Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.
Although the following (a reported philosophical-theological debate between Archelaus a Mesopotamian bishop, c. 301 A.D., versus Manes, the founder of Manichaeism) is one of the longer extracts of a Church Father I have ever posted at one given time, I would post more of it if I could, but forbear from doing so in the interest of convienence and brevity. For any then who might be further interested I would direct you to the full text of the original and which you can find at http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0616.htm
33...Now, from this learn who is this father of the devil. When he fell from the kingdom of heaven, he came to dwell upon earth, and there he remained, ever watching and seeking out some one to whom he might attach himself, and whom, through an alliance with himself, he might also make a partner in his own wickedness. Now as long, indeed, as man was not yet existent, the devil was never called either a murderer or a liar together with his father. But subsequently, when man had once been made, and when further he had been deceived by the devil's lies and craftiness, and when the devil had also introduced himself into the body of the serpent, which was the most sagacious of all the beasts, then from that time the devil was called a liar together with his father, and then also the curse was made to rest not only on himself, but also on his father. Accordingly, when the serpent had received him, and had indeed admitted him wholly into its own being, it was, as it were, rendered pregnant, for it bore the burden of the devil's vast wickedness; and it was like one with child, and under the strain of parturition, as it sought to eject the agitations of his malignant suggestions. For the serpent, grudging the glory of the first man, made its way into paradise; and harbouring these pains of parturition in itself, it began to produce mendacious addresses, and to generate death for the men who had been fashioned by God, and who had received the gift of life. The devil, however, was not able to manifest himself completely through the serpent; but he reserved his perfection for a time, in order that he might demonstrate it through Cain, by whom he was generated completely. And thus through the serpent, on the one hand, he displayed his hypocrisies and deceits to Eve; while through Cain, on the other hand, he effected the beginning of murder, introducing himself into the firstlings of the “fruits,” which that man administered so badly. From this the devil has been called a murderer from the beginning, and also a liar, because he deceived the parties to whom he said, “You shall be as gods; ” for those very persons whom he falsely declared destined to be gods were afterwards cast out of paradise. Wherefore the serpent which conceived him in its womb, and bore him, and brought him forth to the light of day, is constituted the devil's first father; and Cain is made his second father, who through the conception of iniquities produced pains and parricide: for truly the taking of life was the perpetrating of iniquity, unrighteousness, and impiety all together. Furthermore, all who receive him, and do his lusts, are constituted his brothers. Pharaoh is his father in perfection. Every impious man is made his father. Judas became his father, since he conceived him indeed, though he miscarried: for he did not present a perfect parturition there, since it was really a greater person who was assailed through Judas; and consequently, as I say, it proved an abortion. For just as the woman receives the man's seed, and thereby also becomes sensible of a daily growth within her, so also did Judas make daily advances in evil, the occasions for that being furnished him like seed by the wicked one. And the first seed of evil in him, indeed, was the lust of money; and its increment was theft, for he purloined the moneys which were deposited in the bag. Its offspring, moreover, consisted of less vexations, and compacts with the Pharisees, and the scandalous bargain for a price; yet it was the abortion, and not the birth, that was witnessed in the horrid noose by which he met his death. And exactly in the same way shall it stand also with you: if you bring the wicked one to light in your own deeds, and do his lusts, you have conceived him, and will be called his father; but, on the other hand, if you cherish penitence, and deliver yourself of your burden, you will be like one that brings to the birth...
...And so those, too, who conceive in respect of the fear of the wicked one, and bring forth the spirit of iniquity, must needs be called the fathers of the same...
48. On hearing these statements, the multitudes assembled were greatly moved, as if they felt that these reasonings gave the correct account of the truth, and that Archelaus could have nothing to urge against them; for this was indicated by the commotion which arose among them. But when the crowd of auditors became quiet again, Archelaus made answer in the following manner: No one, truly, shall ever be able to prove himself mightier than the voice of our Lord Jesus Christ, neither is there found any name equal to His, as it is written: “Wherefore God has exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.” Nor, again, in the matter of testimony can any one ever be equal to Him; and accordingly I shall simply adduce the testimonies of His own voice in answer to you—first of all, indeed, with the view of solving those difficulties which have been enunciated by you, so that you may not say, as is your wont to do, that these are matters which are not in harmony with the Person Himself. Now, you maintain that the man who brought the word to Jesus about His mother and His brethren [Matthew 12:46-48]was rebuked by Him as if he was in error, as the writer was in error. Well, I affirm that neither was this person rebuked who brought Him the message about His mother and His brethren, nor was Peter only named blessed above him; but each of these two parties received from Him the answer that was properly called forth by their several utterances, as the discourse will demonstrate in what follows. When one is a child, he thinks as a child, he speaks as a child; but when he becomes a mature man, those things are to be done away which are proper for a child: in other words, when one reaches forth unto those things which are before, he will forget those which are behind. Hence, when our Lord Jesus Christ was engaged in teaching and healing the race of men, so that all pertaining to it might not utterly perish together, and when the minds of all those who were listening to Him were intently occupied with these interests, it made an interruption altogether inopportune when this messenger came in and put Him in mind of His mother and His brethren. What then? Ought He, now, yourself being judge, to have left those whom He was healing and instructing, and gone to speak with His mother and His brethren? Would you not by such a supposition at once lower the character of the Person Himself? When, again, He chose certain men who were laden and burdened with sins for the honour of discipleship, to the number of twelve, whom He also named His apostles, He gave them this injunction, Leave father and mother, that you may be made worthy of me; intending by this that thence forward the memory of father or mother should no more impair the steadfastness of their heart. And on another occasion, when a different individual chose to say to Him, “I will go and bury my father,” He answered, “Let the dead bury their dead.” Behold, then, how my Lord Jesus Christ edifies His disciples unto all things necessary, and delivers His sacred words to every one, in due accordance with what is meet for him. And just in the same way, too, on this other occasion, when a certain person came in with the inconsiderate message about His mother, He did not embrace the occurrence as an opportunity for leaving His Father's commission unattended to even for the sake of having His mother with Him. But in order to show you still more clearly that this is the real account of the matter, let me remind you that Peter, on a certain season, subsequent to the time of his receiving that declaration of blessedness from Him, said to Jesus, “Be it far from You, Lord: this shall not be unto You.” This he said after Jesus had announced to him that the Son of man must go up to Jerusalem, and be killed, and rise again the third day. And in answer then to Peter He said: “Get behind me, Satan; for you savour not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Now, since it is your opinion that the man who brought the message about His mother and His brethren was rebuked by Jesus, and that he who said a little before, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” obtained the word of blessing, mark you that Jesus (may be said to have) rather preferred that person to whom He condescended to give the more gracious and indulgent answer; whereas Peter, even after that benediction, now got no appellation expressive of indulgence addressed to him, by reason of his having failed carefully to observe the nature of the announcement that was made to him. For the error of that messenger was at once corrected by the tenor of the reply; but the dulness of this apostle's apprehension was condemned with a severer rebuke. And from this you may perceive that the Lord Jesus, observing what was proper and opportune with regard to the interrogations thus addressed to Him, gave to each the reply that was worthy of it, and suited to it. But supposing that, as you say, Peter was pronounced blessed on the ground of his having said what was true, and that that messenger was reproved on account of the error he committed, tell me then why it is, that when the devils confessed Him, and said, “We know You, who You are, the holy God,” He rebuked them, and commanded them to be silent? Why was it not the case, if He does indeed take pleasure in the testimonies borne to Him by those who confess Him, that He recompensed them also with benedictions, as He did to Peter when he gave utterance to the truth? But if that would be an absurd supposition, it only remains that we must understand the words spoken by Him always in accordance with the place, the time, the persons, the subjects, and the due consideration of the circumstances. For only this method will save us from falling into the error of pronouncing rashly on His sayings, and thus making ourselves liable to merited chastisement: and this will also help me to make it more and more intelligible to you, that the man who brought the tidings of His mother was much rather the person honoured. However, in forgetfulness of the subject which was proposed to us for discussion, you have turned off to a different theme. Nevertheless listen to me for a brief space. For if you choose, indeed, to consider those words somewhat more carefully, we shall find that the Lord Jesus displayed great clemency in the case of the former of these two parties; and this I shall prove to you by illustrations stilted to your capacity. A certain king who had taken up arms, and gone forth to meet an enemy, was earnestly considering and planning how he might subdue those hostile and foreign forces. And when his mind was occupied with many cares and anxieties, after he had forced his way among his adversaries, and when, further, as he began afterwards to make captives of them, the anxious thought was now also pressing upon him as to how he might secure the safety and interests of those who had toiled with him, and borne the burden of the war, a certain messenger broke inopportunely in upon him, and began to remind him of domestic matters. But he was astonished at the man's boldness, and at his unseasonable suggestions, and thought of delivering such a fellow over to death. And had that messenger not been one who was able to appeal to his tenderest affections in bringing the news that it was well with those at home, and that all went on prosperously and successfully there, that punishment might have been his instant and well-merited doom. For what else should be a king's care, so long as the time of war endures, than to provide for the safety of the people of his province, and to look after military matters? And even thus it also was that that messenger came inopportunely in upon my Lord Jesus Christ, and brought the report about His mother and His brethren unseasonably, just when He was fighting against ills which had assailed the very citadel of the heart, and when He was healing those who for a long time had been under the power of diverse infirmities, and when He had now put forth His utmost effort to secure the salvation of all. And truly that man might have met with a sentence like that pronounced on Peter, or even one severer still. But the hearing of the name of His mother and His brethren drew forth His clemency.
49. But in addition to all that has been said already, I wish to adduce still further proof, so that all may understand what impiety is contained in this assertion of yours. For if your allegation is true, that He was not born, then it will follow undoubtedly that He did not suffer; for it is not possible for one to suffer who was not also born. But if He did not suffer, then the name of the cross is done away with. And if the cross was not endured, then Jesus did not rise from the dead. And if Jesus rose not from the dead, then no other person will rise again. And if no one shall rise again, then there will be no judgment. For it is certain that, if I am not to rise again, I cannot be judged. But if there is to be no judgment, then the keeping of God's commandments will be to no purpose, and there will be no occasion for abstinence: nay, we may say, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die.” For all these consequences follow when you deny that He was born of Mary. But if you acknowledge that He was born of Mary, then His passion will necessarily follow, and His resurrection will be consequent on His passion, and the judgment on His resurrection: and thus the injunctions of Scripture will have their proper value for us. This is not therefore an idle question, but there are the mightiest issues involved in this word. For just as all the law and the prophets are summed up in two words, so also all our hope is made to depend on the birth by the blessed Mary. Give me therefore an answer to these several questions which I shall address to you. How shall we get rid of these many words of the apostle, so important and so precise, which are expressed in terms like the following: “But when the good pleasure of God was with us, He sent His Son, made of a woman; ” and again, “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us; ” and once more, “God has both raised up the Lord, and will raise up us together with Him by His own power? ” And there are many other passages of a similar import; as, for example, this which follows: “How say some among you, that there is no resurrection of the dead? For if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is not Christ risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain. Yea, and we shall be found false witnesses of God; who have testified against God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ risen: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins: Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are more miserable than all men. But now is Christ risen from the dead, the beginning of them that sleep; ” and so on. Who, then, I ask, can be found so rash and audacious as not to make his faith fit in with these sacred words, in which there is no qualification nor any dubiety? Who, I ask you, O foolish Galatian, has bewitched you, as those were bewitched “before whose eyes Jesus Christ was evidently set forth, crucified? ” From all this I think that these testimonies should suffice in proof of the judgment, and the resurrection, and the passion; and the birth by Mary is also shown to be involved naturally and at once in these facts. And what matters it though you refuse to acquiesce in this, when the Scripture proclaims the fact most unmistakeably? Nevertheless I shall again put a question to you, and let it please you to give me an answer. When Jesus gave His testimony concerning John, and said, “Among them that are born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding, he that is less in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he,” tell me what is meant by there being a greater than he in the kingdom of heaven. Was Jesus less in the kingdom of heaven than John? I say, God forbid! Tell me, then, how this is to be explained, and you will certainly surpass yourself. Without doubt the meaning is, that Jesus was less than John among those that are born of woman; but in the kingdom of heaven He is greater than he. Wherefore tell me this too, O Manichaeus: If you say that Christ was not born of Mary, but that He only appeared like a man, while yet He was not really a man, the appearance being effected and produced by the power that is in Him, tell me, I repeat, on whom then was it that the Spirit descended like a dove? Who is this that was baptized by John? If He was perfect, if He was the Son, if He was the Power, the Spirit could not have entered into Him; just as a kingdom cannot enter within a kingdom. And whose, too, was that voice which was sent forth out of heaven, and which gave Him this testimony, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased? ” Come, tell me; make no delay; who is this that acquires all these things, that does all these things? Answer me: Will you thus audaciously adduce blasphemy for reason, and will you attempt to find a place for it?
~ Bishop Archelaus of Cascar in Mesopotamia (c. 301 A.D.), Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
["Chuck Berry - C'est la vie (1972) Live"]
Wooohooooo!!!! (And he even looks a little bit like Bill Gates.)
Well can you beat that? The "Christian" cousin of the (diabolical) Pixar-Dreamworks animation school.
["Princess and the Popstar - A Story of Trading Places" -- trailer]
For more, see: http://veggietales.com/
These days, in order to do in this country, or any great nation, criminal spirit people require you to be at least be a billionaire. Outlaw billionaires, therefore, and the only thing left that can destroy the country is a military invasion from without by foreigners. And why not? Who needs billionaires anyway? What good do they do, not least of which given the risk if not actual cost they pose?
All that was ever need to ruin life, and to implant as necessities the worst crimes, evils, and injustices life casually accepts and accumstoms itself to, is to grant the assumptions of lording and all mighty spirit people. For when and who will ever say to them nay?
For the just uploaded "A STROLL THROUGH 'THE AMERICAN MUSEUM' (1787-1792)", in .pdf, see http://www.gunjones.com/American-Museum.pdf Right click to download.
He would -- if he could -- say so much. (But, alas, he's nothing really to say.)