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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Manichæan Controversy.: Chapter 31

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 31.—To Punish and to Forgive Sins Belong Equally to God.

Likewise because it belongs to divine judgment, not human, what sort of punishment and how great is due to every fault, it is thus written:  "O the height of the riches of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how inscrutable are His judgments and his ways past finding out!" 1112   Likewise because by the goodness of God sins are forgiven to the converted, the very fact that Christ was sent sufficiently shows, who not in His own nature as God, but in our nature, which He assumed from a woman, died for us; which goodness of God with reference to us, and which love of God, the apostle thus sets forth:  "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us; much more now being justified in His blood we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to p. 358 God through the death of His Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved in His life." 1113   But because even when due punishment is rendered to sinners, there is no unrighteousness on God’s part, he thus says:  "What shall we say?  Is God unrighteous who visiteth with wrath?" 1114   But in one place he has briefly admonished that goodness and severity are alike from Him, saying:  "Thou seest then the goodness and severity of God; toward them that have fallen, severity, but towards thee goodness, if thou shouldst continue in goodness." 1115



Rom. xi. 33.


Rom. v. 8-10.


Rom. 3.5.


Rom. 11.22.

Next: Chapter 32

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