Anf-03 v.iv.ii.xiv Pg 4—imitate, if you can, the cells of the bee, the hills of the ant, the webs of the spider, and the threads of the silkworm; endure, too, if you know how, those very creatures2490
2 Cor. xii. 5.
2490 Tertullian, it should be remembered, lived in Africa. which infest your couch and house, the poisonous ejections of the blister-beetle,2491
2491 Cantharidis. the spikes of the fly, and the gnat’s sheath and sting. What of the greater animals, when the small ones so affect you with pleasure or pain, that you cannot even in their case despise their Creator? Finally, take a circuit round your own self; survey man within and without. Even this handiwork of our God will be pleasing to you, inasmuch as your own lord, that better god, loved it so well,2492
2492 Adamavit. and for your sake was at the pains2493
2493 Laboravit. of descending from the third heaven to these poverty-stricken2494
2494 Paupertina. This and all such passages are, of course, in imitation of Marcion’s contemptuous view of the Creator’s work. elements, and for the same reason was actually crucified in this sorry2495
2495 Cellula. apartment of the Creator. Indeed, up to the present time, he has not disdained the water which the Creator made wherewith he washes his people; nor the oil with which he anoints them; nor that union of honey and milk wherewithal he gives them the nourishment2496
2496 Infantat. of children; nor the bread by which he represents his own proper body, thus requiring in his very sacraments the “beggarly2497
2497 Mendicitatibus. elements” of the Creator. You, however, are a disciple above his master, and a servant above his lord; you have a higher reach of discernment than his; you destroy what he requires. I wish to examine whether you are at least honest in this, so as to have no longing for those things which you destroy. You are an enemy to the sky, and yet you are glad to catch its freshness in your houses. You disparage the earth, although the elemental parent2498
2498 Matricem. of your own flesh, as if it were your undoubted enemy, and yet you extract from it all its fatness2499
2499 Medullas. for your food. The sea, too, you reprobate, but are continually using its produce, which you account the more sacred diet.2500
2500 [The use of fish for fasting-days has no better warrant than Marcion’s example.] If I should offer you a rose, you will not disdain its Maker. You hypocrite, however much of abstinence you use to show yourself a Marcionite, that is, a repudiator of your Maker (for if the world displeased you, such abstinence ought to have been affected by you as a martyrdom), you will have to associate yourself with2501
2501 Uteris. the Creator’s material production, into what element soever you shall be dissolved. How hard is this obstinacy of yours! You vilify the things in which you both live and die.