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Section 10

10. The upholder of Happening must be asked how this false happening can be supposed to have come about, taking it that it did, and haw the happening, then, is not universally prevalent. If there is to be a natural scheme at all, it must be admitted that this happening does not and cannot exist: for if we attribute to chance the Principle which is to eliminate chance from all the rest, how can there ever be anything independent of chance? And this Nature does take away the chanced from the rest, bringing in form and limit and shape. In the case of things thus conformed to reason the cause cannot be identified with chance but must lie in that very reason; chance must be kept for what occurs apart from choice and sequence and is purely concurrent. When we come to the source of all reason, order and limit, how can we attribute the reality there to chance? Chance is no doubt master of many things but is not master of Intellectual-Principle, of reason, of order, so as to bring them into being. How could chance, recognised as the very opposite of reason, be its Author? And if it does not produce Intellectual-Principle, then certainly not that which precedes and surpasses that Principle. Chance, besides, has no means of producing, has no being at all, and, assuredly, none in the Eternal.

Since there is nothing before Him who is the First, we must call a halt; there is nothing to say; we may enquire into the origin of his sequents but not of Himself who has no origin.

But perhaps, never having come to be but being as He is, He is still not master of his own essence: not master of his essence but being as He is, not self-originating but acting out of his nature as He finds it, must He not be of necessity what He is, inhibited from being otherwise?

No: What He is, He is not because He could not be otherwise but because so is best. Not everything has power to move towards the better though nothing is prevented by any external from moving towards the worse. But that the Supreme has not so moved is its own doing: there has been no inhibition; it has not moved simply because it is That which does not move; in this stability the inability to degenerate is not powerlessness; here permanence is very Act, a self-determination. This absence of declination comports the fulness of power; it is not the yielding of a being held and controlled but the Act of one who is necessity, law, to all.

Does this indicate a Necessity which has brought itself into existence? No: there has been no coming into being in any degree; This is that by which being is brought to all the rest, its sequents. Above all origins, This can owe being neither to an extern nor to itself.

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