(I have added the title, it being the same as that of the main section of Stobæus, Patrizzi (p. 51) giving only the simple heading “From the [Sermons] to Tat.”
Text: Stobæus, Phys., xi. 2, under the heading: “Of Hermes from the [Sermons] to Tat”; G. p. 121; M. i. 84, 85; W. i. 131.
Ménard, Livre IV., No. viii. of “Fragments from the Books of Hermes to his son Tat,” p. 250.)
Her. Matter both has been born, O son, and it has been [before it came into existence]; for Matter is the vase of genesis, 1 and genesis, the mode of energy of God, whos free from all necessity of genesis, and pre-exists.
[Matter], accordingly, by its reception of the seed of genesis, did come [herself] to birth, and [so] became subject to change, and, being shaped,
took forms; for she, contriving the forms of her [own] changing, presided over her own changing self.
The unborn state 1 of Matter, then, was formlessness 2; its genesis is its being brought into activity.
26:1 Or receptacle or field of genesis, or birth (ἀγγεῖον γενέσεως). The idea of a vessel or vase of birth was a familiar symbol with the Pythagoreans; μεταγγισμός (from the simile of pouring water out of one vessel into another) being one of their synonyms for metempsychosis.
27:2 ἀμορφία. Compare this with the Christian Gnostic commentator of the Naassene Document, quoted by Hippolytus (Philos. v. 7), and the comment of Hippolytus on him: “Their first and Blessed Formless Essence (ἀσχημάτιστος οὐσία), the cause of all forms” (“Myth of Man,” § 7).