Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos

Frothingham F. Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos. -1886

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77 tions of intelligences always filled with the desire for the
contemplation, in so far as is allowed, of supernatural things,
but also by the very excellent disposition of the divine ordi¬
nances , which while it forbids to meddle with what is above
us, both as being superior to our worth and as unattainable,
yet bids us to learn with zeal whatever is allowed and given
to us, urging us to communicate generously to others. Per¬
suaded then by this, and not desisting or shrinking from that
search after divine things which is within our reach, and t not hearing patiently that those who are not able to contem¬
plate the things above us should remain without help, we have
undertaken to write, not pretending to teach anything new,
but interpreting and showing forth, - by investigations more
minute and applied to distinct parts, what had been said
synoptically by Hierotheos”. In another place (Div. Names II,
9) Dionysios says, as a preface to his quotation from Hiero¬
theos’ Elements of Theology: u this has been unfolded in a
supernatural manner by our illustrious teacher in his Elements
of Theology, which he in part received from pious theolo¬
gians, in part conceived by a scientific investigation of
Scripture through his frequent exercise and practice therein,
and in part was taught by some more divine inspiration, by
not only learning but experiencing divine things (ov fiovov
ftadcav, akXd xal nadav tcc deta) and by his sympathy
(iovpnadslag) with them, if we may so express ourselves,
made perfect in the unteachable and mystical union with
and faith in them”. The text of the quotations from Hierotheos will be given
with the text of the Book of Hierotheos for the sake of com¬
parison. They have already been referred to on p. 6. In regard to these fragments it will not be out of place