Chapter XLIX.—Gods Long-Suffering.
“But you say, Neither ought God to do evil. You say truly; nor does He. But those who have been created by Him, while they do not believe that they are to be judged, indulging their pleasures, have fallen away from piety and righteousness. But you will say, If it is right to punish the wicked, they ought to be punished immediately when they do wickedly. You indeed do well to make haste; but He who is eternal, and from whom nothing is secret, inasmuch as He is without end, in the same proportion is His patience extended, and He regards not the swiftness of vengeance, but the causes of salvation. For He is not so much pleased with the death as with the conversion of a sinner. 879 Therefore, in short, He has bestowed upon men holy baptism, to which, if any one makes haste to come, and for the future remains without stain, all his sins are thenceforth blotted out, which were committed in the time of his ignorance.
Ezek. xviii. 33.