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ANF06. Fathers of the Third Century: Gregory Thaumaturgus, Dionysius the Great, Julius Africanus, Anatolius, and Minor Writers, Methodius, Arn
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14. The judges said: If you have any clearer statement yet to make, give us some explanation of the nature15701570    Or, standard. of your doctrine and the designation15711571    Titulo. of your faith. Manes replied: I hold that there are two natures, one good and another evil; and that the one which is good dwells indeed in certain parts proper to it, but that the evil one is this world, as well as all things in it, which are placed there like objects imprisoned15721572    Ergastula. in the portion of the wicked one, as John says, that “the whole world lieth in wickedness,”15731573    Or, in the wicked one. 1 John v. 19. and not in God. Wherefore we have maintained that there are two localities,—one good, and another which lies outside of this,15741574    The text gives “extra eum.” Routh suggests Deum, outside of God. so that, having space therein in his, it might be capable of receiving into itself the creature, i.e., creation, of the world. For if we say that there is but a monarchy of one nature, and that God fills all things, and that there is no location outside of Him, what will be the sustainer of the creature, i.e., creation? where will be the Gehenna of fire? where the outer darkness? where the weeping? Shall I say in Himself? God forbid; else He Himself will also be made to suffer in and with these. Entertain no such fancies, whosoever of you have any care for your salvation; for I shall give you an example, in order that you may have fuller understanding of the truth. The world is one vessel;15751575    Vas. and if15761576    The text gives simply “quod Dei substantia,” etc. We may perhaps adopt, with Routh, “quod si Dei,” etc. the substance of God has already filled this entire vessel, how is it possible now that anything more can be placed in this same vessel? If it is full, how shall it receive what is placed in it, unless a certain portion of the vessel is emptied? Or whither shall that which is to be emptied out make its way, seeing that there is no locality for it? Where then is the earth? where the heavens? where the abyss? where the stars? where the settlements?15771577    Sedes. [“Thrones,” as in Milton.] Routh suggests sidera, luminaries. where the powers? where the princes? where the outer darkness? Who is he that has laid the foundations of these, and where? No one is able to tell us that without stumbling on blasphemy. And in what way, again, has He been able to make the creatures, if there is no subsistent matter? For if He has made them out of the non-existent, it will follow that these visible creatures should be superior, and full of all virtues. But if in these there are wickedness, and death, and corruption, and whatever is opposed to the good, how say we that they owe their formation to a nature different from themselves? Howbeit if you consider the way in which the sons of men are begotten, you will find that the creator of man is not the Lord, but another being, who is also himself of an unbegotten15781578    Ingenitæ. nature, who has neither founder, nor creator, nor maker, but who, such as he is, has been produced by his own malice alone. In accordance with this, you men have a commerce with your wives, which comes to you by an occasion of the following nature. When any one of you has satiated himself with carnal meats, and meats of other kinds, then the impulse of concupiscence rises in him, and in this way the enjoyment15791579    Fructus. of begetting a son is increased; and this happens not as if that had its spring in any virtue, or in philosophy, or in any other gift of mind, but in fulness of meats only, and in lust and fornication. And how shall any one tell me that our father Adam was made after the image of God, and in His likeness, and that he is like Him who made him? How can it be said that all of us who have been begotten of him are like him? Yea, rather, on the contrary, have we not a great variety of forms, and do we not bear the impress of different countenances? And how true this is, I shall exhibit to you in parables. Look, for instance, at a person who wishes to seal up a treasure, or some other object, and you will observe how, when he has got a little wax or clay, he seeks to stamp it with an impression of his own countenance from the ring which he wears;15801580    The reference is to the ancient custom of using wax and certain earths and clays for the purpose of affixing, by means of the ring, a seal with an impression on any object which it was desired to secure. Thus Herodotus, ii. 38, tell us how the Egyptians marked the pure victim by wrapping it round the horns with papyrus, and then smearing some sealing earth (γῆν σημαντρίδα) on it, and stamping it with a ring. See also Cicero, Pro Flacco, where he speaks of the laudatio obsignata cretâ illa Asiatica; and Plautus, Pseudolus, Scene i., where he mentions the expressam in cera ex annulo suam imaginem, etc. [Compare vol. v. p. 466, note 3, this series.] but if another countenance also stamps the figure of itself on the object in a similar manner, will the impression seem like? By no means, although you may be reluctant to acknowledge what is true. But if we are not like in the common impression, and if, instead of that, there are differences in us, how can it fail to be proved thereby that we are the workmanship of the princes, and of matter? For in due accordance with their form, and likeness, and image, we also exist as diverse forms. But if you wish to be fully instructed as to that commerce which took place at the beginning, and as to the manner in which it occurred, I shall explain the matter to you.


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