XXI.—The purpose26292629for which God in His foreknowledge
created persons who would sin and not repent.
God in His goodness26302630 brought what exists into being out of
nothing, and has foreknowledge of what will exist in the future.
If, therefore, they were not to exist in the future, they would neither
be evil in the future nor would they be foreknown. For knowledge
is of what exists and foreknowledge is of what will surely exist in the
future. For simple being comes first and then good or evil
being. But if the very existence of those, who through the
goodness of God are in the future to exist, were to be prevented by the
fact that they were to become evil of their own choice, evil would have
prevailed over the goodness of God. Wherefore God makes all His
works good, but each becomes of its own choice good or evil.
Although, then, the Lord said, Good were it for that man that he had
never been born26312631, He said it in
condemnation not of His own creation but of the evil which His own
creation had acquired by his own choice and through his own
heedlessness. For the heedlessness that marks man’s
judgment made His Creator’s beneficence of no profit to
him. It is just as if any one, when he had obtained riches and
dominion from a king, were to lord it over his benefactor, who, when he
has worsted him, will punish him as he deserves, if he should see him
keeping hold of the sovereignty to the end.