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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
On Marriage and Concupiscence.: Chapter 33

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 277

Chapter 33 [XXX.]—True Freedom Comes with Willing Delight in God’s Law.

The apostle then repeats his former statement, the more fully to recommend its purport: “For the good,” says he, “that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now, if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” Then follows this: “I find then the law, when I would act, to be good to me; for evil is present with me.” 2171 In other words, I find that the law is a good to me, when I wish to do what the law would have me do; inasmuch as it is not with the law itself (which says, “Thou shalt not covet”) that evil is present; no, it is with myself that the evil is present, which I would not do, because I have the concupiscence even in my willingness. “For,” he adds, “I delight in the law of God after the inward man; but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” 2172 This delight with the law of God 2173 after the inward man, comes to us from the mighty grace of God; for thereby is our inward man renewed day by day, 2174 because it is thereby that progress is made by us with perseverance. In it there is not the fear that has torment, but the love that cheers and gratifies. We are truly free there, where we have no unwilling joy.



Rom. vii. 19-21. The punctuation of the passage in Latin differs from that ordinarily used with us, and hence this sense results.


Rom. 7:22, 23.


This sharing of joy with the law of God: “Ista condelectatio legi Dei.


2 Cor. iv. 16.

Next: Chapter 34

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