Saint Irenæus


Fragment 33

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Logos Virtual Library


Saint Irenæus (120-202)


Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson

Fragment 33

Inasmuch as certain men, impelled by what considerations I know not, remove from God the half of His creative power, by asserting that He is merely the cause of quality resident in matter, and by maintaining that matter itself is uncreated, come now let us put the question, What is at any time…is immutable. Matter, then, is immutable. But if matter be immutable, and the immutable suffers no change in regard to quality, it does not form the substance of the world. For which reason it seems to them superfluous, that God has annexed qualities to matter, since indeed matter admits of no possible alteration, it being in itself an uncreated thing. But further, if matter be uncreated, it has been made altogether according to a certain quality, and this immutable, so that it cannot be receptive of more qualifies, nor can it be the thing of which the world is made. But if the word be not made from it, [this theory] entirely excludes God from exercising power on the creation [of the world].

Fragment 32

Fragment 34