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Book IX.

Chapter I.—An Explanation.

On the following day, Peter, along with us, hastened early to the place in which the discussion had been held the day before; and when he saw that great crowds had assembled there to hear, and saw the old man with them, he said to him:834834    [The discourses in book ix. are peculiar to the Recognitions not only in their position in the story, but to a remarkably large extent in the matter.—R.]  “Old man, it was agreed yesterday that you should confer to-day with Clement; and that you should either show that nothing takes place apart from genesis, or that Clement should prove that there is no such thing as genesis, but that what we do is in our own power.”  To this the old man answered:  “I both remember what was agreed upon, and I keep in memory the words which you spoke after the agreement was made, in which you taught that it is impossible for man to know any thing, unless he learn from the true Prophet.”  Then Peter said:  “You do not know what I meant; but I shall now explain to you.  I spoke of the will and purpose of God, which He had before the world was, and by which purpose He made the world, appointed times, gave the law, promised a world to come to the righteous for the rewarding of their good deeds, and decreed punishments to the unjust according to a judicial sentence.  I said that this counsel and this will of God cannot be found out by men, because no man can gather the mind of God from conjectures and opinion, unless a prophet sent by Him declare it.  I did not therefore speak 183of any doctrines or studies, that they cannot be found out or known without a prophet; for I know that both arts and sciences can be known and practised by men, which they have learned, not from the true Prophet, but from human instructors.

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