"O earth unsown, that put forth the fruit of salvation! O Virgin, who surpassed even the paradise of pleasure itself. For it, indeed, produced the growth of vegetation from the plants that sprung up from virginal earth: but this Virgin is of that better earth which brought forth not trees bearing apples, but the rod of Jesse, bringing to men the fruits of salvation. Now that earth was virgin, and this, too, virgin. In the one God commanded trees to grow up, but of this Virgin the Creator Himself was the offspring. As that earth received no planting anterior to the trees, so neither did Mary suffer any scath of virginity from her childbirth. More glorious than paradise was the Virgin: for whereas it was the culture of God, she cultured God Himself according to the flesh, when He willed to be united to the nature of man."*

"Mary is the ever-blooming paradise of incorruptibility, wherein is planted the tree that giveth life, and bringeth forth all the fruits of immortality."+

"The land of Hevilath, where gold groweth," etc. -- ii. 12.

"What is this Hevilath, both a land and also gold? Is it not the holy Virgin, and her pure and spotless soul?""++

"And the Lord God said: It is not good for man to be alone; let us make him a help like unto himself." -- ii. 18.

"The same Divine Goodness provided also a help-meet, that no good might be wanting. It is not good for man, He says, to be alone. For He knew that the sex of Mary would be profitable to Him, and afterwards to the Church."**

"The Lord God... took one of Adam's ribs... and built the rib... into a woman." -- ii. 21, 22.

"With the rib that was drawn out of Adam, the wicked one drew out the heart of Adam. There arose from the rib [i.e., Mary], a hidden power which cut off Satan as Dagon."|| For in that ark [Mary again], a book was hidden that cried and proclaimed the Conqueror. There was then a mystery revealed, in that Dagon was brought low in his own place of refuge. The accomplishment came after the type, in that the wicked one was brought low wherein he trusted... Fulfilled was the mystery. Blessed is He who by the true Lamb redeemed us, and destroyed our destroyer as He did Dagon."***

"And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat... and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat." -- iii. 6.

"O the marvel of Thy Conception from Mary! For as death entered and infused itself by the small winding aperture of the ear, so did life penetrate and pour itself into the new ear of Mary. And as a tree brought forth death, so did another tree bring back life, that whereas by the one death conquered, by the other life triumphed."+++

"And Adam said: The woman... gave me of the tree, and I did eat... And she answered: the serpent deceived me, and I did eat." -- iii. 12, 13.

* S. Theodotus of Ancyra, Orat. in Nativ. Domini. Section 1. In Synodo Ephesin. lecta. Concil. Tom. v. p. 185.

+ Orat. i. De Annunt. Int. Opp. S. Greg. Thaumat.

++ S. Proclus, Orat. vi. de laudib. Deip. Section 1, p. 632, Galland. T. ix.

** Tertullian, Contr. Marcion. L. ii. c. iv.

|| Gen. iii. 15, 1 Kings v. 4.

+++ Serm. in loc., Opp. Syr. T. ii. p. 324.



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