Before the heavens, then, there existed through reason, Form and Matter, and the God who develops the best. But since the older surpasses the younger and the ordered surpasses the orderless, the deity being good, on seeing that Matter receives Form, and is altered in every way, but without order, the necessity of organizing it, altering the undefined to the defined, so that the differences between bodies might be similarly related, not receiving various turns at hap-hazard. He therefore made this world out of the whole of Matter, laying it down as a limit to the nature of being, through its containing in itself all the rest of things, being one, only-begotten, perfect, endued with soul and reason, for these qualities are superior to the soul-lees and the irrational, Ñ and of a sphere like body; for this is more perfect than the rest of forms.
Desirous then of making a very good production, he made it a deity, created and never to be destroyed by any cause other than the God, who had put it in order, if indeed he should ever wish to dissolve it. But on the part of the good there is no rushing forward to the destruction of a very beautiful production. Such therefore being the world, it continues without corruption and destruction, being blessed. It is the best of things ordered; since it has been produced by the best cause, that looks not to patterns made by hand, but to Form in the abstract, and to Existence, perceived by the mind to which the created thing, having been carefully adjusted, has become the most beautiful, and to be not wrongly undertaken. It is [ever]perfect according to the things perceived by sense because the pattern perceived by mind contains [in] itself all the living things perceived by mind; he left out of itself nothing, as being the limit [of]the things perceived by mind, as this world is [of] those perceived by sense.
As being solid, and perceptible by touch and sight, it has a share of earth and fire, and of the things between them, air and water; and it is composed of bodies all perfect, which are in it as wholes so that no part might ever be left out of it, in order that the body of the Universe might be altogether self-sufficient, uninjured by corruption without or within; for apart from these there is nothing else, for the things combined according the best proportions and with equal powers, neither rule over, nor are ruled by each other in turn, so that some receive an increase, others a decrease, remaining indissolubly united according to the very best proportions.