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ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus
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Chapter XXVIII.—God’s care for men.

For among us the prince of the wicked spirits is called the serpent, and Satan, and the devil, as you can learn by looking into our writings. And that he would be sent into the fire with his host, and the men who follow him, and would be punished for an endless duration, Christ foretold. For the reason why God has delayed to do this, is His regard for the human race. For He foreknows that some are to be saved by repentance, some even that are perhaps not yet born.18231823    Literally, “For He foreknows some about to be saved by repentance, and some not yet perhaps born.” In the beginning He made the human race with the power of thought and of choosing the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God; for they have been born rational and contemplative. And if any one disbelieves that God cares for these things,18241824    Those things which concern the salvation of man; so Trollope and the other interpreters, except Otto, who reads τούτων masculine, and understands it of the men first spoken of. [See Plato (De Legibus, opp. ix. p. 98, Bipont., 1786), and the valuable edition of Book X. by Professor Tayler Lewis (p. 52. etc.). New York, 1845.] he will thereby either insinuate that God does not exist, or he will assert that though He exists He delights in vice, or exists like a stone, and that neither virtue nor vice are anything, but only in the opinion of men these things are reckoned good or evil. And this is the greatest profanity and wickedness.


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