The Perfect Sermon, or The Asclepius I

1. [I. M. ] [Trismegistus.] God, O Asclepius, hath brought thee unto us that thou mayest hear a Godly sermon, a sermon such as well may seem of all the previous ones we’ve [either] uttered, or with which we’ve been inspired by the Divine, more Godly than the piety of [ordinary] faith.

If thou with eye of intellect shalt see this Word thou shalt in thy whole mind be filled quite full of all things good.

If that, indeed, the “many” be the “good,” and not the “one,” in which are “all.” Indeed the difference between the two is found in their agreement,—“All” is of “One” or “One” is “All.” So closely bound is each to other, that neither can be parted from its mate.

But this with diligent attention shalt thou learn from out the sermon that shall follow [this].

But do thou, O Asclepius, go forth a moment and call in the one who is to hear.

(And when he had come in, Asclepius proposed that Ammon too should be allowed to come. Thereon Thrice-greatest said:)

[Tris.] There is no cause why Ammon should be kept away from us. For we remember how we have ourselves set down in writing many things to his address, as though unto a son most dear and most beloved, of physics many things, of ethics [too] as many as could be.

It is, however, with thy name I will inscribe this treatise.

But call, I prithee, no one else but Ammon, lest a most pious sermon on a so great theme be spoilt by the admission of the multitude.

For ’tis the mark of an unpious mind to publish to the knowledge of the crowd a tractate brimming o’er with the full Greatness of Divinity.

(When Ammon too had come within the holy place, and when the sacred group of four was now complete with piety and with God’s goodly presence—to them, sunk in fit silence reverently, their souls and minds pendent on Hermes’ lips, thus Love  Divine began to speak.)

The Corpus Hermeticum | Next

The Corpus Hermeticum | The Asclepius: I. | II. | III. | IV. | V. | VI. | VII. | VIII. | IX. | X. | XI. | XII. | XIII. | XIV. | XV. | XVI. | XVII. | XVIII. | XIX. | XX. | XXI. | XXII. | XXIII. | XXIV. | XXV. | XXVI. | XXVII. | XXVIII. | XXIX. | XXX. | XXXI. | XXXII. | XXXIII. | XXXIV. | XXXV. | XXXVI. | XXXVII. | XXXVIII. | XXIX. | XL. | XLI.