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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Merits and Forgiveness...: Chapter 33

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 33.—Christ is the Saviour and Redeemer Even of Infants.

Let us therefore give in and yield our assent to the authority of Holy Scripture, which knows not how either to be deceived or to deceive; and as we do not believe that men as yet unborn have done any good or evil for raising a difference in their moral deserts, so let us by no means doubt that all men are under sin, which came into the world by one man and has passed through unto all men; and from which nothing frees us but the grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. [XXIII.] His remedial advent is needed by those that are sick, not by the whole: for He came not to call the righteous, but sinners; and into His kingdom shall enter no one that is not born again of water and the Spirit; nor shall any one attain salvation and eternal life except in His kingdom,—since the man who believes not in the Son, and eats not His flesh, shall not have life, but the wrath of God remains upon him. Now from this sin, from this sickness, from this wrath of God (of which by nature they are children who have original sin, even if they have none of their own on account of their youth), none delivers them, except the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world; 311 except the Physician, who came not for the sake of the sound, but of the sick; except the Saviour, concerning whom it was said to the human race: “Unto you there is born this day a Saviour;” 312 except the Redeemer, by whose blood our debt is blotted out. For who would dare to say that Christ is not the Saviour and Redeemer of infants? But from what does He save them, if there is no malady of original sin within them? From what does He redeem them, if through their origin from the first man they are not sold under sin? Let there be then no eternal salvation promised to infants out of our own opinion, without Christ’s baptism; for none is promised in that Holy Scripture which is to be preferred to all human authority and opinion.



John i. 29.


Luke ii. 11.

Next: Chapter 34

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