Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/Against Two Letters of the Pelagians/Book IV/Chapter 9
Chapter 9 [V.]—Of the Praise of Marriage.
But further, concerning the praise of marriage, what advantage is it to them that, in opposition to the Manicheans, who assign marriage not to the true and good God, but to the prince of darkness, these men resist the words of true piety, and say, “That the Lord speaks in the gospel, saying, Who from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Increase and multiply and replenish the earth. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder”? What does this profit them, by means of the truth to seduce to a falsehood? For they say this in order that infants may be thought to be born free from all fault, and thus that there is no need of their being reconciled to God through Christ, since they have no original sin, on account of which reconciliation is necessary to all by means of one who came into the world without sin, just as the enmities of all were caused by means of one through whom sin entered into the world. And this is believed by catholics for the sake of the salvation of the nature of men, without detracting from the praise of marriage; because the praise of marriage is a righteous intercourse of the sexes, not a wicked defence of vices. And thus, when, by their praise of marriage, these persons wish to draw over men from the Manicheans to themselves, they desire merely to change their disease, not to heal it.
- See On Original Sin, ch. 38.
- Matt. xix. 4, etc.