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Chapter IX.—“Conceived in Sin.”

“From this, therefore, it sometimes happens, that if any persons have acted incontinently, and have been willing not so much to resist as to 185yield, and to give harbour to these demons in themselves, by their noxious breath an intemperate, ill-conditioned, and diseased progeny is begotten.  For while lust is wholly gratified, and no care is taken in the copulation, undoubtedly a weak generation is affected with the defects and frailties of those demons by whose instigation these things are done.  And therefore parents are responsible for their children’s defects of this sort, because they have not observed the law of intercourse.  Though there are also more secret causes, by which souls are made subject to these evils, which it is not to our present purpose to state, yet it behoves every one to acknowledge the law of God, that he may learn from it the observance of generation, and avoid causes of impurity, that that which is begotten may be pure.  For it is not right, while in the planting of shrubs and the sowing of crops a suitable season is sought for, and the land is cleaned, and all things are suitably prepared, lest haply the seed which is sown be injured and perish, that in the case of man only, who is over all these things, there should be no attention or caution in sowing his seed.

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