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|Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus|
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I come back to the point of motion, that I may show how slippery you are at every step. Motion in Matter was disordered, and confused, and turbulent. This is why you apply to it the comparison of a boiler of hot water surging over. Now how is it, that in another passage another sort of motion is affirmed by you? For when you want to represent Matter as neither good nor evil, you say: "Matter, which is the substratum (of creation) possessing as it does motion in an equable impulse, tends in no very great degree either to good or to evil." Now if it had this equable impulse, it could not be turbulent, nor be like the boiling water of the caldron; it would rather be even and regular, oscillating indeed of its own accord between good and evil, but yet not prone or tending to either side. It would swing, as the phrase is, in a just and exact balance. Now this is not unrest; this is not turbulence or inconstancy;" but rather the regularity, and evenness, and exactitude of a motion, inclining to neither side. If it oscillated this way and that way, and inclined rather to one particular side, it would plainly in that case merit the reproach of unevenness, and inequality, and turbulence. Moreover, although the motion of Matter was not prone either to good or to evil, it would still, of course, oscillate between good and evil; so that from this circumstance too it is obvious that Matter is contained within certain limits, because its motion, while prone to neither good nor evil, since it had no natural bent either way, oscillated from either between both, and therefore was contained within the limits of the two. But you, in fact, place both good and evil in a local habitation, when you assert that motion in Matter inclined to neither of them. For Matter which was local, when inclining neither hither nor thither, inclined not to the places in which good and evil were. But when you assign locality to good and evil, you make them corporeal by making them local, since those things which have local space must needs first have bodily substance. In fact, incorporeal things could not have any locality of their own except in a body, when they have access to a body. But when Matter inclined not to good and evil, it was as corporeal or local essences that it did not incline to them. You err, therefore, when you will have it that good and evil are substances. For you make substances of the things to which you assign locality; but you assign locality when you keep motion in Matter poised equally distant from both sides.