|« Prev||Chapter XXIII.||Next »|
23. The judges said: If we consider that the light existed before the estate of the creatures was introduced, and that there was no object in an opposite position which might generate shadow, it must follow that the light was then diffused everywhere, and that all places were illuminated with its effulgence, as has been shown by what you have stated just now; and as we perceive that the true explanation is given in that, we assign the palm to the affirmations of Archelaus. For if the universe is clearly divided, as if some wall had been drawn through the centre of it, and if on the one side the light dwells, and on the other side the darkness, it is yet to be understood that this darkness has been brought accidentally about through the shadow generated in consequence of the objects which have been set up in the world; and hence again we must ask who it is that has built this wall between the two divisions, provided you indeed admit the existence of such a construction, O Manichæus. But if we have to take account of this matter on the supposition that no such wall has been built, then again it comes to be understood that the universe forms but one locality, without any exception, and is placed under one power; and if so, then the darkness can in no way have an ungenerated nature. Archelaus said: Let him also explain the following subject with a view to what has been propounded. If God is seated in His kingdom, and if the wicked one in like manner is seated in his kingdom, who can have constructed the wall between them? For no object can divide two substances except one that is greater than either,16431643 Reading utriusque majus. The Codex Casinensis has utrunque majus. even as it is said16441644 The text is dicit, for which dicitur may be adopted. in the book of Genesis, that “God divided the light from the darkness.”16451645 Gen. i. 4. Consequently the constructor of this wall must also be some one of a capacity like that: for the wall marks the boundaries of these two parties, just as among people who dwell in the rural parts a stone is usually taken to mark off the portion of each several party; which custom, however, would afford a better apprehension of the case were we to take the division to refer specially to the marking out of an inheritance falling to brothers. But for the present I have not to speak of matters like these, however essential they may appear. For what we are in quest of is an answer to the question, Who can have constructed the wall required for the designation of the limits of the kingdom of each of these twain? No answer has been given. Let not this perfidious fellow hesitate, but let him now acknowledge that the substance of his duality has been reduced again to a unity. Let him mention any one who can have constructed that middle wall. What could the one of these two parties have been engaged in when the other was building? Was he asleep? or was he ignorant of the fact? or was he unable to withstand the attempt? or was he bought over with a price? Tell us what he was about, or tell us who in all the universe was the person that raised the construction. I address my appeal to you, O judges, whom God has sent to us with the fullest plenitude of intelligence; judge ye which of these two could have erected the structure, or what the one could have been doing all the while that the other was engaged in the building.
|« Prev||Chapter XXIII.||Next »|
►Proofing disabled for this book
► Printer-friendly version