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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
On Marriage and Concupiscence.: Chapter 13

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 13.—The Pelagian Argument to Show that the Devil Has No Rights in the Fruits of Marriage.

After these true and catholic statements, which are, moreover, really contained in the Holy Scriptures, although they are not adduced by him in a catholic spirit, with the earnestness of a catholic mind, he loses no time in introducing to us the heresy of Pelagius and Cœlestius, for which purpose he wrote, indeed, his previous remarks. Mark carefully the following words: “You now who say, ‘We do not deny that they, are still, of whatever parents born, under the devil’s power, unless they be born again in Christ,’ show us what the devil can recognise as his own in the sexes, by reason of which he can (to use your phrase) rightly claim as his property the fruit which they produce. Is it the difference of the sexes? But this is inherent in the bodies which God made. Is it their union? But this union is justified in the privilege of the primeval blessing no less than institution. For it is the voice of God that says, ‘A man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they two shall be one flesh.’ 2224 It is again the voice of God which says, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.’ 2225 Or is it, perchance, their fertility? But this is the very reason why matrimony was instituted.”



Gen. ii. 24.


Gen. i. 28.

Next: Chapter 14

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