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Chapter XXXIX.—These Latter Speculations Shown to Be Contradictory to the First Principles Respecting Matter, Formerly Laid Down by Hermogenes.

Well, now, since it seems to you to be the correcter thing,65466546    Rectius. let Matter be circumscribed65476547    Definitiva. by means of changes and displacements; let it also be capable of comprehension, since (as you say) it is used as material by God,65486548    Ut quæ fabricatur, inquis, a Deo. on the ground of its being convertible, mutable, and separable. For its changes, you say, show it to be inseparable. And here you have swerved from your own lines65496549    Lineis. Tertullian often refers to Hermogenes’ profession of painting. which you prescribed respecting the person of God when you laid down the rule that God made it not out of His own self, because it was not possible for Him to become divided65506550    In partes venire. seeing that He is eternal and abiding for ever, and therefore unchangeable and indivisible. Since Matter too is estimated by the same eternity, having neither beginning nor end, it will be unsusceptible of division, of change, for the same reason that God also is. Since it is associated with Him in the joint possession of eternity, it must needs share with Him also the powers, the laws, and the conditions of eternity.  In like manner, when you say, “All things simultaneously throughout the universe65516551    Omnia ex omnibus. possess portions of it,65526552    i.e. of Matter. that so the whole may be ascertained from65536553    Dinoscatur ex. its parts,” you of course mean to indicate those parts which were produced out of it, and which are now visible to us.  How then is this possession (of Matter) by all things throughout the universe effected—that is, of course, from the very beginning65546554    Utique ex pristinis.—when the things which are now visible to us are different in their condition65556555    Aliter habeant. from what they were in the beginning?


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