Page images
PDF
EPUB

upon divine authority, the free-will of the mind which was conversing with him. For the choice was in the man, as being free ; but the gift is in God, as Lord. But he gives to those who are willing, and strive, and pray, that thus their salvation may be their own. For God does not compel. For force is repugnant to God; but he gives to those who seek, he supplies those who ask, he opens to those who knock."-p. 940.

“God pardons what is past, but every one has the future in his own power."--P. 957.

TERTULLIAN-A. D. 200.

Rigaltius's Edition A.D. 1675. “Every one has a right belonging to man, and a natural power to worship that which he shall think right; nor is any one injured or benefited by the religion of another. Nor is it any part of religion to force religion, which ought to be taken up spontaneously, not by force."--p. 69.

“Whence was Noah found to be just, if the justice of natural law was not before his time? Whence was Abraham reckoned the friend of God, if not from equity, and the justice of natural law? Whence was Melchizedec called the Priest of the Most High, if there were not Levites, who offered sacrifices to God, before the priesthood of the Levitical law? ... Whence we understand that there was a law before Moses, not only in

Horeb,

Horeb, or in Sinai, and in the Wilderness; but more ancient, first in Paradise; afterwards formed afresh for the Patriarchs, and then for the Jews at certain intervals.”—p. 184. He goes on to shew, that Abel, and Enoch, and Melchizedec, and Lot, and Abraham, pleased God before the Mosaic law was given, or circumcision instituted.

“ I find that man was formed by God with free-will, and with power over bimself, observing in him no image or likeness to God more than in this respect : for he was not formed after God, who is uniform in face, and bodily lines, which are so various in mankind; but in that substance which he derived from God himself, that is, the soul, answering to the form of God; and he was stamped with freedom, and power of his will. The law also itself, which was then imposed by God, confirmed this condition of man.

For a law would not have been imposed on a person who had not in his power the obedience due to the law; nor again would transgression have been threatened with death, if the contempt also of the law were not placed to the account of man's free-will. The same thing also you may find in the subsequent laws of the Creator, when he sets before men good and evil

, life and death; and likewise the whole order of discipline arranged by precepts, God dissuading and threatening and

exhorting,

exhorting, and man being free and at liberty to obey or to despise .... For it was necessary that the image and likeness of God should be formed with a free will in his own power, in which this very thing, namely, freedom of will, and power, might be considered as the image and likeness of God... He who should be found to be good or bad by necessity and not voluntarily, could not with justice receive the retribution of either good or evil.”—p. 384.

“ Therefore though we have learnt from the commands of God, both what he wills and what he forbids, yet we have a will and power to choose either, as it is written, Behold, I have set béfore you good and evil : for you have tasted of the tree of knowledge. Therefore that wbich is subject to our own will, we ought not to refer to the will of God: he who wills no evil, wills that we should have a will. Thus it is our own will, when we will evil, contrary to the will of God, who wills that which is good. Moreover if you ask whence that will comes, by which we will any thing contrary to the will of God, I will tell

you :It comes from ourselves. And not without reason; for you must resemble the origin from which you sprang: since Adem, the author both of our race and of sin, willed that in which he sinned. For the devil did not communicate to

him

him the will to sin; but supplied matter for the will. But the will of God directed him to obedience. Wherefore if you do not obey God, who having given you a command bas formed you with a free power, you will voluntarily fall, by the freedom of your will, into that which God does not will. And thus you think that you are destroyed by the devil, who although he wills you to will that which God does not will, yet he does not cause you to will : because neither did he compel our first parents to the will of sin; nor were they unwilling, nor ignorant of what God forbade ; for le forbade it to be done when he made death the consequence of doing it. Therefore the only work of the devil is, to tempt that which is in

you,
whether

. But when you have willed, it follows that he turns it 10 his own purpose (sibi subjungit), not having caused the will in you, but having taken an opportunity to work upon your will. Therefore since the will is in ourselves only, and by it our disposition towards God is proved, I say must deeply and earnestly consider the will of God."-p. 519.

ORIGEN --A. D. 230.

Benedict. Edit. " MOREOVER, because the soul, having sub stance and life in itself, when it departs out of

you will

that we

this world, will be disposed of according to its merits, either enjoying the inheritance of eternal life and bliss, if its conduct shall have procured this for it, or sutfering eternal fire and punishment, if the guilt of its sins shall have thrust it into that condition ; and because there will be a time of the resurrection of the dead, when this body, “wbich is sown in corruption, will be raised in incorruption ; and that which is sown in dishonour, will be raised in glory (k);' this also is settled in the doctrine of the Church, that every rational soul has free-will, and that it has to contend against the devil and his angels, and the powers which oppose it, because they strive to burden it with sins: but we, if we live rightly and prudently, endeavour to rescue ourselves from this kind of burden. Whence, consequently, we may understand, that we are not subject to necessity, so as to be compelled by all means to do either bad or good things, although it be against our will. For if we be masters of our will, some powers, perhaps, may urge us to sin, and others assist us to safety; yet we are not compelled by necessity to act either rightly or wrongly.”—Vol. 1. p. 48.

“ The cause of the difference and variety in every individual creature is shewn to arise from

their (k) 1 Cor. c. 15. v. 42, 43.

« PreviousContinue »