THE SECOND EVE
"Here are goods wherewith the Serpent meddles not, wherein error has no part. Here no Eve is seduced; but a Virgin shows her faith (pisteuetai)."*
S. THEOPHILUS, Bishop of Antioch.
"Since this Eve was deceived of old by the serpent, and became the beginner of sin, the evil-working demon who is also called Satan, who then spoke to her through the serpent, and who works even now in those men that are influenced by him, calls on her as Eve. Now the devil is also called the dragon from his having revolted (apodedrakenai) from God. For he was at first an angel."+
"Before John Elisabeth prophesies; before our Lord and Saviour's birth Mary prophesies. And just as sin began from a woman, and then found its way even to man: so too the beginning of salvation had its origin from women, that the rest of women laying aside the weakness of their sex might imitate the life and conversation of these blessed women."++
"It behoved me (Elisabeth) to come to thee, for thou art above all other women blessed; thou the Mother of my Lord, thou my Lady, who bearest the undoing of the curse."**
S. GREGORY THAUMATURGUS.
"Meekly then did grace make election of the pure Mary alone out of all generations. For truly she proved herself prudent in all things; neither has a any woman been born like her in all generations. She was not like the primeval virgin Eve, who, keeping holiday (choreusa) alone in paradise with thoughtless mind, hearkened unguardedly to the word of the serpent, the author of all evil, and thus became depraved in the thoughts of her mind; and, through that deceiver discharging his poison and infusing death with it, brought it into the whole world. From this source, it was, has arisen all the trouble of the saints. But in the holy Virgin is the fall of that (first mother) repaired."||
* Ep. ad Diognet. in fin. P. Gr. Tom. 2, p. 1185. The passage is obscure and probably corrupt: but the comparison of the Church to Paradise, and the allusion to Mary, are plain. For an analogous use of the passive of pisteuo, see S. Justin, Apol. 2, 10. The two last chapters of the Epistle are, however, held by many critics to be doubtfully genuine, though of the same early period.
+ Ad Autolycum. L. ii. 28. Tom. 6, p. 1097. We have quoted this passage, because it identifies the dragon in the Apocalyptic vision (Apoc. xii.) with the serpent in paradise, and consequently also the woman who should be Mother of the promised Seed in Genesis with the woman who brought forth the Man-child in the Apocalypse.