The Perfect Sermon, or

The Asclepius


1. Asc. Is this again the reason, O Thrice-greatest one?

Tris. It is, Asclepius. For God’s the Father or the Lord of all, or whatsoever else may be the name by which He’s named more holily and piously by men,—which should be set apart among ourselves for sake of our intelligence.

For if we contemplate this so transcendent God, we shall not make Him definite by any of these names.

For if a [spoken] word is this:—a sound proceeding from the air, when struck by breath, denoting the whole will, perchance, of man, or else the [higher] sense, which by good chance a man perceives by means of mind, when out of [all his] senses,—a name the stuff of which, made of a syllable or two, has so been limited and pondered, that it might serve in man as necessary link between the voice and ear;—thus [must] the Name of God in full consist of Sense, and Spirit, and of Air, and of all things in them, or through, or with them.

2. Indeed, I have no hope that the Creator of the whole of Greatness, the Father and the Lord of all the things [that are], could ever have one name, even although it should be made up of a multitude—He who cannot be named, or rather He who can be called by every name.

For He, indeed, is One and All; so that it needs must be that all things should be called by the same name as His, or He Himself called by the names of all.

3. He, then, alone, yet all-complete in the fertility of either sex, ever with child of His own Will, doth ever bring to birth whatever He hath willed to procreate.

His Will is the All-goodness, which also is the Goodness of all things, born from the nature of His own Divinity,—in order that all things may be, just as they all have been, and that henceforth the nature of being born from their own selves may be sufficient to all things that will be born.

Let this, then, be the reason given thee, Asclepius, wherefore and how all things are made of either sex.

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