Part 4
Chapter 5—Of Perseverance

Section 10—Lactantius. A.D. 320.

Lactantius clearly asserts the perpetuity of virtue or grace, when he affirms, that where it once is, it can never remove; his words are these,[1] “virtue is perpetual, without any intermission; nec discedere ab eo potest, qui enim semel cepit, ‘nor can it depart from him who has once received it;' for if it has any interval, if we can at any time be without it, vices immediately return, which always oppose virtue; nor is it therefore laid hold on, if it leaves, if it at any time departs; but seeing it has placed for itself a stable habitation, it must needs be conversant in every act; nor can it truly repel vices, and cause them to flee away, unless it fortifies the breast where it has its seat, perpetua statione, ‘with a perpetual station; wherefore the perpetuity of virtue shows, that the human mind, if it has received virtue, continues, because virtue is perpetual, and the human mind only is capable of it.”


[1] Lactant. Institut. Divin. 1. 7. c. 10, p. 562.