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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. V:
Dogmatic Treatises.: There is no Word of God that commands such investigations: the uselessness of the philosophy which makes them is thereby proved.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

§30. There is no Word of God that commands such investigations: the uselessness of the philosophy which makes them is thereby proved.

I should like also to ask him this. Does he mean that energies are explained by the beings which produced them only in the case of the Divine Nature, or does he recognize the nature of the produced by means of the being of the producer with regard to anything whatever that possesses an effective force? If in the case of the Divine Nature only he holds this view, let him show us how he settles questions about the works of God by means of the nature of the Worker. Take an undoubted work of God,—the sky, the earth, the sea, the whole universe. Let it be the being of one of these that, according to our supposition, is being enquired into, and let ‘sky’ be the subject fixed for our speculative reasoning. It is a question what the substance of the sky is; opinions have been broached about it varying widely according to the lights of each natural philosopher. How will the contemplation of the Maker of the sky procure a solution of the question, immaterial, invisible, formless, ungenerate, everlasting, incapable of decay and change and alteration, and all such things, as He is. How will anyone who entertains this conception of the Worker be led on to the knowledge of the nature of the sky? How will he get an idea of a thing which is visible from the Invisible, of the perishable from the imperishable, of that which has a date for its existence from that which never had any generation, of that which has duration but for a time from the everlasting; in fact, of the object of his search from everything which is the very opposite to it. Let this man who has accurately probed the secret of things tell us how it is possible that two unlike things should be known from each other.


Next: The observations made by watching Providence are sufficient to give us the knowledge of sameness of Being.

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