A Treatise on the grace of christ, and on original sin,
by aurelius augustin, bishop of hippo;
In Two Books,
written against pelagius and cœlestius in the year a.d. 418.
On the Grace of Christ.
Wherein he shows that Pelagius is disingenuous in his confession of grace, inasmuch as he places grace either in nature and free will, or in law and teaching; and, moreover, asserts that it is merely the “possibility” (as he calls it) of will and action, and not the will and action itself, which is assisted by divine grace; and that this assisting grace, too, is given by God according to men’s merits; whilst he further thinks that they are so assisted for the sole purpose of being able the more easily to fulfil the commandments. Augustin examines those passages of his writings in which he boasted that he had bestowed express commendation on the grace of God, and points out how they can be interpreted as referring to law and teaching,—in other words, to the divine revelation and the example of Christ which are alike included in “the teaching,”—or else to the remission of sins; nor do they afford any evidence whatever that Pelagius really acknowledged Christian grace, in the sense of help rendered for the performance of right action to natural faculty and instruction, by the inspiration of a most glowing and luminous love; and he concludes with a request that Pelagius would seriously listen to Ambrose, whom he is so very fond of quoting, in his excellent eulogy in commendation of the grace of God.
S. AURELII AUGUSTINI HIPPONENSIS EPISCOPI DE GRATIA CHRISTI ET DE PECCATO ORIGINALI CONTRA PELAGIUM ET COELESTIUM Libri duo .
LIBER PRIMUS. DE GRATIA CHRISTI.
Pelagium gratiae confessione fucum facere ostendit: quippe qui gratiam vel in natura et libero arbitrio ponat, vel in lege atque doctrina: qui praeterea divina gratia solam voluntatis et actionis possibilitatem ut vocat, non ipsam voluntatem et actionem adjuvari dicat; et illam insuper adjuvantem gratiam a Deo secundum merita hominum dari, atque ad id solum juvare eos putet, ut praecepta facilius possint implere. Expendit Augustinus loca opusculorum ipsius, quibus ille Dei gratiam diserte a se commendatam jactabat; et haec de lege ac doctrina, seu de divina revelatione ac de Christi exemplo, quae ad doctrinam aeque revocantur, aut de peccatorum remissione interpretari posse demonstrat, nec apparere omnino, an vere christianam gratiam, id est, adjutorium bene agendi adjunctum naturae atque doctrinae per inspirationem flagrantissimae et luminosissimae charitatis agnoscat Pelagius: qui postremo Ambrosium, tantopere ab ipso laudatum, praeclara quaedam in commendationem divinae gratiae dicentem audire jubetur.