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 But if human wisdom, as it remains to understand, is the glorying in Gnosis, hear the law of...

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But if human wisdom, as it remains to understand, is the glorying in Gnosis, hear the law of Scripture: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the mighty man glory in his might; but let him that glorieth glory in The Lord." (Jeremiah 9:23; 1 Corinthians 1:31; 2 Corinthians 10:17) But we are God-taught, and glory in the name of Christ. How then are we not to regard the Apostle as attaching this sense to the milk of the babes? And if we who preside over the Churches are shepherds after the Icon of The Good Shepherd, and you the sheep, are we not to regard The Lord as preserving consistency in the use of figurative speech, when He speaks also of the milk of the flock? And to this meaning we may secondly accommodate the expression, "I have given you milk to drink, and not given you food, for ye are not yet able," regarding the meat not as something different from the milk, but the same in substance. For the very same Word is fluid and mild as milk, or solid and compact as meat. And entertaining this view, we may regard the proclamation of the Gospel, which is universally diffused, as milk; and as meat, faith, which from instruction is compacted into a foundation, which, being more substantial than hearing, is likened to meat, and assimilates to the soul itself nourishment of this kind.

Elsewhere The Lord, in the Gospel According To John, brought this out by symbols, when He Said: "Eat ye My Flesh, and drink My blood"; (John 6:34) describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which The Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both: of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also The Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle. And when hope expires, it is as if blood flowed forth; and the vitality of faith is destroyed. If, then, some would oppose, saying that by milk is meant the first lesson -as it were, the first food- and that by meat is meant those spiritual cognitions to which they attain by raising themselves to knowledge, let them understand that, in saying that meat is solid food, and the Flesh and Blood of Jesus, they are brought by their own vainglorious wisdom to the true simplicity. For the blood is found to be an original product in man, and some have consequently ventured to call it the substance of the soul. And this blood, transmuted by a natural process of assimilation in the pregnancy of the mother, through the sympathy of parental affection, effloresces and grows old, in order that there may be no fear for the child. Blood, too, is the moister part of flesh, being a kind of liquid flesh; and milk is the sweeter and finer part of blood.

In this way also the rivers, borne on with rushing motion, and fretted by contact with the surrounding air, murmur forth foam. The moisture in our mouth, too, is whitened by the breath. What an absurdity is it, then, not to acknowledge that the blood is converted into that very bright and white substance by the breath! The change it suffers is in quality, not in essence. You will certainly find nothing else more nourishing, or sweeter, or whiter than milk. In every respect, accordingly, it is like spiritual nourishment, which is sweet through Grace, nourishing as life, bright as the day of Christ.

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