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289Chapter XX.—What If It Be Already Kindled?

“And let not any one say, How is this just, that parents should be separated from their children, and children from their parents?  It is just, even entirely.  For if they remained with them, and, after profiting them nothing, were also destroyed along with them, how is it not just that he who wishes to be saved should be separated from him who will not, but who wishes to destroy him along with himself.  Moreover, it is not those who judge better that wish to be separated, but they wish to stay with them, and to profit them by the exposition of better things; and therefore the unbelievers, not wishing to hearken to them, make war against them, banishing, persecuting, hating them.  But those who suffer these things, pitying those who are ensnared by ignorance, by the teaching of wisdom pray for those who contrive evil against them, having learned that ignorance is the cause of their sin.  For the Teacher Himself, being nailed to the cross, prayed to the Father that the sin of those who slew Him might be forgiven, saying, ‘Father, forgive them their sins, for they know not what they do.’11331133    Luke xxiii. 34.  They also therefore, being imitators of the Teacher in their sufferings, pray for those who contrive them, as they have been taught.  Therefore they are not separated as hating their parents, since they make constant prayers even for those who are neither parents nor relatives, but enemies, and strive to love them, as they have been commanded.


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