Chapter XVII.—Peter Requests Him to Be His Attendant.
Having thus spoken, he set forth to me so openly and so clearly who that Prophet was, and how He might be found, that I seemed to have before my eyes, and to handle with my hand, the proofs which he produced concerning the prophetic truth; and I was struck with intense astonishment, how no one sees, though placed before his eyes, those things which all are seeking for. Whence, by his command, reducing into order what he had spoken to me, I compiled a book concerning the true Prophet, and sent it to you from Cæsarea by his command. For he said that he had received a command from you to send you every year an account of his sayings and doings. 540 Meantime, at the beginning of his discourse which he delivered to me the first day, when he had instructed me very fully concerning the true Prophet, and very many things besides, he added also this: “See,” said he, “for the future, and be present at the discussions which whenever any necessity arises, I shall hold with those who contradict; against whom, when I dispute, even if I shall seem to be worsted, I shall not be afraid of your being led to doubt of those things which I have stated to you; because, even if I shall seem to be beaten, yet those things shall not therefore seem to be uncertain which the true Prophet has delivered to us. Yet I hope that we shall not be overcome in disputations either, if only our hearers are reasonable, and friends of truth, who can discern the force and bearing of words, and recognise what discourse comes from the sophistical art, not containing truth, but an image of truth; and what that is, which, uttered simply and without craft, depends for all its power not on show and ornament, but on truth and reason.”
[Comp. Homily I. 20, where there is a curious inconsistency. Both accounts seem to insert this to tally with the fictitious relation to James, and both may be used to support the theory of a common documentary basis.—R.]