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|Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus|
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But see what a contradiction he next advances (or perhaps some other reason occurs to him), when he declares that Matter partly corporeal and partly incorporeal. Then must Matter be considered (to embrace) both conditions, in order that it may not have either? For it will be corporeal, and incorporeal in spite of the declaration of that antithesis, which is plainly above giving any reason for its opinion, just as that "other reason" also was. Now, by the corporeal part of Matter, he means that of which bodies are created; but by the incorporeal part of Matter, he means its uncreated motion. If, says he, Matter were simply a body, there would appear to be in it nothing incorporeal, that is, (no) motion; if, on the other hand, it had been wholly incorporeal no body could be formed out of it. What a peculiarly right reason have we here! Only if you make your sketches as right as you make your reason, Hermogenes, no painter would be more stupid than yourself. For who is going to allow you to reckon motion as a moiety of Matter, seeing that it is not a substantial thing, because it is not corporeal, but an accident (if indeed it be even that) of a substance and a body? Just as action is, and impulsion, just as a slip is, or a fall, so is motion. When anything moves even of itself, its motion is the result of impulse; but certainly it is no part of its substance in your sense, when you make motion the incorporeal part of matter. All things, indeed, have motion either of themselves as animals, or of others as inanimate things; but yet we should not say that either a man or a stone was both corporeal and incorporeal because they had both a body and motion: we should say rather that all things have one form of simple corporeality, which is the essential quality of substance. If any incorporeal incidents accrue to them, as actions, or passions, or functions, or desires, we do not reckon these parts as of the things. How then does he contrive to assign an integral portion of Matter to motion, which does not pertain to substance, but to a certain condition of substance? Is not this incontrovertible? Suppose you had taken it into your head to represent matter as immoveable, would then the immobility seem to you to be a moiety of its form? Certainly not. Neither, in like manner, could motion. But I shall be at liberty to speak of motion elsewhere.