============================== >>>For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.. I Corinthians 2: 2<<<=============================
Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2013

Peter – The man with purpose (Part XVI)

Peter – The man with purpose (Part VII)

[su_heading style=”1″][su_button link=”#” color=”#4B0082″ size=”5″ style=”5″ dark=”0″ radius=”10″ icon=” target=”blank”]Peter – The man with purpose (Part XVI)[/su_button][/su_heading]

Everything Has Its Corresponding Contrary:

“Therefore this division holds in all the things of the world; and as there are pious men, so there are also impious; as there are prophets, so also there are false prophets; and amongst the Gentiles there are philosophers and false philosophers.  Also the Arabian nations, and many others, have imitated the circumcision of the Jews for the service of their impiety.  So also the worship of demons is contrary to the divine worship, baptism to baptism, laws to the law, false apostles to apostles, and false teachers to teachers.  And hence it is that among the philosophers some assert providence, others deny it; some maintain that there is one God, others that there are more than one:  in short, the matter has come to this, that whereas demons are expelled by the word of God, by which it is declared that there is a providence, the magical art, for the confirmation of infidelity, has found out ways of imitating this by contraries.  Thus has been discovered the method of counteracting the poison of serpents by incantations, and the effecting of cures contrary to the word and power of God.  The magic art has also found out ministries contrary to the angels of God, placing the calling up of souls and the figments of demons in opposition to these.  And, not to prolong the discourse by a further enumeration, there is nothing whatever that makes for the belief of providence, which has not something, on the other hand, prepared for unbelief; and therefore they who do not know that division of things, think that there is no providence, by reason of those things in the world which are discordant from themselves.  But do you, my father, as a wise man, choose from that division the part which preserves order and makes for the belief of providence, and do not only follow that part which runs against order and neutralizes the belief of providence.”

An Illustration:

To this the old man answered:  “Show me a way, my son, by which I may establish in my mind one or other of these two orders, the one of which asserts, and the other denies, providence.”  “To one having a right judgment,” says Aquila, “the decision is easy.  For this very thing that you say, order and disorder, may be produced by a contriver, but not by insensible nature.  For let us suppose, by way of illustration, that a great mass were torn from a high rock, and cast down headlong, and when clashed upon the ground were broken into many pieces, could it in any way happen that, amongst that multitude of fragments, there should be found even one which should have any perfect figure and shape?”  The old man answered:  “It is impossible.”  “But,” said Aquila, “if there be present a statuary, he can by his skilful hand and reasonable mind form the stone cut from the mountain into whatever figure he pleases.”  The old man said:  “That is true.”  “Therefore,” says Aquila, “when there is not a rational mind, no figure can be formed out of the mass; but when there is a designing mind, there may be both form and deformity:  for example, if a workman cuts from the mountain a block to which he wishes to give a form, he must first cut it out unformed and rough; then, by degrees hammering and hewing it by the rule of his art, he expresses the form which he has conceived in his mind.  Thus, therefore, from informity or deformity, by the hand of the workman form is attained, and both proceed from the workman.  In like manner, therefore, the things which are done in the world are accomplished by the providence of a contriver, although they may seem not quite orderly.  And therefore, because these two ways have been made known to you, and you have heard the divisions of them, flee from the way of unbelief, lest haply it lead you to that prince who delights in evils; but follow the way of faith, that you may come to that King who delighteth in good men.”

The Two Kingdoms:

To this the old man answered:  “But why was that prince made who delights in evil?  And from what was he made?  Or was he not made?”  Aquila said:  “The treatment of that subject belongs to another time; but that you may not go away altogether without an answer to this, I shall give a few hints on this subject also.  God, foreseeing all things before the creation of the world, knowing that the men who were to be would some of them indeed incline to good, but others to the opposite, assigned those who should choose the good to His own government and His own care, and called them His peculiar inheritance; but He gave over the government of those who should turn to evil to those angels who, not by their substance, but by opposition, were unwilling to remain with God, being corrupted by the vice of envy and pride.  Those, therefore, he made worthy princes of worthy subjects; yet he so delivered them over to those angels, that they have not the power of doing what they will against them, unless they transgress the bounds assigned to them from the beginning.  And this is the bound assigned, that unless one first do the will of the demons, the demons have no power over him.”

Origin of Evil:

Then the old man said:  “You have stated it excellently, my son.  It now remains only that you tell me whence is the substance of evil:  for if it was made by God, the evil fruit shows that the root is in fault; for it appears that it also is of an evil nature. But if this substance was co-eternal with God, how can that which was equally unproduced and co-eternal be subject to the other? “It was not always,” said Aquila; “but neither does it necessarily follow, if it was made by God, that its Creator should be thought to be such as is that which has been made by Him.  For indeed God made the substance of all things; but if a reasonable mind, which has been made by God, do not acquiesce in the laws of its Creator, and go beyond the bounds of the temperance prescribed to it, how does this reflect on the Creator?  Or if there is any reason higher than this, we do not know it; for we cannot know anything perfectly, and especially concerning those things for our ignorance of which we are not to be judged.  But those things for which we are to be judged are most easy to be understood, and are despatched almost in a word.  For almost the whole rule of our actions is summed up in this, that what we are unwilling to suffer we should not do to others.  For as you would not be killed, you must beware of killing another; and as you would not have your own marriage violated, you must not defile another’s bed; you would not be stolen from, neither must you steal; and every matter of men’s actions is comprehended within this rule.”

The Old Man Unconvinced:

Then the old man:  “Do not take amiss, my son, what I am going to say.  Though your words are powerful, yet they cannot lead me to believe that anything can be done apart from Genesis.  For I know that all things have happened to me by the necessity of Genesis, and therefore I cannot be persuaded that either to do well or to do ill is in our power; and if we have not our actions in our power, it cannot be believed that there is a judgment to come, by which either punishments may be inflicted on the evil, or rewards bestowed on the good.  In short, since I see that you are initiated in this sort of learning, I shall lay before you a few things from the art itself.”  “If,” says Aquila, “you wish to add anything from that science, my brother Clement will answer you with all care, since he has attended more fully to the science of mathematics.  For I can maintain in other ways that our actions are in our own power; but I ought not to presume upon those things which I have not learned.”

Abad of Jesus Christ,

  Stulo Robinson.S.

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====================================>>>Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31 <<<====================================