Nicene and Post Nicene-Fathers, Vol. I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Confessions: Chapter XXX
Chapter XXX.—He Refutes the Opinions of the Manichæans and the Gnostics Concerning the Origin of the World.
45. And I heard, O Lord my God, and drank up a drop of sweetness from Thy truth, and understood that there are certain men to whom Thy works are displeasing, who say that many of them Thou madest being compelled by necessity;—such as the fabric of the heavens and the courses of the stars, and that Thou madest them not of what was Thine, but, that they were elsewhere and from other sources created; that Thou mightest bring together and compact and interweave, when from Thy conquered enemies Thou raisedst up the walls of the universe, that they, bound down by this structure, might not be able a second time to rebel against Thee. But, as to other things, they say Thou neither madest them nor compactedst them,—such as all flesh and all very minute creatures, and whatsoever holdeth the earth by its roots; but that a mind hostile unto Thee and another nature not created by Thee, and in everywise contrary unto Thee, did, in these lower places of the world, beget and frame these things. 1419 Infatuated are they who speak thus, since they see not Thy works through Thy Spirit, nor recognise Thee in them.
He alludes in the above statements to the heretical notions of the Manichæans. Their speculations on these matters are enlarged on in note 8 on p. 76.
Next: Chapter XXXI
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