We have next a quotation of some words of the venerable presbyter Jerome, from his exposition of the passage where it is written: “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. 1330 These are they whom no consciousp. 149 ness of sin reproves,” he says, and adds: “The pure man is seen by his purity of heart; the temple of God cannot be defiled.” 1331 This perfection is, to be sure, wrought in us by endeavour, by labour, by prayer, by effectual importunity therein that we may be brought to the perfection in which we may be able to look upon God with a pure heart, by His grace through our Lord Jesus Christ. As to his quotation, that the forementioned presbyter said, “God created us with free will; we are drawn by necessity neither to virtue nor to vice; otherwise, where there is necessity there is no crown;” 1332 —who would not allow this? Who would not cordially accept it? Who would deny that human nature was so created? The reason, however, why in doing a right action there is no bondage of necessity, is that liberty comes of love.
Jerome on Matt. v. 8 (Comm. Book i. c. 5).149:1332
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