Creation of the Heavens and the Earth
(ON THE HEXAEMERON)
IN THE BEGINNING God created the heavens and the earth. 1
An appropriate beginning for one who intends to speak about the formation of the world is to place first in the narration the source of the orderly arrangement of visible things. For, the creation of the heavens and earth must be handed down, not as having happened spontaneously, as some have imagined, but as having its origin from God. What ear is worthy of the sublimity of this narrative? How well prepared should that soul be for the hearing of such stupendous wonders? Cleansed from the passions of the flesh, undarkened by the cares of life, devoted to labor, given to investigation, watchful on all sides to see if from some place or other it may receive a worthy concept of God.
Before weighing the accuracy of these expressions, however, and examining how much meaning there is in these few words, let us consider who is speaking to us. For, even if we do not attain to the profound thoughts of the writer because of the weakness of our intellect, nevertheless, having regard for the authority of the speaker we shall be led spontaneously to agree with his utterances. Now, Moses is the author of this narrative, that Moses who while still a child at the breast was____________________