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The fact, however, of such a connexion is not denied except by a few theorists; and even they continually admit it in practice.
Consequently the indistinctness of the notion of creation is no valid reason for doubting its inner coherence.
The ex means (a) the negation of prejacent material, out of which the product might otherwise be conceived to proceed, and (b) the order of succession, viz., existence after non-existence.
It follows, therefore, that; However, as thus continuous, it is called conservation, an act, therefore, which is nothing else than the unceasing influx of the creative cause upon the existence of the creature.
The early Christian writers, learning from Revelation that the world was produced from nothing, and seeing the necessity of having a term to designate such an act chose the word creare , which theretofore had been used to express any form of production, e.g. The theological usage afterwards passed into modern language.
Probably the idea of creation never entered the human mind apart from Revelation.
In every kind of production the specific effect had as such no previous existence, and may therefore be said to have been educed ex nihilo sui — from a state of non-existence — so far as its specific character is concerned (e.g.
In the East this gradually gave rise to the identification of God with nature.It is therefore likewise the production totius substantiæ — of the entire substance.The preposition ex, "out of", in the above definition does not, of course, imply that nihil, "nothing", is to be conceived as the material out of which a thing is made — materia ex quâ — a misconception which has given rise to the puerile objection against the possibility of creation conveyed by the phrase, ex nihilo nihil fit — "nothing comes of nothing".2 On the other hand, though the idea of creation is self-consistent and naturally attainable by the mind interpreting the world in the light of the principle of causality, nevertheless such is not its actual source.The conception has a distinctly theological origin.
Other characteristics there are, the more important of which will come out in what follows.