Chapter 12.—They Who Have Not Received Perseverance are Not Distinguished from the Mass of Those that are Lost.
And, consequently, both those who have not heard the gospel, and those who, having heard it and been changed by it for the better, have not received perseverance, and those who, having heard the gospel, have refused to come to Christ, that is, to believe on Him, since He Himself says, “No man cometh unto me, except it were given him of my Father,” 3288 and those who by their tender age were unable to believe, but might be absolved from original sin by the sole laver of regeneration, and yet have not received this laver, and have perished in death: are not made to differ from that lump which it is plain is condemned, as all go from one into condemnation. Some are made to differ, however, not by their own merits, but by the grace of the Mediator; that is to say, they are justified freely in the blood of the second Adam. Therefore, when we hear, “For who maketh thee to differ? and what hast thou that thou hast not received? Now, if thou hast received it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?” 3289 we ought to understand that from that mass of perdition which originated through the first Adam, no one can be made to differ except he who has this gift, which whosoever has, has received by the grace of the Saviour. And this apostolical testimony is so great, that the blessed Cyprian writing to Quirinus put it in the place of a title, when he says, “That we must boast in nothing, since nothing is our own.” 3290
John vi. 65.476:3289
1 Cor iv. 7.476:3290
Cyprian, Testimonies, Book iii. ch. 4; see The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. v. pp. 528 and 533.