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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
On Marriage and Concupiscence.: Chapter 4

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 4.—The Same Continued.

But he has added other words of mine, where I have said: “Nor do they reflect that the good of marriage is no more impeachable by reason of the original evil which is derived therefrom, than the evil of adultery and fornication can be excused by reason of the natural good which is born of them. For as sin is the work of the devil, whether derived from this source or from that; so is man, whether born of this or that, the work of God.” Here, too, he has left out some words, in which he was afraid of catholic ears. For to come to the words here quoted, it had previously been said by us: “Because, then, we affirm this doctrine, which is contained in the oldest and unvarying rule of the catholic faith, these propounders of novel and perverse dogmas, who deny that there is in infants any sin to be washed away in the laver of regeneration, in their unbelief or ignorance calumniate us as if we condemned marriage, and as if we asserted to be the devil’s work what is God’s own work, to wit, the human being which is born of marriage.” 2198 All this passage he has passed over, and merely quoted the words which follow it, as given above. Now, in the omitted words he was afraid of the clause which suits all hearts in the catholic Church and appeals to the very faith which has been firmly established and transmitted from ancient times with unfaltering voice and excites their hostility most strongly against us. The clause is this: “They deny that there is in infants any sin to be washed away in the laver of regeneration.” For all persons run to church with their infants for no other reason in the world than that the original sin which is contracted in them by their first and natural birth may be cleansed by the regeneration of their second birth.



Book i. of this treatise, ch. 1.

Next: Chapter 5

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