On Rebuke and Grace, to the same Valentinus and the Monks with Him
Chapter 1 [I.]—Introductory.
I Have read your letter—Valentine, my dearly beloved brother, and you who are associated with him in the service of God—which your Love sent by brother Florus and those who came to us with him; and I gave God thanks that I have known your peace in the Lord and agreement in the truth and ardour in love, by your discourse delivered to us. But that an enemy has striven among you to the subversion of some, has, by the mercy of God and His marvellous goodness in turning his arts to the advantage1 Or according to some mss., “progress.” of His servants, rather availed to this result, that while none of you were cast down for the worse, some were built up for the better. There is therefore no need to reconsider again and again all that I have already transmitted to you, sufficiently argued out in a lengthy treatise;2 Treatise on Grace and Free Will, see above. for your replies indicate how you have received this. Nevertheless, do not in any wise suppose that, when once read, it can have become sufficiently well known to you. Therefore if you desire to have it exceedingly productive, do not count it a grievance by re-perusal to make it thoroughly familiar; so that you may most accurately3 Or, “most clearly.” know what and what kind of questions they are, for the solution and satisfaction of which there arises an authority not human but divine, from which we ought not to depart if we desire to attain to the point whither we are tending.
S. AURELII AUGUSTINI HIPPONENSIS EPISCOPI DE CORREPTIONE ET GRATIA AD EUMDEM VALENTINUM ET CUM ILLO MONACHOS ADRUMETINOS Liber unus .
1. Lectis litteris vestris, Valentine frater dilectissime, et qui simul servitis Deo, quas per fratrem Florum, et eos qui cum illo ad nos venerunt, misit Charitas vestra, egi Deo gratias, 0916 quod vestram in Domino pacem, et in veritate consensionem, et in charitate flagrantiam vestro nobis reddito sermone cognovi. Quod autem ad subversionem quorumdam apud vos molitus est inimicus, 0917 Deo miserante et ejus insidias in suorum servorum provectum mirabili bonitate vertente, ad hoc potius valuit, ut nulli vestrum destruerentur in pejus, sed nonnulli instruerentur in melius. Non itaque opus est omnia identidem retractare, quae sufficienter vobis pleno libro disputata transmisimus (Libro de Gratia et Libero Arbitrio): quem quomodo susceperitis, rescripta indicant vestra. Verumtamen semel lectum nullo modo arbitremini satis vobis innotescere potuisse. Si ergo eum fructuosissimum habere vultis, non vos pigeat relegendo habere notissimum, ut diligentissime sciatis quibus et qualibus quaestionibus solvendis atque sanandis, non ibi humana, sed divina occurrat auctoritas, a qua recedere non debemus, si volumus pervenire quo tendimus.