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Chapter X.—Hermogenes; Adopts the Socratic Philosophy; His Notion Concerning the Birth and Body of Our Lord.

But a certain Hermogenes,941941    See [vol. iii. p. 257, also p. 477] Tertullian, Præscript., c. xxx.; [vol. iv. p. 245, this series] Origen, Περὶ ἀρχ., i. 2; Eusebius, De Præp., vii. 8, 9; St. Augustine, Hær., lix.; Theodoret, Hær. Fab., i. 19; and Philastrius, Hær., lv. himself also imagining that he propounded some novel opinion, said that God made all things out of coeval and ungenerated matter. For that it was impossible that God could make generated things out of things that are not. And that God is always 123Lord, and always Creator, and matter always a subservient (substance), and that which is assuming phases of being—not, however, the whole of it. For when it was being continually moved in a rude and disorderly manner, He reduced (matter) into order by the following expedient. As He gazed (upon matter) in a seething condition, like (the contents of) a pot when a fire is burning underneath, He effected a partial separation. And taking one portion from the whole, He subdued it, but another He allowed to be whirled in a disorderly manner. And he asserts that what was (thus) subdued is the world, but that another portion remains wild, and is denominated chaotic942942    Literally, “unadorned.” matter. He asserts that this constitutes the substance of all things, as if introducing a novel tenet for his disciples. He does not, however, reflect that this happens to be the Socratic discourse, which (indeed) is worked out more elaborately by Plato than by Hermogenes. He acknowledges, however, that Christ is the Son of the God who created all things; and along with (this admission), he confesses that he was born of a virgin and of (the) Spirit, according to the voice of the Gospels. And (Hermogenes maintains that Christ), after His passion, was raised up in a body, and that He appeared to His disciples, and that as He went up into heaven He left His body in the sun, but that He Himself proceeded on to the Father. Now (Hermogenes) resorts to testimony, thinking to support himself by what is spoken, (viz.) what the Psalmist David says: “In the sun he hath placed his tabernacle, and himself (is) as a bridegroom coming forth from his nuptial chamber, (and) he will rejoice as a giant to run his course.”943943    Ps. xix. 4, 5. These, then, are the opinions which also Hermogenes attempted to establish.


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