Part 4
Chapter 3—Of Original Sin

Section 26—Marcus Eremits. A.D. 390.

Mark the Eremite acknowledges, that all mankind are guilty of Adam's sin, and under condemnation on the account of it; that they cannot of themselves remove that or any other sin from themselves, or do anything that is  good, being dead in sin; and that, notwithstanding their free will, they are as brutish as the beasts of the field. “Let us suppose,” says he,[1] “that some are found free from these things, and as soon as born are strangers to all vice, which indeed cannot be, since Paul says, we have all sinned, etc. Yet though they were such, nevertheless they have their original from Adam, cuncti que peccato transgressionis fuerunt ideoque capitali sententia condemnati, ‘and have been all guilty of the sin of transgression, and so condemned by a sentence of death;' insomuch at without Christ they cannot be saved.” “Wherefore,” as he elsewhere observes,[2] we must not think that Adae peccatura certaminibus amputandum posse, ‘the sin of Adam can be removed by our strivings;' nor even our own sins, which befall us after baptism, unless by Christ; for how could we, who were dead in sins, a nobis ipsis bond quipplato agere, ‘do any good thing of ourselves, unless the Lord had quickened us by the laver of regeneration, and had bestowed upon us the grace of the Holy Spirit?” Again, says he,[3] “Let none of those who study virtue, think, se suapte duntaxat facultate boni quippiam fecisse, ‘that they have, by their own power alone, done any good thing;' ‘for a good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things;' “where he calls the Holy Spirit hid in the heart of believers a treasure. This writer does indeed in some places[4] speak of man as endued with free will, ‘and yet, notwithstanding this his opinion of him was, that he was sunk below the beasts of the field. “We,” says he,[5] “who are adorned with free will above all animals, are more savage than wild beasts and appear less rational than the brutes.”


[1] De Poenitentia, p. 77.

[2] Ibid. de Baptismo, p. 87; vide etiam p. 88.

[3] De Baptismo, p. 86.

[4] De Leg. Spirit. p. 50, 63; de Baptismo. p. 80, 81, 87, 93.

[5] De Poenitentia, p. 73.