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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Merits and Forgiveness...: Chapter 31

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 31.—Grace is Given to Some Men in Mercy; Is Withheld from Others in Justice and Truth.

Forasmuch then as our turning away from God is our own act, and this is evil will; but our turning to God is not possible, except He rouses and helps us, and this is good will,—what have we that we have not received? But if we received, why do we glory as if we had not received? Therefore, as “he that glorieth must glory in the Lord,” 575 it comes from His mercy, not their merit, that God wills to impart this to some, but from His truth that He wills not to impart it to others. For to sinners punishment is justly due, because “the Lord God loveth mercy and truth,” 576 and “mercy and truth are met together;” 577 and “all the paths of the Lord are p. 57 mercy and truth.” 578 And who can tell the numberless instances in which Holy Scripture combines these two attributes? Sometimes, by a change in the terms, grace is put for mercy, as in the passage, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” 579 Sometimes also judgment occurs instead of truth, as in the passage, “I will sing of mercy and judgment unto Thee, O Lord.” 580



Isa. 45:25, Jer. 9:23, 24, 1 Cor. 1:31.


Ps. lxxxiv. 11.


Ps. lxxxv. 10.


Ps. xxv. 10.


John i. 14.


Ps. ci. 1.

Next: Chapter 32