Chapter V.—Freedom of Discussion Allowed.
When Peter was about to reply to this, Niceta, anticipating him, said: 810 “Would my lord Peter allow me to answer to this; and let it not be thought forward that I, a young man, should have an encounter with an old man, but rather let me converse as a son with a father.” Then said the old man: “Not only do I wish, my son, that you should set forth your opinions; but also if any one of your associates, if any one p. 167 even of the bystanders, thinks that he knows anything, let him unhesitatingly state it: we shall gladly hear it; for it is by the contribution of many that the things that are unknown are more easily found out.” Then Niceta therefore answered: “Do not deem me to have done rashly, my father, because I have interrupted the speech of my lord Peter; but rather I meant to honour him by doing this. For he is a man of God, full of all knowledge, who is not ignorant even of Greek learning, because he is filled with the Spirit of God, to whom nothing is unknown. But because it is suitable to him to speak of heavenly things, I shall answer concerning those things which pertain to the babbling of the Greeks. But after we have disputed in the Grecian manner, and we have come to that point where no issue appears, then he himself, as filled with the knowledge of God, shall openly and clearly disclose to us the truth on all matters, so that not we only, but also all who are around us as hearers, shall learn the way of truth. And therefore now let him sit as umpire; and when either of us shall yield, then let him, taking up the matter, give an unquestionable judgment.”
[The whole arrangement, introducing the brothers as disputants, is peculiar to the Recognitions. The several discourses are constructed with much skill. The courtesy of the discussion is in sharp contrast with the tone of those in the Homilies, especially those with Simon Magus.—R.]