St. Ephraim
Third to Hypatius against the Teachings

III. Mani's Teaching; he placed the Light World in contact with the Darkness, and thereby introduced great difficulties. How did the attractiveness of Light reach the Senses of Darkness?

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III. Mani's Teaching; he placed the Light World in contact with the Darkness, and thereby introduced great difficulties. How did the attractiveness of Light reach the Senses of Darkness?

And, therefore, on these grounds we have opposed Mani also with a true refutation. For he, too, calls God the Earth of Light, which (Earth) is not perfect, but if it is a deficient thing, the very word deficiency is enough to refute its claim to perfection. For its one side proclaims concerning the whole if it, that if on its side which is near the Darkness, it is limited by the Darkness, and if it is (so) by nature, its nature is very deficient and imperfect, inasmuch as that which limits it on one side is not a thing which is fair but the Darkness. Now, in the case of a thing which is limited by the Evil, inquire no further as to its weakness; [P. 61, l.13.] for it is enough that the Evil limited it. And how, O Mani, shall we call that thing the perfect Good which is limited by the Darkness, or perfect Light that which is bounded by the Darkness? For it (i.e., the Darkness) confined and limited its inferiority (i.e., the inferiority of the Light), and did not suffer it to fill all (Space), in addition to the fact that it (i.e., the Darkness) waxed [lix] bold like a strong one to trample down its Domain and to enter its Boundaries, and to plunder its Possessions. But they say that it (i.e., the Darkness) came as one in need ; but if it was in need, know that this (i.e., the Light) also is weak, and if the former plunders the latter is plundered. And, in order that they may be refuted in all points, if the two frontiers of Good and Evil were thus contiguous, all that side which bordered on the unclean became unclean and defiled, and infected, and corrupted by the contact of the Darkness. And if they say that that side which bordered on the Darkness was not injured by the contact of the [P. 62.] Darkness, then that side which could not be injured is more excellent than those Souls which were injured by the contact of the Darkness, for it (i.e., the Darkness) is said to have acquired power over the inferior, since this inferior was all injured. But although it (i.e., the side) has contact with the corrupt Darkness from everlasting to everlasting, the injurious contact could not injure it. And if the Enemy was unable to get dominion over it, and the Foe to tread it down and the Marauder to ascend and cross it, then why was it necessary for the Good One to take the pure Souls who belonged to him, and to 'hurl' them beyond his own victorious Frontier into the jaws of the Darkness? For it has been said that the Darkness could not even cross that mighty Frontier. But if it was a defenceless Frontier, one which could be overcome, and laid low, and trodden down and crossed, then its weakness could also be injured by the contact of the Darkness. And if the Darkness had been able to get dominion over it, if it had wished to destroy it, lo, it would have destroyed [P. 63.] it by degrees, and made an Assault. And if it desired to rob it, behold it would have approached it stealthily by degrees, and moved onwards. And if (it had wished) to feel a Passion for it and to enjoy it, lo, what gave it Pleasure was at its side . . . if [L. 13.] what gave it Pleasure was in close contact on its side from everlasting to everlasting; and if it carried its will into action, the Darkness had no need to make an Assault and enter the midst of the Earth of Light, because the same Pleasantness was diffused throughout the whole of it (i.e., the Earth). For the Light is one in its nature, and wherever a man has pleasure in it, [lx] it is the same. Look, therefore, at the fabricated system of deceit, for in all this the Pleasantness of the Light is in contact with the Darkness, as they say. If it is after the fashion of a park, the one side which bordered on the Sons of the Darkness was entirely akin to the Darkness -- for it is with them.  And if the Fragrance of that pleasant thing is sent forth into their nostrils, and if that Light is diffused upon their eyes, and if the Melodies of that sweet Player are poured into their ears, how since all this was present with him, did he smell and perceive as from a far mountain that "there was something pleasant [P. 64, l.12.] there"? And if from the centre of the Earth (of Light) or from the inner sides he received the smell of the Pleasantness of Light, this, too, is against them. For how did it come about that the sweet smell and effulgence burst forth and entered even there? And how did this beautiful Fragrance ever smite the Darkness


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