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Sermon Podcast | Audio | Video : Christian Books : Chapter XII. Whether, then, there are cycles of time, and floodsà

Origen Against Celsus by Origen

Chapter XII. Whether, then, there are cycles of time, and floodsà

Whether, then, there are cycles of time, and floods, or conflagrations which occur periodically or not, and whether the Scripture is aware of this, not only in many passages, but especially where Solomon says, |What is the thing which hath been? Even that which shall be. And what is the thing which hath been done? Even that which shall be done,| etc., etc., belongs not to the present occasion to discuss. For it is sufficient only to observe, that Moses and certain of the prophets, being men of very great antiquity, did not receive from others the statements relating to the (future) conflagration of the world; but, on the contrary (if we must attend to the matter of time ), others rather misunderstanding them, and not inquiring accurately into their statements, invented the fiction of the same events recurring at certain intervals, and differing neither in their essential nor accidental qualities. But we do not refer either the deluge or the conflagration to cycles and planetary periods; but the cause of them we declare to be the extensive prevalence of wickedness, and its (consequent) removal by a deluge or a conflagration. And if the voices of the prophets say that God |comes down,| who has said, |Do I not fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord,| the term is used in a figurative sense. For God |comes down| from His own height and greatness when He arranges the affairs of men, and especially those of the wicked. And as custom leads men to say that teachers |condescend| to children, and wise men to those youths who have just betaken themselves to philosophy, not by |descending| in a bodily manner; so, if God is said anywhere in the holy Scriptures to |come down,| it is understood as spoken in conformity with the usage which so employs the word, and, in like manner also with the expression |go up.|
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