Early Church Fathers
43 For "Quod cupit his fieri, deest hoc virtute reduci," I venture to read, "Quod capit," etc., taking "capit" as = "capax est." "By these," of course, is by wisdom and art; and "virtue" = "power."
44 i.e., the Evil One.
45 i.e., may learn to know.
46 Oehler's "visus" seems to be a mistake for "vivus," which is Migne's reading; as in the fragment "De exsecrandis gentium diis," we saw (sub. fin.) "videntem" to be a probable misprint for "viventem." If, however, it is to be retained, it must mean "appearing" (i.e., in presence of God) "wholly," in body as well as soul.
47 i.e., the double gift of a saved soul and a saved body.
48 In aeternum.
49 I have so frequently had to construct my own text (by altering the reading or the punctuation of the Latin) in this book, that, for brevity's sake, I must ask the reader to be content with this statement once for all, and not expect each case to be separately noted.
50 The "foe," as before, is Satan; his "breathing instruments" are the men whom he uses (cf. Shakespeare's "no breather" = no man, in the dialogue between Orland and Jacques, As you Like it, act iii. sc. 2); and they are called "renegades," like the Evil One himself, because they have deserted from their allegiance to God in Christ.
52 Cf. John xv. 2, 4, 5, 6; Rom. xi. 17-20. The writer simply calls them "abruptos homines;" and he seems to mean excommunicated, like Marcion.
53 i.e., those recorded in the Old Testament.
54 I have followed Migne's suggestion here, and transposed one line of the original. The reference seems to be to Isa. lxiv. 4, quoted in 1 Cor. ii.9, where the Greek differs somewhat remarkably from the LXX.
55 Unless some line has dropped out here, the construction, harsh enough in my English, is yet harsher in the Latin. "Accipitur" has no subject of any kind, and one can only guess from what has gone before, and what follows, that it must mean "one Testament."
56 Harsh still. It must refer to the four Gospels - the "coat without seam" - in their quadrate unity; Marcion receiving but one - St. Luke's - and that without St. Luke's name, and also in a mutilated and interpolated form.
57 This seems to be the sense. The allusion is to the fact that Marcion and his sect accepted but ten of St. Paul's Epistles: leaving out entirely those to Timothy and Titus, and all the other books, except his one Gospel.
58 It seems to me that the reference here must evidently be to the Epistle to the Hebrews, which treats specially of the old covenant. If so, we have some indication as to the authorship, if not the date, of the book: for Tertullian himself, though he frequently cites the Epistle, appears to hesitate (to say the least) as to ascribing it to St. Paul.
59 Comp. Isa. vi. 9, 10, with Acts xxviii. 17-29.
60 The reference seems to be to Rom. i. 28; comp., too, Tit. i. 15, 16.
61 The reference is to Gen. ii. 9-14.
62 Fata mortua. This extraordinary expression appears to mean "dead men;" men who, through Adam, are fated, so to speak, to die, and are under the sad fate of being "dead in trespasses and sins." See Eph. ii. 1. As far as quantity is concerned, it might as well be "facta mortua," "dead works," such as we read of in Heb. vi. 1, xi. 14. It is true these works cannot strictly be said to be ever vivified; but a very similar inaccuracy seems to be committed by our author lower down in this same book.