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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Grace of Christ, and...: Chapter 38

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 38 [XXXIII.]—Original Sin Does Not Render Marriage Evil.

But they argue thus, saying: “Is not, then, marriage an evil, and the man that is produced by marriage not God’s work?” As if the good of the married life were that disease of concupiscence with which they who know not God love their wives—a course which the apostle forbids; 2015 and not rather that conjugal chastity, by which carnal lust is reduced to the good purposes of the appointed procreation of children. Or as if, forsooth, a man could possibly be anything p. 250 but God’s work, not only when born in wedlock, but even if he be produced in fornication or adultery. In the present inquiry, however, when the question is not for what a Creator is necessary, but for what a Saviour, we have not to consider what good there is in the procreation of nature, but what evil there is in sin, whereby our nature has been certainly corrupted. No doubt the two are generated simultaneously—both nature and nature’s corruption; one of which is good, the other evil. The one comes to us from the bounty of the Creator, the other is contracted from the condemnation of our origin; the one has its cause in the good-will of the Supreme God, the other in the depraved will of the first man; the one exhibits God as the maker of the creature, the other exhibits God as the punisher of disobedience: in short, the very same Christ was the maker of man for the creation of the one, and was made 2016 man for the healing of the other.


Footnotes

249:2015

1 Thess. iv. 5.

250:2016

This translation is intended to preserve, however faintly, Augustin’s antithesis, factor est hominis and factus est homo.


Next: Chapter 39

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