The Perfect Sermon, or

The Asclepius


1. [Tris.] The soul of every man, O [my] Asclepius, is deathless; yet not all in like fashion, but some in one way or [one] time, some in another.

Asc. Is not, then, O Thrice-greatest one, each soul of one [and the same] quality?

Tris. How quickly hast thou fallen, O Asclepius, from reason’s true sobriety!

Did not I say that “All” is “One,” and “One” is “All,” in as much as all things have been in the Creator before they were created. Nor is He called unfitly “All,” in that His members are the “All.”

Therefore, in all this argument, see that thou keep in mind Him who is “One”-“All,” or who Himself is maker of the “All.”

2. All things descend from Heaven to Earth, to Water and to Air.

’Tis Fire alone, in that it is borne upwards, giveth life; that which [is carried] downwards [is] subservient to Fire.

Further, whatever doth descend from the above, begetteth; what floweth upwards, nourisheth.

’Tis Earth alone, in that it resteth on itself, that is Receiver of all things, and [also] the Restorer of all genera that it receives.

This Whole, therefore, as thou rememberest, in that it is of all,—in other words, all things, embraced by nature under “Soul” and “World,” are in [perpetual] flux, so varied by the multiform equality of all their forms, that countless kinds of well-distinguished qualities may be discerned, yet with this bond of union, that all should seem as One, and from “One” “All.”

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