Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Tertullian: Part II: Chapter I
Book II. 2692
Wherein Tertullian shows that the creator, or demiurge, whom Marcion calumniated, is the true and good God.
Chapter I.—The Methods of Marcions Argument Incorrect and Absurd. The Proper Course of the Argument.
The occasion of reproducing this little work, the fortunes of which we noticed in the preface of our first book, has furnished us with the opportunity of distinguishing, in our treatment of the subject of two Gods in opposition to Marcion, each of them with a description and section of his own, according to the division of the subject-matter, defining one of the gods to have no existence at all, and maintaining of the Other that He is rightly 2693 God; thus far keeping pace with the heretic of Pontus, who has been pleased to admit one unto, and exclude the other. 2694 For he could not build up his mendacious scheme without pulling down the system of truth. He found it necessary to demolish 2695 some other thing, in order to build up the theory which he wished. This process, however, is like constructing a house without preparing suitable materials. 2696 The discussion ought to have been directed to this point alone, that he is no god who supersedes the Creator. Then, when the false god had been excluded by certain rules which prescriptively settle what is the character of the One only perfect Divinity, there could have remained no longer any question as to the true God. The proof of His existence would have been clear, and that, too, amid the failure of all evidence in support of any other god; and still clearer 2697 would have seemed the point as to the honour in which He ought without controversy to be held: that He ought to be worshipped rather than judged; served reverentially rather than handled critically, or even dreaded for His severity. For what was more fully needed by man than a careful estimate of 2698 the true God, on whom, so to speak, he had alighted, 2699 because there was no other god?
[Contains no marks of Montanism of a decisive nature. Kaye, p. 54.]297:2693
From the dignity of the supreme Godhead.297:2695
With the tanto (answering to the previous quanto) should be understood magis, a frequent omission in our author.297:2698
Next: The True Doctrine of God the Creator. The Heretics Pretended to a Knowledge of the Divine Being, Opposed to and Subversive of Revelation. God's Nature and Ways Past Human Discovery. Adam's Heresy.
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