Against the Galileans 32


61 And this is not the only instance, but when the sons of Adam also offered firstfruits to God, the Scripture says, And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offerings; but unto Cain and to his offerings he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord God said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? Is it not so----if thou offerest rightly, but dost not cut in pieces rightly, thou hast sinned?[ Genesis 4. 4-7] Do you then desire to hear also what were their offerings? And at the end of days it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruits of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof[ Genesis 4. 3-4]. You see, say the Galilaeans, it was not the sacrifice but the division thereof that God disapproved when he said to Cain, If thou offerest rightly, but dost not cut in pieces rightly, hast thou not sinned? This is what one of your most learned bishops told me. But in the first place he was deceiving himself and then other men also. For when I asked him in what way the division was blameworthy he did not know how to get out of it, or how to make me even a frigid explanation. And when I saw that he was greatly embarrassed, I said; God rightly disapproved the thing you speak of. For the zeal of the two men was equal, in that they both thought that they ought to offer up gifts and sacrifices to God. But in the matter of their division one of them hit the mark and the other fell short of it. How, and in what manner? Why, since of things on the earth some have life and others are lifeless, and those that have life are more precious than those that are lifeless to the living God who is also the cause of life, inasmuch as they also have a share of life and have a soul more akin to his----for this reason God was more graciously inclined to him who offered a perfect sacrifice.

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