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?

If Darkness has foreknowledge it is more excellent than the Light.

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If Darkness has foreknowledge it is more excellent than the Light.

For if the Darkness had foreknowledge, and by means of that he knew that there would be something pleasant (in the realm of Light) then is that Entity (of the Darkness) greater and more excellent than this Good, in that it has this foreknowledge. But lo, the Souls who are from this (Entity) are to-day existing in Ignorance and Error. [How can the Souls escape from this Darkness?] And if he had great foreknowledge, when do the Souls who have strayed expect to be 'refined,' seeing that 'he who leads them astray' is so great? For by his knowledge he made them to be without knowledge. But, above all, they cannot go forth hence, because, howsoever that Good (Being) may contrive to form ways and means for their departure [P. 65, l. 9.] hence, that Evil One knows beforehand all the movements and secrets which are planned there against him ; and that Good (Being) cannot even conceal his secret thoughts from him. And if he cannot conceal from him the thoughts in his own heart and in his own Domain, how does he expect to release from under the hand of this mighty One the Souls who are subject to his authority, [Cf. p. lxxii. l. 3.] especially, too, if they are stored up in the midst of him and 'swallowed,' as they say? And if, when they were not swallowed, he contrived to swallow them, now that he has swallowed them, who is there that can bring them forth from his midst? '(This [lxi] is a thought) which even Mani himself may have muttered from the midst of the Darkness when he was swallowed. And in his muttering whose help would be invoke? (Would he invoke) Him who even in his own Domain is guarding himself from that which he fears? For he is afraid to come because he knows that if he comes he is swallowed; but they are ashamed to say that he [P. 66.] can be swallowed. And how can they conceal it? For behold those Souls which were swallowed up (so as to be removed) from him make them ashamed. And if they were not swallowed, again they are all the more ashamed in this point, (namely): Why did that Nature which cannot be swallowed not contend (?) with the Darkness and swallow all of it?


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