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Chapter XXXIV.—No Early Controversy Respecting the Divine Creator; No Second God Introduced at First. Heresies Condemned Alike by the Sentence and the Silence of Holy Scripture.

These are, as I suppose, the different kinds of spurious doctrines, which (as we are informed by the apostles themselves) existed in their own day.  And yet we find amongst so many various perversions of truth, not one school22132213    Institutionem. which raised any controversy concerning God as the Creator of all things. No man was bold enough to surmise a second god. More readily was doubt felt about the Son than about the Father, until Marcion introduced, in addition to the Creator, another god of goodness only.  Apelles made the Creator of some nondescript22142214    Nescio quem. glorious angel, who belonged to the superior God, the god (according to him,) of the law and of Israel, affirming that he was fire.22152215    Igneum, “consisted of fire.” Valentinus disseminated his Æons, and traced the sin of one Æon22162216    “The ectroma, or fall of Sophia from the Pleroma, from whom the Creator was fabled to be descended” (Dodgson). to the production of God the Creator. To none, forsooth, except these, nor prior to these, was revealed the truth of the Divine Nature; and they obtained this especial honour and fuller favour from the devil, we cannot doubt,22172217    Scilicet. because he wished even in this respect to rival God, that he might succeed, by the poison of his doctrines, in doing himself what the Lord said could not be done—making “the disciples above their Master.”22182218    Luke vi. 40. Let the entire mass22192219    Universæ. of heresies choose, therefore, for themselves the times when they should appear, provided that the when be an unimportant point; allowing, too, that they be not of the truth, and (as a matter of course22202220    Utique.) that such as had no exist260ence in the time of the apostles could not possibly have had any connection with the apostles. If indeed they had then existed, their names would be extant,22212221    Nominarentur et ipsæ. with a view to their own repression likewise.  Those (heresies) indeed which did exist in the days of the apostles, are condemned in their very mention.22222222    Nominatione, i.e. by the apostles. If it be true, then, that those heresies, which in the apostolic times were in a rude form, are now found to be the same, only in a much more polished shape, they derive their condemnation from this very circumstance. Or if they were not the same, but arose afterwards in a different form, and merely assumed from them certain tenets, then, by sharing with them an agreement in their teaching,22232223    Prædicationis. they must needs partake in their condemnation, by reason of the above-mentioned definition,22242224    Fine. of lateness of date, which meets us on the very threshold.22252225    Præcedente. Even if they were free from any participation in condemned doctrine, they would stand already judged22262226    Præjudicarentur. [i.e. by Præscription.] on the mere ground of time, being all the more spurious because they were not even named by the apostles. Whence we have the firmer assurance, that these were (the heresies) which even then,22272227    i.e., in the days of the apostles, and by their mouth. were announced as about to arise.


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