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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: Book I

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter I
Marcion, Aided by Cerdon, Teaches a Duality of Gods; How He Constructed This Heresy of an Evil and a Good God.
The Unity of God.  He is the Supreme Being, and There Cannot Be a Second Supreme.
Defence of the Divine Unity Against Objection. No Analogy Between Human Powers and God's Sovereignty. The Objection Otherwise Untenable, for Why Stop at Two Gods?
The Dual Principle Falls to the Ground; Plurality of Gods, of Whatever Number, More Consistent. Absurdity and Injury to Piety Resulting from Marcion's Duality.
Marcion Untrue to His Theory. He Pretends that His Gods are Equal, But He Really Makes Them Diverse. Then, Allowing Their Divinity, Denies This Diversity.
Other Beings Besides God are in Scripture Called God. This Objection Frivolous, for It is Not a Question of Names. The Divine Essence is the Thing at Issue. Heresy, in Its General Terms, Thus Far Treated.
Specific Points.  The Novelty of Marcion's God Fatal to His Pretensions. God is from Everlasting, He Cannot Be in Any Wise New.
Marcion's Gnostic Pretensions Vain, for the True God is Neither Unknown Nor Uncertain. The Creator, Whom He Owns to Be God, Alone Supplies an Induction, by Which to Judge of the True God.
The Creator Was Known as the True God from the First by His Creation. Acknowledged by the Soul and Conscience of Man Before He Was Revealed by Moses.
The Evidence for God External to Him; But the External Creation Which Yields This Evidence is Really Not Extraneous, for All Things are God's. Marcion's God, Having Nothing to Show for Himself, No God at All. Marcion's Scheme Absurdly Defective, Not Furnishing Evidence for His New God's Existence, Which Should at Least Be Able to Compete with the Full Evidence of the Creator.
Impossibility of Acknowledging God Without This External Evidence Of His Existence. Marcion's Rejection of Such Evidence for His God Savours of Impudence and Malignity.
The Marcionites Depreciate the Creation, Which, However, is a Worthy Witness of God. This Worthiness Illustrated by References to the Heathen Philosophers, Who Were Apt to Invest the Several Parts of Creation with Divine Attributes.
All Portions of Creation Attest the Excellence of the Creator, Whom Marcion Vilifies. His Inconsistency Herein Exposed. Marcion's Own God Did Not Hesitate to Use the Creator's Works in Instituting His Own Religion.
The Lateness of the Revelation of Marcion's God. The Question of the Place Occupied by the Rival Deities. Instead of Two Gods, Marcion Really (Although, as It Would Seem, Unconsciously) Had Nine Gods in His System.
Marcion Assumes the Existence of Two Gods from the Antithesis Between Things Visible and Things Invisible. This Antithetical Principle in Fact Characteristic of the Works of the Creator, the One God--Maker of All Things Visible and Invisible.
Not Enough, as the Marcionites Pretend, that the Supreme God Should Rescue Man; He Must Also Have Created Him. The Existence of God Proved by His Creation, a Prior Consideration to His Character.
Notwithstanding Their Conceits, the God of the Marcionites Fails in the Vouchers Both of Created Evidence and of Adequate Revelation.
Jesus Christ, the Revealer of the Creator, Could Not Be the Same as Marcion's God, Who Was Only Made Known by the Heretic Some CXV. Years After Christ, and That, Too, on a Principle Utterly Unsuited to the Teaching of Jesus Christ, I.e., the Opposition Between the Law and the Gospels.
Marcion, Justifying His Antithesis Between the Law and the Gospel by the Contention of St. Paul with St. Peter, Shown to Have Mistaken St. Paul's Position and Argument.  Marcion's Doctrine Confuted Out of St. Paul's Teaching, Which Agrees Wholly with the Creator's Decrees.
St. Paul Preached No New God, When He Announced the Repeal of Some of God's Ancient Ordinances.  Never Any Hesitation About Belief in the Creator, as the God Whom Christ Revealed, Until Marcion's Heresy.
God's Attribute of Goodness Considered as Natural; The God of Marcion Found Wanting Herein. It Came Not to Man's Rescue When First Wanted.
God's Attribute of Goodness Considered as Rational. Marcion's God Defective Here Also; His Goodness Irrational and Misapplied.
The Goodness of Marcion's God Only Imperfectly Manifested; It Saves But Few, and the Souls Merely of These. Marcion's Contempt of the Body Absurd.
God is Not a Being of Simple Goodness; Other Attributes Belong to Him. Marcion Shows Inconsistency in the Portraiture of His Simply Good and Emotionless God.
In the Attribute of Justice, Marcion's God is Hopelessly Weak and Ungodlike. He Dislikes Evil, But Does Not Punish Its Perpetration.
Dangerous Effects to Religion and Morality of the Doctrine of So Weak a God.
This Perverse Doctrine Deprives Baptism of All Its Grace. If Marcion Be Right, the Sacrament Would Confer No Remission of Sins, No Regeneration, No Gift of the Spirit.
Marcion Forbids Marriage.  Tertullian Eloquently Defends It as Holy, and Carefully Discriminates Between Marcion's Doctrine and His Own Montanism.

Next: Chapter I

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