Eusebius, Father of Church History, Against Original Sin

Eusebius (260-340), widely known as the father of church history, believed that men were sinners by their own free choice and not by the necessity of their natures.

 

Eusebius taught, “The Creator of all things has impressed a natural law upon the soul of every man, as an assistant and ally in his conduct, pointing out to him the right way by this law; but, by the free liberty with which he is endowed, making the choice of what is best worthy of praise and acceptance, because he has acted rightly, not by force, but from his own free-will, when he had it in his power to act otherwise, As, again, making him who chooses what is worst, deserving of blame and punishment, as having by his own motion neglected the natural law, and becoming the origin and fountain of wickedness, and misusing himself, not from any extraneous necessity, but from free will and judgment. The fault is in him who chooses, not in God. For God has not made nature or the substance of the soul bad; for he who is good can make nothing but what is good. Everything is good which is according to nature. Every rational soul has naturally a good free-will, formed for the choice of what is good. But when a man acts wrongly, nature is not to be blamed; for what is wrong, takes place not according to nature, but contrary to nature, it being the work of choice, and not of nature.”–The Christian Examiner, Volume One, published by James Miller, 1824 Edition, p. 66

Thus, Eusebius confirms that the doctrine of original sin, or an inherited sinful nature did not come into prominence until Augustine (354-440), who developed his doctrine in his controversy with Pelagius (360-418), who was defender of the historical, traditional, rational, intuitive, and scriptural view of free-will, which was the prevailing view of the church until Augustine.

 

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