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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter IX.—God the Centre or Heart of the Universe.

“One, then, is the God who truly exists, who presides in a superior shape, being the heart of that which is above and that which is below twice, 1333 which sends forth from Him as from a centre the life-giving and incorporeal power; the whole universe with the stars and regions 1334 of the heaven, the air, the fire, and if anything else exists, is proved to be a substance infinite in height, boundless in depth, immeasurable in breadth, extending the life-giving and wise nature from Him over three infinites. 1335   It must be, therefore, that this infinite which proceeds from Him on every side exists, 1336 having as its heart Him who is above all, and who thus possesses figure; for wherever He be, He is as it were in the centre of the infinite, being the limit of the universe.  And the extensions taking their rise with Him, possess the nature of six infinites; of whom the one taking its rise with Him penetrates 1337 into the height above, another into the depth below, another to the right hand, another to the left, another in front, and another behind; to whom He Himself, looking as to a number that is equal on every side, 1338 completes the world in six temporal intervals, 1339 Himself being the rest, 1340 and having the infinite age to come as His image, being the beginning and the end.  For in Him the six infinites end, and from Him they receive their extension to infinity.



The whole of this chapter is full of corruption; “twice” occurs in one ms.  Various attempts have been made to amend the passage.


An emendation.


The text is corrupt.  We have translated ἐπ᾽ ἀπείρους τρεῖς.  Some think “three” should be omitted.  The three infinites are in respect of height, depth, and breadth.


As punctuated in Dressel, this reads, “that the infinite is the heart.”


The emendation of the transcriber of one of the mss.


This refers to the following mode of exhibiting the number:  *** where each side presents the number three.


The creation of the world in six days.


The seventh day on which God rested, the type of the rest of the future age.  See Epistle of Barnabas, c. xv.

Next: Chapter X