Friday, April 24, 2015

Give Me a Soapbox!

Praise the Lᴏʀᴅ!

I will give thanks to the Lᴏʀᴅ with my whole heart,
    in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lᴏʀᴅ,
    studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
    the Lᴏʀᴅ is gracious and merciful.  (Ps 111:1-4)

Would that it were allowed me to deliver this argument with the whole world formed, as it were, into one assembly, and to be placed in the hearing of all the human race!  Are we therefore judged guilty before you with an impious religion, and because we approach the Head and Pillar of the universe with worshipful service, are we to be considered—to use the terms employed by you in reproaching us—as undesirable godless?  And who would more properly bear the odium of these names than he who either knows, or inquires after, or believes any other god rather than this God of ours?

Do we not owe to Him this first, that we exist, that we are said to be men, that, being either sent forth from Him, or having fallen from Him, we are confined in the darkness of this body?*  Does it not come from Him that we walk, that we breathe and live, and by the very power of living, does He not cause us to exist and to move with the activity of animated being?  Do the causes not emanate from Him, through which our health is sustained by the bountiful supply of various pleasures?  Whose is that world in which you live, or who has authorized you to retain its produce and its possession?  Who has given that common light, enabling us to see distinctly all things lying beneath it, to handle them, and to examine them?  Who has ordained that the fires of the sun should exist for the growth of things, lest elements pregnant with life should be listless by settling down in a stupor of inactivity?

Arnobius of Sicca, Against the Pagans I.29

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