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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Grace of Christ, and...: Chapter 36

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 36 [XXXI]—The Platonists’ Opinion About the Existence of the Soul Previous to the Body Rejected.

What, then, is the purport of so severe a condemnation, when no wilful sin has been committed? For it is not as certain Platonists have thought, because every such infant is thus requited in his soul for what it did of its own wilfulness previous to the present life, as having possessed previous to its present bodily state a free choice of living either well or ill; since the Apostle Paul says most plainly, that before they were born they did neither good nor evil. 2006 On what account, therefore, is an infant rightly punished with such ruin, if it be not because he belongs to the mass of perdition, and is properly regarded as born of Adam, condemned under the bond of the ancient debt unless he has been released from the bond, not according to debt, but according to grace? And what grace but God’s, through our Lord Jesus Christ? Now there was a forecast of His coming undoubtedly contained not only in other sacred institutions  2007 of the ancient Jews, but also in their circumcision of the foreskin. For the eighth day, in the recurrence of weeks, became the Lord’s day, on which the Lord arose from the dead; and Christ was the rock 2008 whence was formed the stony blade for the circumcision; 2009 and the flesh of the foreskin was the body of sin.


Footnotes

249:2006

Rom. ix. 11.

249:2007

Sacramenta.

249:2008

1 Cor. x. 4.

249:2009

Ex. iv. 25.


Next: Chapter 37

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