Chapter IV.—Free Inquiry.
To this Peter answered: “Let us not concern ourselves about this; and if indeed it is fitting that he enter the gate of life, God will afford a fitting opportunity; and there shall be a beginning from God, and not from man. And therefore, as I have said, let him journey with us, and hear our discussions; but because I saw you in haste, therefore I said that opportunity must be sought; and when God shall give it, do you comply with my advice in what I shall say.” While we were thus talking, a boy came to tell us that our father was now awake; and when we were intending to go in to him, he himself came to us, and saluting us with a kiss, after we had sat down again, he said: “Is it permitted to one to ask a question, if he wishes it; or is silence enforced, after the manner of the Pythagoreans?” Then said Peter: “We do not compel those who come to us either to keep silence continually, or to ask questions; but we leave them free to do as they will knowing that he who is anxious about his salvation, if he feels pain in any part of his soul, does not suffer it to be silent. But he who neglects his salvation, no advantage is conferred upon him if he is compelled to ask, excepting this only, that he may seem to be earnest and diligent. Wherefore, if you wish to get any information, ask on.”