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Chapter CXL.—In Christ all are free. The Jews hope for salvation in vain because they are sons of Abraham.

“Hence also Jacob, as I remarked before, being himself a type of Christ, had married the two handmaids of his two free wives, and of them begat sons, for the purpose of indicating beforehand that Christ would receive even all those who amongst Japheth’s race are descendants of Canaan, equally with the free, and would have the children fellow-heirs. And we are such; but you cannot comprehend this, because you cannot drink of the living fountain of God, but of broken cisterns which can hold no water, as the Scripture says. 2482 But they are cisterns broken, and holding no water, which your own teachers have digged, as the Scripture also expressly asserts, ‘teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’ 2483 And besides, they beguile themselves and you, supposing that the everlasting kingdom will be assuredly given to those of the dispersion who are of Abraham after the flesh, although they be sinners, and faithless, and disobedient towards God, which the Scriptures have proved is not the case. For if so, Isaiah would never have said this: ‘And unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we would have been like Sodom and Gomorrah.’ 2484 And Ezekiel: ‘Even if Noah, and Jacob, and Daniel were to pray for sons or daughters, their request should not be granted.’ 2485 ‘But neither shall the father perish for the son, nor the son for the father; but every one for his own sin, and each shall be saved for his own righteousness.’ 2486 And again Isaiah says: ‘They shall look on the carcases 2487 of them that have transgressed: their worm shall not cease, and their fire shall not be quenched; and they shall be a spectacle to all flesh.’ 2488 And our Lord, according to the will of Him that sent Him, who is the Father and Lord of all, would not have said, ‘They shall come from the east, and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness.’ 2489 Furthermore, I have proved in what has preceded, 2490 that those who were foreknown to be unrighteous, whether men or angels, are not made wicked by God’s fault, but each man by his own fault is what he will appear to be.



Jer. ii. 13.


Isa. xxix. 13.


Isa. i. 9.


Ezek. 14:18, 20.


Ezek. xviii. 20.


Literally, “limbs.”


Isa. lxvi. 24.


Matt. viii. 11 f.


Chap. lxxxviii, cii.

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