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Chapter LVII.—Simon’s Inconsistency.

Then Simon:  “Do you so far err, Peter, as not to know that our souls were made by that good God, the most excellent of all, but they have been brought down as captives into this world?”  To this Peter answered:  “Then he is not unknown by all, as you said a little while ago; and yet how did the good God permit his souls to be taken captive, if he be a power over all?”  Then Simon said:  “He sent God the creator to make the world; and he, when he had made it, gave out that himself was God.”  Then Peter said:  “Then he is not, as you said, unknown to Him who made the world; nor are souls ignorant of him, if indeed they were stolen away from him.  To whom, then, can he be unknown, if both the Creator of the world know him, as having been sent by him; and all souls know him, as having been violently withdrawn from him?  Then, further, I wish you would tell us whether he who sent the creator of the world did not know that he would not keep faith?  For if he did not know it, then he was not prescient; while if he foreknew it, and suffered it, he is himself guilty of this deed, since he did not prevent it; but if he could not, then he is not omnipotent.  But if, knowing it as good, he did not prohibit it, he is found to be better, who presumed to do that which he who sent him did not know to be good.”

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