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Chapter VI.—The Other Side of the Question Stated.

When Niceta had thus spoken, those who had assembled conversed among themselves:  “Is this that Peter of whom we heard, the most approved disciple of Him who appeared in Judæa, and wrought many signs and miracles?”  And they stood gazing upon him with great fear and veneration, as conferring upon the Lord the honour of His good servant.  Which when Peter observed, he said to them:  “Let us hear with all attention, holding an impartial judgment of what shall be said by each; and after their encounter we also shall add what may seem necessary.”  And when Peter had said this, the crowds rejoiced.  Then Niceta began to speak as follows:  “You have laid down, my father, that the world is not governed by the providence of God, but that all things are subject to genesis, whether the things which relate to the dispositions, or those which relate to the doings of every one.  This I could answer immediately; but because it is right to observe order, we also lay down what we hold, as you yourself requested should be done.  I say that the world is governed by the providence of God, at least in those things which need His government.  For He it is alone who holds all things in His hand, who also made the world; the just God, who shall at some time render to every one according to his deeds.  Now, then, you have our position; go on as you please, either overthrowing mine or establishing your own, that I may meet your statements.  Or if you wish me to speak first, I shall not hesitate.”

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