Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Tertullian: Part II: This Conclusion Confirmed by the Usage of Holy Scripture in Its History of the Creation. Hermogenes in Danger of the Woe Pronounced Against Adding to Scripture.
Chapter XXII.—This Conclusion Confirmed by the Usage of Holy Scripture in Its History of the Creation. Hermogenes in Danger of the Woe Pronounced Against Adding to Scripture.
And to such a degree has the Holy Ghost p. 490 made this the rule of His Scripture, that whenever anything is made out of anything, He mentions both the thing that is made and the thing of which it is made. “Let the earth,” says He, “bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself, after its kind. And it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after its kind.” 6338 And again: “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life, and fowl that may fly above the earth through the firmament of heaven. And it was so. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind.” 6339 Again afterwards: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beasts of the earth after their kind.” 6340 If therefore God, when producing other things out of things which had been already made, indicates them by the prophet, and tells us what He has produced from such and such a source 6341 (although we might ourselves suppose them to be derived from some source or other, short of nothing; 6342 since there had already been created certain things, from which they might easily seem to have been made); if the Holy Ghost took upon Himself so great a concern for our instruction, that we might know from what everything was produced, 6343 would He not in like manner have kept us well informed about both the heaven and the earth, by indicating to us what it was that He made them of, if their original consisted of any material substance, so that the more He seemed to have made them of nothing, the less in fact was there as yet made, from which He could appear to have made them? Therefore, just as He shows us the original out of which He drew such things as were derived from a given source, so also with regard to those things of which He does not point out whence He produced them, He confirms (by that silence our assertion) that they were produced out of nothing. “In the beginning,” then, “God made the heaven and the earth.” 6344 I revere 6345 the fulness of His Scripture, in which He manifests to me both the Creator and the creation. In the gospel, moreover, I discover a Minister and Witness of the Creator, even His Word. 6346 But whether all things were made out of any underlying Matter, I have as yet failed anywhere to find. Where such a statement is written, Hermogenes shop 6347 must tell us. If it is nowhere written, then let it fear the woe which impends on all who add to or take away from the written word. 6348
Gen. 1:11, 12.490:6339
Gen. 1:20, 21.490:6340
Quid unde protulerit: properly a double question ="what was produced, and whence?”490:6342
Quid unde processerit: properly a double question ="what was produced, and whence?”490:6344
Gen. i. 1.490:6345
Adoro: reverently admire.490:6346
John i. 3.490:6347
Rev. 22:18, 19.
Next: Hermogenes Pursued to Another Passage of Scripture. The Absurdity of His Interpretation Exposed.
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