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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
On Marriage and Concupiscence.: Chapter 60

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 60.—Let Not the Pelagians Indulge Themselves in a Cruel Defence of Infants.

As I said, however, let him entertain what views he likes of this lust; let him proclaim it as he pleases, praise it as much as he chooses (and he pleases much, as several of his extracts show), that the Pelagians may gratify themselves, if not with its uses, at all events with its praises, as many of them as fail to enjoy the limitation of continence enjoined in wedlock. Only let him spare the infants, so as not to praise their condition uselessly, and defend them cruelly. Let him not declare them to be safe; let him suffer them to come, not, indeed, to Pelagius for eulogy, but to Christ for salvation. For, that this book may be now brought to a termination, since the dissertation of this man is ended, which was written on the short paper you sent me, I will close with his last words: “Really believe that all things were made by Jesus Christ, and that without Him nothing was made.” 2336 Let him grant that Jesus is Jesus even to infants; and as he confesses that all things were made by Him, in that He is God the Word, so let him acknowledge that infants, too, are saved by Him in that He is Jesus; let him, I say, do this if he would be a catholic Christian. For thus it is written in the Gospel: “And they shall call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins” 2337 —Jesus, because Jesus is in Latin Salvator, “Saviour.” He shall, indeed, save His people; and amongst His people surely there are infants. “From their sins” shall He save them; in infants, too, therefore, are there original sins, on account of which He can be Jesus, that is, Saviour, even unto them.



John i. 3.


Matt. i. 21.

Next: A Treatise on the Soul and its Origin.