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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:
City of God: Chapter 20

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 20.—Of the Words Which Follow the Separation of Light and Darkness, “And God Saw the Light that It Was Good.”

Then, we must not pass from this passage of Scripture without noticing that when God said, “Let there be light, and there was light,” it was immediately added, “And God saw the light that it was good.”  No such expression followed the statement that He separated the light from the darkness, and called the light Day and the darkness Night, lest the seal of His approval might seem to be set on such darkness, as well as on the light.  For when the darkness was not subject of disapprobation, as when it was divided by the heavenly bodies from this light which our eyes discern, the statement that God saw that it was good is inserted, not before, but after the division is recorded.  “And God set them,” so runs the passage, “in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness:  and God saw that it was good.”  For He approved of both, because both were sinless.  But where God said, “Let there be light, and there was light; and God saw the p. 216 light that it was good;” and the narrative goes on, “and God divided the light from the darkness! and God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night,” there was not in this place subjoined the statement, “And God saw that it was good,” lest both should be designated good, while one of them was evil, not by nature, but by its own fault.  And therefore, in this case, the light alone received the approbation of the Creator, while the angelic darkness, though it had been ordained, was yet not approved.

Next: Chapter 21

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