(Augustine, Enchiridion. part 4)

progress in righteousness), is not without the need for the
forgiveness of sins.  This is the case because the sons of God, as
long as they live this mortal life, are in a conflict with death.
And although it is truly said of them, "As many as are led by the
Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,"[133] yet even as they
are being led by the Spirit of God and, as sons of God, advance
toward God, they are also being led by their own spirits so that,
weighed down by the corruptible body and influenced by certain
human feelings, they thus fall away from themselves and commit
sin.  But it matters _how much_.  Although every crime is a sin,
not every sin is a crime.  Thus we can say of the life of holy men
even while they live in this mortality, that they are found
without crime.  "But if we say that we have no sin," as the great
apostle says, "we deceive even ourselves, and the truth is not in
     65.  Nevertheless, no matter how great our crimes, their
forgiveness should never be despaired of in holy Church for those
who truly repent, each according to the measure of his sin.  And,
in the act of repentance,[135] where a crime has been committed of
such gravity as also to cut off the sinner from the body of
Christ, we should not consider the measure of time as much as the
measure of sorrow.  For, "a contrite and humbled heart God will
not despise."[136]
     Still, since the sorrow of one heart is mostly hid from
another, and does not come to notice through words and other such
signs -- even when it is plain to Him of whom it is said, "My
groaning is not hid from thee"[137] -- times of repentance have
been rightly established by those set over the churches, that
satisfaction may also be made in the Church, in which the sins are
forgiven.  For, of course, outside her they are not forgiven.  For
she alone has received the pledge of the Holy Spirit,[138] without
whom there is no forgiveness of sins.  Those forgiven thus obtain
life everlasting.
     66.  Now the remission of sins has chiefly to do with the
future judgment.  In this life the Scripture saying holds true: "A
heavy yoke is on the sons of Adam, from the day they come forth
from their mother's womb till the day of their burial in the
mother of us all."[139]  Thus we see even infants, after the
washing of regeneration, tortured by divers evil afflictions.
This helps us to understand that the whole import of the
sacraments of salvation has to do more with the hope of future
goods than with the retaining or attaining of present goods.
     Indeed, many sins seem to be ignored and go unpunished; but
their punishment is reserved for the future.  It is not in vain
that the day when the Judge of the living and the dead shall come
is rightly called the Day of Judgment.  Just so, on the other
hand, some sins are punished here, and, if they are forgiven, will
certainly bring no harm upon us in the future age.  Hence,
referring to certain temporal punishments, which are visited upon
sinners in this life, the apostle, speaking to those whose sins
are blotted out and not reserved to the end, says: "For if we
judge ourselves truly we should not be judged by the Lord.  But
when we are judged, we are chastised by the Lord, that we may not
be condemned along with this world."[140]

                      CHAPTER XVIII[141]

                       Faith and Works

     67.  There are some, indeed, who believe that those who do
not abandon the name of Christ, and who are baptized in his laver
in the Church, who are not cut off from it by schism or heresy,
who may then live in sins however great, not washing them away by
repentance, nor redeeming them by alms -- and who obstinately
persevere in them to life's last day -- even these will still be
saved, "though as by fire." They believe that such people will be
punished by fire, prolonged in proportion to their sins, but still
not eternal.
     But those who believe thus, and still are Catholics, are
deceived, as it seems to me, by a kind of merely human
benevolence.  For the divine Scripture, when consulted, answers
differently.  Moreover, I have written a book about this question,
entitled Faith and Works,[142] in which, with God's help, I have
shown as best I could that, according to Holy Scripture, the faith
that saves is the faith that the apostle Paul adequately describes
when he says, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails
anything, nor uncircumcision, but the faith which works through
love."[143]  But if faith works evil and not good, then without
doubt, according to the apostle James "it is dead in itself."[144]
He then goes on to say, "If a man says he has faith, yet has not
works, can his faith be enough to save him?"[145]
     Now, if the wicked man were to be saved by fire on account of
his faith only, and if this is the way the statement of the
blessed Paul should be understood -- "But he himself shall be
saved, yet so as by fire"[146] -- then faith without works would
be sufficient to salvation.  But then what the apostle James said
would be false.  And also false would be another statement of the
same Paul himself: "Do not err," he says; "neither fornicators,
nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the unmanly, nor homosexuals,
nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God."[147]  Now, if
those who persist in such crimes as these are nevertheless saved
by their faith in Christ, would they not then be in the Kingdom of
     68.  But, since these fully plain and most pertinent
apostolic testimonies cannot be false, that one obscure saying
about those who build on "the foundation, which is Christ, not
gold, silver, and precious stones, but wood, hay, and
stubble"[148] -- for it is about these it is said that they will
be saved as by fire, not perishing on account of the saving worth
of their foundation -- such a statement must be interpreted so
that it does not contradict these fully plain testimonies.
     In fact, wood and hay and stubble may be understood, without
absurdity, to signify such an attachment to those worldly things
-- albeit legitimate in themselves -- that one cannot suffer their
loss without anguish in the soul.  Now, when such anguish "burns,"
and Christ still holds his place as foundation in the heart --
that is, if nothing is preferred to him and if the man whose
anguish "burns" would still prefer to suffer loss of the things he
greatly loves than to lose Christ -- then one is saved, "by fire."
But if, in time of testing, he should prefer to hold onto these
temporal and worldly goods rather than to Christ, he does not have
him as foundation -- because he has put "things" in the first
place -- whereas in a building nothing comes before the
     Now, this fire, of which the apostle speaks, should be
understood as one through which both kinds of men must pass: that
is, the man who builds with gold, silver, and precious stones on
this foundation and also the man who builds with wood, hay, and
stubble.  For, when he had spoken of this, he added: "The fire
shall try every man's work, of what sort it is.  If any man's work
abides which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
If any man's work burns up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself
shall be saved, yet so as by fire."[149]  Therefore the fire will
test the work, not only of the one, but of both.
     The fire is a sort of trial of affliction, concerning which
it is clearly written elsewhere: "The furnace tries the potter's
vessels and the trial of affliction tests righteous men."[150]
This kind of fire works in the span of this life, just as the
apostle said, as it affects the two different kinds of faithful
men.  There is, for example, the man who "thinks of the things of
God, how he may please God." Such a man builds on Christ the
foundation, with gold, silver, and precious stones.  The other man
"thinks about the things of the world, how he may please his
wife"[151]; that is, he builds upon the same foundation with wood,
hay, and stubble.  The work of the former is not burned up, since
he has not loved those things whose loss brings anguish.  But the
work of the latter is burned up, since things are not lost without
anguish when they have been loved with a possessive love.  But
because, in this second situation, he prefers to suffer the loss
of these things rather than losing Christ, and does not desert
Christ from fear of losing such things -- even though he may
grieve over his loss -- "he is saved," indeed, "yet so as by
fire." He "burns" with grief, for the things he has loved and
lost, but this does not subvert nor consume him, secured as he is
by the stability and the indestructibility of his foundation.
     69.  It is not incredible that something like this should
occur after this life, whether or not it is a matter for fruitful
inquiry.  It may be discovered or remain hidden whether some of
the faithful are sooner or later to be saved by a sort of
purgatorial fire, in proportion as they have loved the goods that
perish, and in proportion to their attachment to them.  However,
this does not apply to those of whom it was said, "They shall not
possess the Kingdom of God,"[152] unless their crimes are remitted
through due repentance.  I say "due repentance" to signify that
they must not be barren of almsgiving, on which divine Scripture
lays so much stress that our Lord tells us in advance that, on the
bare basis of fruitfulness in alms, he will impute merit to those
on his right hand; and, on the same basis of unfruitfulness,
demerit to those on his left -- when he shall say to the former,
"Come, blessed of my Father, receive the Kingdom," but to the
latter, "Depart into everlasting fire."[153]

                         CHAPTER XIX

                 Almsgiving and Forgiveness

     70.  We must beware, however, lest anyone suppose that
unspeakable crimes such as they commit who "will not possess the
Kingdom of God" can be perpetrated daily and then daily redeemed
by almsgiving.  Of course, life must be changed for the better,
and alms should be offered as propitiation to God for our past
sins.  But he is not somehow to be bought off, as if we always had
a license to commit crimes with impunity.  For, "he has given no
man a license to sin"[154] -- although, in his mercy, he does blot
out sins already committed, if due satisfaction for them is not
     71.  For the passing and trivial sins of every day, from
which no life is free, the everyday prayer of the faithful makes
satisfaction.  For they can say, "Our Father who art in heaven,"
who have already been reborn to such a Father "by water and the
Spirit."[155]  This prayer completely blots out our minor and
everyday sins.  It also blots out those sins which once made the
life of the faithful wicked, but from which, now that they have
changed for the better by repentance, they have departed.  The
condition of this is that just as they truly say, "Forgive us our
debts" (since there is no lack of debts to be forgiven), so also
they truly say, "As we forgive our debtors"[156]; that is, if what
is said is also done.  For to forgive a man who seeks forgiveness
is indeed to give alms.
     72.  Accordingly, what our Lord says -- "Give alms and,
behold, all things are clean to you"[157] -- applies to all useful
acts of mercy.  Therefore, not only the man who gives food to the
hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothing to the naked, hospitality
to the wayfarer, refuge to the fugitive; who visits the sick and
the prisoner, redeems the captive, bears the burdens of the weak,
leads the blind, comforts the sorrowful, heals the sick, shows the
errant the right way, gives advice to the perplexed, and does
whatever is needful for the needy[158] -- not only does this man
give alms, but the man who forgives the trespasser also gives alms
as well.  He is also a giver of alms who, by blows or other
discipline, corrects and restrains those under his command, if at
the same time he forgives from the heart the sin by which he has
been wronged or offended, or prays that it be forgiven the
offender.  Such a man gives alms, not only in that he forgives and
prays, but also in that he rebukes and administers corrective
punishment, since in this he shows mercy.
     Now, many benefits are bestowed on the unwilling, when their
interests and not their preferences are consulted.  And men
frequently are found to be their own enemies, while those they
suppose to be their enemies are their true friends.  And then, by
mistake, they return evil for good, when a Christian ought not to
return evil even for evil.  Thus, there are many kinds of alms, by
which, when we do them, we are helped in obtaining forgiveness of
our own sins.
     73.  But none of these alms is greater than the forgiveness
from the heart of a sin committed against us by someone else.  It
is a smaller thing to wish well or even to do well to one who has
done you no evil.  It is far greater -- a sort of magnificent
goodness -- to love your enemy, and always to wish him well and,
as you can, _do_ well to him who wishes you ill and who does you
harm when he can.  Thus one heeds God's command: "Love your
enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that
persecute you."[159]
     Such counsels are for the perfect sons of God.  And although
all the faithful should strive toward them and through prayer to
God and earnest endeavor bring their souls up to this level, still
so high a degree of goodness is not possible for so great a
multitude as we believe are heard when, in prayer, they say,
"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Accordingly, it
cannot be doubted that the terms of this pledge are fulfilled if a
man, not yet so perfect that he already loves his enemies, still
forgives from the heart one who has sinned against him and who now
asks his forgiveness.  For he surely seeks forgiveness when he
asks for it when he prays, saying, "As we forgive our debtors."
For this means, "Forgive us our debts when we ask for forgiveness,
as we also forgive our debtors when they ask for forgiveness."
     74.  Again, if one seeks forgiveness from a man against whom
he sinned -- moved by his sin to seek it -- he should no longer be
regarded as an enemy, and it should not now be as difficult to
love him as it was when he was actively hostile.
     Now, a man who does not forgive from the heart one who asks
forgiveness and is repentant of his sins can in no way suppose
that his own sins are forgiven by the Lord, since the Truth cannot
lie, and what hearer and reader of the gospel has not noted who it
was who said, "I am the Truth"[160]?  It is, of course, the One
who, when he was teaching the prayer, strongly emphasized this
sentence which he put in it, saying: "For if you forgive men their
trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you your
trespasses.  But if you will not forgive men, neither will your
Father forgive you your offenses."[161]  He who is not awakened by
such great thundering is not asleep, but dead.  And yet such a
word has power to awaken even the dead.

                          CHAPTER XX

                     Spiritual Almsgiving

     75.  Now, surely, those who live in gross wickedness and take
no care to correct their lives and habits, who yet, amid their
crimes and misdeeds, continue to multiply their alms, flatter
themselves in vain with the Lord's words, "Give alms; and, behold,
all things are clean to you." They do not understand how far this
saying reaches.  In order for them to understand, let them notice
to whom it was that he said it.  For this is the context of it in
the Gospel: "As he was speaking, a certain Pharisee asked him to
dine with him.  And he went in and reclined at the table.  And the
Pharisee began to wonder and ask himself why He had not washed
himself before dinner.  But the Lord said to him: 'Now you
Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but within
you are still full of extortion and wickedness.  Foolish ones!
Did not He who made the outside make the inside too?
Nevertheless, give for alms what remains within; and, behold, all
things are clean to you.'"[162] Should we interpret this to mean
that to the Pharisees, who had not the faith of Christ, all things
are clean if only they give alms, as they deem it right to give
them, even if they have not believed in him, nor been reborn of
water and the Spirit?  But all are unclean who are not made clean
by the faith of Christ, of whom it is written, "Cleansing their
hearts by faith."[163]  And as the apostle said, "But to them that
are unclean and unbelieving nothing is clean; both their minds and
consciences are unclean."[164]  How, then, should all things be
clean to the Pharisees, even if they gave alms, but were not
believers?  Or, how could they be believers, if they were
unwilling to believe in Christ and to be born again in his grace?
And yet, what they heard is true: "Give alms; and behold, all
things are clean to you."
     76.  He who would give alms as a set plan of his life should
begin with himself and give them to himself.  For almsgiving is a
work of mercy, and the saying is most true: "Have mercy upon your
own soul, pleasing God."[165]  The purpose of the new birth is
that we should become pleasing to God, who is justly displeased
with the sin we contracted in birth.  This is the first
almsgiving, which we give to ourselves -- when through the mercy
of a merciful God we come to inquire about our wretchedness and
come to acknowledge the just verdict by which we were put in need
of that mercy, of which the apostle says, "Judgment came by that
one trespass to condemnation."[166]  And the same herald of grace
then adds (in a word of thanksgiving for God's great love), "But
God commendeth his love toward us in that, while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us."[167]  Thus, when we come to a valid
estimate of our wretchedness and begin to love God with the love
he himself giveth us, we then begin to live piously and
     But the Pharisees, while they gave as alms a tithing of even
the least of their fruits, disregarded this "judgment and love of
God." Therefore, they did not begin their almsgiving with
themselves, nor did they, first of all, show mercy toward
themselves.  In reference to this right order of self-love, it was
said, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."[168]
     Therefore, when the Lord had reproved the Pharisees for
washing themselves on the outside while inwardly they were still
full of extortion and wickedness, he then admonished them also to
give those alms which a man owes first to himself -- to make clean
the inner man: "However," he said, "give what remains as alms,
and, behold, all things are clean to you." Then, to make plain the
import of his admonition, which they had ignored, and to show them
that he was not ignorant of their kind of almsgiving, he adds,
"But woe to you, Pharisees"[169] -- as if to say, "I am advising
you to give the kind of alms which shall make all things clean to
you." "But woe to you, for you tithe mint and rue and every herb"
-- "I know these alms of yours and you need not think I am
admonishing you to give them up" -- "and then neglect justice and
the love of God." "_This_ kind of almsgiving would make you clean
from all inward defilement, just as the bodies which you wash are
made clean by you." For the word "all" here means both "inward"
and "outward" -- as elsewhere we read, "Make clean the inside, and
the outside will become clean."[170]
     But, lest it appear that he was rejecting the kind of alms we
give of the earth's bounty, he adds, "These things you should do"
-- that is, pay heed to the judgment and love of God -- and "not
omit the others" -- that is, alms done with the earth's bounty.
     77.  Therefore, let them not deceive themselves who suppose
that by giving alms -- however profusely, and whether of their
fruits or money or anything else -- they purchase impunity to
continue in the enormity of their crimes and the grossness of
their wickedness.  For not only do they do such things, but they
also love them so much that they would always choose to continue
in them -- if they could do so with impunity.  "But he who loves
iniquity hates his own soul."[171]  And he who hates his own soul
is not merciful but cruel to it.  For by loving it after the
world's way he hates it according to God's way of judging.
Therefore, if one really wished to give alms to himself, that all
things might become clean to him, he would hate his soul after the
world's way and love it according to God's way.  No one, however,
gives any alms at all unless he gives from the store of Him who
needs not anything.  "Accordingly," it is said, "His mercy shall
go before me."[172]

                         CHAPTER XXI

                   Problems of Casuistry

     78.  What sins are trivial and what are grave, however, is
not for human but for divine judgment to determine.  For we see
that, in respect of some sins, even the apostle, by pardoning
them, has conceded this point.  Such a case is seen in what the
venerable Paul says to married folks: "Do not deprive one another,
except by consent for a time to give yourselves to prayer, and
then return together lest Satan tempt you at the point of self-
control."[173]  One could consider that it is not a sin for a
married couple to have intercourse, not only for the sake of
procreating children -- which is the good of marriage -- but also
for the sake of the carnal pleasure involved.  Thus, those whose
self-control is weak could avoid fornication, or adultery, and
other kinds of impurity too shameful to name, into which their
lust might drag them through Satan's tempting.  Therefore one
could, as I said, consider this not a sin, had the apostle not
added, "But I say this as a concession, not as a rule." Who, then,
denies that it is a sin when he agrees that apostolic authority
for doing it is given only by "concession"?
     Another such case is seen where he says, "Dare any of you,
having a case against another, bring it to be judged before the
unrighteous and not the saints?"[174]  And a bit later: "If,
therefore, you have cases concerning worldly things," he says,
"you appoint those who are contemptible in the Church's eyes.  I
say this to shame you.  Can it be that there is not a wise man
among you, who could judge between his brethren?  But brother goes
to law with brother, and that in the presence of
unbelievers."[175]  And here it might be thought that it was not a
sin to bring suit against a brother, and that the only sin
consisted in wishing it judged outside the Church, if the apostle
had not added immediately, "Now therefore the whole fault among
you is that you have lawsuits with one another."[176]  Then, lest
someone excuse himself on this point by saying that he had a just
cause and was suffering injustice which he wished removed by
judicial sentence, the apostle directly resists such thoughts and
excuses by saying: "Why not rather suffer iniquity?  Why not
rather be defrauded?"[177]  Thus we are brought back to that
saying of the Lord: "If anyone would take your tunic and contend
in court with you, let go your cloak also."[178]  And in another
place: "If a man takes away your goods, seek them not back."[179]
Thus, he forbids his own to go to court with other men in secular
suits.  And it is because of this teaching that the apostle says
that this kind of action is "a fault." Still, when he allows such
suits to be decided in the Church, brothers judging brothers, yet
sternly forbids such a thing outside the Church, it is clear that
some concession is being made here for the infirmities of the
     Because of these and similar sins -- and of others even less
than these, such as offenses in words and thoughts -- and because,
as the apostle James confesses, "we all offend in many
things,"[180] it behooves us to pray to the Lord daily and often,
and say, "Forgive us our debts," and not lie about what follows
this petition, "As we also forgive our debtors."
     79.  There are, however, some sins that could be deemed quite
trifling if the Scriptures did not show that they are more serious
than we think.  For who would suppose that one saying to his
brother, "You fool," is "in danger of hell-fire," if the Truth had
not said it?  Still, for the hurt he immediately supplied a
medicine, adding the precept of brotherly reconciliation: "If,
therefore, you are offering a gift at the altar, and remember
there that your brother has something against you,"[181] etc.
     Or who would think how great a sin it is to observe days and
months and years and seasons -- as those people do who will or
will not begin projects on certain days or in certain months or
years, because they follow vain human doctrines and suppose that
various seasons are lucky or unlucky -- if we did not infer the
magnitude of this evil from the apostle's fear, in saying to such
men, "I fear for you, lest perhaps I have labored among you in
     80.  To this one might add those sins, however grave and
terrible, which, when they come to be habitual, are then believed
to be trivial or no sins at all.  And so far does this go that
such sins are not only not kept secret, but are even proclaimed
and published abroad -- cases of which it is written, "The sinner
is praised in the desires of his soul; and he that works iniquity
is blessed."[183]
     In the divine books such iniquity is called a "cry" (clamor).
You have such a usage in the prophet Isaiah's reference to the
evil vineyard: "I looked that he should perform justice, yet he
did iniquity; not justice but a cry."[184]  So also is that
passage in Genesis: "The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is
multiplied,"[185] for among these people such crimes were not only
unpunished, but were openly committed, as if sanctioned by law.
     So also in our times so many evils, even if not like those
[of old], have come to be public customs that we not only do not
dare excommunicate a layman; we do not dare degrade a clergyman
for them.  Thus, several years ago, when I was expounding the
Epistle to the Galatians, where the apostle says, "I fear for you,
lest perchance I have labored in vain among you," I was moved to
exclaim: "Woe to the sins of men!  We shrink from them only when
we are not accustomed to them.  As for those sins to which we are
accustomed -- although the blood of the Son of God was shed to
wash them away -- although they are so great that the Kingdom of
God is wholly closed to them, yet, living with them often we come
to tolerate them, and, tolerating them, we even practice some of
them!  But grant, O Lord, that we do not practice any of them
which we could prohibit!"  I shall someday know whether immoderate
indignation moved me here to speak rashly.

                         CHAPTER XXII

                    The Two Causes of Sin

     81.  I shall now mention what I have often discussed before
in other places in my short treatises.[186]  We sin from two
causes: either from not seeing what we ought to do, or else from
not doing what we have already seen we ought to do.  Of these two,
the first is ignorance of the evil; the second, weakness.
     We must surely fight against both; but we shall as surely be
defeated unless we are divinely helped, not only to see what we
ought to do, but also, as sound judgment increases, to make our
love of righteousness victor over our love of those things because
of which -- either by desiring to possess them or by fearing to
lose them -- we fall, open-eyed, into known sin.  In this latter
case, we are not only sinners -- which we are even when we sin
through ignorance -- but also lawbreakers: for we do not do what
we should, and we do what we know already we should not.
     Accordingly, we should pray for pardon if we have sinned, as
we do when we say, "Forgive us our debts as we also forgive our
debtors." But we should also pray that God should guide us away
from sin, and this we do when we say, "Lead us not into
temptation" -- and we should make our petitions to Him of whom it
is said in the psalm, "The Lord is my light and my
salvation"[187]; that, as Light, he may take away our ignorance,
as Salvation, our weakness.
     82.  Now, penance itself is often omitted because of
weakness, even when in Church custom there is an adequate reason
why it should be performed.  For shame is the fear of displeasing
men, when a man loves their good opinion more than he regards
judgment, which would make him humble himself in penitence.
Wherefore, not only for one to repent, but also in order that he
may be enabled to do so, the mercy of God is prerequisite.
Otherwise, the apostle would not say of some men, "In case God
giveth them repentance."[188]  And, similarly, that Peter might be
enabled to weep bitterly, the Evangelist tells, "The Lord looked
at him."[189]
     83.  But the man who does not believe that sins are forgiven
in the Church, who despises so great a bounty of the divine gifts
and ends, and persists to his last day in such an obstinacy of
mind -- that man is guilty of the unpardonable sin against the
Holy Spirit, in whom Christ forgiveth sins.[190]  I have discussed
this difficult question, as clearly as I could, in a little book
devoted exclusively to this very point.[191]

                        CHAPTER XXIII

              The Reality of the Resurrection

     84.  Now, with respect to the resurrection of the body -- and
by this I do not mean the cases of resuscitation after which
people died again, but a resurrection to eternal life after the
fashion of Christ's own body -- I have not found a way to discuss
it briefly and still give satisfactory answers to all the
questions usually raised about it.  Yet no Christian should have
the slightest doubt as to the fact that the bodies of all men,
whether already or yet to be born, whether dead or still to die,
will be resurrected.
     85.  Once this fact is established, then, first of all, comes
the question about abortive fetuses, which are indeed "born" in
the mother's womb, but are never so that they could be "reborn."
For, if we say that there is a resurrection for them, then we can
agree that at least as much is true of fetuses that are fully
formed.  But, with regard to undeveloped fetuses, who would not
more readily think that they perish, like seeds that did not
     But who, then, would dare to deny -- though he would not dare
to affirm it either -- that in the resurrection day what is
lacking in the forms of things will be filled out?  Thus, the
perfection which time would have accomplished will not be lacking,
any more than the blemishes wrought by time will still be present.
Nature, then, will be cheated of nothing apt and fitting which
time's passage would have brought, nor will anything remain
disfigured by anything adverse and contrary which time has
wrought.  But what is not yet a whole will become whole, just as
what has been disfigured will be restored to its full figure.
     86.  On this score, a corollary question may be most
carefully discussed by the most learned men, and still I do not
know that any man can answer it, namely: When does a human being
begin to live in the womb?  Is there some form of hidden life, not
yet apparent in the motions of a living thing?  To deny, for
example, that those fetuses ever lived at all which are cut away
limb by limb and cast out of the wombs of pregnant women, lest the

(continued in part 5...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01: agenc-04.txt