Whence Also the Just of Old, Before the Incarnation of the Word...
18. Whence also the just of old, before the Incarnation of the Word, in this faith of Christ, and in this true righteousness, (which thing Christ is unto us,) were justified; believing this to come which we believe come: and they themselves by grace were saved through faith, not of themselves, but by the gift of God, not of works, lest haply they should be lifted up. [2679] For their good works did not come before God's mercy, but followed it. For to them was it said, and by them written, long ere Christ was come in the flesh, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will show compassion on whom I will have compassion." [2680] From which words of God the Apostle Paul, should so long after say; "It is not therefore of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy." It is also their own voice, long ere Christ was come in the flesh, "My God, His mercy shall prevent me." [2681] How indeed could they be aliens from the faith of Christ, by whose charity even Christ was fore-announced unto us; without the faith of Whom, not any of mortals either hath been, or is, or ever shall be able to be, righteous? If then, being already just, the Apostles were elected by Christ, they would have first chosen Him, that just men might be chosen, because without Him they could not be just. But it was not so: as Himself saith to them, "Not ye have chosen Me, but I have chosen you." Of which the Apostle John speaks, "Not that we loved God, but that He loved us." [2682]


[2679] Eph. ii.8, 9 [2680] Ex. xxxiii.19; Rom. ix.15, 16

[2681] Ps. lix.10

[2682] 1 John iv.10

17 now this election the
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