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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VII:
Lactantius: Chap. III.—The testimonies of the poets concerning the one God

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chap. III.—The Testimonies of the Poets Concerning the One God.

There is, then, one God, perfect, eternal, incorruptible, incapable of suffering, subject to no circumstance or power, Himself possessing all things, ruling all things, whom the human mind can neither estimate in thought nor mortal tongue describe in speech. For He is too elevated and great to be conceived by the thought, or expressed by the language of man. In short, not to speak of the prophets, the preachers of the one God, poets also, and philosophers, and inspired women, 1453 utter their testimony to the unity of God. Orpheus speaks of the surpassing God who made the heaven and the sun, with the other heavenly bodies; who made the earth and the seas. Also our own Maro calls the Supreme God at one time a spirit, at another time a mind, and says that it, as though infused into limbs, puts in motion the body of the whole world; also, that God permeates the heights of heaven, the tracts of the sea and lands, and that all living creatures derive their life from Him. Even Ovid was not ignorant that the world was prepared by God, whom he sometimes calls the framer of all things, sometimes the fabricator of the world. 1454  



Vates, i.e., the Sibyls.  


[I shall not multiply references to the seven books, which are so readily compared by turning back to the pages here epitomized.]  

Next: Chap. IV.—The testimonies of the philosophers to the unity of God

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