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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Predestination of the...: Chapter 23

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 23 [XII.]—Remarkable Illustrations of Grace and Predestination in Infants, and in Christ.

But all this reasoning, whereby we maintain that the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord is truly grace, that is, is not given according to our merits, although it is most manifestly asserted by the witness of the divine declarations, yet, among those who think that they are withheld from all zeal for piety unless they can attribute to themselves something, which they first give that it may be recompensed to them again, involves somewhat of a difficulty in respect of the condition of grown-up people, who are already exercising the choice of will. But when we come to the case of infants, and to the Mediator between God and man Himself, the man Christ Jesus, there is wanting all assertion of human merits that precede the grace of God, because the former are not distinguished from others by any preceding good merits that they should belong to the Deliverer of men; any more than He Himself being Himself a man, was made the Deliverer of men by virtue of any precedent human merits.

Next: Chapter 24

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