Paradise, the world of man

Now having made the man lord of the earth, and of everything that is in it, He secretly appointed him as lord over those who were servants in it. But they, however, were in their full-development, while the lord, that is, the man, was very little, since he was an infant, and it was necessary for him to reach full-development by growing in this way: and that his nourishment and growth might take place in luxury, a place was prepared for him, better than this earth – excelling in air, beauty, light, food, plants, fruit, waters, and every other thing needful – and its name was Paradise. And so beautiful and good was the Paradise, that the Word of God was always walking in it: He would walk and talk with the man prefiguring the future, which would come to pass, that He would dwell with him and speak with him, and would be with mankind, teaching them righteousness. But the man was a young child, not yet having a perfect deliberation, and because of this he was easily deceived by the seducer.

– St Irenaeus of Lyons, “On the Apostolic Preaching”. Popular Patristics Series; ed John Behr (p47).

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