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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Translated by Frederick Crombie.

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This Part: 128 Pages

Page 46

Translation from the Greek.

Chapter I.--On the Freedom of the Will, [2383] With an Explanation and Interpretation of Those Statements of Scripture Which Appear to Nullify It.

1. Since in the preaching of the Church there is included the doctrine respecting a just judgment of God, which, when believed to be true, incites those who hear it to live virtuously, and to shun sin by all means, inasmuch as they manifestly acknowledge that things worthy of praise and blame are within our own power, come and let us discuss by themselves a few points regarding the freedom of the will--a question of all others most necessary. And that we may understand what the freedom of the will is, it is necessary to unfold the conception of it, [2384] that this being declared with precision, the subject may be placed before us.

2. Of things that move, some have the cause of their motion within themselves; others, again, are moved only from without. Now only portable things are moved from without, such as pieces of wood, and stones, and all matter that is held together by their constitution alone. [2385] And let that view be removed from consideration which calls the flux of bodies motion, since it is not needed for our present purpose. But animals and plants have the cause of their motion within themselves, and in general whatever is held together by nature and a soul, to which class of things they say that metals also belong. And besides these, fire too is self-moved, and perhaps also fountains of water. Now, of those things which have the cause of their movement within themselves, some, they say, are moved out of themselves, others from themselves: things without life, out of themselves; animate things, from themselves. For animate things are moved from themselves, a phantasy [2386] springing up in them which incites to effort. And again, in certain animals phantasies are formed which call forth an effort, the nature of the phantasy [2387] stirring up the effort in an orderly manner, as in the spider is formed the phantasy of weaving; and the attempt to weave follows, the nature of its phantasy inciting the insect in an orderly manner to this alone. And besides its phantasial nature, nothing else is believed to belong to the insect. [2388] And in the bee there is formed the phantasy to produce wax.

[2383] peri tou autexousiou.

[2384] ten ennoian autou anaptuxai.

[2385] upo hexeos mones.

[2386] phantasias.

[2387] phuseos phantastikes.

[2388] kai oudenos allou meta ten phantastiken autou phusin pepisteumenou tou zoou.

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