SELECTIONS FROM EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITERS: ILLUSTRATIVE OF CHURCH HISTORY TO THE TIME OF CONSTANTINE by Henry Melvill Gwatkin, M.A. First Edition, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1893. Reprinted with additions and corrections, 1897, 1902, 1905. Prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram, 2013.
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XLIII. ORIGEN, In Lev. Hom. v (Philocalia, 1, ad fin.)


The Letter and the Spirit


Ἐπεὶ οὖν σννέστηκεν ἡ γραφὴ καὶ αὐτὴ oἱoveὶ ἐκ σώματος μὲν τοῦ βλεπομένου, ψυχῆς δὲ τῆς ἐν αὐτῷ νοούμενης καὶ καταλαμβανoμένης, καὶ πνεύματος τοῦ κατὰ τὰ ὑποδείγματα καὶ σκιὰν τῶν ἐπουρανίων· φέρε, ἐπικαλεσάμενοι τὸν ποιήσαντα τῇ γραφῇ σῶμα καὶ ψνχὴν καὶ πνεῦμα, σῶμα μὲν τοῖς πρὸ ημῶν, ψυχὴν δὲ ἡμῖν, πνεῦμα δὲ τοῖς ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι αἰῶνι κληρονομήσουσι ζωὴν αἰώνιον καὶ μέλλουσιν ἥκειν ἐπὶ τὰ ἐπουράνια καὶ ἀληθινὰ τοῦ νόμου, ἐρευνήσωμεν οὐ τὸ γράμμα ἀλλὰ τὴν ψυχὴν ἐπὶ τοῦ παρόντος· eἰ δὲ οἷοί τέ ἐσμεν, ἀναβησόμεθα καὶ ἐπὶ τὸ πνεῦμα, κατὰ τὸν λόγον τὸν περὶ τῶν ἀναγνωσθεισῶν θυσιῶν.

Since then Scripture itself also consists as it were of a visible body, and of the soul in it that is perceived and understood, and of the spirit which is according to the patterns and shadow of the heavenly things – come, let us call on Him who made for Scripture body and soul and spirit, a body for them that came before us, a soul for us, and a spirit for them that in the age to come shall inherit life eternal, and shall attain to the heavenly and true things of the law; and so let us for the present search not the letter but the soul. And if we are able, we shall ascend also to the spirit, in our account of the sacrifices whereof we have just read.


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