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Chapter VI.—Marcion’s Object in Adulterating the Gospel. No Difference Between the Christ of the Creator and the Christ of the Gospel. No Rival Christ Admissible. The Connection of the True Christ with the Dispensation of the Old Testament Asserted.

But we now advance a step further on, and challenge (as we promised to do) the very Gospel of Marcion, with the intention of thus proving that it has been adulterated. For it is certain36203620    Certe, for certo. that the whole aim at which he has strenuously laboured even in the drawing up of his Antitheses, centres in this, that he may establish a diversity between the Old and the New Testaments, so that his own Christ may be separate from the Creator, as belonging to this rival god, and as alien from the law and the prophets. It is certain, also, that with this view36213621    Propterea. he has erased everything that was contrary to his own opinion and made for the Creator, as if it had been interpolated by His advocates, whilst everything which agreed with his own opinion he has retained. The latter statements we shall strictly examine;36223622    Conveniemus. and if they shall turn out rather for our side, and shatter the assumption of Marcion, we shall embrace them. It will then become evident, that in retaining them he has shown no less of the defect of blindness, which characterizes heresy, than he displayed when he erased all the former class of subjects. Such, then, is to be36233623    Sic habebit. the drift and form of my little treatise; subject, of course, to whatever condition may have become requisite on both sides of the question.36243624    This seems to be the sense of the words, “sub illa utique conditione quæ ex utraque parte condicta sit.” Marcion has laid down the position, that Christ who in the days of Tiberius was, by a previously unknown god, revealed for the salvation of all nations, is a different being from Him who was ordained by God the Creator for the restoration of the Jewish state, and who is yet to come. Between these he interposes the separation of36253625    Scindit. a great and absolute difference—as great as lies between what is just and what is good;36263626    That is, between what is severe and judicial and punitive on one side, that is, the Creator’s; and what is mild, merciful, and forgiving, on the other, that is, the Redeemer’s side (Rigalt.). as great as lies between the law and the gospel; as great, (in short,) as is the difference between Judaism and Christianity. Hence will arise also our rule,36273627    Præscriptio. by which we determine36283628    Defigimus. that there ought to be nothing in common between the Christ of the rival god and the Creator; but that (Christ) must be pronounced to belong to the Creator,36293629    Creatoris pronunciandum. if He has administered His dispensations, fulfilled His prophecies, promoted36303630    Adjuverit. His laws, given reality to36313631    Repræsentaverit. His promises, revived His mighty power,36323632    Restauraverit virtutes ejus. remoulded His determinations,36333633    Sententias reformaverit. expressed His attributes, His properties.  This law and this rule I earnestly request the reader to have ever in his mind, and so let him begin to investigate whether Christ be Marcion’s or the Creator’s.


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