Chapter XXV.—An Illustration from Ancient Times.
“For certainly any one who will mentally retrace the course of events from the earliest period down to the present time, and will reflect on what has occurred in past ages, will find that all who have made justice and probity the basis of their conduct, have not only carried their undertakings to a successful issue, but have gathered, as it were, a store of sweet fruit as the produce of this pleasant root. Again, whoever observes the career of those who have been bold in the practice of oppression or injustice; who have either directed their senseless fury against God himself, or have conceived no kindly feelings towards their fellow-men, but have dared to afflict them with exile, disgrace, confiscation, massacre, or other miseries of the like kind, and all this without any sense of compunction, or wish to direct thoughts to a better course, will find that such men have received a recompense proportioned to their crimes. And these are results which might naturally and reasonably be expected to ensue. 3182
There is a curious unanimity of effort on the part of theological amateurs, ancient and modern, to prove that those upon whom the tower in Siloam fell were guiltier than others. This was the spirit of Lactantius and it is not to be wondered at that Constantine should adopt such a peculiarly self-satisfying doctrine.