Chapter LVIII.—Simons God Unjust.
Then Simon said: “He receives those who will come to him, and does them good.” Peter answered: “But there is nothing new in this; for He whom you acknowledge to be the Creator of the world also does so.” Then Simon: “But the good God bestows salvation if he is only acknowledged; but the creator of the world demands also that the law be fulfilled.” Then said Peter: “He saves adulterers and men-slayers, if they know him; but good, and sober, and merciful persons, if they do not know him, in consequence of their having no information concerning him, he does not save! Great and good truly is he whom you proclaim, who is not so much the saviour of the evil, as he is one who shows no mercy to the good.” Then Simon: “It is truly very difficult for man to know him, as long as he is in the flesh; for blacker than all darkness, and heavier than all clay, is this body with which the soul is surrounded.” Then says Peter: “That good God of yours demands things which are difficult; but He who is truly God seeks easier things. Let him then, since he is so good, leave us with our Father and Creator; and when once we depart from the body, and leave that darkness that you speak of, we shall more easily know Him; and then the soul shall better understand that God is its Creator, and shall remain with Him, and shall no more be harassed with diverse imaginations; nor shall wish to betake itself to another power, which is known to none but Simon only, and which is of such goodness that no one can come to it, unless he be first guilty of impiety towards his own father! I know not how this power can be called either good or just, which no one can please except by acting impiously towards him by whom he was made!”