(Augustine. Enchiridion. part 3)

the Holy Spirit," when he is in no wise the Son of the Holy
Spirit?  Now, just because God made [fecit] this world, one could
not say that the world is the son of God, or that it is "born" of
God.  Rather, one says it was "made" or "created" or "founded" or
"established" by him, or however else one might like to speak of
it.  So, then, when we confess, "Born of the Holy Spirit and the
Virgin Mary," the sense in which he is not the Son of the Holy
Spirit and yet is the son of the Virgin Mary, when he was born
both of him and of her, is difficult to explain.  But there is no
doubt as to the fact that he was not born from him as Father as he
was born of her as mother.
     39.  Consequently we should not grant that whatever is born
of something should therefore be called the son of that thing.
Let us pass over the fact that a son is "born" of a man in a
different sense than a hair is, or a louse, or a maw worm -- none
of these is a son.  Let us pass over these things, since they are
an unfitting analogy in so great a matter.  Yet it is certain that
those who are born of water and of the Holy Spirit would not
properly be called sons of the water by anyone.  But it does make
sense to call them sons of God the Father and of Mother Church.
Thus, therefore, the one born of the Holy Spirit is the son of God
the Father, not of the Holy Spirit.
     What we said about the hair and the other things has this
much relevance, that it reminds us that not everything which is
"born" of something is said to be "son" to him from which it is
"born." Likewise, it does not follow that those who are called
sons of someone are always said to have been born of him, since
there are some who are adopted.  Even those who are called "sons
of Gehenna" are not born _of_ it, but have been destined _for_ it,
just as the sons of the Kingdom are destined for that.
     40.  Wherefore, since a thing may be "born" of something
else, yet not in the fashion of a "son," and conversely, since not
everyone who is called son is born of him whose son he is called
-- this is the very mode in which Christ was "born" of the Holy
Spirit (yet not as a son), and of the Virgin Mary as a son -- this
suggests to us the grace of God by which a certain human person,
no merit whatever preceding, at the very outset of his existence,
was joined to the Word of God in such a unity of person that the
selfsame one who is Son of Man should be Son of God, and the one
who is Son of God should be Son of Man.  Thus, in his assumption
of human nature, grace came to be natural to that nature, allowing
no power to sin.  This is why grace is signified by the Holy
Spirit, because he himself is so perfectly God that he is also
called God's Gift.  Still, to speak adequately of this -- even if
one could -- would call for a very long discussion.

                          CHAPTER XIII

                    Baptism and Original Sin

     41.  Since he was begotten and conceived in no pleasure of
carnal appetite -- and therefore bore no trace of original sin --
he was, by the grace of God (operating in a marvelous and an
ineffable manner), joined and united in a personal unity with the
only-begotten Word of the Father, a Son not by grace but by
nature.  And although he himself committed no sin, yet because of
"the likeness of sinful flesh"[81] in which he came, he was
himself called sin and was made a sacrifice for the washing away
of sins.
     Indeed, under the old law, sacrifices for sins were often
called sins.[82]  Yet he of whom those sacrifices were mere
shadows was himself actually made sin.  Thus, when the apostle
said, "For Christ's sake, we beseech you to be reconciled to God,"
he straightway added, "Him, who knew no sin, he made to be sin for
us that we might be made to be the righteousness of God in
him."[83]  He does not say, as we read in some defective copies,
"He who knew no sin did sin for us," as if Christ himself
committed sin for our sake.  Rather, he says, "He [Christ] who
knew no sin, he [God] made to be sin for us." The God to whom we
are to be reconciled hath thus made him the sacrifice for sin by
which we may be reconciled.
     He himself is therefore sin as we ourselves are righteousness
-- not our own but God's, not in ourselves but in him.  Just as he
was sin -- not his own but ours, rooted not in himself but in us
-- so he showed forth through the likeness of sinful flesh, in
which he was crucified, that since sin was not in him he could
then, so to say, die to sin by dying in the flesh, which was "the
likeness of sin." And since he had never lived in the old manner
of sinning, he might, in his resurrection, signify the new life
which is ours, which is springing to life anew from the old death
in which we had been dead to sin.
     42.  This is the meaning of the great sacrament of baptism,
which is celebrated among us.  All who attain to this grace die
thereby to sin -- as he himself is said to have died to sin
because he died in the flesh, that is, "in the likeness of sin" --
and they are thereby alive by being reborn in the baptismal font,
just as he rose again from the sepulcher.  This is the case no
matter what the age of the body.
     43.  For whether it be a newborn infant or a decrepit old man
-- since no one should be barred from baptism -- just so, there is
no one who does not die to sin in baptism.  Infants die to
original sin only; adults, to all those sins which they have
added, through their evil living, to the burden they brought with
them at birth.
      44.  But even these are frequently said to die to sin, when
without doubt they die not to one but to many sins, and to all the
sins which they have themselves already committed by thought,
word, and deed.  Actually, by the use of the singular number the
plural number is often signified, as the poet said,

     	"And they fill the belly with the armed warrior,"[84]

     although they did this with many warriors.  And in our own
Scriptures we read: "Pray therefore to the Lord that he may take
from us the serpent."[85]  It does not say "serpents," as it
might, for they were suffering from many serpents.  There are,
moreover, innumerable other such examples.
     Yet, when the original sin is signified by the use of the
plural number, as we say when infants are baptized "unto the
remission of sins," instead of saying "unto the remission of sin,"
then we have the converse expression in which the singular is
expressed by the plural number.  Thus in the Gospel, it is said of
Herod's death, "For they are dead who sought the child's
life"[86]; it does not say, "He is dead." And in Exodus: "They
made," [Moses] says, "to themselves gods of gold," when they had
made one calf.  And of this calf, they said: "These are thy gods,
O Israel, which brought you out of the land of Egypt,"[87] here
also putting the plural for the singular.
     45.  Still, even in that one sin -- which "entered into the
world by one man and so spread to all men,"[88] and on account of
which infants are baptized -- one can recognize a plurality of
sins, if that single sin is divided, so to say, into its separate
elements.  For there is pride in it, since man preferred to be
under his own rule rather than the rule of God; and sacrilege too,
for man did not acknowledge God; and murder, since he cast himself
down to death; and spiritual fornication, for the integrity of the
human mind was corrupted by the seduction of the serpent; and
theft, since the forbidden fruit was snatched; and avarice, since
he hungered for more than should have sufficed for him -- and
whatever other sins that could be discovered in the diligent
analysis of that one sin.
     46.  It is also said -- and not without support -- that
infants are involved in the sins of their parents, not only of the
first pair, but even of their own, of whom they were born.
Indeed, that divine judgment, "I shall visit the sins of the
fathers on their children,"[89] definitely applies to them before
they come into the New Covenant by regeneration.  This Covenant
was foretold by Ezekiel when he said that the sons should not bear
their fathers' sins, nor the proverb any longer apply in Israel,
"Our fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are
set on edge."[90]
     This is why each one of them must be born again, so that he
may thereby be absolved of whatever sin was in him at the time of
birth.  For the sins committed by evil-doing after birth can be
healed by repentance -- as, indeed, we see it happen even after
baptism.  For the new birth [regeneratio] would not have been
instituted except for the fact that the first birth [generatio]
was tainted -- and to such a degree that one born of even a lawful
wedlock said, "I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my
mother nourish me in her womb."[91]  Nor did he say "in iniquity"
or "in sin," as he might have quite correctly; rather, he
preferred to say "iniquities" and "sins," because, as I explained
above, there are so many sins in that one sin -- which has passed
into all men, and which was so great that human nature was changed
and by it brought under the necessity of death -- and also because
there are other sins, such as those of parents, which, even if
they cannot change our nature in the same way, still involve the
children in guilt, unless the gracious grace and mercy of God
     47.  But, in the matter of the sins of one's other parents,
those who stand as one's forebears from Adam down to one's own
parents, a question might well be raised: whether a man at birth
is involved in the evil deeds of all his forebears, and their
multiplied original sins, so that the later in time he is born,
the worse estate he is born in; or whether, on this very account,
God threatens to visit the sins of the parents as far as -- but no
farther than -- the third and fourth generations, because in his
mercy he will not continue his wrath beyond that.  It is not his
purpose that those not given the grace of regeneration be crushed
under too heavy a burden in their eternal damnation, as they would
be if they were bound to bear, as original guilt, all the sins of
their ancestors from the beginning of the human race, and to pay
the due penalty for them.  Whether yet another solution to so
difficult a problem might or might not be found by a more diligent
search and interpretation of Holy Scripture, I dare not rashly

                          CHAPTER XIV

            The Mysteries of Christ's Mediatorial
            Work (48-49) and Justification (50-55)

     48.  That one sin, however, committed in a setting of such
great happiness, was itself so great that by it, in one man, the
whole human race was originally and, so to say, radically
condemned.  It cannot be pardoned and washed away except through
"the one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,"[92]
who alone could be born in such a way as not to need to be reborn.
     49.  They were not reborn, those who were baptized by John's
baptism, by which Christ himself was baptized.[93]  Rather, they
were _prepared_ by the ministry of this forerunner, who said,
"Prepare a way for the Lord,"[94] for Him in whom alone they could
be reborn.
     For his baptism is not with water alone, as John's was, but
with the Holy Spirit as well.  Thus, whoever believes in Christ is
reborn by that same Spirit, of whom Christ also was born, needing
not to be reborn.  This is the reason for the Voice of the Father
spoken over him at his baptism, "Today have I begotten thee,"[95]
which pointed not to that particular day on which he was baptized,
but to that "day" of changeless eternity, in order to show us that
this Man belonged to the personal Unity of the Only Begotten.  For
a day that neither begins with the close of yesterday nor ends
with the beginning of tomorrow is indeed an eternal "today."
     Therefore, he chose to be baptized in water by John, not
thereby to wash away any sin of his own, but to manifest his great
humility.  Indeed, baptism found nothing in him to wash away, just
as death found nothing to punish.  Hence, it was in authentic
justice, and not by violent power, that the devil was overcome and
conquered: for, as he had most unjustly slain Him who was in no
way deserving of death, he also did most justly lose those whom he
had justly held in bondage as punishment for their sins.
Wherefore, He took upon himself both baptism and death, not out of
a piteous necessity but through his own free act of showing mercy
-- as part of a definite plan whereby One might take away the sin
of the world, just as one man had brought sin into the world, that
is, the whole human race.
     50.  There is a difference, however.  The first man brought
sin into the world, whereas this One took away not only that one
sin but also all the others which he found added to it.  Hence,
the apostle says, "And the gift [of grace] is not like the effect
of the one that sinned: for the judgment on that one trespass was
condemnation; but the gift of grace is for many offenses, and
brings justification."[96]  Now it is clear that the one sin
originally inherited, even if it were the only one involved, makes
men liable to condemnation.  Yet grace justifies a man for many
offenses, both the sin which he originally inherited in common
with all the others and also the multitude of sins which he has
committed on his own.
     51.  However, when he [the apostle] says, shortly after,
"Therefore, as the offense of one man led all men to condemnation,
so also the righteousness of one man leads all men to the life of
justification,"[97] he indicates sufficiently that everyone born
of Adam is subject to damnation, and no one, unless reborn of
Christ, is free from such a damnation.
     52.  And after this discussion of punishment through one man
and grace through the Other, as he deemed sufficient for that part
of the epistle, the apostle passes on to speak of the great
mystery of holy baptism in the cross of Christ, and to do this so
that we may understand nothing other in the baptism of Christ than
the likeness of the death of Christ.  The death of Christ
crucified is nothing other than the likeness of the forgiveness of
sins -- so that in the very same sense in which the death is real,
so also is the forgiveness of our sins real, and in the same sense
in which his resurrection is real, so also in us is there
authentic justification.
     He asks: "What, then, shall we say?  Shall we continue in
sin, that grace may abound?"[98] -- for he had previously said,
"But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."[99]  And
therefore he himself raised the question whether, because of the
abundance of grace that follows sin, one should then continue in
sin.  But he answers, "God forbid!"  and adds, "How shall we, who
are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"[100]  Then, to show
that we are dead to sin, "Do you not know that all we who were
baptized in Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?"[101]
     If, therefore, the fact that we are baptized into the death
of Christ shows that we are dead to sin, then certainly infants
who are baptized in Christ die to sin, since they are baptized
into his own death.  For there is no exception in the saying, "All
we who are baptized into Christ Jesus are baptized into his
death." And the effect of this is to show that we are dead to sin.
     Yet what sin do infants die to in being reborn except that
which they inherit in being born?  What follows in the epistle
also pertains to this: "Therefore we were buried with him by
baptism into death; that, as Christ was raised up from the dead by
the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the
newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in the
likeness of his death, we shall be also united with him in the
likeness of his resurrection, knowing this, that our old man is
crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that
henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed
from sin.  Now if we are dead with Christ, we believe that we
shall also live with him: knowing that Christ, being raised from
the dead, dies no more; death has no more dominion over him.  For
the death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he
lives, he lives unto God.  So also, reckon yourselves also to be
dead to sin, but alive unto God through Christ Jesus."[102]
     Now, he had set out to prove that we should not go on
sinning, in order that thereby grace might abound, and had said,
"If we have died to sin, how, then, shall we go on living in it?"
And then to show that we were dead to sin, he had added, "Know you
not, that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were
baptized into his death?"  Thus he concludes the passage as he
began it.  Indeed, he introduced the death of Christ in order to
say that even he died to sin.  To what sin, save that of the flesh
in which he existed, not as sinner, but in "the likeness of sin"
and which was, therefore, called by the name of sin?  Thus, to
those baptized into the death of Christ -- into which not only
adults but infants as well are baptized -- he says, "So also you
should reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in
Christ Jesus."
     53.  Whatever was done, therefore, in the crucifixion of
Christ, his burial, his resurrection on the third day, his
ascension into heaven, his being seated at the Father's right hand
-- all these things were done thus, that they might not only
signify their mystical meanings but also serve as a model for the
Christian life which we lead here on the earth.  Thus, of his
crucifixion it was said, "And they that are Jesus Christ's have
crucified their own flesh, with the passions and lusts
thereof"[103]; and of his burial, "For we are buried with Christ
by baptism into death"; of his resurrection, "Since Christ is
raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also
should walk with him in newness of life"; of his ascension and
session at the Father's right hand: "But if you have risen again
with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is
sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things
above, not on things on the earth.  For you are dead, and your
life is hid with Christ in God."[104]
     54.  Now what we believe concerning Christ's future actions,
since we confess that he will come again from heaven to judge the
living and the dead, does not pertain to this life of ours as we
live it here on earth, because it belongs not to his deeds already
done, but to what he will do at the close of the age.  To this the
apostle refers and goes on to add, "When Christ, who is your life,
shall appear, you shall then also appear with him in glory."[105]
     55.  There are two ways to interpret the affirmation that he
"shall judge the living and the dead." On the one hand, we may
understand by "the living" those who are not yet dead but who will
be found living in the flesh when he comes; and we may understand
by "the dead" those who have left the body, or who shall have left
it before his coming.  Or, on the other hand, "the living" may
signify "the righteous," and "the dead" may signify "the
unrighteous" -- since the righteous are to be judged as well as
the unrighteous.  For sometimes the judgment of God is passed upon
the evil, as in the word, "But they who have done evil [shall come
forth] to the resurrection of judgment."[106]  And sometimes it is
passed upon the good, as in the word, "Save me, O God, by thy
name, and judge me in thy strength."[107]  Indeed, it is by the
judgment of God that the distinction between good and evil is
made, to the end that, being freed from evil and not destroyed
with the evildoers, the good may be set apart at his right
hand.[108]  This is why the psalmist cried, "Judge me, O God,"
and, as if to explain what he had said, "and defend my cause
against an unholy nation."[109]

                          CHAPTER XV

         The Holy Spirit (56) and the Church (57-60)

     56.  Now, when we have spoken of Jesus Christ, the only Son
of God our Lord, in the brevity befitting our confession of faith,
we go on to affirm that we believe also in the Holy Spirit, as
completing the Trinity which is God; and after that we call to
mind our faith "in holy Church." By this we are given to
understand that the rational creation belonging to the free
Jerusalem ought to be mentioned in a subordinate order to the
Creator, that is, the supreme Trinity.  For, of course, all that
has been said about the man Christ Jesus refers to the unity of
the Person of the Only Begotten.
     Thus, the right order of the Creed demanded[110] that the
Church be made subordinate to the Trinity, as a house is
subordinate to him who dwells in it, the temple to God, and the
city to its founder.  By the Church here we are to understand the
whole Church, not just the part that journeys here on earth from
rising of the sun to its setting, praising the name of the
Lord[111] and singing a new song of deliverance from its old
captivity, but also that part which, in heaven, has always, from
creation, held fast to God, and which never experienced the evils
of a fall.  This part, composed of the holy angels, remains in
blessedness, and it gives help, even as it ought, to the other
part still on pilgrimage.  For both parts together will make one
eternal consort, as even now they are one in the bond of love --
the whole instituted for the proper worship of the one God.[112]
Wherefore, neither the whole Church nor any part of it wishes to
be worshiped as God nor to be God to anyone belonging to the
temple of God -- the temple that is being built up of "the gods"
whom the uncreated God created.[113]  Consequently, if the Holy
Spirit were creature and not Creator, he would obviously be a
rational creature, for this is the highest of the levels of
creation.  But in this case he would not be set in the rule of
faith _before_ the Church, since he would then belong _to_ the
Church, in that part of it which is in heaven.  He would not have
a temple, for he himself would be a temple.  Yet, in fact, he hath
a temple of which the apostle speaks, "Know you not that your body
is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have
from God?"[114]  In another place, he says of this body, "Know you
not that your bodies are members of Christ?"[115]  How, then, is
he not God who has a temple?  Or how can he be less than Christ
whose members are his temple?  It is not that he has one temple
and God another temple, since the same apostle says: "Know you not
that you are the temple of God," and then, as if to prove his
point, added, "and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
     God therefore dwelleth in his temple, not the Holy Spirit
only, but also Father and Son, who saith of his body -- in which
he standeth as Head of the Church on earth "that in all things he
may be pre-eminent"[116] -- "Destroy this temple and in three days
I will raise it up again."[117]  Therefore, the temple of God- --
that is, of the supreme Trinity as a whole -- is holy Church, the
Universal Church in heaven and on the earth.
     57.  But what can we affirm about that part of the Church in
heaven, save that in it no evil is to be found, nor any apostates,
nor will there be again, since that time when "God did not spare
the sinning angels" -- as the apostle Peter writes -- "but casting
them out, he delivered them into the prisons of darkness in hell,
to be reserved for the sentence in the Day of Judgment"[118]?
     58.  Still, how is life ordered in that most blessed and
supernal society?  What differences are there in rank among the
angels, so that while all are called by the general title "angels"
-- as we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews, "But to which of the
angels said he at any time, 'Sit at my right hand'?"[119]; this
expression clearly signifies that all are angels without exception
-- yet there are archangels there as well?  Again, should these
archangels be called "powers" [virtutes], so that the verse,
"Praise him all his angels; praise him, all his powers,"[120]
would mean the same thing as, "Praise him, all his angels; praise
him, all his archangels"?  Or, what distinctions are implied by
the four designations by which the apostle seems to encompass the
entire heavenly society, "Be they thrones or dominions,
principalities, or powers"[121]?  Let them answer these questions
who can, if they can indeed prove their answers.  For myself, I
confess to ignorance of such matters.  I am not even certain about
another question: whether the sun and moon and all the stars
belong to that same heavenly society -- although they seem to be
nothing more than luminous bodies, with neither perception nor
     59.  Furthermore, who can explain the kind of bodies in which
the angels appeared to men, so that they were not only visible,
but tangible as well?  And, again, how do they, not by impact of
physical stimulus but by spiritual force, bring certain visions,
not to the physical eyes but to the spiritual eyes of the mind, or
speak something, not to the ears, as from outside us, but actually
from within the human soul, since they are present within it too?
For, as it is written in the book of the Prophets: "And the angel
that spoke in me, said to me . . ."[122]  He does not say, "Spoke
_to_ me" but "Spoke _in_ me." How do they appear to men in sleep,
and communicate through dreams, as we read in the Gospel: "Behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep,
saying..."[123]?  By these various modes of presentation, the
angels seem to indicate that they do not have tangible bodies.
Yet this raises a very difficult question: How, then, did the
patriarchs wash the angels' feet?[124]  How, also, did Jacob
wrestle with the angel in such a tangible fashion?[125]
     To ask such questions as these, and to guess at the answers
as one can, is not a useless exercise in speculation, so long as
the discussion is moderate and one avoids the mistake of those who
think they know what they do not know.

                         CHAPTER XVI

             Problems About Heavenly and Earthly
                   Divisions of the Church

     60.  It is more important to be able to discern and tell when
Satan transforms himself as an angel of light, lest by this
deception he should seduce us into harmful acts.  For, when he
deceives the corporeal senses, and does not thereby turn the mind
from that true and right judgment by which one leads the life of
faith, there is no danger to religion.  Or if, feigning himself to
be good, he does or says things that would fit the character of
the good angels, even if then we believe him good, the error is
neither dangerous nor fatal to the Christian faith.  But when, by
these alien wiles, he begins to lead us into his own ways, then
great vigilance is required to recognize him and not follow after.
But how few men are there who are able to avoid his deadly
stratagems, unless God guides and preserves them!  Yet the very
difficulty of this business is useful in this respect: it shows
that no man should rest his hopes in himself, nor one man in
another, but all who are God's should cast their hopes on him.
And that this latter is obviously the best course for us no pious
man would deny.
     61.  This part of the Church, therefore, which is composed of
the holy angels and powers of God will become known to us as it
really is only when, at the end of the age, we are joined to it,
to possess, together with it, eternal bliss.  But the other part
which, separated from this heavenly company, wanders through the
earth is better known to us because we are in it, and because it
is composed of men like ourselves.  This is the part that has been
redeemed from all sin by the blood of the sinless Mediator, and
its cry is: "If God be for us, who is against us?  He that spared
not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all. . . ."[126]  Now
Christ did not die for the angels.  But still, what was done for
man by his death for man's redemption and his deliverance from
evil was done for the angels also, because by it the enmity caused
by sin between men and the angels is removed and friendship
restored.  Moreover, this redemption of mankind serves to repair
the ruins left by the angelic apostasy.
     62.  Of course, the holy angels, taught by God -- in the
eternal contemplation of whose truth they are blessed -- know how
many of the human race are required to fill up the full census of
that commonwealth.  This is why the apostle says "that all things
are restored to unity in Christ, both those in heaven and those on
the earth in him."[127]  The part in heaven is indeed restored
when the number lost from the angelic apostasy are replaced from
the ranks of mankind.  The part on earth is restored when those
men predestined to eternal life are redeemed from the old state of
     Thus by the single sacrifice, of which the many victims of
the law were only shadows, the heavenly part is set at peace with
the earthly part and the earthly reconciled to the heavenly.
Wherefore, as the same apostle says: "For it pleased God that all
plenitude of being should dwell in him and by him to reconcile all
things to himself, making peace with them by the blood of his
cross, whether those things on earth or those in heaven."[128]
     63.  This peace, as it is written, "passes all
understanding." It cannot be known by us until we have entered
into it.  For how is the heavenly realm set at peace, save
together with us; that is, by concord with us?  For in that realm
there is always peace, both among the whole company of rational
creatures and between them and their Creator.  This is the peace
that, as it is said, "passes all understanding." But obviously
this means _our_ understanding, not that of those who always see
the Father's face.  For no matter how great our understanding may
be, "we know in part, and we see in a glass darkly."[129]  But
when we shall have become "equal to God's angels,"[130] then, even
as they do, "we shall see face to face."[131]  And we shall then
have as great amity toward them as they have toward us; for we
shall come to love them as much as we are loved by them.
     In this way their peace will become known to us, since ours
will be like theirs in kind and measure -- nor will it then
surpass our understanding.  But the peace of God, which is there,
will still doubtless surpass our understanding and theirs as well.
For, of course, in so far as a rational creature is blessed, this
blessedness comes, not from himself, but from God.  Hence, it
follows that it is better to interpret the passage, "The peace of
God which passes all understanding," so that from the word "all"
not even the understanding of the holy angels should be excepted.
Only God's understanding is excepted; for, of course, his peace
does not surpass his own understanding.

                         CHAPTER XVII

              Forgiveness of Sins in the Church

     64.  The angels are in concord with us even now, when our
sins are forgiven.  Therefore, in the order of the Creed, after
the reference to "holy Church" is placed the reference to
"forgiveness of sins." For it is by this that the part of the
Church on earth stands; it is by this that "what was lost and is
found again"[132] is not lost again.  Of course, the gift of
baptism is an exception.  It is an antidote given us against
original sin, so that what is contracted by birth is removed by
the new birth -- though it also takes away actual sins as well,
whether of heart, word, or deed.  But except for this great
remission -- the beginning point of a man's renewal, in which all
guilt, inherited and acquired, is washed away -- the rest of life,
from the age of accountability (and no matter how vigorously we

(continued in part 4...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01: agenc-03.txt