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Nor does he deserve acquittal because of his misfortune in committing the error which he did. If, on the one hand, the misfortune is not due to any dispensation of heaven, then, as an error pure and simple, it is right that it should prove disastrous to him who was guilty of it; and if, on the other hand, a defilement from heaven has fallen upon the slayer by reason of some act of sin, then it is wrong for us to impede the visitation of God.1

1 i.e. it might be argued that the lad was ἀτυχής in committing the ἁμαρτία which he did, and therefore deserves acquittal. But the prosecution produces a dilemma: (a) If the ἀτυχία was a piece of divine retribution for some past offence, he deserves punishment all the more, as it is God's will that he should be punished. (b) If it is not due to God, then to say that the lad was the victim of ἀτυχία is only a more polite way of saying that he was guilty of ἁμαρτίαἁμάρτημα οὖσα), and we are back where we started.

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