Part 4
Chapter 3—Of Original Sin

Section 19—Cyrillus Hierosolymitanus. A.D. 370.

Cyrill of Jerusalem gives plain intimations of the doctrine of original sin; he observes twice in one place,[1] that the sin of Adam brought death into the world: “The wound of the human nature,” he says,[2] “is very great; from feet to head there is no soundness in it.” He represents man,[3] through the fall of Adam, as “deceived, fallen, blinded, lame; yea, even dead.” And as for free will itself, he says,[4] it is kakon, evil; and they that are holy,[5] are so, ou plusei, “not by nature,” but by participation, and by exercise, and by prayer; yea, he affirms,[6] “that Jesus to thelein charizetai, ‘gives the will,' and receives the faith, and bestows the gift freely.” Dr. Whitby[7] cites a passage or two from Cyrill in favor of free will, which passages are leveled against the Manichees, who held, that some men are by nature good, and others by nature evil; and that there are two souls in men, one naturally good, the other naturally evil; and that good and evil are respectively done by them through necessity of nature, and not with any freedom of will; and do not militate against our sense of free will, who allow of a liberty of will in all actions good and bad.


[1] Catech. 13, c. 1, p. 167.

[2] Ibid. 12, c. 4, p. 151.

[3] Ibid. 2, c. 3, 4, p. 23.

[4] Ibid. c. 1, p. 20.

[5] Catech. Mystagog. 5, c. 16, p. 300.

[6] Homil. in Paralyt. s. 2, p. 312.

[7] Discourse, etc. p. 379, 380; ed. 2. p. 369, 370