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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III:
Moral Treatises of St. Augustin: Section 35

Early Church Fathers  Index     

35. Moreover what is written “Thou wilt destroy all that speak leasing:” 2360 one saith that no lie is here excepted, but all condemned. Another saith: Yea verily: but they who speak leasing from the heart, as we disputed above; for that man speaketh truth in his heart, who hateth the necessity of lying, which he understands as a penalty of the moral life. Another saith: All indeed will God destroy who speak leasing, but not all leasing: for there is some leasing which the Prophet was at that time insinuating, in which none is spared; that is, if refusing to confess each one his sins, he defend them rather, and will not do penance, 2361 so that not content to work iniquity, he must needs wish to be thought just, and succumb not to the medicine of confession: as the very distinction of the words may seem to intimate no other, “Thou hatest all that work iniquity;” 2362 but wilt not destroy them if upon repenting they speak the truth in confession, that by doing that truth they may come to the light; as is said in the Gospel according to John, “But be that doeth truth cometh unto the light. 2363 Thou wilt destroy all who” not only work what Thou hatest, but also “speak leasing;” 2364 in holding out before them false righteousness, and not confessing their sins in penitence.



Ps. 5.6Ps. v. 6


Agere pœnitentiam


Ps. 5.5Ps. v. 5


John 3.21John iii. 21


Ps. 5:6, 7Ps. 5:6, 7

Next: Section 36

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