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  • Hermogenes Makes Great Efforts to Remove Evil from God to Matter. How He Fails to Do This Consistently with His Own Argument.

    Chapter XI.—Hermogenes Makes Great Efforts to Remove Evil from God to Matter. How He Fails to Do This Consistently with His Own Argument.

    But, after all,6227

    6227 Et tamen.

    by what proofs does Hermogenes persuade us that Matter is evil? For it will be impossible for him not to call that evil to which he imputes evil. Now we lay down this principle,6228

    6228 Definimus.

    that what is eternal cannot possibly admit of diminution and subjection, so as to be considered inferior to another co-eternal Being. So that we now affirm that evil is not even compatible with it,6229

    6229 Competere illi.

    since it is incapable of subjection, from the fact that it cannot in any wise be subject to any, because it is eternal.  But inasmuch as, on other grounds,6230

    6230 Alias.

    it is evident what is eternal as God is the highest good, whereby also He alone is good—as being eternal, and therefore good—as being God, how can evil be inherent in Matter, which (since it is eternal) must needs be believed to be the highest good? Else if that which is eternal prove to be also capable of evil, this (evil) will be able to be also believed of God to His prejudice;6231

    6231 Et in Deum credi.

    so that it is without adequate reason that he has been so anxious6232

    6232 Gestivit.

    to remove evil from God; since evil must be compatible with an eternal Being, even by being made compatible with Matter, as Hermogenes makes it. But, as the argument now stands,6233

    6233 Jam vero.

    since what is eternal can be deemed evil, the evil must prove to be invincible and insuperable, as being eternal; and in that case6234

    6234 Tum.

    it will be in vain that we labour “to put away evil from the midst of us;”6235

    6235 1 Cor. v. 13.

    in that case, moreover, God vainly gives us such a command and precept; nay more, in vain has God appointed any judgment at all, when He means, indeed,6236

    6236 Utique: with a touch of irony, in the argumentum ad hominem.

    to inflict punishment with injustice.  But if, on the other hand, there is to be an end of evil, when the chief thereof, the devil, shall “go away into the fire which God hath prepared for him and his angels6237

    6237 Matt. xxv. 41.

    —having been first “cast into the bottomless pit;”6238

    6238 Rev. xx. 3.

    when likewise “the manifestation of the children of God6239

    6239 Rom. viii. 19.

    shall have “delivered the creature”6240

    6240 Rom. viii. 21.

    from evil, which had been “made subject to vanity;”6241

    6241 Rom. viii. 20.

    when the cattle restored in the innocence and integrity of their nature6242

    6242 Conditionis: “creation.”

    shall be at peace6243

    6243 Condixerint.

    with the beasts of the field, when also little children shall play with serpents;6244

    6244 Isa. xi. 6.

    when the Father shall have put beneath the feet of His Son His enemies,6245

    6245 Ps. cx. 1.

    as being the workers of evil,—if in this way an end is compatible with evil, it must follow of necessity that a beginning is also compatible with it; and Matter will turn out to have a beginning, by virtue of its having also an end. For whatever things are set to the account of evil,6246

    6246 Male deputantur.

    have a compatibility with the condition of evil.


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