The Asclepius


1. I have not, therefore, O Asclepius and Ammon, said what many say, that God could not excise and banish evil from the Scheme of Things;—to whom no answer need at all be given. Yet for your sakes I will continue what I have begun, and give a reason.

They say that God ought to have freed the World from bad in every way; for so much is it in the World, that it doth seem to be as though it were one of its limbs.

This was foreseen by Highest God and [due] provision made, as much as ever could have been in reason made, then when He thought it proper to endow the minds of men with sense, and science and intelligence.

2. For it is by these things alone whereby we stand above the rest of animals, that we are able to avoid the snares and crimes of ill.

For he who shall on sight have turned from them, before he hath become immeshed in them,—he is a man protected by divine intelligence and [godly] prudence.

For that the ground-work of [true] science doth consist of the top-stones of virtue.

3. It is by Spirit that all things are governed in the Cosmos, and made quick,—Spirit made subject to the Will of Highest God, as though it were an engine or machine.

So far, then, [only] let Him be by us conceived,—as Him who is conceivable by mind alone, who is called Highest God, the Ruler and Director of God Sensible, of Him who in Himself includes all Space, all Substance, and all Matter, of things producing and begetting, and all whatever is, however great it be.

Previous | The Corpus Hermeticum | Next