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´╗┐Title: Barlaam and Ioasaph
Author: John, of Damascus, Saint, circa 675-749
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Barlaam and Ioasaph


St. John Damascene (?)

("St. John of Damascus")

It is not known where or when this story was written, but it is
believed to have been translated into Greek (possibly from a Georgian
original) sometime in the 11th Century A.D.  Although the ultimate
author is usually referred to as "John the Monk", it has been
traditionally ascribed to St. John of Damascus.

The text of this edition is based on that published as ST. JOHN
DAMASCENE: BARLAAM AND IOASAPH (Trans: G.R. Woodward and H. Mattingly;
Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1914).  This text is in the
PUBLIC DOMAIN in he United States.

Killings (DeTroyes@EnterAct.COM), November, 1996.

PREPARER'S NOTE: Readers of this work will note some startling
similarities between the story of Ioasaph and the traditional Tale of
Buddha. The work seems to be a retelling of the Buddha Legend from
within a Christian context, with the singular difference that the
"Buddha" in this tale reaches enlightenment through the love of Jesus

The popularity of the Greek version of this story is attested to by the
number of translations made of it throughout the Christian world,
including versions in Latin, Old Slavonic, Armenian, Christian Arabic,
English, Ethiopic, and French.  Such was its popularity that both
Barlaam and Josaphat (Ioasaph) were eventually recognized by the Roman
Catholic Church as Saints, and churches were dedicated in their honor
from Portugal to Constantinople.  It was only after Europeans began to
have increased contacts with India that scholars began to notice the
similarities between the two sets of stories.  Modern scholars believe
that the Buddha story came to Europe from Arabic, Caucasus, and/or
Persian sources, all of which were active in trade between the European
and Indian worlds.





Woodward, G.R. & H. Mattingly (Ed. & Trans.): "St. John Damascene:
Barlaam and Ioasaph" (Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1914).
English translation with side-by-side Greek text.


Lang, David Marshall (Trans.): "The Balavariani: A Tale from the
Christian East" (California University Press, Los Angeles, 1966).
Translation of the Georgian work that probably served as a basis for
the Greek text.





"As many as are led by the Spirit of God they are sons of God" saith
the inspired Apostle.  Now to have been accounted worthy of the Holy
Spirit and to have become sons of God is of all things most to be
coveted; and, as it is written, "They that have become his sons find
rest from all enquiry."  This marvellous, and above all else desirable,
blessedness have the Saints from the beginning won by the practice of
the virtues, some having striven as Martyrs, and resisted sin unto
blood, and others having struggled in self-discipline, and having
trodden the narrow way, proving Martyrs in will.  Now, that one should
hand down to memory the prowess and virtuous deeds of these, both of
them that were made perfect by blood, and of them that by self-denial
did emulate the conversation of Angels, and should deliver to the
generations that follow a pattern of virtue, this hath the Church of
Christ received as a tradition from the inspired Apostles, and the
blessed Fathers, who did thus enact for the salvation of our race.  For
the pathway to virtue is rough and steep, especially for such as have
not yet wholly turned unto the Lord, but are still at warfare, through
the tyranny of their passions.  For this reason also we need many
encouragements thereto, whether it be exhortations, or the record of
the lives of them that have travelled on the road before us; which
latter draweth us towards it the less painfully, and doth accustom us
not to despair on account of the difficulty of the journey.  For even
as with a man that would tread a hard and difficult path; by
exhortation and encouragement one may scarce win him to essay it, but
rather by pointing to the many who have already completed the course,
and at the last have arrived safely.  So I too, "walking by this rule,"
and heedful of the danger hanging over that servant who, having
received of his lord the talent, buried it in the earth, and hid out of
use that which was given him to trade withal, will in no wise pass over
in silence the edifying story that hath come to me, the which devout
men from the inner land Of the Ethiopians, whom our tale calleth
Indians, delivered unto me, translated from trustworthy records.  It
readeth thus.


The country of the Indians, as it is called, is vast and populous,
lying far beyond Egypt.  On the side of Egypt it is washed by seas and
navigable gulphs, but on the mainland it marcheth with the borders of
Persia, a land formerly darkened with the gloom of idolatry, barbarous
to the last degree, and wholly given up to unlawful practices.  But
when "the only-begotten Son of God, which is in the bosom of the
Father," being grieved to see his own handiwork in bondage unto sin,
was moved with compassion for the same, and shewed himself amongst us
without sin, and, without leaving his Father's throne, dwelt for a
season in the Virgin's womb for our sakes, that we might dwell in
heaven, and be re-claimed from the ancient fall, and freed from sin by
receiving again the adoption of sons; when he had fulfilled every stage
of his life in the flesh for our sake, and endured the death of the
Cross, and marvellously united earth and heaven; when he had risen
again from the dead, and had been received up into heaven, and was
seated at the right hand of the majesty of the Father, whence,
according to his promise, he sent down the Comforter, the Holy Ghost,
unto his eyewitnesses and disciples, in the shape of fiery tongues, and
despatched them unto all nations, for to give light to them that sat in
the darkness of ignorance, and to baptize them in the Name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, whereby it fell to the
lot of some of the Apostles to travel to the far-off East and to some
to journey to the West-ward, while others traversed the regions North
and South, fulfilling their appointed tasks then it was, I say, that
one of the company of Christ's Twelve Apostles, most holy Thomas, was
sent out to the land of the Indians, preaching the Gospel of Salvation.
"The Lord working with him and confirming the word with signs
following," the darkness of superstition was banished; and men were
delivered from idolatrous sacrifices and abominations, and added to the
true Faith, and being thus transformed by the hands of the Apostle,
were made members of Christ's household by Baptism, and, waxing ever
with fresh increase, made advancement in the blameless Faith and built
churches in all their lands.

Now when monasteries began to be formed in Egypt, and numbers of monks
banded themselves together, and when the fame of their virtues and
Angelic conversation "was gone out into all the ends of the world" and
came to the Indians, it stirred them up also to the like zeal, insomuch
that many of them forsook everything and withdrew to the deserts; and,
though but men in mortal bodies, adopted the spiritual life of Angels.
While matters were thus prospering and many were soaring upward to
heaven on wings of gold, as the saying is, there arose in that country
a king named Abenner, mighty in riches and power, and in victory over
his enemies, brave in warfare, vain of his splendid stature and
comeliness of face, and boastful of all worldly honours, that pass so
soon away.  But his soul was utterly crushed by poverty, and choked
with many vices, for he was of the Greek way, and sore distraught by
the superstitious error of his idol-worship.  But, although he lived in
luxury, and in the enjoyment of the sweet and pleasant things of life,
and was never baulked of any of his wishes and desires, yet one thing
there was that marred his happiness, and pierced his soul with care,
the curse of childlessness.  For being without issue, he took ceaseless
thought how he might be rid of this hobble, and be called the father of
children, a name greatly coveted by most people.  Such was the king,
and such his mind.

Meanwhile the glorious band of Christians and the companies of monks,
paying no regard to the king's majesty, and in no wise terrified by his
threats, advanced in the grace of Christ, and grew in number beyond
measure, making short account of the king's words, but cleaving closely
to everything that led to the service of God.  For this reason many,
who had adopted the monastic rule, abhorred alike all the sweets of
this world, and were enamoured of one thing only, namely godliness,
thirsting to lay down their lives for Christ his sake, and yearning for
the happiness beyond. Wherefore they preached, not with fear and
trembling, but rather even with excess of boldness, the saving Name of
God, and naught but Christ was on their lips, as they plainly
proclaimed to all men the transitory and fading nature of this present
time, and the fixedness and incorruptibility of the life to come, and
sowed in men the first seeds, as it were, towards their becoming of the
household of God, and winning that life which is hid in Christ.
Wherefore many, profiting by this most pleasant teaching, turned away
from the bitter darkness of error, and approached the sweet light of
Truth; insomuch that certain of their noblemen and senators laid aside
all the burthens of life, and thenceforth became monks.

But when the king heard thereof, he was filled with wrath, and, boiling
over with indignation, passed a decree forthwith, compelling all
Christians to renounce their religion.  Thereupon he planned and
practised new kinds of torture against them, and threatened new forms
of death.  So throughout all his dominions he sent letters to his
rulers and governors ordering penalties against the righteous, and
unlawful massacres.  But chiefly was his displeasure turned against the
ranks of the monastic orders, and against them he waged a truceless and
unrelenting warfare. Hence, of a truth, many of the Faithful were
shaken in spirit, and others, unable to endure torture, yielded to his
ungodly decrees.  But of the chiefs and rulers of the monastic order
some in rebuking his wickedness ended their lives by suffering
martyrdom, and thus attained to everlasting felicity; while others hid
themselves in deserts and mountains, not from dread of the threatened
tortures, but by a more divine dispensation.


Now while the land of the Indians lay under the shroud of this moonless
night, and while the Faithful were harried on every side, and the
champions of ungodliness prospered, the very air reeking with the smell
of bloody sacrifices, a certain mall of the royal household, chief
satrap in rank, in courage, stature, comeliness, and in all those
qualities which mark beauty of body and nobility of soul, far above all
his Fellows, hearing of this iniquitous decree, bade farewell to all
the grovelling pomps and vanities of the world, joined the ranks of the
monks, and retired across the border into the desert.  There, by
fastings and vigils, and by diligent study of the divine oracles, he
throughly purged his senses, and illumined a soul, set free from every
passion, with the glorious light of a perfect calm.

But when the king, who loved and esteemed him highly, heard thereof, he
was grieved in spirit at the loss of his friend, but his anger was the
more hotly kindled against the monks.  And so he sent everywhere in
search of him, leaving "no stone unturned," as the saying is, to find
him.  After a long while, they that were sent in quest of him, having
learnt that he abode in the desert, after diligent search, apprehended
him and brought him before the king's judgement seat.  When the king
saw him in such vile and coarse raiment who before had been clad in
rich apparel,--saw him, who had lived in the lap of luxury, shrunken
and wasted by the severe practice of discipline, and bearing about in
his body outward and visible signs of his hermit-life, he was filled
with mingled grief and fury, and, in speech blended of these two
passions, he spake unto him thus:

"O thou dullard and mad man, wherefore hast thou exchanged thine honour
for shame, and thy glorious estate for this unseemly show? To what end
hath the president of my kingdom, and chief commander of my realm made
himself the laughingstock of boys, and not only forgotten utterly our
friendship and fellowship, but revolted against nature herself, and had
no pity on his own children, and cared naught for riches and all the
splendour of the world, and chosen ignominy such as this rather than
the glory that men covet?  And what shall it profit thee to have chosen
above all gods and men him whom they call Jesus, and to have preferred
this rough life of sackcloth to the pleasures and delights of a life of

When the man of God heard these words, he made reply, at once courteous
and unruffled: "If it be thy pleasure, O king, to converse with me,
remove thine enemies out of mid court; which done, I will answer thee
concerning whatsoever thou mayest desire to learn; for while these are
here, I cannot speak with thee. But, without speech, torment me, kill
me, do as thou wilt, for "the world is crucified unto me, and I unto
the world,' as saith my divine teacher."  The king said, "And who are
these enemies whom thou biddest me turn out of court?"  The saintly man
answered and said, "Anger and Desire.  For at the beginning these twain
were brought into being by the Creator to be fellow-workers with
nature; and such they still are to those 'who walk not after the flesh
but after the Spirit.'  But in you who are altogether carnal, having
nothing of the Spirit, they are adversaries, and play the part of
enemies and foemen.  For Desire, working in you, stirreth up pleasure,
but, when made of none effect, Anger. To-day therefore let these be
banished from thee, and let Wisdom and Righteousness sit to hear and
judge that which we say.  For if thou put Anger and Desire out of
court, and in their room bring in Wisdom and Righteousness, I will
truthfully tell thee all." Then spake the king, "Lo I yield to thy
request, and will banish out of the assembly both Desire and Anger, and
make Wisdom and Righteousness to sit between us.  So now, tell me
without fear, how wast thou so greatly taken with this error, to prefer
the bird in the bush to the bird already in the hand?"

The hermit answered and said, "O king, if thou askest the cause how I
came to despise things temporal, and to devote my whole self to the
hope of things eternal, hearken unto me.  In former days, when I was
still but a stripling, I heard a certain good and wholesome saying,
which, by its three took my soul by storm; and the remembrance of it,
like some divine seed, being planted in my heart, unmoved, was
preserved ever until it took root, blossomed, and bare that fruit which
thou seest in me.  Now the meaning of that sentence was this: 'It
seemed good to the foolish to despise the things that are, as though
they were not, and to cleave and cling to the things that are not, as
though they were. So he, that hath never tasted the sweetness of the
things that are, will not be able to understand the nature of the
things that are not.  And never having understood them, how shall he
despise them?'  Now that saying meant by 'things that are' the things
eternal and fixed, but by 'things that are not' earthly life, luxury,
the prosperity that deceives, whereon, O king, thine heart alas!  is
fixed amiss.  Time was when I also clung thereto myself.  But the force
of that sentence continually goading my heart, stirred my governing
power, my mind, to make the better choice.  But 'the law of sin,
warring against the law of my mind,' and binding me, as with iron
chains, held me captive to the love of things present.

"But 'after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour' was pleased
to deliver me from that harsh captivity, he enabled my mind to overcome
the law of sin, and opened mine eyes to discern good from evil.
Thereupon I perceived and looked, and behold! all things present are
vanity and vexation of spirit, as somewhere in his writings saith
Solomon the wise.  Then was the veil of sin lifted from mine heart, and
the dullness, proceeding from the grossness of my body, which pressed
upon my soul, was scattered, and I perceived the end for which I was
created, and how that it behoved me to move upward to my Creator by the
keeping of his Commandments.  Wherefore I left all and followed him,
and I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord that he delivered me out
of the mire, and from the making of bricks, and from the harsh and
deadly ruler of the darkness of this world, and that he showed me the
short and easy road whereby I shall be able, in this earthen body,
eagerly to embrace the Angelic life. Seeking to attain to it the
sooner, I chose to walk the strait and narrow way, renouncing the
vanity of things present and the unstable changes and chances thereof,
and refusing to call anything good except the true good, from which
thou, O king, art miserably sundered and alienated.  Wherefore also we
ourselves were alienated and separated from thee, because thou wert
falling into plain and manifest destruction, and wouldst constrain us
also to descend into like peril.  But as long as we were tried in the
warfare of this world, we failed in no point of duty.  Thou thyself
will bear me witness that we were never charged with sloth or

"But when thou hast endeavoured to rob us of the chiefest of all
blessings, our religion, and to deprive us of God, the worst of
deprivations, and, in this intent, dost remind us of past honours and
preferments, how should I not rightly tax thee with ignorance of good,
seeing that thou dost at all compare these two things, righteousness
toward God, and human friendship, and glory, that runneth away like
water?  And how, in such ease, may we have fellowship with thee, and
not the rather deny ourselves friendship and honours and love of
children, and if there be any other tie greater than these?  When we
see thee, O king, the rather forgetting thy reverence toward that God,
who giveth thee the power to live and breathe, Christ Jesus, the Lord
of all; who, being alike without beginning, and coeternal with the
Father, and having created the heavens and the earth by his word, made
man with his own hands and endowed him with immortality, and set him
king of all on earth and assigned him Paradise, the fairest place of
all, as his royal dwelling.  But man, beguiled by envy, and (wo is me!)
caught by the bait of pleasure, miserably fell from all these
blessings.  So he that once was enviable became a piteous spectacle,
and by his misfortune deserving of tears.  Wherefore he, that had made
and fashioned us, looked again with eyes of compassion upon the work of
his own hands.  He, not laying aside his God-head, which he had from
the beginning, was made man for our sakes, like ourselves, but without
sin, and was content to suffer death upon the Cross.  He overthrew the
foeman that from the beginning had looked with malice on our race; he
rescued us from that bitter captivity; he, of his goodness, restored to
us our former freedom, and, of his tender love towards mankind, raised
us up again to that place from whence by our disobedience we had
fallen, granting us even greater honour than at the first.

"Him therefore, who endured such sufferings for our sakes, and again
bestowed such blessings upon us, him dost thou reject and scoff at his
Cross?  And, thyself wholly riveted to carnal delights and deadly
passions, dost thou proclaim the idols of shame and dishonour gods?
Not only hast thou alienated thyself from the commonwealth of heavenly
felicity but thou hast also severed from the same all others who obey
thy commands, to the peril of their souls.  Know therefore that I will
not obey thee, nor join thee in such ingratitude to God-ward; neither
will I deny my benefactor and Saviour, though thou slay me by wild
beasts, or give me to the fire and sword, as thou hast the power. For I
neither fear death, nor desire the present world, having passed
judgement on the frailty and vanity thereof.  For what is there
profitable, abiding or stable therein?  Nay, in very existence, great
is the misery, great the pain, great and ceaseless the attendant care.
Of its gladness and enjoyment the yoke-fellows are dejection and pain.
Its riches is poverty; its loftiness die lowest humiliation; and who
shall tell the full tale of its miseries, which Saint John the Divine
hath shown me in few words?  For he saith, 'The whole world lieth in
wickedness'; and, 'Love not the world, neither the things that are in
the world.  For all that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, and
the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  And the world passeth
away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth
for ever.'  Seeking, then, this good will of God, I have forsaken
everything, and joined myself to those who possess the same desire, and
seek after the same God. Amongst these there is no strife or envy,
sorrow or care, but all run the like race that they may obtain those
everlasting habitations which the Father of lights hath prepared for
them that love him.  Them have I gained for my fathers, my brothers, my
friends and mine acquaintances.  But from my former friends and
brethren 'I have got me away far off, and lodged in the wilderness'
waiting for the God, who saveth me from faintness of spirit, and from
the stormy tempest."

When the man of God had made answer thus gently and in good reason, the
king was stirred by anger, and was minded cruelly to torment the saint;
but again he hesitated and delayed, regarding his venerable and noble
mien.  So he answered and said:

"Unhappy man, that hast contrived thine own utter ruin, driven thereto,
I ween, by fate, surely thou hast made thy tongue as sharp as thy wits.
Hence thou hast uttered these vain and ambiguous babblings.  Had I not
promised, at the beginning of our converse, to banish Anger from mid
court, I had now given thy body to be burned.  But since thou hast
prevented and tied me down fast by my words, I bear with thine
effrontery, by reason of my former friendship with thee.  Now, arise,
and flee for ever from my sight, lest I see thee again and miserably
destroy thee."

So the man of God went out and withdrew to the desert, grieved to have
lost the crown of martyrdom, but daily a martyr in his conscience, and
'wrestling against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the
darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness'; as saith Blessed
Paul.  But after his departure, the king waxed yet more wroth, and
devised a yet fiercer persecution of the monastic order, while treating
with greater honour the ministers and temple-keepers of his idols.

While the king was under this terrible delusion and error, there was
born unto him a son, a right goodly child, whose beauty from his very
birth was prophetic of his future fortunes.  Nowhere in that land, they
said, had there ever been seen so charming and lovely a babe.  Full of
the keenest joy at the birth of the child, the king called him Ioasaph,
and in his folly went in person to the temples of his idols, for to do
sacrifice and offer hymns of praise to his still more foolish gods,
unaware of the real giver of all good things, to whom he should have
offered the spiritual sacrifice.  He then, ascribing the cause Of his
son's birth to things lifeless and dumb, sent out into all quarters to
gather the people together to celebrate his son's birth-day: and thou
mightest have seen all the folk running together for fear of the king,
and bringing their offerings ready for the sacrifice, according to the
store at each man's hand, and his favour toward his lord.  But chiefly
the king stirred them up to emulation.  He brought full many oxen, of
goodly size, for sacrifice, and thus, making a feast for all his
people, he bestowed largesses on all his counsellors and officers, and
on all his soldiers, and all the poor, and men of low degree.


Now on his son's birth-day feast there came unto the king some five and
fifty chosen men, schooled in the star-lore of the Chaldaeans.  These
the king called into his presence, and asked them, severally, to tell
him the future of the new-born babe. After long counsel held, they said
that he should be mighty in riches and power, and should surpass all
that had reigned before him.  But one of the astrologers, the most
learned of all his fellows, spake thus: "From that which I learn from
the courses of the stars, O king, the advancement of the child, now
born unto thee, will not be in thy kingdom, but in another, a better
and a greater one beyond compare.  Methinketh also that he will embrace
the Christian religion, which thou persecutest, and I trow that he will
not be disappointed of his aim and hope."  Thus spake the astrologer,
like Balaam of old, not that his star-lore told him true, but because
God signifieth the truth by the mouth of his enemies, that all excuse
may be taken from the ungodly.

But when the king heard thereof, he received the tidings with a heavy
heart, and sorrow cut short his joy.  Howsoever he built, in a city set
apart, an exceeding beautiful palace, with cunningly devised gorgeous
chambers, and there set his son to dwell, after he had ended his first
infancy; and he forbade any to approach him, appointing, for
instructors and servants, youths right seemly to behold.  These he
charged to reveal to him none of the annoys of life, neither death, nor
old age, nor disease, nor poverty, nor anything else grievous that
might break his happiness: but to place before him everything pleasant
and enjoyable, that his heart, revelling in these delights, might not
gain strength to consider the future, nor ever hear the bare mention of
the tale of Christ and his doctrines.  For he was heedful of the
astrologer's warning, and it was this most that he was minded to
conceal from his son.  And if any of the attendants chanced to fall
sick, he commanded to have him speedily removed, and put another plump
and well-favoured servant in his place, that the boy's eyes might never
once behold anything to disquiet them.  Such then was the intent and
doing of the king, for, 'seeing, he did not see, and hearing, he did
not understand.'

But, learning that some monks still remained, of whom he fondly
imagined that not a trace was left, he became angry above measure, and
his fury was hotly kindled against them.  And he commanded heralds to
scour all the city and all the country, proclaiming that after three
days no monk whatsoever should be found therein.  But and if any were
discovered after the set time, they should be delivered to destruction
by fire and sword. "For," said he, "these be they that persuade the
people to worship the Crucified as God."  Meanwhile a thing befell,
that made the king still more angry and bitter against the monks.


There was at court a man pre-eminent among the rulers, of virtuous life
and devout in religion.  But while working out his own salvation, as
best he might, he kept it secret for fear of the king.  Wherefore
certain men, looking enviously on his free converse with the king,
studied how they might slander him; and this was all their thought.  On
a day, when the king went forth a-hunting with his bodyguard, as was
his wont, this good man was of the hunting party.  While he was walking
alone, by divine providence, as I believe, he found a man in a covert,
cast to the ground, his foot grievously crushed by a wild-beast.
Seeing him passing by, the wounded man importuned him not to go his
way, but to pity his misfortune, and take him to his own home, adding
thereto: "I hope that I shall not be found unprofitable, nor altogether
useless unto thee."  Our nobleman said unto him, "For very charity I
will take thee up, and render thee such service as I may.  But what is
this profit which thou saidest that I should receive of thee?"  The
poor sick man answered, "I am a physician of words.  If ever in speech
or converse any wound or damage be found, I will heal it with befitting
medicines, that so the evil spread no further."  The devout man gave no
heed to his word, but on account of the commandment, ordered him to be
carried home, and grudged him not that tending which he required.  But
the aforesaid envious and malignant persons, bringing forth to light
that ungodliness with which they had long been in travail, slandered
this good man to the king; that not only did he forget his friendship
with the king, and neglect the worship of the gods, and incline to
Christianity, but more, that he was grievously intriguing against the
kingly power, and was turning aside the common people, and stealing all
hearts for himself. "But," said they, "if thou wilt prove that our
charge is not ungrounded, call him to thee privately; and, to try him,
say that thou desirest to leave thy fathers' religion, and the glory of
thy kingship, and to become a Christian, and to put on the monkish
habit which formerly thou didst persecute, having, thou shalt tell him,
found thine old course evil."  The authors of this villainous charge
against the Christian knew the tenderness of his heart, how that, if he
heard such speech from the king, he would advise him, who had made this
better choice, not to put off his good determinations, and so they
would be found just accusers.

But the king, not forgetful of his friend's great kindness toward him,
thought these accusations incredible and false; and because he might
not accept them without proof, he resolved to try the fact and the
charge. So he called the man apart and said, to prove him, "Friend,
thou knowest of all my past dealings with them that are called monks
and with all the Christians.  But now, I have repented in this matter,
and, lightly esteeming the present world, would fain become partaker of
those hopes whereof I have heard them speak, of some immortal kingdom
in the life to come; for the present is of a surety cut short by death.
And in none other way, methinks, can I succeed herein and not miss the
mark except I become a Christian, and, bidding farewell to the glory of
my kingdom and all the pleasures and joys of life, go seek those
hermits and monks, wheresoever they be, whom I have banished, and join
myself to their number.  Now what sayest thou thereto, and what is
thine advice?  Say on; I adjure thee in the name of truth; for I know
thee to be true and wise above all men."

The worthy man, hearing this, but never guessing the hidden pitfall,
was pricked in spirit, and, melting into tears, answered in his
simplicity, "O king, live for ever!  Good and sound is the
determination that thou hast determined; for though the kingdom of
heaven be difficult to find, yet must a man seek it with all his might,
for it is written, 'He that seeketh shall find it.' The enjoyment of
the present life, though in seeming it give delight and sweetness, is
well thrust from us.  At the very moment of its being it ceaseth to be,
and for our joy repayeth us with sorrow sevenfold.  Its happiness and
its sorrow are more frail than a shadow, and, like the traces of a ship
passing over the sea, or of a bird flying through the air, quickly
disappear. But the hope of the life to come which the Christians preach
is certain, and as surety sure; howbeit in this world it hath
tribulation, whereas our pleasures now are short-lived, and in the
beyond they only win us correction and everlasting punishment without
release.  For the pleasures of such life are temporary, but its pains
eternal; while the Christians' labours are temporary, but their
pleasure and gain immortal.  Therefore well befall this good
determination of the king!  for right good it is to exchange the
corruptible for the eternal."

The king heard these words and waxed exceeding wroth: nevertheless he
restrained his anger, and for the season let no word fall.  But the
other, being shrewd and quick of wit, perceived that the king took his
word ill, and was craftily sounding him.  So, on his coming home, he
fell into much grief and distress in his perplexity how to conciliate
the king and to escape the peril hanging over his own head.  But as he
lay awake all the night long, there came to his remembrance the man
with the crushed foot; so he had him brought before him, and said, "I
remember thy saying that thou weft an healer of injured speech." "Yea,"
quoth he, "and if thou wilt I will give thee proof of my skill."  The
senator answered and told him of his aforetime friendship with the
king, and of the confidence which he had enjoyed, and of the snare laid
for him in his late converse with the king; how he had given a good
answer, but the king had taken his words amiss, and by his change of
countenance betrayed the anger lurking within his heart.

The sick beggar-man considered and said, "Be it known unto thee, most
noble sir, that the king harboureth against thee the suspicion, that
thou wouldest usurp his kingdom, and he spake, as he spake, to sound
thee.  Arise therefore, and crop thy hair. Doff these thy fine
garments, and don an hair-shirt, and at daybreak present thyself before
the king.  And when he asketh thee, 'What meaneth this apparel?' answer
him, 'It hath to do with thy communing with me yesterday, O king.
Behold, I am ready to follow thee along the road that thou art eager to
travel; for though luxury be desirable and passing sweet, God forbid
that I embrace it after thou art gone!  Though the path of virtue,
which thou art about to tread, be difficult and rough, yet in thy
company I shall find it easy and pleasant, for as I have shared with
thee this thy prosperity so now will I share thy distresses, that in
the future, as in the past, I may be thy fellow.'"  Our nobleman,
approving of the sick man's saying, did as he said. When the king saw
and heard him, he was delighted, and beyond measure gratified by his
devotion towards him.  He saw that the accusations against his senator
were false, and promoted him to more honour and to a greater enjoyment
of his confidence.  But against the monks he again raged above measure,
declaring that this was of their teaching, that men should abstain from
the pleasures of life, and rock themselves in visionary hopes.

Another day, when he was gone a-hunting, he espied two monks crossing
the desert.  These he ordered to be apprehended and brought to his
chariot.  Looking angrily upon them, and breathing fire, as they say,
"Ye vagabonds and deceivers," he cried, "have ye not heard the plain
proclamation of the heralds, that if any of your execrable religion
were found, after three days, in any city or country within my realm,
he should be burned with fire?" The monks answered, "Lo! obedient to
thine order, we be coming out of thy cities and coasts.  But as the
journey before us is long, to get us away to our brethren, being in
want of victuals, we were making provision for the way, that we perish
not with hunger."  Said the king, "He that dreadeth menace of death
busieth not himself with the purveyante of victuals."  "Well spoken, O
king," cried the monks.  "They that dread death have concern how to
escape it.  And who are these but such as cling to things temporary and
are enamoured of them, who, having no good hopes yonder, find it hard
to be wrenched from this present world, and therefore dread death?  But
we, who have long since hated the world and the things of the world,
and are walking along the narrow and strait road, for Christ his sake,
neither dread death, nor desire the present world, but only long for
the world to come.  Therefore, forasmuch the death that thou art
bringing upon us proveth but the passage to that everlasting and better
life, it is rather to be desired of us than feared."

Hereupon the king, wishing to entrap the monks, as I ween, shrewdly
said, "How now?  Said ye not but this instant, that ye were withdrawing
even as I commanded you?  And, if ye fear not death, how came ye to be
fleeing?  Lo!  this is but another of your idle boasts and lies."  The
monks answered, "Tis not because we dread the death wherewith thou dost
threaten us that we flee, but because we pity thee. 'Twas in order that
we might not bring on thee greater condemnation, that we were eager to
escape.  Else for ourselves we are never a whit terrified by thy
threats."  At this the king waxed wroth and bade burn them with fire.
So by fire were these servants of God made perfect, and received the
Martyr's crown.  And the king published a decree that, should any be
found leading a monk's life, he should be put to death without trial.
Thus was there left in that country none of the monastic order, save
those that had hid them in mountains and caverns and holes of the
earth.  So much then concerning this matter.


But meanwhile, the king's son, of whom our tale began to tell, never
departing from the palace prepared for him, attained to the age of
manhood.  He had pursued all the learning of the Ethiopians and
Persians, and was as fair and well favoured in mind as in body,
intelligent and prudent, and shining in all excellencies.  To his
teachers he would propound such questions of natural history that even
they marvelled at the boy's quickness and understanding, while the king
was astounded at the charm of his countenance and the disposition of
his soul.  He charged the attendants of the young prince on no account
to make known unto him any of the annoys of life, least of all to tell
him that death ensueth on the pleasures of this world.  But vain was
the hope whereon he stayed, and he was like the archer in the tale that
would shoot at the sky.  For how could death have remained unknown to
any human creature?  Nor did it to this boy; for his mind was fertile
of wit, and he would reason within himself, why his father had
condemned him never to go abroad, and had forbidden access to all.  He
knew, without hearing it, that this was his father's express command.
Nevertheless he feared to ask him; it was not to be believed that his
father intended aught but his good; and again, if it were so by his
father's will, his father would not reveal the true reason, for all his
asking. Wherefore he determined to learn the secret from some other
source.  There was one of his tutors nearer and dearer to him than the
rest, whose devotion he won even further by handsome gifts.  To him he
put the question what his father might mean by thus enclosing him
within those walls, adding, "If thou wilt plainly tell me this, of all
thou shalt stand first in my favour, and I will make with thee a
covenant of everlasting friendship." The tutor, himself a prudent man,
knowing how bright and mature was the boy's wit and that he would not
betray him, to his peril, discovered to him the whole matter the
persecution of the Christians and especially of the anchorets decreed
by the king, and how they were driven forth and banished from the
country round about; also the prophecies of the astrologers at his
birth. "'Twas in order," said he, "that thou mightest never hear of
their teaching, and choose it before our religion, that the king hath
thus devised that none but a small company should dwell with thee, and
hath commanded us to acquaint thee with none of the woes of life."
When the young prince heard this he said never a word more, but the
word of salvation took hold of his heart, and the grace of the
Comforter began to open wide the eyes of his understanding, leading him
by the hand to the true God, as our tale in its course shall tell.

Now the king his father came oftentimes to see his boy, for he loved
him passing well.  On a day his son said unto him, "There is something
that I long to learn from thee, my lord the king, by reason of which
continual grief and unceasing care consumeth my soul."  His father was
grieved at heart at the very word, and said, "Tell me, darling child,
what is the sadness that constraineth thee, and straightway I will do
my diligence to turn it into gladness."  The boy said, "What is the
reason of mine imprisonment here?  Wily hast thou barred me within
walls and doors, never going forth and seen of none?"  His father
replied, "Because I will not, my son, that thou shouldest behold
anything to embitter thy heart or mar thy happiness.  I intend that
thou shalt spend all thy days in luxury unbroken, and in all manner joy
and pleasaunce."  "But," said the son unto his father, "know well, Sir,
that thus I live not in joy and pleasaunce, but rather in affliction
and great straits, so that my very meat and drink seem distasteful unto
me and bitter.  I yearn to see all that lieth without these gates.  If
then thou wouldest not have me live in anguish of mind, bid me go
abroad as I desire, and let me rejoice my soul with sights hitherto
unseen by mine eyes."

Grieved was the king to hear these words, but, perceiving that to deny
this request would but increase his boy's pain and grief, he answered,
"My son, I will grant thee thy heart's desire."  And immediately he
ordered that choice steeds, and an escort fit  for a king, be made
ready, and gave him license to go abroad whensoever he would, charging
his companions to suffer nothing unpleasant to come in his way, but to
show him all that was beautiful and gladsome.  He bade them muster in
the way troops of folk intuning melodies in every mode, and presenting
divers mimic shows, that these might occupy and delight his mind.

So thus it came to pass that the king's son often went abroad. One day,
through the negligence of his attendants, he descried two men, the one
maimed, and the other blind.  In abhorrence of the sight, he cried to
his esquires, "Who are these, and what is this distressing spectacle?"
They, unable to conceal what he had with his own eyes seen, answered,
"These be human sufferings, which spring from corrupt matter, and from
a body full of evil humours."  The young prince asked, "Are these the
fortune of all men?"  They answered, "Not of all, but of those in whom
the principle of health is turned away by the badness of the humours."
Again the youth asked, "If then this is wont to happen not to all, but
only to some, can they be known on whom this terrible calamity shall
fall?  or is it undefined and unforeseeable?"  "What man," said they,
"can discern the future, and accurately ascertain it?  This is beyond
human nature, and is reserved for the immortal gods alone."  The young
prince ceased from his questioning, but his heart was grieved at the
sight that he had witnessed, and the form of his visage was changed by
the strangeness of the matter.

Not many days after, as he was again taking his walks abroad, he
happened with an old man, well stricken in years, shrivelled in
countenance, feeble-kneed, bent double, grey-haired, toothless, and
with broken utterance.  The prince was seized with astonishment, and,
calling the old man near, desired to know the meaning of this strange
sight.  His companions answered, "This man is now well advanced in
years, and his gradual decrease of strength, with increase of weakness,
hath brought him to the misery that thou seest."  "And," said he, "what
will be his end?" They answered, "Naught but death will relieve him."
"But," said he, "is this the appointed doom of all mankind?  Or doth it
happen only to some?"  They answered, "Unless death come before hand to
remove him, no dweller on earth, but, as life advanceth, must make
trial of this lot."  Then the young prince asked in how many years this
overtook a man, and whether the doom of death was without reprieve, and
whether there was no way to escape it, and avoid coming to such misery.
They answered him, "In eighty or an hundred years men arrive at this
old age, and then they die, since there is none other way; for death is
a debt due to nature, laid on man from the beginning, and its approach
is inexorable."

When our wise and sagacious young prince saw and heard all this, he
sighed from the bottom of his heart.  "Bitter is this life," cried he,
"and fulfilled of all pain and anguish, if this be so. And how can a
body be careless in the expectation of an unknown death, whose approach
(ye say) is as uncertain as it is inexorable?"  So he went away,
restlessly turning over all these things in his mind, pondering without
end, and ever calling up remembrances of death.  Wherefore trouble and
despondency were his companions, and his grief knew no ease; for he
said to himself, "And is it true that death shall one day overtake me?
And who is he that shall make mention of me after death, when time
delivereth all things to forgetfulness?  When dead, shall I dissolve
into nothingness?  Or is there life beyond, and another world?"  Ever
fretting over these and the like considerations, he waxed pale and
wasted away, but in the presence of his father, whenever he chanced to
come to him, he made as though he were cheerful and without trouble,
unwilling that his cares should come to his father's knowledge.  But he
longed with an unrestrainable yearning, to meet with the man that might
accomplish his heart's desire, and fill his ears with the sound of good

Again he enquired of the tutor of whom we have spoken, whether he knew
of anybody able to help him towards his desire, and to establish a
mind, dazed and shuddering at its cogitations, and unable to throw off
its burden.  He, recollecting their former communications, said, "I
have told thee already how thy father hath dealt with the wise men and
anchorets who spend their lives in such philosophies.  Some hath he
slain, and others he hath wrathfully persecuted, and I wot not whether
any of this sort be in this country side."  Thereat the prince was
overwhelmed with woe, and grievously wounded in spirit.  He was like
unto a man that hath lost a great treasure, whose whole heart is
occupied in seeking after it.  Thenceforth he lived in perpetual
conflict and distress of mind, and all the pleasures and delights of
this world were in his eyes an abomination and a curse.  While the
youth was in this way, and his soul was crying out to discover that
which is good, the eye that beholdeth all things looked upon him, and
he that willeth that 'all men should be saved, and come to the
knowledge of the truth,' passed him not by, but showed this man also
the tender love that he hath toward mankind, and made known upon him
the path whereon he needs must go.  Befel it thus.


There was at that time a certain monk, learned in heavenly things,
graced in word and deed, a model follower of every monastic rule.
Whence he sprang, and what his race, I cannot say, but he dwelt in a
waste howling wilderness in the land of Senaar, and had been perfected
through the grace of the priesthood.  Barlaam was this elder's name.
He, learning by divine revelation the state of the king's son, left the
desert and returned to the world.  Changing his habit, he put on lay
attire, and, embarking on ship board, arrived at the seat of the empire
of the Indians.  Disguised as a merchant man, he entered the city,
where was the palace of the king's son.  There he tarried many days,
and enquired diligently concerning the prince's affairs, and those that
had access to him.  Learning that the tutor, of whom we have spoken,
was the prince's most familiar friend, he privily approached him,

"I would have thee understand, my lord, that I am a merchant man, come
from a far country; and I possess a precious gem, the like of which was
never yet found, and hitherto I have shewed it to no man.  But now I
reveal the secret to thee, seeing thee to be wise and prudent, that
thou mayest bring me before the king's son, and I will present it to
him.  Beyond compare, it surpasseth all beautiful things; for on the
blind in heart it hath virtue to bestow the light of wisdom, to open
the ears of the deaf, to give speech to the dumb and strength to the
ailing.  It maketh the foolish wise and driveth away devils, and
without stint furnisheth its possessor with everything that is lovely
and desirable."  The tutor said, "Though, to all seeming, thou art a
man of staid and steadfast judgment, yet thy words prove thee to be
boastful beyond measure.  Time would fail me to tell thee the full tale
of the costly and precious gems and pearls that I have seen.  But gems,
with such power as thou tellest of, I never saw nor heard of yet.
Nevertheless shew me the stone; and if it be as thou affirmest, I
immediately bear it to the king's son, from whom thou shalt receive
most high honours and rewards.  But, before I be assured by the certain
witness of mine own eyes, I may not carry to my lord and master so
swollen a tale about so doubtful a thing."  Quoth Barlaam, "Well hast
thou said that thou hast never seen or heard of such powers and
virtues; for my speech to thee is on no ordinary matter, but on a
wondrous and a great.  But, as thou desiredst to behold it, listen to
my words.

"This exceeding precious gem, amongst these its powers and virtues,
possesseth this property besides.  It cannot be seen out of hand, save
by one whose eyesight is strong and sound, and his body pure and
thoroughly undefiled.  If any man, lacking in these two good qualities,
do rashly gaze upon this precious stone, he shall, I suppose lose even
the eyesight that he hath, and his wits as well.  Now I, that am
initiated in the physician's art, observe that thine eyes are not
healthy, and I fear lest I may cause thee to lose even the eyesight
that thou hast.  But of the king's son, I have heard that he leadeth a
sober life, and that his eyes are young and fair, and healthy.
Wherefore to him I make bold to display this treasure.  Be not thou
then negligent herein, nor rob thy master of so wondrous a boon."  The
other answered, "If this be so, in no wise show me the gem; for my life
hath been polluted by many sins, and also, as thou sayest, I am not
possest of good eyesight.  But I am won by thy words, and will not
hesitate to make known these things unto my lord the prince."  So
saying, he went in, and, word by word, reported everything to the
king's son.  He, hearing his tutor's words, felt a strange joy and
spiritual gladness breathing into his heart, and, like one inspired,
bade bring in the man forthwith.

So when Barlaam was come in, and had in due order wished him Peace!,
the prince bade him be seated.  Then his tutor withdrew, and Ioasaph
said unto the elder, "Shew me the precious gem, concerning which, as my
tutor hath narrated, thou tellest such great and marvellous tales."
Then began Barlaam to discourse with him thus: "It is not fitting, O
prince, that I should say anything falsely or unadvisedly to thine
excellent majesty.  All that hath been signified to thee from me is
true and may not be gainsaid.  But, except I first make trial of thy
mind, it is not lawful to declare to thee this mystery; for my master
saith, 'There went out a sower to sow his seed: and, as he sowed, some
seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air came and devoured
them up: some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth:
and forthwith they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth:
and when the sun was up, they were scorched: and because they had no
root, they withered away.  And some fell among thorns; and the thorns
sprung up and choked them: but others fell upon good ground, and
brought forth fruit an hundredfold.'  Now, if I find in thine heart
fruit-bearing ground, and good, I shall not be slow to plant therein
the heavenly seed, and manifest to thee the mighty mystery.  But and if
the ground be stony and thorny, and the wayside trodden down by all who
will, it were better never to let fall this seed of salvation, nor to
cast it for a prey to fowls and beasts, before which I have been
charged not to cast pearls.  But I am 'persuaded better things of thee,
and things that accompany salvation,'--how that thou shalt see the
priceless stone, and it shall be given thee in the light of that stone
to become light, and bring forth fruit an hundredfold.  Aye, for thy
sake I gave diligence and accomplished a long journey, to shew thee
things which thou hast never seen, and teach thee things which thou
hast never heard."

Ioasaph said unto him, "For myself, reverend elder, I have a longing,
all irresistible passion to hear some new and goodly word, and in mine
heart there is kindled fire, cruelly burning and urging me to learn the
answer to some questions that will not rest.  But until now I never
happened on one that could satisfy me as touching them.  But if I meet
with some wise and understanding man, and hear the word of salvation, I
shall not deliver it to the fowls of the air, I trow, nor yet to the
beasts of the field; nor shall I be found either stony or
thorny-hearted, as thou saidest, but I shall receive the word kindly,
and guard it wisely.  So if thou knowest any such like thing, conceal
it not from me, but declare it.  When I heard that thou were come from
a far country, my spirit rejoiced, and I had good hope of obtaining
through thee that which I desire.  Wherefore I called thee straightway
into my presence, and received thee in friendly wise as one of my
companions and peers, if so be that I may not be disappointed of my
hope."  Barlaam answered, "Fair are thy deeds, and worthy of thy royal
majesty; seeing that thou hast paid no heed to my mean show, but hast
devoted thyself to the hope that lieth within.

"There was once a great and famous king: and it came to pass, when he
was riding on a day in his golden chariot, with his royal guard, that
there met him two men, clad in filthy rags, with fallen-in faces, and
pale as death.  Now the king knew that it was by buffetings of the body
and by the sweats of the monastic life that they had thus wasted their
miserable flesh.  So, seeing them, he leapt anon from his chariot, fell
on the ground, and did obeisance.  Then rising, he embraced and greeted
them tenderly. But his noblemen and counsellors took offence thereat,
deeming that their sovran had disgraced his kingly honour.  But not
daring to reprove him to the face, they bade the king's own brother
tell the king not thus to insult the majesty of his crown.  When he had
told the king thereof, and had upbraided him for his untimely humility,
the king gave his brother an answer which he failed to understand.

"It was the custom of that king, whenever he sentenced anyone to death,
to send a herald to his door, with a trumpet reserved for that purpose,
and at the sound of this trumpet all understood that that man was
liable to the penalty of death.  So when evening was come, the king
sent the death-trumpet to sound at his brother's door; who, when he
heard its blast, despaired of his life, and all night long set his
house in order.  At day-break, robed in black and garments of mourning,
with wife and children, he went to the palace gate, weeping and
lamenting.  The king fetched him in, and seeing him in tears, said, 'O
fool, and slow of understanding, how didst thou, who hast had such
dread of the herald of thy peer and brother (against whom thy
conscience doth not accuse thee of having committed any trespass) blame
me for my humility in greeting the heralds of my God, when they warned
me, in gentler tones than those of the trumpet, of my death and fearful
meeting with that Master against whom I know that I have often
grievously offended?  Lo!  then, it was in reproof of thy folly that I
played thee this turn, even as I will shortly convict of vanity those
that prompted thy reproof.'  Thus he comforted his brother and sent him
home with a gift.

"Then he ordered four wooden caskets to be made.  Two of these he
covered over all with gold, and, placing dead men's mouldering bones
therein, secured them with golden clasps.  The other two he smeared
over with pitch and tar, but filled them with costly stones and
precious pearls, and all manner of aromatic sweet perfume.  He bound
them fast with cords of hair, and called for the noblemen who had
blamed him for his manner of accosting the men by the wayside.  Before
them he set the four caskets, that they might appraise the value of
these and those.  They decided that the golden ones were of greatest
value, for, peradventure, they contained kingly diadems and girdles.
But those, that were be-smeared with pitch and tar, were cheap and of
paltry worth, said they.  Then said the king to them, 'I know that such
is your answer, for with the eyes of sense ye judge the objects of
sense, but so ought ye not to do, but ye should rather see with the
inner eye the hidden worthlessness or value.'  Whereupon he ordered the
golden chests to be opened.  And when they were thrown open, they gave
out a loathsome smell and presented a hideous sight.

"Said the king, 'Here is a figure of those who are clothed in glory and
honour, and make great display of power and glory, but within is the
stink of dead men's bones and works of iniquity.' Next, he commanded
the pitched and tarred caskets also to be opened, and delighted the
company with the beauty and sweet savour of their stores.  And he said
unto them, 'Know ye to whom these are like?  They are like those lowly
men, clad in vile apparel, whose outward form alone ye beheld, and
deemed it outrageous that I bowed down to do them obeisance.  But
through the eyes of my mind I perceived the value and exceeding beauty
of their souls, and was glorified by their touch, and I counted them
more honourable than any chaplet or royal purple.'  Thus he shamed his
courtiers, and taught them not to be deceived by outward appearances,
but to give heed to the things of the soul. After the example of that
devout and wise king hast thou also done, in that thou hast received me
in good hope, wherein, as I ween, thou shalt not be disappointed."
Ioasaph said unto him, "Fair and fitting hath been all thy speech; but
now I fain would learn who is thy Master, who, as thou saidest at the
first, spake concerning the Sower."


Again therefore Barlaam took up his parable and said, "If thou wilt
learn who is my Master, it is Jesus Christ the Lord, the only-begotten
Son of God, 'the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings, and
Lords of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which
no man can approach unto'; who with the Father and the Holy Ghost is
glorified.  I am not one of those who proclaim from the house-top their
wild rout of gods, and worship lifeless and dumb idols, but one God do
I acknowledge and confess, in three persons glorified, the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Ghost, but in one nature and substance, in one glory
and kingdom undivided.  He then is in three persons one God, without
beginning, and without end, eternal and everlasting, increate,
immutable and incorporeal, invisible, infinite, incomprehensible, alone
good and righteous, who created all things out of nothing, whether
visible or invisible.  First, he made the heavenly and invisible
powers, countless multitudes, immaterial and bodiless, ministering
spirits of the majesty of God.  Afterward he created this visible
world, heaven and earth and sea, which also he made glorious with light
and richly adorned it; the heavens with the sun, moon and stars, and
the earth with all manner of herbs and divers living beasts, and the
sea in turn with all kinds of fishes.  'He spake the word and these all
were made; he commanded and they were created.'  Then with his own
hands he created man, taking dust of the ground for the fashioning of
his body, but by his own in-breathing giving him a reasonable and
intelligent soul, which, as it is written, was made after the image and
likeness of God: after his image, because of reason and free will;
after his likeness, because of the likeness of virtue, in its degree,
to God.  Him he endowed with free will and immortality and appointed
sovran over everything upon earth; and from man he made woman, to be an
helpmeet of like nature for him.

"And he planted a garden eastward in Eden, full of delight and all
heart's ease, and set thereto the man whom he had formed, and commanded
him freely to eat of all the heavenly trees therein, but forbade him
wholly the taste of a certain one which was called the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil, thus saying, 'In the day that ye eat
thereof ye shall surely die.'  But one of the aforesaid angel powers,
the marshall of one host, though he bore in himself no trace of natural
evil from his Maker's hand but had been created for good, yet by his
own free and deliberate choice turned aside from good to evil, and was
stirred up by madness to the desire to take up arms against his Lord
God. Wherefore he was cast out of his rank and dignity, and in the
stead of his former blissful glory and angelick name received the name
of the 'Devil' and 'Satan' for his title.  God banished him as unworthy
of the glory above.  And together with him there was drawn away and
hurled forth a great multitude of the company of angels under him, who
were evil of choice, and chose in place of good, to follow in the
rebellion of their leader.  These were called Devils, as being deluders
and deceivers.

"Thus then did the devil utterly renounce the good, and assume an evil
nature; and he conceived spite against man, seeing himself hurled from
such glory, and man raised to such honour; and he schemed to oust him
from that blissful state.  So he took the serpent for the workshop of
his own guile.  Through him he conversed with the woman, and persuaded
her to eat of that forbidden tree in the hope of being as God, and
through her he deceived Adam also, for that was the first man's name.
So Adam ate of the tree of disobedience, and was banished by his maker
from that paradise of delight, and, in lieu of those happy days and
that immortal life, fell alas!  into this life of misery and woe, and
at the last received sentence of death.  Thenceforth the devil waxed
strong and boastful through his victory; and, as the race of man
multiplied, he prompted them in all manner of wickedness.  So, wishing
to cut short the growth of sin, God brought a deluge on the earth, and
destroyed every living soul. But one single righteous man did God find
in that generation; and him, with wife and children, he saved alive in
an Ark, and set him utterly desolate on earth.  But, when the human
race again began to multiply, they forgat God, and ran into worse
excess of wickedness, being in subjection to divers sins and ruined in
strange delusions, and wandering apart into many branches of error.

"Some deemed that everything moved by mere chance, and taught that
there was no Providence, since there was no master to govern.  Others
brought in fate, and committed everything to the stars at birth.
Others worshipped many evil deities subject to many passions, to the
end that they might have them to advocate their own passions and
shameful deeds, whose forms they moulded, and whose dumb figures and
senseless idols they set up, and enclosed them in temples, and did
homage to them, 'serving the creature more than the Creator.'  Some
worshipped the sun, moon and stars which God fixed, for to give light
to our earthly sphere; things without soul or sense, enlightened and
sustained by the providence of God, but unable to accomplish anything
of themselves.  Others again worshipped fire and water, and the other
elements, things without soul or sense; and men, possest of soul and
reason, were not ashamed to worship the like of these. Others assigned
worship to beasts, creeping and four-footed things, proving themselves
more beastly than the things that they worshipped.  Others made them
images of vile and worthless men, and named them gods, some of whom
they called males, and some females, and they themselves set them forth
as adulterers, murderers, victims of anger, jealousy, wrath, slayers of
fathers, slayers of brothers, thieves and robbers, lame and maim,
sorcerers and madmen.  Others they showed dead, struck by thunderbolts,
or beating their breasts, or being mourned over, or in enslavement to
mankind, or exiled, or, for foul and shameful unions, taking the forms
of animals.  Whence men, taking occasion by the gods themselves, took
heart to pollute themselves in all manner of uncleanness.  So an
horrible darkness overspread our race in those times, and 'there was
none that did understand and seek after God.'

"Now in that generation one Abraham alone was found strong in his
spiritual senses; and by contemplation of Creation he recognized the
Creator.  When he considered heaven, earth and sea, the sun, moon and
the like, he marvelled at their harmonious ordering. Seeing the world,
and all that therein is, he could not believe that it had been created,
and was upheld, by its own power, nor did he ascribe such a fair
ordering to earthly elements or lifeless idols.  But therein he
recognized the true God, and understood him to be the maker and
sustainer of the whole.  And God, approving his fair wisdom and right
judgement, manifested himself unto him, not as he essentially is (for
it is impossible for a created being to see God), but by certain
manifestations in material forms, as he alone can, and he planted in
Abraham more perfect knowledge; he magnified him and made him his own
servant. Which Abraham in turn handed down to his children his own
righteousness, and taught them to know the true God.  Wherefore also
the Lord was pleased to multiply his seed beyond measure, and called
them 'a peculiar people,' and brought them forth out of bondage to the
Egyptian nation, and to one Pharaoh a tyrant, by strange and terrible
signs and wonders wrought by the hand of Moses and Aaron, holy men,
honoured with the gift of prophecy; by whom also he punished the
Egyptians in fashion worthy of their wickedness, and led the Israelites
(for thus the people descended from Abraham were called) through the
Red Sea upon dry land, the waters dividing and making a wall on the
right hand and a wall on the left.  But when Pharaoh and the Egyptians
pursued and went in after them, the waters returned and utterly
destroyed them.  Then with exceeding mighty miracles and divine
manifestations by the space of forty years he led the people in the
wilderness, and fed them with bread from heaven, and gave the Law
divinely written on tables of stone, which he delivered unto Moses on
the mount, 'a type and shadow of things to come' leading men away from
idols and all manner of wickedness, and teaching them to worship only
the one true God, and to cleave to good works.  By such wondrous deeds,
he brought them into a certain goodly land, the which he had promised
aforetime to Abraham the patriarch, that he would give it unto his
seed.  And the task were long, to tell of all the mighty and marvellous
works full of glory and wonder, without number, which he shewed unto
them, by which it was his purpose to pluck the human race from all
unlawful worship and practice, and to bring men back to their first
estate.  But even so our nature was in bondage by its freedom to err,
and death had dominion over mankind, delivering all to the tyranny of
the devil, and to the damnation of hell.

"So when we had sunk to this depth of misfortune and misery, we were
not forgotten by him that formed and brought us out of nothing into
being, nor did he suffer his own handiwork utterly to perish.  By the
good pleasure of our God and Father, and the co-operation of the Holy
Ghost, the only-begotten Son, even the Word of God, which is in the
bosom of the Father, being of one substance with the Father and with
the Holy Ghost, he that was before all worlds, without beginning, who
was in the beginning, and was with God even the Father, and was God,
he, I say, condescended toward his servants with an unspeakable and
incomprehensible condescension; and, being perfect God, was made
perfect man, of the Holy Ghost, and of Mary the Holy Virgin and Mother
of God, not of the seed of man, nor of the will of man, nor by carnal
union, being conceived in the Virgin's undefiled womb, of the Holy
Ghost; as also, before his conception, one of the Archangels was sent
to announce to the Virgin that miraculous conception and ineffable
birth.  For without seed was the Son of God conceived of the Holy
Ghost, and in the Virgin's womb he formed for himself a fleshy body,
animate with a reasonable and intelligent soul, and thence came forth
in one substance, but in two natures, perfect God and perfect man, and
preserved undefiled, even after birth, the virginity of her that bore
him. He, being made of like passions with ourselves in all things, yet
without sin, took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses.  For, since
by sin death entered into the world, need was that he, that should
redeem the world, should be without sin, and not by sin subject unto

"When he had lived thirty years among men, he was baptized in the river
Jordan by John, an holy man, and great above all the prophets.  And
when he was baptized there came a voice from heaven, from God, even the
Father, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,'
and the Holy Ghost descended upon him in likeness of a dove.  From that
time forth he began to do great signs and wonders, raising the dead,
giving sight to the blind, casting out devils, healing the lame and
maim, cleansing lepers, and everywhere renewing our out-worn nature,
instructing men both by word and deed, and teaching the way of virtue,
turning men from destruction and guiding their feet toward life
eternal.  Wherefore also he chose twelve disciples, whom he called
Apostles, and commanded them to preach the kingdom of heaven which he
came upon earth to declare, and to make heavenly us who are low and
earthly, by virtue of his Incarnation.

"But, through envy of his marvellous and divine conversation and
endless miracles, the chief priests and rulers of the Jews (amongst
whom also he dwelt, on whom he had wrought his aforesaid signs and
miracles), in their madness forgetting all, condemned him to death,
having seized one of the Twelve to betray him. And, when they had taken
him, they delivered him to the Gentiles, him that was the life of the
world, he of his free will consenting thereto; for he came for our
sakes to suffer all things, that he might free us from sufferings.  But
when they had done him much despite, at the last they condemned him to
the Cross.  All this he endured in the nature of that flesh which he
took from us, his divine nature remaining free of suffering: for, being
of two natures, both the divine and that which he took from us, his
human nature suffered, while his Godhead continued free from suffering
and death.  So our Lord Jesus Christ, being without sin, was crucified
in the flesh, for he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth;
and he was not subject unto death, for by sin, as I have said before,
came death into the world; but for our sakes he suffered death in the
flesh, that he might redeem us from the tyranny of death.  He descended
into hell, and having harrowed it, he delivered thence souls that had
been imprisoned therein for ages long.  He was buried, and on the third
day he rose again, vanquishing death and granting us the victory over
death: and he, the giver of immortality, having made flesh immortal,
was seen of his disciples, and bestowed upon them peace, and, through
them, peace on the whole human race.

"After forty days he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right
hand of the Father.  And he shall come again to judge the quick and the
dead, and to reward every man according to his works.  After his
glorious Ascension into heaven he sent forth upon his disciples the
Holy Ghost in likeness of fire, and they began to speak with other
tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  From thence by his grace
they were scattered abroad among all nations, and preached the true
Catholic Faith, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and teaching them to observe all the
commandments of the Saviour.  So they gave light to the people that
wandered in darkness, and abolished the superstitious error of
idolatry. Though the enemy chafeth under his defeat, and even now
stirreth up war against us, the faithful, persuading the fools and
unwise to cling to the worship of idols, yet is his power grown feeble,
and his swords have at last failed him by the power of Christ. Lo, in
few words I have made known unto thee my Master, my God, and my
Saviour; but thou shalt know him more perfectly, if thou wilt receive
his grace into thy soul, and gain the blessing to become his servant."


When the king's son had heard these words, there flashed a light upon
his soul.  Rising from his seat in the fulness of his joy, he embraced
Barlaam, saying: "Most honoured sir, methinks this might be that
priceless stone which thou dost rightly keep secret, not displaying it
to all that would see it, but only to these whose spiritual sense is
strong.  For lo, as these words dropped upon mine ear, sweetest light
entered into my heart, and the heavy veil of sorrow, that hath now this
long time enveloped my heart, was in an instant removed.  Tell me if my
guess be true: or if thou knowest aught better than that which thou
hast spoken, delay not to declare it to me."

Again, therefore, Barlaam answered, "Yea, my lord and prince, this is
the mighty mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations, but
in these last days hath been made known unto mankind; the manifestation
whereof, by the grace of the Holy Ghost, was foretold by many prophets
and righteous men, instructed at sundry times and in divers manners.
In trumpet tones they proclaimed it, and all looked forward to the
salvation that should be: this they desired to see, but saw it not.
But this latest generation was counted worthy to receive salvation.
Wherefore he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned."

Said Ioasaph, "All that thou hast told me I believe without question,
and him whom thou declarest I glorify as God.  Only make all plain to
me, and teach me clearly what I must do.  But especially go on to tell
me what is that Baptism which thou sayest that the Faithful receive."

The other answered him thus, "The root mid sure foundation of this holy
and perfect Christian Faith is the grace of heavenly Baptism, fraught
with the cleansing from all original sins, and complete purification of
all defilements of evil that come after. For thus the Saviour commanded
a man to be born again of water and of the spirit, and be restored to
his first dignity, to wit, by supplication and by calling on the Saving
Name, the Holy Spirit brooding on the water.  We are baptized, then,
according to the word of the Lord, in the Name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and thus the grace of the Holy Ghost
dwelleth in the soul of the baptized, illuminating and making it
God-like and renewing that which was made after his own image and
likeness.  And for the time to come we cast away all the old works of
wickedness, and we make covenant with God of a second life and begin a
purer conversation, that we may also become fellow-heirs with them that
are born again to incorruption and lay hold of everlasting salvation.
But without Baptism it is impossible to attain to that good hope, even
though a man be more pious than piety itself.  For thus spake God, the
Word, who was incarnate for the salvation of our race, 'Verily I say
unto you, except ye be born of water and of the Spirit, ye shall in no
wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.'  Wherefore before all things I
require thee to receive faith within thy soul, and to draw near to
Baptism anon with hearty desire, and on no account to delay herein, for
delay is parlous, because of the uncertainty of the appointed day of

Ioasaph said unto him, "And what is this good hope whereto thou sayest
it is impossible without baptism to attain?  And what this kingdom
which thou callest the kingdom of Heaven?  And how cometh it that thou
hast heard the words of God incarnate?  And what is the uncertain day
of death?  For on this account much anxiety hath fallen on my heart,
and consumeth my flesh in pain and grief, and fasteneth on my very
bones.  And shall we men, appointed to die, return to nothing, or is
there some other life after our departure hence?  These and kindred
questions I have been longing to resolve."

Thus questioned he; and Barlaam answered thus: "The good hope, whereof
I spake, is that of the kingdom of Heaven.  But that kingdom is far
beyond the utterance of mortal tongue; for the Scripture saith, 'Eye
hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of
man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.'  But
when we have shuffled off this gross flesh, and attained to that
blessedness, then will that Master, which hath granted to us not to
fail of this hope, teach and make known unto us the glory of those good
things, whose glory passeth all understanding:--that light ineffable,
that life that hath no ending, that converse with Angels.  For if it be
granted us to hold communion with God, so far as is attainable to human
nature, then shall we know all things from his lips which now we know
not.  This doth my initiation into the teaching of the divine
Scriptures teach me to be the real meaning of the kingdom of Heaven; to
approach the vision of the blessed and life-giving Trinity, and to be
illumined with his unapproachable light, and with clearer and purer
sight, and with unveiled face, to behold as in a glass his unspeakable
glory.  But, if it be impossible to express in language that glory,
that light, and those mysterious blessings, what marvel?  For they had
not been mighty and singular, if they had been comprehended by reason
and expressed in words by us who are earthly, and corruptible, and
clothed in this heavy garment of sinful flesh.  Holding then such
knowledge in simple faith, believe thou undoubtingly, that these are no
fictions; but by good works be urgent to lay hold on that immortal
kingdom, to which when thou hast attained, thou shalt have perfect

"As touching thy question, How it is that we have heard the words of
the Incarnate God, know thou that we have been taught all that
appertaineth to the divine Incarnation by the Holy Gospels, for thus
that holy book is called, because it telleth us, who are corruptible
and earthly, the 'good spell' of immortality and incorruption, of life
eternal, of the remission of sins, and of the kingdom of heaven.  This
book was written by the eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word, and of
these I have already said that our Lord Jesus Christ chose them for
disciples and apostles; and they delivered it unto us in writing, after
the glorious Ascension of our Master into Heaven, a record of his life
on earth, his teachings and miracles, so far as it was possible to
commit them to writing.  For thus, toward the end of his volume, saith
he that is the flower of the holy Evangelists, 'And there are also many
other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written
every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the
books that should be written.'

"So in this heavenly Gospel, written by the Spirit of God, is recorded
the history of his Incarnation, his manifestation, his miracles and
acts.  Afterward, it telleth of the innocent suffering which the Lord
endured for our sake, of his holy Resurrection on the third day, his
Ascent into the heavens, and of his glorious and dreadful second
coming; for the Son of God shall come again on earth, with unspeakable
glory, and with a multitude of the heavenly host to judge our race, and
to reward every man according to his works.  For, at the beginning, God
created man out of earth, as I have already told thee, and breathed
into him breath, which is called a reasonable and understanding soul.
But since we were sentenced to death, we die all: and it is not
possible for this cup to pass any man by.  Now death is the separation
of the soul from the body.  And that body which was formed out of
earth, when severed from the soul, returneth to earth from whence also
it was taken, and, decaying, perisheth; but the soul, being immortal,
fareth whither her Maker calleth, or rather to the place where she,
while still in the body, hath prepared for herself lodgement.  For as a
man hath lived here, so shall he receive reward there.

"Then, after long seasons, Christ our God shall come to judge the world
in awful glory, beyond words to tell; and for fear of him the powers of
heaven shall be shaken, and all the angel hosts stand beside him in
dread.  Then, at the voice of the archangel, and at the trump of God,
shall the dead arise and stand before his awful throne.  Now the
Resurrection is the re-uniting of soul and body.  So that very body,
which decayeth and perisheth, shall arise incorruptible.  And
concerning this, beware lest the reasoning of unbelief overtake thee;
for it is not impossible for him, who at the beginning formed the body
out of earth, when according to its Maker's doom it hath returned to
earth whence it was taken, to raise the same again.  If thou wilt but
consider how many things God hath made out of nothing, this proof shall
suffice thee.  He took earth and made man, though earth was not man
before.  How then did earth become man?  And how was earth, that did
not exist, produced?  And what foundation hath it?  And how were
countless kind of things without reason, of seeds and plants, produced
out of it!  Nay, now also consider the manner of our birth.  Is not a
little seed thrown into the womb that receiveth it?  Whence then cometh
such a marvellous fashioning of a living creature?

"So for him, who hath made everything out of nothing, and still doth
make, it is not impossible to raise deadened and corrupt bodies from
the earth, that every man may be rewarded according to his works; for
he saith, 'The present is the time for work, the future for
recompense.'  Else, where were the justice of God, if there were no
Resurrection?  Many righteous men in this present life have suffered
much ill-usage and torment, and have died violent deaths; and the
impious and the law-breaker hath spent his days here in luxury and
prosperity.  But God, who is good and just, hath appointed a day of
resurrection and inquisition, that each soul may receive her own body,
and that the wicked, who received his good things here, may there be
punished for his misdeeds, and that the good, who was here chastised
for his misdeeds, may there inherit his bliss.  For, saith the Lord,
'They that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God,
and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of
life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of doom.'
Then also shall thrones be set, and the Ancient of days and Maker of
all things shall sit as Judge, and there shall be opened books with
records of the deeds and words and thoughts of all of us, and a fiery
stream shall issue, and all hidden things shall be revealed.  There can
no advocate, no persuasive words, no false excuse, no mightiness of
riches, no pomp of rank, no lavishment of bribes, avail to pervert
righteous judgement.  For he, the uncorrupt and truthful Judge, shall
weigh everything in the balance of justice, every act, word and
thought.  And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting,
into light unspeakable, rejoicing in the fellowship of the Angels, to
enjoy bliss ineffable, standing in purity before the Holy Trinity.  But
they that have done evil, and all the ungodly and sinners, shall go
into everlasting punishment, which is called Gehenna, and outer
darkness, and the worm that dieth not, and the gnashing of teeth, and a
thousand other names of punishment; which meaneth rather--bitterest of
all,--alienation from God, the being cast away from the sweetness of
his presence, the being deprived of that glory which baffleth
description, the being made a spectacle unto the whole creation, and
the being put to shame, and shame that hath no ending.  For, after the
passing of that terrible sentence, all things shall abide immutable and
unchangeable.  The blissful life of the righteous shall have no close,
neither shall the misery and punishment of sinners find an end:
because, after him, there is no higher Judge, and no defence by
after-works, no time for amendment, no other way for them that are
punished, their vengeance being co-eternal with them.

"Seeing that this is so, what manner of persons ought we to be in all
holy conversation and godliness, that we may be counted worthy to
escape the wrath to come, and to be ranged on the right hand of the Son
of God?  For this is the station of the righteous: but to sinners is
allotted the station of misery on the left.  Then shall the Lord call
the righteous 'Blessed,' and shall lead them into his everlasting
kingdom.  But, as for sinners, with anger and curse he will banish them
from his serene and gentle countenance the bitterest and hardest lot of
all and will send them away into everlasting punishment."


Ioasaph said unto him, "Great and marvellous, sir, are the things
whereof thou tellest me, fearful and terrible, if indeed these things
be so, and, if there be after death and dissolution into dust and
ashes, a resurrection and re-birth, and rewards and punishments for the
deeds done during life.  But what is the proof thereof?  And how have
ye come to learn that which ye have not seen, that ye have so
steadfastly and undoubtingly believed it?  As for things that have
already been done and made manifest in deed, though ye saw them not,
yet have ye heard them from the writers of history.  But, when it is of
the future that ye preach tidings of such vast import, how have ye made
your conviction on these matters sure?"

Quoth Barlaam, "From the past I gain certainty about the future; for
they that preached the Gospel, without erring from the truth, but
establishing their sayings by signs and wonders and divers miracles,
themselves also spake of the future.  So, as in the one case they
taught us nothing amiss or false, but made all that they said and did
to shine clearer than the sun, so also in the other matter they gave us
true doctrine, even that which our Lord and Master Jesus Christ himself
confirmed both by word and deed. 'Verily,' he spake, 'I say unto you,
the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear
the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live:' and again,
'The hour cometh when the dead shall hear his voice, and shall come
forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they
that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.'  And again he
said concerning the resurrection of the dead, 'Have ye not read that
which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  God is not the God of the dead
but of the living.'  'For as the tares are gathered and burned in the
fire, so shall it be in the end of this age.  The Son of God shall send
forth his Angels, and they shall gather all things that offend, and
them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire;
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then shall the righteous
shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father.'  Thus spake he
and added this thereto, 'Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.'

"In such words and many more did the Lord make manifest the
resurrection of our bodies, and confirm his words in deed, by raising
many that were dead.  And, toward the end of his life upon earth, he
called from the grave one Lazarus his friend, that had already been
four days dead and stank, and thus he restored the lifeless to life.
Moreover, the Lord himself became the first-fruits of that resurrection
which is final and no longer subject unto death, after he had in the
flesh tasted of death; and on the third day he rose again, and became
the first-born from the dead.  For other men also were raised from the
dead, but died once more, and might not yet attain to the likeness of
the future true resurrection.  But he alone was the leader of that
resurrection, the first to be raised to the resurrection immortal.

"This was the preaching also of them that from the beginning were
eye-witnesses and ministers of the word; for thus saith blessed Paul,
whose calling was not of men, but from heaven, 'Brethren, I declare
unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you.  For I delivered unto
you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for
our sins according to the Scriptures.  Now if Christ be preached that
he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no
resurrection of the dead?  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ
raised.  And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in
your sins.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all
men most miserable.  But now is Christ risen from the dead and become
the first-fruits of them that slept.  For since by man came death, by
man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die,
even so in Christ shall all be made alive.'  And after a little while,
'For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must
put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on
incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall
be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in
victory.  O death where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?'
For then the power of death is utterly annulled and destroyed, no
longer working in us, but for the future there is given unto men
immortality and incorruption for evermore.

"Beyond all question, therefore, there shall be a resurrection of the
dead, and this we believe undoubtingly.  Moreover we know that there
shall be rewards and punishments for the deeds done in our life-time,
on the dreadful day of Christ's coming, 'wherein the heavens shall be
dissolved in fire and the elements shall melt with fervent heat,' as
saith one of the inspired clerks of God; 'nevertheless we, according to
his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth.'  For that there
shall be rewards and punishments for men's works, and that absolutely
nothing, good or bad, shall be overlooked, but that there is reserved a
requital for words, deeds and thoughts, is plain.  The Lord saith,
'Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of
cold water only, in the name of a disciple, he shall in no wise lose
his reward.'  And again he saith, 'When the Son of man shall come in
his glory, and all the holy Angels with him, then before him shall be
gathered all nations, and he shall separate them one from another, as a
shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.  And he shall set the sheep
on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say
unto them on his right hand, 'Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was
anhungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I
was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was
sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.'
Wherefore saith he this, except he count the kind acts we do unto the
needy as done unto himself?  And in another place he saith, 'Whosoever
shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father
which is in heaven.'

"Lo, by all these examples and many more he proveth that the rewards of
good works are certain and sure.  Further, that punishments are in
store for the bad, he foretold by parables strange and wonderful, which
he, the Well of Wisdom most wisely put forth.  At one time he brought
into his tale a certain rich man which was clothed in purple and fine
linen, and fared sumptuously every day, but who was so niggardly and
pitiless toward the destitute as to overlook a certain beggar named
Lazarus laid at his gate, and not even to give him of the crumbs from
his table.  So when one and other were dead, the poor man, full of
sores, was carried away, he saith, into Abraham's bosom, for thus he
describeth the habitation of the righteous--but the rich man was
delivered to the fire of bitter torment in hell.  To him said Abraham,
'Thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus
his evil things, but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented."

"And otherwhere he likeneth the kingdom of heaven to a certain king
which made a marriage-feast for his son and thereby he declared future
happiness and splendour.  For as he was wont to speak to humble and
earthly minded men, he would draw his parables from homely and familiar
things.  Not that he meant that marriages and feasts exist in that
world; but in condescension to men's grossness, he employed these names
when he would make known to them the future.  So, as he telleth, the
king with high proclamation called all to come to the marriage to take
their fill of his wondrous store of good things.  But many of them that
were bidden made light of it and came not, and busied themselves: some
went to their farms, some to their merchandize, and others to their
newly wedded wives, and thus deprived themselves of the splendour of
the bride chamber.  Now when these had, of their own choice, absented
themselves from this joyous merriment, others were bidden thereto, and
the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see
the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment, and
he said unto him, "Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a
wedding garment?"  And he was speechless.  Then said the king to the
servants, "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into
outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'  Now
they who made excuses and paid no heed to the call are they that hasten
not to the faith of Christ, but continue in idolatry or heresy.  But he
that had no wedding garment is he that believeth, but hath soiled his
spiritual garment with unclean acts, and was rightly cast forth from
the joy of the bride chamber.

"And he put forth yet another parable, in harmony with this, in his
picture of the Ten Virgins, 'five of whom were wise, and five were
foolish.  They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with
them, but the wise took oil.'  By the oil he signifieth the acquiring
of good works.  'And at midnight,' he saith, 'there was a cry made,
"Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him."'  By midnight he
denoteth the uncertainty of that time.  Then all those virgins arose.
'They that were ready went forth to meet the bridegroom and went in
with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.'  But they that were
un-ready (whom rightly he calleth foolish), seeing that their lamps
were going out, went forth to buy oil.  Afterward they drew nigh, the
door being now shut, and cried, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us.' But
he answered and said, 'Verily I say unto you, I know you not.'
Wherefore from all this it is manifest that there is a requital not
only for overt acts, but also for words and even secret thoughts; for
the Saviour said, 'I say unto you, that for every idle word that men
shall speak they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement.'
And again he saith, 'But the very hairs of your head are numbered,' by
the hairs meaning the smallest and slightest phantasy or thought.  And
in harmony herewith is the teaching of blessed Paul, 'For the word of
God,' saith he, 'is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged
sword, and piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and
intents of the heart.  Neither is there any creature that is not
manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid bare unto the
eyes of him with whom we have to do."

"These things also were proclaimed with wondrous clearness by the
prophets of old time, illumined by the grace of the Spirit.  For Esay
saith, 'I know their works and their thoughts,' and will repay them.
'Behold, I come to gather all nations and all tongues; and they shall
come and see my glory.  And the heaven shall be new, and the earth,
which I make before me.  And all flesh shall come to worship before me,
saith the Lord.  And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses
of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not
die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be a
spectacle unto all flesh."  And again he saith concerning that day,
"And the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll, and all the
stars shall fall down as leaves from the vine.  For behold, the day of
the Lord cometh, cruel with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the whole
world desolate and to destroy the sinners out of it.  For the stars of
heaven and Orion and all the constellations of heaven shall not give
their light, and there shall be darkness at the sun's rising, and the
moon shall not give her light.  And I will cause the arrogancy of the
sinners to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the proud.'  And
again he saith, 'Wo unto them that draw their iniquities as with a long
cord, and their sins as with an heifer's cart-rope!  Wo unto them that
call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light
for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Wo unto
those of you that are mighty, that are princes, that mingle strong
drink, which justify the wicked for reward, and take justice from the
just, and turn aside the judgement from the needy, and take away the
right from the poor, that the widow may be their spoil and the
fatherless their prey!  And what will they do in the day of visitation,
and to whom will they flee for help? And where will they leave their
glory, that they fall not into arrest?  Like as stubble shall be burnt
by live coal of fire, and consumed by kindled flame, so their root
shall be as foam, and their blossom shall go up as dust, for they would
not the law of the Lord of hosts, and provoked the oracle of the Holy
One of Israel."

"In tune therewith saith also another prophet, 'The great day of the
Lord is near, and hasteth greatly.  The bitter and austere voice of the
day of the Lord hath been appointed.  A mighty day of wrath is that
day, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation,
a day of blackness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
a day of the trumpet and alarm. And I will bring distress upon the
wicked, and they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned
against the Lord. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to
deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; for the whole land shall
be devoured by the fire of his jealousy, for he shall make a riddance
of all them that dwell in the land.'  Moreover David, the king and
prophet, crieth thus, 'God shall come visibly, even our God, and shall
not keep silence: a fire shall be kindled before him, and a mighty
tempest round about him.  He shall call the heaven from above, and the
earth, that he may judge his people.'  And again he saith, 'Arise, O
God, judge thou the earth, because "the fierceness of man shall turn to
thy praise." And thou shalt "reward every man according to his works."'
And many other such things have been spoken by the Psalmist, and all
the Prophets inspired by the Holy Ghost, concerning the judgement and
the recompense to come.  Their words also have been most surely
confirmed by the Saviour who hath taught us to believe the resurrection
of the dead, and the recompense of the deeds done in the flesh, and the
unending life of the world to come."


But Ioasaph was filled hereby with deep compunction, and was melted
into tears; and he said to the elder, "Thou hast told me everything
plainly, and hast completed unerringly thy terrible and marvellous
tale.  With such truths set before us, what must we do to escape the
punishments in store for sinners, and to gain the joy of the righteous?"

Barlaam answered: "It is written of Peter, who was also called chief of
the Apostles, that once when he was preaching the people were pricked
in their heart, like thyself to-day: and when they asked, 'What shall
we do?', Peter said unto them, 'Repent, and be baptized every one of
you for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the
Holy Ghost.  For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to
all that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call.'
Behold therefore upon thee also hath he poured forth the riches of his
mercy, and hath called thee that wert afar off from him in heart, and
didst serve others, not Gods, but pernicious devils and dumb and
senseless wooden images.  Wherefore before all things approach thou him
who hath called thee, and from him shalt thou receive the true
knowledge of things visible and invisible.  But if, after thy calling,
thou be loth or slack, thou shalt be disherited by the just judgement
of God, and by thy rejection of him thou shalt be rejected.  For thus
too spake the same Apostle Peter to a certain disciple.  But I believe
that thou hast heard the call, and that, when thou hast heard it more
plainly, thou wilt take up thy Cross, and follow that God and Master
that calleth thee, calleth thee to himself from death unto life, and
from darkness unto light.  For, soothly, ignorance of God is darkness
and death of the soul; and to serve idols, to the destruction of all
nature, is to my thinking the extreme of all senselessness.

"But idolaters--to whom shall I compare them, and to what likeness
shall I liken their silliness?  Well, I will set before thee an example
which I heard from the lips of one most wise.

"'Idol worshippers,' said he, 'are like a fowler who caught a tiny
bird, called nightingale.  He took a knife, for to kill and eat her;
but the nightingale, being given the power of articulate speech, said
to the fowler, 'Man, what advantageth it thee to slay me?  for thou
shalt not be able by my means to fill thy belly.  Now free me of my
fetters, and I will give thee three precepts, by the keeping of which
thou shalt be greatly benefited all thy life long.'  He, astonied at
her speech, promised that, if he heard anything new from her, he would
quickly free her from her captivity.  The nightingale turned towards
our friend and said, 'Never try to attain to the unattainable: never
regret the thing past and gone: and never believe the word that passeth
belief.  Keep these three precepts, and may it be well with thee.'  The
man, admiring the lucidity and sense of her words, freed the bird from
her captivity, and sent her forth aloft. She, therefore, desirous to
know whether the man had understood the force of her words, and whether
he had gleaned any profit therefrom, said, as she flew aloft, 'Shame,
sir, on thy fecklessness!  What a treasure that hast lost to-day!  For
I have inside me a pearl larger than an ostrich-egg.'  When the fowler
heard thereof, he was distraught with grief, regretting that the bird
had escaped out of his hands.  And he would fain have taken her again.
'Come hither,' said he, 'into my house: I will make thee right welcome,
and send thee forth with honour.'  But the nightingale said unto him,
'Now I know thee to be a mighty fool. Though thou didst receive my
words readily and gladly, thou hast gained no profit thereby.  I bade
thee never regret the thing past and gone; and behold thou art
distraught with grief because I have escaped out of thy hands there
thou regrettest a thing past and gone.  I charged thee not to try to
attain to the unattainable, and thou triest to catch me, though thou
canst not attain to my path.  Besides which, I bade thee never believe
a word past belief, and behold thou hast believed that I had inside me
a pearl exceeding the measure of my size, and hadst not the sense to
see that my whole body doth not attain to the bulk of ostrich eggs.
How then could I contain such a pearl?"'

"Thus senseless, then, are also they that trust in idols: for these be
their handiwork, and they worship that which their fingers made,
saying, 'These be our creators.'  How then deem they their creators
those which have been formed and fashioned by themselves?  Nay more,
they safeguard their gods, lest they be stolen by thieves, and yet they
call them guardians of their safety.  And yet what folly not to know
that they, which be unable to guard and aid themselves, can in no wise
guard and save others!  'For' saith he, 'why, on behalf of the living,
should they seek unto the dead?'  They expend wealth, for to raise
statues and images to devils, and vainly boast that these give them
good gifts, and crave to receive of their hands things which those
idols never possessed, nor ever shall possess.  Wherefore it is
written, 'May they that make them be like unto them, and so be all such
as put their trust in them, who,' he saith, 'hire a goldsmith, and make
them gods, and they fall down, yea, they worship them.  They bear them
upon the shoulders, and go forward. And if they set them in their
place, they stand therein: they shall not remove.  Yea, one shall cry
unto them, yet call they not answer him, nor save him out of his
trouble.'  'Wherefore be ye ashamed with everlasting shame, ye that
trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our
gods.'  'For they sacrificed,' he saith, 'unto devils, and not to God;
to gods whom their fathers knew not.  There came new and fresh gods;
because it is a froward generation, and there is no faith in them.'

"Wherefore out of this wicked and faithless generation the Lord calleth
thee to him, saying, 'Come out from among them, and be thou separate,
and touch no unclean thing,' but 'save thyself from this untoward
generation.'  'Arise thou, and depart, for this is not thy rest;' for
that divided lordship, which your gods hold, is a thing of confusion
and strife and hath no real being whatsoever.  But with us it is not
so, neither have we many gods and lords, but one God, the Father, of
whom are all things, and we unto him: and one Lord Jesus Christ, by
whom are all things and we by him, 'who is the image of the invisible
God, the first born of every creature' and of all ages, 'for in him
were all things created that are in the heavens and that are upon the
earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or
principalities, or powers.'  'All things were made by him, and without
him was not anything made that was made:' and one Holy Ghost, in whom
are all things, 'the Lord and Giver of life,' God and making God, the
good Spirit, the right Spirit, 'the Spirit the Comforter,' 'the Spirit
of adoption.'  Of these each person, severally, is God.  As the Father
is, so also is the Son, and as the Son, so also the Holy Ghost.  And
there is one God in three, one nature, one kingdom, one power, one
glory, one substance, distinct in persons, and so only distinct.  One
is the Father, whose property it is not to have been begotten; one is
the only-begotten Son, and his property it is to have been begotten;
and one is the Holy Ghost, and his property it is that he proceedeth.
Thus illuminated by that light, which is the Father, with that light,
which is the Son, in that light, which is the Holy Ghost, we glorify
one Godhead in three persons.  And he is one very and only God, known
in the Trinity: for of him and through him, and unto him are all things.

"By his grace also, I came to know thy ease, and was sent to teach thee
the lessons that I have learned and observed from my youth even to
these grey hairs.  If then thou shalt believe and be baptized, thou
shalt be saved; but if thou believe not, thou shalt be damned.  All the
things that thou seest to-day, wherein thou gloriest,--pomp, luxury,
riches, and all the deceitfulness of life,--quickly pass away; and they
shall cast thee hence whether thou wilt or no.  And thy body will be
imprisoned in a tiny grave, left in utter loneliness, and bereft of all
company of kith and kin.  And all the pleasant things of the world
shall perish; and instead of the beauty and fragrance of to-day, thou
shalt be encompassed with horror and the stink of corruption. But thy
soul shall they hurl into the nether-regions of the earth, into the
condemnation of Hades, until the final resurrection, when re-united to
her body, she shall be cast forth from the presence of the Lord and be
delivered to hell fire, which burneth everlastingly.  These, and far
worse haps than these, shall be thy destiny, if thou continue in

"But and if thou readily obey him that calleth thee to salvation, and
if thou run unto him with desire and joy, and be signed with his light,
and follow him without turn, renouncing every thing, and cleaving only
unto him, hear what manner of security and happiness shall be thine.
'When thou sittest down, thou shall not be afraid of sudden fear.  When
thou liest down, sweet shall be thy sleep.'  And thou shalt not be
afraid of terror coming or the assaults of evil spirits, but shalt go
thy way bold as any lion, and shalt live in bliss and everlasting
joyaunce.  For joy and praise shall crown thy head, and gladness shall
befall thee there, where pain and sorrow and wailing shall flee away.'
'Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health
shall rise speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee, and
the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.'  Then shalt thou call, and
the Lord shall answer; while thou art yet speaking, he shall say, 'Here
am I.'  'I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions, and
will not remember them.  Put me in remembrance: let us plead together:
declare thou thy sins that thou mayst be justified.'  'Though thy sins
be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow: though they be red as
crimson I will make them white as wool, for the mouth of the Lord hath
spoken it.'"


Ioasaph said unto him, "All thy words are fair and wonderful, and,
while thou spakest, I believed them and still believe them; and I hate
all idolatry with all my heart.  And indeed, even before thy coming
hither, my soul was, in uncertain fashion, doubtful of it.  But now I
hate it with a perfect hatred, since I have learned from thy lips the
vanity thereof, and the folly of those who worship idols; and I yearn
to become the servant of the true God, if haply he will not refuse me,
that am unworthy by reason of my sins, and I trust that he will forgive
me everything, because he is a lover of men, and compassionate, as thou
tellest me, and will count me worthy to become his servant. So I am
ready anon to receive baptism, and to observe all thy sayings.  But
what must I do after baptism?  And is this alone sufficient for
salvation, to believe and be baptized, or must one add other services

Barlaam answered him, "Hear what thou must do after baptism. Thou must
abstain from all sin, and every evil affection, and build upon the
foundation of the Catholick Faith the practice of the virtues; for
faith without works is dead, as also are works without faith.  For,
saith the Apostle, 'Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the
lust of the flesh.'  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are
these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry,
witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions,
heresies, envyings, murders, love of money, railing, love of pleasure,
drunkenness, revelling, arrogance, and such like, of the which I tell
you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do
such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the
Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, temperance, sanctification of soul and body, lowliness of
heart and contrition, almsgiving, forgiveness of injuries,
loving-kindness, watchings, perfect repentance of all past offences,
tears of compunction, sorrow for our own sins and those of our
neighbours, and the like.  These, even as steps and ladders that
support one another and are clinched together, conduct the soul to
heaven.  Lo, to these we are commanded to cleave after baptism, and to
abstain from their contraries.

"But if, after receiving the knowledge of the truth, we again lay hold
on dead works, and, like a dog, return to our vomit, it shall happen
unto us according to the word of the Lord; 'for,' saith he, 'when the
unclean spirit is gone out of a man' (to wit, by the grace of baptism)
'he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none.'  But
enduring not for long to wander homeless and hearthless, he saith, 'I
will return to my house whence I came out.'  And, when he cometh, he
findeth it swept and garnished, but empty and unoccupied, not having
received the operation of grace, nor having filled itself with the
riches of the virtues.  Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other
spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in and dwell there:
and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first.'  For
baptism burieth in the water and completely blotteth out the
hand-writing of all former sins, and is to us for the future a sure
fortress and tower of defence, and a strong weapon against the
marshalled host of the enemy; but it taketh not away free will, nor
alloweth the forgiving of sins after baptism, or immersion in the font
a second time.  For it is one baptism that we confess, and need is that
we keep ourselves with all watchfulness that so we fall not into
defilement a second time, but hold fast to the commandments of the
Lord.  For when he said to the Apostles, 'Go make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost,' he did not stop there, but added, 'teaching them to
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.'

"Now he commanded men to be poor in spirit, and such he calleth blessed
and worthy of the kingdom of heaven.  Again he chargeth us to mourn in
the present life, that we may obtain comfort hereafter, and to be meek,
and to be ever hungering and thirsting after righteousness: to be
merciful, and ready to distribute, pitiful and compassionate, pure in
heart, abstaining from all defilement of flesh and spirit, peacemakers
with our neighbours and with our own souls, by bringing the worse into
subjection to the better, and thus by a just decision making peace in
that continual warfare betwixt the twain; also to endure all
persecution and tribulation and reviling, inflicted upon us for
righteousness' sake in defence of his name, that we may obtain
everlasting felicity in the glorious distribution of his rewards. Ay,
and in this world he exhorteth us to let our 'light so shine before
men, that they may see,' he saith, 'your good works, and glorify your
Father which is in heaven.'

"For the law of Moses, formerly given to the Israelites, saith, 'Thou
shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal;
thou shalt not bear false witness:' but Christ saith 'Whosoever is
angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the
judgement; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of
hell fire:' and, 'if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there
rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy
gift before the altar, and go thy way and first be reconciled to thy
brother.'  And he also saith, 'Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust
after her, hath committed adultery with her in his heart.'  And hereby
he calleth the defilement and consent of the affection adultery.
Furthermore, where the law forbade a man to forswear himself, Christ
commanded him to swear not at all beyond Yea and Nay.  There we read,
'Eye for eye and tooth for tooth': here, 'Whosoever shall smite thee on
thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if any man will sue
thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.  Give
to him that asketh time, and from him that would borrow of thee turn
not thou away.  Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good
to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and
persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in
heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and
sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  Judge not, that ye be not
judged.  Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.  Lay not up for yourselves
treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where
thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do
not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will
your heart be also.  Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat,
or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on:
for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these
things.' He therefore that gave life and body will assuredly give food
and raiment: he that feedeth the fowls of the air and arrayeth with
such beauty the lilies of the field.  'But, seek ye first,' saith
Christ, 'the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these
things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the
morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do
ye even so to them.  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the
gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there
be which go in thereat.  Strait and narrow is the way which leadeth
unto life and few there be that find it.  Not every one that saith unto
me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that
doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  He that loveth father
or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son and
daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he that taketh not up
his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.' Lo these and
the like of these be the things which the Saviour commanded his
Apostles to teach the Faithful: and all these things we are bound to
observe, if we desire to attain to perfection and receive the
incorruptible crowns of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous
judge, shall give at that day unto all them that have loved his

Ioasaph said unto the elder, "Well then, as the strictness of these
doctrines demandeth such chaste conversation, if, after baptism, I
chance to fail in one or two of these commandments, shall I therefore
utterly miss the goal, and shall all my hope be vain?"

Barlaam answered, "Deem not so.  God, the Word, made man for the
salvation of our race, aware of the exceeding frailty and misery of our
nature, hath not even here suffered our sickness to be without remedy.
But, like a skilful leech, he hath mixed for our unsteady and
sin-loving heart the potion of repentance, prescribing this for the
remission of sins.  For after that we have received the knowledge of
the truth, and have been sanctified by water and the Spirit, and
cleansed without effort from all sin and all defilement, if we should
fortune to fall into any transgression, there is, it is true, no second
regeneration made within us by the spirit through baptism in the water
of the font, and wholly re-creating us (that gift is given once for
all); but, by means of painful repentance, hot tears, toils and sweats,
there is a purifying and pardoning of our offences through the tender
mercy of our God.  For the fount of tears is also called baptism,
according to the grace of the Master, but it needeth labour and time;
and many hath it saved after many a fall; because there is no sin too
great for the clemency of God, if we be quick to repent, and purge the
shame of our offences, and death overtake us not, and depart us not
from this life still defiled; for in the grave there is no confession
nor repentance.  But as long as we are 'among the living, while the
foundation of our true faith continueth unshattered, even if somewhat
of the outer roof-work or inner building be disabled, it is allowed to
renew by repentance the part rotted by sins.  It is impossible to count
the multitude of the mercies of God, or measure the greatness of his
compassion: whereas sins and offences, of whatever kind, are subject to
measure and may be numbered.  So our offences, being subject to measure
and number, cannot overcome the immeasurable compassion, and
innumerable mercies of God.

"Wherefore we are commanded not to despair for our trespasses, but to
acknowledge the goodness of God, and condemn the sins whereof
forgiveness is offered us by reason of the loving-kindness of Christ,
who for our sins shed his precious blood.  In many places of Scripture
we are taught the power of repentance, and especially by the precepts
and parables of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For it saith, 'From that time
began Jesus to preach and to say, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven
is at hand."' Moreover he setteth before us, in a parable, a certain
son that had received his father's substance, and taken his journey
into a far country, and there spent all in riotous living.  Then, when
there arose a famine in that land, he went and joined himself to one of
the citizens of that land of iniquity, who sent him into his fields to
feed swine,--thus doth he designate the most coarse and loathsome sin.
When, after much labour, he had come to the utmost misery, and might
not even fill his belly with the husks that the swine did eat, at last
he came to perceive his shameful plight, and, bemoaning himself, said,
'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare,
and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will
say unto him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee,
and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired
servants."'  And he arose, and came to his father. But, when he was yet
a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and
embraced him, and kissed him tenderly, and, restoring him to his former
rank, made a feast of joyaunce because his son was found again, and
killed the fatted calf.  Lo, this parable, that Jesus spake to us,
concerneth such as turn again from sin, and fall at his feet in
repentance.  Again, he representeth a certain good shepherd that had an
hundred sheep, and, when one was lost, left the ninety and nine, and
went forth to seek that which was gone astray, until he found it: and
he laid it on his shoulders, and folded it with those that had not gone
astray, and called together his friends and neighbours to a banquet,
because that it was found.  'Likewise,' saith the Saviour, 'joy shall
be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and
nine just persons which need no repentance.'

"And, in sooth, even the chief of the disciples, Peter, the Rock of the
Faith, in the very season of the Saviour's Passion, failing for a
little while in his stewardship, that he might understand the
worthlessness and misery of human frailty, fell under the guilt of
denial.  Then he straightway remembered the Lord's words, and went out
and wept bitterly, and with those hot tears made good his defeat, and
transferred the victory to his own side.  Like a skilful man of war,
though fallen, he was not undone, nor did he despair, but, springing to
his feet, he brought up, as a reserve, bitter tears from the agony of
his soul; and straightway, when the enemy saw that sight, like a man
whose eyes are scorched with a fierce flame, he leaped off and fled
afar, howling horribly.  So the chief became chief again, as he had
before been chosen teacher of the whole world, being now become its
pattern of penitence.  And after his holy resurrection Christ made good
this three-fold denial with the three-fold question, 'Peter, lovest
thou me?', the Apostle answering, 'Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love

"So from all these and many other examples beyond count we learn the
virtue of tears and repentance.  Only the manner thereof must be noted
it must arise from a heart that abominateth sin and weepeth, as saith
the prophet David, 'I am weary of my groaning: every night will I wash
my bed and water my couch with my tears.' Again the cleansing of sins
will be wrought by the blood of Christ, in the greatness of his
compassion and the multitude of the mercies of that God who saith,
'Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow,' and
so forth.

"Thus therefore it is, and thus we believe.  But after receiving the
knowledge of the truth and winning regeneration and adoption as sons,
and tasting of the divine mysteries, we must strive hard to keep our
feet lest we fall.  For to fall becometh not the athlete, since many
have fallen and been unable to rise.  Some, opening a door to sinful
lusts, and clinging obstinately to them, have no more had strength to
hasten back to repentance; and others, being untimely snatched by
death, and having not made speed enough to wash them from the pollution
of their sin, have been damned.  And for this cause it is parlous to
fall into any kind of sinful affection whatsoever.  But if any man
fall, he must at once leap up, and stand again to fight the good fight:
and, as often as there cometh a fall, so often must there at once ensue
this rising and standing, unto the end.  For, 'Turn ye unto me, and I
will turn unto you,' saith the Lord God."


To this said Ioasaph, "But how, after baptism, shall a man keep himself
clear from all sin?  For even if there be, as thou sayest, repentance
for them that stumble, yet it is attended with toil and trouble, with
weeping and mourning; things which, methinks, are not easy for the many
to accomplish.  But I desired rather to find a way to keep strictly the
commandments of God, and not swerve from them, and, after his pardoning
of my past misdeeds, never again to provoke that most sweet God and

Barlaam answered, "Well said, my lord and king.  That also is my
desire; but it is hard, nay quite impossible, for a man living with
fire not to be blackened with smoke: for it is an uphill task, and one
not easy of accomplishment, for a man that is tied to the matters of
this life and busied with its cares and troubles, and liveth in riches
and luxury, to walk unswervingly in the way of the commandments of the
Lord, and to preserve his life pure of these evils.   'For,' saith the
Lord, 'no man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one
and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the
other.  Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.'  So also writeth the beloved
Evangelist and Divine in his Epistle, thus saying, 'Love not the world,
neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world,
the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,
is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away,
and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for

"These things were well understood by our holy and inspired fathers;
and mindful of the Apostle's word that we must through much tribulation
enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, they strove, after holy baptism, to
keep their garment of immortality spotless and undefiled.  Whence some
of them also thought fit to receive yet another baptism; I mean that
which is by blood and martyrdom. For this too is called baptism, the
most honourable, and reverend of all, inasmuch as its waters are not
polluted by fresh sin; which also our Lord underwent for our sakes, and
rightly called it baptism.  So as imitators and followers of him, first
his eyewitness, disciples, and Apostles, and then the whole band of
holy martyrs yielded themselves, for the name of Christ, to kings and
tyrants that worshipped idols, and endured every form of torment, being
exposed to wild beasts, fire and sword, confessing the good confession,
running the course and keeping the faith. Thus they gained the prizes
of righteousness, and became the companions of Angels, and fellow-heirs
with Christ.  Their virtue shone so bright that their sound went out
into all lands, and the splendour of their good deeds flashed like
lightning into the ends of the earth.  Of these men, not only the words
and works, but even the very blood and bones are full of all sanctity,
mightily casting out devils, and giving to such as touch them in faith
the healing of incurable diseases: yea, and even their garments, and
anything else that hath been brought near their honoured bodies, are
always worthy of the reverence of all creation.  And it were a long
tale to tell one by one their deeds of prowess.

"But when those cruel and brutal tyrants brought their miserable lives
to a miserable end, and persecution ceased, and Christian kings ruled
throughout the world, then others too in succession emulated the
Martyrs' zeal and divine desire, and, wounded at heart with the same
love, considered well how they might present soul and body without
blemish unto God, by cutting off all the workings of sinful lusts and
purifying themselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit.  But, as
they perceived that this could only be accomplished by the keeping of
the commandments of Christ, and that the keeping of his commandments
and the practice of the virtues was difficult to attain in the midst of
the turmoils of the world, they adopted for themselves a strange and
changed manner of life, and, obedient to the voice divine, forsook all,
parents, children, friends, kinsfolk, riches and luxury, and, hating
everything in the world, withdrew, as exiles, into the deserts, being
destitute, afflicted, evil entreated, wandering in wildernesses and
mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth, self-banished from all
the pleasures and delights upon earth, and standing in sore need even
of bread and shelter.  This they did for two causes: firstly, that
never seeing the objects of sinful lust, they might pluck such desires
by the root out of their soul, and blot out the memory thereof, and
plant within themselves the love and desire of divine and heavenly
things: and secondly, that, by exhausting the flesh by austerities, and
becoming Martyrs in will, they might not miss the glory of them that
were made perfect by blood, but might be themselves, in their degree,
imitators of the sufferings of Christ, and become partakers of the
kingdom that hath no end.  Having then come to this wise resolve, they
adopted the quiet of monastic life, some facing the rigours of the open
air, and braving the blaze of the scorching heat and fierce frosts and
rain-storms and tempestuous winds, others spending their lives in the
hovels which they had builded them, or in the hiding of holes and
caverns.  Thus, in pursuit of virtue, they utterly denied themselves
all fleshly comfort and repose, submitting to a diet of uncooked herbs
and worts, or acorns, or hard dry bread, not merely saying good-bye to
delights in their quality, but, in very excess of temperance, extending
their zeal to limit even the quantity of enjoyment. For even of those
common and necessary meats they took only so much as was sufficient to
sustain life.  Some of them continued fasting the whole week, and
partook of victuals only of a Sunday: others thought of food twice only
in the week: others ate every other day, or daily at eventide, that is,
took but a taste of food.  In prayers and watchings they almost
rivalled the life of Angels, bidding a long farewell to the possession
of gold and silver, and quite forgetting that buyings and sellings are
concerns of men.

"But envy and pride, the evils most prone to follow good works, had no
place amongst them.  He that was weaker in ascetic exercises
entertained no thought of malice against him of brighter example.  Nor
again was he, that had accomplished great feats, deceived and puffed up
by arrogance to despise his weaker brethren, or set at nought his
neighbour, or boast of his rigours, or glory in his achievements.  He
that excelled in virtue ascribed nothing to his own labours, but all to
the power of God, in humility of mind persuading himself that his
labours were nought and that he was debtor even for more, as saith the
Lord, 'When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded
you, say, "We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was
our duty to do."'  Others again persuaded themselves that they had not
done even the things which they were commanded to do, but that the
things left undone outnumbered the things already well done.  Again, he
that was far behind in austerity, perchance through bodily weakness,
would disparage and blame himself, attributing his failure to
slothfulness of mind rather than to natural frailty.  So each excelled
each, and all excelled all in this sweet reasonableness.  But the
spirit of vain glory and pleasing of men--what place had it among them?
For they had fled from the world, and were dwelling in the desert, to
the end that they might show their virtues not to men, but to God, from
whom also they hope to receive the rewards of their good deeds, well
aware that religious exercises performed for vain glory go without
recompense; for these are done for the praise of men and not for God.
Whence all that do thus are doubly defrauded: they waste their body,
and receive no reward. But they who yearn for glory above, and strive
thereafter, despise all earthly and human glory.

"As to their dwellings, some monks finish the contest in utter
retirement and solitude, having removed themselves far from the haunts
of men throughout the whole of their earthly life-time, and having
drawn nigh to God.  Others build their homes at a distance one from
another, but meet on the Lord's Day at one Church, and communicate of
the Holy Mysteries, I mean the unbloody Sacrifice of the undefiled Body
and precious Blood of Christ, which the Lord gave to the Faithful for
the remission of sins, for the enlightenment and sanctification of soul
and body. They entertain one another with the exercises of the divine
Oracles and moral exhortations, and make public the secret wiles of
their adversaries, that none, through ignorance of the manner of
wrestling, may be caught thus.  Then turn they again, each to his own
home, eagerly storing the honey of virtue in the cells of their hearts,
and husbanding sweet fruits worthy of the heavenly board.

"Others again spend their life in monasteries.  These gather in
multitudes in one spot, and range themselves under one superior and
president, the best of their number, slaying all self-will with the
sword of obedience.  Of their own free choice they consider themselves
as slaves bought at a price, and no longer live for themselves, but for
him, to whom, for Christ his sake, they have become obedient; or
rather, to speak more properly, they live no more for themselves, but
Christ liveth in them, whom to follow, they renounce all.  This is
retirement, a voluntary hatred of the world, and denial of nature by
desire of things above nature.  These men therefore live the lives of
Angels on earth, chanting psalms and hymns with one consent unto the
Lord, and purchasing for themselves the title of Confessors by labours
of obedience.  And in them is fulfilled the word of the Lord, when he
saith, 'Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I
in the midst of them.'  By this number he limiteth not the gathering
together in his name, but by 'two or three' signifieth that the number
is indefinite.  For, whether there be many, or few, gathered together
because of his holy name, serving him with fervent zeal, there we
believe him to be present in the midst of his servants.

"By these ensamples and such like assemblies men of earth and clay
imitate the life of heavenly beings, in fastings and prayers and
watchings, in hot tears and sober sorrow, as soldiers in the field with
death before their eyes, in meekness and gentleness, in silence of the
lips, in poverty and want, in chastity and temperance, in humbleness
and quietude of mind, in perfect charity toward God and their
neighbour, carrying their present life down to the grave, and becoming
Angels in their ways. Wherefore God hath graced them with miracles,
signs and various virtues and made the voice of their marvellous life
to be sounded forth to the ends of the world.  If I open my mouth to
declare in every point the life of one of them who is said to have been
the founder of the monastic life, Antony by name, by this one tree thou
shalt assuredly know the sweet fruits of other trees of the like kind
and form, and shalt know what a foundation of religious life that great
man laid, and what a roof he built, and what gifts he merited to
receive from the Saviour.  After him many fought the like fight and won
like crowns and guerdons.

"Blessed, yea, thrice blessed, are they that have loved God, and, for
his love's sake, have counted every thing as nothing worth. For they
wept and mourned, day and night, that they might gain everlasting
comfort: they humbled themselves willingly, that there they might be
exalted: they afflicted the flesh with hunger and thirst and vigil,
that there they might come to the pleasures and joys of Paradise.  By
their purity of heart they became a tabernacle of the Holy Ghost, as it
is written, 'I will dwell in them and walk in them.'  They crucified
themselves unto the world, that they might stand at the right hand of
the Crucified: they girt their loins with truth, and alway had their
lamps ready, looking for the coming of the immortal bridegroom.  The
eye of their mind being enlightened, they continually looked forward to
that awful hour, and kept the contemplation of future happiness and
everlasting punishment immovable from their hearts, and pained
themselves to labour, that they might not lose eternal glory.  They
became passionless as the Angels, and now they weave the dance in their
fellowship, whose lives also they imitated. Blessed, yea, thrice
blessed are they, because with sure spiritual vision they discerned the
vanity of this present world and the uncertainty and inconstancy of
mortal fortune, and cast it aside, and laid up for themselves
everlasting blessings, and laid hold of that life which never faileth,
nor is broken by death.

"These then are the marvellous holy men whose examples we, that are
poor and vile, strive to imitate, but cannot attain to the high level
of the life of these heavenly citizens.  Nevertheless, so far as is
possible for our weakness and feeble power, we take the stamp of their
lives, and wear their habit: even though we fail to equal their works;
for we are assured that this holy profession is a means to perfection
and an aid to the incorruption given us by holy baptism.  So, following
the teachings of these blessed Saints, we utterly renounce these
corruptible and perishable things of life, wherein may be found nothing
stable or constant, or that continueth in one stay; but all things are
vanity and vexation of spirit, and many are the changes that they bring
in a moment; for they are slighter than dreams and a shadow, or the
breeze that bloweth the air.  Small and short-lived is their charm,
that is after all no charm, but illusion and deception of the
wickedness of the world; which world we have been taught to love not at
all, but rather to hate with all our heart.  Yea, and verily it is
worthy of hatred and abhorrence; for whatsoever gifts it giveth to its
friends, these in turn in passion it taketh away, and shall hand over
its victims, stripped of all good things, clad in the garment of shame,
and bound under heavy burdens, to eternal tribulation. And those again
whom it exalteth, it quickly abaseth to the utmost wretchedness, making
them a foot-stool and a laughing stock for their enemies.  Such are its
charms, such its bounties. For it is an enemy of its friends, and
traitor to such as carry out its wishes: dasheth to dire destruction
all them that lean upon it, and enervateth those that put their trust
therein.  It maketh covenants with fools and fair false promises, only
that it may allure them to itself.  But, as they have dealt
treacherously, it proveth itself treacherous and false in fulfilling
none of its pledges.  To-day it tickleth their gullet with pleasant
dainties; to-morrow it maketh them nought but a gobbet for their
enemies.  To-day it maketh a man a king: to-morrow it delivereth him
into bitter servitude.  To-day its thrall is fattening on a thousand
good things; to-morrow he is a beggar, and drudge of drudges.  To-day
it placeth on his head a crown of glory; to-morrow it dasheth his face
upon the ground. To-day it adorneth his neck with brilliant badges of
dignity; to-morrow it humbleth him with a collar of iron.  For a little
while it causeth him to be the desire of all men; but after a time it
maketh him their hate and abomination.  To-day it gladdeneth him: but
to-morrow it weareth him to a shadow with lamentations and wailings.
What is the end thereof, thou shalt hear.  Ruthlessly it bringeth its
former lovers to dwell in hell. Such is ever its mind, such its
purposes.  It lamenteth not its departed, nor pitieth the survivor.
For after that it hath cruelly duped and entangled in its meshes the
one party, it immediately transferreth the resources of its ingenuity
against the other, not willing that any should escape its cruel snares,

"These men that have foolishly alienated themselves from a good and
kind master, to seek the service of so harsh and savage a lord, that
are all agog for present joys and are glued thereto, that take never a
thought for the future, that always grasp after bodily enjoyments, but
suffer their souls to waste with hunger, and to be worn with myriad
ills, these I consider to be like a man flying before the face of a
rampant unicorn, who, unable to endure the sound of the beast's cry,
and its terrible bellowing, to avoid being devoured, ran away at full
speed.  But while he ran hastily, he fell into a great pit; and as he
fell, he stretched forth his hands, and laid hold on a tree, to which
he held tightly.  There he established some sort of foot-hold and
thought himself from that moment in peace and safety.  But he looked
and descried two mice, the one white, the other black, that never
ceased to gnaw the root of the tree whereon he hung, and were all but
on the point of severing it.  Then he looked down to the bottom of the
pit and espied below a dragon, breathing fire, fearful for eye to see,
exceeding fierce and grim, with terrible wide jaws, all agape to
swallow him.  Again looking closely at the ledge whereon his feet
rested, he discerned four heads of asps projecting from the wall
whereon he was perched.  Then he lift up his eyes and saw that from the
branches of the tree there dropped a little honey.  And thereat he
ceased to think of the troubles whereby he was surrounded; how,
outside, the unicorn was madly raging to devour him: how, below, the
fierce dragon was yawning to swallow him: how the tree, which he had
clutched, was all but severed; and how his feet rested on slippery,
treacherous ground.  Yea, he forgat, without care, all those sights of
awe and terror, and his whole mind hung on the sweetness of that tiny
drop of honey.

"This is the likeness of those who cleave to the deceitfulness of this
present life,--the interpretation whereof I will declare to thee anon.
The unicorn is the type of death, ever in eager pursuit to overtake the
race of Adam.  The pit is the world, full of all manner of ills and
deadly snares.  The tree, which was being continually fretted by the
two mice, to which the man clung, is the course of every man's life,
that spendeth and consuming itself hour by hour, day and night, and
gradually draweth nigh its severance.  The fourfold asps signify the
structure of man's body upon four treacherous and unstable elements
which, being disordered and disturbed, bring that body to destruction.
Furthermore, the fiery cruel dragon betokeneth the maw of hell that is
hungry to receive those who choose present pleasures rather than future
blessings.  The dropping of honey denoteth the sweetness of the
delights of the world, whereby it deceiveth its own friends, nor
suffereth them to take timely thought for their salvation."


Ioasaph received this parable with great joy and said, "How true this
story is, and most apt!  Grudge not, then, to shew me other such like
figures, that I may know for certain what the manner of our life is,
and what it hath in store for its friends."

The elder answered, "Again, those who are enamoured of the pleasures of
life, and glamoured by the sweetness thereof, who prefer fleeting and
paltry objects to those which are future and stable, are like a certain
man who had three friends.  On the first two of these he was
extravagantly lavish of his honours, and clave passionately to their
love, fighting to the death and deliberately hazarding his life for
their sakes.  But to the third he bore himself right arrogantly, never
once granting him the honour nor the love that was his due, but only
making show of some slight and inconsiderable regard for him.  Now one
day he was apprehended by certain dread and strange soldiers, that made
speed to hale him to the king, there to render account for a debt of
ten thousand talents.  Being in a great strait, this debtor sought for
a helper, able to take his part in this terrible reckoning with the
king.  So he ran to his first and truest friend of all, and said, 'Thou
wottest, friend, that I ever jeopardied my life for thy sake.  Now
to-day I require help in a necessity that presseth me sore.  In how
many talents wilt thou undertake to assist me now?  What is the hope
that I may count upon at thy hands, O my dearest friend?'  The other
answered and said unto him, 'Man, I am not thy friend: I know not who
thou art.  Other friends I have, with whom I must needs make merry
to-day, and so win their friendship for the time to come.  But, see, I
present thee with two ragged garments, that thou mayest have them on
the way whereon thou goest, though they will do thee no manner of good.
Further help from me thou mayest expect none.'  The other, hearing
this, despaired of the succour whereon he had reckoned, and went to his
second friend, saying, 'Friend, thou rememberest how much honour and
kindness thou hast enjoyed at my hands.  To-day I have fallen into
tribulation and sorrow, and need a helping hand.  To what extent then
canst thou share my labour?  Tell me at once.'  Said he, 'I have on
leisure today to share thy troubles.  I too have fallen among cares and
perils, and am myself in tribulation.  Howbeit, I will go a little way
with thee, even if I shall fail to be of service to thee.  Then will I
turn quickly homeward, and busy myself with mine own anxieties.'  So
the man returned from him too empty-handed and baulked at every turn;
and he cried misery on himself for his vain hope in those ungrateful
friends, and the unavailing hardships that he had endured through love
of them.  At the last he went away to the third friend, whom he had
never courted, nor invited to share his happiness.  With countenance
ashamed and downcast, he said unto him, 'I can scarce open my lips to
speak with thee, knowing full well that I have never done thee service,
or shown thee any kindness that thou mightest now remember.  But seeing
that a heavy misfortune hath overtaken me, and that I have found
nowhere among my friends any hope of deliverance, I address myself to
thee, praying thee, if it lie in thy power, to afford me some little
aid.  Bear no grudge for my past unkindness, and refuse me not.'  The
other with a smiling and gracious countenance answered, 'Assuredly I
own thee my very true friend. I have not forgotten those slight
services of thine: and I will repay them to-day with interest.  Fear
not therefore, neither be afraid.  I will go before thee and entreat
the king for thee, and will by no means deliver thee into the hands of
thine enemies. Wherefore be of good courage, dear friend, and fret not
thyself.' Then, pricked at heart, the other said with tears, 'Wo is me!
Which shall I first lament, or which first deplore?  Condemn my vain
preference for my forgetful, thankless and false friends, or blame the
mad ingratitude that I have shown to thee, the sincere and true?'"

Ioasaph heard this tale also with amazement and asked the
interpretation thereof.  Then said Barlaam, "The first friend is the
abundance of riches, and love of money, by reason of which a man
falleth into the midst of ten thousand perils, and endureth many
miseries: but when at last the appointed day of death is come, of all
these things he carrieth away nothing but the useless burial cloths.
By the second friend is signified our wife and children and the remnant
of kinsfolk and acquaintance, to whom we are passionately attached, and
from whom with difficulty we tear ourselves away, neglecting our very
soul and body for the love of them.  But no help did man ever derive
from these in the hour of death, save only that they will accompany and
follow him to the sepulchre, and then straightway turning them homeward
again they are occupied with their own cares and matters, and bury his
memory in oblivion as they have buried his body in the grave.  But the
third friend, that was altogether neglected and held cheap, whom the
man never approached, but rather shunned and fled in horror, is the
company of good deeds,--faith, hope, charity, alms, kindliness, and the
whole band of virtues, that can go before us, when we quit the body,
and may plead with the Lord on our behalf, and deliver us from our
enemies and dread creditors, who urge that strict rendering of account
in the air, and try bitterly to get the mastery of us. This is the
grateful and true friend, who beareth in mind those small kindnesses
that we have shown him and repayeth the whole with interest."


Again said Ioasaph, "The Lord God prosper thee, O thou Wisest of men!
For thou hast gladdened my soul with thine apt and excellent sayings.
Wherefore sketch me yet another picture of the vanity of the world, and
how a man may pass through it in peace and safety."

Barlaam took up his parable and said, "Hear then a similitude of this
matter too.  I once heard tell of a great city whose citizens had, from
old time, the custom of taking some foreigner and stranger, who knew
nothing of their laws and traditions, and of making him their king, to
enjoy absolute power, and follow his own will and pleasure without
hindrance, until the completion of a year.  Then suddenly, while he was
living with never a care in rioting and wantonness, without fear, and
alway supposing that his reign would only terminate with his life, they
would rise up against him, strip him bare of his royal robes, lead him
in triumph up and down the city, and thence dispatch him beyond their
borders into a distant great island; there, for lack of food and
raiment, in hunger and nakedness he would waste miserably away, the
luxury and pleasure so unexpectedly showered upon him changed as
unexpectedly into woe.  In accordance therefore with the unbroken
custom of these citizens, a certain man was ordained to the kingship.
But his mind was fertile of understanding, and he was not carried away
by this sudden access of prosperity, nor did he emulate the
heedlessness of the kings that had gone before him, and had been
miserably expelled, but his soul was plunged in care and trouble how he
might order his affairs well.  After long and careful search, he
learned from a wise counsellor the custom of the citizens, and the
place of perpetual banishment, and was taught of him without guile how
to ensure himself against this fate.  So with this knowledge that
within a very little while he must reach that island and leave to
strangers this chance kingdom among strangers, he opened the treasures
whereof he had awhile absolute and unforbidden use, and took a great
store of money and huge masses of gold and silver and precious stones
and delivered the same to trusty servants and sent them before him to
the island whither he was bound.  When the appointed year came to an
end, the citizens rose against him, and sent him naked into banishment
like those that went before him.  But while the rest of these foolish
kings, kings only for a season, were sore anhungred, he, that had
timely deposited his wealth, passed his time in continual plenty mid
dainties free of expense, and, rid of all fear of those mutinous and
evil citizens, could count himself happy on his wise forethought.

"Understand thou, therefore, that the city is this vain and deceitful
world; that the citizens are the principalities and powers of the
devils, the rulers of the darkness of this world, who entice us by the
soft bait of pleasure, and counsel us to consider corruptible and
perishable things as incorruptible, as though the enjoyment that cometh
from them were co-existent with us, and immortal as we.  Thus then are
we deceived; we have taken no thought concerning the things which are
abiding and eternal, and have laid up in store for ourselves no
treasure for that life beyond, when of a sudden there standeth over us
the doom of death.  Then, then at last do those evil and cruel citizens
of darkness, that received us, dispatch us stript of all worldly
goods,--for all our time has been wasted on their service--and carry us
off 'to a dark land and a gloomy, to a land of eternal darkness, where
there is no light, nor can one behold the life of men.'  As for that
good counsellor, who made known all the truth and taught that sagacious
and wise king the way of salvation, understand thou that I, thy poor
and humble servant, am he, who am come hither for to shew thee the good
and infallible way to lead thee to things eternal and unending, and to
counsel thee to lay up all thy treasure there; and I am come to lead
thee away from the error of this world, which, to my woe, I also loved,
and clave to its pleasures and delights.  But, when I perceived, with
the unerring eyes of my mind how all human life is wasted in these
things that come and go; when I saw that no man hath aught that is
stable and steadfast, neither the rich in his wealth, nor the mighty in
his strength, nor the wise in his wisdom, nor the prosperous in his
prosperity, nor the luxurious in his wantonness, nor he that dreameth
of security of life in that vain and feeble security of his dreams, nor
any man in any of those things that men on earth commend ('tis like the
boundless rush of torrents that discharge themselves into the deep sea,
thus fleeting and temporary are all present things); then, I say, I
understood that all such things are vanity, and that their enjoyment is
naught; and, that even as the past is all buried in oblivion, be it
past glory, or past kingship, or the splendour of rank, or amplitude of
power, or arrogance of tyranny, or aught else like them, so also
present things will vanish in the darkness of the days to come.  And,
as I am myself of the present, I also shall doubtless be subject to its
accustomed change; and, even as my fathers before me were not allowed
to take delight for ever in the present world, so also shall it be with
me.  For I have observed how this tyrannical and troublesome world
treateth mankind, shifting men hither and thither, from wealth to
poverty, and from poverty to honour, carrying some out of life and
bringing others in, rejecting some that are wise and understanding,
making the honourable and illustrious dishonoured and despised, but
seating others who are unwise and of no understanding upon a throne of
honour, and making the dishonoured and obscure to be honoured of all.

"One may see how the race of mankind may never abide before the face of
the cruel tyranny of the world.  But, as when a dove fleeing from an
eagle or a hawk flitteth from place to place, now beating against this
tree, now against that bush, and then anon against the clefts of the
rocks and all manner of bramble-thorns, and, nowhere finding any safe
place of refuge, is wearied with continual tossing and crossing to and
fro, so are they which are flustered by the present world.  They labour
painfully under unreasoning impulse, on no sure or firm bases: they
know not to what goal they are driving, nor whither this vain life
leadeth them this vain life, whereto they have in miserable folly
subjected themselves, choosing evil instead of good, and pursuing vice
instead of goodness; and they know not who shall inherit the cold
fruits of their many heavy labours, whether it be a kinsman or a
stranger, and, as oft times it haps, not even a friend or acquaintance
at all, but an enemy and foeman.

"On all these things, and others akin to them, I held judgement in the
tribunal of my soul, and I came to hate my whole life that had been
wasted in these vanities, while I still lived engrossed in earthly
things.  But when I had put off from my soul the lust thereof, and cast
it from me, then was there revealed unto me the true good, to fear God
and do his will; for this I saw to be the sum of all good.  This also
is called the beginning of wisdom, and perfect wisdom.  For life is
without pain and reproach to those that hold by her, and safe to those
who lean upon her as upon the Lord.  So, when I had set my reason on
the unerring way of the commandments of the Lord, and had surely
learned that there is nothing froward or perverse therein, and that it
is not full of chasms and rocks, nor of thorns and thistles, but lieth
altogether smooth and even, rejoicing the eyes of the traveller with
the brightest sights, making beautiful his feet, and shoeing them with
'the preparation of the Gospel of peace,' that he may walk safely and
without delay, this way, then, I rightly chose above all others, and
began to rebuild my soul's habitation, which had fallen into ruin and

"In such wise was I devising mine estate, and establishing mine
unstable mind, when I heard the words of a wise teacher calling loudly
to me thus, 'Come ye out,' said he, 'all ye that will to be saved.  Be
ye separate from the vanity of the world, for the fashion thereof
quickly passeth away, and behold it shall not be. Come ye out, without
turning back, not for nothing and without reward, but winning supplies
for travelling to life eternal, for ye are like to journey a long road,
needing much supplies from hence, and ye shall arrive at the place
eternal that hath two regions, wherein are many mansions; one of which
places God hath prepared for them that love him and keep his
commandments, full of all manner of good things; and they that attain
thereto shall live for ever in incorruption, enjoying immortality
without death, where pain and sorrow and sighing are fled away.  But
the other place is full of darkness and tribulation and pain, prepared
for the devil and his angels, wherein also shall be cast they who by
evil deeds have deserved it, who have bartered the incorruptible and
eternal for the present world, and have made themselves fuel for
eternal fire.'

"When I heard this voice, and recognized the truth, I did my diligence
to attain to that abode, that is free from all pain and sorrow, and
full of security and all good things, whereof I have knowledge now only
in part, being but a babe in my spiritual life, and seeing the sights
yonder as through mirrors and riddles; but when that which is perfect
is come, and I shall see face to face, then that which is in part shall
be done away. Wherefore I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord; for
the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from
the law of sin and of death, and hath opened mine eyes to see clearly
that the will of the flesh is death, but the will of the Spirit is life
and peace.  And even as I did discern the vanity of present things and
hate them with a perfect hatred, so likewise I counsel thee to decide
thereon, that thou mayest treat them as something alien and quickly
passing away, and mayest remove all thy store from earth and lay up for
thyself in the incorruptible world a treasure that can not be stolen,
wealth inexhaustible, in that place whither thou must shortly fare,
that when thou comest thither thou mayest not be destitute, but be
laden with riches, after the manner of that aptest of parables that I
lately showed thee."


Said Ioasaph unto the elder, "How then shall I be able to send before
me thither treasures of money and riches, that, when I depart hence, I
may find these unharmed and unwasted for my enjoyment?  How must I show
my hatred for things present and lay hold on things eternal?  This make
thou right plain unto me." Quoth Barlaam, "The sending before thee of
money to that eternal home is wrought by the hands of the poor.  For
thus saith one of the prophets, Daniel the wise, unto the king of
Babylon, 'Wherefore, O Prince, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee,
and redeem thy sins by almsgiving, and thine iniquities by showing
mercy to the poor.'  The Saviour also saith, 'Make to yourselves
friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may
receive you into everlasting habitations.'  And, in divers places, the
Master maketh much mention of almsgiving and liberality to the poor, as
we learn in the Gospel.  Thus shalt thou most surely send all thy
treasure before thee by the hands of the needy, for whatsoever thou
shalt do unto these the Master counteth done unto himself, and will
reward thee manifold; for, in the recompense of benefits, he ever
surpasseth them that love him.  So in this manner by seizing for awhile
the treasures of the darkness of this world, in whose slavery for a
long time past thou hast been miserable, thou shalt by these means make
good provision for thy journey, and by plundering another's goods thou
shalt store all up for thyself, with things fleeting and transient
purchasing for thyself things that are stable and enduring.
Afterwards, God working with thee, thou shalt perceive the uncertainty
and inconstancy of the world, and saying farewell to all, shalt remove
thy barque to anchor in the future, and, passing by the things that
pass away, thou shalt hold to the things that we look for, the things
that abide.  Thou shalt depart from darkness and the shadow of death,
and hate the world and the ruler of the world; and, counting thy
perishable flesh thine enemy, thou shalt run toward the light that is
unapproachable, and taking the Cross on thy shoulders, shalt follow
Christ without looking back, that thou mayest also be glorified with
him, and be made inheritor of the life that never changeth nor

Ioasaph said, "When thou spakest a minute past of despising all things,
and taking up such a life of toil, was that an old tradition handed
down from the teaching of the Apostles, or is this a late invention of
your wits, which ye have chosen for yourselves as a more excellent way?"

The elder answered and said, "I teach thee no law introduced but
yesterday, God forbid!  but one given unto us of old.  For when a
certain rich young man asked the Lord, 'What shall I do to inherit
eternal life?' and boasted that he had observed all that was written in
the Law, Jesus said unto him, 'One thing thou lackest yet.  Go sell all
that thou hast and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have
treasure in heaven, and come, take up thy cross and follow me.  But
when the young man heard this he was very sorrowful, for he was very
rich.  And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, 'How
hardly shall they which have riches enter into the kingdom of God!  For
it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a
rich man to enter into the kingdom of God!'  So, when all the Saints
heard this command, they thought fit by all means to withdraw from this
hardness of riches.  They parted with all their goods, and by this
distribution of their riches to the poor laid up for themselves eternal
riches; and they took up their Cross and followed Christ, some being
made perfect by martyrdom, even as I have already told thee; and some
by the practice of self-denial falling not a whit short of those others
in the life of the true philosophy.  Know thou, then, that this is a
command of Christ our King and God, which leadeth us from things
corruptible and maketh us partakers of things everlasting."

Said Ioasaph, "If, then, this kind of philosophy be so ancient and so
salutary, how cometh it that so few folk now-a-days follow it?"

The elder answered, "Many have followed, and do follow it; but the
greatest part hesitate and draw back.  For few, saith the Lord, are the
travellers along the strait and narrow way, but along the wide and
broad way many.  For they that have once been taken prisoners by the
love of money, and the evils that come from the love of pleasure, and
are given up to idle and vain glory, are hardly to be torn therefrom,
seeing that they have of their own free will sold themselves as slaves
to a strange master, and setting themselves on the opposite side to
God, who gave these commands, are held in bondage to that other.  For
the soul that hath once rejected her own salvation, and given the reins
to unreasonable lusts, is carried about hither and thither. Therefore
saith the prophet, mourning the folly that encompasseth such souls, and
lamenting the thick darkness that lieth on them, 'O ye sons of men, how
long will ye be of heavy heart?  Why love ye vanity, and seek after
leasing?'  And in the same tone as he, but adding thereto some thing of
his own, one of our wise teachers, a most excellent divine, crieth
aloud to all, as from some exceeding high place of vantage, 'O ye sons
of men, how long will ye be of heavy heart?  Why love ye vanity and
seek after leasing?  Trow ye that this present life, and luxury, and
these shreds of glory, and petty lordship and false prosperity are any
great thing?'--things which no more belong to those that possess them
than to them that hope for them, nor to these latter any more than to
those who never thought of them: things like the dust carried and
whirled about to and fro by the tempest, or vanishing as the smoke, or
delusive as a dream, or intangible as a shadow; which, when absent,
need not be despaired of by them that have them not, and, when present,
cannot be trusted by their owners.

"This then was the commandment of the Saviour; this the preaching of
the Prophets and Apostles; in such wise do all the Saints, by word and
deed, constrain us to enter the unerring road of virtue. And though few
walk therein and more choose the broad way that leadeth to destruction,
yet not for this shall the life of this divine philosophy be minished
in fame.  But as the sun, rising to shine on all, doth bounteously send
forth his beams, inviting all to enjoy his light, even so doth our true
philosophy, like the sun, lead with her light those that are her
lovers, and warmeth and brighteneth them.  But if any shut their eyes,
and will not behold the light thereof, not for that must the sun be
blamed, or scorned by others: still less shall the glory of his
brightness be dishonoured through their silliness.  But while they,
self-deprived of light, grope like blind men along a wall, and fall
into many a ditch, and scratch out their eyes on many a bramble bush,
the sun, firmly established on his own glory, shall illuminate them
that gaze upon his beams with unveiled face. Even so shineth the light
of Christ on all men abundantly, imparting to us of his lustre.  But
every man shareth thereof in proportion to his desire and zeal.  For
the Sun of righteousness disappointeth none of them that would fix
their gaze on him, yet doth he not compel those who willingly choose
darkness; but every man, so long as he is in this present life, is
committed to his own free will and choice."

Ioasaph asked, "What is free will and what is choice?"  The elder
answered, "Free will is the willing of a reasonable soul, moving
without hindrance toward whatever it wisheth, whether to virtue or to
vice, the soul being thus constituted by the Creator.  Free will again
is the sovran motion of an intelligent soul.  Choice is desire
accompanied by deliberation, or deliberation accompanied by desire for
things that lie in our power; for in choosing we desire that which we
have deliberately preferred. Deliberation is a motion towards enquiry
about actions possible to us; a man deliberateth whether he ought to
pursue an object or no.  Then he judgeth which is the better, and so
ariseth judgement.  Then he is inclined towards it, and loveth that
which was so judged by the deliberative faculty, and this is called
resolve; for, if he judge a thing, and yet be not inclined toward the
thing that he hath judged, and love it not, it is not called resolve.
Then, after inclination toward it, there ariseth choice or rather
selection.  For choice is to choose one or other of two things in view,
and to select this rather than that.  And it is manifest that choice is
deliberation plus discrimination, and this from the very etymology.
For that which is the 'object of choice' is the thing chosen before the
other thing.  And no man preferreth a thing without deliberation, nor
makeeth a choice without having conceived a preference.  For, since we
are not zealous to carry into action all that seemeth good to us,
choice only ariseth and the deliberately preferred only becometh the
chosen, when desire is added thereto.  Thus we conclude that choice is
desire accompanied by deliberation for things that lie in our power; in
choosing we desire that which we have deliberately preferred.  All
deliberation aimeth at action and dependeth on action; and thus
deliberation goeth before all choice, and choice before all action.
For this reason not only our actions, but also our thoughts, inasmuch
as they give occasion for choice, bring in their train crowns or
punishments. For the beginning of sin and righteous dealing is choice,
exercised in action possible to us.  Where the power of activity is
ours, there too are the actions that follow that activity in our power.
Virtuous activities are in our power, therefore in our power are
virtues also; for we are absolute masters over all our souls' affairs
and all our deliberations.  Since then it is of free will that men
deliberate, and of free will that men choose, a man partaketh of the
light divine, and advanceth in the practice of this philosophy in exact
measure of his choice, for there are differences of choice.  And even
as water-springs, issuing from the hollows of the earth, sometimes gush
forth from the surface soil, and sometimes from a lower source, and at
other times from a great depth, and even as some of these waters bubble
forth continuously, and their taste is sweet, while others that come
from deep wells are brackish or sulphurous, even as some pour forth in
abundance while others flow drop by drop, thus, understand thou, is it
also with our choices.  Some choices are swift and exceeding fervent,
others languid and cold: some have a bias entirely toward virtue, while
others incline with all their force to its opposite.  And like in
nature to these choices are the ensuing impulses to action."


Ioasaph said unto the elder, "Are there now others, too, who preach the
same doctrines as thou?  Or art thou to-day the only one that teacheth
this hatred of the present world?"

The other answered and said, "In this your most unhappy country I know
of none: the tyranny of thy father hath netted all such in a thousand
forms of death; and he hath made it his aim that the preaching of the
knowledge of God be not once heard in your midst.  But in all other
tongues these doctrines are sung and glorified, by some in perfect
truth, but by others perversely; for the enemy of our souls hath made
them decline from the straight road, and divided them by strange
teachings, and taught them to interpret certain sayings of the
Scriptures falsely, and not after the sense contained therein.  But the
truth is one, even that which was preached by the glorious Apostles and
inspired Fathers, and shineth in the Catholick Church above the
brightness of the sun from the one end of the world unto the other; and
as an herald and teacher of that truth have I been sent to thee."

Ioasaph said unto him, "Hath my father then, learned naught of these

The elder answered, "Clearly and duly he hath learned naught; for he
stoppeth up his senses, and will not admit that which is good, being of
his own free choice inclined to evil."

"Would God," said Ioasaph, "that he too were instructed in these
mysteries?"  The elder answered, "The things that are impossible with
men are possible with God.  For how knowest thou whether thou shalt
save thy sire, and in wondrous fashion be styled the spiritual father
of thy father?

"I have heard that, once upon a time, there was a king who governed his
kingdom right well, and dealt kindly and gently with his subjects, only
failing in this point, that he was not rich in the light of the
knowledge of God, but held fast to the errors of idolatry.  Now he had
a counsellor, which was a good man and endued with righteousness toward
God and with all other virtuous wisdom.  Grieved and vexed though he
was at the error of the king, and willing to convince him thereof, he
nevertheless drew back from the attempt, for fear that he might earn
trouble for himself and his friends, and cut short those services which
he rendered to others.  Yet sought he a convenient season to draw his
sovereign toward that which was good.  One night the king said unto
him, "Come now, let us go forth and walk about the city, if haply we
may see something to edify us."  Now while they were walking about the
city, they saw a ray of light shining through an aperture.  Fixing
their eyes thereon, they descried an underground cavernous chamber, in
the forefront of which there sat a man, plunged in poverty, and clad in
rags and tatters. Beside him stood his wife, mixing wine.  When the man
took the cup in his hands, she sung a clear sweet melody, and delighted
him by dancing and cozening him with flatteries.  The king's companions
observed this for a time, and marvelled that people, pinched by such
poverty as not to afford house and raiment, yet passed their lives in
such good cheer.  The king said to his chief counsellor, 'Friend, how
marvellous a thing it is, that our life, though bright with such honour
and luxury, hath never pleased us so well as this poor and miserable
life doth delight and rejoice these fools: and that this life, which
appeareth to us so cruel and abominable, is to them sweet and
alluring!'  The chief counsellor seized the happy moment and said, 'But
to thee, O king, how seemeth their life?'  'Of all that I have ever
seen,' quoth the king, 'the most hateful and wretched, the most
loathsome and abhorrent.'  Then spake the chief counsellor unto him,
"Such, know thou well, O king, and even more unendurable is our life
reckoned by those who are initiated into the sight of the mysteries of
yonder everlasting glory, and the blessings that pass all
understanding.  Your palaces glittering with gold, and these splendid
garments, and all the delights of this life are more loathsome than
dung and filth in the eyes of those that know the unspeakable beauties
of the tabernacles in heaven made without hands, and the apparel woven
by God, and the incorruptible diadems which God, the Creator and Lord
of all, hath prepared for them that love him.  For like as this couple
were accounted fools by us, so much the more are we, who go astray in
this world and please ourselves in this false glory and senseless
pleasure, worthy of lamentation and tears in the eyes of those who have
tasted of the sweets of the bliss beyond.'

"When the king heard this, he became as one dumb.  He said, 'Who then
are these men that live a life better than ours?'  'All,' said the
chief-counsellor 'who prefer the eternal to the temporal.'  Again, when
the king desired to know what the eternal might be the other replied,
'A kingdom that knoweth no succession, a life that is not subject unto
death, riches that dread no poverty: joy and gladness that have no
share of grief and vexation; perpetual peace free from all hatred and
love of strife.  Blessed, thrice blessed are they that are found worthy
of these enjoyments!  Free from pain and free from toil is the life
that they shall live for ever, enjoying without labour all the sweets
and pleasaunce of the kingdom of God, and reigning with Christ world
without end.'

"'And who is worthy to obtain this?' asked the king.  The other
answered, 'All they that hold on the road that leadeth thither; for
none forbiddeth entrance, if a man but will.'

"Said the king, 'And what is the way that beareth thither?'  That
bright spirit answered, 'To know the only true God, and Jesus Christ,
his only-begotten Son, and the Holy and quickening Spirit.'

"The king, endowed with understanding worthy of the purple, said unto
him, 'What hath hindered thee until now from doing me to wit of these
things?  For they appear to me too good to be put off or passed over,
if they indeed be true; and, if they be doubtful, I must search
diligently, until I find the truth without shadow of doubt.'

"The chief counsellor said, 'It was not from negligence or indifference
that I delayed to make this known unto thee, for it is true and beyond
question, but 'twas because I reverenced the excellency of thy majesty,
lest thou mightest think me a meddler. If therefore thou bid thy
servant put thee in mind of these things for the future, I shall obey
thy behest.'  'Yea,' said the king, 'not every day only, but every
hour, renew in me the remembrance thereof: for it behoveth us not to
turn our mind inattentively to these things, but with very fervent

"We have heard," said Barlaam, "that this king lived, for the time to
come, a godly life, and, having brought his days without tempest to an
end, failed not to gain the felicity of the world to come.  If then at
a convenient season one shall call these things to thy father's mind
also, peradventure he shall understand and know the dire evil in which
he is held, and turn therefrom and choose the good; since, for the
present at least, 'he is blind and cannot see afar off,' having
deprived himself of the true light and being a deserter of his own
accord to the darkness of ungodliness."

Ioasaph said unto him, "The Lord undertake my father's matters, as he
ordereth!  For, even as thou sayest, the things that are impossible
with men, are possible with him.  But for myself, thanks to thine
unsurpassable speech, I renounce the vanity of things present, and am
resolved to withdraw from them altogether, and to spend the rest of my
life with thee, lest, by means of these transitory and fleeting things,
I lose the enjoyment of the eternal and incorruptible."

The elder answered him, "This do, and thou shalt be like unto a youth
of great understanding of whom I have heard tell, that was born of rich
and distinguished parents.  For him his father sought in marriage the
exceeding fair young daughter of a man of high rank and wealth.  But
when he communed with his son concerning the espousals, and informed
him of his plans, the son thought it strange and ill-sounding, and cast
it off, and left his father and went into exile.  On his journey he
found entertainment in the house of a poor old man, where he rested
awhile during the heat of the day.

"Now this poor man's daughter, his only child, a virgin, was sitting
before the door, and, while she wrought with her hands, with her lips
she loudly sang the praises of God with thanksgiving from the ground of
her heart.  The young man heard her hymn of praise and said, 'Damsel,
what is thine employment? and wherefore, poor and needy as thou art,
givest thou thanks as though for great blessings, singing praise to the
Giver?'  She answered, 'Knowest thou not that, as a little medicine
often times delivereth a man from great ailments, even so the giving of
thanks to God for small mercies winneth great ones?  Therefore I, the
daughter of a poor old man, thank and bless God for these small
mercies, knowing that the Giver thereof is able to give even greater
gifts.  And this applieth but to those external things that are not our
own from whence there accrueth no gain to those who possess much (not
to mention the loss that often ariseth), nor cometh there harm to those
who have less; for both sorts journey along the same road, and hasten
to the same end. But, in things most necessary and vital, many and
great the blessings I have enjoyed of my Lord, though indeed they are
without number and beyond compare.  I have been made in the image of
God, and have gained the knowledge of him, and have been endowed with
reason beyond all the beasts, and have been called again from death
unto life, through the tender mercy of our God, and have received power
to share in his mysteries; and the gate of Paradise hath been opened to
me, allowing me to enter without hindrance, if I will.  Wherefore for
gifts so many and so fine, shared alike by rich and poor, I can indeed
in no wise praise him as I ought, yet if I fail to render to the Giver
this little hymn of praise, what excuse shall I have?'

"The youth, astonished at her wit, called to her father, and said unto
him, 'Give me thy daughter: for I love her wisdom and piety.'  But the
elder said, 'It is not possible for thee, the son of wealthy parents,
to take this a beggar's daughter.'  Again the young man said, 'Yea, but
I will take her, unless thou forbid: for a daughter of noble and
wealthy family hath been betrothed unto me in marriage, and her I have
cast off and taken to flight.  But I have fallen in love with thy
daughter because of her righteousness to God-ward, and her discreet
wisdom, and I heartily desire to wed-her.'  But the old man said unto
him, 'I cannot give her unto thee, to carry away to thy father's house,
and depart her from mine arms, for she is mine only child.' 'But,' said
the youth, 'I will abide here with your folk and adopt your manner of
life.'  Thereupon he stripped him of his own goodly raiment, and asked
for the old man's clothes and put them on.  When the father had much
tried his purpose, and proved him in manifold ways, and knew that his
intent was fixed, and that it was no light passion that led him to ask
for his daughter, but love of godliness that constrained him to embrace
a life of poverty, preferring it to his own glory and noble birth, he
took him by the hand, and brought him into his treasure-house, where he
showed him much riches laid up, and a vast heap of money, such as the
young man had never beheld.  And he said unto him, 'Son, all these
things give I unto thee, forasmuch as thou hast chosen to become the
husband to my daughter, and also thereby the heir of all my substance.'
So the young man acquired the inheritance, and surpassed all the famous
and wealthy men of the land."


Said Ioasaph unto Barlaam, "This story also fitly setteth forth mine
own estate.  Whence also me thinketh that thou hadst me in mind when
thou spakest it.  But what is the proof whereby thou seekest to know
the steadfastness of my purpose?"

Said the elder, "I have already proved thee, and know how wise and
steadfast is thy purpose, and how truly upright is thine heart.  But
the end of thy fortune shall confirm it.  For this cause I bow my knees
unto our God glorified in Three Persons, the Maker of all things
visible and invisible, who verily is, and is for ever, that never had
beginning of his glorious being, nor hath end, the terrible and
almighty, the good and pitiful, that he may enlighten the eyes of thine
heart, and give thee the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the
knowledge of him, that thou mayest know what is the hope of his
calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the
Saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who
believe; that thou mayest be no more a stranger and sojourner, but a
fellow-citizen with the Saints, and of the household of God, being
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ
our Lord himself being the chief corner-stone, in whom all the building
fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord."

Ioasaph, keenly pricked at the heart, said, "All this I too long to
learn: and I beseech thee make known to me the riches of the glory of
God, and the exceeding greatness of his power."

Barlaam said unto him, "I pray God to teach thee this, and to plant in
thy soul the knowledge of the same; since with men it is impossible
that his glory and power be told, yea, even if the tongues of all men
that now are and have ever been were combined in one.  For, as saith
the Evangelist and Divine, 'No man hath seen God at any time; the only
begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared
him.'  But the glory and majesty of the invisible and infinite God,
what son of earth shall skill to comprehend it, save he to whom he
himself shall reveal it, in so far as he will, as he hath revealed it,
to his Prophets and Apostles?  But we learn it, so far as in us lieth,
by their teaching, and from the very nature of the world.  For the
Scripture saith, 'The heavens declare the glory of God, and the
firmament sheweth his handiwork;' and, 'The invisible things of him
from the creation Of the world are clearly understood by the things
that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.'

"Even as a man, beholding an house splendidly and skilfully builded, or
a vessel fairly framed, taketh note of the builder or workman and
marvelleth thereat, even so I that was fashioned out of nothing and
brought into being, though I cannot see the maker and provider, yet
from his harmonious and marvellous fashioning of me have come to the
knowledge of his wisdom, not to the full measure of that wisdom, but to
the full compass of my powers; yea I have seen that I was not brought
forth by chance, nor made of myself, but that he fashioned me, as it
pleased him, and set me to have dominion over his creatures, howbeit
making me lower than some; that, when I was broken, he re-created me
with a better renewal; and that he shall draw me by his divine will
from this world and place me in that other life that is endless and
eternal; and that in nothing I could withstand the might of his
providence, nor add anything to myself nor take anything away, whether
in stature or bodily form, and that I am not able to renew for myself
that which is waxen old, nor raise that which hath been destroyed.  For
never was man able to accomplish aught of these things, neither king,
nor wise man, nor rich man, nor ruler, nor any other that pursueth the
tasks of men.  For he saith, 'There is no king, or mighty man, that had
any other beginning of birth.  For all men have one entrance into life,
and the like going out.'

"So from mine own nature, I am led by the hand to the knowledge of the
mighty working of the Creator; and at the same time I think upon the
well-ordered structure and preservation of the whole creation, how that
in itself it is subject everywhere to variableness and change, in the
world of thought by choice, whether by advance in the good, or
departure from it, in the world of sense by birth and decay, increase
and decrease, and change in quality and motion in space.  And thus all
things proclaim, by voices that cannot be heard, that they were
created, and are held together, and preserved, and ever watched over by
the providence of the uncreate, unturning and unchanging God. Else how
could diverse elements have met, for the consummation of a single
world, one with another, and remained inseparable, unless some almighty
power had knit them together, and still were keeping them from
dissolution?  'For how could anything have endured, if it had not been
his will?  or been preserved, if not called by him?' as saith the

"A ship holdeth not together without a steersman, but easily
foundereth; and a small house shall not stand without a protector.  How
then could the world have subsisted for long ages, a work so great, and
so fair and wondrous,--without some glorious mighty and marvellous
steersmanship and all-wise providence?  Behold the heavens, how long
they have stood, and have not been darkened: and the earth hath not
been exhausted, though she hath been bearing offspring so long.  The
water-springs have not failed to gush out since they were made.  The
sea, that receiveth so many rivers, hath not exceeded her measure.  The
courses of Sun and Moon have not varied: the order of day and night
hath not changed.  From all these objects is declared unto us the
unspeakable power and magnificence of God, witnessed by Prophets and
Apostles.  But no man can fitly conceive or sound forth his glory.  For
the holy Apostle, that had Christ speaking within him, after perceiving
all objects of thought and sense, still said, 'We know in part, and we
prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that
which is in part shall be done away.'  Wherefore also, astonied at the
infinite riches of his wisdom and knowledge, he cried for all to
understand, 'O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge
of God!  how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding

"Now, if he, that attained unto the third heaven and heard such
unspeakable words, uttered such sentences, what man of my sort shall
have strength to look eye to eye upon the abysses of such mysteries, or
speak rightly thereof, or think meetly of the things whereof we speak,
unless the very giver of wisdom, and the amender of the unwise,
vouchsafe that power?  For in his hand are we and our words, and all
prudence and knowledge of wisdom is with him.  And he himself hath
given us the true understanding of the things that are; to know the
structure of the world, the working of the elements, the beginning, end
and middle of times, the changes of the solstices, the succession of
seasons, and how he hath ordered all things by measure and weight.  For
he can shew his great strength at all times, and who may withstand the
power of his arm?  For the whole world before him is as a little grain
of the balance, yea, as a drop of the morning dew that falleth down
upon the earth.  But he hath mercy upon all; for he can do all things,
and winketh at the sins of men, because they should amend.  For he
abhorreth nothing, nor turneth away from them that run unto him, he,
the only good Lord and lover of souls.  Blessed be the holy name of his
glory, praised and exalted above all for ever!  Amen."


Ioasaph said unto him, "If thou hadst for a long time considered, most
wise Sir, how thou mightest best declare to me the explanation of the
questions that I propounded, methinks thou couldest not have done it
better than by uttering such words as thou hast now spoken unto me.
Thou hast taught me that God is the Maker and preserver of all things;
and in unanswerable language thou hast shown me that the glory of his
majesty is incomprehensible to human reasonings, and that no man is
able to attain thereto, except those to whom, by his behest, he
revealeth it.  Wherefore am I lost in amaze at thine eloquent wisdom.

"But tell me, good Sir, of what age thou art, and in what manner of
place is thy dwelling, and who are thy fellow philosophers; for my soul
hangeth fast on thine, and fain would I never be parted from thee all
the days of my life."

The elder said, "Mine age is, as I reckon, forty and five years, and in
the deserts of the land of Senaar do I dwell.  For my fellow combatants
I have those who labour and contend together with me on the course of
the heavenly journey."

"What sayest thou?" quoth Ioasaph.  "Thou seemest to me upwards of
seventy years old.  How speakest thou of forty and five? Herein
methinks thou tellest not the truth."

Barlaam said unto him, "If it be the number of years from my birth that
thou askest, thou hast well reckoned them at upwards of seventy.  But,
for myself, I count not amongst the number of my days the years that I
wasted in the vanity of the world.  When I lived to the flesh in the
bondage of sin, I was dead in the inner man; and those years of
deadness I can never call years of life.  But now the world hath been
crucified to me, and I to the world, and I have put off the old man,
which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and live no longer
to the flesh, but Christ liveth in me; and the life that I live, I live
by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
And the years, that have passed since then, I may rightly call years of
life, and days of salvation.  And in numbering these at about forty and
five, I reckoned by the true tale, and not off the mark.  So do thou
also alway hold by this reckoning; and be sure that there is no true
life for them that are dead to all good works, and live in sin, and
serve the world-ruler of them that are dragged downward, and waste
their time in pleasures and lusts: but rather be well assured that
these are dead and defunct in the activity of life.  For a wise man
hath fitly called sin the death of the immortal soul.  And the Apostle
also saith, 'When ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from
righteousness.  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are
now ashamed?  for the end of those things is death.  But now being made
free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto
holiness, and the end everlasting life.  For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life.'"

Ioasaph said unto him, "Since thou reckonest not the life in the flesh
in the measure of life, neither canst thou reckon that death, which all
men undergo, as death."

The elder answered, "Without doubt thus think I of these matters also,
and fear this temporal death never a whit, nor do I call it death at
all, if only it overtake me walking in the way of the commandments of
God, but rather a passage from death to the better and more perfect
life, which is hid in Christ, in desire to obtain which the Saints were
impatient of the present. Wherefore saith the Apostle, 'We know that if
our earthly house of this tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building
of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in
this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house
which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found
naked.  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened:
not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality
might be swallowed up of life.'  And again, 'O wretched man that I am!
who shall deliver me from the body of this death?'  And once more, 'I
desire to depart and be with Christ.'  And the prophet saith, 'When
shall I come and appear before the presence of God?'  Now that I the
least of all men, choose not to fear bodily death, thou mayest learn by
this, that I have set at nought thy father's threat, and come boldly
unto thee, and have preached to thee the tidings of salvation, though I
knew for sure that, if this came to his knowledge, he would, were that
possible, put me to a thousand deaths.  But I, honouring the word of
God afore all things, and longing to win it, dread not temporal death,
nor reek on it at all worthy of such an appellation, in obedience to my
Lord's command, which saith, 'Fear not them which kill the body, but
are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to
destroy both soul and body in hell.'"

"These then," said Ioasaph, "are the good deeds of that true
philosophy, that far surpass the nature of these earthly men who cleave
fast to the present life.  Blessed are ye that hold to so noble a
purpose!  But tell me truly what is thy manner of life and that of thy
companions in the desert, and from whence cometh your raiment and of
what sort may it be?  Tell me as thou lovest truth."

Said Barlaam, "Our sustenance consisteth of acorns and herbs that we
find in the desert, watered by the dew of heaven, and in obedience to
the Creator's command; and for this there is none to fight and quarrel
with us, seeking by the rule and law of covetousness to snatch more
than his share, but in abundance for all is food provided from
unploughed lands, and a ready table spread.  But, should any of the
faithful brethren in the neighbourhood bring a blessed dole of bread,
we receive it as sent by providence, and bless the faith that brought
it.  Our raiment is of hair, sheepskins or shirts of palm fibre, all
thread-bare and much patched, to mortify the frailty of the flesh.  We
wear the same clothing winter and summer, which, once put on, we may on
no account put off until it be old and quite outworn.  For by thus
afflicting our bodies with the constraints of cold and heat we purvey
for ourselves the vesture of our future robes of immortality."

Ioasaph said, "But whence cometh this garment that thou wearest?" The
elder answered, "I received it as a loan from one of our faithful
brethren, when about to make my journey unto thee; for it behoved me
not to arrive in mine ordinary dress.  If one had a beloved kinsman
carried captive into a foreign land, and wished to recover him thence,
one would lay aside one's own clothing, and put on the guise of the
enemy, and pass into their country and by divers crafts deliver one's
friend from that cruel tyranny.  Even so I also, having been made aware
of thine estate, clad myself in this dress, and came to sow the seed of
the divine message in thine heart, and ransom thee from the slavery of
the dread ruler of this world.  And now behold by the power of God, as
far as in me lay, I have accomplished my ministry, announcing to thee
the knowledge of him, and making known unto thee the preaching of the
Prophets and Apostles, and teaching thee unerringly and soothly the
vanity of the present life, and the evils with which this world teems,
which cruelly deceiveth them that trust therein, and taketh them in
many a gin.  Now must I return thither whence I came, and thereupon
doff this robe belonging to another, and don mine own again."

Ioasaph therefore begged the elder to shew himself in his wonted
apparel.  Then did Barlaam strip off the mantle that he wore, and lo, a
terrible sight met Ioasaph's eyes: for all the fashion of his flesh was
wasted away, and his skin blackened by the scorching sun, and drawn
tight over his bones like an hide stretched over thin canes.  And he
wore an hair shirt, stiff and rough, from his loins to his knees, and
over his shoulders there hung a coat of like sort.

But Ioasaph, being sore amazed at the hardship of his austere life, and
astonished at his excess of endurance, burst into tears, and said to
the elder, "Since thou art come to deliver me from the slavery of the
devil, crown thy good service to me, and 'bring my soul out of prison,'
and take me with thee, and let us go hence, that I may be fully
ransomed from this deceitful world and then receive the seal of saving
Baptism, and share with thee this thy marvellous philosophy, and this
more than human discipline."

But Barlaam said unto him, "A certain rich man once reared the fawn of
a gazelle; which, when grown up, was impelled by natural desire to long
for the desert.  So on a day she went out and found an herd of gazelles
browsing; and, joining them, she would roam through the glades of the
forest, returning at evenfall, but issuing forth at dawn, through the
heedlessness of her keepers, to herd with her wild companions.  When
these removed, to graze further afield, she followed them.  But the
rich man's servants, when they learned thereof, mounted on horseback,
and gave chase, and caught the pet fawn, and brought her home again,
and set her in captivity for the time to come.  But of the residue of
the herd, some they killed, and roughly handled others.  Even so I fear
that it may happen unto us also if thou follow me; that I may be
deprived of thy fellowship, and bring many ills to my comrades, and
everlasting damnation to thy father.  But this is the will of the Lord
concerning time; thou now indeed must be signed with the seal of holy
Baptism, and abide in this country, cleaving to all righteousness, and
the fulfilling of the commandments of Christ; but when the Giver of all
good things shall give thee opportunity, then shalt thou come to us,
and for the remainder of this present life we shall dwell together; and
I trust in the Lord also that in the world to come we shall not be
parted asunder."

Again Ioasaph, in tears, said unto him, "If this be the Lord's
pleasure, his will be done!  For the rest, perfect me in holy Baptism.
Then receive at my hands money and garments for the support and
clothing both of thyself and thy companions, and depart to the place of
thy monastic life, and the peace of God be thy guard!  But cease not to
make supplications on my behalf, that I may not fall away from my hope,
but may soon be able to reach thee, and in peace profound may enjoy thy

Barlaam answered, "Nought forbiddeth thee to receive the seal of
Christ.  Make thee ready now; and, the Lord working with thee, thou
shalt be perfected.  But as concerning the money that thou didst
promise to bestow on my companions, how shall this be, that thou, a
poor man, shouldest give alms to the rich?  The rich always help the
poor, not the needy the wealthy.  And the least of all my comrades is
incomparably richer than thou.  But I trust in the mercies of God that
thou too shalt soon be passing rich as never afore: and then thou wilt
not be ready to distribute."

Ioasaph said unto him, "Make plain to me this saying; how the least of
all thy companions surpasseth me in riches--thou saidest but now that
they lived in utter penury, and were pinched by extreme poverty and why
thou callest me a poor man, but sayest that, when I shall be passing
rich, I, who am ready to distribute, shall be ready to distribute no

Barlaam answered, "I said not that these men were pinched by poverty,
but that they plume themselves on their inexhaustible wealth.  For to
be ever adding money to money, and never to curb the passion for it,
but insatiably to covet more and more, betokeneth the extreme of
poverty.  But those who despise the present for love of the eternal and
count it but dung, if only they win Christ, who have laid aside all
care for meat and raiment and cast that care on the Lord, and rejoice
in penury as no lover of the world could rejoice, were he rolling in
riches, who have laid up for themselves plenteously the riches of
virtue, and are fed by the hope of good things without end, may more
fitly be termed rich than thou, or any other earthly kingdom. But, God
working with thee, thou shalt lay hold on such spiritual abundance
that, if thou keep it in safety and ever rightfully desire more, thou
shalt never wish to dispend any part of it. This is true abundance: but
the mass of material riches will damage rather than benefit its
friends.  Meetly therefore called I it the extreme of poverty, which
the lovers of heavenly blessings utterly renounce and eschew, and flee
from it, as a man fleeth from an adder.  But if I take from thee and so
bring back to life that foe, whom my comrades in discipline and battle
have slain and trampled under foot, and carry him back to them, and so
be the occasion of wars and lusts, then shall I verily be unto them an
evil angel, which heaven forfend!

"Let the same, I pray thee, be thy thoughts about raiment.  As for them
that have put off the corruption of the old man, and, as far as
possible, cast away the robe of disobedience, and put on Christ as a
coat of salvation and garment of gladness, how shall I again clothe
these in their coats of hide, and gird them about with the covering of
shame?  But be assured that my companions have no need of such things,
but are content with their hard life in the desert, and reckon it the
truest luxury; and bestow thou on the poor the money and garments which
thou promisedst to give unto our monks, and lay up for thyself, for the
time to come, treasure that cannot be stolen, and by the orisons of
these poor folk make God thine ally; for thus shalt thou employ thy
riches as an help toward noble things.  Then also put on the whole
armour of the Spirit, having thy loins girt about with truth, and
having on the breast-plate of righteousness, and wearing the helmet of
salvation, and having thy feet shod with the preparation of the gospel
of peace, and taking in thine hands the shield of faith, and the sword
of the spirit, which is the word of God.  And, being thus excellently
armed and guarded on every side, in this confidence go forth to the
warfare against ungodliness, until, this put to flight, and its prince,
the devil, dashed headlong to the earth, thou be adorned with the
crowns of victory from the right hand of thy master, the Lord of life."


With such like doctrines and saving words did Barlaam instruct the
king's son, and fit him for holy Baptism, charging him to fast and
pray, according to custom, several days: and he ceased not to resort
unto him, teaching him every article of the Catholick Faith and
expounding him the holy Gospel.  Moreover he interpreted the Apostolick
exhortations and the sayings of the Prophets: for, taught of God,
Barlaam had alway ready on his lips the Old and New Scripture; and,
being stirred by the Spirit, he enlightened his young disciple to see
the true knowledge of God. But on the day, whereon the prince should be
baptized, he taught him, saying, "Behold thou art moved to receive the
seal of Christ, and be signed with the light of the countenance of the
Lord: and thou becomest a son of God, and temple of the Holy Ghost, the
giver of life.  Believe thou therefore in the Father, and in the Son,
and in the Holy Ghost, the holy and life-giving Trinity, glorified in
three persons and one Godhead, different indeed in persons and personal
properties, but united in substance; acknowledging one God unbegotten,
the Father; and one begotten Lord, the Son, light of light, very God of
very God, begotten before all worlds; for of the good Father is
begotten the good Son, and of the unbegotten light shone forth the
everlasting light; and from very life came forth the life-giving
spring, and from original might shone forth the might of the Son, who
is the brightness of his glory and the Word in personality, who was in
the beginning with God, and God without beginning and without end, by
whom all things, visible and invisible, were made: knowing also one
Holy Ghost, which proceedeth from the Father, perfect, life-giving and
sanctifying God, with the same will, the same power, coeternal and
impersonate.  Thus therefore worship thou the Father, and the Son, and
the Holy Ghost, in three persons or properties and one Godhead.  For
the Godhead is common of the three, and one is their nature, one their
substance, one their glory, one their kingdom, one their might, one
their authority; but it is common of the Son and of the Holy Ghost that
they are of the Father; and it is proper of the Father that he is
unbegotten, and of the Son that he is begotten, and of the Holy Ghost
that he proceedeth.

"This therefore be thy belief; but seek not to understand the manner of
the generation or procession, for it is incomprehensible.  In
uprightness of heart and without question accept the truth that the
Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are in all points one except
in the being unbegotten, and begotten, and proceeding; and that the
only begotten Son, the Word of God, and God, for our salvation came
down upon earth, by the good pleasure of the Father, and, by the
operation of the Holy Ghost, was conceived without seed in the womb of
Mary the holy Virgin and Mother of God, by the Holy Ghost, and was born
of her without defilement and was made perfect man and that he is
perfect God and perfect man, being of two natures, the Godhead and the
manhood, and in two natures, endowed with reason, will, activity, and
free will, and in all points perfect according to the proper rule and
law in either case, that is in the Godhead and the manhood, and in one
united person.  And do thou receive these things without question,
never seeking to know the manner, how the Son of God emptied himself,
and was made man of the blood of the Virgin, without seed and without
defilement; or what is this meeting in one person of two natures.  For
by faith we are taught to hold fast those things that have been
divinely taught us out of Holy Scripture; but of the manner we are
ignorant, and cannot declare it.

"Believe thou that the Son of God, who, of his tender mercy was made
man, took upon him all the affections that are natural to man, and are
blameless (he hungered and thirsted and slept and was weary and endured
agony in his human nature, and for our transgressions was led to death,
was crucified and was buried, and tasted of death, his Godhead
continuing without suffering and without change; for we attach no
sufferings whatsoever to that nature which is free from suffering, but
we recognize him as suffering and buried in that nature which he
assumed, and in his heavenly glory rising again from the dead, and in
immortality ascending into heaven); and believe that he shall come
again, with glory, to judge quick and dead, and by the words which
himself knoweth, of that diviner body, and to reward every man by his
own just standards.  For the dead shall rise again, and they that are
in their graves shall awake: and they that have kept the commandments
of Christ, and have departed this life in the true faith shall inherit
eternal life, and they, that have died in their sins, and have turned
aside from the right faith, shall go away into eternal punishment.
Believe not that there is any true being or kingdom of evil, nor
suppose that it is without beginning, or self-originate, or born of
God: out on such an absurdity!  but believe rather that it is 'the work
of us and the devil, come upon us through our heedlessness, because we
were endowed with free-will, and we make our choice, of deliberate
purpose, whether it be good or evil.  Beside this, acknowledge one
Baptism, by water and the Spirit, for the remission of sins.

"Receive also the Communion of the spotless Mysteries of Christ,
believing in truth that they are the Body and Blood of Christ our God,
which he hath given unto the faithful for the remission of sins.  For
in the same night in which he was betrayed he ordained a new testament
with his holy disciples and Apostles, and through them for all that
should believe on him, saying, 'Take, eat: this is my Body, which is
broken for you, for the remission of sins.' After the same manner also
he took the cup, and gave unto them saying, 'Drink ye all of this: this
is my Blood, of the new testament, which is shed for you for the
remission of sins: this do in remembrance of me.'  He then, the Word of
God, being quick and powerful, and, working all things by his might,
maketh and transformeth, through his divine operation, the bread and
wine of the oblation into his own Body and Blood, by the visitation of
the Holy Ghost, for the sanctification and enlightenment of them that
with desire partake thereof.

"Faithfully worship, with honour and reverence, the venerable likeness
of the features of the Lord, the Word of God, who for our sake was made
man, thinking to behold in the Image thy Creator himself.  'For the
honour of the Image, saith one of the Saints, passeth over to the
original.'  The original is the thing imaged, and from it cometh the
derivation.  For when we see the drawing in the Image, in our mind's
eye we pass over to the true form of which it is an Image, and devoutly
worship the form of him who for our sake was made flesh, not making a
god of it, but saluting it as an image of God made flesh, with desire
and love of him who for us men emptied himself, and even took the form
of a servant.  Likewise also for this reason we salute the pictures of
his undefiled Mother, and of all the Saints.  In the same spirit also
faithfully worship and salute the emblem of the life-giving and
venerable Cross, for the sake of him that hung thereon in the flesh,
for the salvation of our race, Christ the God and Saviour of the world,
who gave it to us as the sign of victory over the devil; for the devil
trembleth and quaketh at the virtue thereof, and endureth not to behold
it.  In such doctrines and in such faith shalt thou be baptized,
keeping thy faith unwavering and pure of all heresy until thy latest
breath.  But all teaching and every speech of doctrine contrary to this
blameless faith abhor, and consider it an alienation from God.  For, as
saith the Apostle, 'Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any
other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let
him be accursed.'  For there is none other Gospel or none other Faith
than that which hath been preached by the Apostles, and established by
the inspired Fathers at divers Councils, and delivered to the Catholick

When Barlaam had thus spoken, and taught the king's son the Creed which
was set forth at the Council of Nicaea, he baptized him in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, in the pool of water
which was in his garden.  And there came upon him the grace of the Holy
Spirit.  Then did Barlaam come back to his chamber, and offer the holy
Mysteries of the unbloody Sacrifice, and communicate him with the
undefiled Mysteries of Christ: and Ioasaph rejoiced in spirit, giving
thanks to Christ his God.

Then said Barlaam unto him, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten thee
again unto a lively hope, to an inheritance incorruptible and
undefiled, that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven in Christ Jesus our
Lord by the Holy Ghost; for to-day thou hast been made free from sin,
and hast become the servant of God, and hast received the earnest of
everlasting life: thou hast left darkness and put on light, being
enrolled in the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For he saith,
'As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on his name.'  Wherefore thou art no
more a servant, but a son and an heir of God through Jesus Christ in
the Holy Ghost. Wherefore, beloved, give diligence that thou mayest be
found of him without spot and blameless, working that which is good
upon the foundation of faith: for faith without works is dead, as also
are works without faith; even as I remember to have told thee afore.
Put off therefore now all malice, and hate all the works of the old
man, which are corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and, as
new-born babe, desire to drink the reasonable and sincere milk of the
virtues, that thou mayest grow thereby, and attain unto the knowledge
of the commandments of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the
measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that thou mayest
henceforth be no more a child in mind, tossed to and fro, and carried
about on the wild and raging waves of thy passions: or rather in malice
be a child, but have thy mind settled and made steadfast toward that
which is good, and walk worthy of the vocation wherewith thou wast
called, in the keeping of the commandments of the Lord, casting off and
putting far from thee the vanity of thy former conversation, henceforth
walking not as the Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind, having
their understanding darkened, alienated from the glory of God, in
subjection to their lusts and unreasonable affections.  But as for
thee, even as thou hast approached the living and true God, so walk
thou as a child of light; for the fruit of the Spirit is in all
goodness and righteousness and truth; and no longer destroy by the
works of the old man the new man, which thou hast to-day put on.  But
day by day renew thyself in righteousness and holiness and truth: for
this is possible with every man that willeth, as thou hearest that unto
them that believe on his name he hath given power to become the sons of
God; so that we can no longer say that the acquiring of virtues is
impossible for us, for the road is plain and easy.  For, though with
respect to the buffeting of the body, it hath been called a strait and
narrow way, yet through the hope of future blessings is it desirable
and divine for such as walk, not as fools but circumspectly,
understanding what the will of God is, clad in the whole armour of God
to stand in battle against the wiles of the adversary, and with all
prayer and supplication watching thereunto, in all patience and hope.
Therefore, even as thou hast heard from me, and been instructed, and
hast laid a sure foundation, do thou abound therein, increasing and
advancing, and warring the good warfare, holding faith and a good
conscience, witnessed by good works, following after righteousness,
godliness, faith, charity, patience, meekness, laying hold on eternal
life whereunto thou wast called.  But remove far from thee all pleasure
and lust of the affections, not only in act and operation, but even in
the thoughts of thine heart, that thou mayest present thy soul without
blemish to God.  For not our actions only, but our thoughts also are
recorded, and procure us crowns or punishments: and we know that
Christ, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, dwelleth in pure hearts.
But, just as smoke driveth away bees, so, we learn, do evil
imaginations drive out of us the Holy Spirit's grace.  Wherefore take
good heed hereto, that thou blot out every imagination of sinful
passion from thy soul, and plant good thoughts therein, making thyself
a temple of the Holy Ghost. For from imaginations we come also to
actual deeds, and every work, advancing from thought and reflection,
catcheth at small beginnings, and then, by small increases, arriveth at
great endings.

"Wherefore on no account suffer any evil habit to master thee; but,
while it is yet young, pluck the evil root out of thine heart, lest it
fasten on and strike root so deep that time and labour be required to
uproot it.  And the reason that greater sins assault us and get the
mastery of our souls is that those which appear to be less, such as
wicked thoughts, unseemly words and evil communications, fail to
receive proper correction.  For as in the case of the body, they that
neglect small wounds often bring mortification and death upon
themselves, so too with the soul: thus they that overlook little
passions and sins bring on greater ones.  And the more those greater
sins grow on them, the more cloth the soul become accustomed therto and
think light of them.  For he saith, 'When the wicked cometh to the
depth of evil things, he thinketh light of them': and finally, like the
hog, that delighteth to wallow in mire, the soul, that hath been buried
in evil habits, doth not even perceive the stink of her sin, but rather
delighteth and rejoiceth therein, cleaving to wickedness as it were
good.  And even if at last she issue from the mire and come to herself
again, she is delivered only by much labour and sweat from the bondage
of those sins, to which she hath by evil custom enslaved herself.

"Wherefore with all thy might remove thyself far from every evil
thought and fancy, and every sinful custom; and school thyself the
rather in virtuous deeds, and form the habit of practising them.  For
if thou labour but a little therein, and have strength to form the
habit, at the last, God helping thee, thou shalt advance without
labour.  For the habit of virtue, taking its quality from the soul,
seeing that it hath some natural kinship therewith and claimeth God for
an help-mate, becometh hard to alter and exceeding strong; as thou
seest, courage and prudence, temperance and righteousness are hard to
alter, being deeply seated habits, qualities and activities of the
soul.  For if the evil affections, not being natural to us, but
attacking us from without, be hard to alter when they become habits,
how much harder shall it be to shift virtue, which hath been by nature
planted in us by our Maker, and hath him for an help-mate, if so be,
through our brief endeavour, it shall have been rooted in habit in the


"Wherefore a practician of virtue once spake to me on this wise: 'After
I had made divine meditation my constant habit, and through the
practice of it my soul had received her right quality, I once resolved
to make trial of her, and put a check upon her, not allowing her to
devote herself to her wonted exercises.  I felt that she was chafing
and fretting, and yearning for meditation with an ungovernable desire,
and was utterly unable to incline to any contrary thought.  No sooner
had I given her the reins than immediately she ran in hot haste to her
own task, as saith the Prophet, 'Like as the hart desireth the water
brooks, so longeth my soul after the strong, the living God.'
Wherefore from all these proofs it is evident that the acquirement of
virtue is within our reach, and that we are lords over it, whether we
will embrace or else the rather choose sin. They then, that are in the
thraldom of wickedness, can hardly be torn away therefrom, as I have
already said.

"But thou, who hast been delivered therefrom, through the tender mercy
of our God, and hast put on Christ by the grace of the Holy Ghost, now
transfer thyself wholly to the Lord's side, and never open a door to
thy passions, but adorn thy soul with the sweet savour and splendour of
virtue, and make her a temple of the Holy Trinity, and to his
contemplation see thou devote all the powers of thy mind.  He that
liveth and converseth with an earthly king is pointed out by all as a
right happy man: what happiness then must be his who is privileged to
converse and be in spirit with God!  Behold thou then his likeness
alway, and converse with him. How shalt thou converse with God?  By
drawing near him in prayer and supplication.  He that prayeth with
exceeding fervent desire and pure heart, his mind estranged from all
that is earthly and grovelling, and standeth before God, eye to eye,
and presenteth his prayers to him in fear and trembling, such an one
hath converse and speaketh with him face to face.

"Our good Master is present everywhere, hearkening to them that
approach him in purity and truth, as saith the Prophet, 'The eyes of
the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.'
For this reason the Fathers define Prayer as 'the union of man with
God,' and call it 'Angels' work,' and 'the prelude of gladness to
come.'  For since they lay down before all things that 'the kingdom of
heaven' consisteth in nearness to and contemplation of the Holy
Trinity, and since all the importunity of prayer leadeth the mind
thither, prayer is rightly called 'the prelude' and, as it were, the
'fore-glimpse' of that blessedness. But not all prayer is of this
nature, but only such prayer as is worthy of the name, which hath God
for its teacher, who giveth prayer to him that prayeth; prayer which
soareth above all things on earth and entreateth directly with God.

"This acquire thou for thyself, and strive to advance thereto, for it
is able to exalt thee from earth to heaven.  But without preparation
and at hap-hazard thou shalt not advance therein. But first purify thy
soul from all passion, and cleanse it like a bright and newly cleansed
mirrour from every evil thought, and banish far all remembrance of
injury and anger, which most of all hindereth our prayers from
ascending to God-ward: and from the heart forgive all those that have
trespassed against thee, and with alms and charities to the poor lend
wings to thy prayer, and so bring it before God with fervent tears.
Thus praying thou shalt be able to say with blessed David, who, for all
that he was king, and distraught with ten thousand cares, yet cleansed
his soul from all passions, and could say unto God, 'As for iniquity, I
hate and abhor it, but thy law do I love.  Seven times a day do I
praise thee, because of thy righteous judgements.  My soul hath kept
thy testimonies, and loved them exceedingly.  Let my complaint come
before thee, O Lord: give me understanding according to thy word.'

"While thou art calling thus, the Lord hear thee: while thou art yet
speaking, he shall say, 'Behold I am here.'  If then thou attain to
such prayer, blessed shalt thou be; for it is impossible for a man
praying and calling upon God with such purpose not to advance daily in
that which is good, and soar over all the snares of the enemy.  For, as
saith one of the Saints, 'He that hath made fervent his understanding,
and hath lift up his soul and migrated to heaven, and hath thus called
upon his Master, and remembered his own sins, and spoken concerning the
forgiveness of the same, and with hot tears hath besought the Lover of
mankind to be merciful to him: such an one, I say, by his continuance
in such words and considerations, layeth aside every care of this life,
and waxeth superior to human passions, and meriteth to be called an
associate of God.'  Than which state what can be more blessed and
higher?  May the Lord vouchsafe thee to attain to this blessedness!

"Lo I have shown thee the way of the commandments of the Lord, and have
not shunned to declare unto thee all the counsel of God. And now I,
have fulfilled my ministry unto thee.  It remaineth that thou gird up
the loins of thy mind, obedient to the Holy One that hath called thee,
and be thou thyself holy in all manner of conversation: for, 'Be ye
holy: for I am holy,' saith the Lord. And the chief prince of the
Apostles also writeth, saying, 'If ye call on the Father, who without
respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time
of your sojourning here in fear; knowing that ye were not redeemed with
corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation
received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of
Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.'

"All these things therefore store thou up in thine heart, and remember
them unceasingly, ever keeping before thine eyes the fear of God, and
his terrible judgement seat, and the splendour of the righteous which
they shall receive in the world to come, and the shame of sinners in
the depths of darkness, and the frailty and vanity of things present,
and the eternity of things hereafter; for, 'All flesh is grass, and all
the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the
flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for
ever.' Meditate upon these things alway and the peace of God be with
thee, enlightening and informing thee, and leading thee into the way of
salvation, chasing afar out of thy mind every evil wish, and sealing
thy soul with the sign of the Cross, that no stumbling block of the
evil one come nigh thee, but that thou mayest merit, in all fulness of
virtue, to obtain the kingdom that is to come, without end or
successor, and be illumined with the light of the blessed life-giving
Trinity, which, in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost,
is glorified."


With such moral words did the reverend elder exhort the king's son, and
then withdrew to his own hospice.  But the young prince's servants and
tutors marvelled to see the frequency of Barlaam's visits to the
palace; and one of the chiefest among them, whom, for his fidelity and
prudence, the king had set over his son's palace, named Zardan, said to
the prince, "Thou knowest well, sir, how much I dread thy father, and
how great is my faith toward him: wherefore he ordered me, for my
faithfulness, to wait upon thee.  Now, when I see this stranger
constantly conversing with thee, I fear he may be of the Christian
religion, toward which thy father hath a deadly hate; and I shall be
found subject to the penalty of death.  Either then make known to thy
father this man's business, or in future cease to converse with him.
Else cast me forth from thy presence, that I be not blameable, and ask
thy father to appoint another in my room."

The king's son said unto him, "This do, Zardan, first of all. Sit thou
down behind the curtain, and hear his communication with me: and then
thus will I tell thee what thou oughtest to do."

So when Barlaam was about to enter into his presence, Ioasaph hid
Zardan within the curtain, and said to the elder, "Sum me up the matter
of thy divine teaching, that it may the more firmly be implanted in my
heart."  Barlaam took up his parable and uttered many sayings touching
God, and righteousness toward him, and how we must love him alone with
all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind, and keep
his commandments with fear and love-and how he is the Maker of all
things visible and invisible. Thereon he called to remembrance the
creation of the first man, the command given unto him, and his
transgression thereof, and the sentence pronounced by the Creator for
this transgression. Then he reckoned up in order the good things
wherefrom we excluded ourselves by the disannulling of his commandment.
Again he made mention of the many grievous misfortunes that unhappily
overtook man, after the loss of the blessings.  Besides this he brought
forward God's love toward mankind; how our Maker, heedful of our
salvation, sent forth teachers and prophets proclaiming the Incarnation
of the Only-begotten.  Then he spake of the Son, his dwelling among
men, his deeds of kindness, his miracles, his sufferings for us
thankless creatures, his Cross, his spear, his voluntary death;
finally, of our recovery and recall, our return to our first good
estate; after this, of the kingdom of heaven awaiting such as are
worthy thereof; of the torment in store for the wicked; the fire that
is not quenched, the never ending darkness, the undying worm, and all
the other tortures which the slaves of sin have laid up in store for
themselves.  When he had fully related these matters, he ended his
speech with moral instruction, and dwelt much upon purity of life, and
utterly condemned the vanity of things present, and proved the utter
misery of such as cleave thereto, and finally made an end with prayer.
And therewith he prayed for the prince, that he might hold fast the
profession of the Catholick Faith without turning and without wavering,
and keep his life blameless and his conversation pure, and so ending
with prayer again withdrew to his hospice.

But the king's son called Zardan forth, and, to try his disposition,
said unto him, "Thou hast heard what sort of discourses this babbler
maketh me, endeavouring to be-jape me with his specious follies, and
rob me of this pleasing happiness and enjoyment, to worship a strange
God." Zardan answered, "Why hath it pleased thee, O prince, to prove me
that am thy servant? I wot that the words of that man have sunk deep
into thine heart; for, otherwise, thou hadst not listened gladly and
unceasingly to his words.  Yea, and we also are not ignorant of this
preaching. But from the time when thy father stirred up truceless
warfare against the Christians, the men have been banished hence, and
their teaching is silenced.  But if now their doctrine commend itself
unto thee, and if thou have the strength to accept its austerity, may
thy wishes be guided straight toward the good! But for myself, what
shall I do, that am unable to bear the very sight of such austerity,
and through fear of the King am divided in soul with pain and anguish?
What excuse shall I make, for neglecting his orders, and giving this
fellow access unto thee?"

The King's son said unto him, "I knew full well that in none other wise
could I requite thee worthily for thy much kindness, and therefore have
I tasked myself to make known unto thee this more than human good,
which doth even exceed the worth of thy good service, that thou
mightest know to what end thou wast born, and acknowledge thy Creator,
and, leaving darkness, run to the light.  And I hoped that when thou
heardest thereof thou wouldst follow it with irresistible desire.  But,
as I perceive, I am disappointed of my hope, seeing that thou art
listless to that which hath been spoken.  But if thou reveal these
secrets to the king my father, thou shalt but distress his mind with
sorrows and griefs.  If thou be well disposed to him, on no account
reveal this matter to him until a convenient season."  Speaking thus,
he seemed to be only casting seed upon the water; for wisdom shall not
enter into a soul void of understanding.

Upon the morrow came Barlaam and spake of his departure: but Ioasaph,
unable to bear the separation, was distressed at heart, and his eyes
filled with tears.  The elder made a long discourse, and adjured him to
continue unshaken in good works, and with words of exhortation
established his heart, and begged him to send him cheerfully on his
way; and at the same time he foretold that they should shortly be at
one, never to be parted more.  But Ioasaph, unable to impose fresh
labours on the elder, and to restrain his desire to be on his way, and
suspecting moreover that the man Zardan might make known his case to
the King and subject him to punishment, said unto Barlaam, "Since it
seemeth thee good, my spiritual father, best of teachers and minister
of all good to me, to leave me to live in the vanity of the world,
while thou journeyest to thy place of spiritual rest, I dare no longer
let and hinder thee.  Depart therefore, with the peace of God for thy
guardian, and ever in thy worthy prayers, for the Lord's sake, think
upon my misery, that I may be enabled to overtake thee, and behold
thine honoured face for ever.  But fulfil this my one request; since
thou couldest not receive aught for thy fellow monks, yet for thyself
accept a little money for sustenance, and a cloak to cover thee."  But
Barlaam answered and said unto him, "Seeing that I would not receive
aught for my brethren (for they need not grasp at the world's chattels
which they have chosen to forsake), how shall I acquire for myself that
which I have denied them?  If the possession of money were a good
thing, I should have let them share it before me.  But, as I understand
that the possession thereof is deadly, I will hazard neither them nor
myself in such snares."

But when Ioasaph had failed once again to persuade Barlaam, 'twas but a
sign for a second petition, and he made yet another request, that
Barlaam should not altogether overlook his prayer, nor plunge him in
utter despair, but should leave him that stiff shirt and rough mantle,
both to remind him of his teacher's austerities and to safe-guard him
from all the workings of Satan, and should take from him another cloak
instead, in order that "When thou seest my gift," said he, "thou mayest
bear my lowliness in remembrance."

But the elder said, "It is not lawful for me to give thee my old and
worn out vestment, and take one that is new, lest I be condemned to
receive here the recompense of my slight labour. But, not to thwart thy
willing mind, let the garments given me by thee be old ones, nothing
different from mine own."  So the king's son sought for old shirts of
hair, which he gave the aged man, rejoicing to receive his in exchange,
deeming them beyond compare more precious than any regal purple.

Now saintly Barlaam, all but ready for to start, spake concerning his
journey, and delivered Ioasaph his last lesson, saying, "Brother
beloved, and dearest son, whom I have begotten through the Gospel, thou
knowest of what King thou art the soldier, and with whom thou hast made
thy covenant.  This thou must keep steadfastly, and readily perform the
duties of thy service, even as thou didst promise the Lord of all in
the script of thy covenant, with the whole heavenly host present to
attest it, and record the terms; which if thou keep, thou shalt be
blessed. Esteem therefore nought in the present world above God and his
blessings.  For what terror of this life can be so terrible as the
Gehenna of eternal fire, that burneth and yet hath no light, that
punisheth and never ceaseth?  And which of the goodly things of this
world can give such gladness as that which the great God giveth to
those that love him?  Whose beauty is unspeakable, and power
invincible, and glory everlasting; whose good things, prepared for his
friends, exceed beyond comparison all that is seen; which eye hath not
seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man:
whereof mayest thou be shown an inheritor, preserved by the mighty hand
of God!"

Here the king's son burst into tears of pain and vexation, unable to
bear the parting from a loving father and excellent teacher. "And who,"
quoth he, "shall fill thy place, O my father?  And whom like unto thee
shall I find to be shepherd and guide of my soul's salvation?  What
consolation may I find in my loss of thee?  Behold thou hast brought
me, the wicked and rebellious servant, back to God, and set me in the
place of son and heir! Thou hast sought me that was lost and astray on
the mountain, a prey for every evil beast, and folded me amongst the
sheep that had never wandered.  Thou hast shown me the direct road to
truth, bringing me out of darkness and the shadow of death, and,
changing the course of my feet from the slippery, deadly, crooked and
winding pathway, hast ministered to me great and marvellous blessings,
whereof speech would fail to recount the exceeding excellence.  Great
be the gifts that thou receivest at God's hand, on account of me who am
small!  And may the Lord, who in the rewards of his gifts alone
overpasseth them that love him, supply that which is lacking to my

Here Barlaam cut short his lamentation, and rose and stood up to pray,
lifting up his either hand, and saying, "O God and Father of our Lord
Jesu Christ, which didst illuminate the things that once were darkened,
and bring this visible and invisible creation out of nothing, and didst
turn again this thine handiwork, and sufferedst us not to walk after
our foolishness, we give thanks to thee and to thy Wisdom and Might,
our Lord Jesu Christ, by whom thou didst make the worlds, didst raise
us from our fall, didst forgive us our trespasses, didst restore us
from wandering, didst ransom us from captivity, didst quicken us from
death by the precious blood of thy Son our Lord.  Upon thee I call, and
upon thine only begotten Son, and upon the Holy Ghost.  Look upon this
thy spiritual sheep that hath come to be a sacrifice unto thee through
me thine unworthy servant, and do thou sanctify his soul with thy might
and grace.  Visit this vine, which was planted by thy Holy Spirit, and
grant it to bear fruit, the fruit of righteousness.  Strengthen him,
and confirm in him thy covenant, and rescue him from the deceit of the
devil.  With the wisdom of thy good Spirit teach him to do thy will,
and take not thy succour from him, but grant unto him, with me thine
unprofitable servant, to become an inheritor of thine everlasting
bliss, because thou art blessed and glorified for ever, Amen."

When that he had ended his prayer, he turned him round and embraced
Ioasaph, now a son of his heavenly father, wishing him eternal peace
and salvation, and he departed out of the palace, and went his way,
rejoicing and giving thanks to God, who had well ordered his steps for


After Barlaam was gone forth, Ioasaph gave himself unto prayer and
bitter tears, and said, "O God, haste thee to help me: O Lord, make
speed to help me, because the poor hath committed himself unto thee;
thou art the helper of the orphan.  Look upon me, and have mercy upon
me; thou who willest have all men to be saved and to come unto the
knowledge of the truth, save me, and strengthen me, unworthy though I
be, to walk the way of thy holy commandments, for I am weak and
miserable, and not able to do the thing that is good.  But thou art
mighty to save me, who sustainest and holdest together all things
visible and invisible. Suffer me not to walk after the evil will of the
flesh, but teach me to do thy will, and preserve me unto thine eternal
and blissful life.  O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the consubstantial
and undivided Godhead, I call upon thee and glorify thee.  Thou art
praised by all creation; thou art glorified by the intelligent powers
of the Angels for ever and ever.  Amen."

From that time forth he kept himself with all vigilance, seeking to
attain purity of soul and body, and living in continency and prayers
and intercessions all night long.  In the day-time he was often
interrupted by the company of his fellows, and at times by a visit from
the king, or a call to the king's presence, but the night would then
make good the shortcomings of the day, whilst he stood, in prayer and
weeping until daybreak, calling upon God. Whence in him was fulfilled
the saying of the prophet, "In nights raise your hands unto holy
things; and bless ye the Lord."

But Zardan observed Ioasaph's way of life, and was full of sorrow, and
his soul was pierced with grievous anxieties; and he knew not what to
do.  At the last, worn down with pain, he withdrew to his own home,
feigning sickness.  When this had come to the knowledge of the king he
appointed in his place another of his trusty men to minister unto his
son, while he himself, being concerned for Zardan's health, sent a
physician of reputation, and took great pains that he should be healed.

The physician, seeing that Zardan was in favour with the king, attended
him diligently, and, having right well judged his ease, soon made this
report to the king; "I have been unable to discover any root of disease
in the man: wherefore I suppose that this weakness is to be ascribed to
distress of spirit."  But, on hearing his words, the king suspected
that his son had been wroth with Zardan, and that this slight had
caused his retirement.  So, wishing to search the matter, he sent
Zardan word, saying "To-morrow I shall come to see thee, and judge of
the malady that hath befallen thee."

But Zardan, on hearing this message, at daybreak wrapt his cloak around
him and went to the king, and entered and fell in obeisance on the
ground.  The king spake unto him, "Why hast thou forced thyself to
appear?  I was minded to visit thee myself, and so make known to all my
friendship for thee."  He answered, "My sickness, O king, is no malady
common to man; but pain of heart, arising from an anxious and careful
mind, hath caused my body to suffer in sympathy.  It had been folly in
me, being as I am, not to attend as a slave before thy might, but to
wait for thy Majesty to be troubled to come to me thy servant."  Then
the king enquired after the cause of his despondency; Zardan answered
and said, "Mighty is my peril, and mighty are the penalties that I
deserve, and many deaths do I merit, for that I have been guilty of
neglect of thy behests, and have brought on thee such sorrow as never

Again said the king, "And of what neglect hast thou been guilty? And
what is the dread that encompasseth thee?"  "I have been guilty," said
he, "of negligence in my close care of my lord thy son.  There came an
evil man and a sorcerer, and communicated to him the precepts of the
Christian religion."  Then he related to the king, point by point, the
words which the old man spake with his son, and how gladly Ioasaph
received his word, and how he had altogether become Christ's.  Moreover
he gave the old man's name, saying that it was Barlaam.  Even before
then the king had heard tell of Barlaam's ways and his extreme severity
of life; but, when this came to the ears of the king, he was
straightway astonied by the dismay that fell on him, and was filled
with anger, and his blood well-nigh curdled at the tidings. Immediately
he bade call one Araches, who held the second rank after the king, and
was the chief in all his private councils: besides which the man was
learned in star-lore.  When he was come, with much despondency and
dejection the king told him of that which had happened.  He, seeing the
king's trouble and confusion of mind, said, "O king, trouble and
distress thyself no more.  We are not without hope that the prince will
yet change for the better: nay, I know for very certain that he will
speedily renounce the teaching of this deceiver, and conform to thy

By these words then did Araches set the king in happier frame of mind;
and they turned their thoughts to the thorough sifting of the matter.
"This, O king," said Araches, "do we first of all. Make we haste to
apprehend that infamous Barlaam.  If we take him, I am assured that we
shall not miss the mark, nor be cheated of our hope. Barlaam himself
shall be persuaded, either by persuasion or by divers engines of
torture, against his will to confess that he hath been talking falsely
and at random, and shall persuade my lord, thy son, to cleave to his
father's creed. But if we fail to take Barlaam, I know of an eremite,
Nachor by name, in every way like unto him: it is impossible to
distinguish the one from the other.  He is of our opinion, and was my
teacher in studies.  I will give him the hint, and go by night, and
tell him the full tale.  Then will we blazon it abroad that Barlaam
hath been caught; but we shall exhibit Nachor, who, calling himself
Barlaam, shall feign that he is pleading the cause of the Christians
and standing forth as their champion.  Then, after much disputation, he
shall be worsted and utterly discomfited. The prince, seeing Barlaam
worsted, and our side victorious, will doubtless join the victors; the
more so that he counteth it a great duty to reverence thy majesty, and
do thy pleasure.  Also the man who hath played the part of Barlaam
shall be converted, and stoutly proclaim that he hath been in error."

Tim king was delighted with his words, and rocked himself on idle
hopes, and thought it excellent counsel.  Thereupon, learning that
Barlaam was but lately departed, he was zealous to take him prisoner.
He therefore occupied most of the passes with troops and captains, and,
himself, mounting his chariot, gave furious chase along the one road of
which he was especially suspicious, being minded to surprise Barlaam at
all costs.  But though he toiled by the space of six full days, his
labour was but spent in vain.  Then he himself remained behind in one
of his palaces situate in the country, but sent forward Araches, with
horsemen not a few, as far as the wilderness of Senaar, in quest of
Barlaam.  When Araches arrived in that place, he threw all the
neighbour folk into commotion: and when they constantly affirmed that
they had never seen the man, he went forth into the desert places, for
to hunt out the Faithful.  When he had gone through a great tract of
desert, and made the circuit of the fells around, and journeyed a-foot
over untrodden and pathless ravines, he and his hosts arrived at a
plateau.  Standing thereon, he descried at the foot of the mountain a
company of hermits a-walking. Straightway at their governor's word of
command all his men ran upon them in breathless haste, vying one with
another, who should arrive first.  When they arrived, they came about
the monks like so many dogs, or evil beasts that plague mankind.  And
they seized these men of reverend mien and mind, that bore on their
faces the hall-mark of their hermit life, and haled them before the
governor; but the monks showed no sign of alarm, no sign of meanness or
sullenness, and spake never a word.  Their leader and captain bore a
wallet of hair, charged with the relics of some holy Fathers departed
this life.

When Araches beheld them, but saw no Barlaam--for he knew him by
sight--he was overwhelmed with grief, and said unto them, "Where is
that deceiver who hath led the king's son astray?"  The bearer of the
wallet answered, "He is not amongst us, God forbid! For, driven forth
by the grace of Christ, he avoideth us; but amongst you he hath his
dwelling."  The governor said, "Thou knowest him then?"  "Yea," said
the hermit, "I know him that is called the deceiver, which is the
devil, who dwelleth in your midst and is worshipped and served by you."
The governor said, "It is for Barlaam that I make search, and I asked
thee of him, to learn where he is."  The monk answered, "And wherefore
then spakest thou in this ambiguous manner, asking about him that had
deceived the king's son?  If thou wast seeking Barlaam, thou shouldest
certainly have said, 'Where is he that hath turned from error and saved
the king's son?'  Barlaam is our brother and fellow-monk.  But now for
many days past we have not seen his face."  Said Araches, "Show me his
abode."  The monk answered, "Had he wished to see you, he would have
come forth to meet you. As for us, it is not lawful to make known to
you his hermitage."

Thereupon the governor waxed full of indignation, and, casting a
haughty and savage glance upon him, said, "Ye shall die no ordinary
death, except ye immediately bring Barlaam before me." "What," said the
monk, "seest thou in our case that should by its attractions cause us
to cling to life, and be afraid of death at thy hands?  Whereas we
should the rather feel grateful to thee for removing us from life in
the close adherence to virtue.  For we dread, not a little, the
uncertainty of the end, knowing not in what state death shall overtake
us, lest perchance a slip of the inclination, or some despiteful
dealing of the devil, may alter the constancy of our choice, and
mis-persuade us to think or do contrary to our covenants with God.
Wherefore abandon all hope of gaining the knowledge that ye desire, and
shrink not to work your will.  We shall neither reveal the
dwelling-place of our brother, whom God loveth, although we know it,
nor shall we betray any other monasteries unbeknown to ye.  We will not
endure to escape death by such cowardice.  Nay, liefer would we die
honourably, and offer unto God, after the sweats of virtue, the
life-blood of courage."

That man of sin could not brook this boldness of speech, and was moved
to the keenest passion against this high and noble spirit, and
afflicted the monks with many stripes and tortures.  Their courage and
nobility won admiration even from that tyrant.  But, when after many
punishments he failed to persuade them, and none of them consented to
discover Barlaam, he took and ordered them to be led to the king,
bearing with them the wallet with the relics, and to be beaten and
shamefully entreated as they went.


After many days Araches brought them to the king, and declared their
case.  Then he set them before the bitterly incensed king: and he, when
he saw them, boiled over with fury and was like to one mad.  He ordered
them to be beaten without mercy, and, when he saw them cruelly mangled
with scourges, could scarcely restrain his madness, and order the
tormentors to cease.  Then said he unto them, "Why bear ye about these
dead men's bones? If ye carry these bones through affection for those
men to whom they belong, this very hour I will set you in their
company, that ye may meet your lost friends and be duly grateful to
me."  The captain and leader of that godly band, setting at naught the
king's threats, showing no sign of the torment that he had undergone,
with free voice and radiant countenance that signified the grace that
dwelt in his soul, cried out, "We carry about these clean and holy
bones, O king, because we attest in due form our love of those
marvellous men to whom they belong: and because we would bring
ourselves to remember their wrestlings and lovely conversation, to
rouse up ourselves to the like zeal; and because we would catch some
vision of the rest and felicity wherein they now live, and thus, as we
call them blessed, and provoke one another to emulate them, strive to
follow in their footsteps: because moreover, we find thereby that the
thought of death, which is right profitable, lendeth wings of zeal to
our religious exercises; and lastly, because we derive sanctification
from their touch."

Again said the king, "If the thought of death be profitable, as ye say,
why should ye not reach that thought of death by the bones of the
bodies that are now your own, and are soon to perish, rather than by
the bones of other men which have already perished?"

The monk said, "Five reasons I gave thee, why we carry about these
relics; and thou, making answer to one only, art like to be mocking us.
But know thou well that the bones of them, that have already departed
this life, bring the thought of death more vividly before us than do
the bones of the living.  But since thou judgest otherwise, and since
the bones of thine own body are to thee a type of death, why dost thou
not recollect thy latter end so shortly to come, and set thine house in
order, instead of giving up thy soul to all kinds of iniquities, and
violently and unmercifully murdering the servants of God and lovers of
righteousness, who have done thee no wrong, and seek not to share with
thee in present goods, nor are ambitious to rob thee of them?"

Said the king, "I do well to punish you, ye clever misleaders of the
folk, because ye deceive all men, counselling them to abstain from the
enjoyments of life; and because, instead of the sweets of life and the
allures of appetite and pleasure, ye constrain them to choose the
rough, filthy and squalid way, and preach that they should render to
Jesus the honour due unto the gods. Accordingly, in order that the
people may not follow your deceits and leave the land desolate, and,
forsaking the gods of their fathers, serve another, I think it just to
subject you to punishment and death."

The monk answered, "If thou art eager that all should partake of the
good things of life, why dost thou not distribute dainties and riches
equally amongst all?  And why is it that the common herd are pinched
with poverty, while thou addest ever to thy store by seizing for
thyself the goods of others?  Nay, thou carest not for the weal of the
many, but fattenest thine own flesh, to be meat for the worms to feed
on.  Wherefore also thou hast denied the God of all, and called them
gods that are not, the inventors of all wickedness, in order that, by
wantonness and wickedness after their example, thou mayest gain the
title of imitator of the gods.  For, as your gods have done, why should
not also the men that follow them do?  Great then is the error that
thou hast erred, O king.  Thou fearest that we should persuade certain
of the people to join with us, and revolt from thy hand, and place
themselves in that hand that holdeth all things, for thou willest the
ministers of thy covetousness to be many, that they may be miserable
while thou reapest profit from their toil; just as a man, who keepeth
hounds or falcons tamed for hunting, before the hunt may be seen to pet
them, but, when they have once seized the quarry, taketh the game with
violence out of their mouths.  So also thou, willing that there should
be many to pay thee tribute and toll from land and water, pretendest to
care for their welfare, but in truth bringest on them and above all on
thyself eternal ruin; and simply to pile up gold, more worthless than
dung or rottenness, thou hast been deluded into taking darkness for
light.  But recover thy wits from this earthly sleep: open thy sealed
eyes, and behold the glory of God that shineth round about us all; and
come at length to thyself. For saith the prophet, 'Take heed, ye unwise
among the people, and, O ye fools, understand at last.'  Understand
thou that there is no God except our God, and no salvation except in

But the king said, "Cease this foolish babbling, and anon discover to
me Barlaam: else shalt thou taste instruments of torture such as thou
hast never tasted before."  That noble-minded, great-hearted monk, that
lover of the heavenly philosophy, was not moved by the king's threats,
but stood unflinching, and said, "We are not commanded to fulfil thy
hest, O king, but the orders of our Lord and God who teacheth us
temperance, that we should be lords over all pleasures and passions,
and practise fortitude, so as to endure all toil and all ill-treatment
for righteousness' sake.  The more perils that thou subjectest us to
for the sake of our religion, the more shalt thou be our benefactor.
Do therefore as thou wilt: for we shall not consent to do aught outside
our duty, nor shall we surrender ourselves to sin.  Deem not that it is
a slight sin to betray a fellow-combatant and fellow-soldier into thy
hands. Nay, but thou shalt not have that scoff to make at us; no, not
if thou put us to ten thousand deaths.  We be not such cowards as to
betray our religion through dread of thy torments, or to disgrace the
law divine.  So then, if such be thy purpose, make ready every weapon
to defend thy claim; for to us to live is Christ, and to die for him is
the best gain."

Incensed with anger thereat, the monarch ordered the tongues of these
Confessors to be rooted out, and their eyes digged out, and likewise
their hands and feet lopped off.  Sentence passed, the henchmen and
guards surrounded and mutilated them, without pity and without ruth.
And they plucked out their tongues from their mouths with prongs, and
severed them with brutal severity, and they digged out their eyes with
iron claws, and stretched their arms and legs on the rack, and lopped
them off.  But those blessed, shamefast, noble-hearted men went bravely
to torture like guests to a banquet, exhorting one another to meet
death for Christ his sake undaunted.

In such divers tortures did these holy monks lay down their lives for
the Lord.  They were in all seventeen.  By common consent, the pious
mind is superior to sufferings, as hath been said by one, but not of
us, when narrating the martydom of the aged priest, and of the seven
sons with their equally brave mother when contending for the law of
their fathers: whose bravery and lofty spirit, however, was equalled by
these marvellous fathers and citizens and heirs of Hierusalem that is


After the monks had made this godly end, the king bade Araches, his
chief councillor, now that they had failed of their first plan, to look
to the second and summon the man Nachor.  At dead of night Araches
repaired to his cave (he dwelt in the desert practising the arts of
divination), and told him of their plans, and returned to the king at
day-break.  Again he demanded horsemen, and made as though he went in
quest of Barlaam.  When he was gone forth, and was walking the desert,
a man was seen to issue from a ravine.  Araches gave command to his men
to pursue him.  They took and brought him before their master.  When
asked who he was, what his religion and what his name, the man declared
himself a Christian and gave his name as Barlaam, even as he had been
instructed.  Araches made great show of joy, apprehended him and
returned quickly to the king, and told his tale and produced his man.
Then said the king in the hearing of all present, "Art thou the devil's
workman, Barlaam?"  But he denied it, saying, "I am God's workman, not
the devil's.  Revile me not; for I am thy debtor to render me much
thanks, because I have taught thy son to serve God, and have turned him
from error to the true God, and have schooled him in all manner of
virtue."  Feigning anger, again spake the king, "Though I ought to
allow thee never a word, and give thee no room for defence, but rather
do thee to death without question, yet such is my humanity that I will
bear with thine effrontery until on a set day I try thy cause.  If thou
be persuaded by me, thou shalt receive pardon: if not, thou shalt die
the death."  With these words he delivered him to Araches, commanding
that he should be most strictly guarded.

On the morrow the king removed thence, and came back to his own palace,
and it was blazoned abroad that Barlaam was captured, so that the
king's son heard thereof and was exceeding sad at heart, and could in
no wise refrain from weeping.  With groans and lamentations he
importuned God, and called upon him to succour the aged man.  Nor did
the good God despise his complaint, for he is loving with them that
abide him in the day of trouble, and knoweth them that fear him.
Wherefore in a night-vision he made known the whole plot to the young
prince, and strengthened and cheered him for the trial of his
righteousness.  So, when the prince awoke from sleep, he found that his
heart, erstwhile so sore and heavy, was now full of joyaunce, courage
and pleasant light.  But the king rejoiced at that which he had done
and planned, imagining that he was well advised, and showering thanks
on Araches.  But wickedness lied to itself, to use the words of holy
David, and righteousness overcame iniquity, completely overthrowing it,
and causing the memorial thereof to perish with sound, as our tale in
its sequel shall show.

After two days the king visited his son's palace.  When his son came
forth for to meet him, instead of kissing him, as was his wont, the
father put on a show of distress and anger, and entered the royal
chamber, and there sat down frowning.  Then calling to his son, he
said, "Child, what is this report that soundeth in mine ears, and
weareth away my soul with despondency?  Never, I ween, was man more
filled with gladness of heart at the birth of a son than was I at
thine; and, I trow, never was man so distressed and cruelly treated by
child as I have now been by thee.  Thou hast dishonoured my grey hairs,
and taken away the light of mine eyes, and loosed the strength of my
sinews; 'for the thing which I greatly feared concerning thee is come
upon me, and that which I was afraid of hath come unto me.'  Thou art
become a joy to mine enemies, and a laughing-stock to mine adversaries.
With untutored mind and childish judgement thou hast followed the
teaching of the deceivers and esteemed the counsel of the malicious
above mine; thou hast forsaken the worship of our gods and become the
servant of a strange God. Child, wherefore hast thou done this?  I
hoped to bring thee up in all safety, and have thee for the staff and
support of mine old age, and leave thee, as is most meet, to succeed me
in my kingdom, but thou wast not ashamed to play against me the part of
a relentless foe.  And shouldst thou not rather have listened to me,
and followed my injunctions, than have obeyed the idle and foolish
pratings of that crafty old knave, who taught thee to choose a sour
life instead of a sweet, and abandon the charms of dalliance, to tread
the hard and rough road, which the Son of Mary ordereth men to go?
Dost thou not fear the displeasure of the most puissant gods, lest they
strike thee with lightning, or quell thee with thunderbolt, or
overwhelm thee in the yawning earth, because thou hast rejected and
scorned those deities that have so richly blessed us, and adorned our
brow with the kingly diadem, and made populous nations to be our
servants, that, beyond my hope, in answer to my prayer and
supplication, allowed thee to be born, and see the sweet life of day,
and hast joined thyself unto the Crucified, duped by the hopes of his
servants who tell thee fables of worlds to come, and drivel about the
resurrection of dead bodies, and bring in a thousand more absurdities
to catch fools?  But now, dearest son, if thou hast any regard for me
thy father, bid a long farewell to these longwinded follies, and come
sacrifice to the gracious gods, and let us propitiate them with
hecatombs and drink-offerings, that they may grant thee pardon for thy
fall; for they be able and strong to bless and to punish.  And wouldst
thou have an example of that which I say?  Behold us, who by them have
been advanced to this honour, repaying them for their kindness by
honouring their worshippers and chastising the runagates."

Now when the king had ended all this idle parleying, gainsaying and
slandering of our religion, and belauding and praising of his idolatry,
the saintly young prince saw that the matter needed no further to be
hid in a corner, but to be lighted and made plain to the eyes of all;
and, full of boldness and courage, he said:

"That which I have done, sir, I will not deny.  I have fled from
darkness and run to the light: I have left error and joined the
household of truth: I have deserted the service of devils, and joined
the service of Christ, the Son and Word of God the Father, at whose
decree the world was brought out of nothing; who, after forming man out
of clay, breathed into him the breath of life, and set him to live in a
paradise of delight, and, when he had broken his commandment and was
become subject unto death, and had fallen into the power of the dread
ruler of this world, did not fail him, but wrought diligently to bring
him back to his former honour.  Wherefore he, the framer of all
Creation and maker of our race, became man for our sake, and, coming
from a holy Virgin's womb; on earth conversed with men: for us
ungrateful servants did the master endure death, even the death of the
Cross, that the tyranny of sin might be destroyed, that the former
condemnation might be abolished, that the gates of heaven might be open
to us again.  Thither he hath exalted our nature, and set it on the
throne of glory, and granted to them that love him an everlasting
kingdom and joys beyond all that tongue can tell, or ear can hear.  He
is the mighty and only potentate, King of kings and Lord of lords,
whose might is invincible, and whose lordship is beyond compare, who
only is holy and dwelleth in holiness, who with the Father and with the
Holy Ghost is glorified; into this faith I have been baptized.  And I
acknowledge and glorify and worship One God in Three persons, of one
substance, and not to be confounded, increate and immortal, eternal,
infinite, boundless, without body, without passions, immutable,
unchangeable, undefinable, the fountain of goodness, righteousness and
everlasting light, maker of all things visible and invisible,
containing and sustaining all things, provident for all, ruler and King
of all.  Without him was there nothing made, nor without his providence
can aught subsist.  He is the life of all, the support of all, the
light of all, being wholly sweetness and insatiable desire, the summit
of aspiration.  To leave God, then, who is so good, so wise, so mighty,
and to serve impure devils, makers of all sinful lusts, and to assign
worship to deaf and dumb images, that are not, and never shall be, were
not that the extreme of folly and madness?  When was there ever heard
utterance or language from their lips?  When have they given even the
smallest answer to their bedesmen?  When have they walked, or received
any impression of sense?  Those of them that stand have never thought
of sitting down; and those that sit have never been seen to rise.  From
an holy man have I learned the ugliness, ill savour and insensibility
of these idols, and, moreover, the rottenness and weakness of the
devils that operate in them and by them deceive you; and I loathe their
wickednesses and, hating them with a perfect hatred, have joined myself
to the living and true God, and him will I serve until my latest
breath, that my spirit also may return into his hands.  When these
unspeakable blessings came in my path I rejoiced to be freed from the
bondage of evil devils, and to be reclaimed from dire captivity and to
be illumined with the light of the countenance of the Lord.  But my
soul was distressed and divided asunder, that thou, my lord and father,
didst not share in my blessings. Yet I feared the stubbornness of thy
mind, and kept my grief to myself, not wishing to anger thee; but,
without ceasing, I prayed God to draw thee to himself, and call thee
back from the long exile that thou hast imposed upon thyself, a
runagate alas!  from righteousness, and a servant of all sin and
wickedness.  But sith thou thyself, O my father, hast brought mine
affairs to light, hear the sum of my resolve: I will not be false to my
covenant with Christ; no, I swear it by him that bought me out of
slavery with his own precious blood; even if I must needs die a
thousand deaths for his sake, die I will.  Knowing then how matters now
stand with me, prithee, no longer trouble thyself in endeavouring to
persuade me to change my good confession.  For as it were a thankless
and never ending task for thee to try to grasp the heavens with thy
hand, or to dry up the waters of the sea, so hard were it for thee to
change me.  Either then now listen to my counsel, and join the
household of Christ, and so thou shalt gain blessings past man's
understanding, and we shall be fellows with one another by faith, even
as by nature; or else, be well assured, I shall depart thy sonship, and
serve my God with a clear conscience."

Now when the king heard all these words, he was furiously enraged: and,
seized with ungovernable anger, he cried out wrathfully against him,
and gnashed his teeth fiercely, like any madman.  "And who," said he,
"is blameable for all my misfortunes but myself, who have dealt with
thee so kindly, and cared for thee as no father before?  Hence the
perversity and contrariness of thy mind, gathering strength by the
licence that I gave thee, hath made thy madness to fall upon mine own
pate.  Rightly prophesied the astrologers in thy nativity that thou
shouldest prove a knave and villain, an impostor and rebellious son.
But now, if thou wilt make void my counsel, and cease to be my son, I
will become thine enemy, and entreat thee worse than ever man yet
entreated his foes."

Again said Ioasaph, "Why, O king, hast thou been kindled to wrath?  Art
thou grieved that I have gained such bliss?  Why, what father was ever
seen to be sorrowful in the prosperity of his son?  Would not such an
one be called an enemy rather than a father?  Therefore will I no more
call thee my father, but will withdraw from thee, as a man fleeth from
a snake, if I know that thou grudgest me my salvation, and with violent
hand forcest me to destruction.  If thou wilt force me, and play the
tyrant, as thou hast threatened, be assured that thou shalt gain nought
thereby save to exchange the name of father for that of tyrant and
murderer.  It were easier for thee to attain to the ways Of the eagle,
and, like him, cleave the air, than to alter my loyalty to Christ, and
that good confession that I have confessed in him.  But be wise, O my
father, and shake off the rheum and mist from the eyes of thy mind,
lift them aloft and look upward to view the light of my God that
enlighteneth all around, and be thyself, at last, enlightened with this
light most sweet.  Why art thou wholly given up to the passions and
desires of the flesh, and why is there no looking upward?  Know thou
that all flesh is grass and all the glory of man as the flower of
grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away; but
the word of my Lord, which by the gospel is preached unto all, shall
endure for ever.  Why then dost thou thus madly cling to and embrace
that glory, which, like spring flowers, fadeth and perisheth, and to
beastly unsavoury wantonness, and to the abominable passions of the
belly and the members thereunder, which for a season please the senses
of fools, but afterwards make returns more bitter than gall, when the
shadows and dreams of this vain life are passed away, and the lovers
thereof, and workers of iniquity are imprisoned in the perpetual pain
of dark and unquenchable fire, where the worm that sleepeth not gnaweth
for ever, and where the fire burneth without ceasing and without
quenching through endless ages?  And with these sinners alas! thou too
shalt be imprisoned and grievously tormented, and shalt bitterly rue
thy wicked counsels, and bitterly regret thy days that now are, and
think upon my words, but there shall be no advantage in repentance; for
in death there is no confession and repentance.  But the present is the
set time for work: the future for reward.  Even if the pleasures of the
present world were not evanescent and fleeting, but were to endure for
ever with their owners, not even thus should any man choose them before
the gifts of Christ, and the good things that pass man's understanding.
Soothly, as the sun surpasseth in radiance and brightness the dead of
night, even so, and much more so, doth the happiness promised to those
that love God excel in glory and magnificence all earthly kinship and
glory; and there is utter need for a man to choose the more excellent
before the more worthless.  And forasmuch as everything here is
fleeting and subject to decay, and passeth and vanisheth as a dream,
and as a shadow and vision of sleep; and as one may sooner trust the
unstable breezes, or the tracks of a ship passing over the waves, than
the prosperity of men, what simplicity, nay, what folly and madness it
is to choose the corruptible and perishable, the weak things of no
worth, rather than the incorruptible and everlasting, the imperishable
and endless, and, by the temporal enjoyment of these things, to forfeit
the eternal fruition of the happiness to come! Wilt thou not understand
this, my father?  Wilt thou not haste past the things which haste pass
thee, and attach thyself to that which endureth?  Wilt thou not prefer
a home land to a foreign land, light to darkness, the spirit to the
flesh, eternal life to the shadow of death, the indestructible to the
fleeting?  Wilt thou not escape from the grievous bondage of the cruel
prince of this world, I mean the evil one, the devil, and become the
servant of the good, tenderhearted, and all merciful Lord?  Wilt thou
not break away from serving thy many gods, falsely so called, and serve
the one, true and living God?  Though thou hast sinned against him
often times by blaspheming him, and often times by slaying his servants
with dread torments, yet, I know well, that if thou turn again, he
shall in his kindness receive thee, and no more remember thine
offences: because he willeth not the death of a sinner but rather that
he may turn and live--he, who came down from the unspeakable heights,
to seek us that had gone astray: who endured for us Cross, scourge and
death: who bought with his precious blood us who had been sold in
bondage under sin.  Unto him be glory and praise for ever and ever!

The king was overwhelmed with astonishment and anger; with
astonishment, at his son's wisdom and unanswerable words; with anger,
at the persistence with which he denounced his father's gods, and
mocked and ridiculed the whole tenour of his life.  He could not admit
the glory of his discourse because of the grossness of the darkness
within, but natural affection forbad him to punish his son, or evilly
to entreat him, and he utterly despaired of moving him by threats.
Fearing then that, if he argued further with him, his son's boldness
and bitter satire of the gods might kindle him to hotter anger, and
lead him to do him a mischief, he arose in wrath and withdrew.  "Would
that thou hadst never been born," he cried, "nor hadst come to the
light of day, destined as thou weft to be such an one, a blasphemer of
the gods, and a renegade from thy father's love and admonition."  But
thou shalt not alway mock the invincible gods, nor shall their enemies
rejoice for long, nor shall these knavish sorceries prevail.  For
except thou become obedient unto me, and right-minded toward the gods,
I will first deliver time to sundry tortures, and then put thee to the
cruellest death, dealing with thee not as with a son, but as with an
enemy and rebel."


In such wise did the father threaten and wrathfully retire.  But the
son entered his own bedchamber, and lifted up his eyes to the proper
judge of his cause, and cried out of the depth of his heart, "O Lord my
God, my sweet hope and unerring promise, the sure refuge of them that
are wholly given up to thee, with gracious and kindly eye look upon the
contrition of my heart, and leave me not, neither forsake me.  But,
according to thine unerring pledge, be thou with me, thine unworthy and
sorry servant.  Thee I acknowledge and confess, the maker and provider
of all creation.  Therefore do thou thyself enable me to continue in
this good confession, until my dying breath: look upon me, and pity me;
and stand by and keep me unhurt by any working of Satan. Look upon me,
O King: for my heart is enkindled with longing after thee, and is
parched as with burning thirst in the desert, desiring thee, the well
of immortality.  Deliver not to the wild beasts my soul that confesseth
thee: forget not the soul of the poor for ever; but grant me that am a
sinner throughout my length of days to suffer all things for thy name's
sake and in the confession of thee, and to sacrifice my whole self unto
thee. For, with thy might working in them, even the feeble shall wax
exceeding strong; for thou only art the unconquerable ally and merciful
God, whom all creation blesseth, glorified for ever and ever.  Amen."

When he had thus prayed, he felt divine comfort stealing over his
heart, and, fulfilled with courage, he spent the whole night in prayer.
Meanwhile the king communed with Araches, his friend, as touching his
son's matters, and signified to him his son's sheer audacity and
unchangeable resolution.  Araches gave counsel that he should, in his
dealings with him, show the utmost kindness and courtesy, in the hope,
perchance, of alluring him by flattering attentions.  The day
following, the king came to his son, and sat down, and called him to
his side.  He embraced and kissed him affectionately, coaxing him
gently and tenderly, and said, "O my darling and well-beloved son,
honour thou thy father's grey hairs: listen to my entreaty, and come,
do sacrifice to the gods; thus shalt thou win their favour, and receive
at their hands length of days, and the enjoyment of all glory and of an
undisputed kingdom, and happiness of every sort.  Thus shalt thou be
well pleasing to me thy father throughout life and be honoured and
lauded of all men.  It is a great count in the score of praise to be
obedient to thy father, especially in a good cause, and to gain the
goodwill of the gods.  What thinkest thou, my son?  Is it that I have
willingly declined from the right, and chosen to travel on the wrong
road: or that, from ignorance and inexperience of the good, I have
given myself to destruction? Well, if thou thinkest that I willingly
prefer the evil to the profitable, and choose death before life, thou
seemest to me, son, completely to have missed the goal in judging.
Dost thou not see to what discomfort and trouble I often expose myself
in mine expeditions against my foes, or when I am engaged in divers
other business for the public good, not sparing myself even hunger and
thirst, if need be, the march on foot, or the couch on the ground?  As
for riches and money, such is my contempt and scorn thereof, that I
have at times ungrudgingly lavished all the stores of my palace, to
build mighty temples for the gods, and to adorn them with all manner of
splendour, or else to distribute liberal largess to my soldiers.
Possessing then, as I also do, this contempt of pleasure and this
courage in danger, what zeal would I not have devoted to contemning all
else, and winning my salvation, had I only found that the religion of
the Galileans were better than mine own?  But, if thou condemnest me
for ignorance and inexperience of the good, consider how many sleepless
nights I have spent, with some problem before me, oft-times no very
important one, giving myself no rest until I had found the clear and
most apt solution.

Seeing then that I reckon that not even the least of these temporal
concerns is unworthy of thought until all be fitly completed for the
advantage of all and seeing that all (I ween) bear me witness that no
man under the sun can search out secrets with more diligence than I,
how then could I have considered divine things, that call for worship
and serious consideration, unworthy of thought, and not rather have
devoted all my zeal and might, all my mind and soul to the
investigation thereof, to find out the right and the true?  Aye, and I
have laboriously sought thereafter.  Many nights and days have I spent
thus: many wise and learned men have I called to my council; and with
many of them that are called Christians have I conversed.  By untiring
enquiry and ardent search I have discovered the pathway of truth,
witnessed by wise men honoured for their intelligence and wit,--that
there is none other faith than ours.  This is the path that we tread
to-day, worshipping the most puissant gods, and holding fast to that
sweet and delightsome life, given by them to all men, fulfilled with
all manner of pleasure and gladness of heart, which the leaders and
priests of the Galileans have in their folly rejected; so that, in hope
of some other uncertain life, they have readily cast away this sweet
light, and all those pleasures which the gods have bestowed on us for
enjoyment, and all the while know not what they say, nor whereof they
confidently affirm.

"But thou, dearest son, obey thy father, who, by diligent and honest
search, hath found the real good.  Lo, I have shown thee that, neither
willingly, I no, nor by way of ignorance, have I failed of the good,
but rather that I have found and laid hold thereon.  And I earnestly
desire that thou too shouldest not wander as a fool, but shouldest
follow me.  Have respect then unto thy father.  Dost thou not know how
lovely a thing it is to obey one's father, and please him in all ways?
Contrariwise, how deadly and cursed a thing it is to provoke a father
and despise his commands?  As many as have done so, have come to a
miserable end.  But be not thou, my son, one of their number.  Rather
do that which is well pleasing to thy sire, and so mayest thou obtain
all happiness and inherit my blessing and my kingdom!"

The high-minded and noble youth listened to his father's windy
discourse and foolish opposition, and recognized therein the devices of
the crooked serpent, and how standing at his right hand he had prepared
a snare for his feet, and was scheming how to overthrow his righteous
soul, and hinder him of the prize laid up in store.  Therefore the
prince set before his eyes the commandment of the Lord, which saith, "I
came not to send peace, but strife and a sword.  For I am come to set a
man at variance against his father, and a daughter against her mother,
and so forth; and "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not
worthy of me"; and "Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also
deny before my Father which is in heaven."  When he had considered
these things, and fettered his soul with divine fear, and strengthened
it with longing desire and love, right opportunely he remembered the
saying of Solomon, "There is a time to love, and a time to hate; a time
of war, and a time of peace." First of all he prayed in silence, and
said, "Have mercy of me, Lord God, have mercy of me; for my soul
trusteth in thee; and under the shadow of thy wings I shall hope till
wickedness overpass.  I shall cry to the highest God; to God that did
well to me," and the rest of the psalm.

Then said Ioasaph to the king, "To honour one's father, and to obey his
commands, and to serve him with good will and affection is taught us by
the Lord of us all, who hath implanted in our hearts this natural
affection.  But, when loving devotion to our parents bringeth our soul
into peril, and separateth her from her Maker, then we are commanded,
at all costs, to cut it out, and, on no account, to yield to them that
would depart us from God, but to hate and avoid them, even if it be our
father that issueth the abominable command, or our mother, or our king,
or the master of our very life.  Wherefore it is impossible for me, out
of devotion to my father, to forfeit God.  So, prithee, trouble not
thyself, nor me: but be persuaded, and let us both serve the true and
living God, for the objects of thy present worship are idols, the works
of men's hands, devoid of breath, and deaf, and give nought but
destruction and eternal punishment to their worshippers.

"But if this be not thy pleasure, deal with me even as thou wilt: for I
am a servant of Christ, and neither flatteries nor torments shall
separate me from his love, as I told thee yesterday, swearing it by my
Master's name, and confirming the word with surest oath.  But, whereas
thou saidest that thou didst neither wilfully do wrong, nor didst fail
of the mark through ignorance, but after much laborious enquiry hadst
ascertained that it was truly a good thing to worship idols and to be
riveted to the pleasures of the passions--that thou art wilfully a
wrong doer, I may not say.  But this I know full well, and would have
thee know, O my father, that thou art surrounded with a dense mist of
ignorance, and, walking in darkness that may be felt, seest not even
one small glimmer of light.  Wherefore thou hast lost the right
pathway, and wanderest over terrible cliffs and chasms. Holding
darkness for light, and clinging to death as it were life, thou deemest
that thou art well advised, and hast reflected to good effect: but it
is not so, not so.  The objects of thy veneration are not gods but
statues of devils, charged with all their filthy power; nor is the
life, which thou pronouncest sweet and pleasant, and thinkest to be
full of delight and gladness of heart, such in kind: but the same is
abominable, according to the word of truth, and to be abhorred.  For
for a time it sweeteneth and tickleth the gullet, but afterwards it
maketh the risings more bitter than gall (as said my teacher), and is
sharper than any two-edged sword.

"How shall I describe to thee the evils of this life?  I will tell
them, and they shall be more in number than the sand.  For such life is
the fishhook of the devil, baited with beastly pleasure, whereby he
deceiveth and draggeth his prey into the depth of hell.  Whereas the
good things, promised by my Master, which thou callest 'the hope of
some other uncertain life,' are true and unchangeable; they know no
end, and are not subject to decay.  There is no language that can
declare the greatness of yonder glory and delight, of the joy
unspeakable, and the everlasting gladness.  As thou thyself seest, we
all die; and there is no man that shall live and not see death.  But
one day we shall all rise again, when our Lord Jesus Christ shall come,
the Son of God, in unspeakable glory and dread power, the only King of
kings, and Lord of lords; to whom every knee shall bow, of things in
heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.  Such terror
shall he then inspire that the very powers of heaven shall be shaken:
and before him there shall stand in fear thousand thousands, and ten
thousand times ten thousand of Angels and Archangels, and the whole
world shall be full of fear and terror.  For one of the Archangels
shall sound with the trump of God, and immediately the heavens shall be
rolled together as a scroll; and the earth shall be rent, and shall
give up the dead bodies of all men that ever were since the first man
Adam until that day.  And then shall all men that have died since the
beginning of the world in the twinkling of an eye stand alive before
the judgement seat of the immortal Lord, and every man shall give
account of his deeds.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun;
they that believed in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and ended this
present life in good works.  And how can I describe to thee the glory
that shall receive them at that day? For though I compare their
brightness and beauty to the light of the sun or to the brightest
lightning flash, yet should I fail to do justice to their brightness.
Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart
of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him, in
the kingdom of heaven, in the light which no man can approach unto, in
his unspeakable and unending glory.

"Such joys and such bliss shall the righteous obtain, but they that
have denied the only true God and not known their Maker and Creator,
but have worshipped foul devils, and rendered homage to dumb idols, and
loved the pleasures of this vain world, and, like swine, wallowed in
the mire of sinful lusts, and made their lives a headquarters for all
wickedness, shall stand naked and laid bare, downright ashamed and
downcast, pitiable in appearance and in fact, set forth for a reproach
to all creation.  All their life in word, deed and thought shall come
before their faces. Then, after this bitter disgrace and unbearable
reproach, shall they be sentenced to the unquenchable and light-less
fire of Gehenna, unto the outer darkness, the gnashing of teeth and the
venomous worm.  This is their portion, this their lot, in the which
they shall dwell together in punishment for endless ages, because they
rejected the good things offered them in promise, and, for the sake of
the pleasure of sin for a season, made choice of eternal punishment.
For these reasons--to obtain that unspeakable bliss, to enjoy that
ineffable glory, to equal the Angels in splendour, and to stand with
boldness before the good and most sweetest Lord, to escape those bitter
and unending punishments and that galling shame--time after time, were
it not worth men's while to sacrifice their riches and bodies, nay,
even their very lives?  Who is so cowardly, who so foolish, as not to
endure a thousand temporal deaths, to escape eternal and everlasting
death, and to inherit life, blissful and imperishable, and to shine in
the light of the blessed and life-giving Trinity?"


When the king heard these words, and saw the steadfastness, and
unbuxomness of his son, who yielded neither to flattery, nor
persuasion, nor threat, he marvelled indeed at the persuasiveness of
his speech and his irrefutable answers, and was convicted by his own
conscience secretly assuring him that Ioasaph spake truly and aright.
But he was dragged back by his evil habit and passions, which, from
long use, had taken firm grip on him, and held him in as with bit and
bridle, and suffered him not to behold the light of truth.  So he left
no stone unturned, as the saying is, and adhered to his old purpose,
determining to put into action the plot which he and Araches had
between them devised.  Said he to his son, "Although, child, thou
oughtest in all points simply to give in to my commands, yet, because
thou art stubborn and disobedient, and hast thus stiffly opposed me,
insisting that thine own opinion should prevail over all, bid we now
farewell to vain insistance, and let persuasion be now our policy.
And, forasmuch as Barlaam, thy deceiver, is here, my prisoner in iron
chains, I will make a great assembly, and summon all our people and
your Galileans, to one place; and I will charge heralds to proclaim
expressly that none of the Christians shall fear, but that all shall
muster without dread; and we will hold debate together.  If your side
win, then shall ye and your Barlaam gain your desires; but if ye lose,
then shall ye with right good will yield yourselves to my commands."

But this truly wise and prudent youth, forewarned, by the heavenly
vision sent him, of his father's mischief, replied, "The Lord's will be
done!  Be it according to thy command!  May our good God and Lord
himself vouchsafe that we wander not from the right way, for my soul
trusteth in him, and he shall be merciful unto me."  There and then did
the king command all, whether idolaters or Christians, to assemble.
Letters were despatched in all quarters: heralds proclaimed it in every
village town that no Christian need fear any secret surprise, but all
might come together without fear, as friends and kindred, for the
honest and unrestrained enquiry that should be held with their chief
and captain, Barlaam.  In like manner also he summoned the initiate and
the temple-keepers of his idols, and wise men of the Chaldeans and
Indians that were in all his kingdom, beside certain augurs, sorcerers
and seers, that they might get the better of the Christians.

Then were there gathered together multitudes that held his loathly
religion; but of the Christians was there found one only that came to
the help of the supposed Barlaam.  His name was Barachias.  For of the
Faithful, some were dead, having fallen victims to the fury of the
governors of the cities; and some were hiding in mountains and dens, in
dread of the terrors hanging over them; while others had feared the
threats of the king, and durst not adventure themselves into the light
of day, but were worshippers by night, serving Christ in secret, and in
no wise boldly confessing him.  So noble-hearted Barachias came alone
to the contest, to help and champion the truth.

The king sat down before all on a doom-stool high and exalted, and bade
his son sit beside him.  He, in reverence and awe of his father,
consented not thereto, but sat near him on the ground. There stood the
learned in the wisdom which God hath made foolish, whose unwise hearts
had gone astray, as saith the Apostle; for, "professing themselves to
be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible
God into an image made like to corruptible man, and four-footed beasts,
and creeping things."  These were assembled for to join argument with
the king's son and his fellows, and on them was fulfilled the proverb,
"Gazelle against lion."  The one made the most High his house of
defence, and his hope was under the shadow of his wings; while the
others trusted in the princes of this world, who are made of none
effect, and in the ruler of the darkness of this world, to whom they
have subjected themselves miserably and wretchedly.

Now came on Nachor, in the disguise of Barlaam; and the king's side
were like to reach their goal; but, once again, very different was the
ordering of the wise providence of God.  When all the company was come,
thus spake the king to his orators and philosophers, or rather to the
deceivers of his people, and fools at heart, "Behold now, there lieth
before you a contest, even the mightiest of contests; for one of two
things shall befall you. If ye establish our cause, and prove Barlaam
and his friends to be in error, ye shall have your fill of glory and
honour from us and all the senate, and shall be crowned with crowns of
victory. But if ye be worsted, in all ignominy ye shall pitiably
perish, and all your goods shall be given to the people, that your
memorial may be clean blotted out from off the earth.  Your bodies will
I give to be devoured by wild beasts and your children will I deliver
to perpetual slavery."

When the king had thus spoken, his son said, "A righteous doom hast
thou judged this day, O king.  The Lord establish this thy mind!  I too
have the same bidding for my teacher."  And, turning round to Nachor,
who was supposed to be Barlaam, he said, "Thou knowest, Barlaam, in
what splendour and luxury thou foundest me. With many a speech thou
persuadedst me to leave my father's laws and customs, and to serve an
unknown God, drawn by the promise of some unspeakable and eternal
blessings, to follow thy doctrines and to provoke to anger my father
and lord.  Now therefore consider that thou art weighed in the balance.
If thou overcome in the wrestling, and prove that the doctrines, which
thou hast taught me, be true, and show that they, that try a fall with
us, be in error, thou shalt be magnified as no man heretofore, and
shalt be entitled 'herald of truth'; and I will abide in thy doctrine
and serve Christ, even as thou didst preach, until my dying breath.
But if thou be worsted, by foul play or fair, and thus bring shame on
me to-day, speedily will I avenge me of mine injury; with mine own
hands will I quickly tear out thy heart and thy tongue, and throw them
with the residue of thy carcase to be meat for the dogs, that others
may be lessoned by thee not to cozen the sons of kings."

When Nachor heard these words, he was exceeding sorrowful and downcast,
seeing himself falling into the destruction that he had made for other,
and being drawn into the net that he had laid privily, and feeling the
sword entering into his own soul.  So he took counsel with himself, and
determined rather to take the side of the king's son, and make it to
prevail, that he might avoid the danger hanging over him, because the
prince was doubtless able to requite him, should he be found to provoke
him.  But this was all the work of divine providence that was wisely
establishing our cause by the mouth of our adversaries.  For when these
idol-priests and Nachor crossed words, like another Barlaam, who, of
old in the time of Balak, when purposing to curse Israel, loaded him
with manifold blessings, so did Nachor mightily resist these unwise and
unlearned wise men.

There sat the king upon his throne, his son beside him, as we have
said.  There beside him stood these unwise orators who had whetted
their tongues like a sharp sword, to destroy truth, and who (as saith
Esay) conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity. There were gathered
innumerable multitudes, come to view the contest and see which side
should carry oft the victory.  Then one of the orators, the most
eminent of all his fellows, said unto Nachor, "Art thou that Barlaam
which hath so shamelessly and audaciously blasphemed our gods, and hath
enmeshed our king's well beloved son in the net of error, and taught
him to serve the Crucified?"  Nachor answered, "I am he, I am Barlaam,
that, as thou sayest, doth set your gods at nought: but the king's son
have I not enmeshed in error; but rather from error have I delivered
him, and brought him to the true God."  The orator replied, "When the
great and marvellous men, who have discovered all knowledge of wisdom,
do call them high and immortal gods, and when all the kings and
honourable men upon earth do worship and adore them, how waggest thou
tongue against them, and, in brief, how durst thou be so mighty
brazen-faced?  What is the manner of thy proof that the Crucified is
God, and these be none?"  Then replied Nachor, disdaining even to
answer the speaker.  He beckoned with his hand to the multitude to keep
silence, and opening his mouth, like Balaam's ass, spake that which he
had not purposed to say, and thus addressed the king.


"By the providence of God, O king, came I into the world; and when I
contemplated heaven and earth and sea, the sun and moon, and the other
heavenly bodies, I was led to marvel at their fair order.  And, when I
beheld the world and all that therein is, how it is moved by law, I
understood that he who moveth and sustaineth it is God.  That which
moveth is ever stronger than that which is moved, and that which
sustaineth is stronger than that which is sustained.  Him therefore I
call God, who constructed all things and sustaineth them, without
beginning, without end, immortal, without want, above all passions, and
failings, such as anger, forgetfulness, ignorance, and the like. By him
all things consist.  He hath no need of sacrifice, or drink-offering,
or of any of the things that we see, but all men have need of him.

"Now that I have said thus much concerning God, according as he hath
granted me to speak concerning himself, come we now to the human race,
that we may know which of them partake of truth, and which of error.
It is manifiest to us, O king, that there are three races of men in
this world: those that are worshippers of them whom ye call gods, and
Jews, and Christians.  And again those who serve many gods are divided
into three races, Chaldeans, Greeks and Egyptians, for these are to the
other nations the leaders and teachers of the service and worship of
the gods whose name is legion.  Let us therefore see which of these
hold the truth, and which error.

"The Chaldeans, which knew not God, went astray after the elements and
began to worship the creature rather than their Creator, and they made
figures of these creatures and called them likenesses of heaven, and
earth and sea, of sun and moon, and of the other elements or
luminaries.  And they enclose them in temples, and worship them under
the title of gods, and guard them in safety lest they be stolen by
robbers.  They have not understood how that which guardeth is ever
greater than that which is guarded, and that the maker is greater than
the thing that is made; for, if the gods be unable to take care of
themselves, how can they take care of others?  Great then is the error
that the Chaldeans have erred in worshipping lifeless and useless
images.  And I am moved to wonder, O king, how they, who are called
philosophers among them, fail to understand that even the very elements
are corruptible.  But if the elements are corruptible and subject to
necessity, how are they gods?  And if the elements are not gods, how
are the images, created to their honour, gods?

"Come we then, O king, to the elements themselves, that we may prove
concerning them, that they are not gods, but corruptible and changeable
things, brought out of non-existence by the command of him who is God
indeed, who is incorruptible, and unchangeable, and invisible, but yet
himself seeth all things, and, as he willeth, changeth and altereth the
same.  What then must I say about the elements?

"They, who ween that the Heaven is a god, are in error.  For we see it
turning and mowing by law, and consisting of many parts, whence also it
is called Cosmos!  Now a 'Cosmos' is the handiwork of some artificer;
and that which is wrought by handiwork hath beginning and end.  And the
firmament is moved by law together with its luminaries.  The stars are
borne from Sign to Sign, each in his order and place: some rise, while
others set: and they run their journey according to fixed seasons, to
fulfil summer and winter, as it hath been ordained for them by God, nor
do they transgress their proper bounds, according to the inexorable law
of nature, in common with the heavenly firmament.  Whence it is evident
that the heaven is not a god, but only a work of God.

"They again that think that the Earth is a goddess have gone astray.
We behold it dishonoured, mastered, defiled and rendered useless by
mankind.  If it be baked by the sun, it becometh dead, for nothing
groweth from a potsherd.  And again, if it be soaked overmuch, it
rotteth, fruit and all.  It is trodden under foot of men and the
residue of the beasts: it is polluted with the blood of the murdered,
it is digged and made a grave for dead bodies. This being so, Earth can
in no wise be a goddess, but only the work of God for the use of men.

"They that think that Water is a god have gone astray.  It also hath
been made for the use of men.  It is under their lordship: it is
polluted, and perisheth: it is altered by boiling, by dyeing, by
congealment, or by being brought to the cleansing of all defilements.
Wherefore Water cannot be a god, but only the work of God.

"They that think that Fire is a god are in error.  It too was made for
the use of men.  It is subject to their lordship, being carried about
from place to place, for the seething and roasting of all manner of
meats, yea, and for the burning of dead corpses. Moreover, it perisheth
in divers ways, when it is quenched by mankind.  Wherefore Fire cannot
be a god, but only the work of God.

"They that think that the breath of the Winds is a goddess are in
error.  This, as is evident, is subject to another, and hath been
prepared by God, for the sake of mankind, for the carriage of ships,
and the conveyance of victuals, and for other uses of men, it riseth
and falleth according to the ordinance of God. Wherefore it is not to
be supposed that the breath of the Winds is a goddess, but only the
work of God.

"They that think that the Sun is a god are in error.  We see him moving
and turning by law, and passing from Sign to Sign, setting and rising,
to warm herbs and trees for the use of men, sharing power with the
other stars, being much less than the heaven, and falling into eclipse
and possessed of no sovranty of his own. Wherefore we may not consider
that the Sun is a god, but only the work of God.

"They that think that the Moon is a goddess are in error.  We behold
her moving and turning by law, and passing from Sign to Sign, setting
and rising for the use of men, lesser than the sun, waxing and waning,
suffering eclipse.  Wherefore we do not consider that the Moon is a
goddess, but only the work of God.

"They that think that Man is a god are in error.  We see man moving by
law, growing up, and waxing old, even against his will. Now he
rejoiceth, now he grieveth, requiring meat and drink and raiment.
Besides he is passionate, envious, lustful, fickle, and full of
failings: and he perisheth in many a way, by the elements, by wild
beasts, and by the death that ever awaiteth him.  So Man cannot be a
god, but only the work of God.  Great then is the error that the
Chaldeans have erred in following their own lusts; for they worship
corruptible elements and dead images, neither do they perceive that
they are making gods of these.

"Now come we to the Greeks that we may see whether they have any
understanding concerning God.  The Greeks, then, professing themselves
to be wise, fell into greater folly than the Chaldeans, alleging the
existence of many gods, some male, others female, creators of all
passions and sins of every kind. Wherefore the Greeks, O king,
introduced an absurd, foolish and ungodly fashion of talk, calling them
gods that were not, according to their own evil passions; that, having
these gods for advocates of their wickedness, they might commit
adultery, theft, murder and all manner of iniquity.  For if their gods
did so, how should they not themselves do the like?  Therefore from
these practices of error it came to pass that men suffered frequent
wars and slaughters and cruel captivities.  But if now we choose to
pass in review each one of these gods, what a strange sight shalt thou

"First and foremost they introduce the god whom they call Kronos, and
to him they sacrifice their own children, to him who had many sons by
Rhea, and in a fit of madness ate his own children.  And they say that
Zeus cut off his privy parts, and cast them into the sea, whence, as
fable telleth, was born Aphrodite.  So Zeus bound his own father, and
cast him into Tartarus.  Dost thou mark the delusion and lasciviousness
that they allege against their gods?  Is it possible then that one who
was prisoner and mutilated should be a god?  What folly?  What man in
his senses could admit it?

"Next they introduce Zeus, who, they say, became king of the gods, and
would take the shape of animals, that he might defile mortal women.
They show him transformed into a bull, for Europa; into gold, for
Danae; into a swan, for Leda; into a satyr, for Antiope; and into a
thunder-bolt, for Semele.  Then of these were born many children,
Dionysus, Zethus, Amphion, Herakles, Apollo, Artemis, Perseus, Castor,
Helen, Polydeukes, Minos, Rhadamanthos, Sarpedon, and the nine
daughters whom they call the Muses.

"In like manner they introduce the story of Ganymede.  And so befel it,
O king, that men imitated all these things, and became adulterers, and
defilers of themselves with mankind, and doers of other monstrous
deeds, in imitation of their god.  How then can an adulterer, one that
defileth himself by unnatural lust, a slayer of his father be a god?

"With Zeus also they represent one Hephaestus as a god, and him lame,
holding hammer and fire-tongs, and working as a coppersmith for hire.
So it appeareth that he is needy.  But it is impossible for one who is
lame and wanteth men's aid to be a God.

"After him, they represent as a god Hermes, a lusty fellow, a thief,
and a covetous, a sorcerer, bowlegged, and an interpreter of speech.
It is impossible for such an one to be a God.

"They also exhibit Asklepius as god, a physician, a maker of medicines,
a compounder of plasters for his livelihood (for he is a needy wight),
and in the end, they say that he was struck by Zeus with a
thunder-bolt, because of Tyndareus, son of Lakedaemon, and thus
perished.  Now if Asklepius, though a god, when struck by a
thunder-bolt, could not help himself, how can he help others?

"Ares is represented as a warlike god, emulous, and covetous of sheep
and other things.  But in the end they say he was taken in adultery
with Aphrodite by the child Eros and Hephaestus and was bound by them.
How then can the covetous, the warrior, the bondman and adulterer be a

"Dionysus they show as a god, who leadeth nightly orgies, and teacheth
drunkenness, and carrieth off his neighbours' wives, a madman and an
exile, finally slain by the Titans.  If then Dionysus was slain and
unable to help himself, nay, further was a madman, a drunkard, and
vagabond, how could he be a god?

"Herakles, too, is represented as drunken and mad, as slaying his own
children, then consuming with fire and thus dying.  How then could a
drunkard and slayer of his own children, burnt to death by fire, be a
god?  Or how can he help others who could not help himself?

"Apollo they represent as an emulous god, holding bow and quiver, and,
at times, harp and flute, and prophesying to men for pay. Soothly he is
needy: but one that is needy and emulous and a minstrel cannot be a god.

"Artemis, his sister, they represent as an huntress, with bow and
quiver, ranging the mountains alone, with her hounds, in chase of stag
or boar.  How can such an one, that is an huntress and a ranger with
hounds, be a goddess?

"Of Aphrodite, adulteress though she be, they say that she is herself a
goddess.  Once she had for leman Ares, once Anchises, once Adonis,
whose death she lamenteth, seeking her lost lover. They say that she
even descended into Hades to ransom Adonis from Persephone.  Didst
thou, O king, ever see madness greater than this?  They represent this
weeping and wailing adulteress as a goddess.

"Adonis they show as an hunter-god, violently killed by a boar-tusk,
and unable to help his own distress.  How then shall he take thought
for mankind, he the adulterer, the hunter who died a violent death?

"All such tales, and many like them, and many wicked tales more
shameful still, have the Greeks introduced, O king, concerning their
gods; tales, whereof it is unlawful to speak, or even to have them in
remembrance.  Hence men, taking occasion from their gods, wrought all
lawlessness, lasciviousness and ungodliness, polluting earth and air
with their horrible deeds.

"But the Egyptians, more fatuous and foolish than they, have erred
worse than any other nation.  They were not satisfied with the idols
worshipped by the Chaldeans and Greeks, but further introduced as gods
brute beasts of land and water, and herbs and trees, and were defiled
in all madness and lasciviousness worse than all people upon earth.
From the beginning they worshipped Isis, which had for her brother and
husband that Osiris which was slain by his brother Typhon.  And for
this reason Isis fled with Horus her son to Byblos in Syria, seeking
Osiris and bitterly wailing, until Horus was grown up and killed
Typhon.  Isis then was not able to help her own brother and husband;
nor had Osiris, who was slain by Typhon, power to succour himself; nor
had Typhon, who killed his brother and was himself destroyed by Horus
and Isis, any resource to save himself from death.  And yet, although
famous for all these misadventures, these be they that were considered
gods by the senseless Egyptians.

"The same people, not content therewith, nor with the rest of the idols
of the heathen, also introduced brute beasts as gods. Some of them
worshipped the sheep, some the goat, and others the calf and the hog;
while certain of them worshipped the raven, the kite, the vulture, and
the eagle.  Others again worshipped the crocodile, and some the cat and
dog, the wolf and ape, the dragon and serpent, and others the onion,
garlic and thorns, and every other creature.  And the poor fools do not
perceive, concerning these things, that they have no power at all.
Though they see their gods being devoured, burnt and killed by other
men, and rotting away, they cannot grasp the fact that they are no gods.

"Great, then, is the error that the Egyptians, the Chaldeans, and the
Greeks have erred in introducing such gods as these, and making images
thereof, and deifying dumb and senseless idols.  I marvel how, when
they behold their gods being sawn and chiselled by workmen's axes,
growing old and dissolving through lapse of time, and molten in the
pot, they never reflected concerning them that they are no gods.  For
when these skill not to work their own salvation, how can they take
care of mankind?  Nay, even the poets and philosophers among the
Chaldeans, Greeks and Egyptians, although by their poems and histories
they desired to glorify their people's gods, yet they rather revealed
and exposed their shame before all men.  If the body of a man,
consisting of many parts, loseth not any of its proper members, but,
having an unbroken union with all its members, is in harmony with
itself, how in the nature of God shall there be such warfare and
discord? For if the nature of the gods were one, then ought not one god
to persecute, slay or injure another.  But if the gods were persecuted
by other gods, and slain and plundered and killed with thunder-stones,
then is their nature no longer one, but their wills are divided, and
are all mischievous, so that not one among them is God.  So it is
manifest, O king, that all this history of the nature of the gods is

"Furthermore, how do the wise and eloquent among the Greeks fail to
perceive that law-givers themselves are judged by their own laws?  For
if their laws are just, then are their gods assuredly unjust, in that
they have offended against law by murders, sorceries, adulteries,
thefts and unnatural crimes.  But, if they did well in so doing, then
are their laws unjust, seeing that they have been framed in
condemnation of the gods.  But now the laws are good and just, because
they encourage good and forbid evil; whereas the deeds of their gods
offend against law.  Their gods then are offenders against law; and all
that introduce such gods as these are worthy of death and are ungodly.
If the stories of the gods be myths, then are the gods mere words: but
if the stories be natural, then are they that wrought or endured such
things no longer gods: if the stories be allegorical, then are the gods
myths and nothing else.  Therefore it hath been proven, O king, that
all these idols, belonging to many gods, are works of error and
destruction.  So it is not meet to call those gods that are seen, but
cannot see: but it is right to worship as God him who is unseen and is
the Maker of all mankind.

"Come we now, O king, to the Jews, that we may see what they also think
concerning God.  The Jews are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob, and went once to sojourn in Egypt.  From thence God brought them
out with a mighty hand and stretched out arm by Moses their lawgiver;
and with many miracles and signs made he known unto them his power.
But, like the rest, these proved ungrateful and unprofitable, and often
worshipped images of the heathen, and killed the prophets and righteous
men that were sent unto them.  Then, when it pleased the Son of God to
come on earth, they did shamefully entreat him and deliver him to
Pilate the Roman governor, and condemn him to the Cross, regardless of
his benefits and the countless miracles that he had worked amongst
them.  Wherefore by their own lawlessness they perished. For though to
this day they worship the One Omnipotent God, yet it is not according
unto knowledge; for they deny Christ the Son of God, and are like the
heathen, although they seem to approach the truth from which they have
estranged themselves.  So much for the Jews.

"As for the Christians, they trace their line from the Lord Jesus
Christ.  He is confessed to be the Son of the most high God, who came
down from heaven, by the Holy Ghost, for the salvation of mankind, and
was born of a pure Virgin, without seed of man, and without defilement,
and took flesh, and appeared among men, that he might recall them from
the error of worshipping many gods. When he had accomplished his
marvellous dispensation, of his own free will by a mighty dispensation
he tasted of death upon the Cross.  But after three days he came to
life again, and ascended into the heavens, the glory of whose coming
thou mayest learn, O king, by the reading of the holy Scripture, which
the Christians call the Gospel, shouldst thou meet therewith.  This
Jesus had twelve disciples, who, after his ascent into the heavens,
went out into all the kingdoms of the world, telling of his greatness.
Even so one of them visited our coasts, preaching the doctrine of
truth; whence they who still serve the righteousness of his preaching
are called Christians.  And these are they who, above all the nations
of the earth, have found the truth: for they acknowledge God the
Creator and Maker of all things in the only begotten Son, and in the
Holy Ghost, and other God than him they worship none.  They have the
commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ himself engraven on their hearts,
and these they observe, looking for the resurrection of the dead and
the life of the world to come.  They neither commit adultery nor
fornication; nor do they bear false witness, nor covet other men's
goods: they honour father and mother, and love their neighbours: they
give right judgement.  They do not unto other that which they would not
have done unto themselves.  They comfort such as wrong them, and make
friends of them: they labour to do good to their enemies: they are meek
and gentle.  They refrain themselves from all unlawful intercourse and
all uncleanness.  They despise not the widow, and grieve not the
orphan.  He that hath distributeth liberally to him that hath not.  If
they see a stranger, they bring him under their roof, and rejoice over
him, as it were their own brother: for they call themselves brethren,
not after the flesh, but after the spirit.  For Christ his sake they
are ready to lay down their lives: they keep his commandments
faithfully, living righteous and holy lives, as the Lord their God
commanded them, giving him thanks every hour, for meat and drink and
every blessing.  Verily, then, this is the way of truth which leadeth
its wayfarers unto the eternal kingdom promised by Christ in the life
to come.

"And that thou mayest know, O king, that I speak nought of myself, look
thou into the writings of the Christians, and thou shalt find that I
speak nothing but the truth.  Well, therefore, hath thy son understood
it, and rightly hath he been taught to serve the living God, and to be
saved for the world to come. Great and marvellous are the things spoken
and wrought by the Christians, because they speak not the words of men
but the words of God.  But all other nations are deceived, and deceive
themselves.  Walking in darkness they stagger one against another like
drunken men.  This is the end of my speech spoken unto thee, O king,
prompted by the truth that is in my mind.  Wherefore let thy foolish
wise-acres refrain from babbling idly against the Lord; for it is
profitable to you to worship God the Creator, and hearken to his
incorruptible sayings, in order that ye may escape judgement and
punishment, and be found partakers of deathless life."


When Nachor had fully delivered this oration, the king changed
countenance for very anger, but his orators and temple-keepers stood
speechless, having nothing but a few weak and rotten shreds of argument
in reply.  But the king's son rejoiced in spirit and with glad
countenance magnified the Lord, who had made a path, where no path was,
for them tat trusted in him, who by the mouth of a foeman and enemy was
establishing the truth; and the leader of error had proved a defender
of the right cause.

But the king, although furiously enraged with Nachor, was nevertheless
unable to do him any mischief, because of the proclamation already read
before all, wherein he urged him to plead without fear in behalf of the
Christians.  So he himself made answer in many words, and by dark
speeches hinted that Nachor should relax his resistance, and be worsted
by the argument of the orators.  But Nachor the more mightily
prevailed, tearing to pieces all their propositions and conclusions and
exposing the fallacy of their error.  After the debate had been
prolonged till well-nigh eventide, the king dismissed the assembly,
making as though he would renew the discussion on the morrow.

Then said Ioasaph to the king his father, "As at the beginning, Sir,
thou commandedst that the trial should be just, so too crown the end
thereof with justice, by doing one or other of these two things.
Either allow my teacher to tarry with me to-night, that we may take
counsel together as touching those things which we must say unto our
adversaries tomorrow: and do thou in turn take thine advisers unto
thee, and duly practise yourselves as ye will.  Or else deliver thy
counsellors to me this night, and take mine to thyself.  But if both
sides be with thee, mine advocate in tribulation and fear, but thine in
joy and refreshment, me thinketh it is not a fair trial, but a
tyrannical misuse of power, and a breaking of the covenants."  The
king, compelled to yield by the gracefulness of this speech took his
wise men and priests to himself, and delivered Nachor to his son, still
having hopes of him and thinking fit to keep his agreement.

The king's son, therefore, departed unto his own palace, like a
conqueror in the Olympic games, and with him went Nachor.  When alone,
the prince called him and said, "Think not that I am ignorant of thy
tale, for I wot, of a surety, that thou art not saintly Barlaam, but
Nachor the astrologer; and I marvel how it seemed thee good to act this
play, and to think that thou couldst so dull my sight at mid-day, that
I should mistake a wolf for a sheep.  But well sung is the proverb,
'The heart of a fool will conceive folly.'  So this your device and
counsel was stale and utterly senseless; but the work that thou hast
accomplished is full of wisdom.  Wherefore, rejoice, Nachor, and be
exceeding glad.  I render thee many thanks, that thou hast been to-day
advocate of the truth, and hast not polluted thy lips with foul words
and crafty simulation, but hast rather cleansed them from many
defilements, and thoroughly proven the error of the gods, as they be
wrongly called, and hast established the truth of the Christian faith.
I have been zealous to bring thee hither with me for two reasons; that
the king might not privily seize and punish thee, because thou spakest
not after his heart, and next that I might recompense thee for the
favour that thou hast done me to-day.  And what is my recompense for
thee?  To show thee how to turn from the evil and slippery road which
thou hast trodden until now, and to journey along the straight and
saving pathway which thou hast avoided, not in ignorance, but by wilful
wrongdoing, throwing thyself into depths and precipices of iniquity.
Understand then, Nachor, man of understanding as thou art, and be thou
zealous to gain Christ only, and the life that is hid with him, and
despise this fleeting and corruptible world. Thou shalt not live for
ever, but, being mortal, shalt depart hence ere long, even as all that
have been before thee.  And wo betide thee, if, with the heavy load of
sin on thy shoulders, thou depart thither where there is righteous
judgement and recompense for thy works, and cast it not off, while it
is easy to rid thyself thereof!"

Pricked at heart by these words, spake Nachor, "Well said!  Sir prince,
well said!  I do know the true and very God, by whom all things were
made, and I wot of the judgement to come, having heard thereof from
many texts of the Scriptures.  But evil habit and the insolence of the
ancient supplanter hath blinded the eyes of my heart, and shed a thick
darkness over my reason.  But now, at thy word, I will cast away the
veil of gloom, and run unto the light of the countenance of the Lord.
May be, he will have mercy on me, and will open a door of repentance to
his wicked and rebellious servant, even if it seem impossible to me
that my sins, which are heavier than the sand, be forgiven; sins,
which, wittingly or unwittingly, I have sinned from childhood upwards
to this my hoary age."

When the king's son heard these words, immediately he arose, and his
heart waxed warm, and he began to try to raise Nachor's courage which
was drooping to despair, and to confirm it in the faith of Christ,
saying, "Let no doubt about this, Nachor, find place in thy mind.  For
it is written, God is able of these very stones to raise up children
unto Abraham.  What meaneth this (as father Barlaam said) except that
men beyond hope, stained with all manner of wickedness, can be saved,
and become servants of Christ, who, in the exceeding greatness of his
love toward mankind, hath opened the gates of heaven to all that turn,
barring the way of salvation to none, and receiving with compassion
them that repent?  Wherefore to all that have entered the vineyard at
the first, third, sixth, ninth or eleventh hour there is apportioned
equal pay, as saith the holy Gospel: so that even if, until this
present time, thou hast waxen old in thy sins, yet if thou draw nigh
with a fervent heart, thou shalt gain the same rewards as they who have
laboured from their youth upwards."

With these and many other words did that saintly youth speak of
repentance to that aged sinner Nachor, promising him that Christ was
merciful, and pledging him forgiveness, and satisfying him that the
good God is alway ready to receive the penitent, and with these words,
as it were with ointments, did he mollify that ailing soul and give it
perfect health.  Nachor at once said unto him, "O prince, more noble in
soul even than in outward show, well instructed in these marvellous
mysteries, mayst thou continue in thy good confession until the end,
and may neither time nor tide ever pluck it out of thine heart!  For
myself, I will depart straightway in search of my salvation, and will
by penance pacify that God whom I have angered: for, except thou will
it, I shall see the king's face no more."  Then was the prince
exceeding glad, and joyfully heard his saying.  And he embraced and
kissed him affectionately; and, when he had prayed earnestly to God, he
sent him forth from the palace.

So Nachor stepped forth with a contrite heart, and went bounding into
the depths of the desert, like as doth an hart, and came to a den
belonging to a monk that had attained to the dignity of the priesthood,
and was hiding there for fear of the pressing danger. With a right warm
heart knelt Nachor down before him, and washed his feet with his tears,
like the harlot of old, and craved holy Baptism.  The priest, full of
heavenly grace, was passing glad, and did at once begin to instruct
him, as the custom is, and after many days, perfected him with baptism
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  And
Nachor abode with him, always repentant of his sins, and blessing that
God who never willeth that ally should perish, but receiveth all that
turn again unto him, and lovingly accepteth the penitent.

Now on the morrow when the king heard what had befallen Nachor, he
despaired of the hopes that he once had in him: and, seeing those wise
and foolish orators of his mightily discomfited, he was at his wits'
end.  Them he visited with terrible outrage and dishonour, scourging
some severely with whips of oxhide, besmearing their eyes with soot,
and casting them away from his presence.  He himself began to condemn
the impotence of the gods falsely so called, although as yet he refused
to look fully at the light of Christ, for the dense cloud of darkness,
that enveloped him, still bound the eyes of his heart.  Howbeit he no
longer honoured his temple-keepers, nor would he keep feasts, nor make
drink offerings to his idols, but his mind was tossed between two
opinions.  On the one hand, he poured scorn on the impotence of his
gods; on the other, he dreaded the strictness of the profession of the
Gospel, and was hardly to be torn from his evil ways, being completely
in slavery to the pleasures of the body, and like a captive drawn
towards sinful lusts, and being drunken, as saith Esay, but not with
wine, and led as it were with the bridle of evil habit.

While the king was thus wrestling with two opinions, his noble and
truly royal-hearted son dwelt at peace in his palace, proving to all
men by his deeds the nobility, order and steadfastness of his nature.
Theatres, horse-races, riding to hounds, and all the vain pleasures of
youth, the baits that take foolish souls, were reckoned by him as
nothing worth.  But he hung wholly on the commands of Christ for whom
he yearned, his heart being wounded with love divine.  For him he
longed, who alone is to be longed for, who is all sweetness and desire
and aspiration insatiable.

Now, when he came to think upon his teacher Barlaam, and as in a mirror
saw his life, his soul was enchanted with love, and he much occupied
himself a-thinking how he might see him; and ever carrying his sayings
in his heart, he was like the tree in the Psalms planted by the river
side, unceasingly watered, and bringing forth unto the Lords his fruits
in due season.  Many were the souls that he delivered from the snares
of the devil, and brought safely unto Christ; for many resorted unto
him, and profited by his wholesome words.  And not a few left the way
of error, and ran toward the word of salvation; while others bade a
long farewell to the concerns of the world, and came to the
wrestling-school of the monastic life.  He himself spent his time in
prayers and fastings, and would often offer up this prayer, "O Lord, my
Lord and King, in whom I have trusted, to whom I have fled and been
delivered from my error, render thou due recompense to Barlaam thy
servant, because when I was in error he pointed thee to me, who art the
way of truth and life.  Forbid me not to behold once more that angel in
bodily shape, of whom the world is not worthy, but grant me in his
company to finish the residue of my life, that, treading in the
footsteps of his conversation, I may be well-pleasing to thee my God
and Lord."


Now about the same time there was in that city a public assembly in
honour of the false gods, and the king must needs be present at the
feast, and grace it with lavish sacrifices.  But the temple-keepers,
seeing that he was careless and lukewarm with regard to their worship,
feared that he might neglect to be present in their temple, and that
they might lose the royal largess, and the rest of their revenues.  So
they arose, and withdrew to a cavern situate in the depth of the
desert, where dwelt a man who busied himself with magical arts, and was
a fervent champion of the error of idolatry.  Theudas was his name. Him
the king honoured exceedingly, and counted him his friend and teacher,
because, he said, it was by the guidance of his prophecies that his
kingdom ever prospered.  So these idol-priests, that were no priests,
came to him, and appealed to him for help, and made known to him the
evil opinion of their gods which was growing on their king, and all
that the king's son had done, and all the eloquent discourse that
Nachor had held against them.  And they said, "Except thou come thyself
to our succour, gone is all hope!  and lost is all the reverence of the
gods. Thou only art left to be our comfort in this misfortune, and upon
thee we fix our hopes."

So forth marched Theudas, in company with his Satanic host; and he
armed himself against the truth, invoking many of his evil spirits, who
knew how to lend ready aid for evil ends, and whom he alway used for
his ministers; and with these allies he came to the king.  When his
arrival had been announced to the king, and he had entered in, with a
palm-staff in his hand and a sheep-skin girt about his loins, the king
arose from his throne, and met and welcomed him; and, fetching a seat,
he made him to sit down beside him.  Then spake Theudas unto the king,
"O king, live for ever under the shelter of the favour of the most
puissant gods! I have heard that thou hast foughten a mighty fight with
the Galileans, and hast been crowned with right glorious diadems of
victory.  Wherefore I am come, that we may celebrate together a feast
of thanksgiving, and sacrifice to the immortal gods young men in the
bloom of youth and well-favoured damsels, and eke offer them an
hecatomb of bullocks and herds of beasts, that we may have them from
henceforth for our allies invincible, making plain our path of life
before us."

Hereto the king made answer, "We have not conquered, aged sir, we have
not conquered: nay, rather have we been defeated in open fight.  They
that were for us turned suddenly against us.  They found our host a
wild, half-drunken, feeble folk, and utterly overthrew it.  But now, if
there be with thee any power and strength to help our fallen religion
and set it up again, declare it."

Theudas replied in this wise, "Dread not, O king, the oppositions and
vain babblings of the Galileans: for of what worth against reasonable
and sensible men are the arguments that they use? These methinks shall
be more easily overthrown than a leaf shaken with the wind.  They shall
not endure to face me, far less join argument, or come to propositions
and oppositions with me.  But, in order that the coming contest and all
our wishes may prosper, and that our matters may run smoothly with the
stream, adorn thou with thy presence this public festival, and gird on
for thy strong sword the favour of the gods, and well befall thee!"

When the mighty in wickedness had thus boasted himself and thought of
mischief all the day long (let David bear his part in our chorus), and
when, as saith Esay, he had given his neighbour a drink of turbid
dregs, by the help of the evil spirits his comrades he made the king
utterly to forget the thoughts that inclined him to salvation, and
caused him again to cleave to his wonted ways.  Then the king
despatched letters hither and thither, that all men should gather
together to this loathsome assembly.  Then mightest thou have seen
multitudes streaming in, and bringing with them sheep and oxen and
divers kinds of beasts.

So when all were assembled, the king arose, with that deceiver Theudas,
and proceeded to the temple, bringing one hundred and twenty bullocks
and many animals for sacrifice.  And they celebrated their accursed
feast till the city resounded with the cry of the brute beasts and the
very air was polluted with the reek of sacrifice.  This done, when the
spirits of wickedness had greatly vaunted them over Theudas' victory,
and when the temple-keepers had rendered him thanks, the king went up
again unto his palace, and said milo Theudas, "Behold now, as thou
badest us, we have spared no pains over the splendour of this gathering
and the lavishness of the sacrifice.  Now, therefore, it is time for
thee to fulfil thy promises, and to deliver from the error of the
Christians my son that hath rebelled against our religion, and to
reconcile him to our gracious gods.  For, though I have left no device
and deed untried, yet have I found no remedy for the mischief, but I
perceive that his will is stronger than all. When I have dealt gently
and kindly with him, I have found that he payeth me no regard
whatsoever.  When I have treated him harshly and severely, I have seen
him driven the quicker to desperation.  To thy wisdom for the future I
leave the care of this calamity that hath befallen me.  If then I be
delivered from this trouble by thy means, and once more behold my son
worshipping my gods with me, and enjoying the gratification of this
life of pleasure, and this royal estate, I will set up unto thee a
golden statue, and make thee to receive divine honours from all men for
all time to come."

Hereupon Theudas, bowing an attentive ear to the evil one, and learning
from him the secret of his evil and deadly counsel, became himself the
devil's tongue and mouthpiece, and spake unto the king, "If thou wilt
get the better of thy son, and make his opposition vain, I have
discovered a plan, which he shall in no wise be able to resist, but his
hard and obdurate mind shall melt quicker than wax before the hottest
fire."  The king, seeing this foolish fellow swelling with empty pride,
immediately grew merry and joyful, hoping that the unbridled and
boastful tongue would get the mastery of that divinely instructed and
philosophic soul. "And what is the plan?" he asked.  Then began Theudas
to weave his web.  He made his villainy sharp as any razor and did
cunningly prepare his drugs.  Now behold this malicious device and
suggestion of the evil one. "Remove, O king," said he, "all thy son's
waiting men and servants far from him, and order that comely damsels,
of exceeding beauty, and bedizened to be the more winsome, be
continually with him and minister to him, and be his companions day and
night.  For myself, I will send him one of the spirits told off for
such duties, and I will thus kindle all the more fiercely the coals of
sensual desire.  After that he hath once only had intercourse with but
one of these women, if all go not as thou wilt, then disdain me for
ever, as unprofitable, and worthy not of honour but of dire punishment.
For there is nothing like the sight of women to allure and enchant the
minds of men.  Listen to a story that beareth witness to my word."


"A certain king was grieved and exceeding sad at heart, because that he
had no male issue, deeming this no small misfortune. While he was in
this condition, there was born to him a son, and the king's soul was
filled with joy thereat.  Then they that were learned amongst his
physicians told him that, if for the first twelve years the boy saw the
sun or fire, he should entirely lose his sight, for this was proved by
the condition of his eyes. Hearing this, the king, they say, caused a
little house, full of dark chambers, to be hewn out of the rock, and
therein enclosed his child together with the men that nursed him, and,
until the twelve years were past, never suffered him to see the least
ray of light.  After the fulfilment of the twelve years, the king
brought forth from his little house his son that had never seen a
single object, and ordered his waiting men to show the boy everything
after his kind; men in one place, women in another; elsewhere gold and
silver; in another place, pearls and precious stones, fine and
ornamental vestments, splendid chariots with horses from the royal
stables, with golden bridles and purple caparisons, mounted by armed
soldiers; also droves of oxen and flocks of sheep.  In brief, row after
row, they showed the boy everything.  Now, as he asked what each ox
these was called, the king's esquires and guards made known unto him
each by name: but, when he desired to learn what women were called, the
king's spearman, they say, wittily replied that they were called,
"Devils that deceive men."  But the boy's heart was smitten with the
love of these above all the rest.  So, when they had gone round
everywhere and brought him again unto the king, the king asked, which
of all these sights had pleased him most.  "What," answered the boy,
"but the Devils that deceive men?  Nothing that I have seen to-day hath
fired my heart with such love as these." The king was astonished at the
saying of the boy, to think how masterful a thing the love of women is.
Therefore think not to subdue thy son in any other way than this."

The king heard this tale gladly; and there were brought before him some
chosen damsels, young and exceeding beautiful.  These he bedizened with
dazzling ornaments and trained in all winsome ways: and then he turned
out of the palace all his son's squires and serving men, and set these
women in their stead.  These flocked around the prince, embraced him,
and provoked him to filthy wantonness, by their walk and talk inviting
him to dalliaunce.  Besides these, he had no man at whom to look, or
with whom to converse or break his fast, for these damsels were his
all.  Thus did the king.  But Theudas went home to his evil den, and,
dipping into his books that had virtue to work such magic, he called up
one of his wicked spirits and sent him forth, for to battle with the
soldier of the army of Christ.  But the wretch little knew what
laughter he should create against himself, and to what shame he should
be put, with the whole devilish troop under him.  So the evil spirit,
taking to him other spirits more wicked than himself, entered the
bed-chamber of this noble youth, and attacked him by kindling right
furiously the furnace of his flesh.  The evil one plied the bellows
from within, while the damsels, fair of face, but uncomely of soul,
supplied the evil fuel from without.

But Ioasaph's pure soul was disturbed to feel the touch of evil, and to
see the warlike host of strange thoughts that was charging down upon
him.  And he sought to find deliverance from this great mischief, and
to present himself pure unto Christ, and not defile in the mire of
sinful lust that holy apparel, wherein the grace of holy Baptism had
clothed him.  Immediately he set love against love, the divine against
the lascivious; and he called to remembrance the beauty and unspeakable
glory of Christ, the immortal bridegroom of virgin souls, and of that
bride chamber and marriage, from whence they that have stained their
wedding-garment are piteously cast out, bound hand and foot, into outer
darkness.  When he had thought thereon, and shed bitter tears, he smote
upon his breast, driving out evil thoughts, as good-for-nothing drones
from the hive.  When he rose, and spread out his hands unto heaven,
with fervent tears and groans calling upon God to help him, and he
said, "Lord Almighty, who alone art powerful and merciful, the hope of
the hopeless, and the help of the helpless, remember me thine
unprofitable servant at this hour, and look upon me with a gracious
countenance, and deliver my soul from the sword of the devil, and my
darling from the paw of the dog: suffer me not to fall into the hands
of mine enemies, and let not them that hate me triumph over me.  Leave
me not to be destroyed in iniquities, and to dishonour my body which I
swore to present unto thee chaste.  For for thee I yearn; thee I
worship, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, now and for
evermore, and world without end."  When he had added the Amen, he felt
heavenly comfort stealing over him from above, and the evil thoughts
withdrew, and he continued in prayer until early morn. Being ware of
the devices of the crafty foe, he began more and more to afflict his
body by abstinence from meat and drink, and by other severities,
standing in prayer all the night long, and reminding himself of his
covenants made with God, and picturing in his mind the glory of the
righteous yonder, and recounting to himself the full terrors of the
Gehenna wherewith the wicked are threatened; all this, that the enemy
might not find his soul lying fallow and untilled, and thus easily sow
therein the seeds of evil thoughts, and befoul the cleanness of his
mind.  So, when the enemy was in great straits on every side, and
altogether in despair of taking this noble youth, like a cunning knave,
he proceeded to another more subtil device, he that is for ever wicked,
and never stinteth to contrive mischief and hurt.  For he made furious
endeavour to carry out the orders that Theudas had given him, and once
more prepared his drugs, and on this wise.

The devil entered into the heart of one of the young damsels.  Of all
she was the most seemly, a king's daughter, carried away captive from
her own country, given to king Abenner as a great prize, and sent by
him, being of ripe beauty, to his own son, for to cause him to slip or
to trip.  Of her the deceiver took possession, and whispered in her ear
suggestions that plainly showed the wisdom and understanding of her
mind; for the evil one easily pursueth all devices that make for
wickedness.  Then the evil spirit attacked the king's son on the right
hand, and gave him a potion to make him love the maiden, by reason--so
he pretended--of her prudence and discretion and of her nobility and
royal blood that yet had not saved her from banishment and loss of
glory.  Moreover the devil secretly sowed in Ioasaph's heart thoughts
that he might recover her from idolatry, and make her a Christian.

But these were all stratagems of the wily serpent.  For the king's son,
being in this frame of mind, could see in himself no unclean thought or
passionate affection for the damsel, but only sympathy and pity for her
misfortune, and the ruin of her soul, and knew not that this matter was
a device of the devil; for verily he is darkness, and feigneth to be
light.  So he began to commune with the damsel, and talk with her over
the oracles of the knowledge of God, and said, "Lady, be thou
acquainted with the ever-living God, and perish not in the error of
these idols; but know thy Lord, and the Maker of all this world, and
thou shalt be happy, the bride of the immortal bridegroom."  While he
exhorted her with many such-like words, immediately the evil spirit
whispered to the girl that she should spread under his feet the nets of
deceit to drag his blessed soul into the pit of lust, as he once did to
our first parent by means of Eve, thus miserably banishing him, alas!
from Paradise and God, and making him to become subject to death in
lieu of bliss and everlasting life.

When the damsel heard Ioasaph's words fulfilled with all wisdom, being
without understanding, she understood them not, but made answer thus,
becoming the tongue and mouth-piece of the evil one: "If, sir, thou
takest thought for my salvation, and desirest to bring me to thy God,
and to save my poor soul, do thou also thyself grant me one request,
and straightway I will bid good-bye to my fathers' gods, and join thy
God, serving him until my last breath; and thou shalt receive
recompense for my salvation, and for my turning to God-ward."

"Lady, and what is thy request?" said he.  But she, setting her whole
self, figure, look and voice in a fashion to charm him, answered, "Be
thou joined with me in the bonds of wedlock, and I will joyfully follow
out thy behests."

"In vain, O Lady," said he, "hast thou made this hard request. For
though I earnestly care for thy salvation, and long to heave thee from
the depth of perdition, yet to pollute my body through unclean union is
grievous for me, and utterly impossible."

She, seeking to make the way straight and smooth for him, cried, "Why
dost thou, who are so wise, talk thus?  Wherefore speakest thou of it
as of defilement and shameful intercourse?  I am not unacquainted with
the Christian books: nay, I have met with many volumes in mine own
country, and have heard the discourses of many Christians.  What, is it
not written in one of your books, 'Marriage is honourable, and the bed
undefiled'?  and, 'It is better to marry than to burn'? and again,
'What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder'?  Do not your
Scriptures teach that all the righteous men of old, patriarchs and
prophets, were wedded?  Is it not written that the mighty Peter, whom
ye call Prince of the Apostles, was a married man?  Who, then, hath
persuaded thee to call this defilement?  Methink, sir, thou strayest
utterly away from the truth of your doctrines."

"Yea, Lady," said he, "all this is even as thou sayest.  It is
permitted to all who will to live in wedlock, but not to them that have
once made promise to Christ to be virgins.  For myself, ever since I
was cleansed in the laver of Holy Baptism from the sins of my youth and
ignorance, I have resolved to present myself pure to Christ, and how
shall I dare break my covenants with God?"

Again quoth the damsel, "Let this also be thy pleasure, as thou wilt.
But fulfil me one other small and trivial desire of mine, if thou art
in very truth minded for to save my soul.  Keep company with me this
one night only, and grant me to revel in thy beauty, and do thou in
turn take thy fill of my comeliness.  And I give thee my word, that,
with daybreak, I will become a Christian, and forsake all the worship
of my gods.  Not only shalt thou be pardoned for this dealing, but thou
shalt receive recompense from thy God because of my salvation, for thy
Scripture saith, 'There is joy in heaven over one sinner that
repenteth.'  If, therefore, there is joy in heaven over the conversion
of a sinner, shall not great recompense be due to the causer of that
conversion?  Yea, so it is: and dispute it not. Did not even the
Apostles, the leaders of your religion, do many a thing by
dispensation, at times transgressing a commandment on account of a
greater one?  Is not Paul said to have circumcised Timothy on account
of a greater dispensation?  And yet circumcision hath been reckoned by
Christians as unlawful, but yet he did not decline so to do.  And many
other such things shalt thou find in thy Scriptures.  If then in very
sooth, as thou sayest, thou seekest to save my soul, fulfil me this my
small desire.  And although I seek to be joined with thee in the full
estate of matrimony, yet, sith this is contrary to thy mind, I will
never constrain thee again, but will do everything that liketh thee.
For the rest, do not thou utterly abhor me; but hearken to me for the
nonce, and thou shalt deliver me from superstitious error, and thou
shalt do whatever seemeth thee good hereafter all the days of thy life."

Thus spake she; for indeed she had, for her adviser, one to whom she
lent a privy ear, and the pirate was well versed in Scripture, being
verily the creator and teacher of iniquity. Thus then she spake with
fawning words entangling him, right and left, around with her toils and
meshes, and she began to shake the citadel of his soul, and to slacken
his tension of purpose, and to soften the temper of his mind.  Then the
sower of these evil tares, and enemy of the righteous, when he saw the
young man's heart wavering, was full of joy, and straightway called to
the evil spirits that were with him, crying, "Look you how yond damsel
hasteth to bring to pass all that we were unable to accomplish!
Hither!  fall we now furiously upon him: for we shall find none other
season so favourable to perform the will of him that sent us."  Thus
spake this crafty spirit to his hounds: and straightway they lept on
that soldier of Christ, disquieting all the powers of his soul,
inspiring him with vehement love for the damsel, and kindling within
him the fiercest fire of lust.

When Ioasaph saw that he was greatly inflamed, and was being led
captive into sin, and perceived that his thoughts about the salvation
of the damsel and her conversion to God had been set like bait on hook
to hide the deed which she purposed, and were troubling him with the
suggestion of the enemy, that, for the salvation of a soul, it was not
sin for once to lie with a woman, then in the agony of his soul he drew
a deep and lamentable groan, and nerved himself to pray, and, with
streams of tears running down his cheeks, he cried aloud to him that is
able to save them that trust in him, saying, "On thee, O Lord, have I
set my trust: let me not be confounded for ever; neither let mine
enemies triumph over me, that hold by thy right hand.  But stand thou
by me at this hour, and according to thy will make straight my path,
that thy glorious and dreadful name may be glorified in me thy servant,
because thou art blessed for ever.  Amen."

Now when he had prayed in tears for many hours, and often bent the
knee, he sunk down upon the pavement.  After he had slumbered awhile,
he saw himself carried off by certain dread men, and passing through
places which he had never heretofore beheld.  He stood in a mighty
plain, all a-bloom with fresh and fragrant flowers, where he descried
all manner of plants of divers colours, charged with strange and
marvellous fruits, pleasant to the eye and inviting to the touch.  The
leaves of the trees rustled clearly in a gentle breeze, and, as they
shook, sent forth a gracious perfume that cloyed not the sense.
Thrones were set there, fashioned of the purest gold and costly stones,
throwing out never so bright a lustre, and radiant settles among
wondrous couches too beautiful to be described.  And beside them there
were running waters exceeding clear, and delightful to the eye.  When
these dread men had led him through this great and wondrous plain, they
brought him to a city that glistered with light unspeakable, whose
walls were of dazzling gold, with high uprear'd parapets, built of gems
such as man hath never seen. Ah!  who could describe the beauty and
brightness of that city? Light, ever shooting from above, filled all
her streets with bright rays; and winged squadrons, each of them itself
a light, dwelt in this city, making such melody as mortal ear ne'er
heard. And Ioasaph heard a voice crying, "This is the rest of the
righteous: this the gladness of them that have pleased the Lord." When
these dread men had carried him out from thence, they spake of taking
him back to earth.  But he, that had lost his heart to that scene of
joyaunce and heartsease, exclaimed, "Reave me not, reave me not, I pray
you, of this unspeakable joy, but grant me also to dwell in one corner
of this mighty city."  But they said, "It is impossible for thee to be
there now; but, with much toil and sweat, thou shalt come hither, if
thou constrain thyself."

Thus spake they; and again they crossed that mighty plain, and bare him
to regions of darkness and utter woe, where sorrow matched the
brightness which he had seen above.  There was darkness without a ray
of light, and utter gloom, and the whole place was full of tribulation
and trouble.  There blazed a glowing furnace of fire, and there crept
the worm of torment. Revengeful powers were set over the furnace, and
there were some that were burning piteously in the fire, and a voice
was heard, saying, "This is the place of sinners; this the punishment
for them that have defiled themselves by foul practices."  Hereupon
Ioasaph was carried thence by his guides; and, when he came to himself,
immediately he trembled from head to foot, and, like a river, his eyes
dropped tears, and all the comeliness of that wanton damsel and her
fellows was grown more loathsome to him than filth and rottenness.  And
as he mused in his heart on the memory of the visions, in longing for
the good and in terror of the evil, he lay on his bed utterly unable to

Then was the king informed of his son's sickness; and he came and asked
what ailed him.  And Ioasaph told him his vision, and said, "Wherefore
hast thou laid a net for my feet, and bowed down my soul?  If the Lord
had not helped me, my soul had well nigh dwelt in hell.  But how loving
is God unto Israel, even unto such as are of a true heart!  He hath
delivered me that am lowly from the midst of the dogs.  For I was sore
troubled and I fell on sleep: but God my Saviour from on high hath
visited me, and showed me what joy they lose that provoke him and to
what punishments they subject themselves.  And now, O my father, since
thou hast stopped thine ears not to hear the voice that will charm thee
to good, at least forbid me not to walk the straight road.  For this I
desire, this I long for, to forsake all, and reach that place, where
Barlaam the servant of Christ hath his dwelling, and with him to finish
what remaineth of my life.  But if thou keep me back by force, thou
shalt quickly see me die of grief and despair, and thou shalt be no
more called father, nor have me to thy son."


Again therefore the king was seized with despondency, and again he was
like to abjure his whole way of life; and with strange thoughts he went
again unto his own palace.  But the evil spirits, that had been sent
out by Theudas for to attack the young saint, returned to him, and,
lovers of leasing though they were, confessed their shameful defeat,
for they bare visible tokens of their defeat, upon their evil
countenance.  Said Theudas, "And be ye so weak and puny that ye cannot
get the better of one young stripling?"  Then did the evil spirits,
constrained, to their sorrow, by the might of God, bring to light the
truth, saying, "We cannot abide even the sight of the might of Christ,
and the symbol of his Passion, which they call the Cross.  For, when
that sign is made, immediately all we, the princes of the air, and the
rulers of the darkness of the world, are utterly routed and
discomfited, even before the sign is completed.  When we first fell
upon this youth, we vexed him sore; but when he called on Christ for
help, and armed him with the sign of the Cross, he routed us in angry
wise, and stablished himself in safety.  So incontinent we found a
weapon, wherewith our chief did once confront the first-made man and
prevailed against him.  And verily we should have made this young man's
hope vain; but again Christ was called on for help, and he consumed us
in the fire of his wrath from above, and put us to flight.  We have
determined to approach the prince no more." Thus, then, did the evil
spirits plainly make known unto Theudas all that was come to pass.

But the king, perplexed on every side, again summoned Theudas, and
said, "Most wisest of men, all that seemed good to thee have we
fulfilled, but have found no help therein.  But now, if thou hast any
device left, we will make trial thereof.  Peradventure I shall find
some escape from this evil."

Then did Theudas ask for a meeting with his son; and on the morrow the
king took him and went forth to visit the prince.  The king sat down
and provoked debate, upbraiding and chiding him for his disobedience
and stubbornness of mind.  When Ioasaph again maintained his ease, and
loudly declared that he valued nothing so much as the love of Christ,
Theudas came forward and said, "Wherefore, Ioasaph, dost thou despise
our immortal gods, that thou hast departed from their worship, and,
thus incensing thy father the king, art become hateful to all the
people?  Dost thou not owe thy life to the gods?  And did they not
present thee to the king in answer to his prayer, thus redeeming him
from the bondage of childlessness?"  While this Theudas, waxen old in
wickedness, was putting forth these many vain arguments and useless
propositions, and weaving words about the preaching of the Gospel,
desiring to turn it into mockery, and magnify idolatry, Ioasaph, the
son of the heavenly king, and citizen of that city which the Lord hath
builded and not man, waited a while and then said unto him,

"Give ear, thou abyss of error, blacker than the darkness that may be
felt, thou seed of Babylon, child of the building of the tower of
Chalane, whereby the world was confounded, foolish and pitiable dotard,
whose sins out-weigh the iniquity of the five cities that were
destroyed by fire and brimstone.  Why wouldest thou mock at the
preaching of salvation, whereby darkness hath been made light, the
wanderers have found the way, they that were lost in dire captivity
have been recalled.  Tell me whether is better?  To worship God
Almighty, with the only-begotten Son and the Holy Ghost, God increate
and immortal, the beginning and well-spring of good, whose power is
beyond compare, and his glory incomprehensible, before whom stand
thousand thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand of Angels and
heavenly hosts, and heaven and earth are full of his glow, by whom all
things were brought into being out of nothing, by whom everything is
upheld and sustained and ordered by his providence; or to serve deadly
devils and lifeless idols, whose glory and boast is in adultery and the
corrupting of boys, and other works of iniquity that have been recorded
concerning your gods in the books of your superstition? Have ye no
modesty, ye miserable men, fuel for unquenchable fire, true copy of the
Chaldean race, have ye no shame to worship dead images, the works of
men's hands?  Ye have carved stone and graven wood and called it God.
Next ye take the best bullock out of your folds, or (may be) some other
of your fairest beasts, and in your folly make sacrifice to your dead
divinity.  Your sacrifice is of more value than your idol; for the
image was fashioned by man, but the beast was created by God. How much
wiser is the unreasonable beast than thou the reasonable man?  For it
knoweth the hand that feedeth it, but thou knowest not that God by whom
thou wast created out of nothing, by whom thou livest, and art
preserved; and thou callest God that which thou sawest, but now,
smitten by steel, and burnt and moulded in the fire, and beaten with
hammers, which thou hast covered around with silver and gold, and
raised from the ground, and set on high.  Then, falling upon the earth,
thou liest baser than the base stone, worshipping not God but thine own
dead and lifeless handiwork.  Or rather, the idol hath no right to be
called even dead, for how can that have died which never lived?  Thou
shouldest invent some new name worthy of such madness.  Thy stone god
is broken asunder; thy potsherd god shattered; thy brazen god rusteth;
thy gold or silver god is melted down.  Aye, and thy gods are sold,
some for a paltry, others for a great price.  Not their divinity but
their material giveth them value.  But who buyeth God?  Who offereth
God for sale?  And how is that god that cannot move called God?  Seest
thou not that the god that standeth cannot sit, and the god that
sitteth cannot stand?

"Be ashamed, thou fool, and lay thine hand upon thy mouth, thou victim
of folly, that commendest such things as these.  Estranged from the
truth, thou hast been led astray by false images, fashioning statues
and attaching to the works of thine own hands the name of God.  O
wretched man, return to thy senses, and learn that thou art older than
the god made by thee.  This is downright madness.  Being a man, thou
hast persuaded thyself that thou canst make God.  How can this be?
Thou makest not God, but the likeness of a man, or of some beast, sans
tongue, sans throat, sans brains, sans inwards, so that it is the
similitude neither of a man, nor of a beast, but only a thing of no use
and sheer vanity.  Why therefore flatterest thou things that cannot
feel? Why sittest thou at the feet of things that cannot move and help
thee?  But for the skill of the mason, or timber-wright, or
hammer-smith, thou hadst not had a god.  Had there been no warders nigh
at hand, thou hadst lost thy god.  He, to whom many a populous city of
fools prayeth as God to guard it, the same hath suite of guards at hand
to save him from being stolen.  And if he be of silver or gold, he is
carefully guarded; but if of stone or clay or any other less costly
ware, he guardeth himself, for with you, no doubt, a god of clay is
stronger than one of gold.

"Do we not, then, well to laugh you to scorn, or rather to weep over
you, as men blind and without understanding?  Your deeds are deeds of
madness and not of piety.  Your man of war maketh to himself an image
after the similitude of a warrior, and calleth it Ares.  And the
lecher, making a symbol of his own soul, deifieth his vice and calleth
it Aphrodite.  Another, in honour of his own love of wine, fashioneth
an idol which he calleth Dionysus.  Likewise lovers of all other evil
things set up idols of their own lusts; for they name their lusts their
gods.  And therefore, before their altars, there are lascivious dances,
and strains of lewd songs and mad revelries.  Who could recount in
order their abominable doings?  Who could endure to defile his lips by
the repeating of their filthy communications?  But these are manifest
to all, even if we hold our peace.  These be thine objects of worship,
O Theudas, who art more senseless than thine idols.  Before these thou
biddest me fall down and worship.  This verily is the counsel of thine
iniquity and senseless mind.  But thou thyself shalt be like unto them,
and all such as put their trust in them.

"As for me, I will serve my God, and to him will I wholly sacrifice
myself, to God, the Creator and protector of all things through our
Lord Jesus Christ, my hope, by whom we have access unto the Father of
lights, in the Holy Ghost: by whom we have been redeemed from bitter
slavery by his blood.  For if he had not humbled himself so far as to
take the form of a servant, we had not received the adoption of sons.
But he humbled himself for our sake, not considering the Godhead a
thing to be grasped, but he remained that which he was, and took on
himself that which he was not, and conversed with men, and mounted the
Cross in his flesh, and was laid in the sepulchre by the space of three
days; he descended into hell, and brought out from thence them whom the
fierce prince of this world held prisoners, sold into bondage by sin.
What harm then befell him thereby that thou thinkest to make mock of
him?  Seest thou not yonder sun, into how many a barren and filthy
place he darteth his rays?  Upon how many a stinking corpse doth he
cast his eye?  Hath he therefore any stain of reproach?  Doth he not
dry and shrivel up filth and rottenness, and give light to dark places,
himself the while unharmed and incapable of receiving any defilement?
And what of fire?  Doth it not take iron, which is black and cold in
itself, and work it into white heat and harden it?  Doth it receive any
of the properties of the iron?  When the iron is smitten and beaten
with hammers is the fire any the worse, or doth it in any way suffer

"If, then, these created and corruptible things take no hurt from
contact with things commoner than themselves, with what reason dost
thou, O foolish and stony-hearted man, presume to mock at me for saying
that the Son, the Word of God, never departing from the Father's glory,
but remaining the same God, for the salvation of men hath taken upon
him the flesh of man, to the end that he may make men partakers of his
divine and intelligent nature and may lead our substance out of the
nether parts of hell, and honour it with heavenly glory; to the end
that by taking of our flesh he may ensnare and defeat the ruler of the
darkness of this world, and free our race from his tyranny.  Wherefore,
I tell thee, without suffering he met the suffering of the Cross,
presenting therein his two natures.  For, as man, he was crucified;
but, as God, he darkened the sun, shook the earth, and raised from
their graves many bodies that had fallen asleep. Again, as man, he
died; but, as God, after that he had harried hell, he rose again.
Wherefore also the prophet cried, Hell is in bitterness at having met
thee below: for it was put to bitter derision, supposing that it had
received a mere man, but finding God, and being made suddenly empty and
led captive.  Therefore, as God, he rose again, and ascended into
heaven, from whence he was never parted.  And our nature, so worthless
and senseless beyond everything, so graceless and dishonoured, hath he
made higher than all things, and established it upon a throne of
honour, with immortal honour shining round.  What harm therefore came
to God, the Word, that thou blasphemest without a blush?  Go to!
Better were it to make this confession, and to worship such a God, who
is good and a lover of mankind, who commandeth righteousness, enjoineth
continency, ordaineth chastity, teacheth mercy, giveth faith, preacheth
peace; who is called and is himself the very truth, the very love, the
very goodness.  Him were it not better to worship than thy gods of many
evil passions, of shameful names and shameful lives?  Woe unto you that
are more stony-hearted than the stones, and more senseless than the
senseless, sons of perdition, inheritors of darkness! But blessed am I,
and all Christian folk, having a good God and a lover of mankind!  They
that serve him, though, for a season in this life they endure evil, yet
shall they reap the immortal harvest of recompense in the kingdom of
unending and divine felicity."


Theudas said unto him, "Behold, it is evident that our religion was
instituted by many mighty wise men, and interpreters, marvellous in
virtue and learning; and all the kings and rulers of the earth have
received it as good and sure in every point. But that of the Galileans
was preached by some country peasants, poor and common men, a mere
handful, not exceeding twelve in number.  How then should one prefer
the preaching of these few obscure countrymen to the ordinance of the
many that are mighty and brilliantly wise?  What is the proof that your
teachers be right and the others wrong?"

Again the king's son made answer, "Belike, Theudas, thou art the ass of
the proverb, that heard but heeded not the harp; or rather the adder
that stoppeth her ears, that she may not hear the voice of the
charmers.  Well, therefore, spake the prophet concerning thee, If the
Ethiopian can change his skin, or the leopard his spots, then mayest
thou also do good, that hast been taught to do evil.  Thou fool and
blind, why doth not the force of truth bring thee to thy senses?  The
very fact that your foul idols are commended by many men of marvellous
wisdom, and established by kings, while the Gospel is preached by a few
men of no mark, sheweth the might of our religion and the weakness and
deadliness of your wicked doctrines.  Because your side, despite its
having wise advocates and mighty champions, is dying down, and waxing
weak, whilst our religion, though possessed of no human help, shineth
from afar brighter than the sun, and hath won the fulness of the world.
If it had been set up by orators and philosophers, and had had kings
for its succour, thou that art evil wouldst have found occasion to
declare that it was wholly of human power. But now, seeing, as thou
dost, that the holy Gospel, though composed but by common fishermen,
and persecuted by every tyrant, hath after this won the whole world for
its sound hath gone out into all lands, and its words into the ends of
the world--what canst thou say but that it is a divine and
unconquerable power establishing its own cause for the salvation of
mankind?  But what proof seekest thou, O fool, that thy prophets are
liars and ours true, better than the truths I have told thee?  Except
thy cause had been vain talk and falsehood, it could not, possessing
such human support as it did, have suffered loss and decline. For he
saith, 'I have seen the ungodly in great power, and exalted like the
cedars of Libanus: and I went by and lo, he was gone: and I sought him
but his place could nowhere be found.'

"Concerning you, the defenders of idolatry, were these words spoken by
the prophet.  For a very, very little while and your place shall not be
found: but, like as the smoke vanisheth, and like as wax melteth in
face of the fire, so shall ye fail.  But, as touching the divine wisdom
of the Gospel, thus saith the Lord, 'Heaven and earth shall pass away,
but my words shall not pass away.'  And again the Psalmist saith,
'Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth;
and the heavens are the work of thy hands.  They shall perish, but thou
endurest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment, and as a
vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed, but thou
art the same, and thy years shall not fail!'  And those divine
preachers of the coming of Christ, those wise fishers of the world,
whose nets drew all men from the depths of deceit, whom thou, in thy
vileness and bondage to sin, dost vilify, did by signs and wonders and
manifold powers shine as the sun in the world, giving sight to the
blind, hearing to the deaf, motion to the lame, and life to the dead.
Their shadows alone healed all the ailments of men.  The devils, whom
ye dread as gods, they not only cast forth from men's bodies, but even
drave out of the world itself by the sign of the cross, whereby they
destroyed all sorcery, and rendered witchcraft powerless.  And these
men, by curing every disease of man by the power of Christ, and
renewing all creation, are rightly admired as preachers of truth by all
men of sound mind.  But what hast thou thyself to say of thy wise men
and orators, whose wisdom God hath made foolish, the advocates of the
devil?  What worthy memorial have they bequeathed to the world?  Tell
me.  And what canst thou tell of them but unreason and shamefulness,
and vain craft that with glosing words concealeth the mire of their
unsavoury worship?

"Moreover such of your poets as have been able to soar a little above
this great madness have said, with more truth, that they, which are
called gods, were men; and because certain of them had been rulers of
regions and cities, and others had done something of no great account
in their lifetime, men were so deceived as to call them gods.  It
standeth on record that the man Seruch was the first to bring in the
use of images.  For it is said that in the old times he honoured those
who had achieved some memorable deed of courage, friendship, or any
other such virtue with statues and pillars.  But after generations
forgat the intention of their ancestors: and, whereas it was only for
remembrance sake that they had set up statues and pillars to the doers
of noble deeds, now they were, little by little, led astray through the
working of the prince of evil, the devil, and treated as immortal gods
men of like passions and corruptible as themselves and further devised
sacrifices and drink-offerings for them,--the devils, thou mayest know,
taking up their abode in these images and diverting to themselves these
honours and sacrifices. Accordingly these devils persuade men, who
refuse to have God in their knowledge, to consider them as gods for two
reasons: first, that they may be glorified by this title (for they are
puffed up with arrogance, and delight to be honoured as gods) next,
that they may drag their poor dupes into the unquenchable fire prepared
for themselves.  Hence they teach men all iniquity and filthiness,
seeing that they have once subjected themselves to their deceit.  So
when men had arrived at this pinnacle of evil, they, being darkened,
set up every man an idol of his own vice and his own lust, and call it
a god.  They were abominable in their error, more abominable in the
absurdity of the objects that they chose to worship, until the Lord
came, and of his tender mercy redeemed us that trust in him from this
wicked and deadly error, and taught men the true knowledge of God.  For
there is no salvation except in him, and there is none other God,
neither in heaven, nor in earth, except him only, the Maker of all, who
moveth all things by the word of his power: for he saith, 'By the word
of the Lord were the heavens made stedfast, and all the power of them
by the breath of his mouth,' and, 'All things were made by him, and
without him was not anything made that was made.'"

When Theudas had heard these sayings, and seen that the word was full
of divine wisdom, like one thunder-struck, he was smitten dumb.  Now
late in time, and with difficulty, came he to understand his own
misery, for the word of salvation had touched the darkened vision of
his heart, and there fell upon him deep remorse for his past sins.  He
renounced the error of his idols, and ran towards the light of
godliness, and from henceforth departed from his miserable life, and
made himself as bitter an enemy of vile affections and sorceries as he
before had pledged himself their devoted friend, For at this season he
stood up in the midst of the assembly, and cried with a loud voice,
saying, "Verily, O king, the Spirit of God dwelleth in thy son.
Verily, we are defeated, and have no further apology, and have no
strength to face the words that he hath uttered.  Mighty therefore, in
sooth, is the God of the Christians: mighty is their faith: mighty are
their mysteries."

Then he turned him round toward the king's son and said, "Tell me now,
thou man, whose soul is enlightened, will Christ accept me, if I
forsake my evil deeds and turn to him?"  "Yea," said that preacher of
truth; "Yea, he receiveth thee and all that turn to him.  And he not
only receiveth thee, but he goeth out to meet thee returning out of the
way of iniquity, as though it were a son returning from a far country.
And he falleth on his neck and kisseth him, and he strippeth him of the
shameful robe of sin, and putteth on him a cloak of brightest glory,
making mystic gladness for the powers on high, keeping feast for the
return of the lost sheep.  The Lord himself saith, 'There is exceeding
great joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth': and again, 'I am
not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.' And he saith
also by the Prophet, 'As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in
the death of the sinner, and the ungodly, but that he should turn from
his way and live.  Turn ye, turn ye from your evil way.  And why will
ye die, O house of Israel?'  For the wickedness of the wicked shall not
hurt him in the day that he turneth from his wickedness, if he do
righteousness and walk in the statutes of life, he shall surely live;
he shall not die. None of his sins which he hath committed shall be
remembered against him.  Because he hath done the decree of
righteousness, he shall live thereby.  And again he crieth by the mouth
of another prophet, 'Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of
your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil: learn to do well.
Come now, and let us reason together: though your sins be as scarlet, I
will make them white as snow; though they be red like crimson, I will
make them white as wool.'  Such therefore being the promises made by
God to them that turn to him, tarry not, O thou man, nor make delay:
but draw nigh to Christ, our loving God, and be enlightened, and thy
face shall not be ashamed.  For as soon as thou goest down into the
laver of Holy Baptism, all the defilement of the old man, and all the
burden of thy many sins, is buried in the water, and passeth into
nothingness, and thou comest up from thence a new man, pure from all
pollution, with no spot or wrinkle of sin upon thee; and thenceforward
it is in thy power ever to keep for thyself the purity that thou
gainest hereby through the tender mercy of our God."

When Theudas had been thus instructed, he went out immediately and gat
him to his evil den, and took his magical books, and, because they were
the beginnings of all evil, and the storehouses of devilish mysteries,
burnt them with fire.  And he betook himself to the cave of that same
holy man, to whom Nachor also had resorted, and told him that which had
befallen him, casting dust upon his head, and groaning deeply, and
watering himself with his tears, and telling the aged man the full tale
of his loathly deeds.  He, well skilled in the saving of a soul and the
snatching it from the jaw of the wily serpent, charmed away his sorrow
with words of salvation, and pledged him forgiveness and promised him a
merciful Judge.  Then, after he had instructed and charged him to fast
many days, he cleansed him in Holy Baptism.  And all the days of his
life Theudas heartily repented him of his misdeeds, with tears and
sighs seeking the favour of God.


As for the king, when things fortuned thus, he was completely
bewildered, and plainly showed his sore vexation and tumult of soul.
So again he called all his senators together, and considered what means
were still his to deal with his son.  Many men put forward many
counsels, but that Araches, of whom we have spoken, the most famous in
his office, and first of his councillors, spake unto the king, saying,
"What was there to be done with thy son, O king, that we have not done,
to induce him to follow our doctrines and serve our gods?  But, as I
perceive, we aim at the impossible.  By nature, or, it may be, by
chance, he is contentious and implacable.  Now, if it be thy purpose to
deliver him to torture and punishment, thou shalt do contrary to
nature, and be no more called a father; and thou shalt lose thy son,
willing, as he is, to lay down his life for Christ his sake. This,
then, alone remaineth: to divide thy kingdom with him, and entrust him
with the dominion of that part which falleth to his lot; and if the
course of events, and the care of the business of life, draw him to
embrace our aim and way, then the thing shall be according to our
purpose; for habits, firmly established in the soul, are difficult to
obliterate, and yield quicker to persuasion than to violence.  But if
he shall continue in the Christian religion, yet shall it be some
solace to time in thy distress, that thou hast not lost thy son."  Thus
spake Araches, and all bare witness that they welcomed his proposal.
Therefore also the king agreed that this matter should thus be settled.
So at day-break he called his son, and said unto him, "This is now my
latest word with thee, my son.  Unless thou be obedient thereto, and in
this way heal my heart, know thou well, that I shall no longer spare
thee."  When his son enquired the meaning of his word, he said, "Since,
after all my labours, I find thee in all points unyielding to the
persuasion of my words, come now; I will divide with thee my kingdom,
and make thee king over the half-part thereof; and thou shalt be free,
from now, to go whatsoever way thou wilt without fear."  He, though his
saintly soul perceived that the king was casting yet another snare to
trip his purpose, resolved to obey, in order that he might escape his
hands, and take the journey that he desired.  So he answered and said,
"I have indeed been longing to go in quest of that man of God that
pointed out to me the way of salvation, and, bidding farewell to
everything, to pass the rest of my life in his company.  But, father,
since thou sufferest me not to fulfil my heart's desire, I will obey
thee herein: for where there is no clear danger of perdition and
estrangement from God, it is right to obey one's father."

The king was filled with exceeding great joy, and divided all the
country under his sovranty into two parts, and appointed his son king,
and adorned him with the diadem, and arrayed him in all the splendour
of kingship, and sent him forth with a magnificent body-guard into the
kingdom set apart for him.  And he bade his rulers and governors and
satraps, every one that would, to depart together with his son the
king.  And he set apart a mighty and populous city for his kingdom, and
gave him everything that befitted a king.  Thus then did Ioasaph
receive the power of kingship; and when he had reached that city, where
royal state had been prepared for him, on every tower of his city he
set up the sign of his Lord's passion, the venerable Cross of Christ.
And in person he besieged the idolatrous temples and altars, and razed
them to the ground, and uncovered their foundations, leaving no trace
of their ungodliness.

And in the middle of the city he upreared for Christ, his Lord, a
temple mighty and passing fair, and he bade the people there often to
resort thither, and offer their worship to God by the veneration of the
Cross, himself standing in the midst in the presence of all, and
earnestly giving himself unto prayer.  And as many as were under his
hand he admonished and exhorted, and did everything to tear them away
from superstitious error, and to unite them to Christ; and he pointed
out the deceits of idolatry, and proclaimed the preaching of the
Gospel, and recounted the things concerning the condescension of God,
the Word, and preached the marvels of his coming, and made known his
sufferings on the Cross whereby we were saved, and the power of his
Resurrection, and his Ascension into heaven.  Moreover he declared the
terrible day of his dreadful second coming, and the bliss laid up for
the righteous, and the punishments awaiting sinners.  All these truths
he expounded with kindly mien and gentle words.  For he was not minded
to be reverenced and feared for the grandeur of his power and kingly
magnificence, but rather for his humility and meekness.  Hereby also he
more easily drew all men unto himself, being verily marvellous in his
acts, and equitable and modest in spirit.  Wherefore his power, being
strongly reinforced by his gentleness and equity, caused all men to
yield themselves to his words.

What wonder, then, if, in a little while, all his subjects, in city or
country, were so well initiated into his inspired teachings, that they
renounced the errors of their many gods, and broke away from idolatrous
drink-offerings and abominations, and were joined to the true faith and
were created anew by his doctrine, and added to the household of
Christ?  And all, who for fear of Ioasaph's father had been shut up in
mountains and dens, priests and monks, and some few bishops, came forth
from their hiding places and resorted to him gladly.  He himself would
meet and receive with honour those who had fallen upon such tribulation
and distress, for Christ his sake, and bring them to his own palace,
washing their feet, and cleansing their matted hair, and ministering to
them in every way.  Then he dedicated his newly built church, and
therein appointed for chief-priest one of the bishops that had suffered
much, and had lost his own see, on account of his faith in Christ, an
holy man, and learned in the canons of the Church, whose heart was
fulfilled with heavenly zeal.  And forthwith, when he had made ready a
rude font, he bade baptize them that were turning to Christ.  And so
they were baptized, first the rulers and the men in authority; next,
the soldiers on service and the rest of the multitude.  And they that
were baptized not only received health in their souls, but indeed as
many as were afflicted with bodily ailments and imperfections cast off
all their trouble, and came up from the holy font pure in soul, and
sound in body, reaping an harvest of health for soul and body alike.

Wherefore also from all quarters multitudes flocked to King Ioasaph,
desirous to be instructed by him in godliness.  And all idolatrous
images were utterly demolished, and all their wealth and temple
treasure was taken from them, and in their stead holy courts were built
for God.  For these King Ioasaph dedicated the riches and costly
vestments and treasures of the idolatrous temples, thereby making this
worthless and superfluous material fit for service, and profitable.
And the foul fiends that dwelt in their altars and temples were
rigorously chased away and put to flight; and these, in the hearing of
many, loudly lamented the misfortune that had overtaken them.  And all
the region round about was freed from their dark deceit, and
illuminated with the light of the blameless Christian faith.

And, soothly, the king was a good example to all; and he inflamed and
kindled the hearts of many to be of the same mind with himself.  For
such is the nature of authority.  Its subjects alway conform to its
likeness, and are wont to love the same objects, and to practise the
pursuits which they perceive to be pleasing to their governor.  Hence,
God helping, religion grew and increased amongst them.  The king was
wholly dependent on the commandments of Christ and on his love, being a
steward of the word of grace, and pilot to the souls of many, bringing
them to safe anchorage in the haven of God.  For he knew that this,
afore all things, is the work of a king, to teach men to fear God and
keep righteousness.  Thus did he, training himself to be king over his
own passions, and, like a good pilot, keeping a firm hold of the helm
of good government for his subjects.  For this is the end of good
kingship, to be king and lord over pleasure--which end also he
achieved.  Of the nobility of his ancestors, or the royal splendour
around him, he was in no wise proud, knowing that we all have one
common forefather, made of clay, and that, whether rich or poor, we are
all of the same moulding.  He ever abased his soul in deepest humility,
and thought on the blessedness of the world to come, and considered
himself a stranger and pilgrim in this world, but realised that that
was his real treasure which he should win after his departure hence.
Now, since all went well with him, and since he had delivered all the
people from their ancient and ancestral error, and made them servants
of him who redeemed us from evil servitude by his own precious blood,
he turned his thoughts to his next task, the virtue of almsgiving.
Temperance and righteousness he had already attained; he wore on his
brow the crown of temperance, and wrapped about him the purple of
righteousness.  He called to mind the uncertainty of earthly riches,
how they resemble the running of river waters.  Therefore made he haste
to lay up his treasure where neither 'moth nor rust doth corrupt and
where thieves do not break through nor steal.'  So he began to
distribute all his money to the poor, sparing naught thereof.  He knew
that the possessor of great authority is bound to imitate the giver of
that authority, according to his ability; and herein he shall best
imitate God, if he hold nothing in higher honour than mercy.  Before
all gold and precious stone he stored up for himself the treasure of
almsgiving; treasure, which here gladdeneth the heart by the hope of
enjoyment to come, and there delighteth it with the taste of the
hoped-for bliss.  After this he searched the prisons, and sought out
the captives in mines, or debtors in the grip of their creditors; and
by generous largesses to all he proved a father to all, orphans, and
widows, and beggars, a loving and good father, for he deemed that by
bestowing blessings on these he won a blessing for himself. Being
endowed with spiritual riches, and, in sooth, a perfect king, he gave
liberally to all that were in need, for he hoped to receive infinitely
more, when the time should come for the recompense of his works.

Now, in little while, the fame of Ioasaph was blazoned abroad; and led,
as it were by the scent of sweet ointment, all men flocked to him
daily, casting off their poverty of soul and body: and his name was on
every man's lips.  It was not fear and oppression that drew the people
to him, but desire and heart-felt love, which by God's blessing and the
king's fair life had been planted in their hearts.

Then, too, did his father's subjects begin to come to him, and, laying
aside all error, received the Gospel of truth.  And the house of
Ioasaph grew and waxed strong, but the house of Abenner waned and grew
weak, even as the Book of the Kings declareth concerning David and Saul.


When king Abenner saw this, though late and loth, he came to his
senses, and renounced his false gods with all their impotence and vain
deceit.  Again he called an assembly of his chief counsellors, and
brought to light the thoughts of his heart.  As they confirmed his
words (for the day-spring from on high had visited them, the Saviour
who had heard the prayer of his servant Ioasaph), it pleased the king
to signify the same to his son. Therefore on the morrow he wrote a
letter to Ioasaph, running thus:

"King Abenner to his well-beloved son Ioasaph, greeting.  Dearest son,
many thoughts have been stealing into my soul, and rule it with a rod
of iron.  I see our state vanishing, like as smoke vanisheth, but thy
religion shining brighter than the sun; and I have come to my senses,
and know that the words which thou hast ever spoken unto me are true,
and that a thick cloud of sin and wickedness did then cover us, so that
we were unable to discern the truth, and recognize the Creator of all.
Nay, but we shut our eyes, and would not behold the light which thou
didst enkindle more brightly for us.  Much evil did we do unto thee,
and many of the Christians, alas! did we destroy; who, strengthened by
the power that aided them, finally triumphed over our cruelty.  But now
we have removed that dense mist from our eyes, and see some small ray
of truth, and there cometh on us repentance of our misdeeds.  But a new
cloud of despair would overshadow it; despair at the multitude of mine
offences, because I am now abominable and unacceptable to Christ, being
a rebel and a foeman unto him.  What, then, sayest thou, dearest son,
hereto? Make known to me thine answer, and teach me that am thy father
what I should do, and lead me to the knowledge of my true weal."

When Ioasaph had received this letter, and read the words therein, his
soul was filled with mingled joy and amazement. Forthwith he entered
his closet, and falling on his face before the image of his Master,
watered the ground with his tears, giving thanks to his Lord and
confessing him, and tuning lips of exultation to sing an hymn of
praise, saying:

"I will magnify thee, O God, my King, and I will praise thy name for
ever and ever.  Great art thou O Lord, and marvellous-worthy to be
praised, and of thy greatness there is no end.  Who can express thy
noble acts, or show forth all thy praise, who hast turned the hard rock
into a standing water and the flint-stone into a springing well?  For
behold this my father's flinty and more than granite heart is at thy
will melted as wax; because thou art able of these stones to raise up
children unto Abraham. I thank thee, Lord, thou lover of men, and God
of pity, that thou hast been, and art, long-suffering towards our
offences, and hast suffered us until now to go unpunished.  Long have
we deserved to be cast away from thy face, and made a by-word on earth,
as were the sinful inhabiters of the five cities, consumed with fire
and brimstone; but thy marvellous long-suffering hath dealt graciously
with us.  I give thanks unto thee, vile and unworthy though I be, and
insufficient of myself to glorify thy greatness. And, by thine infinite
compassions, I pray thee, Lord Jesu Christ, Son and Word of the
invisible Father, who madest all things by thy word, and sustainest
them by thy will; who hast delivered us thine unworthy servants from
the bondage of the arch-fiend our foe: thou that wast stretched upon
the Rood, and didst bind the strong man, and award everlasting freedom
to them that lay bound in his fetters: do thou now also stretch forth
thine invisible and almighty hand, and, at the last, free thy servant
my father from that cruel bondage of the devil.  Show him full clearly
that thou art the ever living true God, and only King, eternal and
immortal.  Behold, O Lord, with favourable and kindly eye, the
contrition of my heart; and, according to thine unerring promise, be
with me that acknowledge and confess thee the Maker and protector of
all creation.  Let there be a well of water within me springing up, and
let utterance be given unto me that I may open my mouth, and a mind
well fixed in thee, the chief corner-stone, that I, thine unprofitable
servant, may be enabled to preach to my father, as is right, the
mystery of thine Incarnation, and by thy power deliver him from the
vain deceit of wicked devils, and bring him unto thee his God and Lord,
who willest not the death of us sinners, but waitest for us to return
and repent, because thou art glorified for ever and ever.  Amen."

When he had thus prayed, and received fulness of assurance that he
should not miscarry in his desire, he took courage by the tender mercy
of Christ, and arose thence, with his royal bodyguard, and arrived at
his father's palace.  When it was told unto his father, "Thy son is
come," he went forth straightway for to meet him, and embraced and
kissed him lovingly, and made exceeding great joy, and held a general
feast in honour of the coming of his son.  And afterward, they two were
closeted together.

But how tell of all that the son spake with his father, and of all the
wisdom of his speech?  And what was that speech but the words put into
his mouth by the Holy Ghost, by whom the fishermen enclosed the whole
world in their nets for Christ and the unlearned are found wiser than
the wise.  This Holy Spirit's grace and wisdom taught Ioasaph to speak
with the king his father, enlightening him with the light of knowledge.
Before now he had bestowed much labour to drag his father from
superstitious error, leaving nothing unsaid and nothing undone to win
him over, but he seemed to be twanging on a broken string, and speaking
to deaf ears.  But when the Lord looked upon the lowliness of his
servant Ioasaph, and, in answer to his prayer, opened the closed gates
of his father's heart (for it is said, he will fulfil the desire of
them that fear him, and will hear their cry), then the king easily
understood the things that were spoken; so that, when a convenient
season came, through the grace of Christ, this son triumphed over those
evil spirits that had lorded it over the soul of his father, and clean
freed him from their error, and made the word of salvation clearly
known unto him, and joined him to the living God on high.

Ioasaph took up his tale from the beginning, and expounded to his
father great and marvellous things which he knew not, which he had
never heard with the ears of his heart; and he told him many weighty
sayings concerning God, and showed him righteousness: to wit that there
is no other God in heaven above, nor in the earth beneath, except the
one God, revealed in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  And he
made known unto him many mysteries of divine knowledge; and amongst
them he told him the history of creation, visible and invisible, how
the Creator brought every thing out of nothing, and how he formed man
after his own image and likeness and endowed him with power of
free-will, and gave him Paradise to his enjoyment, charging him only to
abstain from one thing, the tree of knowledge; and how, when man had
broken his commandment, he banished him out of Paradise; and how man,
fallen from union with God, stumbled into these manifold errors,
becoming the slave of sins, and subject unto death through the tyranny
of the devil, who, having once taken men captive, hath made them
utterly forget their Lord and God, and hath persuaded them to serve him
instead, by the abominable worshipping of idols.  So our Maker, moved
with compassion, through the good-will of the Father, and the
co-operation of the Holy Ghost, was pleased, for our sakes, to be born
of an holy Virgin, Mary, the mother of God, and he, that cannot suffer,
was acquainted with sufferings.  On the third day he rose again from
the dead, and redeemed us from our first penalty, and restored to us
our first glory.  When he ascended into the heavens, from whence he had
descended, he raised us up together with him; and thence, we believe
that he shall come again, to raise up his own handiwork; and he will
recompense every man according to his works. Moreover Ioasaph
instructed his father concerning the kingdom of heaven that awaiteth
them that are worthy thereof, and the joy unspeakable.  Thereto he
added the torment in store for the wicked, the unquenchable fire, the
outer darkness, the undying worm and whatsoever other punishment the
servants of sin have laid up in store for themselves.

All these things set he forth in many words, which bore witness that
the grace of the Spirit was dwelling richly within him. Then he
described the uncharted sea of the love of God towards mankind, and how
he is ready to accept the repentance of them that turn to him; and how
there is no sin too great for his tender mercy, if we will but repent.
And when he had confirmed these truths by many an example, and
testimony of Scripture, he made an end of speaking.


King Abenner was pricked to the heart by this inspired wisdom and with
loud voice and fervent heart confessed Christ his Saviour, and
forthwith forsook all superstitious error.  He venerated the sign of
the life-giving Cross in the sight of all and, in the hearing of all,
proclaimed our Lord Jesus Christ to be God.  By telling in full the
tale of his former ungodliness, and of his own cruelty and
blood-thirstiness toward the Christians, he proved himself a great
power for religion.  So here was proved in fact, the saying of Paul;
that where sin abounded, there did grace much more abound.

While then the learned Ioasaph was speaking of God, and of piety
towards him, to the dukes and satraps and all the people there
assembled, and was as it were with a tongue of fire piping unto them a
goodly ode, the grace of the Holy Spirit descended upon them, and moved
them to give glory to God, so that all the multitude cried aloud with
one voice, "Great is the God of the Christians, and there is none other
God but our Lord Jesus Christ, who, together with the Father and Holy
Ghost, is glorified."

Waxen full of heavenly zeal, King Abenner made a sturdy assault on the
idols, wrought of silver and gold, that were within his palace, and
tore them down to the ground.  Then he brake them into small pieces,
and distributed them to the poor, thus making that which had been
useless useful.  Furthermore he and his son besieged the idols' temples
and altars and levelled them even to the ground, and in their stead,
and to the honour of God, built holy courts.  And not only in the city
but throughout all the country also, thus did they in their zeal.  And
the evil spirits that dwelt in those altars were driven forth with
shrieks, and cried out in terror at the invincible power of our God.
And all the region round about, and the greater part of the neighbour
nations, were led, as by the hand, to the true Faith.  Then came the
holy Bishop, of whom we have spoken, and King Abenner was instructed,
and made perfect with Holy Baptism, in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  And Ioasaph received him as he came up
from the Holy Font, in this strange way appearing as the begetter of
his own father, and proving the spiritual father to him that begat him
in the flesh: for he was the son of his heavenly Father, and verily
divine fruit of that divine Branch, which saith, "I am the vine, ye are
the branches."

Thus King Abenner, being born again of water and of the spirit,
rejoiced with joy unspeakable, and with him all the city and the region
round about received Holy Baptism, and they that were before darkness
now became children of light.  And every disease, and every assault of
evil spirits was driven far from the believers, and all were sane and
sound in body and in soul.  And many other miracles were wrought for
the confirmation of the Faith.  Churches too were built, and the
bishops, that had been hiding for fear, discovered themselves, and
received again their own churches, whilst others were chosen from the
priests and monks, to shepherd the flock of Christ.  But King Abenner,
having thus forsaken his former disgraceful life, and repented of his
evil deeds, handed over to his son the rule of all his kingdom. He
himself dwelt in solitude, continually casting dust on his head, and
groaning for very heaviness, and watering his face with his tears,
being alone, communing with him who is everywhere present and imploring
him to forgive his sins.  And he abased himself to such a depth of
contrition and humility, that he refused to name the name of God with
his own lips, and was scarce brought by his son's admonitions to make
so bold.  Thus the king passed through the good change and entered the
road that leadeth to virtue, so that his righteousness now surpassed
his former sins of ignorance.  For four years did he live thus in
repentance and tears and virtuous acts, and then fell into the sickness
whereof he died.  But when the end drew nigh, he began to fear and to
be dismayed, calling to remembrance the evil that he had wrought.  But
with comfortable words Ioasaph sought to ease the distress that had
fallen on him, saying, "Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my father,
and wily art thou so disquieted within time?  Set thy hope on God, and
give him thanks, who is the hope of all the ends of the earth, and of
them that remain in the sea afar, who crieth by the mouth of his
prophet, 'Wash you, make you clean: put away from before mine eyes the
wickedness of your souls; learn to do well'; and 'Though your sins be
as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; though they be red like
crimson, I will make them as wool.'  Fear not, therefore, O my father,
neither be of doubtful mind: for the sins of them that turn to God
prevail not against his infinite goodness.  For these, however many,
are subject to measure and number: but measure and number cannot limit
his goodness.  It is impossible then for that which is subject to
measure to exceed the unmeasurable."

With such comfortable words did Ioasaph cheer his soul, and bring him
to a good courage.  Then his father stretched out his hands, and gave
him thanks and prayed for him, blessing the day whereon Ioasaph was
born, and said "Dearest child, yet not child of me, but of mine
heavenly Father, with what gratitude can I repay thee?  With what words
of blessings may I bless thee?  What thanks shall I offer God for thee?
I was lost, and was found through thee: I was dead in sin and am alive
again: an enemy, and rebel against God, and am reconciled with him.
What reward therefore shall I give thee for all these benefits?  God is
he that shall make the due recompense."  Thus saying, he pressed many
kisses on his beloved son; then, when he had prayed, and said, "Into
thy hands, O God, thou lover of men, do I commit my spirit," he
committed his soul unto the Lord in penitence and peace.

Now, when Ioasaph had honoured with his tears his father that was dead,
and had reverently cared for his body, he buried him in a sepulchre
wherein devout men lay; not indeed clad in royal raiment, but robed in
the garment of penitence.  Standing on the sepulchre, and lifting up
his hands to heaven, the tears streaming in floods from his eyes, he
cried aloud unto God saying,

"O God, I thank thee, King of glory, alone mighty and immortal, that
thou hast not despised my petition, and hast not held thy peace at my
tears, but hast been pleased to turn this thy servant, my father, from
the way of wickedness, and to draw him to thyself, the Saviour of all,
departing him from the deceitfulness of idolatry, and granting him to
acknowledge thee, who art the very God and lover of souls.  And now, O
my Lord and God, whose ocean of goodness is uncharted, set him in that
place where much grass is, in a place of refreshment, where shineth the
light of thy countenance.  Remember not his old offences; but,
according to the multitude of thy mercies, blot out the handwriting of
his sins, and destroy the tablets of his debts, and set him at peace
with thy Saints whom he slew with fire and sword.  Charge them not to
be bitter against him.  For all things are possible with thee, the Lord
of all, save only to withhold pity from them that turn not unto thee;
this is impossible.  For thy pity is poured out upon all men, and thou
savest them that call upon thee, Lord Jesu Christ, because glory
becometh thee for ever and ever.  Amen."

Such were the prayers and intercessions that he made unto God, by the
space of seven full days, never leaving the grave, and never thinking
of meat or drink, and taking no refreshment of sleep: but he watered
the ground with his tears, and continued praying and moaning
unceasingly.  But, on the eighth day, he went back to his palace and
distributed amongst the poor all his wealth and riches, so that not one
person was left in want.


In a few days, after he had ended this ministry, and emptied all his
coffers, in order that the burden of his money might not hinder him
from entering in at the narrow gate, on the fortieth day after his
father's decease, and in remembrance of him, he called together all his
officers, and those who wore soldiers' attire, and of the citizens not
a few.  Sitting in the front, according to custom, in the audience of
all he said, "Lo, as ye see, Abenner, my father the king, hath died
like any beggar. Neither wealth nor kingly glory, nor I his loving son,
nor any of his kith and kindred, has availed to help him, or to save
him from the sentence without reprieve.  But he is gone to yonder
judgement seat, to give account of his life in this world, carrying
with him no advocate whatsoever, except his deeds, good or bad.  And
the same law is ordained by nature for every man born of woman, and
there is no escape.  Now, therefore, hearken unto me, friends and
brethren, people and holy heritage of the Lord, whom Christ our God
hath purchased with his own precious blood, and delivered from the
ancient error, and bondage of the adversary.  Ye yourselves know my
manner of life among you; that ever since I knew Christ, and was
counted worthy to become his servant, I have hated all things, and
loved him only, and how this was my desire, to escape from the tempest
and vain tumult of the world, and commune alone with him, and in
undisturbed peace of soul serve my God and Master.  But my father's
opposition held me back, and the command that biddeth us to honour our
fathers. So, by the grace and help of God, I have not laboured in vain,
nor spent these days for naught, I have brought my father nigh to
Christ, and have taught you all to know the one true God, the Lord of
all; and yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me, which
rescued me also from superstitious error, and from the worship of
idols, and freed you, O my people, from cruel captivity.  So now it is
high time to fulfil the service that I promised to God; high time to
depart thitherward, where he himself shall lead me, where I may perform
my vows which I made unto him.  Now, therefore, look you out a man whom
ye will, to be your leader and king; for by this time ye have been
conformed to the will of the Lord, and of his commandments nothing hath
been hidden from you.  Walk ye therein; turn not aside, neither to the
right hand, nor to the left, and the God of peace be with you all!"

When all that company and the common people heard thereof, anon there
arose a clamour, an uproar, and a mighty cry and confusion, all weeping
like orphans and bewailing their loss.  Lamenting bitterly, they
protested with oaths and with tears, that they would never let him go,
but would restrain him and not suffer in any wise his departure.  While
the common people, and they in authority, were thus crying aloud, the
king broke in, and beckoned with his hand to the multitude and charged
them to keep silence.  He declared that he gave in to their instancy,
and dismissed them still grieving, and bearing on their cheeks the
signs of sorrow.  And Ioasaph did thus.  There was one of the senators
first in favour with Ioasaph, a man honoured for his godliness and
dignity, Barachias by name, who, as hath been already told, when
Nachor, feigning to be Barlaam, was disputing with the philosophers,
alone was ready to stand by Nachor and fight for him, for his heart was
fired with heavenly love.  Him the king took apart, and spake gently
with him, and earnestly besought him to receive the kingdom, and, in
the fear of God, to shepherd his people; in order that he himself might
take the journey that he desired.

But Barachias would put aside and reject his offer, saying, "O king,
how wrongful is thy judgement, and thy word contrary to divine command!
If thou hast learned to love thy neighbour as thyself, with what right
art thou eager to shift the burden off thy back and lay it upon mine?
If it be good to be king, keep the good to thy self: but, if it be a
stone of stumbling and rock of offence to thy soul, why put it in my
pathway and seek to trip me up?"  When Ioasaph perceived that he spake
thus, and that his purpose was fixed, he ceased from communing with
him.  And now, at about the dead of night, he wrote his people a
letter, full of much wisdom, expounding to them all godliness; telling
them what they should think concerning God, what life, what hymns and
what thanksgiving they should offer unto him.  Next, he charged them to
receive none other than Barachias to be ruler of the kingdom. Then left
he in his bed-chamber the roll containing his letter, and, unobserved
of all, went forth from his palace.  But he might not win through
undetected, for, early on the morrow, the tidings, that he was
departed, anon made commotion and mourning among the people, and, in
much haste, forth went every man for to seek him; they being minded by
all means to cut off his flight. And their zeal was not spent in vain;
for, when they had occupied all the high-ways, and encompassed all the
mountains, and surrounded the pathless ravines, they discovered him in
a watercourse, his hands uplifted to heaven, saying the prayer proper
of the Sixth Hour.

When they beheld him, they surrounded him, and besought him with team,
upbraiding him for departing from them. "But," said he, "why labour ye
in vain? No longer hope to have me to your king." Yet gave he way to
their much opposition, and turned again to his palace. And, when he had
assembled all the folk, he signified his will. Then with oath he
confirmed his word, that he would dwell with them not one day more.
"For," said he, "I have fulfilled my ministry toward you, and have
omitted naught, neither have I kept back anything that was profitable
unto you, in failing to show or teach you, testifying to all the faith
in our Lord Jesus Christ, and pointing out the paths of repentance. And
now behold I go the road that I have long time desired, and all ye
shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, as
saith the holy Apostle, that I am pure from the blood of you all, for I
have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."

When they heard this, and perceived the steadfastness of his purpose,
that nothing could hinder him from his resolve, they wept like orphans
over their bereavement, but could in no wise over-persuade him.  Then
did the king take that Barachias, of whom we have already spoken,
saying, "This is he, brethren, whom I appoint to be your king."  And
though Barachias stoutly resisted, yet he established him, unwilling
and reluctant, upon the royal throne, and placed the diadem on his
head, and gave the kingly ring into his hand.  Then he stood facing the
cast and made prayer for King Barachias, that his faith toward God
might be preserved unwavering, and that he might keep without faltering
the path of Christ's commandments.  Therewith he prayed for the clergy
and all the flock, asking of God succour for them and salvation, and
all that might fitly be asked for their welfare.

Thus he prayed, and then turning said unto Barachias, "Behold, brother,
I charge thee, as the Apostle once adjured his people, 'Take heed unto
thyself, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made
thee king, to feed the Lord's people, whom he hath purchased with his
own blood.'  And even as thou wast before me in the knowledge of God,
and didst serve him with a pure conscience, so now also show the more
zeal in pleasing him. For, as thou hast received of God a mighty
sovereignty, thou owest him the greater repayment.  Render therefore to
thy Benefactor the debt of thanksgiving, by the keeping of his holy
commandments and by turning aside from every path whose end is
destruction.  For it is with kingdoms as with ships.  If one of the
sailors blunder it bringeth but small damage to the crew. But if the
steersman err, he causeth the whole ship to perish. Even so it is with
sovranty: if a subject err, he harmeth himself more than the state.
But if the king err, he causeth injury to the whole realm.  Therefore,
as one that shall render strict account, if thou neglect aught of thy
duty, guard thyself with all diligence in that which is good.  Hate all
pleasure that draweth into sin: for, saith the Apostle, 'Follow peace
with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.'
Consider the wheel of men's affairs, how it runneth round and round,
turning and whirling them now up, now down: and amid all its sudden
changes, keep thou unchanged a pious mind.  To change with every change
of affairs betokeneth an unstable heart.  But be thou steadfast, wholly
established upon that which is good. Be not lifted and vainly puffed up
because of temporal honour; but, with purified reason, understand the
nothingness of thine own nature, and the span-length and swift flight
of life here, and death the yoke-fellow of the flesh.  If thou consider
these things, thou shalt not be cast into the pit of arrogance, but
shalt fear God, the true and heavenly King, and verily thou shalt be
blessed.  For he saith, 'Blessed are all they that fear the Lord, and
walk in his ways,' and 'Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he
shall have great delight in his commandments.'  And which commandments
above all shouldest thou observe?  'Blessed are the merciful, for they
shall obtain mercy,' and 'Be ye merciful, as your heavenly Father is
merciful.'  For the fulfilment of this commandment, above all, is
required of them that are in high authority.  And, soothly, the holder
of great authority ought to imitate the giver of that authority to the
best of his ability.  And herein shall he best imitate God, by
considering that nothing is to be preferred before showing mercy. Nay,
further, nothing so surely draweth the subject to loyalty toward his
Sovereign as the grace of charity bestowed on such as need it.  For the
service that cometh from fear is flattery in disguise, with the
pretence of respect cozening them that pay heed to it; and the
unwilling subject rebelleth when he findeth occasion.  Whereas he that
is held by the ties of loyalty is steadfast in his obedience to the
ruling power.  Wherefore be thou easy of access to all and open thine
ears unto the poor, that thou mayest find the ear of God open unto
thee.  For as we are to our fellow-servants, such shall we find our
Master to us-ward.  And, like as we do hear others, so shall we be
heard ourselves: and, as we see, so shall we be seen by the divine
all-seeing eye.  Therefore pay we first mercy for mercy, that we may
obtain like for like.

"But hear yet another commandment, the fellow of the former; 'Forgive,
and it shall be forgiven unto you;' and 'If ye forgive not men their
trespasses, neither will your heavenly father forgive you your
trespasses.'  Wherefore bear no malice against them that offend against
thee; but, when thou askest forgiveness of thy sins, forgive thyself
also them that injure thee, because forgiveness is repaid by
forgiveness, and by making peace with our fellow-servants we are
ourselves delivered from the wrath of our Master.  Again, a lack of
compassion towards them that trespass against us maketh our own
trespasses unpardonable, even as thou hast heard what befell the man
that owed ten thousand talents, how, through his want of pity on his
fellow-servant, he was again required to pay all that mighty debt.  So
we must take good heed lest a like fate betide us.  But let us forgive
every debt, and cast all anger out of our hearts, in order that our
many debts, too, may be forgiven.  Beside this, and before all things,
keep thou that good thing which is committed to thy trust, the holy
Word of faith wherein thou hast been taught and instructed.  And let no
tare of heresy grow up amongst you, but preserve the heavenly seed pure
and sincere, that it may yield a manifold harvest to the master, when
he cometh to demand account of our lives, and to reward us according to
our deeds, when the righteous shall shine forth as the sun, but
darkness and everlasting shame shall cover the sinners.  And now,
brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is
able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them
which are sanctified."

And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, as it is written, and
prayed again in tears.  And he turned him round, and kissed Barachias,
whom he had chosen to their king, and all the officers.  Then came a
scene fit, belike, to make one weep.  They all crowded around him, as
though his presence meant life to them, and his departure would reave
them of their very souls; and what piteous pleading, what extravagance
of grief did they omit? They kissed him; they hung about him; they were
beside themselves for anguish of heart. "Wo is us," cried they, "for
this grievous calamity!"  They called him, Master, Father, Saviour,
Benefactor. "Through thine," said they, "we learned to know God, and
were redeemed from error, and found rest from every ill.  What
remaineth us after thou art gone?  What evils shall not befall us?"
Thus saying, they smote upon their breasts, and bewailed the misfortune
that had overtaken them.  But he with words of comfort hushed their
sobs, and promised to be with them still in the spirit though he might
no longer abide with them in the body. And when he had thus spoken, in
the sight of all he went forth from the palace.  And immediately all
the people followed him. They despaired of his return; they ran from
the city, as from a sight that they could no longer endure.  But when
they were outside the city, Ioasaph addressed them with sharp words,
and chode with them harshly; and so they were parted from him, and
unwillingly went home, often turning round to look on him, and
stumbling on their road.  And some of the hotter spirits also followed
afar off weeping, until the shades of night parted them one from


Thus this noble man went forth from his palace rejoicing, as when after
long exile a man returneth with joy to his own country. Outwardly he
wore the robes that he was wont to wear, but beneath was the hair-shirt
which Barlaam had given him.  That night he halted at a poor man's
cabin, and stripped himself of his outer raiment, which, as his last
alms, he bestowed upon his poor host, and thus by the prayers of that
poor man, as well as of so many others, he made God his ally, and put
on his grace and help as a garment of salvation; and, clad in a coat of
gladness, thus went he off to his hermit-life, carrying with him
neither bread, nor water, nor any necessary food, with no garment upon
him save the aforesaid rough shirt.  For his heart was wounded with a
marvellous longing and divine love for Christ the immortal King; he was
beside himself with longing, mad for God, possessed by love of him;
"For love," he saith, "is strong as fire."  So drunken was he with this
heavenly love, so parched with thirst, according to him that saith,
"Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after
time, O God.  My soul is athirst for the mighty and living God"; or, as
the soul that is sick of love crieth in the Song of Songs, "Thou hast
ravished us, ravished us with the desire of thee"; and, "Let me see thy
countenance, and let me hear thy voice, for thy voice is a sweet voice,
and thy countenance is comely."

It was the desire for this unspeakable comeliness of Christ that fired
the hearts of the Apostolic Quire and of the Martyr folk to despise the
things that are seen, and all this temporal life, and the rather to
choose ten thousand forms of death and torture, being enamoured of his
heavenly beauty, and bearing in mind the charm that the divine Word
used for to win our love.  Such was the fire that was kindled in the
soul of this fair youth also, noble in body, but most noble and kingly
in soul, that led him to despise all earthly things alike, to trample
on all bodily pleasures, and to contemn riches and glory and the praise
of men, to lay aside diadem and purple, as of less worth than cobwebs,
and to surrender himself to all the hard and irksome toils of the
ascetic life, crying, "O my Christ, my soul is fixed upon thee, and thy
right hand hath upholden me."

Thus, without looking back, he passed into the depth of the desert;
and, laying aside, like a heavy burden and clog, the stress of
transitory things, he rejoiced in the Spirit, and looked steadfastly on
Christ, whom he longed for, and cried aloud to him, as though he were
there present to hear his voice, saying, "Lord, let mine eyes never
again see the good things of this present world.  Never, from this
moment, let my soul be excited by these present vanities, but fill mine
eyes with spiritual tears; direct my goings in thy way, and show me thy
servant Barlaam.  Show me him that was the means of my salvation, that
I may learn of him the exact rule of this lonely and austere life, and
may not be tripped up through ignorance of the wiles of the enemy.
Grant me, O Lord, to discover the way whereby to attain unto thee, for
my soul is sick of love for thee, and I am athirst for thee, the well
of salvation."

These were the thoughts of his heart continually, and he communed with
God, being made one with him by prayer and sublime meditation.  And
thus eagerly he pursued the road, hoping to arrive at the place where
Barlaam dwelt.  His meat was the herbs that grow in the desert; for he
carried nothing with him, as I have already said, save his own bones,
and the ragged garment that was around him.

But whilst he found some food, though scanty and insufficient, from the
herbs, of water he was quite destitute in that waterless and dry
desert.  And so at noon-tide, as he held on his way under the fierce
blaze of the sun, he was parched with thirst in the hot drought of that
desert place, and he suffered the extreme of anguish.  But desire of
Christ conquered nature, and the thirst wherewith he thirsted for God
bedewed the heat of thirst for water.

Now the devil, being envious and full of hate for that which is
beautiful, unable to endure the sight of such steadfastness of purpose,
and glowing love towards God, raised up against Ioasaph many
temptations in the wilderness.  He called to his remembrance his kingly
glory, and his magnificent body-guard, his friends, kinsfolk and
companions, and how the lives of all had depended on his life, and he
minded him of the other solaces of life.  Then he would confront him
with the hardness of virtue, and the many sweats that she requireth,
with the weakness of his flesh, with his lack of practice in such
rigours, the long years to come, this present distress from thirst, his
want of any comfort, and the unendingness of his toils.  In a word, he
raised a great dust-cloud of reasonings in his mind, exactly, I ween,
as it hath been recorded of the mighty Antony.

But, when the enemy saw himself too weak to shake that purpose (for
Ioasaph set Christ before his mind, and glowed with love of him, and
was well strengthened by hope, and steadfast in faith, and recked
nothing of the devil and his suggestions), then was the adversary
ashamed of having fallen in the first assault.  So he came by another
road (for many are his paths of wickedness), and endeavoured to
overthrow and terrify Ioasaph by means of divers apparitions.
Sometimes he appeared to him in black, and such indeed he is: sometimes
with a drawn sword he leapt upon him, and threatened to strike, unless
he speedily turned back. At other times he assumed the shapes of all
manner of beasts, roaring and making a terrible din and bellowing; or
again he became a dragon, adder, or basilisk.  But that fair and right
noble athlete kept his soul in quietness, for he had made the Most High
his refuge: and, being sober in mind, he laughed the evil one to scorn,
and said, "I know thee, deceiver, who thou art, which stiffest up this
trouble for me; which from the beginning didst devise mischief against
mankind, and art ever wicked, and never stintest to do hurt.  How
becoming and right proper is thy habit, that thou shouldest take the
shape of beasts and of creeping things, and thus display thy bestial
and crooked nature, and thy venomous and hurtful purpose!  Wherefore,
wretch, attempt the impossible?  For ever since I discovered that these
be the contrivances and bug-bears of thy malice, I have now no more
anxiety concerning thee.  The Lord is on my side, and I shall see my
desire upon mine enemies.  I shall go upon the adder and basilisk, the
which thou dost resemble; thee, the lion and dragon I shall tread under
my feet; for I am strengthened with the might of Christ.  Let mine
enemies be ashamed and turned backward: let them be driven and put to
shame suddenly."

Thus speaking, and girding on that invincible weapon, the sign of the
Cross, he made vain the devil's shows.  For straightway all the beasts
and creeping things disappeared, like as the smoke vanisheth, and like
as wax melteth at the fire.  And he, strong in the might of Christ,
went on his way rejoicing and giving thanks unto the Lord.  But there
dwelt in that desert many divers beasts, and all kinds of serpents, and
dragon-shaped monsters, and these met him, not now as apparitions but
in sober sooth, so that his path was beset by fear and toil.  But he
overcame both, for love, as saith the scripture, cast out fear, and
longing made toil light.  Thus he wrestled with many sundry misfortunes
and hardships until, after many days, he arrived at that desert of the
land of Senaar, wherein Barlaam dwelt.  There also he found water and
quenched the burning of his thirst.


Now two full years spent Ioasaph wandering about the ocean of that
desert, without finding Barlaam; for here also God was proving the
steadfastness of his purpose, and the nobility of his soul.  He lived
thus in the open air, scorched with heat or frozen with cold, and, as
one in search of precious treasure, continually looking everywhere for
his treasured friend, the aged Barlaam.  Frequent were the temptations
and assaults of the evil spirits that he encountered, and many the
hardships that he endured through the lack of herbs that he needed for
meat, because the desert, being dry, yielded even these in but scant
supply.  But, being kindled by love of her Master, this adamantine and
indomitable soul bore these annoyances more easily than other men bear
their pleasures.  Wherefore he failed not of the succour that is from
above, but, many as were the sorrows and toils Chat he endured, comfort
came to him from Christ, and, asleep or awake, refreshed his soul.  By
the space of those two years Ioasaph went about continually, seeking
him for whom he yearned, and rivers of waters ran from his eyes, as he
implored God, crying aloud and saying, "Show me, O Lord, show me the
man that was the means of my knowledge of thee, and the cause of my
many blessings.  Because of the multitude of mine offences, deprive me
not of this good thing; but grant me to see him, and fight with him the
ascetic fight."

By the grace of God, he found a cave, by following footsteps that led
thither.  There he met a monk pursuing a hermit life.  Him he embraced
and saluted tenderly.  He asked where to find Barlaam's dwelling, and
told him his own tale, laying all bare.  Of him then he learned the
abode of the man whom he sought, and thither went foot-hot, as when a
cunning hunter happeneth on the tracks of his game.  And when he had
met with certain signs, pointed out to him by this other old hermit, he
went on rejoicing, strong in hope, like a child hoping after long
absence to see his father. For when divine love hath broken into a
soul, it proveth hotter and stronger than the natural.

So he stood before the door of the cave, and knocked, saying "Benedic,
father, benedic!"  When Barlaam heard his voice, he came forth from the
cave, and by the spirit knew him, who by outward appearance could not
easily be known, because of the marvellous change and alteration that
had changed and altered his face from its former bloom of youth; for
Ioasaph was black with the sun's heat, and overgrown with hair, and his
cheeks were fallen in, and his eyes deep sunken, and his eyelids seared
with floods of tears, and much distress of hunger.  And Ioasaph
recognised his spiritual father, for his features were, for the more
part, the same.  So the old man stood, and, facing the East, offered up
to God a prayer of thanksgiving; and, after the prayer, when they had
said the Amen, they embraced and kissed each other affectionately,
taking their full fill of long deferred desire.

But, when they had done with embracing and greeting, they sat them down
and conversed.  Barlaam began, saying, "Welcome art thou, son well
beloved son of God, and inheritor of the heavenly kingdom through Jesus
Christ our Lord, whom thou lovest, whom thou rightly desirest above the
things that are temporal and corruptible!  Like a prudent and wise
merchant, thou hast sold all, and bought the pearl that is beyond
price, and hast found the treasure that cannot be stolen, hidden in the
field of the commandments of the Lord; thou hast parted with all, and
spared naught of the things that so soon pass away, that thou mightest
purchase that field for thyself.  The Lord give thee the eternal for
the temporal, the things that are incorruptible and wax not old for the

"But tell me, dearly beloved, how thou camest hither?  How did thy
matters speed after my departure?  And hath thy father learned to know
God, or is he still carried away with his former foolishness, still
under the bondage of devilish deceits?"

Thus questioned Barlaam, and Ioasaph answered, telling him piece by
piece all that had befallen him since he went away; and in how many
ways the Lord had prospered him, until they were come together again.

The old man listened with pleasure and amazement, and with hot tears
said, "Glory to thee, our God, that ever standest by and succourest
them that love thee!  Glory to thee, O Christ, King of all and God
all-good, that it was thy pleasure that the seed, which I sowed in the
heart of Ioasaph, thy servant, should thus bring forth fruit an
hundredfold worthy of the husbandman and Master of our souls!  Glory to
thee, good Paraclete, the all-holy Spirit, because thou didst vouchsafe
unto this man to partake of that grace which thou gavest thine holy
Apostles, and by his hand hast delivered multitudes of people from
superstitious error, and enlightened them with the true knowledge of

Thus was God blessed by both, and thus were they conversing and
rejoicing in the grace of God until evenfall.  Then stood they up for
to pray and to perform the sacred services.  Then also remembered they
that it was meal-time, and Barlaam spread his lavish table, laden with
spiritual dainties, but with little to attract the palate of sense.
These were uncooked worts, and a few dates, planted and tended by
Barlaam's own hands, such as are found in the same desert, and wild
herbs.  So they gave thanks and partook of the victuals set before
them, and drank water from the neighbour springing well, and again gave
thanks to God, who openeth his hand and filleth all things living.
Then they arose again, and, when they had ended their Night Hours,
after prayer, they joined in spiritual converse again, discoursing
wholesome words, and full of heavenly wisdom, all the night long until
daybreak bade them once more remember the hour of prayer.

So Ioasaph abode with Barlaam for some many years, pursuing this
marvellous and more than human life, dwelling with him as with a father
and tutor, in all obedience and lowliness, exercising himself in every
kind of virtue, and learning well from practice how to wrestle with the
invisible spirits of evil.  From that time forward he mortified all his
sinful passions, and made the will of the flesh as subject to the
spirit as slave is to his master.  He was altogether forgetful of
comforts or repose, and tyrannized over sleep as over a wicked servant.
And, in brief, such was his practice of the religious life, that
Barlaam, who had spent many years therein, marvelled at him, and failed
to equal the earnestness of his life.  For he took only so much of that
coarse and cheerless food as would keep him alive; else had he died
afore his time, and forfeited the reward of his well-doing. He subdued
himself to watchings, as though he were without flesh and body.  In
prayer and mental exercise his work was unceasing, and all the time of
his life was spent in spiritual and heavenly contemplation, so that not
an hour, nor even a single moment was wasted, from the day that he came
to dwell in the desert.  For this is the end of monastic life, never to
be found idle in spiritual employment: and well herein did this noble
and active runner of the heavenly race order his way. And he kept his
ardour unquenched from beginning to end, ever ascending in his heart,
and going from strength to strength, and continually adding desire to
desire, and zeal to zeal, until he arrived at the bliss that he had
hoped and longed for.


Thus did Barlaam and Ioasaph dwell together, rivals in the good
rivalry, apart from all anxious care and all the turmoils of life,
possessing their minds undisturbed and clear of all confusion.  After
their many labours after godliness, one day Barlaam called to him his
spiritual son, whom he had begotten through the Gospel, and opened his
mouth to discourse of spiritual things, saying, "Long ago, dearly
beloved Ioasaph, was it destined that thou shouldest dwell in this
wilderness; and, in answer to my prayer for thee, Christ promised me
that I should see it before the ending of my life.  I have seen my
desire: I have seen thee severed from the world and the concerns of the
world, united to Christ, thy mind never wavering, and come to the
measure of the perfection of his fulness.  Now therefore as the time of
my departure is at the door, and seeing that my desire, that hath grown
with my growth and aged with my years, to be for ever with Christ, is
even now being fulfilled, thou must bury my body in the earth and
restore dust to dust, but thyself abide for the time to come in this
place, holding fast to thy spiritual life, and making remembrance of
me, poor as I am.  For I fear lest perchance the darksome army of
fiends may stand in the way of my soul, by reason of the multitude of
mine ignorances.

"So do thou, my son, think no scorn of the laboriousness of thy
religious life, neither dread the length of the time, nor the tricks of
devils.  But, strong in the grace of Christ, confidently laugh at the
weakness of these thy foes; and, as for the hardness of thy toils, and
the long duration of the time, be as one that daily expecteth his
departure hence, and as if the same day were the beginning and the end
of thy religious life. Thus, always forgetting the things which are
behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press
toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ
Jesus, according to the exhortation of the holy Apostle, who saith,
'Let us not faint; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward
man is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for
a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding eternal weight of glory;
while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which
are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the
things which are not seen are eternal."

"Ponder thou over these things, beloved: quit thee like a man; yea, be
strong; and, as a good soldier, do thy diligence to please him who hath
called thee to be a soldier.  And, even if the evil one stir in thee
thoughts of neglecting duty, and thou art minded to slacken the string
of thy purpose, fear not his devices, but remember the Lord's command,
which saith, 'In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good
cheer; I have overcome the world.'  Wherefore, rejoice in the Lord
alway; for he hath chosen and separated thee out of the world, and set
thee, as it were before his countenance.  The Master, who hath called
thee with a holy calling, is alway near.  Be careful for nothing, but
in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let thy
requests be made known unto God.  For he himself hath said, "I will
never leave thee, nor forsake thee."  So, by the hardness of thy life,
and by scorn of its rigours, win such thoughts as these, and rejoice,
remembering our Lord God, for he saith, 'I remembered God and was glad.'

"But when the adversary, seeking another fashion of war, proposeth high
and arrogant thoughts, and suggesteth the glory of the kingdom of this
world, which thou hast forsaken, and all its lures, hold out, as a
shield before thee, the saving word that saith, 'When ye shall have
done all those things which are commanded you, say, "We are
unprofitable servants, for we have done that which was our duty to
do."'  And, indeed, which of us is able to repay the debt that we owe
our Master, for that he, though he was rich, yet for our sakes became
poor, that we through his poverty might become rich, and, being without
suffering, yet suffered, that we might be delivered from suffering?
What thanks hath the servant if he suffer like as his Master?  But we
fall far short of his sufferings.  Meditate upon these things, casting
down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against
the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the
obedience of Christ.  And the peace of God which passeth all
understanding shall keep thy heart and thoughts in Christ Jesus."

When blessed Barlaam had so said, Ioasaph's tears knew no measure, but,
like water from the brimming fountain, bedewed him and the ground
whereon he sat.  He mourned over the parting, and earnestly implored
that he might be his companion on his last journey, and might remain no
longer in this world after Barlaam's decease, saying, "Wherefore,
father, seekest thou only thine own, and not thy neighbour's welfare?
How fulfillest thou perfect love in this, according to him that said,
'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,' in departing thyself to
rest and life, and leaving me to tribulation and distress?  And, before
I have been well exercised in the conflicts of the religious life,
before I have learned the wily attacks of the enemy, why expose me to
fight singlehanded against their marshalled host?  And for what purpose
but to see me overthrown by their mischievous machinations, and to see
me die, alas! the true spiritual and eternal death?  That is the fate
which must befall inexperienced and cowardly monks.  But, I beseech
thee, pray the Lord to take me also together with thee from life.  Yea,
by the very hope that thou hast of receiving the reward of thy labour,
pray that, after thy departure, I may not live one day more in the
world, nor wander into the ocean depths of this desert."

While Ioasaph spake thus in tears, the old man cheeked him gently and
calmly, saying, "Son, we ought not to resist the judgements of God,
which are beyond our reach.  For though I have oftentimes prayed
concerning this matter, and constrained the Master, that cannot be
constrained, not to part us one from the other, yet have I been taught
by his goodness that it is not expedient for thee now to lay aside the
burden of the flesh: but thou must remain behind in the practice of
virtue, until the crown, which thou art weaving, be more glorious.  As
yet, thou hast not striven enough after the recompense in store for
thee, but must toil yet a little longer, that thou mayest joyfully
enter into the joy of thy Lord.  For myself, I am, as I reckon,
well-nigh an hundred winters old, and have now spent seventy and five
years in this desert place.  But for thee, even if thy days be not so
far lengthened as mine, yet must thou approach thereto, as the Lord
ordereth, that thou mayest prove no unworthy match for them that have
borne the burden and heat of the day.  Therefore, beloved, gladly
accept the decrees of God.  What God hath ordered, who, of men, can
scatter?  Endure, then, under the protection of his grace.

"But be thou ever sober against thoughts other than these; and, like a
right precious treasure, keep safely from robbers thy purity of heart,
stepping up day by day to higher work and contemplation, that that may
be fulfilled in thee, which the Saviour promised to his friends, when
he said, 'If any man love me, he will keep my word: and my father will
love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.'"

With these words, and many others, full worthy of that sanctified soul
and inspired tongue, did the old man comfort Ioasaph's anguished soul.
Then he sent him unto certain brethren, which abode a long way off, for
to fetch the things fitting for the Holy Sacrifice.  And Ioasaph girded
up his loins, and with all speed fulfilled his errand: for he dreaded
lest peradventure, in his absence, Barlaam might pay the debt of
nature, and, yielding up the ghost to God, might inflict on him the
loss of missing his departing words and utterances, his last orisons
and blessings.

So when Ioasaph had manfully finished his long journey, and had brought
the things required for the Holy Sacrifice, saintly Barlaam offered up
to God the unbloody Sacrifice.  When he had communicated himself, and
also given to Ioasaph of the undefiled Mysteries of Christ, he rejoiced
in the Spirit.  And when they had taken together of their ordinary
food, Barlaam again fed Ioasaph's soul with edifying words, saying,
"Well-beloved son, no longer in this world shall we share one common
hearth and board; for now I go my last journey, even the way of my
fathers.  Needs must thou, therefore, prove thy loving affection for me
by thy keeping of God's commandments, and by thy continuance in this
place even to the end, living as thou hast learned and been instructed,
and alway remembering my poor and slothful soul. Rejoice, therefore,
with great joy, and make merry with the gladness that is in Christ,
because thou hast exchanged the earthly and corruptible for the eternal
and incorruptible; and because there draweth nigh the reward of thy
works, and thy rewarder is already at hand, who shall come to see the
vineyard which thou hast dressed, and shall richly pay thee the wages
of thine husbandry.  'Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all
acceptation,' as proclaimed by Paul the divine, 'For if we be dead with
him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign
with him in his eternal and everlasting kingdom, being illuminated with
the light unapproachable, and guerdoned with the effulgence of the
blessed and life-giving Trinity.'"

Thus until even-tide and all night long did Barlaam converse with
Ioasaph, who wept tears that could not be stayed, and could not bear
the parting.  But just as day began to dawn, Barlaam ended his
discourse, lifted up his hands and eyes to heaven, and offered his
thanks to God, thus saying, "O Lord, my God, who art everywhere
present, and fillest all things, I thank thee, for that thou hast
looked upon my lowliness, and hast granted me to fulfil the course of
this mine earthly pilgrimage in thy true Faith, and in the way of thy
commandments.  And now, thou lover of good, all-merciful Master,
receive me into thine everlasting habitations; and remember not all the
sins that I have committed against thee, in knowledge or in ignorance.
Defend also this thy faithful servant, before whom thou hast granted to
me, thine unprofitable servant, to stand.  Deliver him from all vanity,
and all despiteful treatment of the adversary, and set him clear of the
many-meshed nets which the wicked one spreadeth abroad for to trip all
them that would full fain be saved.  Destroy, Almighty Lord, all the
might of the deceiver from before the face of thy servant, and grant
him authority to trample on the baneful head of the enemy of our souls.
Send down from on high the grace of thy Holy Spirit; and strengthen him
against the invisible hosts, that he may receive at thy hands the crown
of victory, and that in him thy name may be glorified, the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Ghost, for to thee belongeth glory and praise for
ever and ever.  Amen."

Thus prayed he, and in fatherly wise embraced Ioasaph, and saluted him
with an holy kiss.  Then he sealed himself with the sign of the Cross,
and gathered up his feet, and, with exceeding great joy, as at the
home-coming of friends, departed on that blessed journey, to receive
his reward yonder, an old man and full of days in the Spirit.


Then did Ioasaph embrace the good father, with all the devotion and
sorrow that can be told, and washed his corpse with his tears.  Then he
wrapped it in the hair-shirt, which Barlaam had given him in his
palace; and over him he recited the proper psalms, chanting all the day
long, and throughout the night, and watering the venerable body of the
Saint with his tears.  On the morrow, he made a grave hard by the cave,
and thither reverently bore the sacred body, and there, like a good and
honourable son, laid his spiritual father in his sepulchre.  And then,
the fire of grief kindling all the hotter within his soul, he set
himself to pray the more earnestly, saying:

"O Lord my God, hearken unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Have mercy
upon me, and hear me, for I seek thee with all my heart.  My soul hath
sought for thee: O hide not thy face from me, and turn not away in
anger from thy servant.  Be thou my helper; cast me not utterly away,
and forsake me not, O God my Saviour, because my father and mother
forsake me; but do thou, O Lord, take me up.  Teach me thy way, O Lord,
and lead me in the right way because of mine enemies.  Deliver me not
over unto the souls of them that afflict me; for I have been cast upon
thee ever since I was born; thou art my God even from my mother's womb.
O go not from me, because, except thee, there is none to help me.  For
lo, I set the hope of my soul upon the ocean of thy mercies.  Be thou
the pilot of my soul, thou that steerest all creation with the
unspeakable forethought of thy wisdom; and shew thou me the way that I
should walk in; and, as thou art a good God and a lover of men, save me
by the prayers and intercessions of Barlaam thy servant, for thou art
my God, and thee I glorify, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,
world without end. Amen."

Thus prayed he, and sat him down nigh the sepulchre, a-weeping. And as
he sat, he fell asleep, and saw those dread men, whom he had seen
before, coming to him, and carrying him away to the great and
marvellous plain, and bringing him to that glorious and exceeding
bright city.  When he had passed within the gate, there met him others,
gloriously apparelled with much light, having in their hands crowns
radiant with unspeakable beauty, such as mortal eye hath never seen.
And, when Ioasaph enquired, "Whose are these exceeding bright crowns of
glory, which I see?" "Thine," said they, "is the one, prepared for
thee, because of the many souls which thou hast saved, and now made
still more beautiful because of the religious life that thou leadest,
if thou continue therein bravely until the end.  And this other crown
is thine also; but it must thou give unto thy father, who, by thy
means, turned from his evil way unto the Lord, and was truly penitent."
But Ioasaph was as one sore vexed, and said, "How is it possible that,
for his repentance alone, my father should receive reward equal to
mine, that have laboured so much?" Thus spake he, and straightway
thought that he saw Barlaam, as it were, chiding him and saying, "These
are my words, Ioasaph, which I once spake unto thee, saying, 'When thou
waxest passing rich, thou wilt not be glad to distribute,' and thou
understoodest not my saying.  But now, why art thou displeased at thy
father's equality with thee in honour, and art not rather glad at heart
that thine orisons in his behalf have been heard?"  Then Ioasaph said
unto him, as he was ever wont to say, "Pardon! father, pardon!  But
shew me where thou dwellest?"  Barlaam answered, "In this mighty and
exceeding fair city.  It is my lot to dwell in the mid-most street of
the city, a street that flasheth with light supernal."  Again Ioasaph
thought he asked Barlaam to bring him to his own habitation, and, in
friendly wise, to shew him the sights thereof.  But Barlaam said that
his time was not yet come to win those habitations, while he was under
the burden of the flesh.  "But," said he, "if thou persevere bravely,
even as I charged thee, in a little while thou shalt come hither, and
gain the same habitations, and obtain the same joy and glory, and be my
companion for ever."  Hereupon Ioasaph awoke out of sleep, but his soul
was still full of that light and ineffable glory; and greatly
wondering, he raised to his Lord a song of thanksgiving.

And he continued to the end, verily leading on earth the life of an
angel, and after the death of his aged friend using himself to severer
austerity. Twenty and five years old was he when he left his earthly
kingdom, and adopted the monastic life; and thirty and five years in
this vast desert did he, like one dis-fleshed, endure rigours above the
endurance of man, but not before he had delivered the souls of many men
from the soul-devouring dragon, and presented them to God, saved for
aye; winning herewith the Apostolic grace.  In will he had proved a
martyr, and had with boldness confessed Christ before kings and
tyrants, and had proved himself the mighty-voiced preacher of his
greatness, and had overthrown many spirits of wickedness in the desert,
and had overcome all in the strength of Christ.  Partaking richly of
the gift of grace from above, he kept his mind's eye purified from
every earth-born cloud, and looked forward to the things that are to
come, as though they were already come.  Christ was his recompense for
all: Christ was his desire: Christ he ever saw as present with him:
Christ and his fair beauty everywhere met his sight, according to the
saying of the prophet, "I have set God always before me; for he is on
my right hand, therefore I shall not fall."  And again, "My soul
cleaveth to thee; thy right hand hath upholden me."  For verily
Ioasaph's soul clave to Christ, being knit to him in indissoluble
union.  From this marvellous work he never swerved, never altered the
rule of his ascetic life, from beginning to end, but maintained his
zeal from his youth even until old age; or rather, he daily advanced
higher in virtue, and daily gained purer power of vision.

Thus did Ioasaph spend his days, and render unto him that called him
labour worthy of his calling, having crucified the world to himself,
and himself unto the world, and, at the last, departed in peace unto
the God of peace, and passed to that Master whom he had alway longed
for.  There he appeared in the immediate presence of the Lord, and was
crowned with the crown of glory already prepared for him: there it is
granted to him to behold Christ, to be with Christ, to rejoice for ever
in the fair beauty of Christ, into whose hands he commended his spirit,
when he departed to walk in the land of the living, where is the song
of them that feast, the dwelling-place of them that rejoice.

As for his venerable body, it befell thus; about the very hour of
Ioasaph's death, there came by divine revelation, from one of the
neighbouring cells, a certain holy man.  It was the same that once
pointed out to Ioasaph his way to Barlaam.  This man honoured the
corpse with sacred hymns, and shed tears, the token of affection, over
him, and performed all the last Christian rites, and laid him in the
sepulchre of his father Barlaam; for it was only meet that their bodies
should rest side by side, since their souls were to dwell through
eternity together.

In obedience to the strict command of a dread Angel that appeared to
him in a dream, this hermit, who had performed the last rites,
journeyed to the kingdom of India, and, entering in to King Barachias,
made known unto him all that had befallen Barlaam, and this blessed
Ioasaph.  Barachias, making no delay, set forth with a mighty host, and
arrived at the cave, and beheld their sepulchre, and wept bitterly over
it, and raised the gravestone. There he descried Barlaam and Ioasaph
lying, as they had been in life.  Their bodies had not lost their
former hue, but were whole and uncorrupt, together with their garments.
These, the consecrated tabernacles of two holy souls, that sent forth
full sweet savour, and showed naught distressful, were placed by King
Barachias in costly tombs and conveyed by him into his own country.

Now when the people heard tell of that which had come to pass, there
assembled a countless multitude out of all the cities and regions round
about, to venerate and view the bodies of these Saints.  Thereupon,
sooth to say, they chanted the sacred hymns over them, and vied one
with another to light lamps lavishly, and rightly and fitly, might one
say, in honour of these children and inheritors of light.  And with
splendour and much solemnity they laid their bodies in the Church which
Ioasaph had built from the very foundation.  And many miracles and
cures, during the translation and deposition of their relics, as also
in later times, did the Lord work by his holy servants.  And King
Barachias and all the people beheld the mighty virtues that were shown
by them; and many of the nations round about, that were sick of
unbelief and ignorance of God, believed through the miracles that were
wrought at their sepulchre.  And all they that saw and heard of the
Angelic life of Ioasaph, and of his love of God from his childhood
upward, marvelled, and in all things glorified God that alway worketh
together with them that love him, and granteth them exceeding great

Here endeth this history, which I have written, to the best of my
ability, even as I heard it from the truthful lips of worthy men who
delivered it unto me.  And may God grant that all we that read or hear
this edifying story may obtain the heritage of such as have pleased the
Lord, by the prayers and intercessions of blessed Barlaam and Ioasaph,
of whom this story telleth, in Christ Jesu our Lord; to whom belongeth
worship, might, majesty and glory, with the Father and the Holy Ghost,
now and for evermore, world without end.  Amen.

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