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Chapter IV.—Men Sin Through Ignorance.

When Peter said this, Micah, who was himself one of his followers, asked:  “What, then, is the reason why men sin?”  And Peter said:  “It is because they are ignorant that they will without doubt be punished for their evil deeds when judgment takes place.14901490    Part of this is supplied by Dressel’s conjecture.  For this reason they, having lust, as I elsewhere said, for the continuance of life, gratify it in any accidental way, it may be by the vitiation of boys,14911491    There is a lacuna, which has been filled up in various ways.  We have supposed ἡμ to be for ἢ μ., possibly μητέρων ἤ.  Wieseler supposes “immature boys.” or by some other flattering sin.  For in consequence of their ignorance, as I said before, they are urged on through fearlessness to satisfy their lust in an unlawful manner.  Wherefore God is not evil, who has rightly placed lust within man, that there may be a continuance of life, but they are most impious who have used the good of lust badly.  The same considerations apply to anger also, that if one uses it righteously, as is within his power, he is pious; but going beyond measure, and taking judgment to himself,14921492    Dressel translates, “drawing judgment on himself.” he is impious.”

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