Ecclesiastical Hierarchy/Caput III

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Ecclesiastical Hierarchy by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, translated by John Parker
Caput III

I. Concerning things accomplished in the Synaxis.[edit]

  Courage, then, since we have made mention of this (Eucharist) which we
  may not pass over to celebrate any other Hierarchical function in
  preference to it. For according to our illustrious Leader, it is
  "initiation of initiations," and one must first lay down the Divine
  description of it, before the rest, from the inspired and hierarchical
  science of the Oracles, and then be borne by the supremely Divine
  Spirit to its sacred contemplation. First, let us reverently consider
  this; for what reason that, which is common also to the other
  Hierarchical initiations, is pre-eminently attributed to it, beyond the
  rest; and it is uniquely called, "Communion and Synaxis," when each
  consecrating function both collects our divided lives into uniform
  deification, and gives communion and union with the One, by the Godlike
  folding together of our diversities. Now we affirm that the Perfecting
  by the communications of the other Hierarchical symbols springs from
  the supremely Divine and perfecting gifts of it. For it scarcely ever
  happens, that any Hierarchical initiation is completed without the most
  Divine Eucharist, as head of the things done in each, ministering the
  collecting of the person initiated to the One, and completing his
  communion with God, by the Divinely transmitted gift of the perfecting
  mysteries. If, then, each of the Hierarchical initiations, being indeed
  incomplete, will not make perfect our communion and our gathering to
  the One, even its being initiation is precluded on account of the lack
  of completeness. Now since the imparting of the supremely Divine
  mysteries to the man initiated is the head and tail of every
  initiation, naturally then the Hierarchical judgment hit upon an
  appellation propel to it, from the truth of the facts. Thus, for
  instance, with regard to the holy initiation of the Divine birth; since
  it imparts first-Light, and is head of all the Divine illuminations, we
  celebrate the true appellation from the enlightening effected. For,
  though it be common to all Hierarchical functions to impart the gift of
  sacred light to those initiated, yet it[1] gave to me the power to
  see first, and through its first light I am enlightened to gaze upon
  the other religious rites. Having said this, let us minutely
  investigate and examine hierarchically the accurate administration and
  contemplation of the most pure initiation, in every particular.

II. Mysterion [2] of Synaxis, that is, Communion.[edit]

  The Hierarch, having completed a reverent prayer, near the Divine
  Altar, starts with the incensing, and proceeds to every part of the
  enclosure of the sacred place; he then returns to the Divine Altar, and
  begins the sacred chanting of the Psalms, the whole ecclesiastical
  assembly chanting, with him, the sacred language of the Psalter. Next
  follows the reading of the Holy Scriptures by the Leitourgoi. After
  these readings the catechumens quit the sacred enclosure, as well as
  the "possessed," and the penitents. But those who are deemed worthy of
  the sight and participation of the Divine Mysteries remain. Of the
  Leitourgoi, some stand near the closed gates of the sanctuary, whilst
  others perform some other duty of their own rank. 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 Song[3] of
  Praise is being professed beforehand by the whole body of the Church.
  Added to these, the Divine Hierarch makes a sacred prayer, and
  proclaims the holy Peace to all. When all have kissed each other, the
  mystical proclamation of the holy tablets is performed. When the
  Hierarch and the Priests have washed their hands in water, the Hierarch
  stands in the midst of the Divine Altar, and the chosen Deacons alone,
  with the Priests, stand around. The Hierarch, when he has sung the
  sacred works of God, ministers things most divine, and brings to view
  the things sung, through the symbols reverently exposed,[4] and
  when he has shewn the gifts of the works of God,[5] he first
  proceeds to the sacred participation of the same, and turns and exhorts
  the others. When he has received and distributed the supremely Divine
  Communion, he terminates with a holy thanksgiving; whilst the multitude
  have merely glanced at the Divine symbols alone, he is ever conducted
  by the Divine Spirit, as becomes a Hierarch, in the purity of a Godlike
  condition, to the holy sources of the things performed, in blessed and
  intelligible visions.


III. Contemplation[edit]

Section I[edit]

Here then, too, O excellent son, after the images, I come in due order

  and reverence to the Godlike reality of the archetypes, saying here to
  those yet being initiated, for the harmonious guidance of their souls,
  that the varied and sacred composition of the symbols is not without
  spiritual contemplation for them, as merely presented superficially.
  For the most sacred chants and readings of the Oracles teach them a
  discipline of a virtuous life, and previous to this, the, complete
  purification from destructive evil; and the most Divine, and common,
  and peaceful distribution of one and the same, both Bread and Cup,
  enjoins upon them a godly fellowship in character, as having a
  fellowship in food, and recalls to their memory the most Divine Supper,
  and arch-symbol of the rites performed, agreeably with which the
  Founder of the symbols Himself excludes, most justly, him who had
  supped with Him on the holy things, not piously [6]and in a manner
  suitable to his character; teaching at once, clearly and Divinely, that
  the approach to Divine mysteries with a sincere mind confers, on those
  who draw nigh, the participation in a gift according to their own
  character.

Section II[edit]

  Let us, then, as I said, leave behind these things, beautifully
  depicted upon the entrance of the. innermost shrine, as being
  sufficient for those, who are yet incomplete for contemplation, and let
  us proceed from the effects to the causes; and then, Jesus lighting the
  way, we shall view our holy Synaxis, and the comely contemplation of
  things intelligible, which makes radiantly manifest the blessed beauty
  of the archetypes. But, oh, most Divine and holy initiation, uncovering
  the folds of the dark mysteries enveloping thee in symbols, be manifest
  to us in thy bright glory, and fill our intellectual visions with
  single and unconcealed light.

Section III[edit]

  We must, then, in my opinion, pass within the All Holy Mysteries, after
  we have laid bare the intelligible of the first of the votive gifts, to
  gaze upon its Godlike beauty, and view the Hierarch, divinely going
  with sweet fragrance from the Divine Altar to the furthermost bounds of
  the holy place, and again returning to it to complete the function. For
  the Blessedness, supremely Divine above all, even if, through Divine
  goodness, It goes forth to the communion of the holy who participate in
  It, yet It never goes outside its essential unmoved position and
  steadfastness; and illuminates all the Godlike in due degree, being
  always self-centred, and in nowise moved from its own proper identity;
  so, too, the Divine initiation (sacrament) of the Synaxis, although it
  has a unique, and simple, and enfolded Source, is multiplied, out of
  love towards man, into the holy variety of the symbols, and travels
  through the whole range of the supremely Divine description; yet
  uniformly it is again collected from these, into its own proper Monady,
  and unifies those who are being reverently conducted towards it. In the
  same Godlike manner, the Divine Hierarch, if he benignly lowers to his
  subordinates his own unique Hierarchical science, by using the
  multiplicities of the holy enigmas, yet again, as absolute, and not to
  be held in check by smaller things, he is restored to his proper
  headship without diminution, and, when he has made the intellectual
  entry of himself to the One, he sees clearly the uniform raisons d'�tre
  of the things done, as he makes the goal of his philanthropic progress
  to things secondary the more Divine [7]return to things primary.

Section IV[edit]

  The chanting of the Psalms, being co-essential with almost all the
  Hierarchical mysteries, was not likely to be separated from the most
  Hierarchical of all. For every holy and inspired Scripture sets forth
  for those meet for deification, either the originated beginning and
  ordering of things from God; or the Hierarchy and polity of the Law; or
  the distributions and possessions of the inheritances of the people of
  God; or the understanding of sacred judges, or of wise kings, or of
  inspired Priests: or philosophy of men of old time, unshaken in
  endurances of the things let loose in variety and multitude; or the
  treasures of wisdom for the conduct of life; or songs and inspired
  pictures of Divine Loves; or the declaratory predictions of things to
  come; or the Theandric works of Jesus; or the God-transmitted and
  God-imitating polities and holy teachings of His Disciples, or the
  hidden and mystic gaze of the beloved and divinely sweet of the
  disciples, or the supermundane theology of Jesus; and implanted them in
  the holy and Godlike instructions of the mystic rites. Now the sacred
  description of the Divine Odes, whose purpose is to sing the words and
  works of God throughout, and to praise the holy words and works of
  godly men, forms an universal Ode and narrative of things Divine, and
  makes, in those who inspiredly recite it, a habit suitable for the
  reception and distribution of every Hierarchical mystery.

Section V[edit]

  When, then, the comprehensive melody of the holy Hymns has harmonized
  the habits of our souls to the things which are presently to be
  ministered, and, by the unison of the Divine Odes, as one and
  concordant chorus of holy men, has established an accord with things
  Divine, and themselves,[8] and one another, the things, more
  strained and obscure in the intellectual language of the mystic Psalms,
  are expanded by the most holy lections of the inspired writings,
  through more full and distinct images and narratives. He, who devoutly
  contemplates these, will perceive the uniform and one conspiration, as
  being moved by One, the supremely Divine Spirit. Hence, naturally, in
  the history of the world, after the more ancient [9]tradition, the
  new Covenant is proclaimed; the inspired and Hierarchical order
  teaching this, as I think, that the one affirmed the Divine works of
  Jesus, as to come; but the other accomplished; and as that described
  the truth in figures, this shewed it present. For the accomplishment,
  within this, of the predictions of that, established the truth, and the
  work of God is a consummation of the Word of God.

Section VI[edit]

  Those who absolutely have no ear for these sacred initiations do not
  even recognize the images,-- unblushingly rejecting the saving
  revelation of the Divine Birth, and in opposition to the Oracles reply
  to their destruction, "Thy ways I do not wish to know."
  Now the regulation of the holy Hierarchy permits the catechumens, and
  the possessed, and the penitents, to hear the sacred chanting of the
  Psalms, and the inspired reading of the all-Holy Scriptures; but it
  does not invite them to the next religious services and contemplations,
  but only the eyes of the initiated. For the Godlike Hierarchy is full
  of reverent justice, and distributes savingly to each, according to
  their due, bequeathing savingly the harmonious communication of each of
  the things Divine, in measure, and proportion, and due time. The lowest
  rank, then, is assigned to the catechumens, for they are without
  participation and instruction in every Hierarchical initiation, not
  even having the being in God by Divine Birth, but are yet being brought
  to[10] Birth by the Paternal Oracles, and moulded, by life-giving
  formations, towards the blessed introduction to their first life and
  first light from Birth in God. As, then, children after the flesh, if,
  whilst immature and unformed, they should anticipate their proper
  delivery, as untimely born and abortions, will fall to earth without
  life and without light; and no one, in his senses, would say from what
  he saw, that they, released from the darkness of the womb, were brought
  to the light (for the medical authority, which is learned in the
  functions of the body, would say that light operates on things
  receptive of light); so also the all-wise science of religious rites
  brings these first to delivery, by the preparatory nourishment of the
  formative and life-giving Oracles; and when it has made their person
  ripe for Divine Birth, gives to them savingly, in due order, the
  participation in things luminous and perfecting; but, at present, it
  separates things perfect from them as imperfect, consulting the good
  order of sacred things, and the delivery and life of the catechumens,
  in a Godlike order of the Hierarchical rites.

Section VII[edit]

  Now the multitude of the possessed indeed is unholy, but it is next
  above the catechumens, which is lowest. Nor is that which has received
  a certain participation in the most holy offices, but is yet entangled
  by contrary qualities, whether enchantments or terrors, on a par, as I
  think, with the altogether uninitiated and entirely uncommunicated in
  the Divine initiations; but, even for them, the view and participation
  in the holy mysteries is contracted, and very properly. For, if it be
  true that the altogether godly man, the worthy partaker of the Divine
  mysteries, the one carried to the very summit of the Divine likeness,
  to the best of his powers, in complete and most perfect deifications,
  does not even perform the things of the flesh, beyond the most
  necessary requirements of nature, and then as a parergon, but will be,
  at the same time, a temple, and a follower, according to his ability,
  of the supremely Divine Spirit, in the highest deification, implanting
  like in like;--such an one as this would never be possessed by opposing
  phantoms or fears, but will laugh them to scorn, and when they
  approach, will cast them down and put them to flight, and will act
  rather than comply, and in addition to the passionless and
  indomitableness of his own character, will be seen also a physician to
  others, for such "possessions" as these; (and I think further, yea,
  rather, I know certainly that the most impartial discrimination of
  Hierarchical persons knows more than they,[11] that such as are
  possessed with a most detestable possession, by departing from the
  Godlike life, become of one mind and one condition with destructive
  demons, by turning themselves from things that really are, and undying
  possessions, and everlasting pleasures, for the sake of the most base
  and impassioned folly destructive to themselves; and by desiring and
  pursuing the earthly variableness, and the perishable and corrupting
  pleasures, and the unstable comfort in things foreign to their nature,
  not real but seeming;) these then, first, and more properly than those,
  were shut out by the discriminating authority of the Deacon; for it is
  not permitted to them to have part in any other holy function than the
  teaching of the Oracles, which is likely to turn them to better things.
  For, if the supermundane Service of the Divine Mysteries excludes those
  under penitence, and those who have already attained it, not permitting
  anything to come near which is not completely perfect, and proclaims,
  and this in all sincerity, 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).; how much more, then, 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. When, then,
  the uninitiated in the mysteries, and the imperfect, and with them the
  apostates from the religious life, and after them, those who through
  unmanliness are prone to the fears and fancies of contrary influences,
  as not reaching through the persistent and indomitable inclination
  towards godliness, the stability and activity of a Godlike condition;
  then, in addition to these, those who have separated indeed from the
  contrary life, but have not yet been cleansed from its imaginations by
  a godly and pure habit and love, and next, those who are not altogether
  uniform, and to use an expression of the Law, "entirely without spot
  and blemish," when these have been excluded from the divine temple and
  the service which is too high for them, the all-holy ministers and
  loving contemplators of things all-holy, gazing reverently upon the
  most pure rite, sing in an universal Hymn of Praise [12]the Author
  and Giver of all good, from Whom the saving mystic Rites were exhibited
  to us, which divinely work the sacred deification of those being
  initiated. Now this Hymn some indeed call a Hymn of Praise, others, the
  symbol of worship, but others, as I think, more divinely, a
  Hierarchical thanksgiving, as giving a summary of the holy gifts which
  come to us from God. For, it seems to me the record [13]of all the
  works of God related to have been done for us in song, which, after it
  had benevolently fixed our being and life, and moulded the Divine
  likeness in ourselves to beautiful archetypes, and placed us in
  participation of a more Divine condition and elevation; but when it
  beheld the dearth of Divine gifts, which came upon us by our
  heedlessness, is declared to have called us back to our first
  condition, by goods restored, and by the complete assumption [14]of
  what was ours, to have made good the most perfect impartation of His
  own, and thus tp have given to us a participation in God and Divine
  things.

Section VIII[edit]

  When the supremely Divine love towards Man has thus been religiously
  celebrated, the Divine Bread is presented, veiled, and likewise the Cup
  of Blessing, and the most Divine greeting is devoutly performed, and
  the mystic and supermundane recital of the holy-written tablets. For it
  is not possible to be collected to the One, and to partake of the
  peaceful union with the One, when people are divided amongst
  themselves. For if, being illuminated by the contemplation and
  knowledge of the One, we would be united to an uniform and Divine
  agreement, we must not permit ourselves to descend to divided lusts,
  from which are formed earthly enmities, envious and passionate, against
  that which is according to nature. This unified and undivided life is,
  in my opinion, established by the holy service of the "peace," which
  establishes like in like, and separates the Divine and unified visions
  from things divided. The recital of the holy tablets after the "peace"
  proclaims those who have passed through life holily, and have reached
  the term of a virtuous life without faltering, urging and conducting us
  to their blessed condition and Divine repose, through similarity to
  them, and, announcing them as living, and, as the Word of God says,
  "not dead, but as having passed from death to a most divine life."[15]

Section IX[edit]

  But observe that they are enrolled in the holy memorials, not as though
  the Divine memory were represented under the figure of a memorial,
  after the manner of men; but as one might say, with reverence towards
  God, as beseems the august and unfailing knowledge in God of those who
  have been perfected in the likeness of God. For "He knoweth," say the
  Oracles, "them that are His," and "precious, in the sight of the Lord,
  is the death of His saints, "death of saints," being said, instead of
  the perfection in holiness. And bear this religiously in mind, that
  when the worshipful symbols have been placed on the Divine Altar,
  through which (symbols) the Christ is signified and partaken, there is
  inseparably present the reading of the register of the holy persons,
  signifying the indivisible conjunction of their supermundane and sacred
  union with Him. When these things have been ministered, according to
  the regulations described, the Hierarch, standing before the most holy
  symbols, washes his hands with water, together with the reverend order
  of the Priests. Because, as the Oracles testify, when a man has been
  washed, he needs no other washing, except that of his extremities, i.e
  his lowest; through which extreme cleansing he will be resistless and
  free, as altogether uniform, in a sanctified habit of the Divine
  Likeness, and advancing in a goodly manner to things secondary, and
  being turned again uniquely to the One, he will make his return,
  without spot and blemish, as preserving the fulness and completeness of
  the Divine Likeness.

Section X[edit]

  There was indeed the sacred laver, as we have said, in the Hierarchy of
  the Law;[16] and the present cleansing of the hands of the Hierarch
  and the Priests suggests it. For it behoves those who approach the most
  hallowed service to be purified even to the remotest imaginations of
  the soul, through likeness to it, and, as far as possible, to draw
  nigh; for thus they will shed around more visibly the Divine
  manifestations, since the supermundane flashes permit their own
  splendour to pass more thoroughly and brilliantly into the brightness
  of mirrors like themselves. Further, the cleansing of the Hierarch and
  the Priests to their extremities, i.e. lowest, takes place before the
  most holy symbols, as in the presence of Christ, Who surveys all our
  most secret thoughts, and since the utmost purification is established
  under His all-surveying scrutiny, and most just and unflinching
  judgment, the Hierarch thus becomes one with the things Divine, and,
  when he has extolled the holy works of God, he ministers things most
  Divine, and brings to view the things being sung.[17]

Section XI[edit]

  We will now explain, in detail, to the best of our ability, certain
  works of God, of which we spoke. For I am not competent to sing all,
  much less to know accurately, and to reveal their mysteries to others.
  Now whatever things have been sung and ministered by the inspired
  Hierarchs, agreeably to the Oracles, these we will declare, as far as
  attainable to us, invoking the Hierarchical inspiration to our aid.
  When, in the beginning, our human nature had thoughtlessly fallen from
  the good things of God, it received, by inheritance, the life subject
  to many passions, and the goal of the destructive death.[18] For, 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, to his own downward
  inclinations and the enticing and hostile wiles of the adversary--the
  contraries of the divine goods; thence it pitiably exchanged for the
  eternal, the mortal, and, having had its own origin in deadly
  generations, the goal naturally corresponded with the beginning; but
  having willingly fallen from the Divine and elevating life, it was
  carried to the contrary extremity,--the variableness of many passions,
  and lead astray, and turned aside from the strait way leading to the
  true God,--and subjected to destructive and evil-working
  multitudes--naturally forgot that it was worshipping, not gods, or
  friends, but enemies. Now when these had treated it harshly, according
  to their own cruelty, it fell pitiably into danger of annihilation and
  destruction; but the boundless Loving-kindness of the supremely Divine
  goodness towards man did not, in Its benevolence, withdraw from us Its
  spontaneous forethought, but having truly participated sinlessly in all
  things belonging to us, and having been made one with our lowliness in
  connection with the unconfused and flawless possession of Its own
  properties in full perfection, It bequeathed to us, as henceforth
  members of the same family, the communion with Itself, and proclaimed
  us partakers of Its own beautiful things; having, as the secret
  teaching holds, loosed the power of the rebellious multiplicity, which
  was against us; not by force, as having the upper hand, but, according
  to the Logion, mystically transmitted to us, "in judgment and
  righteousness."
  The things within us, then, It benevolently changed to the entire
  contrary. For the lightless within Our mind It filled with blessed and
  most Divine Light, and adorned the formless with Godlike beauties; the
  tabernacle [19]of our soul It liberated from most damnable passions
  and destructive stains by a perfected deliverance of our being which
  was all but prostrate, by shewing to us a supermundane elevation, and
  an inspired polity in our religious assimilation to Itself, as far as
  is possible.

Section XII[edit]

  But how could the Divine imitation otherwise become ours, unless the
  remembrance of the most holy works of God were perpetually being
  renewed by the mystical teachings and ministrations of the Hierarchy?
  This, then, we do, as the Oracles say, "for Its remembrance." Wherefore
  the Divine Hierarch, standing before the Divine Altar, extols the
  aforesaid holy works of God, which proceed from the most divine
  forethought of Jesus on our behalf, which He accomplished for
  preservation of our race, by the good pleasure of the most Holy Father
  in the Holy Spirit, according to the Logion. When he has extolled their
  majesty, and gazed, with intellectual eyes, upon their intelligible
  contemplation, he proceeds to their symbolical ministration,--and
  this,--as transmitted from God. Whence after the holy hymns of the
  works of God, he piously and, as becomes a hierarch, deprecates his own
  unworthiness for a service above his merits, first, reverently crying
  aloud to Him, "Thou hast said, This do for My remembrance." Then,[20] having asked to become meet for this the God-imitating of service, and
  to consecrate things Divine by the assimilation to Christ Himself, and
  to distribute them altogether purely, and that those who shall partake
  of things holy may receive them holily, he consecrates things most
  Divine, and brings to view through the symbols reverently exposed the
  things whose praises are being sung. For when he has unveiled the
  veiled and undivided Bread, and divided it into many, and has divided
  the Oneness of the Cup to all, he symbolically multiplies and
  distributes the unity, completing in these an altogether most holy
  ministration. For the "one," and "simple," and "hidden," of Jesus, the
  most supremely Divine Word, by His incarnation amongst us, came forth,
  out of goodness and love towards man, to the compound and visible, and
  benevolently devised the unifying, communion, having united, to the
  utmost, our lowliness to the most Divine of Himself; if indeed we have
  been fitted to Him, as members to a body, after the identity of a
  blameless and Divine life, and have not, by being killed through
  destructive passions, become inharmonious, and unfastened, and unyoked,
  to the godly and most healthy members. For, if we aspire to communion
  with Him, we must keep our eye fixed upon His most godly Life in the
  flesh, and we must retrace our path to the Godlike and blameless habit
  of Its holy sinlessness by assimilation to It; for thus He will
  communicate harmoniously to us the communion with the similar.

Section XIII[edit]

  The Hierarch makes known these things to those who are living
  religiously, by bringing the veiled gifts to view, by dividing their
  oneness into many, and by making the recipients partakers of them, by
  the utmost union of the things distributed with those who receive them.
  For he delineates in these things under sensible forms our intelligible
  life in figures, by bringing to view the Christ Jesus from the Hidden
  within the Divine Being, out of love to man, made like unto us by the
  all-perfect and unconfused incarnation in our race, from us, and
  advancing to the divided condition of ourselves, without change from
  the essential One, and calling the human race, through this beneficent
  love of man, into participation with Himself and His own good things,
  provided we are united to His most Divine Life by our assimilation to
  it, as far as possible; and by this, in very truth, we shall have been
  perfected, as partakers of God and of Divine things.

Section XIV[edit]

  Having received and distributed the supremely Divine Communion, he
  terminates with a holy thanksgiving, in which the whole body of the
  Church take part. For the Communion precedes the imparting, and the
  reception of the mysteries, the mystic distribution. For this is the
  universal regulation and order of the Divine Mysteries, that the
  reverend Leader should first partake, and be filled with the gifts, to
  be imparted, through him, from God to others, and so impart to others
  also. Wherefore, those who rashly content themselves with the inspired
  instructions, in preference to a life and condition agreeable to the
  same, are profane, and entirely alien from the sacred regulation
  established. For, as in the case of the bright shining of the sun, the
  more delicate and luminous substances, being first filled with the
  brilliancy flowing into them, brightly impart their overflowing light
  to things after them; so it is not tolerable that one, who has not
  become altogether Godlike in his whole character, and proved to be in
  harmony with the Divine influence and judgment, should become Leader to
  others, in the altogether divine.

Section XV[edit]

  Meanwhile, the whole order of the Priests having been collected
  together in hierarchical order, and communicated in the most Divine
  mysteries, finishes with a holy thanksgiving, after having recognized
  and sung the favours of the works of God, according to their degree. So
  that those, who have not partaken and are ignorant of things Divine,
  would not attain to thanksgiving, although the most Divine gifts are,
  in their essential nature, worthy of thanksgiving. But, as I said, not
  having wished even to look at the Divine gifts, from their inclination
  to things inferior, they have remained throughout ungracious towards
  the boundless graces of the works of God. "Taste and see," say the
  Oracles, for, by the sacred initiation of things Divine, the initiated
  recognize their munificent graces, and, by gazing with utmost reverence
  upon their most Divine height and breadth in the participation, they
  will sing the supercelestial beneficent works of the Godhead with
  gracious thanksgiving.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. Baptism, Ap. C. lib. 3, c. 16.
  2. See Traict� de la Liturgie ou S. Messe selon l'usage et la forme des apostres, et de leur disciple Sainct Denys, Apostre des Fran�ois, par. Gilb. Genebrard, archevesque d'Aix.
  3. Ap. C. lib. 8, s. 12, Lit. of Dionysius, p. 189.
  4. As in Denmark.
  5. theourgion--Divine Mysteries?,
  6. John xiii. 11.St. Cyprian thought Judas was excluded; St. Augustine not. See Cornelius a Lapide on John xiii. 11Ap. C. S, s. 14.
  7. Hieracles, p. 41.
  8. Republic, lib. iv. ad finem. Dulac, p. 426-7.
  9. The Law and the Propehts.
  10. See Plato, Thet. i. 114, 115. Dulac, 429.
  11. The energoumenoi.
  12. The whole Psalter is said in Liturgy of St. James before celebration.
  13. Liturgy of Dionysius, p. 191.
  14. Incarnation
  15. 1 John iii. 14.
  16. Deut. xxi. 6.
  17. As is the use in Denmark.
  18. The Fall.
  19. Plato, Crat. i. 295.
  20. Prayer of humble access.