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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Merits and Forgiveness...: Chapter 53

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 53 [XXXIII.]—An Objection of the Pelagians.

But those persons who say, “If the death of the body has happened by sin, we of course ought not to die after that remission of sins which the Redeemer has bestowed upon us,” do not understand how it is that some things, whose guilt God has cancelled in order that they may not stand in our way after this life, He yet permits to remain for the contest of faith, in order that they may become the means of instructing and exercising those who are advancing in the p. 66 struggle after holiness. Might not some man, by not understanding this, raise a question and ask, If God has said to man because of his sin, “In the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat thy bread: thorns also and thistles shall the ground bring forth to thee,” 635 how comes it to pass that this labour and toil continues since the remission of sins, and that the ground of believers yields them this rough and terrible harvest? Again, since it was said to the woman in consequence of her sin, “In sorrow shall thou bring forth children,” 636 how is it that believing women, notwithstanding the remission of their sins, suffer the same pains in the process of parturition? And nevertheless it is an incontestable fact, that by reason of the sin which they had committed, the primeval man and woman heard these sentences pronounced by God, and deserved them; nor does any one resist these words of the sacred volume, which I have quoted about man’s labour and woman’s travail, unless some one who is utterly hostile to the catholic faith, and an adversary to the inspired writings.


Footnotes

66:635

Gen. 3:18, 19.

66:636

Gen. iii. 16.


Next: Chapter 54

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