« Prev Chapter XXII. Next »

22. The judges said: We know that a light shines through the whole house, and not in some single part of it; as Jesus also intimates when He says, that “no man lighting a candle puts it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that it may give light unto all that are in the house.”16311631    Matt. v. 16. If, then, God is a light, it must needs be that light (if Jesus is to be credited) shall shine on the whole world, and not on any portions of it merely. And if,16321632    The text gives a quo si, etc. Routh suggests atqui si, etc. then, that light holds possession of the whole world, where now can there be any ungenerated darkness? or how can darkness be understood to exist at all, unless it is something simply accidental? Archelaus said: Forasmuch, indeed, as the word of the Gospel is understood much better by you than by this person who puts himself forward as the Paraclete, although I could call him rather parasite than paraclete, I shall tell you how it has happened that there is darkness. When the light had been diffused everywhere, God began to constitute the universe, and commenced with the heaven and the earth; in which process this issue appeared, to wit, that the midst,16331633    Medietas. which is the locality of earth covered with shadow, as a consequence of the interposition16341634    Reading objectu…creaturarum, instead of obtectu, etc., in Codex Casinensis. of the creatures which were called into being, was found to be obscure, in such wise that circumstances required light to be introduced into that place, which was thus situated in the midst. Hence in Genesis, where Moses gives an account of the construction of the world, he makes no mention of the darkness either as made or as not made. But he keeps silence on that subject, and leaves the explanation of it to be discovered by those who may be able to give proper attention to it. Neither, indeed, is that a very arduous and difficult task. For to whom may it not be made plain that this sun of ours is visible, when it has risen in the east, and taken its course toward the west, but that when it has gone beneath the earth, and been carried farther within that formation which among the Greeks is called the sphere, it then ceases to appear, being overshadowed in darkness in consequence of the interposition of the bodies?16351635    The text of this sentence stands thus in Migne and Routh: “cui enim non fiat manifestum, solem istum visibilem, cum ab oriente fuerit exortus, et tetenderit iter suum ad occidentem, cum sub terram ierit, et interior effectus fuerit ea quæ apud Græcos sphæra vocatur, quod tunc objectu corporum obumbratus non appareat?” The Codex Casinensis reads quod nunc oblectu, etc. We should add that it was held by Anaximander and others that there was a species of globe or sphere (σφαῖρα) which surrounded the universe. [Vol. ii. p. 136. n. 2.] When it is thus covered, and when the body of the earth stands opposite it, a shadow is superinduced, which produces from itself the darkness; and it continues so until again, after the course of the inferior space has been traversed in the night, it rolls towards the east, and is seen to rise once more in its wonted seats. Thus, then, the cause of the shadow and the night is discovered in the solidity of the body of the earth,—a thing, indeed, which a man may understand from the fact of the shadow cast by his own body.16361636    Reading ex suimet ipsius umbra for exuet ipsius umbra, which is given in the Codex Casinensis. For before the heaven and the earth and all those corporeal creatures appeared, the light remained always constant, without waning or eclipse, as there existed no body which might produce shadow by its opposition or intervention; and consequently one must say that nowhere was there darkness then, and nowhere night. For if, to take an illustration, it should please Him who has the power of all things to do away with the quarter16371637    Plagam. which lies to the west, then, as the sun would not direct its course toward that region, there would nowhere emerge either evening or darkness, but the sun would be on its course always, and would never set, but would almost always hold the centre tract of heaven, and would never cease to appear; and by this the whole world would be illumined with the clearest light, in virtue of which no part of it would suffer obscuration, but the equal power of one light would remain everywhere. But on the other hand, while the western quarter keeps its position, and the sun executes16381638    Ministrante. its course in three parts of the world, then those who are under the sun will be seen to be illuminated more brightly; so that I might almost say, that while the people who belong to the diverse tract are still asleep, those former are in possession of the day’s beginning. But just16391639    The text is “Sicut autem ante,” etc. Routh suggests, Sole adeunte, etc. as those Orientals have the light rising on them earlier than the people who live in the west, so they have it also more quickly obscured, and they only who are settled in the middle of the globe see always an equality of light. For when the sun occupies the middle of the heavens, there is no place that can appear to be either brighter or darker (than another), but all parts of the world are illuminated equally and impartially by the sun’s effulgence.16401640    Reading “ex æquo et justo, solis fulgore,” etc. The Codex Casinensis has “ex ea quo solis fulgure.” If, then, as we have said above, that portion of the western tract were done away with, the part which is adjacent to it would now no more suffer obscuration. And these things I could indeed set forth somewhat more simply, as I might also describe the zodiacal circle; but I have not thought of looking into these matters at present.16411641    The text is altogether corrupt—sed non intui hunc fieri ratus sum; so that the sense can only be guessed at. Routh suggests istud for intui. I shall therefore say 196nothing of these, but shall revert to that capital objection urged by my adversary, in his affirming so strenuously16421642    Codex Casinensis gives “omni nisi,” for which we adopt “omni nisu.” that the darkness is ungenerated; which position, however, has also been confuted already, as far as that could have been done by us.


« Prev Chapter XXII. Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |