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De Fine Catholica

it came to pass that corruption both of their bodies and souls ensued, and the destruction which is death; and he was the first to deserve to experience death in his own son Abel, in order that he might learn through his child the greatness of the punishment that he himself was to receive. For if he had died first he would in some sense not have known, and if one may so say not have felt, his punishment; but he tasted it in another in order that he might perceive the due reward of his contempt, and doomed to death himself, might be the more powerfully tormented by the apprehension of it. But this evil of transgression which the first man had by natural propagation transmitted to posterity, was denied by one Pelagius who so set up the heresy which goes by his name and which the Catholic faith, as is known, at once banished from its bosom. So the human race that sprang from the first man and mightily increased and multiplied, broke into strife, stirred up wars, and became the heir of earthly misery, because it had lost the blessedness of Paradise in its first parent. Yet among them there were not lacking those whom the Author of Grace set apart for himself and who were obedient to his precepts; and though the fault of their nature condemned them, yet God by making them partakers in the mystery to come, long afterwards to be revealed, vouchsafed to restore their fallen nature. So the world was filled by the human race and man who in the wickedness of his own arrogant disobedience had despised his Creator began to walk in his own ways. Hence God willing rather to restore mankind through one just man than that it should remain contumacious, suffered all the guilty multitude to perish by the wide waters of a flood, save only Noah, the just man, with his children

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.boethius-theological_tractates_de_fide_catholica.1973