============================== >>>For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.. I Corinthians 2: 2<<<=============================
Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2013

Peter – The man with purpose (Part XIV)

Peter – The man with purpose (Part XIV)

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

The Rainbow:

When the old man had thus spoken, Aquila answered:  “As you yourself proposed that anyone who pleased should have an opportunity of answering to what you might say, my brother Niceta permits me to conduct the argument today.”  Then the old man:  “Go on, my son, as you please.”  And Aquila answered:  “You promised that you would show that there are many things in the world which have a form and species arranged by equal reason, which yet it is evident were not effected by God as their Creator.  Now, then, as you have promised, point out these things.”  Then said the old man:  “Behold, we see the bow in the heaven assume a circular shape, completed in all proportion, and have an appearance of reality, which perhaps neither mind could have constructed nor reason described; and yet it is not made by any mind.  Behold, I have set forth the whole in a word:  now answer me.”

Types and Forms:

Then said Aquila:  “If anything is expressed from a type and form, it is at once understood that it is from reason, and that it could not be made without mind; since the type itself, which expresses figures and forms, was not made without mind.  For example, if wax be applied to an engraved ring, it takes the stamp and figure from the ring, which undoubtedly is without sense; but then the ring, which expresses the figure, was engraven by the hand of a workman, and it was mind and reason that gave the type to the ring.  So then the bow also is expressed in the air; for the sun, impressing its rays on the clouds in the process of rarefaction, and affixing the type of its circularity to the cloudy moisture, as it were to soft wax, produces the appearance of a bow; and this, as I have said, is effected by the reflection of the sun’s brightness upon the clouds, and reproducing the brightness of its circle from them.  Now this does not always take place, but only when the opportunity is presented by the rarefaction of moistened clouds.  And consequently, when the clouds again are condensed and unite, the form of the bow is dissolved and vanishes.  Finally, the bow never is seen without sun and clouds, just as the image is not produced, unless there be the type, and wax, or some other material.  Nor is it wonderful if God the Creator in the beginning made types, from which forms and species may now be expressed.  But this is similar to that, that in the beginning God created insensible elements, which He might use for forming and developing all other things.  But even those who form statues, first make a mould of clay or wax, and from it the figure of the statue is produced.  And then afterwards a shadow is also produced from the statue, which shadow always bears the form and likeness of the statue.  What shall we say then?  That the insensible statue forms a shadow finished with as diligent care as the statue itself?  Or shall the finishing of the shadow be unhesitatingly ascribed to him who has also fashioned the statue?

“If, then, it seems to you that this is so, and what has been said on this subject is enough, let us come to inquire into other matters; or if you think that something is still wanting, let us go over it again.”  And the old man said:  “I wish you would go over this again, since there are many other things which I see to be made in like manner:  for both the fruits of trees are produced in like manner, beautifully formed and wonderfully rounded; and the appearance of the leaves is formed with immense gracefulness, and the green membrane is woven with exquisite art:  then, moreover, fleas, mice, lizards, and such like, shall we say that these are made by God?  Hence, from these vile objects a conjecture is derived concerning the superior, that they are by no means formed by the art of mind.”  “You infer well,” said Aquila, “concerning the texture of leaves, and concerning small animals, that from these belief is withdrawn from the superior creatures; but let not these things deceive you, that you should think that God, working as it were only with two hands, could not complete all things that are made; but remember how my brother Niceta answered you yesterday, and truly disclosed the mystery before the time, as a son speaking with his father, and explained why and how things are made which seem to be useless.”

Ordinate and Inordinate:

Then the old man:  “I should like to hear from you why those useless things are made by the will of that supreme mind?”  “If,” said he, “it is fully manifest to you that there is in them the work of mind and reason, then you will not hesitate to say also why they were made, and to declare that they have been rightly made.”  To this the old man answered:  “I am not able, my son, to say that those things which seem formed by art are made by mind, by reason of other things which we see to be done unjustly and disorderly in the world.”  “If,” says Aquila, “those things which are done disorderly do not allow you say that they are done by the providence of God, why do not those things which are done orderly compel you to say that they are done by God, and that irrational nature cannot produce a rational work?  For it is certain, nor do we at all deny, that in this world some things are done orderly, and some disorderly.  Those things, therefore, that are done rationally, believe that they are done by providence; but those that are done irrationally and inordinately, that they befall naturally, and happen accidentally.  But I wonder that men do not perceive, that where there is sense things may be done ordinately and inordinately, but where there is no sense neither the one nor the other can be done; for reason makes order, and the course of order necessarily produces something inordinate, if anything contrary happen to disturb order.”  Then the old man:  “This very thing I wish you to show me.”

Motions of the Sun and Moon:

Says Aquila:  “I shall do so without delay.  Two visible signs are shown in heaven—one of the sun, the other of the moon; and these are followed by five other stars, each describing its own separate orbit.  These, therefore, God has placed in the heaven, by which the temperature of the air may be regulated according to the seasons, and the order of vicissitudes and alternations may be kept.  But by means of the very same signs, if at any time plague and corruption is sent upon the earth for the sins of men, the air is disturbed, pestilence is brought upon animals, blight upon crops, and a destructive year in every way upon men; and thus it is that by one and the same means order is both kept and destroyed.  For it is manifest even to the unbelieving and unskilful, that the course of the sun, which is useful and necessary to the world, and which is assigned by providence, is always kept orderly; but the courses of the moon, in comparison of the course of the sun, seem to the unskilful to be inordinate and unsettled in her waxings and wanings.  For the sun moves in fixed and orderly periods: for from him are hours, from him the day when he rises, from him also the night when he sets; from him months and years are reckoned, from him the variations of seasons are produced; while, rising to the higher regions, he tempers the spring; but when he reaches the top of the heaven, he kindles the summer’s heats:  again, sinking, he produces the temper of autumn; and when he returns to his lowest circle, he bequeaths to us the rigour of winter’s cold from the icy binding of heaven.

“But we shall discourse at greater length on these subjects at another time.  Now, meantime, we remark that though he is that good servant for regulating the changes of the seasons, yet, when chastisement is inflicted upon men according to the will of God, he glows more fiercely, and burns up the world with more vehement fires.  In like manner also the course of the moon, and that changing which seems to the unskilful to be disorderly, is adapted to the growth of crops, and cattle, and all living creatures; for by her waxings and wanings, by a certain wonderful contrivance of providence, everything that is born is nourished and grows; concerning which we could speak more at length and unfold the matter in detail, but that the method of the question proposed recalls us.  Yet, by the very same appliances by which they are produced, all things are nourished and increased; but when, from any just cause, the regulation of the appointed order is changed, corruption and distemper arise, so that chastisement may come upon men by the will of God, as we have said above.

Abad of Jesus Christ,

  Stulo Robinson.S.

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