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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Soul and its Origin.: Chapter 14

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 14.—Victor’s Dilemma: He Must Either Say All Infants are Saved, or Else God Slays the Innocent.

Let him, then, find an answer, if he can, when the question is asked of him, why it was that the soul, without any sin whatever, either original or personal, deserved so to be condemned to undergo the original sin of another as to be unable to be delivered from it; let him see which he will choose of two alternatives: Either to say that even the souls of dying infants who depart hence without the washing of regeneration, and for whom no sacrifice of the Lord’s body is offered, are absolved from the bond of original sin—although the apostle teaches that “from one all go into condemnation,” 2351 —all, that is, of course, to whom grace does not find its way to help, in order that by One all might escape into redemption. Or else to say that souls which have no sin, either their own or original, and are in every respect innocent, simple, and pure, are punished with eternal damnation by the righteous God when He inserts them Himself into sinful flesh without any deliverance therefrom.



Rom. v. 16.

Next: Chapter 15