Sunday, November 21, 2010

Man elevated above the angels in Pico's Heptaplus

115 Finally Moses mentions man - not because he is an angel, but because he is end and terminus of the angelic world, just as when discussing corruptible nature he presents man not as part of that nature, but as its beginning and head. From this it comes that the discussion of man pertains to the three worlds, to that which is proper to him and to both extremes, the incorporeal and the elementary, between which he is placed so that he is the end of one and the beginning of the other. But I see a trap prepared for our interpretation, since it may be pointed out that man is set over the fish of the sea, the birds, and the beasts. If these signify the angelic natures, how can what is written be true, that over them is set man, who, the philosophers know and the Prophet testifies, is lower than the angels? Let Him who also ground Satan under our feet, Jesus Christ, the first-born of all creatures, aid us and destroy the trap. He surely destroys the trap and loosens and bursts every knot, not only because in Him, in Whom all divinity dwelt corporeally, human nature is so elevated that Christ as a man, so far as He is man, teaches, enlightens, and perfects the angels, if we believe Dionysius (CH IV), being made according to Paul much better than the angels, (Hebrews 1:4), as He inherited a more excellent name than they but also because all of us, to whom the power is given to become sons of God through the grace whose giver is Christ, can be raised to an honor above that of the angels.

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