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15. But if the roving thought of someone should wander over the images of past
time, and wonder that thou, the Almighty God, the All-creating and All-sustaining,
the Architect of heaven and earth, didst for ages unnumbered abstain from so
great a work before thou didst actually do it, let him awake and consider that
he wonders at illusions. For in what temporal medium could the unnumbered ages
that thou didst not make pass by, since thou art the Author and Creator of all
the ages? Or what periods of time would those be that were not made by thee?
Or how could they have already passed away if they had not already been? Since,
therefore, thou art the Creator of all times, if there was any time before
thou madest heaven and earth, why is it said that thou wast abstaining from
working? For thou madest that very time itself, and periods could not pass by
before thou madest the whole temporal procession. But if there was no
time before heaven and earth, how, then, can it be asked, "What wast
thou doing then?" For there was no "then" when there was no time.
16. Nor dost thou precede any given period of time by another
period of time. Else thou wouldst not precede all periods
of time. In the eminence of thy ever-present eternity, thou
precedest all times past, and extendest beyond all future
times, for they are still to come--and when they have come,
they will be past. But "Thou art always the Selfsame and
thy years shall have no end." Thy years neither go nor come;
but ours both go and come in order that all separate moments
may come to pass. All thy years stand together as one, since
they are abiding. Nor do thy years past exclude the years
to come because thy years do not pass away. All these years
of ours shall be with thee, when all of them shall have
ceased to be. Thy years are but a day, and thy day is not
recurrent, but always today. Thy "today" yields not to tomorrow
and does not follow yesterday. Thy "today" is eternity.
Therefore, thou didst generate the Coeternal, to whom thou
didst say, "This day I have begotten thee."
Thou madest all time and before all times thou art, and
there was never a time when there was no time.