15. But if the roving thought of any one should wander through the
images of bygone time, and wonder that Thou, the God Almighty, and
All-creating, and All-sustaining, the Architect of heaven and
earth, didst for innumerable ages refrain from so great a work before
Thou wouldst make it, let him awake and consider that he wonders at
false things. For whence could innumerable ages pass by which Thou
didst not make, since Thou art the Author and Creator of all ages?
Or what times should those be which were not made by Thee? Or how
should they pass by if they had not been? Since, therefore, Thou
art the Creator of all times, if any time was before Thou madest
heaven and earth, why is it said that Thou didst refrain from
working? For that very time Thou madest, nor could times pass by
before Thou madest times.
But if before heaven and earth there was no time, why is it asked,
What didst Thou then? For there was no "then" when time was not.
16. Nor dost Thou by time precede time; else wouldest not Thou
precede all times. But in the excellency of an ever-present
eternity, Thou precedest all times past, and survivest all future
times, because they are future, and when they have come they will be
past; but "Thou art the same, and Thy years shall have no end."
Thy years neither go nor come; but ours both go and come, that all
may come. All Thy years stand at once since they do stand; nor were
they when departing excluded by coming years, because they pass not
away; but all these of ours shall be when all shall cease to be. Thy
years are one day, and Thy day is not daily, but today; because Thy
today yields not with tomorrow, for neither doth it follow yesterday.
Thy today is eternity; therefore didst Thou beget the Co-eternal,
to whom Thou saidst, "This day have I begotten Thee." Thou hast
made all time; and before all times Thou art, nor in any time was
there not time.