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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter XIX

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIX.—More Difficulties of the Atomic Theory.

“But if any one say that atoms of a fiery quality, being joined together, formed a body, and because the quality of fire does not tend downwards, but upwards, that the nature of fire, always pushing upwards, supports the mass of the world placed upon it; to this we answer:  How could atoms of a fiery quality, which always make for the highest place, descend to the lower, and be found in the lowest place of all, so as to form a foundation for all; whereas rather the heavier qualities, that is, the earthy or watery, always come before the lighter, as we have said; hence, also, they assert that the heaven, as the higher structure, is composed of fiery atoms, which are lighter, and always fly upwards?  Therefore the world cannot have foundations of fire, or any other:  nor can there be any association or compacting of the heavier atoms with the lighter, that is, of those which are always borne downwards, with those that always fly upwards.  Thus it is sufficiently shown that the bodies of the world are consolidated by the union of atoms; and that insensible bodies, even if they could by any means concur and be united, could not give forms and measures to bodies, form limbs, or effect qualities, or express quantities; all which, therefore, by their exactness, attest the hand of a Maker, and show the operation of reason, which reason I call the Word, and God.

Next: Chapter XX

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