Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter XVI
Chapter XVI.—Why the Wicked One is Entrusted with Power.
And Simon said to this: “I have one thing more to say in regard to the wicked one. Assuredly, since God made him out of nothing, he is in this respect wicked, 1441 especially since he was able to make him good, by giving him at his creation a nature in no way capable of selecting wickedness.” And Peter said: “The statement that He created him out of nothing, with a power of choice, is like the statement we have made above, that, having made such a constitution as can rejoice in evils, He Himself appears to be the cause of what took place. But since there is one explanation of both statements, we shall show afterwards why it was that He made him rejoice in the destruction of the wicked.” And Simon said: “If he made the angels also voluntary agents, and the wicked one departed from a state of righteousness, why has he been honoured with a post of command? Is it not plain that he who thus honoured him takes pleasure in the wicked, in that he has thus honoured him?” 1442 And Peter said: “If God set him by law, when he rebelled, to rule over those who were like him, ordering him to inflict punishment on those who sin, He is not unjust. But if it be the case that He has honoured him even after his revolt, He who honoured him saw beforehand his usefulness; for the honour is temporary, and it is right that the wicked should be ruled by the wicked one, and that sinners should be punished by him.”
The ms. reads: “In this respect he who made him is wicked, who gave existence to what was non-existent.”335:1442
The Greek is either ungrammatical or corrupt, but the sense is evident.
Next: Chapter XVII
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