Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Tertullian: Part II: Notwithstanding Their Conceits, the God of the Marcionites Fails in the Vouchers Both of Created Evidence and of Adequate Revelation.
Chapter XVIII.—Notwithstanding Their Conceits, the God of the Marcionites Fails in the Vouchers Both of Created Evidence and of Adequate Revelation.
Well, then, 2531 he has now advanced into notice, just when he willed, when he could, when the destined hour arrived. For perhaps he was hindered hitherto by his leading star, 2532 or some weird malignants, or Saturn in quadrature, 2533 or Mars at the trine. 2534 The Marcionites are very strongly addicted to astrology; nor do they blush to get their livelihood by help of the very stars which were made by the Creator (whom they depreciate). We must here also treat of the quality 2535 of the (new) revelation; whether Marcions supreme god has become known in a way worthy of him, so as to secure the proof of his existence: and in the way of truth, so that he may be believed to be the very being who had been already proved to have been revealed in a manner worthy of his character. For things which are worthy of God will prove the existence of God. We maintain 2536 that God must first be known 2537 from nature, and afterwards authenticated 2538 by instruction: from nature by His works; by instruction, 2539 through His revealed announcements. 2540 Now, in a case where nature is excluded, no natural means (of knowledge) are furnished. He ought, therefore, to have carefully supplied 2541 a revelation of himself, even by announcements, especially as he had to be revealed in opposition to One who, after so many and so great works, both of creation and revealed announcement, had with difficulty succeeded in satisfying 2542 mens faith. In what manner, therefore, has the revelation been made? If by mans conjectural guesses, do not say that God can possibly become known in any other way than by Himself, and appeal not only to the standard of the Creator, but to the conditions both of Gods greatness and mans littleness; so that man seem not by any possibility to be greater than God, by having somehow drawn Him out into public recognition, when He was Himself unwilling to become known by His own energies, although mans littleness has been able, according to experiments all over the world, more easily to fashion for itself gods, than to follow the true God whom men now understand by nature. As for the rest, 2543 if man shall be thus able to devise a god,—as Romulus did Consus, and Tatius Cloacina, and Hostilius Fear, and Metellus Alburnus, and a certain authority 2544 some time since Antinous,—the same accomplishment may be allowed to others. As for us, we have found our pilot in Marcion, although not a king nor an emperor.
Anabibazon. The ἀναβιβάζων was the most critical point in the ecliptic, in the old astrology, for the calculation of stellar influences.284:2533
Trigonus. Saturn and Mars were supposed to be malignant planets. See Smith, Greek and Rom. Ant. p. 144, c. 2.284:2535
He means the Emperor Hadrian; comp. Apolog. c. 13.
Next: 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.
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