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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
On Marriage and Concupiscence.: Chapter 25

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 25 [XII.]—Augustin Not the Deviser of Original Sin.

“This sexual connection of bodies,” he says, “together with the ardour, with the pleasure, with the emission of seed, was made by God, and is praiseworthy on its own account, and is therefore to be approved; it, moreover, became sometimes even a great gift to pious men.” He distinctly and severally repeated the phrases, “with ardour,” “with pleasure,” “with emission of seed.” He did not, however, venture to say, “with lust.” Why is this, if it be not that he is ashamed to name what he does not blush to praise? A gift, indeed, for pious men is the prosperous propagation of children; but not that shame-producing excitement of the members, which our nature would not feel were it in a sound state, although corrupted nature now experiences it. On this account, indeed, it is that he who is born of it requires to be born again, in order that he may be a member of Christ; and that p. 293 he of whom he is born, even though he be already born again, wants to be freed from that which exists in this body of death by reason of the law of sin. Now since this is the case, how is it he goes on to say, “You must, therefore, of necessity confess that the original sin which you had devised is done away with”? It was not I who devised the original sin, which the catholic faith holds from ancient times; but you, who deny it, are undoubtedly an innovating heretic. In the judgment of God, all are in the devil’s power, born in sin, unless they are regenerated in Christ.

Next: Chapter 26

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