1. DO NOT slightly regard the noetic nature of the soul. The immortal soul is a vessel of great price. Observe how great the heaven is and the earth; and yet God took not any great complacency in them, but in thee only. Behold thy own worth and high descent, that the Lord should come on an embassy -- and that not by angels, but in his own person, with the purpose to recall thee that hadst been lost; and to restore to thee the original formation of Adam in his purity. For man was Lord of all, from heaven above to the depths beneath, and pure from sin, [the image] and likeness of God. But through the transgression he is fallen, and wounded, and dead.
2. Question: Is natural concupiscence rooted out by the coming of the Holy Spirit?
Answer: Sin is rooted out, and man receives the original formation of Adam in his purity. Through the power of the Spirit, he comes up to the first Adam; yea, is made greater than him.
3. Question: Is Satan let loose to a certain degree, or does he make war as he pleases?
Answer: If he were permitted to war at pleasure he would put an end to all. If the silversmith and the goldsmith put on fire by rule, for if there is more than enough, the gold and silver is lost; and if man has skill enough to proportion his burdens to his beast, suitable to the strength they have to carry, how much more does God, who knows the capacities of men, loosen the reins of the adverse power in different degrees? In the same proportion, therefore, as any one is able to receive and sustain the fight -- so far is Satan let loose upon him.
4. Question: Does Satan ever be still, and is man freed from the war; or, has he war as long as he lives?
Answer: Satan at no time sleeps. As long as anyone lives in this world and wears flesh, he finds war. But, when the fiery darts of the wicked one shall be quenched, what then is there that hurts the man? Since he has the King to befriend him, one that gives an helping hand, he receives no manner of damage. For when a man has passed through all degrees and is become the King's friend, can he after that be liable to injury from any one?
5. Christians are clothed with the Spirit, and are at rest. Though war arises from without, they are inwardly fortified with the power of the Lord, and are no more concerned for Satan. Just so, when he tempted our Lord in the wilderness for forty days, what real hurt was it, that he could outwardly approach his body? For within was God. In like manner Christians, though outwardly they are tempted, yet inwardly are they filled with the divine nature, and so nothing is injured. These degrees, if any man attain to them, he is come to the perfect love of Christ and to the fullness of the Godhead. But he that is not so, still inwardly retains the war. He is one hour refreshed in prayer, and another in a state of affliction. For so is the will of the Lord: because such a one is as yet but an infant, he trains him up to the battle; and there spring up in him both light and darkness, and rest and affliction; and that, whatever gifts he has (for many of the brethren have had the gifts of healing, revelation and prophecy), however, not having attained to perfect charity, the war came upon them and they fell. Indeed, if any one comes to perfect love, he is for ever after bound and captivated by grace. But if any one make but small advances towards this, he is still in bondage to fear, and to war, and to falling.
Translation edited by the Revd D.R. Jennings, with corrections and additional editorial work by the Monachos.net Library Project.