assume an eternal principle of pure malignity. His second principle is independent of and co-eternal with, the first; opposed to it however, not as evil to good, but as imperfection to perfection, or, as Marcion expressed it, as a just to a good being. 218 ? Non-recognition of any principle of pure evil. Three principles only: the Supreme God, the Demiurge, and the eternal Matter, the two latter being imperfect but not necessarily evil. Some of the Marcionites seem to have added an evil spirit as a fourth principle. Marcion is the least Gnostic of all the Gnostics. 31 ? The Indian influence may be seen in Egypt, the Persian in Syria. 32 ? To Platonism, modified by Judaism, Gnosticism owed much of its philosophical form and tendencies. To the dualism of the Persian religion it owed one form at least of its speculations on the origin and remedy of evil, and many of the details of its doctrine of emanations. To the Buddhism of India, modified again probably by Platonism, it was indebted for the doctrines of the antagonism between spirit and matter and the unreality of derived existence (the germ of the Gnostic Docetism) , and in part at least for the theory which regards the universe as a series of successive emanations from the absolute Unity.?
Emanation holds that some stuff has proceeded from the nature of God, and that God has formed this stuff into the universe but matter is not composed of stuff at all. It is merely an activity of God. Origen held that yuch> etymologically denotes a being which, struck off from God the central source of light and warmth, has cooled in its love for the good, but still has the possibility of returning to its spiritual origin. Pfleiderer, Philosophy of Religion, 2:271, thus describes Origen?s view: ?As our body, while consisting of many members, is yet an organism which is held together by one soul, so the universe is to be thought of as an immense living being which is held together by one soul ? the power and the Logos of God.? Palmer, Theol. Definition, 63, note ? ?The evil of Emanationism is seen in the history of Gnosticism. An emanation is a portion of the divine essence regarded as separated from it and sent forth as independent. Having no perpetual bond of connection with the divine, it either sinks into degradation, as Basilides taught, or becomes actively hostile to the divine, as the Ophites believed? in like manner the Deists of a later time came to regard the laws of nature as having an independent existence, i.e. , as emanations.?
John Milton, Christian Doctrine, holds this view. Matter is an efflux from God himself, not intrinsically bad, and incapable of annihilation. Finite existence is an emanation from God?s substance, and God has loosened his hold on those living portions or centers of finite existence which he has endowed with free will, so that these independent beings may originate
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