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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:
The Works of John Cassian.: Chapter V. How our Lord alone was tempted without sin.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter V.

How our Lord alone was tempted without sin.

And so our Lord Jesus Christ, though declared by the Apostle’s word to have been tempted in all points like as we are, is yet said to have been “without sin,” 1319 i.e., without the infection of this appetite, as He knew nothing of incitements of carnal lust, with which we are sure to be troubled even against our will and without our knowledge; 1320 for the archangel thus describes the manner of His conception: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High p. 341 shall overshadow thee: therefore that which shall be born of thee shall be called holy, the Son of God.” 1321



Heb. iv. 15.


The following from D. Mozley’s profound work on the Augustinian Theory of Predestination may serve to illustrate the remarks in the text: “Scripture says that our Lord was in all points tempted like as we are. But the Church has not considered it consistent with piety to interpret this text to mean that our Lord had the same direct propension to sin that we have, or that which is called by divines concupiscence. Such direct appetite for what is sinful is the characteristic of our fallen and corrupt nature, and our Lord did not assume a corrupt, but a sound humanity. Indeed, concupiscence, even prior to and independent of its gratification has of itself the nature of sin; and therefore could not belong to a perfect Being. Our Lord had all the passions and affections that legitimately belong to man; which passions and affections, tending as they do in their own natures to become inordinate, constituted of themselves a state of trial; but the Church has regarded our Lord’s trial as consisting in preserving ordinate affections from becoming inordinate, rather than in restraining desire proximate to sin from gratification” (p. 97).


S. Luke i. 35.

Next: Chapter VI. Of the manner of the temptation in which our Lord was attacked by the devil.

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