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Chapter III.

The systematic discussion of syllables is derived from heathen philosophy.

5.  They have, however, been led into this error by their close study of heathen writers, who have respectively applied the terms “of whom” and “through whom” to things which are by nature distinct.  These writers suppose that by the term “of whom” or “of which” the matter is indicated, while the term “through whom” or “through which”719719    The ambiguity of gender in ἐξ οὗ and διá¾½ οὗ can only be expressed by giving the alternatives in English. represents the instrument, or, generally speaking, subordinate agency.720720    There are four causes or varieties of cause:
   1.  The essence or quiddity (Form):  τὸ τá½· ἦν εἶναι.

   2.  The necessitating conditions (Matter):  τὸ τá½·νων ὄντων ἀνá½±γκη τοῦτá¾½ εἶναι.

   3.  The proximate mover or stimulator of change (Efficient):  ἡ τá½· πρῶτον ἐκá½·νησε.

   4.  That for the sake of which (Final Cause or End):  τὸ τá½·νος ἕνεκα.  Grote’s Aristotle, I. 354.

   The four Aristotelian causes are thus:  1. Formal.  2. Material.  3. Efficient.  4. Final.  cf. Arist. Analyt. Post. II. xi., Metaph. I. iii., and Phys. II. iii.  The six causes of Basil may be referred to the four of Aristotle as follows:


   1.  τὸ τá½· ἦν εἶναι

   2.  τὸ ἐξ οὗ γá½·νεταá½· τι

   3.  ἡ ἀρχá½´ τῆς μεταβολῆς ἡ πρá½½τη

   4.  τὸ οὗ ἕνεκα


   1.  καθá¾½ ὅi.e., the form or idea according to which a thing is made.

   2.  ἐξ οὗi.e., the matter out of which it is made.

   3.  ὑφá¾½ οὗi.e., the agent, using means.

   διá¾½ οὗi.e. the means.

   4.  διá¾½ ὅi.e., the end.

   εν ᾧ, or sine quâ non, applying to all.
  Or rather—for there seems no reason why we should not take up their whole argument, and briefly expose at once its incompatibility with the truth and its inconsistency with their own teaching—the students of vain philosophy, while expounding the manifold nature of cause and distinguishing its peculiar significations, define some causes as principal,721721    προκαταρκτικá½µcf. Plut. 2, 1056. B.D. προκαταρκτικá½´ αá¼°τá½·α ἡ εá¼±μαρμá½³νη. some as cooperative or con-causal, while others are of the character of “sine qua non,” or indispensable.722722    cf. Clem. Alex. Strom. viii. 9.  “Of causes some are principal, some preservative, some coöperative, some indispensable; e.g. of education the principal cause is the father; the preservative, the schoolmaster; the coöperative, the disposition of the pupil; the indispensable, time.”

For every one of these they have a distinct and peculiar use of terms, so that the maker is indicated in a different way from the instrument.  For the maker they think the proper expression is “by whom,” maintaining that the bench is produced “by” the carpenter; and for the instrument “through which,” in that it is produced “through” or by means of adze and gimlet and the rest.  Similarly they appropriate “of which” to the material, in that the thing made is “of” wood, while “according to which” shews the design, or pattern put before the craftsman.  For he either first makes a mental sketch, and so brings his fancy to bear upon what he is about, or else he looks at a pattern previously put before him, and arranges his work accordingly.  The phrase “on account of which” they wish to be confined to the end or purpose, the bench, as they say, being produced for, or on account of, the use of man.  “In which” is supposed to indicate time and place.  When was it produced?  In this time.  And where?  In this place.  And though place and time contribute nothing to what is being produced, yet without these the production of anything is impossible, for efficient agents must have both place and time.  It is these careful distinctions, derived from unpractical philosophy and vain delusion,723723    ἐκ τῆς ματαιá½¹τητος καὶ κενῆς ἀπá½±της.
   cf. ματαιá½¹της ματαιοτá½µτων, “vanity of vanities,” Ecc. i. 2, lxx.  In Arist. Eth. i. 2, a desire is said to be κενá½´ καὶ ματαá½·α, which goes into infinity,—everything being desired for the sake of something else,—i.e., κενη, void, like a desire for the moon, and ματαá½·α, unpractical, like a desire for the empire of China.  In the text ματαιá½¹της seems to mean heathen philosophy, a vain delusion as distinguished from Christian philosophy.
which our opponents have first studied and admired, and then transferred to the simple and unsophisticated doctrine of the Spirit, to the belittling of God the Word, and the setting at naught of the Divine Spirit.  Even the phrase set apart by non-Christian writers for the case of lifeless instruments724724    ἄψυχα ὄργανα.  A slave, according to Aristotle, Eth. Nich. viii. 7, 6, is ἔμψυχον ὄργανον. or of manual 5service of the meanest kind, I mean the expression “through or by means of which,” they do not shrink from transferring to the Lord of all, and Christians feel no shame in applying to the Creator of the universe language belonging to a hammer or a saw.

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