All Portions of Creation Attest the Excellence of the Creator, whom Marcion Vilifies his Inconsistency Herein Exposed. Marcion's Own God did not Hesitate to Use The
Now, when you make merry with those minuter animals, which their glorious Maker has purposely endued with a profusion of instincts and resources, [2488] -- thereby teaching us that greatness has its proofs in lowliness, just as (according to the apostle) there is power even in infirmity [2489] -- imitate, if you can, the cells of the bee, the hills of the ant, the webs of the spider, and the threads of the silkworm; endure, too, if you know how, those very creatures [2490] which infest your couch and house, the poisonous ejections of the blister-beetle, [2491] the spikes of the fly, and the gnat's sheath and sting. What of the greater animals, when the small ones so affect you with pleasure or pain, that you cannot even in their case despise their Creator? Finally, take a circuit round your own self; survey man within and without. Even this handiwork of our God will be pleasing to you, inasmuch as your own lord, that better god, loved it so well, [2492] and for your sake was at the pains [2493] of descending from the third heaven to these poverty-stricken [2494] elements, and for the same reason was actually crucified in this sorry [2495] apartment of the Creator. Indeed, up to the present time, he has not disdained the water which the Creator made wherewith he washes his people; nor the oil with which he anoints them; nor that union of honey and milk wherewithal he gives them the nourishment [2496] of children; nor the bread by which he represents his own proper body, thus requiring in his very sacraments the "beggarly [2497] elements" of the Creator. You, however, are a disciple above his master, and a servant above his lord; you have a higher reach of discernment than his; you destroy what he requires. I wish to examine whether you are at least honest in this, so as to have no longing for those things which you destroy. You are an enemy to the sky, and yet you are glad to catch its freshness in your houses. You disparage the earth, although the elemental parent [2498] of your own flesh, as if it were your undoubted enemy, and yet you extract from it all its fatness [2499] for your food. The sea, too, you reprobate, but are continually using its produce, which you account the more sacred diet. [2500] If I should offer you a rose, you will not disdain its Maker. You hypocrite, however much of abstinence you use to show yourself a Marcionite, that is, a repudiator of your Maker (for if the world displeased you, such abstinence ought to have been affected by you as a martyrdom), you will have to associate yourself with [2501] the Creator's material production, into what element soever you shall be dissolved. How hard is this obstinacy of yours! You vilify the things in which you both live and die.


[2488] De industria ingeniis aut viribus ampliavit.

[2489] 2 Corinthians 12:5.

[2490] Tertullian, it should be remembered, lived in Africa.

[2491] Cantharidis.

[2492] Adamavit.

[2493] Laboravit.

[2494] Paupertina. This and all such passages are, of course, in imitation of Marcion's contemptuous view of the Creator's work.

[2495] Cellula.

[2496] Infantat.

[2497] Mendicitatibus.

[2498] Matricem.

[2499] Medullas.

[2500] [The use of fish for fasting-days has no better warrant than Marcion's example.]

[2501] Uteris.

chapter xiii the marcionites depreciate the
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