Quando venit tempus ut misereretur Deus, venit Agnus. qualis Agnus quem lupi timent? qualis Agnus est qui leonem occisus occidit? dictus est enim diabolus leo circumiens et rugiens, quaerens quem devoret [1 Petr. 5.8]: sanguine Agni victus est leo. Ecce spectacula Christianorum. et quod est amplius, illi oculis carnis vident vanitatem, nos cordis oculis veritatem. ne putetis, fratres, quod sine spectaculis nos dimisit Dominus Deus noster: nam si nulla sunt spectacula, cur hodie convenistis? ecce quod diximus, vidistis, et exclamastis: non exclamaretis, nisi vidissetis. et magnum est hoc spectare per totum orbem terrarum, victum leonem sanguine Agni, educta de dentibus leonum membra Christi, et adiuncta corpori Christi. ergo nescio quid simile imitatus est quidam spiritus, ut sanguine simulacrum suum emi vellet, quia noverat pretioso sanguine quandocumque redimendum esse genus humanum. fingunt enim spiritus mali umbras quasdam honoris sibimet ipsis, ut sic decipiant eos qui sequuntur Christum. usque adeo, fratres mei, ut illi ipsi qui seducunt per ligaturas, per praecantationes, per machinamenta inimici, misceant praecantationibus suis nomen Christi: quia iam non possunt seducere Christianos, ut dent venenum, addunt mellis aliquid, ut per id quod dulce est, lateat quod amarum est, et bibatur ad perniciem. usque adeo ut ego noverim aliquo tempore illius Pilleati sacerdotem solere dicere: “et ipse Pilleatus christianus est.” ut quid hoc, fratres, nisi quia aliter non possunt seduci Christiani?
(Augustine, In Joh. Evang. Tract. 7.1.6)
When the time came for God to have mercy, the Lamb came. What sort of a Lamb whom wolves fear? What sort of a Lamb is it who, when slain, slew a lion? For the devil is called a lion, going about and roaring, seeking whom he may devour. By the blood of the Lamb the lion was vanquished. Behold the spectacles of Christians. And what is more: they with the eyes of the flesh behold vanity, we with the eyes of the heart behold truth. Do not think, brethren, that our Lord God has dismissed us without spectacles; for if there are no spectacles, why have ye come together today? Behold, what we have said you saw, and you exclaimed; you would not have exclaimed if you had not seen. And this is a great thing to see in the whole world, the lion vanquished by the blood of the Lamb: members of Christ delivered from the teeth of the lions, and joined to the body of Christ. Therefore some spirit or other contrived the counterfeit that His image should be bought for blood, because he knew that the human race was at some time to be redeemed by the precious blood. For evil spirits counterfeit certain shadows of honor to themselves, that they may deceive those who follow Christ. So much so, my brethren, that those who seduce by means of amulets, by incantations, by the devices of the enemy, mingle the name of Christ with their incantations: because they are not now able to seduce Christians, so as to give them poison they add some honey, that by means of the sweet the bitter may be concealed, and be drunk to ruin. So much so, that I know that the priest of that Pilleatus was sometimes in the habit of saying, “Pilleatus himself also is a Christian.” Why so, brethren, unless that they were not able otherwise to seduce Christians? (tr. John Gibb)