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The Philocalia Of Origen -Origen

Of the special character of the persons of Divine Scripture. From the small volume on the Song of Songs, which Origen wrote in his youth

1. Any one who does not understand the peculiar character of the persons in Scripture, both as regards the speakers and the persons addressed, must be much perplexed by what he reads; he will ask who is speaking, who is spoken to, and when does the speaker cease to speak. For it often happens that the same person is addressed, though a third person speaks to him; or the person addressed is no longer the same, and a different person takes up what is said, while the same person speaks. And sometimes both the speaker and the person addressed are changed; or, further, though both are unchanged, it is not clear that they are. Need I seek an illustration of each of these statements, seeing that the prophetical writings abound in such changes? In fact we have here a special, though it may be unrecognised, cause of the obscurity of Scripture. It is also the way of Scripture to jump suddenly from one discourse to another. The prophets, above all, do this, obscuring their sense and more or less confusing the reader.

Again, from the 4th Homily on the Acts, “It was needful that the Scripture should be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David concerning Judas.”

2. In the Psalm wherein the things concerning Judas are written, one might say that it is not the Holy Spirit Who speaks, for the words are clearly the Saviour’s, “Hold not thy peace, O God, at my praise: for the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful man is opened upon me,” and so on, until we come to “And his office let another take.” Now if it is the Saviour Who says this, what does Peter mean by telling us that “It was needful that the Scripture should be fulfilled which the Holy Ghost spake before by the mouth of David?” Perhaps the lesson is something like this. The Holy Ghost employs personification in the prophets, and if He introduces the person of God, it is not God Who speaks, but the Holy Ghost speaks as God. And if He introduces Christ, it is not Christ Who speaks, but the Holy Ghost speaks as Christ. So, then, if He brings in the person of a prophet, or personifies this or that people, or anything whatsoever, it is the Holy Ghost Who devises all these personifications.








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