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Chapter IX.—Possessions are Transgressions.

“Will you be so good as to explain this matter also?  I remember Clement saying to me, that we suffer injuries and afflictions for the forgiveness of our sins.”  Peter said:  “This is quite correct.  For we, who have chosen the future things, in so far as we possess more goods than these, whether they be clothing, or food or drink, or any other thing, possess sins, because we ought not to have anything, as I explained to you a little ago.  To all of us possessions are sins.12431243    One ms. inserts before the sentence:  “For if in all of us possessions are wont to occasion sins in those who have them.”  The deprivation of these, in whatever way it may take place, is the removal of sins.”  And our father said:  “That seems reasonable, as you explained that these were the two boundary lines of the two kings, and12441244    We have adopted Wieseler’s emendation of τὰ into καί. that it was in the power of each to choose whatever he wished of what was under their authority.  But why are the afflictions sent, or12451245    We have changed εἰ into . do we suffer them justly?”  And Peter said:  “Most justly; for since the boundary line of the saved is, as I said, that no one should possess anything, but since many have many possessions, or in other words sins, for this reason the exceeding love of God sends afflictions on those who do not act in purity of heart, that on account of their having some measure of the love of God, they might, by temporary inflictions, be saved from eternal punishments.”


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