Chapter XXX.—“Genesis” Inconsistent with Gods Justice.
“Behold, from the very matter in which we are now engaged 850 draw an inference, and from the circumstances in which we are now placed deduce a conclusion, how, through a rumour only p. 190 reaching the ears of men that a Prophet had appeared in Judæa to teach men with signs and miracles to worship one God, all were expecting with prepared and eager minds, even before the coming of my lord Peter, that some one would announce to them what He taught who had appeared. But lest I should seem to carry the enumeration too far, I shall tell you what conclusion ought to be drawn from the whole. Since God is righteous, and since He Himself made the nature of men, how could it be that He should place Genesis in opposition to us, which should compel us to sin, and then that He should punish us when we do sin? Whence it is certain that God punishes no sinner either in the present life or in that to come, except because He knows that he could have conquered, but neglected victory. For even in the present world He takes vengeance upon men, as He did upon those who perished in the deluge, who were all destroyed in one day, yea, in one hour, although it is certain that they were not all born in one hour according to the order of genesis. But it is most absurd to say that it befalls us by nature to suffer evils, if sins had not gone before.
[This conclusion of the argument by a reference to the Prophet is much more dignified than the personal boast of miraculous power which, in the Homilies, is placed in the mouth of the Apostle just before the recognition.—R.]