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Chapter LXI.

Again, not understanding the meaning of the words, “And God ended45944594    [συνετέλεσεν, complevit.  S.] on the sixth day His works which He had made, and ceased45954595    κατέπαυσεν. on the seventh day from all His works which He had made:  and God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it, because on it He had ceased45964596    κατέπαυσεν. from all His works which He had begun to make;”45974597    Cf. Gen. ii. 2, 3. and imagining the expression, “He ceased on the seventh day,” to be the same as this, “He rested45984598    ἀνεπαύσατο. on the seventh day,” he makes the remark:  “After this, indeed, he is weary, like a very bad workman, who stands in need of rest to refresh himself!”  For he knows nothing of the day of the Sabbath and rest of God, which follows the completion of the world’s creation, and which lasts during the duration of the world, and in which all those will keep festival with God who have done all their works in their six days, and who, because they have omitted none of their duties,45994599    τῶν ἐπιβαλλόντων. will ascend to the contemplation (of celestial things), and to the assembly of righteous and blessed beings.  In the next place, as if either the Scriptures made such a statement, or as if we ourselves so spoke of God as having rested from fatigue, he continues:  “It is not in keeping with the fitness of things46004600    οὐ θέμις. that the first God should feel fatigue, or work with His hands,46014601    χειρουργεῖν. or give forth commands.”  Celsus says, that “it is not in keeping with the fitness of things that the first God should feel fatigue.  Now we would say that neither does God the Word feel fatigue, nor any of those beings who belong to a better and diviner order of things, because the sensation of fatigue is peculiar to those who are in the body.  You can examine whether this is true of those who possess a body of any kind, or of those who have an earthly body, or one a little better than this.  But “neither is it consistent with the fitness of things that the first God should work with His own hands.”  If you understand the words “work with His own hands” literally, then neither are they applicable to the second God, nor to any other being partaking of divinity.  But suppose that they are spoken in an improper and figurative sense, so that we may translate the following expressions, “And the firmament showeth forth His handywork,”46024602    Cf. Ps. xix. 1. and “the heavens are the work of Thy hands,”46034603    Cf. Ps. cii. 25. and any other similar phrases, in a figurative manner, so far as respects the “hands” and “limbs” of Deity, where is the absurdity in the words, “God thus working with His own hands?”  And as there is no absurdity in God thus working, so neither is there in His issuing “commands;” so that what is done at His bidding should be beautiful and praiseworthy, because it was God who commanded it to be performed.


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