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|Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus|
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Here the question will arise How creatures were made good out of it," which were formed without any change at all? How occurs the seed of what is good, nay, very good, in that which is evil, nay, very evil? Surely a good tree does not produce evil fruit, since there is no God who is not good; nor does an evil tree yield good fruit, since there is not Matter except what is very evil. Or if we were to grant him that there is some germ of good in it, then there will be no longer a uniform nature (pervading it), that is to say, one which is evil throughout; but instead thereof (we now encounter) a double nature, partly good and partly evil; and again the question will arise, whether, in a subject which is good and evil, there could possibly have been found a harmony for light and darkness, for sweet and bitter? So again, if qualities so utterly diverse as good and evil have been able to unite together, and have imparted to Matter a double nature, productive of both kinds of fruit, then no longer will absolutely good things be imputable to God, just as evil things are not ascribed to Him, but both qualities will appertain to Matter, since they are derived from the property of Matter. At this rate, we shall owe to God neither gratitude for good things, nor grudge for evil ones, because He has produced no work of His own proper character. From which circumstance will arise the clear proof that He has been subservient to Matter.