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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol II:
THEOPHILUS: Chapter III.—Nature of God.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter III.—Nature of God.

You will say, then, to me, “Do you, who see God, explain to me the appearance of God.” Hear, O man. The appearance of God is ineffable and indescribable, and cannot be seen by eyes of flesh. For in glory He is incomprehensible, in greatness unfathomable, in height inconceivable, in power incomparable, in wisdom p. 90 unrivalled, in goodness inimitable, in kindness unutterable. For if I say He is Light, I name but His own work; if I call Him Word, I name but His sovereignty; if I call Him Mind, I speak but of His wisdom; if I say He is Spirit, I speak of His breath; if I call Him Wisdom, I speak of His offspring; if I call Him Strength, I speak of His sway; if I call Him Power, I am mentioning His activity; if Providence, I but mention His goodness; if I call Him Kingdom, I but mention His glory; if I call Him Lord, I mention His being judge; if I call Him Judge, I speak of Him as being just; if I call Him Father, I speak of all things as being from Him; 529 if I call Him Fire, I but mention His anger. You will say, then, to me, “Is God angry?” Yes; He is angry with those who act wickedly, but He is good, and kind, and merciful, to those who love and fear Him; for He is a chastener 530 of the godly, and father of the righteous; but he is a judge and punisher of the impious.


Footnotes

90:529

The translation here follows the Hamburg editor, others read, “If Father, I say everything.”

90:530

Maranus observes that Theophilus means to indicate the difference between God’s chastisement of the righteous and His punishment of the wicked.


Next: Chapter IV.—Attributes of God.

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