Monday, October 13, 2014

The Origins Of Nature And Evil

In the beginning of time, God created heaven and earth.  Time proceeds from this world, not before the world.

The earth is not suspended in the middle of the universe like a balance hung in equilibrium:  the majesty of God holds it together by the law of His own will.

Evil arose from us, and was not made by the Creator God.  It is produced by the created thing; it does not have the dignity of a natural substance.  It is a fault due to our mutability and is an error due to our fall.

And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters and let it separate the waters from the waters; .. and it was so,” Genesis 1:6.  Listen to the words of God, “Let there be,” He said.  This is the word of a commander, not of an adviser.  He gives orders to nature and does not comply with its power.  He does not regard its measurements, nor does He examine its weight.  His will is the measure of things and His word is the completion of the work.

But since His word is nature’s birth, justly therefore does He who gave nature its origin presume to give nature its law.

“Let the earth bring forth,” God said, and immediately the whole earth was filled with growing vegetation.  And to humanity it was said, “Love the Lord your God”; yet the love of God is not instilled in the hearts of all.  Deafer are human hearts than the hardest rock.

The bramble preceded in time the light of the sun; the blade of grass is older than the moon.  Therefore, do not believe that object to be a god to which the gifts of God are seen to be preferred.  Three days [of creation] have passed.  No one, meanwhile, has looked for the sun, yet the brilliance of light has been in evidence everywhere.

“Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures,” Genesis 1:20, said the Lord—a brief statement, but a significant one and one widely effective in endowing with their nature the smallest and the largest animals without distinction.  The whale as well as the frog came into existence at the same time by the same creative power.

Fish follow a divine law, whereas human beings contravene it.  Fish daily comply with the celestial mandates, but humans make void the precepts of God.

Moses saw that there was no place in the words of the Holy Spirit for the vanity of this perishable knowledge which deceives and deludes us in our attempt to explain the unexplainable.  He believed that only those things should be recorded which tend to our salvation.

The Word of God permeates every creature in the constitution of the world.

The divine wisdom penetrates and fills all things.  Far more conviction is gained from the observation of irrational creatures than from the arguments of rational beings.  Of more value is the testimony given by nature than the proof presented by teaching.

 From the writings of St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan +397AD

A Patristic Treasury, Early Church Wisdom for Today, Ancient Faith Publishing, pp 339-342 (excerpts from among those pages)

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