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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter XV

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XV.—Theories of Creation.

“For the Greek philosophers, inquiring into the beginnings of the world, have gone, some in one way and some in another.  In short, Pythagoras says that numbers are the elements of its beginnings; Callistratus, that qualities; Alcmæon, that contrarieties; Anaximander, that immensity; Anaxagoras, that equalities of parts; Epicurus, that atoms; Diodorus, that ἀμερῆ, that is, things in which there are no parts; Asclepius, that ὄγκοι, which we may call tumours or swellings; the geometricians, that ends; Democritus, that ideas; Thales, that water; Heraclitus, that fire; Diogenes, that air; Parmenides, that earth; Zeno, Empedocles, Plato, that fire, water, air, and earth.  Aristotle also introduces a fifth element, which he called ἀκατονόμαστον; that is, that which cannot be named; without doubt indicating Him who made the world, by joining the four elements into one.  Whether, therefore, there be two, or three, or four, or more, or innumerable elements, of which the world consists, in every supposition there is shown to be a God, who collected many into one, and again drew them, when collected, into diverse species; and by this it is proved that the machine of the world could not have subsisted without a maker and a disposer.

Next: Chapter XVI