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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:
The Life of Constantine with Orations of Constantine and Eusebius.: Chapter XIII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIII.—That there is a Necessary Difference between Created Things. That the Propensity to Good and Evil depends on the Will of Man; and that, consequently, Judgment is a Necessary and Reasonable Thing.

There are, indeed, some who venture with childish presumption to find fault with God in respect of this also, and ask why it is that he has not created one and the same natural disposition for all, but rather has ordained the existence of many things different, nay, contrary in their nature, whence arises the dissimilarity of our moral conduct and character. Would it not (say they) have been better, both as regards obedience to the commands of God, and a just apprehension of himself, and for the confirmation of individual faith, that all mankind should be of the same moral character? It is indeed ridiculous to expect that this could be the case, and to forget that the constitution of the world is different from that of the things that are in the world; that physical and moral objects are not identical in their nature, nor the affections of the body the same as those of the soul. [For the immortal soul far exceeds the material world in dignity, and is more blessed than the perishable and terrestrial creation, in proportion as it is noble and more allied to God. 3438 ] Nor is the human race excluded from participation in the divine goodness; though this is not the lot of all indiscriminately, but of those only who search deeply into the Divine nature, and propose the knowledge of sacred things as the leading object of their lives.



[The text of this passage is defective. The conjectural restoration of Valesius, which seems probable, is chiefly followed.—Bag.] Heinichen, like Christophorson and Savil before him, “does not hesitate,” with one of the mss., to omit this passage.

Next: Chapter XIV

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