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| The Shifts to Which Hermogenes is Reduced, Who Deifies Matter, and Yet is Unwilling to Hold Him Equal with the Divine Creator. |
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Chapter VI.—The Shifts
to Which Hermogenes is Reduced, Who Deifies Matter, and Yet is
Unwilling to Hold Him Equal with the Divine Creator.
He declares that God’s attribute is still
safe to Him, of being the only God, and the First, and the Author of
all things, and the Lord of all things, and being incomparable to
any—qualities which he straightway ascribes to Matter also. He is
God, to be sure. God shall also attest the same; but He has also sworn
sometimes by Himself, that there is no other God like Him.6188
Hermogenes, however, will make Him a liar.
For Matter will be such a God as He—being unmade, unborn, without
beginning, and without end. God will say, “I am the
Yet how is He the
first, when Matter is co-eternal with Him? Between co-eternals and
contemporaries there is no sequence of rank.6190
| 6189 Isa. xli. 4; xliv. 6; xlviii.
then, Matter also the first? “I,” says the Lord,
“have stretched out the heavens alone.”6191
But indeed He was not alone, when that
likewise stretched them out, of which He made the expanse. When he
asserts the position that Matter was eternal, without any
encroachment on the condition of God, let him see to it that we do not
in ridicule turn the tables on him, that God similarly was eternal
without any encroachment on the condition of Matter—the condition
of Both being still common to Them. The position, therefore, remains
both in the case of
Matter, that it did itself exist, only along with God; and that God
existed alone, but with Matter. It also was first with God, as
God, too, was first with it; it, however, is not comparable with God,
as God, too, is not to be compared with it; with God also it was the
Author (of all things), and with God their Sovereign. In this way he
proposes that God has something, and yet not the whole, of Matter.
For Him, accordingly, Hermogenes has reserved nothing which he had not
equally conferred on Matter, so that it is not Matter which is compared
with God, but rather God who is compared with Matter. Now, inasmuch as
those qualities which we claim as peculiar to God—to have always
existed, without a beginning, without an end, and to have been the
First, and Alone, and the Author of all things—are also
compatible to Matter, I want to know what property Matter
and alien from God, and hereby special to itself, by reason of which it
is incapable of being compared with God? That Being, in which
all the properties of God, is sufficiently
predetermined without any further comparison.
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