Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume V/Hippolytus/The Refutation of All Heresies/Book VII/Part 14

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Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. V, Hippolytus, The Refutation of All Heresies, Book VII by Hippolytus, translated by John Henry MacMahon
Part 14

Chapter XIII.—Further Explanation of the “Sonship.”

When, therefore, according to these (heretics), the entire world and super-mundane entities were finished, and (when) nothing exists labouring under deficiency, there still remains in the (conglomeration of) all germs the third Sonship, which had been left behind in the Seed to confer benefits and receive them. And it must needs be that the Sonship which had been left behind ought likewise to be revealed and reinstated above. And His place should be above the Conterminous Spirit, near the refined and imitative Sonship and the Non-Existent One. But this would be in accordance with what has been written, he says: “And the creation itself groaneth together, and travaileth in pain together, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.”[1] Now, we who are spiritual are sons, he says, who have been left here to arrange, and mould, and rectify, and complete the souls which, according to nature, are so constituted as to continue in this quarter of the universe.  “Sin, then, reigned from Adam unto Moses,”[2] as it has been written. For the Great Archon exercised dominion and possesses an empire with limits extending as far as the firmament. And He imagines Himself alone to be God, and that there exists nothing above Him, for (the reason that) all things have been guarded by unrevealed Siope. This, he says, is the mystery which has not been made known to former generations; but in those days the Great Archon, the Ogdoad, was King and Lord, as it seemed, of the universe. But (in reality) the Hebdomad was king and lord of this quarter of the universe, and the Ogdoad is Arrhetus, whereas the Hebdomad is Rhetus. This, he says, is the Archon of the Hebdomad, who has spoken to Moses, and says: “I am the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and I have not manifested unto them the name of God”[3] (for so they wish that it had been written)—that is, the God, Arrhetus, Archon of the Ogdoad. All the prophets, therefore, who were before the Saviour uttered their predictions, he says, from this source (of inspiration). Since, therefore, it was requisite, he says, that we should be revealed as the children of God, in expectation of whose manifestation, he says, the creation habitually groans and travails in pain, the Gospel came into the world, and passed through every Principality, and Power, and Dominion, and every Name that is named.[4] And (the Gospel) came in reality, though nothing descended from above; nor did the blessed Sonship retire from that Inconceivable, and Blessed, (and) Non-Existent God.  Nay, (far from it;) for as Indian naphtha, when lighted merely[5] from a considerably long distance, nevertheless attracts fire (towards it), so from below, from the formlessness of the conglomeration (of all germs), the powers pass upwards as far as the Sonship. For, according to the illustration of the Indian naphtha, the Son of the Great Archon of the Ogdoad, as if he were some (sort of) naphtha, apprehends and seizes conceptions from the Blessed Sonship, whose place of habitation is situated after that of the Conterminous (Spirit). For the power of the Sonship which is in the midst of the Holy Spirit, (that is,) in, the midst of the (Conterminous) Spirit, shares the flowing and rushing thoughts of the Sonship with the Son of the Great Archon.


Footnotes[edit]

  1. Rom. viii. 19, 22.
  2. Rom. v. 14.
  3. Ex. vi. 2, 3.
  4. Eph. i. 21.
  5. Or, “seen merely.”