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24. The judges said: Tell us, O Manes, who designated the boundaries for the kingdom of each, and who made the middle wall? For Archelaus begs that due importance be attached to the practice of interrogation in this discussion. Manes said: The God who is good, and who has nothing in common with evil, placed the firmament in the midst, in order to make it plain16461646 Reading “patefaceret” for the “partum faceret” of Codex Casinensis. that the wicked one is an alien to Him. Archelaus said: How fearfully you belie the dignity of that name! You do indeed call Him God, but you do so in name only, and you make His deity resemble man’s infirmities. At one time out of the non-existent, and at another time out of underlying matter, which indeed thus existed before Himself, you assert that He did build the structure, as builders among men are wont to do. Sometimes also you speak of Him as apprehensive, and sometimes as variable. It is, however, the part of God to do what is proper to God, and it is the part of man to do what is proper to man. If, then, God, as you say, has constructed a wall, this is a God who marks Himself out as apprehensive, and as possessed of no fortitude. For we know that it is always the case that those who are suspicious of the preparation of secret perils against them by strangers, and who are afraid of the plots of enemies, are accustomed to surround their cities with walls, by which procedure they at once secure themselves in their ignorance, and display their feeble capacity. But here, too, we have something which ought not to be passed over by us in silence, but rather brought prominently forward; so that even by the great abundance of our declarations on the subject our adversary’s manifold craftiness may be brought to nought, with the help of the 197truth on our side. We may grant, then, that the structure of the wall has been made with the purpose of serving to distinguish between the two kingdoms; for without this one division16471647 The text gives sine hoc uno. But perhaps Routh is right in suggesting muro for uno = without this wall. it is impossible for either of them to have his own proper kingdom. But granting this, then it follows further that in the same manner it will also be impossible for the wicked one to pass without his own proper limits and invade the territories of the good King, inasmuch as the wall stands there as an obstacle, unless it should chance first to be cast down, for we have heard that such things have been done by enemies, and indeed with our own eyes we have quite recently seen an achievement of that nature successfully carried out.16481648 Some suppose that Archelaus refers here to the taking of Charræ by the Persians in the time of Valerianus Augustus, or to its recapture and restoration to the Roman power by the Eastern king Odenathus during the empire of Gallienus. And when a king attacks a citadel surrounded by a strong wall, he uses first of all the ballista16491649 The ballista was a large engine fitted with cords somewhat like a bow, by which large masses of stone and other missiles were hurled to a great distance. and projectiles; then he endeavours to cut through the gates with axes, and to demolish the walls by the battering-rams; and when he at last obtains an entrance, and gains possession of the place, he does whatever he listeth, whether it be his pleasure to carry off the citizens into captivity, or to make a complete destruction of the fortress and its contents, or whether, on the other hand, it may be his will to grant indulgence to the captured stronghold on the humble suit of the conquered. What, then, does my opponent here say to this analogy? Did no adversary substantially—which is as much as to say, designedly—overthrow the muniment cast up between the two?16501650 The sense is obscure here. The text gives, “non substantia id est proposito adversarius quis dejecit,” etc. Migne edits the sentence without an interrogation. We adopt the interrogative form with Routh. The idea perhaps is, Did no adversary with materials such as the kings of earth use, and that is as much as to say also with a determinate plan, overthrow, etc.? For in his former statements he has avouched that the darkness passed without its own limits, and supervened upon the kingdom of the good God. Who, then, overthrew that munition before the one could thus have crossed over to the other? For it was impossible for the evil one to find any entrance while the munition stood fast. Why are you silent? Why do you hesitate, Manichæus? Yet, although you may hold back, I shall proceed with the task of my own accord. For if we suppose you to say that God destroyed it, then I have to ask what moved Him in this way to demolish the very thing which He had Himself previously constructed on account of the importunity of the wicked one, and for the purpose of preserving the separation between them? In what fit of passion, or under what sense of injury, did He thus set about contending against Himself? Or was it that He lusted after some of the possessions of the wicked one? But if none of these things formed the real cause that led God to destroy those very things which He had constructed a long time before with the view of estranging and separating the wicked one from Him, then it must needs be considered no matter of surprise if God should also have become delighted with his society;16511651 The Codex Casinensis has “nec mirum putandum est consortio,” etc. We read with Routh and others, si ejus consortio, or quod ejus consortio, etc. for, on your supposition, the munition which had been set up with the purpose of securing God against trouble from him, will appear to have been removed just because now he is to be regarded no more as an enemy, but as a friend. And, on the other hand, if you aver that the wall was destroyed by the wicked one, tell us then how it can be possible for the works of the good God to be mastered by the wicked one. For if that is possible, then the evil nature will be proved to be stronger than God. Furthermore, how can that being, seeing that he is pure and total darkness, surprise the light and apprehend it, while the evangelist gives us the testimony that “the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not?”16521652 John i. 5. How is this blind one armed? How does the darkness fight against the kingdom of light? For even as the creatures of God16531653 The text gives simply, sicut enim hæc. Routh suggests hæ. here cannot take in the rays of the sun with uninjured eye,16541654 Reading illæsis oculis for the illius oculis of Codex Casinensis. so neither can that being bear the clear vision of the kingdom of light, but he remains for ever a stranger to it, and an alien.
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