Nicene and Post Nicene-Fathers, Vol. I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Confessions: Chapter III
Chapter III.—Of the Darkness Upon the Deep, and of the Invisible and Formless Earth.
3. And truly this earth was invisible and formless, 1074 and there was I know not what profundity of the deep upon which there was no light, 1075 because it had no form. Therefore didst Thou command that it should be written, that darkness was upon the face of the deep; what else was it than the absence of light? 1076 For had there been light, where should it have been save by being above all, showing itself aloft, and enlightening? Darkness therefore was upon it, because the light above was absent; as silence is there present where sound is not. And what is it to have silence there, but not to have sound there? Hast not Thou, O Lord, taught this soul which confesseth unto Thee? Hast not Thou taught me, O Lord, that before Thou didst form and separate this formless matter, there was nothing, neither colour, nor figure, nor body, nor spirit? Yet not altogether nothing; there was a certain formlessness without any shape.
Gen. 1.2, as rendered by the Old Ver. from the LXX.: ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος. Kalisch in his Commentary translates תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ: “dreariness and emptiness.”176:1075
The reader should keep in mind in reading what follows the Manichæan doctrine as to the kingdom of light and darkness. See notes, pp. 68 and 103, above.176:1076
Compare De Civ. Dei, xi. 9, 10.
Next: Chapter IV
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