20 The Pythagorean doctrine of metemyuxwsij (transmigration of souls) which was in a modified form accepted by Plato (Phoedr, et alibi), would seem to have been the original source of this view Or the soul's origin. It would naturally be palatable doctrine to the Gnostics and other philosophizing sects. In Lett. XXXV., chap. iii., it is attributed to Origen. For a modem exposition the reader cannot do better than refer to Wordsworth's ode on the intimations of Immortality in childhood.
26 Leo's commentary on this obscure fancy of the Priscillianist is disappointing, as it Is merely a repetition or continuation of his remarks on the 12th head. They seem to have divided the scriptures in some mystic fashion into portions corresponding to the qualitates interiorum proesulum in patriarcharum nominibus(statutoe) of chap. xiii., and to have insisted on knowledge of the Scriptures as necessary to the proper action of those "ruling principles" on the soul. Cf. S. Aug. Letter CCXXXVII., chap. iii (Hurter)
27 Viz.7 such writings as the Actusof Thomas, Andrew and John, and the Memoria apostolorum, qui totam destruit legem veteris Testamenti,according to Turribius's letter to Idacius and Ceponius, chap. V., subjoined to this letter in the Leonine series.
1 From this letter it might be gathered that it was a universal practice of the early Church based on the precepts of the apostles, to restrict Baptism to the feasts of Easter and Whitsuntide, and exclude Epiphany. Whereas as a matter of fact the restriction was almost exclusively Roman ; all the Eastern Churches and a good many of the Western recognizing the Epiphany as a suitable occasion for the rite. Leo is too fond of claiming Apostolic authority for his dictates, and none such exists here, as far as we know.
2 It will be noticed that Leo's order of events, though probably correct is not that of the modern Kalendar, which places the Epiphany (Jan. 6) soon after the Circumcision (Jan. 1), and not after the Purification (Feb. 2) unless it was some little time after, Herod's cruelty was unnecessarily great in including children of two years old in his massacre (S. Matt. ii. 16).
3 S. Luke ii. 49, in his quoe Patris mei sunt (Vulgate): this version leaves the exipression e0n toi=j tou= Patro/j mou in its original ambiguity, but Leo's counmentary immediately following gives his decision in favour of "in My Father's house".
6 Sacramentorum mysteria coruscasse : it is instructive to find the two words here conjoined, Leo so often using them apparently as equivalents. No one, moreover aftor reading this sentence can doubt what in early times Western Christians meant by sacramentum , see Letter XII. chap. 3, &c.
13 Celebrandoe generaliter gratioe, where generaliter has much the same sense as the Eng. "generally" has in the definition of a sacrament in the Eng. Ch. Catechism as "generally necessary to salvation."
18 It need hardly be pointed out that these words ,"where the sacrament is the same," refer to the sacra - mentum (in its Leonine sense), that has just been explained, viz,, that Christus est veritas et spiritus sanctus est spiritus veritatus.
21 Principalis et maximi sacramenti custodienda nobis est mystica et rationalis exceptio ( another reading being exemplatio (symbolism), which Quesnel prefers, thinking that the words have reference to the appropriateness of this symbolic rite of Baptism being performed at Easter-tide).
26 Babtismi sui in se condidit sacramentum : the baptism of Christ has very generally been associated with the Epiphany : the record of it, for instance, in S. Luke iii. 15-23, is the 2nd morning lesson for the Festival in the English Church. It is, however, not clear who the "some" were whom Leo mentions above as putting Christ's baptism on the same day as the Epiphany; perhaps he means the Eastern Church."