Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Would Not All Glide Down the Road to Evil if There Was Nothing to Fear?
But who, when so many incentives to evil were assailing him, would desire that good, which he could despise with impunity? Who, again, would take care of what he could lose without danger? You read how broad is the road to evil, how thronged in comparison with the opposite: would not all glide down that road were there nothing in it to fear? We dread the Creator’s tremendous threats, and yet scarcely turn away from evil. What, if He threatened not? Will you call this justice an evil, when it is all unfavourable to evil? Will you deny it to be a good, when it has its eye towards good? What sort of being ought you to wish God to be? Would it be right to prefer that He should be such, that sins might flourish under Him, and the devil make mock at Him? Would you suppose Him to be a good God, who should be able to make a man worse by security in sin? Who is the author of good, but He who also requires it? In like manner who is a stranger to evil, except Him who is its enemy? Who its enemy, besides Him who is its conqueror? Who else its conqueror, than He who is its punisher? Thus God is wholly good, because in all things He is on the side of good.
Tertullian, Book II Against Marcion, chapter XIII