Chapter XVI.—Simon Magus: Hopelessness of His Case.
But Peter, hearing these things, said with tears: 611 “Greatly do I wonder at the infinite patience of God, and, on the other hand, at the audacity of human rashness in some. For what further reason can be found to persuade Simon that God judges the unrighteous, since he persuades himself that he employs the obedience of souls for the service of his crimes? But, in truth, he is deluded by demons. Yet, although he is sure by these very things that souls are immortal, and are judged for the deeds which they have done, and although he thinks that he really sees those things which we believe by faith; though, as I said, he is deluded by demons, yet he thinks that he sees the very substance of the soul. How shall such a man, I say, be brought to confess either that he acts wickedly while he occupies such an evil position, or that he is to be judged for those things which he hath done, who, knowing the judgment of God, despises it, and shows himself an enemy to God, and dares commit such horrid things? Wherefore it is certain, my brethren, that some oppose the truth and religion of God, not because it appears to them that reason can by no means stand with faith, but because they are either involved in excess of wickedness, or prevented by their own evils, or elated by the swelling of their heart, so that they do not even believe those things which they think that they see with their own eyes.”
[In Homily II. 37–53 the discourse of Peter is quite different and far less worthy. In Homily III. 1–28 a similar discourse is given, just before the discussion with Simon, abounding in statements that suggest erroneous views of Scripture, and indicate a Gnostic origin.—R.]