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Chapter 32 [XVII.]—God Not the Author of the Evil in Those Whom He Creates.

Then, does God feed the children of perdition, the goats on His left hand,22642264     Matt. xxv. 33. for the devil and nourish and clothe them for the devil “because He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain upon the just and the unjust”?22652265     Matt. v. 45. He creates, then, the evil just in the same way as He feeds and nourishes the evil; because what He bestows on them by creating them appertains to the goodness of nature; and the growth which He gives them by food and nourishment, He bestows on them, of course, as a kindly help, not to their evil character, but to that same good nature which He in His goodness created. For in as far as they are human beings—this is a good of that nature whose author and maker is God; but in as far as they are born with sin and so destined to perdition unless they are born again, they belong to the seed which was cursed from the beginning,22662266     Wisd. xii. 11. by the fault of the primitive disobedience. This fault, however, is turned to good account by the Maker of even the vessels of wrath, that He may make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy:22672267     Rom. ix. 33. and that no one may attribute to any merits of his own, pertaining as he does to the self-same mass, his deliverance through grace; but “he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”22682268     2 Cor. x. 17.


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