Part 4
Chapter 3—Of Original Sin

Section 25—Epiphanius. A.D. 390.

Epiphanius does indeed assert a free will in man, and argues for it, against the pharisaical fate, and destiny of men by birth, owing to the stars; which is equally denied by us in a passage Dr. Whitby[1] has cited or referred to no less than three times; yet he affirms that man is wholly under the power of sin and, in a state of nature, weak, yea, dead. “Our life,” says he[2] “came, and again showed light unto us, when he found us wandering; for we were immersed in pride and blasphemies, by the images of idols, and impieties of spirits, kakon panton epitagian, under the government of all evils.” And a little after,[3] mentioning those words, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” he adds, “Therefore when ego ethenoun dia tes sarkos, ‘I was weak through the flesh,' a Savior was sent to me in the likeness of sinful flesh, fulfilling such a dispensation, that he might redeem me from bondage, from corruption, from death.” And a little further:[4] “As many as are accounted to death, these are called natural or carnal; wherefore he commands us to reject the works of the flesh, as being the munitions of sin, and mortify the members of death by his grace, and receive the Holy Spirit, which he had not, to zoopoioun eme ton palai tethnekota, ‘who quickens me that was formerly dead,' whom if I had not received I should have died; dicha gar Pneumatos autou pas nekros, for without his Spirit every one is dead.”


[1] Discourse, etc. p. 97, 346, 352; ed. 2. 95 337, 343.

[2] Lib. Ancorat. s. 64, p. 67, vol. 2.

[3] Ibid. s. 65, p. 68.

[4] Ibid. s. 66, p. 70.