Hermogenes a heretic of the 2nd century. Our knowledge of him is chiefly derived from a treatise against him by Tertullian (adv. Hermogenen), and from an account in the newly-discovered MS. of Hippolytus. He was living, probably in Africa, when Tertullian wrote against him, and was a painter by profession. Tertullian charged that Hermogenes was a believer in the doctrines of the heathen philosophers, and especially in those of the Stoics, and especially that he taught the eternity of matter. Hermogenes argued that God must have made the world either out of his own substance, or out of nothing, or out of pre-existent matter. The first, he thought, was inconsistent with God's immutability; the second with the origin of evil; and therefore the third must be received as true. "He rejected both the Gnostic Emanation doctrine and the Church doctrine of Creation: the former contradicted the unchangeable nature of God, and necessitated attributing to him the origin of evil; the latter was contradicted by the nature of this world; for if the creation of the perfect God had been conditioned by nothing, a perfect world must have been the result. Hence he believed that creation supposed something conditioning, and this he thought must be the Hyle which he received from Platonism into connection with the Christian system. He did not think that he gave up the doctrine of the μοναρχία as long as he admitted a ruling, all-powerful principle, and ascribed to God such a supremacy over the Hyle. He regarded the Hyle as altogether undetermined, predicateless, in which all the contrarieties that afterwards appeared in the world were as yet unseparated and undeveloped; neither motion nor rest, neither flowing nor standing still, but an inorganic confusion. It was the receptive, God alone the creative; his formative agency called forth from it determinate existence. But with this organization there was a residuum which withstood the divine formative power. Hence the defective and the offensive in nature; hence also evil. Had he been logical he must have admitted a creation without a beginning; he could not have regarded it as a single and transitive act of God, but as immanent, and resulting immediately from the relation of God to matter. He said God was always a ruler, consequently he must always have had dominion over matter" (Neander, Hist. of Dogmas, Ryland's transl., 1, 118). The account in Hippolytus, Κατὰ πασῶν αἱρέσεων (bk. 24), agrees, in the main, with that given above, and adds that Hermogenes taught that Christ, after his resurrection, when he "ascended to heaven, leaving his body in the sun, proceeded himself to his Father." See Augustine, De Haer. 41; Tertullian, adv. Hermogenem, passim; Ritter, Geschichte d. Philosophie, 5, 178; Neander, Ch. Hist. (Torrey's), 1, 568; Mosheim, Comm. vol. 1; Lardner, Wornks, 2, 203; 8:579; Hagenbach, History of Doctrines, vol. 1, §47.

Bible concordance for HERMOGENES.

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