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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VII:
Lactantius: Chap. I.—Of the divine providence

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chap. I.—Of the Divine Providence.

First a question arises: Whether there is any providence which made or governs the world? That there is, no one doubts, since of almost all the philosophers, except the school of Epicurus, there is but one voice and one opinion, that the world could not have been made without a contriver, and that it cannot exist without a ruler. Therefore Epicurus is refuted not only by the most learned men, but also by the testimonies and perceptions of all mortals. For who can doubt respecting a providence, when he sees that the heavens and the earth have been so arranged and that all things have been so regulated, that they might be most befittingly adapted, not only to wonderful beauty and adornment, but also to the use of men, and the convenience of the other living creatures? That, therefore, which exists in accordance with a plan, cannot have had its beginning without a plan: thus 1448 it is certain that there is a providence.  



Quoniam. This word appears to be out of place, as its proper meaning is “since.” Either it must be taken as above, or, with some editors, the last clause of this chapter may be taken as the beginning of the next chapter—“Since there is a providence,” etc.  

Next: Chap. II.—That there is but one God, and that there cannot be more

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