Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Tertullian: Part II: Other Capricious Features in the System. The Æons Unequal in Attributes. The Superiority of Nus; The Vagaries of Sophia Restrained by Horos. Grand Titles Borne by This Last Power.
Chapter IX.—Other Capricious Features in the System. The Æons Unequal in Attributes. The Superiority of Nus; The Vagaries of Sophia Restrained by Horos. Grand Titles Borne by This Last Power.
But, further, there is an “acceptance 6713 of persons,” inasmuch as Nus alone among them all enjoys the knowledge of the immeasurable Father, joyous and exulting, while they of course pine in sorrow. To be sure, Nus, so far as in him lay, both wished and tried to impart to the others also all that he had learnt about the greatness and incomprehensibility of the Father; but his mother, Sige, interposed—she who (you must know) imposes silence even on her own beloved heretics; 6714 although they affirm that this is done at the will of the Father, who will have all to be inflamed with a longing after himself. Thus, while they are tormenting themselves with these internal desires, while they are burning with the secret longing to know the Father, the crime is almost accomplished. For of the twelve Æons which Homo and Ecclesia had produced, the youngest by birth (never mind the solecism, since Sophia (Wisdom) is her name), unable to restrain herself, breaks away without the society of her husband Theletus, in quest of the Father and contracts that kind of sin which had indeed arisen amongst the others who were conversant with Nus but had flowed on to this Æon, 6715 that is, to Sophia; as is usual with maladies which, after arising in one part of the body, spread abroad their infection to some other limb. The fact is, 6716 under a pretence of love to the Father, she was overcome with a desire to rival Nus, who alone rejoiced in the knowledge of the Father. 6717 But when Sophia, straining after impossible aims, was disappointed of her hope, she is both overcome with difficulty, and racked with affection. Thus she was all but swallowed up by reason of the charm and toil (of her research), 6718 and dissolved into the remnant of his substance; 6719 nor would there have been any other alternative for her than perdition, if she had not by good luck fallen in with Horus (Limit). He too had considerable power. He is the foundation of the great 6720 universe, and, externally, the guardian thereof. To him they give the additional names of Crux (Cross), and Lytrotes (Redeemer,) and Carpistes (Emancipator). 6721 When Sophia was thus rescued from danger, and tardily persuaded, she relinquished further research after the Father, found repose, and laid aside all her excitement, 6722 or Enthymesis (Desire,) along with the passion which had come over her.
Tertullian has, above, remarked on the silent and secret practices of the Valentinians: see chap. i. p. 503.508:6715
In hunc derivaret.508:6716
Præ vi dulcedinis et laboris.508:6719
It is not easy to say what is the meaning of the words, “Et in reliquam substantiam dissolvi.” Rigaltius renders them: “So that whatever substance was left to her was being dissolved.” This seems to be forcing the sentence unnaturally. Irenæus (according to the Latin translator) says: “Resolutum in universam substantiam,” “Resolved into his (the Fathers) general substance,” i. 2, 2. [Vol. I. p. 317.]508:6720
So Grabe; but Reaper, according to Neander.508:6722
Next: Another Account of the Strange Aberrations of Sophia, and the Restraining Services of Horus. Sophia Was Not Herself, After All, Ejected from the Pleroma, But Only Her Enthymesis.
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