19. Since the case is so, what is man, while in this life he uses his own proper will, ere he choose and love God, but unrighteous and ungodly? “What,” I say, “is man,” a creature going astray from the Creator, unless his Creator “be mindful of him,” 2683 and choose 2684 him freely, and love 2685 him freely? Because he is himself not able to choose or love, unless being first chosen and loved he be healed, because by choosing blindness he perceiveth not, and by loving laziness is soon wearied. But perchance some man may say: In what manner is it that God first chooses and loves unjust men, that He may justify them, when it is written, “Thou hatest, Lord, all that work iniquity?” 2686 In what way, think we, but in a wonderful and ineffable manner? And yet even we are able to conceive, that the good Physician both hates and loves the sick man: hates him, because he is sick; loves him, that he may drive away his sickness.
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