Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
On Marriage and Concupiscence.: Retractations.
Extract from Augustins “Retractations,”
Book II. Chap. 53,
On the Following Treatise,
“De nuptiis et concupiscentia.”
“I Addressed two books to the Illustrious Count Valerius, upon hearing that the Pelagians had brought sundry vague charges upon us—how, for instance, we condemned marriage by maintaining Original Sin. These books are entitled, On Marriage and Concupiscence. We maintain that marriage is good; and that it must not be supposed that the concupisence of the flesh, or “the law in our members which wars against the law of mind,” 2049 is a fault of marriage. Conjugal chastity makes a good use of the evil of concupiscence in the procreation of children. My first treatise contained two books. The first of them found its way into the hands of Julianus the Pelagian, who wrote four books in opposition to it. Out of these, somebody extracted sundry passages, and sent them to Count Valerius; he handed them to us, and after I had received them I wrote a second book in answer to these extracts. The first book of this work of mine opens with these words: “Our new heretics, most beloved son Valerius,” while the second begins thus: “Amid the cares of your duty as a soldier.”
Rom. vii. 23.
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