It was enough for me, Lord, to oppose to those deceived deceivers, and dumb praters, since Thy word sounded not out of them;—that
was enough which long ago, while we were yet at Carthage, Nebridius used to propound, at which all we that heard it were staggered:
“That said nation of darkness, which the Manichees are wont to set as an opposing mass over against Thee, what could it have
done unto Thee, hadst Thou refused to fight with it? For, if they answered, ‘it would have done Thee
some hurt,’ then shouldest Thou be subject to injury and corruption: but if could do Thee no hurt,’ then was no reason
brought for Thy fighting with it; and fighting in such wise, as that a certain portion or member of Thee, or offspring of
Thy very Substance, should he mingled with opposed powers, and natures not created by Thee, and be by them so far corrupted
and changed to the worse, as to be turned from happiness into misery, and need assistance, whereby it might be extricated
purified; and that this offspring of Thy Substance was the soul, which being enthralled, defiled, corrupted, Thy Word,
free, pure, and whole, might relieve; that Word itself being still corruptible because it was of one and the same Substance.
So then, should they affirm Thee, whatsoever Thou art, that is, Thy Substance whereby Thou art, to be incorruptible, then
were all these sayings false and execrable; but if corruptible, the very statement showed it to be false and revolting.” This
argument then of Nebridius sufficed against those who deserved wholly to be vomited out of the overcharged stomach; for
they had no escape, without horrible blasphemy of heart and tongue, thus thinking and speaking of Thee.