2012-07-18

Good things and evil, are from God...

Excerpt taken from Heliotropium by Jeremias Drexel (the book is available on archive.org):
"Good things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches, are from God." (Ecclus. XI 14.)

But this truth, which is most clearly witnessed to in the Sacred Writings, must be unfolded a little more fully.

2. In this way Theologians teach that all evils in the world (sin excepted) are from God. In all sin there are two things to be considered, the guilt and the punishment. Now God is the Author of the punishment which attaches to sin, but in no way of the guilt. So that, if we take away the guilt, there is no evil belonging to the punishment which is not caused by God, or is not pleasing to Him. The evils then of punishment, like the evils of nature, originate in the Divine Will. We mean by evils of nature, hunger, thirst, disease, grief, and the like, things which very often have no connection with sin. And so God truly (and, as they say in the schools, effectively and positively) wills all the evils of punishment and nature for reasons of perfect justice, but only permits sin or guilt.

So that the latter is called His Permitting Will, the former His Ordaining Will. All, therefore, that we call evil proceeds from the Will of God. Thus Theologians teach; and this foundation must be laid as deeply as possible in the soul, for it is of the utmost importance humbly to receive, and ever to hold, as an infallible truth, that the first cause of all punishments and evils is the Divine Will, always excepting guilt, as I have said already.


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