Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter XXVII
Chapter XXVII.—Account of the Creation.
“In the beginning, 546 when God had made the heaven and the earth, 547 as one house, the shadow p. 85 which was cast by the mundane bodies involved in darkness those things which were enclosed in it. But when the will of God had introduced light, that darkness which had been caused by the shadows of bodies was straightway dispelled: then at length light is appointed for the day, darkness for the night. And now the water which was within the world, in the middle space of that first heaven and earth, congealed as if with frost, and solid as crystal, is distended, and the middle spaces of the heaven and earth are separated as by a firmament of this sort; and that firmament the Creator called heaven, so called by the name of that previously made: and so He divided into two portions that fabric of the universe, although it was but one house. The reason of the division was this, that the upper portion might afford a dwelling-place to angels, and the lower to men. After this, the place of the sea and the chaos which had been made received that portion of the water which remained below, by order of the eternal Will; and these flowing down to the sunk and hollow places, the dry land appeared; and the gatherings of the waters were made seas. And after this the earth, which had appeared, produced various species of herbs and shrubs. It gave forth fountains also, and rivers, not only in the plains, but on the mountains. And so all things were prepared, that men who were to dwell in it might have it in their power to use all these things according to their will, that is, either for good or evil.”
[Hilgenfeld regards chaps. 27–72 as part of the Jewish-Christian document called Kerygma Petri, of which an outline is given in book iii. 75. This he thinks was of Roman origin. Certainly these chapters bear many marks of an earlier origin than most of the pseudo-Clementine literature. Much of the matter is not found elsewhere in this literature: the tone of the discourse is much superior; the instruction represented as given to Clement, is quite well adapted to his needs as a heathen inquirer; the views presented are not so extravagant as much that occurs in the Homilies; the attempt to adjust the statements to the New-Testament narrative is skilfully made, and there is not lacking a great vraisemblance. It may not be improper to add, that the impressions first given in regard to this passage were made upon the writer of this note quite independently of Hilgenfelds theory; some of them committed to writing without a thought of maintaining that theory.—R.]84:547
Gen. i. 1.
Next: Chapter XXVIII
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