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Chapter XXXV.—Learning Before Teaching.

To this Simon replied:  “Then truth is not the property of all, but of those only who know the art of disputation, which is absurd; for it cannot be, since He is equally the God of all, that all should not be equally able to know His will.”  Then Peter:  “All were made equal by Him, and to all He has given equally to be receptive of truth.  But that none of those who are born, are born with education, but education is subsequent to birth, no one can doubt.  Since, therefore, the birth of men holds equity in this respect, that all are equally capable of receiving discipline, the difference is not in nature, but in education.  Who does not know that the things which any one learns, he was ignorant of before he learned them?”  Then Simon said “You say truly.”  Then Peter said, “If then in those arts which are in common use, one first learns and then teaches, how much more ought those who profess to be the educators of souls, first to learn, and so to teach, that they may not expose themselves to ridicule, if they promise to afford knowledge to others, when they themselves are unskilful?”  Then Simon:  “This is true in respect of those arts which are in common use; but in the word of knowledge, as soon as any one has heard, he has learned.”

Next: Chapter XXXVI