Sacred Texts  Christianity  Early Church Fathers  Index  Previous  Next 

Chapter XXXI.—A Dilemma.

Nicetas having thus spoken, Aquila himself in turn said:  “This only should I wish to learn of you, Simon, whether it is the soul or whether it is a demon that is conjured:  what is it afraid of, that it does not despise the conjuration?  Then Simon said:  ‘It knows that it should suffer punishment if it were disobedient.’  Then said Aquila:  ‘Therefore, if the soul comes when conjured, there is also a judgment.  If, therefore, souls are immortal, assuredly there is also a judgment.  As you say, then, that those which are conjured on wicked business are punished if they disobey, how are you not afraid to compel them, when those that are compelled are punished for disobedience?  For it is not wonderful that you do not already suffer for your doings, seeing the judgment has not yet come, when you are to suffer the penalty of those deeds which you have compelled others to do, and when that which has been done under compulsion shall be pardoned, as having been out of respect for the oath which led to the evil action.’ 942   And he hearing this was enraged, and threatened death to us if we did not keep silence as to his doings.”



The Latin translates:  “as having preferred the oath to the evil action.”

Next: Chapter XXXII