Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume V/Novatian/A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity/Part 3

Chapter III. Argument.—That God is the Founder of All Things, Their Lord and Parent, is Proved from the Holy Scriptures.

Him, then, we acknowledge and know to be God, the Creator of all things—Lord on account of His power, Parent on account of His discipline—Him, I say, who “spake, and all things were made;”[1] He commanded, and all things went forth: of whom it is written, “Thou hast made all things in wisdom;”[2] of whom Moses said, “God in heaven above, and in the earth beneath;”[3] who, according to Isaiah, “hath meted out the heaven with a span, the earth with the hollow of His hand;”[4] “who looketh on the earth, and maketh it tremble; who boundeth the circle of the earth, and those that dwell in it like locusts; who hath weighed the mountains in a balance, and the groves in scales,”[5] that is, by the sure test of divine arrangement; and lest its greatness, lying unequally, should easily fall into ruins if it were not balanced with equal weights, He has poised this burden of the earthly mass with equity. Who says by the prophet, “I am God, and there is none beside me.”[6] Who says by the same prophet, “Because I will not give my majesty to another,”[7] that He may exclude all heathens and heretics with their figments; proving that that is not God who is made by the hand of the workman, nor that which is feigned by the intellect of a heretic. For he is not God for whose existence the workman must be asked. And He has added hereto by the prophet, “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me, and where is the place of my rest?”[8] that He may show that He whom the world does not contain is much less contained in a temple; and He says these things not for boastfulness of Himself, but for our knowledge. For He does not desire from us the glory of His magnitude; but He wishes to confer upon us, even as a father, a religious wisdom. And He, wishing moreover to attract to gentleness our minds, brutish, and swelling, and stubborn with cloddish ferocity, says, “And upon whom shall my Spirit rest, save upon him that is lowly, and quiet, and that trembleth at my words?”[9]—so that in some degree one may recognise how great God is, in learning to fear Him by the Spirit given to him: Who, similarly wishing still more to come into our knowledge, and, by way of stirring up our minds to His worship, said, “I am the Lord, who made the light and created the darkness;”[10] that we might deem not that some Nature,—what I know not,—was the artificer of those vicissitudes whereby nights and days are controlled, but might rather, as is more true, recognise God as their Creator. And since by the gaze of our eyes we cannot see Him, we rightly learn of Him from the greatness, and the power, and the majesty of His works. “For the invisible things of Him,” says the Apostle Paul,” from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by those things which are made, even His eternal power and godhead;”[11] so that the human mind, learning hidden things from those that are manifest, from the greatness of the works which it should behold, might with the eyes of the mind consider the greatness of the Architect. Of whom the same apostle, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory.”[12] For He has gone beyond the contemplation of the eyes who has surpassed the greatness of thought. “For,” it is said, “of Him, and through Him, and in Him are all things.”[13] For all things are by His command, because they are of Him; and are ordered by His word as being through Him; and all things return to His judgment; as in Him expecting liberty when corruption shall be done away, they appear to be recalled to Him.


  1. Ps. cxlviii. 5.
  2. Ps. ciii. 24.
  3. Deut. iv. 39.
  4. Ps. ciii. 32.
  5. Isa. xl. 22, 12.
  6. Isa. xlv. 22.
  7. Isa. xlii. 8.
  8. Isa. lxvi. 1. [No portable or pocket god.]
  9. Isa. lxvi. 2.
  10. Isa. xlv. 7. [A lesson to our age.]
  11. Rom. i. 20. [“So that they are without excuse.”]
  12. 1 Tim. i. 17.
  13. Rom. xi. 33.