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Chapter XVI.—All Things Work for Good to Them that Love God.

“But no one of us can suffer such a thing; but they themselves are punished by us, when, having entered into any one, they entreat us that they may go out slowly.  But some one will say perhaps, Even some of the worshippers of God fall under such sufferings.  I say that is impossible.  For he is a worshipper of God, of whom I speak, who is truly pious, not one who is such only in name, but who really performs the deeds of the law that has been given him.  If any one acts impiously, he is not pious; in like manner as, if he who is of another tribe keeps the law, he is a Jew; but he who does not keep it is a Greek.  For the Jew believes God and keeps the law, by which faith he removes also other sufferings, though like mountains and heavy.11301130    Matt. xvii. 20.  But he who keeps not the law is manifestly a deserter through not believing God; and thus as no Jew, but a sinner, he is on account of his sin brought into subjection to those sufferings which are ordained for the punishment of sinners.  For, by the will of God prescribed at the beginning, punishment righteously follows those who worship Him on account of transgressions; and this is so, in order that having reckoned with them by punishment for sin as for a debt, he may set forth those who have turned to Him pure in the universal judgment.  For as the wicked here enjoy luxury to the loss of eternal blessings, so punishments are sent upon the Jews who transgress for a settlement of accounts, that, expiating their transgression here, they may there be set free from eternal punishments.


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