laws. imitates. contending. Now the overshadowing which makes intelligibly of a good savour. they throw garments. At the conclusion of all. as those of God. the energies and impulses opposed to his deification. Works (1897) 86 Dionysius the Areopagite the Divine service of the Chrism. summoning in type the man initiated to the holy contests. Who spent three days and three nights in the tomb. the unadorned is adorned. he who is being initiated will enter the contests. and the shapeless takes shape. in his struggles after the Divine example. and perfect. since as good. through goodness. For by his manly and Godlike insensibility to contrary passions. through being buried in earth in consequence of one of its bodily changes. reveals in mystery that the man baptized according to religious rites. But the perfecting unction of the Muron makes the man initiated of good odour. without transgression holding fast the hope of the beautiful rewards. he dies with Christ—to speak mystically —to sin. the supremely Divine death of the Life-giving Jesus.

let us reverently consider this. let us minutely investigate and examine hierarchically the accurate administration and contemplation of the most pure initiation. and completing his communion with God. Thus. starts with the incensing. Now we affirm that the Perfecting by the communications of the other Hierarchical symbols springs from the supremely Divine and perfecting gifts of it. will not make perfect our communion and our gathering to the One. by the Divinely transmitted gift of the perfecting mysteries. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite I. as head of the things done in each. 189. whilst others perform some other duty of their own rank. since it imparts first-Light. he then returns to the Divine Altar.” and one must first lay down the Divine description of it. and proceeds to every part of the enclosure of the sacred place. Messe selon l’usage et la forme des apostres. 241 Ap. 3. For. See Traicté de la Liturgie ou S. beyond the rest. First.Dionysius the Areopagite. and is head of all the Divine illuminations. and begins the sacred chanting of the Psalms. even its being initiation is precluded on account of the lack of completeness. 90 The Hierarch. is pre-eminently attributed to it. since we have made mention of this (Eucharist) which we may not pass over to celebrate any other Hierarchical function in preference to it. it is “initiation of initiations. archevesque d’Aix. For according to our illustrious Leader. and through its first light I am enlightened to gaze upon the other religious rites. Concerning things accomplished in the Synaxis. 16. Now since the imparting of the supremely Divine mysteries to the man initiated is the head and tail of every initiation. with regard to the holy initiation of the Divine birth. But those who are deemed worthy of the sight and participation of the Divine Mysteries remain. For it scarcely ever happens. having completed a reverent prayer. of Dionysius. lib. If. the sacred language of the Psalter. s. as well as the “possessed. par. the whole ecclesiastical assembly chanting. Of the Leitourgoi. Ap. and gives communion and union with the One. Gilb. for what reason that. Mysterion240 of Synaxis. then. some stand near the closed gates of the sanctuary. which is common also to the other Hierarchical initiations. from the inspired and hierarchical science of the Oracles. and it is uniquely called. 88 89 Courage. that any Hierarchical initiation is completed without the most Divine Eucharist. near the Divine Altar. in every particular. After these readings the catechumens quit the sacred enclosure. “Communion and Synaxis. C. naturally then the Hierarchical judgment hit upon an appellation propel to it. C. by the Godlike folding together of our diversities. from the truth of the facts. Next follows the reading of the Holy Scriptures by the Leitourgoi. we celebrate the true appellation from the enlightening effected. being indeed incomplete. that is. et de leur disciple Sainct Denys. c. for instance. Genebrard. 8. each of the Hierarchical initiations. 12. II. But chosen members of the ministering Order with the Priests lay the holy Bread and the Cup of Blessing upon the Divine Altar. whilst the universal Song241 of 239 Baptism. ministering the collecting of the person initiated to the One. though it be common to all Hierarchical functions to impart the gift of sacred light to those initiated. then. 240 150 . with him. p.” when each consecrating function both collects our divided lives into uniform deification. lib. and then be borne by the supremely Divine Spirit to its sacred contemplation.” and the penitents. Communion. before the rest. Having said this. Lit. Apostre des François. yet it239 gave to me the power to see first.

the. complete purification from destructive evil. we shall view our holy Synaxis. Augustine not. and recalls to their memory the most Divine Supper. the Divine Hierarch makes a sacred prayer. when he has sung the sacred works of God. saying here to those yet being initiated. the mystical proclamation of the holy tablets is performed. he first proceeds to the sacred participation of the same. he is ever conducted by the Divine Spirit. When all have kissed each other. as merely presented superficially. and peaceful distribution of one and the same. and then. with the Priests. through the symbols reverently exposed242. not piously244 and in a manner suitable to his character. to the holy sources of the things performed. as being sufficient for those. which makes radiantly manifest the 242 As in Denmark. the participation in a gift according to their own character. and when he has shewn the gifts of the works of God243. and the most Divine. and let us proceed from the effects to the causes. leave behind these things. him who had supped with Him on the holy things. in blessed and intelligible visions. St. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Praise is being professed beforehand by the whole body of the Church. that the approach to Divine mysteries with a sincere mind confers. St. and previous to this. too. both Bread and Cup. When he has received and distributed the supremely Divine Communion. 14. 11 Ap. s. 11. O excellent son. as becomes a Hierarch. The Hierarch. beautifully depicted upon the entrance of the. whilst the multitude have merely glanced at the Divine symbols alone. then. Let us. who are yet incomplete for contemplation. and the comely contemplation of things intelligible. for the harmonious guidance of their souls. ministers things most divine. Section II. 91 III. For the most sacred chants and readings of the Oracles teach them a discipline of a virtuous life. Added to these. most justly. C. innermost shrine. and the chosen Deacons alone. I come in due order and reverence to the Godlike reality of the archetypes. and common. as having a fellowship in food. 92 Here then. Section I. Jesus lighting the way. S. and turns and exhorts the others.Dionysius the Areopagite. See Cornelius a Lapide on John xiii. 243 151 . in the purity of a Godlike condition. after the images. on those who draw nigh. θεουργίων—Divine Mysteries? 244 John xiii. enjoins upon them a godly fellowship in character. he terminates with a holy thanksgiving. Cyprian thought Judas was excluded. and proclaims the holy Peace to all. the Hierarch stands in the midst of the Divine Altar. that the varied and sacred composition of the symbols is not without spiritual contemplation for them. When the Hierarch and the Priests have washed their hands in water. and arch-symbol of the rites performed. clearly and Divinely. stand around. and brings to view the things sung. Contemplation. teaching at once. as I said. agreeably with which the Founder of the symbols Himself excludes.

or the treasures of wisdom for the conduct of life.Dionysius the Areopagite. being co-essential with almost all the Hierarchical mysteries. oh. or the declaratory predictions of things to come. the Divine Hierarch. or the God-transmitted and God-imitating polities and holy teachings of His Disciples. p. being always self-centred. or of wise kings. 152 . the Divine initiation (sacrament) of the Synaxis. then. he sees clearly the uniform raisons d’être of the things done. pass within the All Holy Mysteries. and again returning to it to complete the function. most Divine and holy initiation. so. Section IV. out of love towards man. to gaze upon its Godlike beauty. Section III. 41. was not likely to be separated from the most Hierarchical of all. 94 The chanting of the Psalms. and unifies those who are being reverently conducted towards it. In the same Godlike manner. or the Hierarchy and polity of the Law. if he benignly lowers to his subordinates his own unique Hierarchical science. and enfolded Source. and illuminates all the Godlike in due degree. and in nowise moved from its own proper identity. or the Theandric works of Jesus. yet again. Now the sacred description of the Divine Odes. and view the Hierarch. and travels through the whole range of the supremely Divine description. For every holy and inspired Scripture sets forth for those meet for deification. be manifest to us in thy bright glory. even if. yet It never goes outside its essential unmoved position and steadfastness. or of inspired Priests: or philosophy of men of old time. uncovering the folds of the dark mysteries enveloping thee in symbols. when he has made the intellectual entry of himself to the One. is multiplied. as he makes the goal of his philanthropic progress to things secondary the more Divine245 return to things primary. It goes forth to the communion of the holy who participate in It. and implanted them in the holy and Godlike instructions of the mystic rites. he is restored to his proper headship without diminution. or the supermundane theology of Jesus. and to praise the holy words and works of godly men. whose purpose is to sing the words and works of God throughout. or the hidden and mystic gaze of the beloved and divinely sweet of the disciples. through Divine goodness. For the Blessedness. supremely Divine above all. and not to be held in check by smaller things. and simple. But. or songs and inspired pictures of Divine Loves. and. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite blessed beauty of the archetypes. unshaken in endurances of the things let loose in variety and multitude. and fill our intellectual visions with single and unconcealed light. divinely going with sweet fragrance from the Divine Altar to the furthermost bounds of the holy place. as absolute. yet uniformly it is again collected from these. either the originated beginning and ordering of things from God. after we have laid bare the intelligible of the first of the votive gifts. in my opinion. into the holy variety of the symbols. into its own proper Monady. forms an universal Ode and 245 Hieracles. or the understanding of sacred judges. although it has a unique. too. or the distributions and possessions of the inheritances of the people of God. by using the multiplicities of the holy enigmas. 93 We must.

and as that described the truth in figures. Dulac. As. in those who inspiredly recite it. Dulac. and the inspired reading of the all-Holy Scriptures. 114. For the Godlike Hierarchy is full of reverent justice. naturally. would say from what he saw. whilst immature and unformed. the inspired and Hierarchical order teaching this. by the preparatory 246 Republic. which is learned in the functions of the body. and moulded. that the one affirmed the Divine works of Jesus. in measure. For the accomplishment. 96 Those who absolutely have no ear for these sacred initiations do not even recognize the images. will perceive the uniform and one conspiration. the comprehensive melody of the holy Hymns has harmonized the habits of our souls to the things which are presently to be ministered. and themselves246. and the work of God is a consummation of the Word of God. “Thy ways I do not wish to know. and makes. the things. if. as being moved by One. then. 95 When. towards the blessed introduction to their first life and first light from Birth in God. i. that they. but only the eyes of the initiated. in his senses. p. not even having the being in God by Divine Birth. lib. and due time. in the history of the world. as to come. according to their due. as one and concordant chorus of holy men. for they are without participation and instruction in every Hierarchical initiation. through more full and distinct images and narratives. this shewed it present. then. and. children after the flesh. but it does not invite them to the next religious services and contemplations. by life-giving formations. who devoutly contemplates these. The Law and the Prophets. and no one. 248 See Plato. so also the all-wise science of religious rites brings these first to delivery. are expanded by the most holy lections of the inspired writings. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite narrative of things Divine. He. more strained and obscure in the intellectual language of the mystic Psalms. 429. 115. then. 247 153 . Hence. The lowest rank. Section VI. 426-7. and the penitents. and distributes savingly to each.” 97 Now the regulation of the holy Hierarchy permits the catechumens. the new Covenant is proclaimed. established the truth. bequeathing savingly the harmonious communication of each of the things Divine. but the other accomplished. as I think. the supremely Divine Spirit. would say that light operates on things receptive of light).Dionysius the Areopagite. is assigned to the catechumens. ad finem. were brought to the light (for the medical authority. will fall to earth without life and without light. and proportion. they should anticipate their proper delivery. within this. has established an accord with things Divine. of the predictions of that. as untimely born and abortions. after the more ancient247 tradition. but are yet being brought to248 Birth by the Paternal Oracles. by the unison of the Divine Odes. to hear the sacred chanting of the Psalms. released from the darkness of the womb. a habit suitable for the reception and distribution of every Hierarchical mystery. and the possessed. Section V. Thet. and one another. and in opposition to the Oracles reply to their destruction.— unblushingly rejecting the saving revelation of the Divine Birth. iv.

but. the participation in things luminous and perfecting. and those who have already attained it. and the imperfect. rather. and this in all sincerity. the uninitiated in the mysteries. and then as a parergon. the worthy partaker of the Divine mysteries. not permitting anything to come near which is not completely perfect.. and a follower. for such “possessions” as these. not real but seeming. whether enchantments or terrors. and the unstable comfort in things foreign to their nature. and the delivery and life of the catechumens. for the sake of the most base and impassioned folly destructive to themselves. as not reaching through the persistent and indomitable inclination towards 249 The energoumenoi. and after them. then. I know certainly that the most impartial discrimination of Hierarchical persons knows more than they249. and by desiring and pursuing the earthly variableness. does not even perform the things of the flesh. but. were shut out by the discriminating authority of the Deacon. a temple. yea. and proclaims. and in addition to the passionless and indomitableness of his own character. which is lowest. and when they approach. it separates things perfect from them as imperfect. and will act rather than comply. at the same time. at present. implanting like in like. of the supremely Divine Spirit. the one carried to the very summit of the Divine likeness.) these then. 98 99 Now the multitude of the possessed indeed is unholy. but is yet entangled by contrary qualities. in the highest deification. according to his ability. will cast them down and put them to flight. the view and participation in the holy mysteries is contracted. and when it has made their person ripe for Divine Birth. beyond the most necessary requirements of nature. and everlasting pleasures. to the best of his powers. by departing from the Godlike life. but will be. become of one mind and one condition with destructive demons. and more properly than those. by turning themselves from things that really are. how much more.Dionysius the Areopagite. with the altogether uninitiated and entirely uncommunicated in the Divine initiations. and undying possessions. 154 . and very properly. will be seen also a physician to others. on a par. For. as I think. for it is not permitted to them to have part in any other holy function than the teaching of the Oracles. For. that such as are possessed with a most detestable possession. which is likely to turn them to better things. in a Godlike order of the Hierarchical rites. that “I am unseen and uncommunicated by those who are in any respect imperfectly weak as regards the summit of the Divine Likeness” (for that altogether most pure voice scares away even those who cannot be associated with the worthy partakers of the most Divine mysteries).—such an one as this would never be possessed by opposing phantoms or fears. will the multitude of those who are under the sway of their passions be unhallowed and alien from every sight and participation in the holy mysteries. Section VII. in complete and most perfect deifications. (and I think further. When. then. but will laugh them to scorn. those who through unmanliness are prone to the fears and fancies of contrary influences. if it be true that the altogether godly man. even for them. Nor is that which has received a certain participation in the most holy offices. and with them the apostates from the religious life. if the supermundane Service of the Divine Mysteries excludes those under penitence. and the perishable and corrupting pleasures. first. in due order. gives to them savingly. but it is next above the catechumens. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite nourishment of the formative and life-giving Oracles. consulting the good order of sacred things.

and next. to have made good the most perfect impartation of His own. 14. 101 When the supremely Divine love towards Man has thus been religiously celebrated. sing in an universal Hymn of Praise250 the Author and Giver of all good. in addition to these. Section VIII. For. 250 The whole Psalter is said in Liturgy of St. 191. and have reached the term of a virtuous life without faltering. in my opinion. urging and conducting us to their blessed condition and Divine repose. p. the symbol of worship. The recital of the holy tablets after the “peace” proclaims those who have passed through life holily. which divinely work the sacred deification of those being initiated. and the most Divine greeting is devoutly performed. James before celebration. but others. but when it beheld the dearth of Divine gifts. and. and likewise the Cup of Blessing.” Section IX. established by the holy service of the “peace. more divinely. and by the complete assumption252 of what was ours. announcing them as living. and to partake of the peaceful union with the One. This unified and undivided life is. others. and moulded the Divine likeness in ourselves to beautiful archetypes. 252 Incarnation. Works (1897) 100 Dionysius the Areopagite godliness. Now this Hymn some indeed call a Hymn of Praise. gazing reverently upon the most pure rite. veiled. a Hierarchical thanksgiving. when people are divided amongst themselves. but have not yet been cleansed from its imaginations by a godly and pure habit and love. those who are not altogether uniform. by goods restored. it seems to me the record251 of all the works of God related to have been done for us in song. from Whom the saving mystic Rites were exhibited to us. and thus tp have given to us a participation in God and Divine things. Liturgy of Dionysius. “not dead. then. being illuminated by the contemplation and knowledge of the One. as giving a summary of the holy gifts which come to us from God. we must not permit ourselves to descend to divided lusts. the all-holy ministers and loving contemplators of things all-holy. through similarity to them. as the Word of God says. and placed us in participation of a more Divine condition and elevation. which came upon us by our heedlessness. and to use an expression of the Law. as I think. is declared to have called us back to our first condition. and. but as having passed from death to a most divine life253. and separates the Divine and unified visions from things divided. For if.” which establishes like in like. from which are formed earthly enmities. after it had benevolently fixed our being and life. envious and passionate. and the mystic and supermundane recital of the holy-written tablets. 251 155 . “entirely without spot and blemish. we would be united to an uniform and Divine agreement. For it is not possible to be collected to the One. the Divine Bread is presented. those who have separated indeed from the contrary life. the stability and activity of a Godlike condition.” when these have been excluded from the divine temple and the service which is too high for them. against that which is according to nature. which.Dionysius the Areopagite. 253 1 John iii.

after the manner of men. it received. xxi. since the supermundane flashes permit their own splendour to pass more thoroughly and brilliantly into the brightness of mirrors like themselves. takes place before the most holy symbols. and brings to view the things being sung255. together with the reverend order of the Priests. Further.” and “precious. as altogether uniform. the Hierarch thus becomes one with the things Divine. Works (1897) 102 Dionysius the Areopagite But observe that they are enrolled in the holy memorials. Section X. as preserving the fulness and completeness of the Divine Likeness. standing before the most holy symbols. lowest. these we will declare. through likeness to it. there is inseparably present the reading of the register of the holy persons. washes his hands with water. For “He knoweth. much less to know accurately. as far as possible. and since the utmost purification is established under His all-surveying scrutiny. as in the presence of Christ. when he has extolled the holy works of God. that when the worshipful symbols have been placed on the Divine Altar.” being said. 156 . except that of his extremities. i. 103 There was indeed the sacred laver. as we have said. As is the use in Denmark. when a man has been washed. For I am not competent to sing all. to draw nigh. invoking the Hierarchical inspiration to our aid. certain works of God. and being turned again uniquely to the One. as far as attainable to us. our human nature had thoughtlessly fallen from the good things of God. 104 We will now explain.e his lowest. for thus they will shed around more visibly the Divine manifestations. And bear this religiously in mind. the life subject to many passions.” say the Oracles. he ministers things most Divine. “death of saints.Dionysius the Areopagite. of which we spoke. and advancing in a goodly manner to things secondary. but as one might say. according to the regulations described. When. agreeably to the Oracles. in the beginning. as the Oracles testify. in the Hierarchy of the Law254. is the death of His saints. Who surveys all our most secret thoughts. and the goal of the destructive 254 255 Deut. and to reveal their mysteries to others. by inheritance. “them that are His. without spot and blemish. signifying the indivisible conjunction of their supermundane and sacred union with Him. When these things have been ministered.e. the Hierarch. instead of the perfection in holiness. 6. and. in the sight of the Lord. in detail. and most just and unflinching judgment. and the present cleansing of the hands of the Hierarch and the Priests suggests it. through which (symbols) the Christ is signified and partaken. and. in a sanctified habit of the Divine Likeness. Because. Section XI. as beseems the august and unfailing knowledge in God of those who have been perfected in the likeness of God. with reverence towards God. to the best of our ability. he will make his return. through which extreme cleansing he will be resistless and free. not as though the Divine memory were represented under the figure of a memorial. Now whatever things have been sung and ministered by the inspired Hierarchs. For it behoves those who approach the most hallowed service to be purified even to the remotest imaginations of the soul. he needs no other washing. i. the cleansing of the Hierarch and the Priests to their extremities.

the tabernacle257 of our soul It liberated from most damnable passions and destructive stains by a perfected deliverance of our being which was all but prostrate. not gods. It benevolently changed to the entire contrary. Plato.—the variableness of many passions. and having been made one with our lowliness in connection with the unconfused and flawless possession of Its own properties in full perfection. then. i.” Then. unless the remembrance of the most holy works of God were perpetually being renewed by the mystical teachings and ministrations of the Hierarchy? This. extols the aforesaid holy works of God. and lead astray. and adorned the formless with Godlike beauties. with intellectual eyes. having had its own origin in deadly generations. as henceforth members of the same family.—as transmitted from God. “in judgment and righteousness. the goal naturally corresponded with the beginning. by shewing to us a supermundane elevation. For the lightless within Our mind It filled with blessed and most Divine Light. which was against us. loosed the power of the rebellious multiplicity. but having truly participated sinlessly in all things belonging to us. having. as the Oracles say. Section XII. which He accomplished for preservation of our race. “Thou hast said. the mortal.—and this.Dionysius the Areopagite. This do for My remembrance.” The things within us. it fell pitiably into danger of annihilation and destruction. withdraw from us Its spontaneous forethought. Crat. and an inspired polity in our religious assimilation to Itself. but enemies. he piously and. in Its benevolence. we do. to his own downward inclinations and the enticing and hostile wiles of the adversary—the contraries of the divine goods. as the secret teaching holds. and turned aside from the strait way leading to the true God. 256 The Fall. standing before the Divine Altar. 257 157 . 295. it was carried to the contrary extremity. thence it pitiably exchanged for the eternal. by the good pleasure of the most Holy Father in the Holy Spirit.—and subjected to destructive and evil-working multitudes—naturally forgot that it was worshipping. as far as is possible. or friends. as having the upper hand. deprecates his own unworthiness for a service above his merits. and gazed. 106 But how could the Divine imitation otherwise become ours. Whence after the holy hymns of the works of God. “for Its remembrance.” Wherefore the Divine Hierarch. mystically transmitted to us. not by force. Works (1897) 105 Dionysius the Areopagite death256. according to the Logion. upon their intelligible contemplation. first. according to their own cruelty. as becomes a hierarch.258 having asked to become meet for this the God-imitating of service. When he has extolled their majesty. but the boundless Loving-kindness of the supremely Divine goodness towards man did not. the communion with Itself. then. and. Now when these had treated it harshly. he proceeds to their symbolical ministration. as a natural consequence. the pernicious falling away from genuine goodness and the transgression of the sacred Law in Paradise delivered the man fretted with the life-giving yoke. but. which proceed from the most divine forethought of Jesus on our behalf. For. It bequeathed to us. according to the Logion. reverently crying aloud to Him. and to consecrate things Divine by the assimilation to Christ Himself. and proclaimed us partakers of Its own beautiful things. 258 Prayer of humble access. but having willingly fallen from the Divine and elevating life.

and we must retrace our path to the Godlike and blameless habit of Its holy sinlessness by assimilation to It. Section XIV. came forth. as in the case of the bright shining of the sun.” and “simple. and brings to view through the symbols reverently exposed the things whose praises are being sung. made like unto us by the all-perfect and unconfused incarnation in our race. For. in which the whole body of the Church take part. as members to a body. in very truth. and by this. we must keep our eye fixed upon His most godly Life in the flesh. by dividing their oneness into many. 108 The Hierarch makes known these things to those who are living religiously. to the godly and most healthy members. communion. by His incarnation amongst us. he terminates with a holy thanksgiving. and divided it into many. by bringing the veiled gifts to view. and benevolently devised the unifying. if we aspire to communion with Him. if indeed we have been fitted to Him.” and “hidden. having united. and the reception of the mysteries. through this beneficent love of man. and so impart to others also. and unyoked. should become Leader to others. brightly impart their overflowing light to things after them. by the utmost union of the things distributed with those who receive them. and that those who shall partake of things holy may receive them holily. in preference to a life and condition agreeable to the same. into participation with Himself and His own good things. For he delineates in these things under sensible forms our intelligible life in figures.Dionysius the Areopagite. and proved to be in harmony with the Divine influence and judgment. who has not become altogether Godlike in his whole character. completing in these an altogether most holy ministration. and unfastened. Works (1897) 107 Dionysius the Areopagite and to distribute them altogether purely. For. those who rashly content themselves with the inspired instructions. for thus He will communicate harmoniously to us the communion with the similar. he symbolically multiplies and distributes the unity. we shall have been perfected. to the compound and visible. 109 Having received and distributed the supremely Divine Communion. he consecrates things most Divine.” of Jesus. Section XIII. as partakers of God and of Divine things. the mystic distribution. our lowliness to the most Divine of Himself. by being killed through destructive passions. out of love to man. provided we are united to His most Divine Life by our assimilation to it. being first filled with the brilliancy flowing into them. the more delicate and luminous substances. become inharmonious. are profane. For when he has unveiled the veiled and undivided Bread. by bringing to view the Christ Jesus from the Hidden within the Divine Being. to be imparted. in the altogether divine. from God to others. and calling the human race. Wherefore. 158 . through him. For the Communion precedes the imparting. after the identity of a blameless and Divine life. and be filled with the gifts. so it is not tolerable that one. from us. For the “one. the most supremely Divine Word. to the utmost. as far as possible. For this is the universal regulation and order of the Divine Mysteries. out of goodness and love towards man. and entirely alien from the sacred regulation established. and advancing to the divided condition of ourselves. and by making the recipients partakers of them. without change from the essential One. that the reverend Leader should first partake. and have not. and has divided the Oneness of the Cup to all.

and another not necessarily so. Then the Hierarch takes the Muron and places it. 110 CAPUT IV. “Taste and see. See note. that is. with most devout voice.the reading of the most Divine Oracles. whilst all cry aloud. and collection towards. II. by the sacred initiation of things Divine. Meanwhile. according to their degree. upon the Divine Altar. he uses it. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Section XV. the whole order of the Priests having been collected together in hierarchical order. viii. Contemplation. by hierarchical contemplations. would not attain to thanksgiving. in their essential nature. which our Leaders name “Initiation of Muron. in accordance with the sacred images. for. they will sing the supercelestial beneficent works of the Godhead with gracious thanksgiving. in the most holy mystic Rites of things being hallowed. But. The Greeks have two kinds of sacred oil or Unguent. from their inclination to things inferior. the sacred melody of the inspiration of the God-rapt Prophets. our participation in. the initiated recognize their munificent graces.” by contemplating whose parts in due order. 111 III. one specially blessed or consecrated by the Bishop. p. and. worthy of thanksgiving. and concerning things perfected in it. veiled under twelve sacred wings. C. 28. and when he has finished the prayer offered over it. we shall thus be borne.Dionysius the Areopagite. 17. s. which minister hierarchically. for almost every Hierarchical consecration. finishes with a holy thanksgiving. 159 . after the hierarchical procession has made the whole circuit of the temple. I. Concerning things performed in the Muron. as I said. s. In the same way as in the Synaxis. But there is another perfecting Service of the same rank. 68. Mysterion of Initiation of Muron259. who have not partaken and are ignorant of things Divine. and communicated in the most Divine mysteries. attended with fragrant incense.” say the Oracles. as we have often said. the One. So that those. they have remained throughout ungracious towards the boundless graces of the works of God. 259 Ap. although the most Divine gifts are. after having recognized and sung the favours of the works of God. to its Oneness through its parts. So great and so beautiful are the intelligible visions of the most holy Synaxis. iii. the orders of the imperfect are dismissed. and. and the chanting of the Psalms. not having wished even to look at the Divine gifts. by gazing with utmost reverence upon their most Divine height and breadth in the participation.

And. For by looking away from the undistorted and well imitated image of the Godlike virtue to that contemplated and fragrant beauty. 112 The elementary teaching. whoever he may be. gazing upon its blessed radiance. and is sweet beyond conception. do. none of their divinely imitated virtues “to be seen of men261. by passing through to them. through a desire to have the unsullied images of virtue in souls of the same pattern. they do neither love things. by itself.Dionysius the Areopagite. the divine copyists. For the visible consecration of the Muron is neither uncommunicated in. for not only are they blind to things dissimilar. shedding its bright beams openly around. then. and manifested for spiritual contemplation to the intellectual alone. thus. moulding Its genuineness to the true images of Itself. 116. 113 Come. i. and will shew the reality in the likeness. For the hidden comeliness of God is unsullied. the persistent and unflinching contemplation of the sweet-savoured and hidden beauty will confer the unerring and most Godlike appearance260. 260 261 Plato. nor do they look to opinion. and each in each. and the archetype in the image. shews this. he thus moulds and fashions it to the most beautiful imitation. xxiii. veiled in the Divine Muron as in a figure. let us now look away to its more godly beauty (whilst itself. having the truly sweet within itself. but neither are they drawn down to gaze upon them. then. is not turned to the anomalously seeming of the multitude. they are Divine images of the most supremely Divine sweetness. or in any way divided in attention. Rep. as becomes their character. that. as in the case of sensible images. as the Divine text expresses it. but those really being such. or unseen by those who surround the Hierarch. upon which the multitude irrationally congratulate themselves. Matt. Naturally. which. after the Divine example. in my judgment. merely seeming good and just. save the difference of substance. that which is holy and of sweet savour in the minds of devout men is covered. of this the perfecting service. not distracted by sight of anything else. through the things done over the Divine Muron. but. by religiously concealing that which is holy and most Divine in virtue within their Godlike and God-engraved mind. on the contrary. Wherefore. has uncovered the veils). if I may so speak. and by Hierarchical direction kept from the multitude. and fixing the contemplation above the many. but. he will duplicate. ii. 5. since we have viewed the exterior comeliness of the entirely beautiful ministration. 6. by distinguishing the good or evil as it is in itself. who unflinchingly mould their own intellectual contemplation to the superessentially sweet and contemplated comeliness. but reverently gaze upon the most holy things of the Church. if the artist look without distraction upon the archetypal form. is reverently covered by them. as with a veil. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Section I. look away to the archetypal conception alone. 160 . since it Divinely enjoins upon holy men to have their beautiful and well-savoured assimilations in virtue to the hidden God not seen for vain glory. these also. to copyists who love the beautiful in mind. and filling us with the fragrance unveiled to the contemplators. the very person that is being sketched. then. Wherefore. Section II.

which are not entirely pure. the highest pinnacle of the Godlike habit and power. as being congenial to the thing contemplated. viewing the Hierarch. as I said. Now we are persuaded that the most supremely Divine Jesus is superessentially 161 . by the same statements. in the same way as the Synaxis. according to fitness. What. immediately. not only be active against those opposing fears. devoutly holding the Divine Muron veiled under twelve wings. fulfilling their uniform likeness of the One. Wherefore our Divine Leaders arranged the same. Let us then affirm that the composition of the Muron is a composition of sweet-smelling materials. and will take the lead in healing others.Dionysius the Areopagite. and is contemplated and ministered. for the most part. and. whilst unmoved from their own proper gifts. as being of the same rank and effect as the holy perfecting of the Synaxis. which we are now extolling. without ostentation. and they lead the holy to the Divine likenesses. and they also impart a religious habit to those who have changed from the worse to a religious mind. to run over. and perfuming their contemplating perceptions without. but will themselves give activity to others. which has in itself abundantly fragrant qualities. by aid of which they will. as beseems Divine fixity. In the same way the Psalms and readings of the Oracles nurse the imperfect to a life-bringing adoption of sons. through which sacred enigmas the well-ordered Ranks of the subordinate are conducted to the degree of holiness compatible with their powers. by the perfectly holy alone. and teaching. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite For the splendour of things all holy. of the perfecting rank and capacity of the Hierarchical functions. with the same figures. concealment. then. and with mystical regulations and lections. as I think. and is undiminished and altogether unmoved and stands unchangeably in its identity. that the participation in things Divine comes to all holy persons. by the return to the same. then. and ministering the altogether holy consecration upon it. in blessed and intelligible visions. advances not yet in the same way to the inferior. Section III. so that it is viewed by the holy alone. and form a religious inclination in those who are possessed with accursed spirits. that the present consecrating service excludes without distinction. so that it may not be defiled by the dissimilar. shall I say further? Is it not those Ranks already mentioned. they will. so that they should not be again enslaved by evil. following the example of God. through hierarchical directions? Now it is superfluous. according to their capacity. shewing to them. Section IV. And you may see in like manner the Hierarch bearing forward the sweet perfume from the more holy place into the sacred precincts beyond. 114 115 The holy consecration. is. and purify completely those who need to become altogether pure. and so establish those who are entirely holy. by shedding its light clearly and without symbol to men inspired. of which (composition) those who partake become perfumed in proportion to the degree to which they partake of its sweet savour. and not to pass to the next. and making them one. in figures. the rather. scare away the opposing forces. and dispel the opposing fear and effeminacy from those possessed by a spirit of unmanliness. but by them as deep contemplators of the thing contemplated is concealed under the enigmas of the wings. and contemplations and communions belonging to themselves. these things already so often mentioned.

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of good savour, filling the contemplative part of ourselves by bequests of Divine sweetness for
contemplation. For if the reception of the sensible odours make to feel joyous, and nourishes, with
much sweetness, the sensitive organs of our nostrils, —if at least they be sound and well apportioned
to the sweet savour—in the same way any one might say that our contemplative faculties, being
soundly disposed as regards the subjection to the worse, in the strength of the distinguishing faculty
implanted in us by nature, receive the supremely Divine fragrance, and are filled with a holy comfort
and most Divine nourishment, in accordance with Divinely fixed proportions, and the correlative
turning of the mind towards the Divine Being. Wherefore, the symbolical composition of the Muron,
as expressing in form things that are formless, depicts to us Jesus Himself, as a well-spring of the
wealth of the Divine sweet receptions, distributing, in degrees supremely Divine, for the most
Godlike of the contemplators, the most Divine perfumes; upon which the Minds, joyfully refreshed,
and filled with the holy receptions, indulge in a feast of spiritual contemplation, by the entrance of
the sweet bequests into their contemplative part, as beseems a Divine participation.
Section V.

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Now it is evident, as I think, that the distribution of the fontal perfume to the Beings above ourselves,
who are more Divine, is, as it were, nearer, and manifests and distributes itself more to the transparent
and wholesome mental condition of their receptive faculty, overflowing ungrudgingly and entering
in many fashions; but as regards the subordinate contemplators, which are not so receptive, piously
concealing the highest vision and participation, it is distributed in a supremely Divine proportion,
in fragrance corresponding to the recipients. Amongst the holy Beings, then, who are above us, the
superior order of the Seraphim is represented under the figure of the twelve wings, established and
fixed around Jesus, casting itself upon the most blessed contemplations of Him, as far as permissible,
and filled reverently with the contemplated truth distributed in most pure receptions, and, to speak
after the manner of men, crying aloud, with never silent lips, the frequent Hymn of Praise; for the
sacred knowledge of the supermundane minds is both untiring, and possesses the Divine love
without intermission, and is at the same time superior to all baseness and forgetfulness. Hence, as
I think, that phrase, “unceasing cry,” suggests their perpetual and persistent science and conception
of things Divine, with full concord and thanksgiving.
Section VI.

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Now we have, as I think, sufficiently contemplated, in the description of the super-heavenly
Hierarchy, the incorporeal properties of the Seraphim, Divinely described in the Scriptures under
sensible figures explanatory of the contemplated Beings, and we have made them evident to thy
contemplating eyes. Nevertheless, since now also they who stand reverently around the Hierarch,
reflect the highest Order, on a small scale, we will now view with most immaterial visions their
most Godlike splendour.
Section VII.

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Their numberless faces then, and many feet, manifest, as I think, their property of viewing the most
Divine illuminations from many sides, and their conception of the good things of God as ever active
and abundantly receptive; and the sixfold arrangement of the wings, of which the Scripture speaks,
does not, I think, denote, as seems to some, a sacred number, but that of the highest Essence and
Order around God; the first and middle and last of its contemplative and Godlike powers are
altogether elevating, free, and supermundane. Hence the most holy wisdom of the Oracles, when
reverently describing the formation of the wings, places the wings around their heads262, and middle,
and feet; suggesting their complete covering with wings, and their manifold faculty of leading to
the Really Being.
Section VIII.

119

Now if they cover their faces and their feet, and fly by their middle wings only, bear this reverently
in mind, that the Order, so far exalted above the highest beings, is circumspect respecting the more
lofty and deep of its conceptions, and raises itself, in due proportion, by its middle wings, to the
vision of God, by placing its own proper life under the Divine yokes, and by these is reverently
directed to the judgment of itself.
Section IX.
And, as regards the statement of Holy Scripture, that “one cried out to the other,” that shews, I
think, that they impart to each other ungrudgingly their own visions of God. And this we should
deem worthy of religious recollection, that the Hebrew word in the Holy Scriptures names the most
holy Beings of the Seraphim by an explanatory epithet, from their glowing and seething in a Divine
and ever-moving life.
Section X.

120

Since, then, as those who understand Hebrew say, the most Divine Seraphim were named by the
Word of God, “Kindling” and “Heating,” by a name expressive of their essential condition, they
possess, according to the symbolical imagery of the Divine Muron, most elevating powers, which
call it to manifestation and distribution of most exhilarating perfumes. For the Being, sweet beyond
conception, loves to be moved by the glowing and most pure minds into manifestation, and imparts
Its most Divine inspirations, in cheerful distributions, to those who thus supermundanely call It
forth. Thus the most Divine Order of supercelestial Beings did not fail to recognize the most
supremely Divine Jesus, when He descended for the purpose of being sanctified; but recognizes,
reverently, Him lowering Himself in our belongings, through Divine and inexpressible goodness;
and when viewing Him sanctified, in a manner befitting man, by the Father and Himself and the
Holy Spirit, recognized its own supreme Head as being essentially unchanged, in whatever He may
do as supreme God. Hence the tradition of the sacred symbols places the Seraphim near the Divine

262

Isa. vi. 2.

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Muron, when it is being consecrated, recognizing and describing the Christ as unchanged, in our
complete manhood in very truth. And what is still more divine is, that it uses the Divine Muron for
the consecration of every thing sacred, distinctly shewing, according to the Logion, the Sanctified
Sanctifying, as always being the same with Himself throughout the whole supremely Divine
sanctification. Wherefore also the consecrating gift and grace of the Divine Birth in God is completed
in the most Divine perfectings of the Muron. Whence, as I think, the Hierarch pouring the Muron
upon the purifying font in cruciform injections, brings to view, for contemplative eyes, the Lord
Jesus descending even to death itself through the cross, for our Birth in God, benevolently drawing
up, from the old gulping of the destructive death, by the same Divine and resistless descent, those,
who, according to the mysterious saying, “are baptized into His death,” and renewing them to a
godly and eternal existence.
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Section XI.
But further, the perfecting unction of the Muron gives to him who has been initiated in the most
sacred initiation of the Birth in God, the abiding of the supremely Divine Spirit; the sacred imagery
of the symbols, portraying, as I think, the most Divine Spirit abundantly supplied by Him, Who,
for our sakes, has been sanctified as man by the supremely Divine Spirit, in an unaltered condition
of His essential Godhead.
Section XII.

122

And bear this also hierarchically in mind, that the Law of the most pure initiation completes the
sacred consecration of the Divine Altar, by the all pure effusions of the most holy Muron. And the
supercelestial and superessential contemplation is source and essence, and perfecting power, of all
our deifying holiness. For if our most Divine Altar is Jesus—the supremely Divine sanctifying of
the Godly Minds —in Whom, according to the Logion, “being sanctified and mystically offered
as a whole burnt-offering, we have the access,” let us gaze with supermundane eyes upon the most
Divine Altar itself (in which things being perfected, are perfected and sanctified), being perfected
from the most Divine Muron itself; for the altogether most holy Jesus sanctifies Himself on our
behalf, and fills us full of every sanctification, since the things consecrated upon them pass fraternally
afterwards in their beneficent effects to us, as children of God. Hence, as I think, the Divine Leaders
of our Hierarchy, in conformity with a Hierarchical conception divinely transmitted, name this
altogether august ministration “consecration of Muron,” from “being consecrated thoroughly,” as
one might say, “consecration of God,” extolling its divine consecrating work in each sense. For
both the being sanctified for our sakes, as becomes Man, and the consecrating all things as supreme
God, and the sanctifying things being consecrated, is “consecration of Him.” As for the sacred song
of the inspiration of the God-rapt Prophets, it is called by those who know Hebrew, the “Praise of
God,” or “Praise ye the Lord,” for since every divine manifestation and work of God is reverently
portrayed in the varied composition of the Hierarchical symbols, it is not unfitting to mention the

164

in order that the arrangement of our Hierarchy may be demonstrated. and the confused. and the inspired experts and teachers of them. Section II. when we affirmed that our sacred tradition holds. Section I. and their powers. by the self-perfect Godhead and the wise-making Divine Minds. so as not to wound weak. and those who are being religiously initiated by them. For these generously and proportionately transmit to the subordinate sacred Ranks the ever deifying notions given to them. that every Hierarchical transaction is divided into the most Divine Mystic Rites. who are subordinate to the first Beings. and leaders to this sacred consecration. I. are the very first Beings around God. the initiated Orders. to them (as being children according to the Logion). at the same time.—were conductors. and the triad of the superior ranks under them. Now the Ranks. Now we have well shewn. eyes by the light shed upon them. to the deifying illumination of the Godhead. the threefold division of every Hierarchy. And after this.—the first initiated and leader of the Hierarchs under the Law. the elevation to spiritual worship is an initiation. and consecrations. by faint images of the true. for the benefit of our race. and copies far from the Archetypes. as being religiously conducted. choosing and manifesting the regulated and ordered. And its illuminators. as entirely rejecting and excluding the disordered. and a persistent habit of imitating God. and operations. as an analogous light not easily discerned.—the heavenly and supermundane Hierarchy. that the beneficent works of the Divine Goodness are worthy of devout praise. 124 Thus the most holy Hierarchy of the supercelestial Beings has. through those. and. after these Divine ministrations. for its initiation. Now to this Hierarchy under the Law. Such. and well-established. as I think. and enigmas hard to understand. are. then. and types having the contemplation enveloped within. Now the men religiously instructed for that holy tabernacle by Moses. in the gradations of the sacred Ranks within it. imparting its most holy gifts. in reference to which holy tabernacle. 123 CAPUT V. and are truly called. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Divinely moved song of the Prophets. in the Hierarchies already extolled by us. the unregulated. is the most Divine perfecting work of the Muron But it may be opportune. and the complete likeness to God.—the Godhead gave the Hierarchy under the Law. for it teaches at once. as far as permissible. distinctly and reverently. its own possible and most immaterial conception of God and things Divine. to set forth the sacerdotal Orders and elections themselves. Concerning sacerdotal Consecrations.—when describing for purposes of instruction the Hierarchy under the 165 .Dionysius the Areopagite.

according to their capacity. and the middle is that being enlightened. makes perfect those who have participated in the Divine light. of the Mystic Rites has. the Head and Foundation of all good order. like the mean between extremes. in proportions suitable to them. common to the one. through these. consulting both reverent proportion. and in the last and highest of the Ministering Powers. Section III. the holy cleansing of the uninitiated. Now the Word of God calls our Hierarchy the more perfect revelation. after the cleansing. as a perfecting knowledge and science of the works of God. which is divided into the most holy ministrations of the Mystic Rites. and the Hierarchy.Dionysius the Areopagite. by intellectual contemplations. diffusing their own energy to other things? Naturally. And it has likewise a threefold division of the Hierarchy. more divine than ours. by preference. and a holy inheritance. invisible and visible. and the last and more divine than the others. and summary of the former. the threefold power of the holy service of the Mystic Rites be extolled. and as middle. conducts to light the purified. and the Rite of the Synaxis and the Muron. And each of the three divisions of our Hierarchy. then. and as last. to things holy. through which the unifying elevation to the Godhead and most blessed communion is reverently perfected. then. the second are conducted to Its most Divine splendour. 126 The most holy ministration. Let. cleanses the uninitiated through the Mystic Rites. then. things which are more congenial to them. 166 . then. as being more transparent Minds. It is both heavenly and legal. Do we not see the material substances of the elements. And of the Initiated. and through them. because it is variegated by sensible signs. since the Birth in God is exhibited in the Oracles as a purification and enlightening illumination. and into the Godlike ministers of holy things. And now let us explain next the sacerdotal Order. the first power is that being purified. and. comformably to that of the Law. first approaching. is arranged as first and middle and last in power. reverently conduces to the Divine Being. Section IV. and the order of the Ministers. and. and more properly adapted for reception and transmission of Light. and in the second. 127 This. and which contemplates certain holy things. is that enlightened in the perfecting science of the holy enlightenment of which it has become a contemplator. and those who are being conducted by them. in the first power. the enlightening instruction of the purified. is the all-sacred Law of the Godhead. Works (1897) 125 Dionysius the Areopagite Law. by the scientific completions of the illuminations contemplated. through the first. through these. naming it a fulfilment of that. and to the other. But “initiated” are those who are being conducted to a more perfect revelation of the symbols of the Law.—he called all the sacred services of the Law an image of the type shewn to him in Mount Sinai. as first Godlike power. and well-ordered and concordant fellowship of all things in harmonious rank. causes the deifying rays to approach the more Godlike first. the perfecting of those instructed in science of their proper instructions. which is divided into a purifying and illuminating and perfecting discipline. that. transmits light and manifestations to the subordinate. in proportion to their capacity.

128 The Divine Rank of the Hierarchs. by shewing the works of God. and shewing the darkness of their former conduct. Section VI. as we see every Hierarchy terminated in the Lord Jesus. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite It is. Now the power of the Hierarchical Rank permeates the whole sacred body. For though some of the worshipful symbols are consecrated by the Priests. rather than to the other Ranks. through the most holy symbols. and suitable for the sanctifying vision and communion. the inspired Hierarchs. previous to the approach to the ministrations of the Priests). who have said farewell to the lightless. full of the perfecting power. to exhibit ungrudgingly to those second. at the same time. so we see each terminated in its own inspired Hierarch. unless the communicating symbols have been placed upon the most Divine Altar. and in co-operation with it. unless he has been elected to this by the Hierarchical consecrations. and the consecration of the Divine Muron and the sacred completion of the Altar. and make him stand towards the west for renunciation. pre-eminently. pre-eminently completes the perfecting functions of the Hierarchy. it yet refers those. the function of these. For. Whatever then this Rank may do. and to reveal the things relating to the Hierarchy (since they have been abundantly instructed with a perfecting science in all matters relating to their own Hierarchy. inasmuch as every Order of our Hierarchy is summed up and fulfilled in it. and reveals lucidly the sciences of the holy mysteries. But. Section V. who crave the science of the religious services contemplated. then. since they scientifically and wholly participate in sacerdotal perfection. by making them entirely pure from opposing passions. ministers its proper ministrations. Hence. and it is.Dionysius the Areopagite. who are being initiated under the Rank of. to the perfecting powers of the inspired Hierarchs. and again. in proportion to their capacity. the first contemplators of God. and through every one of the sacred Ranks performs the mysteries of its proper Hierarchy. highest and lowest. But the illuminating Rank of the Priests conducts those. to the Divine visions of the Mystic Rites. and to impart sacred gifts according to fitness. even take off his sandals. the Divine visions reverently gazed upon by themselves. Hence the Divine Institution uniquely assigned the dedication of the Hierarchical Ranks. to 167 . the Leitourgoi strip him who draws nigh of his old clothing. completing all the most Divine symbols and all the sacred orderings. then. and teaches their proportionate and sacred conditions and powers. yea further. and communion of the holy rites. during the service of the Birth in God. is the first of the God-contemplative Ranks. to it. thoroughly purifies those who are drawing nigh. yet never will the Priest effect the holy Birth in God without the most Divine Muron. they lead him back to the east (for they are of the purifying rank and power). to the Hierarch. the Divine institution assigned the more Divine ministrations. and have received the effectual power of instruction). And the Rank of the Leitourgoi (which is purifying and separates the unfit. 129 It is. and perfecting those who draw nigh in the Divine contemplations. then. For these are the perfecting images of the supremely Divine Power. and neither will he be Priest himself. the Hierarchical Rank which. nor will he consecrate the mysteries of the Divine Communion. and teaching those. enjoining on those who approach to entirely cast away the surroundings of their former life.

to enlighten and to purify. as I said. and their powers and operations. Section VII. by leading those who have been purified to the bright ministrations of the Priests. s. and. since the sacerdotal orderings of the well-arranged and unconfused order of the Divine operations are images of Divine operations. and in this manner is dedicated by the Hierarch. since we have spoken. shewing in themselves the illuminations marshalled into the first. has upon his head the right hand of the Hierarch who ordains him. Now the more Divine Orders know also. and middle. when enlightened. and. manifesting. II. C. they were arranged in Hierarchical distinctions. then. without spot. by sending away from the Priests the unholy. naturally the Hierarchical of the Divine images divides itself into well-defined Ranks and powers. 131 We have shewn. Works (1897) 130 Dionysius the Areopagite transfer their allegiance to the luminous. 168 . through these.Dionysius the Areopagite. and has within itself the purifying sciences of the power of the Priests together with the illuminating. but also at the same time. perfects them to a Godlike perfection. and that of the Leitourgoi purifying and discriminating. sacred operations and Ranks. has the Hierarchical right hand upon his head. has upon his head263 the God-transmitted oracles. and entrusting the approach to their reverent vision and communion to the purifying powers. being completed 263 Ap. Wherefore also the Hierarchical institution places it at the holy gates. and further. But. of the sacerdotal Ranks and elections. being led to the Hierarchical consecration. The Hierarch. that the Rank of the Hierarchs is consecrating and perfecting. and the Hierarchical hand. and in this manner is consecrated by the Hierarch. who ordains him by the altogether most holy invocations. the sacred sciences subordinate to their own perfection. then. after he has bent both his knees before the Divine Altar. as attainable to us. 17. suggesting that the approach of those who draw nigh to holy things should be in altogether complete purification. And the Leitourgos. in most hallowed and unmixed Ranks. after he has bent both his knees before the Altar. both by thoroughly purifying the uninitiated and by bringing to birth. illuminating and conducting to the light. viii. For since the Godhead first cleanses the minds which He may enter. who ordains him with hallowing invocations. after he has bent one of two knees before the Divine Altar. that is to say. let us now contemplate their most holy consecrations as well as we can. that of the Priests. 20. iv. in themselves the well-ordered and unconfused character of the Divine operations. besides this. then enlightens. without respect of persons. and admitting them. together with their own. then. Nevertheless. and last. Mysterion of Sacerdotal Consecrations. without confusion. s. For the inferior Ranks cannot cross to the superior functions. The Leitourgical Order. And the Priest. shewing clearly the supremely Divine operation firmly established. by the purifying illuminations and teachings of the Oracles. s. iv. is purifying. 4. it is not permitted to them to take in hand such quackery as that. the Hierarchical Rank is appointed not only to perfect.

at the same time also. approaches to Him. both Victim264 and Altar. Upon each of them the cruciform seal is impressed. and. all pure and hallowed. and the God-imitated life looking away unflinchingly to the manly most Divine life of Jesus. that their own life is entirely placed under God. bend the one of two knees only.Dionysius the Areopagite. Section II. by the ordaining Hierarch.—the announcement of name. and stamped those who so live with the cruciform image of His own sinlessness as of the same likeness. and that it is of one likeness. in each case. Contemplation. and.—the completing salutation. meet for the supremely Divine and altogether most holy. and teaches. and drives away their adverse powers. to perform the sacerdotal operations. which purifies. and Priests. III. are common both to the Hierarchs. 133 The conducting then to the Divine Altar. having been consecrated. in their sacerdotal consecrations. as those who. and have Him as Leader of their own operations in every respect. for the Leitourgoi. a sacred proclamation of name takes place. then. as far as possible. and kneeling. sacerdotally. by which.—the imposition of the Hierarchical hand. since the consecration of the Leitourgoi has not this. Section I. are acting under God. as holy children. the Godlike Minds. and the Hierarch who ordained. as source of consecration.—the cruciform seal. and Leitourgoi. 169 . as has been said. These things. Section III. they are paternally tended. which bequeaths to them a sacerdotal condition and power. since the subordinate Ranks have not this. 264 Christ. Section IV. and that their whole intellectual self.—the conducting to the Divine Altar and kneeling. suggests to all those who are being sacerdotally ordained. And special and select for the Hierarchs is the imposition of the Oracles upon the head. Works (1897) 132 Dionysius the Areopagite by him with the initiating invocations of the Leitourgoi. And the cruciform seal manifests the inaction of all the impulses of the flesh. and a perfecting salutation. salute him who has been enrolled to any of the aforenamed sacerdotal Ranks. Who came even to Cross and death with a supremely Divine sinlessness. and for the Priests the bending of both knees. since every sacerdotal person present. And the imposition of the Hierarchical hand signifies at once the consecrating protection.

because the Divine Hierarch must not perform the sacerdotal acts of his own motion. pointing out to that Hierarchical Choir him who was designated by the Divine election. 168. which ye heard of Me. but I will express my own sentiment. Head of consecration. for our sake. a religious mind has attained to sacerdotal completion. moving him to do them as prescribed by the Hierarchy and Heaven. completed by Hierarchical rites the sacerdotal consecration. being conducted to a most Godlike comeliness. nevertheless He refers the Hierarchical completion of the work of consecration to His altogether most Holy Father. more particularly. and religiously loved by them in return. under God. others have expressed another view. p. he in submission to God.” And indeed. and by Divine call and dedication. 24. does not lead even Aaron. which fell as a Divine intimation upon Matthias.—not of his own accord or by his own favour leading those who are ordained to the sacerdotal consecration. For all the members of the sacerdotal Ranks present. although being as God chief Consecrator. the Coryphaeus of the disciples himself. Now concerning the Divine lot. by sacerdotal training. piously left the selection to the Godhead. by admonishing the disciples. as I think. but being moved by God to all the Hierarchical dedications. not clearly. that ye shall be baptized in Holy Ghost.Dionysius the Areopagite. of the same rank and Hierarchy with himself. For it seems to me that the Oracles name “lot “ a certain supremely Divine gift. 134 135 And the Hierarch calls aloud the name of the consecrations and of those consecrated. salute the ordained. but. to sacerdotal consecration. but to “await the promise of the Father. proclaiming the religious communion of minds of like character. 170 . who was divinely designated by the Divine lot. C. the mystery denoting that the God-beloved consecrator is manifestor of the supremely Divine choice. for the completion of the sacerdotal consecration. saying. became even this). 265 Acts i. and the supremely Divine Spirit. Section VI. when he proceeded to the sacerdotal consecration of the twelfth of the disciples. and their loveable benignity towards each other.” Wherefore also whilst Himself leading the disciples to sacerdotal consecration. into the Hierarchical number of the sacred twelve. did “not glorify Himself. loving the minds similar to himself. though thinking him both beloved of God and fit for the priesthood. But even our supremely Divine and first Consecrator (for the most philanthropic Jesus. as the Oracles say. For when. their most Godlike comeliness.” as the Logia say. “Shew265 whom Thou hast chosen. “Thou art Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. throughout. with the ten. Ap. but He Who said to Him. not to depart from Jerusalem. Hence it is that the mutual sacerdotal salutation is religiously performed. until moved by God to this. as well as the Hierarch himself who has consecrated them. his brother. by sacerdotal habits and powers. has a religious significance. the consecrator under the Law. 136 Now the salutation. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Section V.” and received him. as keeping. Thus Moses. he is dearly loved by the most holy Orders of the same rank.

in one word. 137 Section VIII. The bending then denotes the subordinate introduction of the conductor. ministrations through instruction. and enlightened by the ministerial. however. as I said. as that bends only the one. naturally the order of Leitourgoi as only purifying. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Section VII These things. And the Priests bend both their knees. having participated entirely in the whole Hierarchical power. I. work of God. is the bending of the two knees. the three Orders of the consecrators. And the distinctive feature of the ordination of Priests. For since the perfecting power and science of the whole Priesthood is bequeathed to the inspired Hierarchs. 171 . since those who are religiously brought nigh by them have not only been purified. The Hierarch. are supermundanely hallowed. but will also transmit them to others in Hierarchical proportions. as we have often said. has the Oracles most reverently placed upon his head. as a distinctive mark. ministers the one introduction of those who are being purified. and is ordained in this Hierarchical fashion. sacred work. since in it the minds being purified. into the most complete holiness of which they are capable. by placing it under the Divine Altar. which set forth comprehensively and scientifically every teaching of God. has upon his head the God-transmitted Oracles. those who have been purified by the Leitourgic power. as contrasted with the ordering of the Leitourgoi. and minister their saving introduction under the Divine yokes. since the Godlike Hierarch. in the true and God-transmitted science of all the sacred words and works committed to the Hierarchy. who places under God that which is reverently introduced. Concerning the Ranks of the Initiated. through his office of Hierarch. manifestation of God. are common to the whole sacerdotal consecration. And since. and will perfect Hierarchically in most Divine kinds of knowledge and the highest mystical. leading.Dionysius the Areopagite. to the science of the holy things contemplated by them in proportion to their capacities. naturally are placed upon the heads of the Hierarchs the Divinely transmitted Oracles. by the supremely Divine and perfecting goodness. through the three most holy Mystic Rites and powers. 138 CAPUT VI. and through this science perfecting those who are brought nigh. but have been ministerially perfected into a contemplative habit and power of a life thoroughly cleansed by their most luminous. will not only be illuminated. And the Hierarchy bending both his knees. instructions. sacred word. all the Divine and sacred works and words bequeathed to our Hierarchy by the beneficent Godhead. all the most perfecting functions of the whole Hierarchy. preside over the three ranks of those initiated.

Section III. and being fortified by the strengthening Oracles. and deemed them worthy of 172 . their powers. We must next explain the triad of the Ranks being initiated under them. 140 Now the rank. is led back. has attained to intellectual contemplation and communion in every ministration which it is lawful for it to contemplate. are the sacerdotal Ranks and elections. This. in the sacred enfoldings of things divided. I affirm. which is assigned to the Priests for its enlightenment. according to its capacity. to the enlightening contemplation and participation in the most luminous ministrations. through complete power and perfect chastity of its own operations. And a middle rank is the contemplative. and participation of the most luminous Mystic Rites. and taught by their inspired illuminations and hierarchical traditions the ministrations of the Mystic Rites. These. through their elevating powers. since one is being yet moulded and fashioned by the Leitourgoi through the obstetric Oracles to a living birth. by their sacred powers. and is conducted by the most perfecting powers of the Hierarchs. of whom we have already made mention. indeed. and elevated by their sacred science. indeed. higher than all the initiated. as it were unifying them. some. 139 Section II. For it is evident. These. is the sacred Order of the Monks. who are dismissed from the ministrations and consecrations.” and others “Monks. contemplated. after their complete cleansing.Dionysius the Areopagite. as being yet led back from the worse to holy efforts. by the hortatory teaching of the good Oracles. that. according to its capability. is the rank of the holy people. but not yet having a chaste fixedness in more Godlike and tranquil habits. and communicates the most Divine symbols. by opposing fears. and another. filled with every holy joy in their contemplations and communions. and another is yet to be called back to the holy life. for the purpose of their being brought. which. and God-loving perfection. both of the reverent vision. ministerially. by the nursing and purifying power of the Leitourgoi. are Ranks under purification. mounting gradually to the Divine love of their science. from which it had departed.” from the pure service and fervid devotion to the true God. and deemed worthy. as having passed through complete purification. and having acquired the pure and unmoved steadfastness of its own mind. through want of manliness. We affirm then that the multitudes. and operations. as being yet terrorized. into a God-like Monad. as far as is lawful. to the contemplative habit and power. the Leitourgoi perfect. and another as having been led back. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Section I. Wherefore the Divine institution accorded them a consecrating grace. calling them “Therapeutae. Hence our Divine leaders have deemed them worthy of sacred appellations. that having been cleansed from all unholy impurity. and from the undivided and single life. to the most perfecting perfection of which it is capable. then. For these are the Orders under purification. according to its capacity. and another. in my opinion. and consecrations. by reason of an entirely purified purification. which participates in certain Divine Offices in all purity.

Contemplation. not of the middle Rank of the initiated. religiously pronouncing the invocation for Monks.Dionysius the Areopagite. in a monastic and holy state. 141 The Priest then stands before the Divine Altar. he approaches the ordinand. signifies. shews the most perfect love of wisdom in the Monks. and asks him first. and when. who pronounces over him the mystical invocation. to the Divine science of sacred things. The ordinand stands behind the Priest. but of the higher than all. not only lives. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite a certain hallowing invocation—not hierarchical—for that is confined to the sacerdotal orders alone. 142 Therefore many of the things. Section III. And the renunciation of the divided. but ministrative. and as being nearer to it than the other Ranks of the initiated. but stands by itself. by the pious Priests. When the ordinand has promised steadfastly all these things. crops his hair. When the Priest has finished this.—inasmuch as they are under obligation to be unified to the One. and readily conducted by them. as possessing an affinity to it in many things. with all the holy men present. but only standing near the Priest. following the sacerdotal Ranks. as a follower. after he has sealed him with the sign of the Cross. III. Now the sealing with the sign of the Cross. by the hierarchial consecration in the second degree. as far as lawful. nor one of them. and to be collected to a sacred Monad. nor having upon his head the Divinely-transmitted Oracles. he finishes by making him partaker of the supremely Divine Mysteries. but stands by the Priest. that the monastic Rank is not for leading others. denotes the inaction 173 . which exercises itself in science of the unifying commandments. are forbidden in every way to the single Monks. For it is. neither bending both knees. but even imaginations. if he bids farewell to all the distracted—not lives only. as I said. Mysterion on Monastic Consecration. the Priest. testifying that it is his bounden duty to surpass the ordinary life. after an invocation to the threefold Subsistence of the Divine Beatitude. Section II. as being ministered. and to be transformed to the sacerdotal life. which are done without reproach by the middle Rank. Section I. and when he has stripped off all his clothing. II. The fact that he bends neither knee. Then he sets before him the most perfect life. he covers him with different. but also imaginations. who pronounces the invocation. nor has upon his head the Divinely-transmitted Oracles. according to its capacity. as we have already said. he has saluted him.

according to their capacity. in their consecrating dedications. by overlarding it with smeared pretence. after the fashion of the middle Rank. who lovingly congratulate each other in a Divine rejoicing. purification. is like the Heavenly Hierarchies. the Priest calls the ordained to the supremely Divine Communion. is intended to shew the transition from a middle religious life to the more perfect. and have fallen from the heavenly and undefiled harmony of the divine Minds. The Leitourgoi are a purifying rank. which does not beautify the darkness within the mind. then. for their own elevation and perfection in deification. We conclude. during the holy Birth from God. That which does not participate in the sacred contemplation and communion.Dionysius the Areopagite. For thus our Hierarchy. is a Rank being purified. as still under course of purification. I would altogether affirm myself. he would be brought to the gloomy fall of the rebellious multitudes. that the holy Mystic Rites are. that they are entirely without blemish. with a Divine knowledge of the holy things received by him. But the holy people is a contemplative Order. its God-imitated and Godlike characteristics. unless I had completely fallen away from a religious mind. nor come to the communion of the most holy symbols. But one may reverently 174 . by the Hierarch who consecrated them. reverently arranged in Ranks fixed by God. and consecration. at the end of their most holy sanctifications. And the cropping of the hair shews the pure and unpretentious life. preserving. and that of the single Monks is a perfected Rank. Section IV. understand from this the holy fellowship of the Godlike. not only because the reception of the supremely Divine Mysteries is the consummation of each Hierarchical reception. the Priests an illuminating. and possess a perfect purity above this world. 143 144 Last of all. will come to the reception of the supremely Divine Communion. and all the religious present. Section VI. and illumination. and the Godlike Hierarchs a consecrating. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite of almost all the desires of the flesh. just as. For if any of them should have become captive to evil. but. not by human attractions but by single and monastic. And even if now also the Priest. salute the man ordained. so far as man can do. and the taking a different. shewing religiously that the ordained. But thou wilt say that the Ranks undergoing purification utterly fall short of the Heavenly Hierarchies (for it is neither permitted nor true to say that any heavenly Ordering is defiled). yea. The casting aside of the former clothing. Section V. but because all the sacred Orders. The holy people is a contemplative Rank. the Communion of the most holy Eucharist is also given to the sacerdotal Orders. but that it by itself is being led. to the highest likeness of God. to a contemplative and enlightened condition. Wherefore. in a manner different from that of the holy people. if he would really attain to the monastic and single elevation. partake of the self-same common and most godly gifts. the exchange of the clothing denoted the elevation of a thoroughly purified life. will not merely contemplate the sacred mysteries within them.

and have fought together within their Divine struggles in the unchanged steadfastness of their souls throughout the divine life. Works (1897) 145 Dionysius the Areopagite say with regard to the Heavenly Hierarchy. when approaching death. Section I. again from God. CAPUT VII. 175 . but. by having become members of Christ. as the form of life of each is different. 266 Soul first—body afterwards. and perfecting in the most pure science of the supremely Divine conceptions. and purifying and illuminating and perfecting. will jointly receive their own resurrection. conducted. in the regeneration. leading them to a more perfect science of the supremely Divine kinds of knowledge. but the first. having been united with the holy souls to which they were united in this present life. holy. as it attains the goal of the Divine contests. the pure bodies which are enrolled together as yoke-fellows and companions of the holy souls. In this respect then the sleep of the holy is in comfort and unshaken hopes. through their future entire resurrection266.od immediately. For we have already said. with firm and unfailing hope. in proportion to their powers. the subordinate are illuminated. Concerning things performed over those fallen asleep. and filling them with the most Divine illuminatings. that all the heavenly Orders are not the same. by looking steadfastly to the unfailing promises of the Godhead (inasmuch as they have observed their proof. from G. in all the sacred sciences of the God-contemplating visions. and purifying them as far as possible from the ignorance of those things of which they had not hitherto the science. 146 These things having been defined. and the Oracles divinely demonstrate. in the resurrection proclaimed by it). and blessed repose. for. I think it necessary also to describe the things religiously performed by us over those who have fallen asleep. in godly rejoicing. as they are. after the example of the Heavenly Hierarchy. with the most luminous glories of the supremely Divine ray. from all ignorance (in ranks and proportions of the Heavenly Hierarchies). by the first and more Divine Beings to the higher and more luminous splendours of the visions of God: and so there are Ranks being illuminated and perfected. since the highest and more Divine Beings purify the subordinate.Dionysius the Areopagite. so also. they will receive in return the Godlike and imperishable immortality. and. come to the goal of death. those who have led a religious life. I. For neither is this also the same between the holy and the unholy. through these. and reverent Orders. knowing that at the end of holy contests their condition will be altogether in a perfect and endless life and safety. which may possibly fall during this present life to a change for the worse. For the holy souls. that the illuminating from God in things hitherto unknown is a purification to the subordinate Beings. Now. will have the most Godlike transition to an unchangeable condition.

piteously and against their will. and when they have pronounced blessed the holy life from which they thoughtlessly fell away. 10. to their own destruction. 28. and he right gladly receives him. nourishments appropriate to another kind of life. committing271. but. and extol the gifts of the Godhead. xxii. when they have looked with different eyes upon the pleasures of their passions destroyed. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Section II. of him who has fallen asleep. C. when coming to the end of his own struggles. 274 Ps. 268 176 . conducted to no holy hope. and unlawfully reject. is filled with a holy consolation.Dionysius the Areopagite. 4. this injustice to them. 54. to them when they have come to the end of their life here. 272 Matt. 270 Phaed. others268 that the bodily blending with their proper souls will be severed once for all. a subject of scorn273. as befits their divine familiarity and fellowship. as unsuitable to them in a Divine life and blessed lots. rejected this from their mind. 147 148 Now. whilst none of these attain the repose of the holy men. s. But others270 assign to souls union with other bodies. to be performed over those who have piously fallen asleep. lib. no longer fearing the fall to a worse condition. 267 Plato. some267 illogically think to go to a non-existence. Now. when they have come to the goal of this present life. as I think. whoever he is. and they send up odes of thanksgiving to the Author of victory. Ibid. who are full of blemishes. 271 Ap. knowing that their whole selves will receive the Christ-like inheritance. i. 269 Col. Those. i. and with much satisfaction enters the path of the holy regeneration. Section III. and performs the things fixed by reverend men. 3. however. will ever fall into such errors as these. have. however. by reason of their shameful life274. Cousin. pronounce him blessed. i. v. of their own accord. Paris. as having reached the desired end crowned with victory. Phaed. Then they take him and bring him to the Hierarch. not considering nor being sufficiently instructed in Divine science. but. cxii. after (bodies) have laboured together with the godly souls. but knowing well that they will hold firmly and everlastingly the good things already acquired. And others272 (I do not know how they have strayed to conceptions of such earthly tendency) say. as to a bequest of holy crowns. separated from this present life. 62-3. praying also that they may reach the same inheritance. and have reached the goal of their most Divine course. and have rashly followed their destructive lusts. i. 9. they see more clearly their road to incorruption already become nearer. for those who are equal to the Angels. 1833. the Divine regulation of the Oracles will no longer appear as before. 273 Republic. The familiar friends. they are. yet. even though they have attained to some initiation. that. p. however. and unholy stains. that the most holy and blessed repose promised to the devout is similar to our life in this world. 5-7. None of the most religious men. amongst the profane. and are filled with a Divine satisfaction. 64. that our most Godlike life in Christ has already begun269. he himself. they relentlessly deprive them of their righteous retributions. iii.

reverently chant the odes of the same teaching and power. but if he led a life inferior to the divine likeness in the highest degree. not without reason. even this man will receive the holy and similar retributions. that.” And as for us. from the Oracles of the Psalter275. 277 ἀπεκλήρωσαν.Dionysius the Areopagite. all who are present. 275 See Burial Office. and after the prayer both the Hierarch himself salutes the defunct. For. in the regeneration. See Papias. The Hierarch. Section II. he lays him down before the Divine Altar. let us say. the Hierarch pours the oil upon the fallen asleep. split with laughter. But there is no need to wonder at this. he will be. and when he has offered the holy prayer for all. in divine and blessed inheritances. they will. Contemplation. Section I. neither shall they understand276. and conducting us back to our own most just possessions (or judgments). so far as the imitation of God is attainable by man. nevertheless. Then the first Leitourgos dismisses the catechumens. before the sacerdotal entrance. 150 Now. 276 177 . in the place of the same rank. for which they have chosen their own life here277. a holy life. who have contemplated the spiritual meaning of the things done. III. he places the body in a worthy chamber. and extols the worshipful Godhead. and next. as the Oracles say. Wisdom iii. and after him. folly. fragment 5. if any one led a Godlike and most holy life here. does the Hierarch conduct to. and if the person who has fallen asleep were of the sacerdotal rank. if the profane should see or hear that these things are done by us. for it shews reverently. who has just terminated his life. but. and place the man fallen asleep. amongst whom he deems the man. then the Divine Hierarch advances. that. who have already fallen asleep. and begins with the prayer and thanksgiving to God. Then the Hierarch finishes the prayer of thanksgiving to God. “If they will not believe. 9. and urges all to seek the blessed consummation in Christ. having given thanks for this Divine righteousness. in the age to come. and calls aloud the names of the holy people. 149 The Divine Hierarch collects the reverend Choir. after reading the unfailing promises concerning our holy resurrection. and offers a most holy prayer over him. worthy of mention in the same rank. offers a sacred prayer. with other holy bodies of the same rank. For example. whilst Jesus leads us to the light. all will be in those chosen inheritances. the Leitourgoi. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite II. or the holy people. but if he belonged to the rank of the chaste Monks. and commiserate us on our. he lays him down near the hallowed sanctuary. as subjugating the unjust and tyrannical power against us all. I suppose. Mysterion over those who have religiously fallen asleep. contained in the Divine Oracles. When all have saluted.

for this class is entirely uninitiated in every holy Rite. are most blessed. 151 Section III. great or small. The rest. and which are signified to us by signs adapted to our capacity.” “Bosoms” of the blessed Patriarchs. into the bosom of Abraham. And. After the prayer. then. as I think. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Now. and Jacob: in a place where grief and sorrow and sighing are no more. for it will perhaps be profitable for them to have seen him. that the consummation in Christ is blessed indeed. 152 Naturally. and descriptive of him who has religiously fallen asleep. being clearly taught by seeing both the fearlessness of death amongst us. but only the catechumens are expelled from the holy places.Dionysius the Areopagite. and will come to a greater contempt of the Divine Mysteries and themselves. through the Birth from God. It is evident. and that the sufferings threatened to the unholy like themselves will be endless. offers a holy prayer over the man fallen asleep. they are present at the things now done. 153 Then the Divine Hierarch. by partaking of them unholily. as being certainly companion of the Saints for ever. nor ear heard. the rewards of the pious. neither hath entered into the heart of man to conceive. reverently proclaimed by the public proclamation of the Leitourgoi. however. have already been under instruction in sacred tradition. and will be taught from the science of the Liturgy. for they will be injured. to the same perfection. For we must remember that the Logion is true. that “Eye hath not seen. shall be eternally appointed. Observe. and next all who are present. and to transfer him in light and land of living. that not all the ranks under purification are customarily dismissed. fall short. of the ranks under purification. and of all the other 178 . Section V. and is not permitted to view any of the religious celebrations. inasmuch as it has not participated in the faculty of contemplating the holy mysteries. but. Section IV. as in holy symbols. the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. to which those. even they will come to the like aspiration. and Isaac. who has religiously finished his course. and stimulative of those. who are still living. advancing. the Chants and Readings of the supremely Divine promises are explanatory of the most blessed inheritances. and the last honour of the saints extolled from the unfailing Oracles. however. of their actual truth. as they have foolishly returned to an evil course it is incumbent to complete their proper elevation in advance. and they are reasonably dismissed from the supremely Divine contemplations and communions. that these. in their description. Especially if all the promises which pass man’s understanding. For what can be equal to an immortality entirely without grief and luminous with light. who have attained a Divine perfection. perchance. both the Hierarch himself salutes him. however. Now the prayer beseeches the supremely Divine Goodness to remit to the man fallen asleep all the failings committed by reason of human infirmity. which is Source and gift of light.

and his most glorious inheritance. For. and look down upon pious men. and betaking himself to a wretched self-conceit. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite pious men. For this has been firmly fixed by the supremely Divine decrees. and fellow-suppliant. in an order most befitting God. and his reverence for devout men. even of the just. so does he cling to impossible and extravagant expectations. and the man fallen asleep has finished his own activities in this present life. in that consummation which grows not old. and correlative to himself.” Yea. than that due to and equivalent for his life here? Now. with reference to the prayer mentioned. who beseeches the intercessions of holy men.Dionysius the Areopagite. approaches some pious man. after the following fashion. longing for holy gifts. to those who are meet to receive them. he will fail in his ignorant request. and each one shall receive the things done in his body according to that he hath done. for the Lord says. If any one. which await all godly men. if every one shall receive. since the supremely Divine Goodness assists him. in every respect. following the Oracles. by driving away the holy efforts natural to the same. If any one. he will be benefitted in every respect. unworthy of God. he has closed respecting him. and not holy. Now. for he is messenger of the Lord God Omnipotent. amongst godly men of the same rank. through heedlessness of the Divine gifts. and should prevail upon him to become his fellow-helper. equivalents for what he has done in the present life. by the Divine justice. The Divine Hierarch. perhaps. is interpreter of the supremely Divine awards. through those who are meet to distribute them. the sure traditions of the Oracles teach us that the prayers. 154 155 But thou mayst. and. from what prayer offered by the Hierarch will he be transferred to another inheritance. which the Hierarch prays over the man fallen asleep. and having a religious disposition for their reception. when the sun is shedding its own splendour upon unblemished eyes. for the remission of the faults committed by the man fallen asleep. and his brotherly and Godlike disposition. the most divine and blessed inheritances. according to the Oracles. should deem himself sufficient for the supremely Divine Converse. with a benefit superior to all. for he will attain the most Divine gifts he prays for. and if he should further request requests. say that these things are correctly affirmed by us. are. seeks to enjoy the solar splendour by obliterating his own powers of vision. through his own fault. He has learned 179 . I affirm that the intercessions of the pious are. as the Oracles say. and his praiseworthy craving for the religious requests requested. as recognizing his own insufficiency. thereby. whether it be good. plays truant from the most luminous and beneficent commandments. then. and is full of blessedness. indeed. that the Divine gifts are given. as well as his pious judgment of himself. let alone (by no means) after death. we think it necessary to mention the tradition which has come to us from our inspired leaders. well do I know. but want to know for what reason the Hierarch beseeches the supremely Divine Goodness. or whether it be bad. and if he should have his aspiration for things divine not sustained. What forsooth did Saul gain from Samuel? and what did the intercession of the Prophet profit the people of the Hebrews? For. that each one will have the inheritance equivalent. should despise this sacred regulation. in my judgment. avail only for those who are worthy of pious prayers during this present life. profitable in this present life. as if any one. whether it be good or different. Nevertheless. Section VI.

receives those dear to God. whose faults ye may have remitted. Further. but moved by God Who revealed to him the spiritual meaning of Divine things. since no one. and. as favours to himself. a function of the Hierarchy. according to due. shall be bound in the heavens. viii. 16. whose ye may have retained. 180 . the Divine Hierarch beseeches things divinely promised. and he asks. Wherefore. and the others must so cling to the Hierarchs as moved by God. would hear from the just Oracle. he makes known clearly to those present. he does not offer these prayers over the unholy fallen asleep. and divinely promised to be given by Him278. the expounder of the supremely Divine Justice. according to a holy law. as the Oracles affirm.” Therefore. as the Oracles say.” 278 279 Ap. as interpreters of the Divine Awards. were separating. demonstrating both his own likeness to the good loving God.” And to him who was illuminated with the Divine revelations of the most Holy Father. that to those who have passed their life piously. in what they may do hierarchically. For “receive. the Oracles say. through its goodness. he beseeches gifts for others.” inasmuch as he. and receive not. 43. the stains which have come to them through human infirmity. which were not most pleasing to the Almighty God. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite then. he uttered that sacred and divine confession. whilst knowing that the promises will be unfailing. but. because ye ask amiss. on his own authority. not unnaturally. Luke x. and which will. will be entirely realized for those who have been perfected in a Divine life. whilst being moulded beneficently to the Divine imitation. and rejects those without God. from the God-transmitted Oracles. without being moved by the Supreme Legislator.” He says. that these things may come to pass. “Ye ask. would never seek things. that the things asked by him. and would presumptuously arrogate. shall be loosed in the heavens. the Supreme Initiator. those who have already been judged by God. the Divine Love towards man overlooking. not as though the All-Wise Deity. “despiseth Me279. Thus. they are retained. as announcing and interpreting the Divine Will. “Whatsoever thou shalt have bound upon the earth. according to their due. may move them. not as self-moved. 156 157 158 Now. is pure from blemish. and every Hierarch like him.” he says. and dear to God. but because he would both fail to obtain his abominable prayer. and whatsoever thou shalt have loosed on earth. nor as though flesh and blood had revealed it.Dionysius the Areopagite. and that the righteous returns be given to those who have lived piously. the Hierarch knew these things to have been promised by the infallible Oracles. For the Hierarch. were slavishly following their irrational impulses. as expounders of God. C. “For he who despiseth you. Section VII. by the motion of the Divine Spirit. they are remitted. according to the revelations of the Father’s awards through him. the Hierarchs have discriminating powers. and declaring explicitly the gifts which will be received by the devout. “the Holy Spirit. as though they. the most bright and divine life is given in return. The inspired Hierarchs then must so exercise their separations and all their Hierarchical powers as the Godhead. to put it mildly. by the most just balances. in every respect. be given. and he. not only because in this he would deviate from his office of expounder.

if the Hierarchs teach things Divine to those not able to hear. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Section VIII. with other holy bodies of the same rank. and now the Oil poured upon him shews the fallen asleep to have struggled. reply affectionately to the objections 181 . sanctifying the whole man. Now the fact that even children. Wherefore. and now. Then indeed the anointing with the Oil summoned the initiated to the holy contests. as regards the consecrating” invocations. When the Hierarch has finished it. and to the body. and announcing. he places the body in an honourable chamber. Hence the Divine justice gives to it. as you say. and of the most holy symbols of the supremely Divine Communion. After the salutation. the Oil is poured upon the man fallen asleep. seems. 159 When the Hierarch has finished these things.Dionysius the Areopagite. But thy Hierarchical judgment must not be too hard upon those who are led astray. or the contrary. and vainly transmit the sacred traditions to those who do not understand. he first salutes the fallen asleep. before the most Divine Baptism. For if. a first participation of a holy symbol is given to the man initiated—the oil of Chrism—after the entire removal of the former clothing. by learning these. and the most holy symbols of the supremely Divine Communion. there will be honoured. as our sacred tradition holds. but. in pure contemplation and in science of the things being done. or the powers from God working in them. 160 Section XI. persuasively. indeed. become recipients of the holy Birth in God. which contended with it throughout the devout struggles. and being perfected to a more Godlike condition and elevation. Now. Let us now proceed to that. in soul and body. by sanctifying the whole man. that during the sacred Birth from God. the man fallen asleep passed a life dear to God. but. nor may we bring their mysterious meaning. through quiet instructions. And remember. as companion and participator in the devout. a fit subject for reasonable laughter. not yet able to understand the things Divine. the body also. to the profane. from secrecy to publicity. Section X. as in a figure with the most Divine Muron. Section IX. together with its own body. the Divine institution of sacred rites bequeaths the supremely Divine participations to them both—to the soul. all who are present. with the devout soul. and next. throughout those same contests. and for the purpose of leading them to the light. through Divine love and religious exercises. the retributive inheritances. by purifications of the whole man. which follows the prayer mentioned. that his resurrection will be most complete. the Hierarch pours the oil upon the man fallen asleep. And this is still more laughable—that others. life. repeat the abjurations and the sacred compacts. for dear and honoured by all Godlike men is he who has been perfected in a Divine life. at the conclusion of all. and to have been made perfect. on their behalf. thou wilt be borne by the consecrating enlightenment to their highest science. it is not permitted to explain them in writing.

There is here. I shall strike the sparks281 of the Divine Fire stored up in thee.e. I promise to persuade the child. my friend. So great. exempt from every error. and be devoutly brought up by his Godlike surety. 7. See Acts xv. what is also a fact. that infants. but well known to the Ranks above us. Works (1897) 161 162 Dionysius the Areopagite alleged by them. When our Divine leaders came to this conclusion. “that on behalf of this child I make. 21. and to profess and perform the Divine professions. Advancement in Learning. being brought up according to a Divine institution. unknown by us. have causes beseeming God.—and that the child should lead the rest of his life under him. when he has come to a religious mind. symbols. for I am confident that. ii. All Saints’ Day. then. and keeps him inexperienced in things contrary. p. are the uniform visions of our Hierarchy. nothing absurd. p. but also more divinely. The Hierarch imparts to the child the sacred.: that the natural parents of the child presented. 182 . JOHN PARKER. For they say. Impart then. and Archbishop Trench. that not all things Divine are comprehended in our knowledge. in order that he may be nourished by them. not. viz. bringing forward this fact. by what has been said. The Hierarch then requires him. and so beautiful. in having a guide and religious surety. in my judgment. these things have been viewed. to me. unknown to us indeed. perhaps. Bib. but many of the things. as I fancy. after initiations from the early280 tradition.” but. that the child is set apart and enlisted. provided the child is brought up as beseems a godlike training. 100. And to thee. to pronounce the renunciations and the religious professions. Nov. by using the foregoing stepping-stones to a higher ray. in accordance with sacred rule. 16. my son. for his religious safe-keeping. Many things also escape even the most exalted Beings. we affirm the same things which our Godlike initiators conveyed to us. more perfect enlightenment. to bid adieu wholly to things contrary. C. by instructing one instead of another in Divine things. should transfer the child to some one of the initiated. who implants in him a disposition for Divine things. Thanks be to God. Further. thyself also. myself. it was determined to admit infants upon the following conditions. concerning this. and are known distinctly by the All-Wise and Wise-making Godhead alone. for he does not say this. not only more clearly. will attain a religious disposition. as they would jokingly say. more contemplative minds. and inexperienced in an unholy-life. through my godly instructions. 41. and may not have any other life but that which always contemplates Divine things. Yet even Dupin ignorantly alleged that word as proof Post-Apostolic. 281 Bacon. the renunciations and the sacred professions. i.Dionysius the Areopagite. 2. 1898. and from others. when he has promised to bring up the child according to the religious life. more brilliant and more divine beauties will shine forth. 280 ἄρχαίας. and shew to mine eyes the more comely and uniform beauties that thou mayst have been able to see. as under a godfather and sponsor. which have been presented to my view.—a good teacher of children in Divine things. and in religious progress become partaker of them and have a religious disposition in these matters. also.

a. Pelagius   4. Vincentius Eugenius Marcellus was 68-69 consecrated at Arles by Dionysius the Areopagite The list at Toledo is as complete as the list at Milan. who presented Apology to Hadrian 126 Toledo. St. Quintus   7. Paris. 46 Dionysius the Areopagite 68–70 183 . 1.Dionysius the Areopagite. Hierotheus 52 Dionysius the Areopagite 58 Narcissus 67 Publius 118-124 Quadratus. Melantius   3. Athens.d. Dionysius the Areopagite 70-119 Mallo   Martianus   Victor   Maurianus   Martinus   Arles. Eugenius 69-121 2. Eusebius   6.d. 163 LIST OF BISHOPS. Trophimus c. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite APPENDIX. Patrummus   5. a.

No date. Cornhill. G. Ussher. Cajo. 11th Bishop. M.   Cadwr. Anotolone. 15th or 18th Bishop from St. 304–325 136 Bishops to 1898. G. from list of Jocelyn. See “Monuments inédits” de M. Calivero. St. 586. St. 254 Cyprian wrote to Pope Stephen urging him to depose Marcion. Bishop of Rome. 375.   Elvanus. 3.283 64–85 3. to be found in Stow. He built the church of St. Marin 314 Milan. p. and Darras.Dionysius the Areopagite. II. Regulus   St. Felix 140 Gratius 160 Ambrosius   Anastinus   Ingenuus   Augustinus   Hieronymus   Savitius   Martianus282   St. 252–304 7. in time of King Lucius (186–193 A. Peter. 12th century.   Obinus. 2. Materno. R. 1. St.   Theonus. 4. M. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite St. or Cadoc. and Fasti of Le Neve. 97–137 4.D. 283 Gaius Oppius was the Centurion of the Crucifixion. and father of Agothoppius. by whom he was consecrated. mentioned by Ignatius. Trophimus. 138–190 5. from King Lucius to Pagan expulsion. 51–64 2. 192–250 6. See Ussher.. 374–397 164 Metropolitans of London. p. Mona. Faillon. Name occurs at Caerleon. No date. Godwin. messenger from Lucius to Eleutherus. 282 A.D. p. Antiq. 1. 184 . M. t. St. Ambrose. 5. 14. 67. M. Mirocle. Castrinziano.).   Conan.

at Arles.” 3. A. appointed by King Lucius. Translated from Gloucester. 1. consecrated.D. 431.   Sampson. IX. 13." 7. VIII. Hilarius.D. 522. No date. not far from what is now Wells. A. A.   Taurinus. or Dedwin.   Thadiacus fled to Wales. 165 There was also Faganus. Theonus 2nd. Vodinus. XI. appointed by King Arthur. or Saxo.D. 9.VI.   Theodwin. Geoffrey. 8. “Ebroicensis.   Sampson. 542. fled to Wales. 314. 586. 6. 15. cc. expelled by Saxons. Hist. 5.   Eborius. IX. Perhaps it was he who founded the See of Congresbury. A. 2–6.   Iltutus. 453. Bishop of Llandaff. 12. 522. 4. 10. 1601. 447. No date.D. 490. A. 314. from Godwin.Dionysius the Areopagite. Abbot of the School of Llandaff. Fastidius. 14. 10. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite 6. 586. Hist. a messenger to Eleutherus from King Lucius. Theodred. in which year St. Isle of Man. A. and transferred his pall to Dol in Brittany.   Pirah. Bishop of Evreux. No date. 11. Patrick consecrated Germanus to Man. Guitelinus. 8. who attended Council of Arles.D.   Palladius. Geoff. 8. Metropolitans of York. Restitutus. Bishop of Britain. “Bishop of Britain.d.   Stephanus. Put to death. which lasted till 721. in place of Sampson. Amphibalus was Bishop of Man before a. 185 . Hist. Mentioned by Geoffrey of Monmouth. 2.D. Ibid. To these may be added 16. 12.

David's death.   Cadwr.D.d. consecrated to Llanbadarn. consecrated to Llandaff. and consecrating Ismael to St. and Patern. VIII. 519. in 490 (Geoffrey). 5. Guitelin.   Dyfan (Missionaries of Eleutherus). 1st Bishop of Menevia. Ninian. 186 . Tremorinus. David's. David. 6.   Edyfield. 10. p. at Jerusalem. St. ordained by St. and succeeded as Metropolitan on the death of Dubritius. 2. a. David. Bishop of Llandaff. Simon the Cananite. Province of Caerleon. was consecrated at Jerusalem. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Whithern. After him came Teilo. He succeeded to the Metropolitan's office on St. 11. a. to Llandaff. 166 St.   Cynan. Bishop of Whithern (subsequently in the Province of York). 8. David's as a Suffragan Bishop. 10. 519.   Cyhelyn. A. 4. 394. 284). 1. was consecrated by Pope Siricius. and was succeeded by Dubritius of Llandaff. Geoff.   Llewyr. 432. after which the Primacy seems to have wavered between Llandaff and Menevia.d. retaining Llandaff. having preached the Gospel in Britain (“Apostolic Constitutions. Dubritius consecrated in 449 (Benedict of Gloster). as also Aristobulus. He is claimed also by Colchester and Lincoln. died. with two companions284. but his seat remained at Llandaff. Adelfius at Aries in 314.   Elldyrn.Dionysius the Areopagite. died about 490. Hist.   Ffagan 3. Paul “Bishop for 284 These two were Teilo. and became Metropolitan on the death of Tremorinus. as stated' above.” Lagarde. 9. afterwards Bishop of Jerusalem. 420. but his seat remained at St. retired to Ireland. 7. consecrated at the same time as St.   Ilan.

). 92. 130–3. 4. see Gallia Christiana. Alford. my thanks are due to the Archbishops of Athens and York. D. I. Canon Bernard. James v. For Bishops in Britain. St. for instruction and consecration. 168 INDEX. For Bishops in France. St. i. D. the first-fruit of Britain was sent to Rome.” JOHN PARKER. 144 Angels. H. 15. tome III. Anointing of sick with prayer for healing. 3. John xiii. St. = Vol. 6. whence obtained. “Within ten years after the arrival of Joseph of Arimathea. Malachi ii. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Britain” (Migne. Paul's teaching. there must have been many Bishops in Britain before King Lucius was able to supersede the Druid by the Christian organisation. Bainbridge Smith. 5. see Archbishop Parker. Washing of feet. Paul in Britain. 23 Anomia (Lawlessness).” Wakeman. ser. He founded a Church in Beatenberg. H. Anointing with Muron for Consecration. Incense offered to God's Holy Name. 21–9. author of “English Orders. 141. 167 APOSTOLIC TRADITIONS GENERALLY IN ABEYANCE. H. 1. Graeca. Anointing with Oil and Muron in Baptism. = Vol. 156-8 Apostles and Successors. 91.. D. Trine immersion in Baptism. 14. 36-7. Switzerland. 11. 112 187 .Dionysius the Areopagite. Agnosia. and the Rev. 81. “St. D. 160 Archetypes. D. 4-14. 11. For lists given. 2. II.

27. 131. 124. God-Parents. 79. causes of life. 106. H. 95. D. 149. H. and Deacon. 17. D. 117. 148. 5. corruption of life. 7. H. H. 81. 110–122 Mystic. 117. 122. 106. 92. D. 72. 34. 31 Muron. 134 Monad. 104. 22. D. Priest. 90. 157 Holy Communion. 97 Diptychs. 141. 26. 104. D. 79. 2. H. 160 Hierarch. 26–96. 170 Triad. 91. 16. 120. 27. 153–158. 115. 108 Incense.Dionysius the Areopagite. 3. 16. 131–7 Paradeigma. H. H. 139–41 Deification. 28. 142. of life. H. Essence of Hierarchy. Intelligible. 110. H. 12. H. D. 64. 70. 73. Prayer. 115. 72. 69. 51. 120. 106 Contemplation. 4r. D. 105 Tradition. 104. 158 188 . 20. Mystic. 11. 67. 77. 89. 167 Symbols. 97. 27. 7. H. 52. 162. 5. H. 158. 21. 123. 124. D. 17. 11. 78. 110. 89. Source of Theology. H. 31. H. 65 Oracles. H. 88. H. 37. 158 Burial. 80. D. D.156. 39 Symbolic Theology. 9. 48. 125 Unction. 124. 90–102 Evil. 89. 165. 110. H. H. H. 75. 44. 87–109. 154 Providence. 80. 131. H. 79. D. D. 15. 70. 111. 143. D. 70. 127. 72. 107. H. D. 90. 44. D. 124. 117. 4. 84. 134. 21. 132. 92. H. D. given by God. 27. 172. 80. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Baptism. 23. 136. 91. 6. 149 Dedication of Monk. H. 113 Jesus. 9. D. D. 133. Bishop. 145–159 Consecration. 167 Nature. 138 Ordination. 21. 160. 94. 44. for ungodly. of God. 86. 32. 3. D. Canon of truth. 96.

Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite Indexes Index of Scripture References Genesis 1:31   22:12   32:24   50:21 Exodus 3:2   3:14   3:14   4:14   7:14   19:21   23:4   30:10 Leviticus 16:2 Numbers 4:15   12:3-8   12:10   15:3   16:1-11   24:17 Deuteronomy 6:4   16:20   16:20   21:6 Joshua 5:13   5:14   10:12-14 1 Samuel 13:14   13:19   24:7 1 Kings 22:20 2 Kings 20:9-11   20:12 2 Chronicles 26:16-19   32:31 Nehemiah 9:20 Job 1:8 Psalms 12:10   15:3   19:1-14   22:6   36:5   39:6   45:13   51:9   91:11   119:18 Ecclesiastes 46   46:4 Song of Solomon 1:2 Isaiah 6:2   28:21   30:18   38:8   39:1   46:3 Jeremiah 2:13-35   23:21   51:15 Ezekiel 1:6   1:6-8   1:7   1:10   1:10   1:10   1:10   1:10   1:10   1:10 Daniel 189 .Dionysius the Areopagite.

Dionysius the Areopagite. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite 2:21   7:9   7:9   7:10   7:16 Hosea 13:7   13:8   13:8   13:8 Zechariah 1:8   1:12 Malachi 2:7   2:11   4:2 Matthew 1:1-16   2:13   5:45   5:48   6:19   7:23   12:26   20:15   22:28   23:5   23:34   28:3 Mark 3:11   15:33 Luke 10:16   11:9   15:7   15:20   16:10   23:34   23:44 John 1:1   1:1   1:1   1:4   1:5   1:9   1:13   1:18   3:5   5:21   6:63   7:14   7:38   12:46   13:4-14   13:11   13:11   14:23   15:26 Acts 1:8   1:10   1:24   6:15   7:53   10:3   15:7   15:16   15:21   19:2   20:4 Romans 1:27   2:23   5:2   11:21   11:29   11:33   11:33   11:36   12:3-6   12:21   13:1   13:2   16:21 1 Corinthians 1:30   1:30   2:7   3:9   8:5   8:6   8:7   10:16   13:5 2 Corinthians 3:17   3:17   9:15   12:2   13:10 Galatians 3:18 Ephesians 2:20   4:18   5:1 Philippians 4:7 Colossians 3:3   3:4 1 Timothy 1:17   3:5   4:16   6:6   6:16   6:16 2 Timothy 4:13 Titus 3:9 Hebrews 1:12 James 1:17   5:14   5:15 1 Peter 2:9   5:1 190 .

Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite 2 Peter 1:19 1 John 2:10   3:14   4:12 Revelation 1:8 Wisdom of Solomon 3:9 2 Maccabees 3:25 Index of Greek Words and Phrases • ἀγάπης • ἀγνώστως • ἀνοησία • ἀολλῆ • ἀπεκλήρωσαν • ἁπλοῦς • ἄρχαίας • ἅγια τῶν ἅγιων • Ἀδελφόθεος • ἐναρχικὴ • ἐναρχικῶν ὑποστὰσεων • ἔρως • Ἔρωτος • Θεολογία • Θεοπάτορ • αἰ γνώσεις • αἰσθητῶς • αγνοσια • βούλημα • διττός • ευροίας • θέλων • θελήματα • θεουργίων • κάλλος • καλοῦν 191 .Dionysius the Areopagite.

•Divus ille Dionysius qui fecit tres Hierarchias. propter ingenii excellentiam. καὶ τὸ κυριστῶν • τὸ κρύφιον • τῇ ταύτης περιουσίᾳ • τοῦ κηρυχθέντος ἐν πάσῃ κτίσει • φῶς Index of Latin Words and Phrases •Dionysius Areopagita dicat Eugenio Marcello. •filius amicus •in vivis •migravit ad Christum •nihil scire omnia scire •quidam Graecorum •ratio verae religionis Index of Pages of the Print Edition v  vi  vii  x  xi  xii  xiii  xiv  xv  xvi  xvii  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65  66  67  68  69  70  71  72  73  74  75  76  77  78  79  80  81  82  83  84  85  86  87  88  89  90  91  92  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  102  103  104  105  106  107  108  109  110  111  112  113  114  115  116  117  118  119  120  121  122  123  124  125  126  127  128  129  130  131  132  133  134  135  136  137  139  p140  142  143  144  145  146  147  148  149  150  151  152  153  154  155  156  157  158  159  160  161  192 . •Felix es Gallia! quae.Dionysius the Areopagite. tantos et tales meruisti suscipere sacerdotes. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite • κατὰ τα ὄντα • λόγος • μύπος • μυποθεγγὴς • μυπος • μυροσταγὴς • νόητα • νοητὸν • οὐσίας • σταζω • τὰ ὄντα • τὸ Κῦρος καί κύριον. dicto. •Hinc lachrymae illae •clarus apud saeculum et Christi fidei deditus. Timotheo.

Dionysius the Areopagite. Works (1897) Dionysius the Areopagite 162  163  164  165  166  167  168  169  170  171  172  173  174  175  176  177  178  179  180  181  182  183  184  185  186  187  188  189  190  191  192  193  194  195  196  197  198  199  200  201  202  203  204  205  206  207  208  vi  vii  viii  ix  x  xi  xii  xiii  xiv  xv  xvi  xvii  xviii  xix  xx  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65  66  67  68  69  70  71  72  73  74  75  76  77  78  79  80  81  82  83  84  85  86  87  88  89  90  91  92  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  102  103  104  105  106  107  108  109  110  111  112  113  114  115  116  117  118  119  120  121  122  123  124  125  126  127  128  129  130  131  132  133  134  135  136  137  138  139  140  141  142  143  144  145  146  147  148  149  150  151  152  153  154  155  156  157  158  159  160  161  162  163  164  165  166  167  168  193 .

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