Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
On Marriage and Concupiscence.: Chapter 39
Chapter 39 [XXIV.]—Man Born of Whatever Parentage is Sinful and Capable of Redemption.
He then says: “You conclude that a human being, if born of fornication, is not guilty; and if born in wedlock, is not innocent. Your assertion, therefore, amounts to this, that natural good may possibly subsist from adulterous connections, while original sin is actually derived from marriage.” Well now, he here attempts, but in vain before an intelligent reader, to give a wrong turn to words which are correct enough. Far be it from us to say, that a human being, if born in fornication, is not guilty. But we do p. 299 affirm, that a human being, whether he be born in wedlock or in fornication, is in some respect good, because of the Author of nature, God; we add, however, that he derives some evil by reason of original sin. Our statement, therefore, “that natural good can subsist even from adulterous parentage, but that original sin is derived even from marriage,” does not amount to what he endeavours to make of it, that one born in adultery is not guilty, nor innocent when born in wedlock; but that one who is generated in either condition is guilty, because of original sin; and that the offspring of either state may be freed by regeneration, because of the good of nature.
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