A Memorable Paragraph

OF ALL the things that are rising up in this tumultuous age, nothing comes forward more auspiciously than inauspicious falsehood, most pious King, either because the evil spirit is always trying to crush out the life of every good seed at the start, or because the heavenly husbandman of souls as it were sharpens and promotes virtue and faith by means of vice and faithlessness, just as the Spartans, having taken some town by storm with much expenditure of toil and blood, ordered it not to be utterly destroyed, that they might not lack a grindstone and stake,* as it were, by which to train their soldiers. So also the Lord suffers us to be tried and troubled in manifold ways that we may prove our mettle to Him. For how can one become brave and temperate save in the midst of perils and an abundance of luxury? In the same way the truth that has begun to raise her head becomes brighter and rises higher under the attacks of falsehood. For as this thrusts at her from all sides and pours out all its poison upon her, she is forced to shake herself free, wipe off the stains and defend her limbs, and thus it comes to pass that the mask of falsehood and the charming face of truth herself are more and more displayed and show themselves as they are. But enough of preface.

Guess who said it.

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