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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
On Marriage and Concupiscence.: Chapter 40

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 40 [XXV.]—Augustin Declines the Dilemma Offered Him.

“One of these propositions,” says he, “is true, the other false.” My reply is as brief as the allegation: Both are really true, neither is false. “It is true,” he goes on to say, “that the sin of adultery cannot be excused by reason of the man who is born of it; inasmuch as the sin which adulterers commit, pertains to corruption of the will; but the offspring which they produce tends to the praise of fecundity. If one were to sow wheat which had been stolen, the crop which springs up is none the worse. Of course,” says he, “I blame the thief, but I praise the corn. So I pronounce him innocent who is born of the generous fruitfulness of the seed; even as the apostle puts it: ‘God giveth it a body, as it pleases Him; and to every seed its own body;’ 2281 but, at the same time, I condemn the flagitious man who has committed his adulterous sin in his perverse use of the divine appointment.”



1 Cor. xv. 38.

Next: Chapter 41

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