1 Adam causes Seth to relate what he heard from Michael the archangel, when he sent him to Paradise to entreat God to anoint his head in his sickness.
BUT when the first man our father Adam heard these things, that Jesus was baptized in Jordan, [*2] he called out to his son, Seth, and said,
2 Declare to your sons, the patriarchs and prophets, all those things, which thou didst hear from Michael, the archangel, when I sent thee to the gates of Paradise, to entreat God that he would anoint my head when I was sick.
3 Then Seth, coming near to the patriarchs and prophets, said, I Seth, when I was praying to God at the gates of Paradise, beheld the angel of the Lord, Michael appear unto me saying, I am sent unto thee from the Lord; I am appointed to preside over human bodies.
4 I tell thee Seth, do not pray to God in tears, and entreat him for the oil of the tree of mercy wherewith to anoint thy father Adam for his head-ache;
5 Because thou canst not by any means obtain it till the last day and times, namely, till five thousand and five hundred years be past.
6 Then will Christ, the most merciful Son of God, come on earth to raise again the human body of Adam, and at the same time to raise the bodies of the[p. 82]
dead, and when he cometh he will be baptized in Jordan:
7 Then with the oil of his mercy he will anoint all those who believe on him; and the oil of his mercy will continue to future generations, for those who shall be born of the water and the Holy Ghost unto eternal life.
8 And when at that time the most merciful Son of God, Christ Jesus, shall come down on earth, he will introduce our father Adam into Paradise, to the tree of mercy.
9 When all the patriarchs and prophets heard all these things from Seth, they rejoiced more.
1 Quarrel between Satan and the prince of hell concerning the expected arrival of Christ in hell.
WHILE all the saints were vv rejoicing, behold Satan, the prince and captain of death, said to the prince of hell, [*1]
2 Prepare to receive Jesus of Nazareth himself, who boasted that he was the Son of God, and yet was a man afraid of death, and said, [*2] My soul is sorrowful even to death.
3 Besides he did many injuries to me and to many others; for those whom I made blind and lame and those also whom I tormented with several devils, he cured by his word; yea, and those whom I brought dead to thee, he by force takes away from thee.
4 To this the prince of hell replied to Satan, Who is that so-powerful prince, and yet a man who is afraid of death?
5 For all the potentates of the earth are subject to my power, whom thou broughtest to subjection by thy power.
6 But if be be so powerful in his human nature, I affirm to thee for truth, that he is almighty in his divine nature, and no man can resist his power.
7 When therefore he said be was afraid of death, he designed to ensnare thee, and unhappy it will be to thee for everlasting ages.
8 Then Satan replying, said to the prince of hell, Why didst thou express a doubt, and wast afraid to receive that Jesus of Nazareth, both thy adversary and mine?
9 As for me, I tempted him and stirred up my old people the Jews with zeal and anger against him?
10 I sharpened the spear for his suffering; I mixed the gall and vinegar, and commanded that he should drink it; I prepared the cross to crucify him, and the nails to pierce through Ibis hands and feet; and now his death is near at hand, I will bring him hither, subject both to thee and me.
11 Then the prince of hell answering, said, Thou saidst to me just now, that he took away the dead from me by force.
12 They who have been kept here till they should live again upon earth, were taken away hence, not by their own power, but by prayers made to God, and their almighty God took them from me.
13 Who then is that Jesus of Nazareth that by his word hath taken away the dead from me without prayer to God?
14 Perhaps it is the same who[p. 83]
took away from me Lazarus, after he had been four days dead, and did both stink and was rotten, and of whom I had possession as a dead person, yet he brought him to life again by his power.
15 Satan answering, replied to the prince of hell, It is the very same person, Jesus of Nazareth.
16 Which when the prince of hell heard, he said to him, I adjure thee by the powers which belong to thee and me, that thou bring him not to me.
17 For when I heard of the power of his word, I trembled for fear, and all my impious company were at the same time disturbed;
18 And we were not able to detain Lazarus, [*1] but he gave himself a shake, and with all the signs of malice, he immediately went away from us; and the very earth, in which the dead body of Lazarus was lodged, presently turned him out alive.
19 And I know now that he is Almighty God who could perform such things, who is mighty in his dominion, and mighty in his human nature, who is the Saviour of mankind.
20 Bring not therefore this person hither, for he will set at liberty all those whom I hold in prison under unbelief, and bound with the fetters of their sins, and will conduct them to everlasting life.
1 Christ’s arrival at hell-gates; the confusion thereupon. 10 He descends into hell.
AND while Satan and the prince of hell were discoursing thus to each other, on a sudden there was a voice as of thunder and the rushing of winds, saying, [*2] Lift up your gates, O ye princes; and be ye lift up, O everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall come in.
2 When the prince of hell heard this, he said to Satan, Depart from me, and begone out of my habitations; if thou art a powerful warrior, fight with the King of Glory. But what hast thou to do with him?
3 And he cast him forth from his habitations.
4 And the prince said to his impious officers, Shut the brass gates of cruelty, and make them fast with iron bars, and fight courageously, lest we be taken captives.
5 But when all the company of the saints heard this they spake with a loud voice of anger to the prince of hell:
6 Open thy gates that the King of Glory may come in.
7 And the divine prophet David, cried out saying, [*3] Did not I when on earth truly prophesy and say, O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.
8 For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder. He hath taken them because of their iniquity, and because of their unrighteousness they are afflicted.
9 After this another prophet, [*4] namely, holy Isaiah, spake in like manner to all the saints, did not
I rightly prophesy to you when I was alive on earth?
10 The dead men shall live, and they shall rise again who are in their graves, and they shall rejoice who are in earth; for the dew which is from the Lord shall bring deliverance to them.[p. 84]
11 And I said in another place, O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?
12 When all the saints heard these things spoken by Isaiah, they said to the prince of hell, [*1] Open now thy gates, and take away thine iron bars; for thou wilt now be bound, and have no power.
13 Then there was a great voice, as of the sound of thunder saying, Lift up your gates, O princes; and be ye lifted up, ye gates of hell, and the King of Glory will enter in.
14 The prince of hell perceiving the same voice repeated, cried out as though he had been ignorant, Who is that King of Glory?
15 David replied to the prince of hell, and said, I understand the words of that voice, because I spake them by his spirit. And now, as I have above said, I say unto thee, the Lord strong and powerful, the Lord mighty in battle: he is the King of Glory, and he is the Lord in heaven and in earth;
16 He hath looked down to hear the groans of the prisoners, and to set loose those that are appointed to death. [*2]
17 And now, thou filthy and stinking prince of hell, open thy gates, that the King of Glory may enter in; for he is the Lord of heaven and earth.
18 While David was saying this, the mighty Lord appeared in the form of a man, and enlightened those places which had ever before been in darkness,
19 And broke asunder the fetters which before could not be broken; and with his invincible power visited those who sate in the deep darkness by iniquity, and the shadow of death by sin. [*3]
1 Death and the devils in great horror at Christ’s coming. 13 He tramples on death, seizes the prince of hell, and takes Adam with him to heaven.
IMPIOUS Death and her cruel officers hearing these things, were seized with fear in their several kingdoms, when they saw the clearness of the light,
2 And Christ himself on a sudden appearing in their habitations; they cried out therefore, and said, We are bound by thee; thou seemest to intend our confusion before the Lord.
3 Who art thou, who hast no sign of corruption, but that bright appearance which is a full proof of thy greatness, of which yet thou seemest to take no notice?
4 Who art thou, so powerful and so weak, so great and so little, a mean and yet a soldier of the first rank, who can command in the form of a servant as a common soldier?
5 The King of Glory, dead and alive, though once slain upon the cross?
6 Who layest dead in the grave, and art come down alive to us, and in thy death all the creatures trembled, and all the stars were moved, and now hast thou thy liberty among the dead, and givest disturbance to our legions?
7 Who art thou, who dost release the captives that were held in chains by original sin, and bringest them into their former liberty
8 Who art thou, who dost[p. 85]
spread so glorious and divine a light over those who were made blind by the darkness of sin?
9 In like manner all the legions of devils were seized with the like horror, and with the most submissive fear cried out, and said,
10 Whence comes it, O thou Jesus Christ, that thou art a man so powerful and glorious in majesty, so bright as to have no spot, and so pure as to have no crime? For that lower world of earth, which was ever till now subject to us, and from whence we received tribute, never sent us such a dead man before, never sent such presents as these to the princes of hell.
11 Who therefore art thou, who with such courage enterest among our abodes, and art not only not afraid to threaten us with the greatest punishments, but also endeavourest to rescue all others from the chains in which we hold them?
12 Perhaps thou art that Jesus, of whom Satan just now spoke to our prince, that by the death of the cross thou wert about to receive the power of death.
13 Then the King of Glory trampling upon death, seized the prince of hell, deprived him of all his power, and took our earthly father Adam with him to his glory.
1 Beelzebub, prince of hell, vehemently upbraids Satan for persecuting Christ and bringing him to hell. 4. Christ gives Beelzebub dominion over Satan for ever, as a recompense for taking away Adam and his sons.
THEN the prince of hell took Satan, and with great indication said to him, O thou prince of destruction, author of
Beelzebub’s defeat and banishment, the scorn of God’s angels and loathed by all righteous persons! What inclined thee to act thus?
2 Thou wouldst crucify the King of Glory, and by his destruction, hast made us promises of very large advantages, but as a fool wert ignorant of what thou wast about.
3 For behold now that Jesus of Nazareth, with the brightness of his glorious divinity, puts to flight all the horrid powers of darkness and death;
4 He has broke down our prisons from top to bottom, dismissed all the captives, released all who were bound, and all who were wont formerly to groan under the weight of their torments have now insulted us, and we are like to be defeated by their prayers.
5 Our impious dominions are subdued, and no part of mankind is now left in our subjection, but on the other hand, they all boldly defy us;
6 Though, before, the dead never durst behave themselves insolently towards us, nor, being prisoners, could ever on any occasion be merry.
7 O Satan, thou prince of all the wicked, father of the impious and abandoned, why wouldest thou attempt this exploit, seeing our prisoners were hitherto always without the least hopes of salvation and life?
8 But now there is not one of them does ever groan, nor is there the least appearance of a tear in any of their faces.
9 O prince Satan, thou great keeper of the infernal regions, all thy advantages which thou didst acquire by the forbidden tree, and the loss of Paradise,[p. 86]
thou hast now lost by the wood of the cross;
10 And thy happiness all then expired, when thou didst crucify Jesus Christ the King of Glory.
11 Thou hast acted against thine own interest and mine, as thou wilt presently perceive by those large torments and infinite punishments which thou art about to suffer.
12 O Satan, prince of all evil, author of death, and source of all pride, thou shouldest first have inquired into the evil crimes of Jesus of Nazareth, and then thou wouldest have found that he was guilty of no fault worthy of death.
13 Why didst thou venture, without either reason or justice, to crucify him, and hast brought down to our regions a person innocent and righteous, and thereby hast lost all the sinners, impious and unrighteous persons in the whole world?
14 While the prince of hell was thus speaking to Satan, the King of Glory said to Beelzebub, the prince of hell, Satan, the prince shall be subject to thy dominion for ever, in the room of Adam and his righteous sons, who are mine.
1 Christ takes Adam by the hand, the rest of the saints join hands, and they all ascend with him to Paradise.
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