Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Life of Constantine with Orations of Constantine and Eusebius.: Chapter VII
Chapter VII.—In regard to Things above our Comprehension, we should glorify the Creators Wisdom, and attribute their Causes to him alone, and not to Chance.
In fact, this word “chance” is the expression of men who think in haphazard and illogical fashion; who are unable to understand the causes of these things, and who, owing to the feebleness of their own apprehensions, conceive that those things for which they cannot assign a reason, are ordered without reason. There are, unquestionably, some things which possess wonderful natural properties, and the full apprehension of which is very difficult: for example, the nature of hot springs. For no one can easily explain the cause of so powerful a fire; and it is indeed surprising that though surrounded on all sides by a body of cold water, it loses none of its native heat. These phenomena appear to be of rare occurrence throughout the world, being intended, I am persuaded, to afford to mankind convincing evidence of the power of that Providence which ordains that two directly opposite natures, heat and cold, should thus proceed from the self-same source. Many indeed, yea, numberless, are the gifts which God has bestowed for the comfort and enjoyment of man; and of these the fruit of the olive-tree and the vine deserve especial notice; the one for its power of renovating and cheering the soul, 3404 the other because it ministers to our enjoyment, and is likewise adapted for the cure of bodily disease. Marvelous, too, is the course of rivers, flowing night and day with unceasing motion, and presenting a type of ever-flowing, never-ceasing life: and equally wonderful is the alternate succession of day and night.
ψυχῆς = “soul.” In the absence of a proper Biblical psychology the word has been most sadly abused in translations. The only way back to a proper conception of the words “spirit” and “soul” and “life,” &c., is to re-establish a uniform rendering for them. It is as bad as the rendering of our English version, where nephesk (= ψυχή) is rendered “life.”
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