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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: Statement of the True Doctrine Concerning Matter. Its Relation to God's Creation of the World.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXXIII.—Statement of the True Doctrine Concerning Matter. Its Relation to God’s Creation of the World.

But although Hermogenes finds it amongst his own colourable pretences 6482 (for it was not in his power to discover it in the Scriptures of God), it is enough for us, both that it is certain that all things were made by God, and that there is no certainty whatever that they were made out of Matter. And even if Matter had previously existed, we must have believed that it had been really made by God, since we maintained (no less) when we held the rule of faith to be, 6483 that nothing except God was uncreated. 6484 Up to this point there is room for controversy, until Matter is brought to the test of the Scriptures, and fails to make good its case. 6485 The conclusion of the whole is this: I find that there was nothing made, except out of nothing; because that which I find was made, I know did not once exist. Whatever 6486 was made out of something, has its origin in something made: for instance, out of the ground was made the grass, and the fruit, and the cattle, and the form of man himself; so from the waters were produced the animals which swim and fly. The original fabrics 6487 out of which such creatures were produced I may call their materials6488 but then even these were created by God.



Colores. See our “Anti-Marcion,” p. 217, Edin., where the word pretension should stand instead of precedent.




Innatum: see above, note 12.


Donec ad Scripturas provocata deficiat exibitio materiæ.


Etiamsi quid.




Materias. There is a point in this use of the plural of the controverted term materia.

Next: A Presumption that All Things Were Created by God Out of Nothing Afforded by the Ultimate Reduction of All Things to Nothing. Scriptures Proving This Reduction Vindicated from Hermogenes' Charge of Being Merely Figurative.

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