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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: The Vanity as Well as Ignorance of the Demiurge. Absurd Results from So Imperfect a Condition.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXI.—The Vanity as Well as Ignorance of the Demiurge. Absurd Results from So Imperfect a Condition.

Meanwhile you must believe 6824 that Sophia has the surnames of earth and of Mother—“Mother-Earth,” of course—and (what may excite your laughter still more heartily) even Holy Spirit. In this way they have conferred all honour on that female, I suppose even a beard, not to say other things. Besides, 6825 the Demiurge had so little mastery over things, 6826 on the score, 6827 you must know, 6828 of his inability to approach spiritual essences, (constituted as he was) of animal elements, that, imagining himself to be the only being, he uttered this soliloquy: “I am God, and beside me there is none else.” 6829 But for all that, he at least was aware that he had not himself existed before. He understood, therefore, that he had been created, and that there must be a creator of a creature of some sort or other.  How happens it, then, that he seemed to himself to be the only being, notwithstanding his uncertainty, and although he had, at any rate, some suspicion of the existence of some creator?


Footnotes

514:6824

Tenendum.

514:6825

Alioquin.

514:6826

Adeo rerum non erat compos.

514:6827

Censu.

514:6828

Scilicet.

514:6829

Isa. 45:5, Isa. 46:9.


Next: Origin of the Devil, in the Criminal Excess of the Sorrow of Achamoth. The Devil, Called Also Munditenens, Actually Wiser Than the Demiurge, Although His Work.

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