Select Works And Letters Or Athanasius by Athanasius
20. Same Subject Continued.
Thus, for example, the Patriarch Jacob was favoured in his flight with many, even divine visions, and remaining quiet himself, he had the Lord on his side, rebuking Laban, and hindering the designs of Esau; and afterwards he became the Father of Judah, of whom sprang the Lord according to the flesh; and he dispensed the blessings to the Patriarchs. And when Moses the beloved of God was in exile, then it was that he saw that great sight, and being preserved from his persecutors, was sent as a prophet into Egypt, and being made the minister of those mighty wonders and of the Law, he led that great people in the wilderness. And David when he was persecuted wrote the Psalm, My heart uttered a good word ;' and, Our God shall come even visibly, and shall not keep silence .' And again he speaks more confidently, saying, Mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies ;' and again, In God have I put my trust; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me .' And when he fled and escaped from the face of Saul to the cave,' he said, He hath sent from heaven and hath saved me. He hath given them to reproach that would tread me under their feet. God hath sent His mercy and truth, and hath delivered my soul from the midst of lions .' Thus he too was saved according to the dispensation of God, and afterwards became king, and received the promise, that from his seed our Lord should issue. And the great Elijah, when he withdrew to mount Carmel, called upon God, and destroyed at once more than four hundred prophets of Baal; and when there were sent to take him two captains of fifty with their hundred men, he said, Let fire come down from heaven ,' and thus rebuked them. And he too was preserved, so that he anointed Elisha in his own stead, and became a pattern of discipline for the sons of the prophets. And the blessed Paul, after writing these words, what persecutions I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me, and will deliver ;' could speak more confidently and say, But in all these things we are more than conquerors, for nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ .' For then it was that he was caught up to the third heaven, and admitted into paradise, where he heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter .' And for this end was he then preserved, that from Jerusalem even unto Illyricum' he might fully preach the Gospel .'