Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Inasmuch 4853 as certain men, impelled by what considerations I know not, remove from God the half of His creative power, by asserting that He is merely the cause of quality resident in matter, and by maintaining that matter itself is uncreated, come now let us put the question, What is at any time … is immutable. Matter, then, is immutable. But if matter be immutable, and the immutable suffers no change in regard to quality, it does not form the substance of the world. For which reason it seems to them superfluous, that God has annexed qualities to matter, since indeed matter admits of no possible alteration, it being in itself an uncreated thing. But further, if matter be uncreated, it has been made altogether according to a certain p. 574 quality, and this immutable, so that it cannot be receptive of more qualities, nor can it be the thing of which the world is made. But if the world be not made from it, [this theory] entirely excludes God from exercising power on the creation [of the world].
Harvey considers this fragment to be a part of the work of Irenæus referred to by Photius under the title De Universo, or de Substantiâ Mundi. It is to be found in Codex 3011 of the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
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