Then follow four books which I wrote to Boniface, bishop of the Roman Church, in opposition to two letters of the Pelagians, because when they came into his hands he had sent them to me, finding in them a calumnious mention of my name. This work commences on this wise: "I had indeed known you by the praise of your renowned fame."




"They say," says he, "that the saints in the Old Testament were not without sins,--that is that they were not free from crimes even by amendment, but they were seized by death in their guilt." Nay, I say that either before the law, or in the time of the Old Testament, they were freed from sins,--not by their own power, because "cursed is every one that hath put his hope in man,"[1] and without any doubt those are under this curse whom also the sacred Psalm notifies, "who trust in their own strength;"[2] nor by the old covenant which gendereth to bondage,[3] although it was divinely given by the grace of a sure dispensation; nor by that law itself, holy and just and good as it was, where it is written, "Thou shalt not covet,"[4] since it was not given as being able to give life, but it was added for the sake of transgression until the seed should come to whom the promise was made; but I say that they were freed by the blood of the Redeemer Himself, who is the one Mediator of God and man, the man Christ Jesus.[5] But those enemies of the grace of God, which is given to small and great through Jesus Christ our Lord, say that the men of God of old were of a perfect righteousness, lest they should be supposed to have needed the incarnation, the passion, and resurrection of Christ, by belief in whom they were saved.


He says, "They say that even the Apostle Paul, even all the apostles, were always polluted by immoderate lust." What man, however profane he may be, would dare to say this? But doubtless this man thus misrepresents because they contend that what the apostle said, "I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing, for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not,"[6] and other such things, he said not of himself, but that he introduced the person of somebody else, I know not who, who was suffering these things. Wherefore that passage in his epistle must be carefully considered and investigated, that their error may not lurk in any obscurity of his. Although, therefore, the apostle is here arguing broadly, and with great and lasting conflict maintaining grace against those who were boasting in the law, yet we do come upon a few matters which pertain to the matter in hand. On which subject he says: "Because by the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight. For by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus Christ unto all them that believe. For there is no difference. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."[7] And again: "Where is boasting? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No; but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law."[8] And again: "For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but by the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect. Because the law worketh wrath, for where no law is, there is no transgression."[9] And in another place: "Moreover, the law entered that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded grace did much more abound."[10] In still another place: "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under law, but under grace."[11] And again in another place: "Know ye not, brethren (for I speak to them that know the law), that the law hath dominion over a man so long as he liveth? For the woman which is under a husband is joined to her husband by the law so long as he liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is freed from the law of her husband."[12] And a little after: "Therefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that ye should belong to another, who has risen from the dead that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh the passions of sins which are by the law did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death, but now we are delivered from the law of death in which we were held, so that we may serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."[13] With these and such like testimonies that teacher of the Gentiles showed with sufficient evidence that the law could not take away sin, but rather increased it, and that grace takes it away; since the law knew how to command, to which command weakness gives way, while grace knows to assist, whereby love is infused.[14] And lest any one, on account of these testimonies, should reproach the law, and contend that it is evil, the apostle, seeing what might occur to those who ill understand it, himself proposed to himself the same question. "What shall we say, then?" said he. "Is the law sin? Far from it. But I did not know sin except by the law."[15] He had already said before, "For by the law is the knowledge of sin." It is not, therefore, the taking away, but the knowledge of sin.


And from this point he now begins--and, it was on account of this that I undertook the consideration of these things--to introduce his own person, and to speak as if about himself; where the Pelagians Will not have it that the apostle himself is to be understood, but say that he has transfigured another person into himself,--that is, a man placed still under the law, not yet freed by grace. And here, indeed, they ought at least to concede that "in the law no one is justified," as the same apostle says elsewhere; but that the law avails for the knowledge of sin, and for the transgression of the law itself, so that sin, being known and increased, grace may be sought for through faith. But they do not fear that those things should be understood concerning the apostle which he might also say concerning his past, but they fear those things which follow. For here he says: "I had not known lust if the law had not said, Thou shall not covet. But the occasion being taken, sin wrought in me by the commandment all manner of lust. For without the law sin was dead. But I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died, and the commandment which was for life was found for me to be death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Therefore the law indeed is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good. Was, then, that which is good made death unto me? By no means. But sin, that it might appear sin, worked death to me by that which is good, that the sinner or the sin might become by the commandment excessive."[1] All these things, as I have said, the apostle can seem to have commemorated from his past life: so that from what he says, "For I was alive without the law once," he may have wished his first age from infancy to be understood, before the years of reason; but in that he added, "But when the commandment came, sin revived, but I died," he would fain show himself able to receive the commandment, but not to do [2] it, and therefore a transgressor of the law.


Nor let us be disturbed by what he wrote to the Philippians: "Touching the righteousness which is in the law, one who is without blame."[3] For he could be within in evil affections a transgressor of the law, and yet fulfil the open works of the law, either by the fear of men or of God Himself; but by terror of punishment, not by love and delight in righteousness. For it is one thing to do good with the will of doing good, and another thing to be so inclined by the will to do evil, that one would actually do it if it could be allowed without punishment. For thus assuredly he is sinning within in his will itself, who abstains from sin not by will but by fear. And knowing himself to have been such in these his internal affections, before the grace of God which is through Jesus Christ our Lord, the apostle elsewhere confesses this very plainly. For writing to the Ephesians, he says: "And you, though ye were dead in your trespasses and sins, wherein sometime ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of that spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, in whom also we all at one time had our conversation in the lusts of our flesh, doing the will of our flesh and our affections, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others also: but God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us even when we were dead in sins, quickened us together with Christ, by whose grace we are saved."[4] Again to Titus he says: "For we ourselves also were sometime foolish and unbelieving, erring, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and holding one another in hatred."[5] Such was Saul when he says that he was, touching the righteousness which is in the law, without reproach. For that he had not pressed on in the law, and changed his character so as to be without reproach after this hateful life, he plainly shows in what follows, when he says that he was not changed from these evils except by the grace of the Saviour. For adding also this very thing, here as well as to the Ephesians, he says: "But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour shone forth, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and of the renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He shed on us most abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that being justified by His grace we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."[6]


And what he says in that passage of the Epistle to the Romans, "Sin, that it might appear sin, wrought death to me by that which is good,"[1] agrees with the former passages where he said, "But I had not known sin but by the law, for I had not known lust unless the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."[2] And previously, "By the law is the knowledge of sin," for he said this also here, "that it might appear sin;" that we might not understand what he had said, "For without law sin was dead," except in the sense as if it were not, "it lies hidden, it does not appear, it is completely ignored, as if it were buried in I know not what darkness of ignorance" And in that he says, "And I was alive once without the law," what does he say except, I seemed to myself to live? And with respect to what he added, "But when the commandment came, sin revived," what else is it but sin shone forth, became apparent? Nor yet does he say lived, but revived. For it had lived formerly in Paradise, where it sufficiently appeared, admitted in opposition to the command given; but when it is inherited by children coming into the world, it lies concealed, as if it were dead, until its evil, resisting righteousness, is felt by its prohibition, when one thing is commanded and approved, another thing delights and rules: then, in some measure sin revives in the knowledge of the man that is born, although it had lived already for some time in the knowledge of the man as at first made.


But it is not so clear how what follows can be understood concerning Paul. "For we know," says he, "that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal."[3] He does not say, "I was," but, "I am." Was, then, the apostle, when he wrote this, carnal? or does he say this with respect to his body? For he was still in the body of this death, not yet made what he speaks of elsewhere: "It is sown a natural body, it shall be raised a spiritual body."[4] For then, of the whole of himself, that is, of both parts of which he consists, he shall be a spiritual man, when even the body shall be spiritual. For it is not absurd that in that life even the flesh should be spiritual, if in this life in those who still mind earthly things even the spirit itself may be carnal. Thus, then, he said, "But I am carnal," because the apostle had not yet a spiritual body, as he might say, "But I am mortal," which assuredly he could not be understood to have said except in respect of his body, which had not yet been clothed with immortality. Moreover, in reference to what he added, "sold under sin,"[3] lest any one think that he was not yet redeemed by the blood of Christ, this also may be understood in respect of that which he says: "And we ourselves, having the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for I the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."[5] For if in this respect he says that he was sold under sin, that as yet his body has not been redeemed from corruption; or that he was sold once in the first transgression of the commandment so as to have a corruptible body which drags down the soul;[6] what hinders the apostle here from being understood to say about himself that which he says in such wise that it may be understood also of himself, even if in his person he wishes not himself alone, but all, to be received who had known themselves as struggling, without consent, in spiritual delight with the affection of the flesh?


Or by chance do we fear what follows," For that which I do I know not, for what I will I do not, but what I hate that I do,"[7] lest perhaps from these words some one should suspect that the apostle is consenting to the evil works of the concupiscence of the flesh? But we must consider what he adds: "But if I do that which I will not, I consent to the law that it is good." For he says that he rather consents to the law than to the concupiscence of the flesh. For this he calls by the name of sin. Therefore he said that he acted and laboured not with the desire of consenting and fulfilling, but from the impulse of lusting itself. Hence, then, he says, "I consent to the law that it is good." I consent because I do not will what it does not will. Afterwards he says, "Now, then, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me."[8] What does he mean by "now then," but, now at length, under the grace which has delivered the delight of my will from the consent of lust? For, "it is not I that do it," cannot be better understood than that he does not consent to set forth his members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. For if he lusts and consents and acts, how can he be said not to do the thing himself, even although he may grieve that he does it, and deeply groan at being overcome?


And now does not what follows most plainly show whence he spoke? "For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing"?[9] For if he had not explained what he said by the addition of "that is, in my flesh," it might, perchance, be otherwise understood, when he said, "in me." And therefore he repeats and urges the same thing in another form: "For to will is present with me, but to perform that which is good is not."[1] For this is to perform that which is good, that a man should not even lust. For the good is incomplete when one lusts, even although a man does not consent to the evil of lust. "For the good that I would," says he, "I do not; but the evil that I would not, that I do. Now, if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."[2] This he repeated impressively, and as it were to stir up the most slothful from slumber: "I find then that the law," said he, "is for me wishing to do good, since evil is present with me."[3] The law, then, is for one who would do good, but evil is present from lust, though he does not consent to this who says, "It is no longer I that do it."


And he declares both more plainly in what follows: "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."[4] But in that he said, "bringing me into captivity," he can feel emotion without consenting to it. Whence, because of those three things, two, to wit, of which we have already argued, in that he says, "But I am carnal," and "Sold under sin," and this third, "Bringing me into captivity in the law of sin, which is in my members," the apostle seems to be describing a man who is still living under the law, and is not yet under grace. But as I have expounded the former two sayings in respect of the still corruptible flesh, so also this latter may be understood as if he had said, "bringing me into captivity," in the flesh, not in the mind; in emotion, not in consent; and therefore "bringing me into captivity," because even in the flesh there is not an alien nature, but our own. As, therefore, he himself expounded what he had said, "For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing," so also now out of the exposition of that we ought to learn the meaning of this passage, as if he had said, "Bringing me into captivity," that is, "my flesh," "to the law of sin, which is in my members."


Then he adds the reason why he said all these things: "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? The grace of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!" And thence he concludes: "Therefore I myself with the mind serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."[5] To wit, with the flesh, the law of sin, by lusting; but with the mind, the law of God, by not consenting to that lust. "For there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus."[6] For he is not condemned who does not consent to the evil of the lust of the flesh. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made thee free from the law of sin and death," so that, to wit, the lust of the flesh may not appropriate to itself thy consent. And what follows more and more demonstrates the same meaning. But moderation must be used.


And it had once appeared to me also that the apostle was in this argument of his describing a man under the law.[7] But afterwards I was constrained to give up the idea by those words where he says, "Now, then, it is no more I that do it." For to this belongs what he says subsequently also: "There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." And because I do not see how a man under the law should say, "I delight in the law of God after the inward man;" since this very delight in good, by which, moreover, he does not consent to evil, not from fear of penalty, but from love of righteousness (for this is meant by "delighting"), can only be attributed to grace.


For when he says also, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"[8] who can deny that when the apostle said this he was still in the body of this death? And certainly the wicked are not delivered from this, to whom the same bodies are returned for eternal torment. Therefore, to be delivered from the body of this death is to be healed of all the weakness of fleshly lust, and to receive the body, not for penalty, but for glory. With this passage also those words are sufficiently in harmony: "Ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption, of our body." For surely we groan with that groaning wherein we say, "O wretched man that I am I who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" That also where he says, "For what I do, I know not;" what else is it than: "I will not, I do not approve, I do not consent, I do not do"? Otherwise it is contrary to what be said above, "By the law is the knowledge of sin," and, "I had not known sin but by the law," and, "Sin, that it might appear sin, worked death in me by that which is good." For how did he know sin, of which he was ignorant, by the law? How does sin which is not known appear? Therefore it is said, "I know not," for "I do not," because I myself commit it with no consent of mine; in the same way in which the Lord will say to the wicked, "I know you not,"[1] although, beyond a doubt, nothing can be hid from Him; and as it is said, "Him who had not known sin,"[2] which means who had not done sin, for He had not known what He condemned.


On the careful consideration of these things, and things of the same kind in the context of that apostolical Scripture, the apostle is rightly understood to have signified not, indeed, himself alone in his own person, but others also established under grace, and with him not yet established in that perfect peace in which death shall be swallowed up in victory.[3] And concerning this he afterwards says, "But if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness. If, then, the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, He that raised up Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."[4] Therefore, after our mortal bodies have been quickened, not only will there be no consent to sinning, but even the lust of the flesh itself, to which there is no consent, will not remain. And not to have this resistance to the spirit in the mortal flesh, was possible only to that man who came not by the flesh to men. And that the apostles, because they were men, and carried about in the mortality of this life a body which is corrupted and weighs down the soul,[5] were, therefore, "always polluted with excessive lust," as that man injuriously affirms, be it far from me to say. But I do say that although they were free from consent to depraved lusts, they nevertheless groaned concerning the concupiscence of the flesh, which they bridled by restraint with such humility and piety, that they desired rather not to have it than to subdue it.


In like manner as to what he added, that I say,[6] "that Christ even was not free from sins, but that, from the necessity of the flesh, He spoke falsely, and was stained with other faults," he should see from whom he heard these things, or in whose letters he read them; for that, indeed, he perchance did not understand them, and turned them by the deceitfulness of malice into calumnious meanings.


"They also say," says he, "that baptism does not give complete remission of sins, nor take away crimes, but that it shaves them off, so that the roots of all sins are retained in the evil flesh." Who but an unbeliever can affirm this against the Pelagians? I say, therefore, that baptism gives remission of all sins, and takes away guilt, and does not shave them off; and "that the roots of all sins are" not "retained in the evil flesh, as if of shaved hair on the head, whence the sins may grow to be cut down again." For it was I that found out that similitude, too, for them to use for the purposes of their calumny, as if I thought and said this.


But concerning that concupiscence of the flesh of which they speak, I believe that they are deceived, or that they deceive; for with this even he that is baptized must struggle with a pious mind, however carefully he presses forward, and is led by the Spirit of God. But although this is called sin, it is certainly so called not because it is sin, but because it is made by sin, as a writing is said to be some one's "hand" because the hand has written it. But they are sins which are unlawfully done, spoken, thought, according to the lust of the flesh, or to ignorance--things which, once done, keep their doers guilty if they are not forgiven. And this very concupiscence of the flesh is in such wise put away in baptism, that although it is inherited by all that are born, it in no respect hurts those that are born anew. And yet from these, if they carnally beget children, it is again derived; and again it will be hurtful to those that are born, unless by the same form it is remitted to them as born again, and remains in them in no way hindering the future life, because its guilt, derived by generation, has been put away by regeneration; and thus it is now no more sin, but is called so, whether because it became what it is by sin, or because it is stirred by the delight of sinning, although by the conquest of the delight of righteousness consent is not given to it. Nor is it on account of this, the guilt of which has already been taken away in the layer of regeneration, that the baptized say in their prayer, "Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors;"[1] but on account of sins which are committed, whether in consentings to it, when what is right is overcome by that which pleases, or when by ignorance evil is accepted as if it were good. And they are committed, whether by acting, or by speaking, or--and this is the easiest and the quickest--by thinking. From all which things what believer ever will boast that he has his heart pure? or who will boast that he is pure from sin?[2] Certainly that which follows in the prayer is said on account of concupiscence: "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." "For every one," as it is written, "is tempted when he is drawn away of his own concupiscence, and enticed; then, when concupiscence hath conceived, it bringeth forth Sin."[3]


All these products of concupiscence, and the old guilt of concupiscence itself, are put away by the washing of baptism. And whatever that concupiscence now brings forth, if they are not those products which are called not only sins, but even crimes, are purified by that method of daily prayer when we say, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive," and by the sincerity of alms-giving. For no one is so foolish as to say that that precept of our Lord does not refer to baptized people: "Forgive and it shall be forgiven you, give and it shall be given you."[4] But none could rightly be ordained a minister in the Church if the apostle had said, "If any is without sin," where he says, "If any is without crime;"[5] or if he had said, "Having no sin," where he says, "Having no crime."[6] Because many baptized believers are without crime, but I should say that no one in this life is without sin,--however much the Pelagians are inflated, and burst asunder in madness against me because I say this: not because there remains anything of sin which is not remitted in baptism; but because by us who remain in the weakness of this life such sins do not cease daily to be committed, as are daily remitted to those who pray in faith and work in mercy. This is the soundness of the catholic faith, which the Holy Spirit everywhere sows,--not the vanity and presumption of spirit of heretical pravity.


Now therefore let us see, for the rest, in what way -- after thinking that he might calumniously object against me what I believe, and feign what I do not believe--he himself professes Iris own faith or that of the Pelagians. "In opposition to these things," he says, "we daily argue, and we are unwilling to yield our consent to transgressors, because we say that free will is in all by nature, and could not perish by the sin of Adam; which assertion is confirmed by the authority of all Scriptures." If in any degree it is necessary to say this, you should not say it against the grace of God,--you should not give your consent to transgressors, but you should correct your opinion. But about this, as much as I could, and as far as it seemed to be sufficient, I have argued above.


"We say," says he, "that that marriage which is now celebrated throughout the earth was ordained by God, and that married people are not guilty, but that fornicators and adulterers are to be condemned." This is true and catholic doctrine; but what you want to gather from this, to wit, that from the intercourse of male and female those who are born derive no sin to be put away by the layer of regeneration,--this is false and heretical.


"We say," says he, "that the sexual impulse--that is, that the virility itself, without which there can be no intercourse--is ordained by God." To this I reply that the sexual impulse, and, to make use of his word, virility, without which there can be no intercourse, was so appointed by God that there was in it nothing to be ashamed of. For it was not fit that His creature should blush at the work of his Creator; but by a just punishment the disobedience of the members was the retribution to the disobedience of the first man, for which disobedience they blushed when they covered with fig-leaves those shameful parts which previously were not shameful.


For they did not use for themselves tunics to cover their whole bodies after their sin, but aprons,[7] which some of the less careful of our translators have translated as "coverings." And this indeed is true; but "covering" is a general name, by which may be understood every kind of clothing and veil. And ambiguity ought to be avoided, so that, as the Greek called them <greek>perzwmata</greek>, by which only the shameful parts of the body are covered, so also the Latin should either use the Greek word itself, because now custom has come to use it instead of the Latin, or, as some do, use the word aprons,[1] or, as others have better named them, wrestling aprons.[2] Because this name is taken from that ancient Roman custom whereby the youth covered their shameful parts when they were exercised naked in the field; whence even at this day they are called campestrati,[3] since they cover those members with the girdle. Although, if those members by which sin was committed were to be covered after the sin, men ought not indeed to have been clothed in tunics, but to have covered their hand and mouth, because they sinned by taking and eating. What, then, is the meaning, when the prohibited food was taken, and the transgression of the precept had been committed, of the look turned towards those members? What unknown novelty is felt there, and compels itself to be noticed? And this is signified by the opening of the eyes. For their eyes were not closed, either when Adam gave names to the cattle and birds, or when Eve saw the trees to be beautiful and good; but they were made open--that is, attentive--to consider; as it is written of Agar, the handmaid of Sarah, that she opened her eyes and saw a well?[4] although she certainly had not had them closed before. As, therefore, they were so suddenly ashamed of their nakedness, which they were daily in the habit of looking upon and were not confused, that they could now no longer bear those members naked, but immediately took care to cover them; did not they--he in the open, she in the hidden impulse--perceive those members to be disobedient to the choice of their will, which certainly they ought to have ruled like the rest by their voluntary command? And this they deservedly suffered, because they themselves also were not obedient to their Lord. Therefore they blushed that they in such wise had not manifested service to their Creator, that they should deserve to lose dominion over those members by which children were to be procreated.


This kind of shame--this necessity of blushing--is certainly born with every man, and in some measure is commanded by the very laws of nature; so that, in this matter, even virtuous married people are ashamed. Nor can any one go to such an extreme of evil and disgrace, as, because he knows God to be the author of nature and the ordainer of marriage, to have intercourse even with his wife in any one's sight, or not to blush at those impulses and seek secrecy, where he can shun the sight not only of strangers, but even of all his own relatives. Therefore let human nature be permitted to acknowledge the evil that happens to it by its own fault, lest it should be compelled either not to blush at its own impulses, which is most shameless, or else to blush at the work of its Creator, which is most ungrateful. Of this evil, nevertheless, virtuous marriage makes good use for the sake of the benefit of the begetting of children. But to consent to lust for the sake of carnal pleasure alone is sin, although it may be conceded to married people with permission.


But, while maintaining, ye Pelagians, the honourableness and fruitfulness of marriage, determine, if nobody had sinned, what you would wish to consider the life of those people in Paradise, and choose one of these four things. For beyond a doubt, either as often as ever they pleased they would have had intercourse; or they would bridle lust when intercourse was not necessary; or lust would arise at the summons of will, just at the time when chaste prudence would have perceived beforehand that intercourse was necessary; or, with no lust existing at all, as every other member served for its own work, so for its own work the organs of generation also would obey the commands of those that willed, without any difficulty. Of these four suppositions, choose which you please; but I think you will reject the two former, in which lust is either obeyed or resisted. For the first one would not be in accordance with so great a virtue, and the second not in harmony with so great a happiness. For be the idea far from us, that the glory of so great a blessedness as that should either be most basely enslaved by always following a preceding lust, or, by resisting it, should not enjoy the most abounding peace. Away, I say, with the thought that that mind should either be gratified by consenting to satisfy the concupiscence of the flesh, arising not opportunely for the sake of procreation, but with unregulated excitement, or that that quiet should find it necessary to restrain it by refusing.


But whichever you choose of the two other alternatives, there is no necessity for striving against you with any disputation. For even if you should refuse to elect the fourth, in which there is the highest tranquillity of all the obedient members without any lust, since already the urgency of your arguments has made you hostile to it; that will doubtless please you which I have put in the third place, that that carnal concupiscence, whose impulse attains to the final pleasure which much delights you, should never arise in Paradise except at the bidding of the will when it would be necessary for procreation. If it is agreeable to you to arrange this in Paradise, and if, by means of such a concupiscence of the flesh which should neither anticipate, nor impede, nor exceed the bidding of the will, it appears to you that children could have been begotten, I have no objection. For, as far as I am concerned in this matter, it is enough for me that such a concupiscence of the flesh is not now among men, as you concede there might have been in that place of happiness. For what it now is, the sense of all men certainly confesses, although with modesty; because it both solicits with excessive and importunate uneasiness the chaste, even when they are unwilling and are checking it by moderation, and frequently withdraws itself from the willing and inflicts itself on the unwilling; so that, by its disobedience, it testifies that it is nothing else than the punishment of that first disobedience. Whence, reasonably, both then the first men when they covered their nakedness, and now whoever considers himself to be a man, every no less modest than immodest person is confounded at it--far be it from us to say by the work of God, but--by the penalty of the first and ancient sin. You, however, not for the sake of religions reasoning, but for excited contention,--not on behalf of human modesty, but for your own madness, that even the concupiscence of the flesh itself should not be thought to be currupted, and original sin to be derived from it,--are endeavouring by your argument to recall it absolutely, such as it now is, into Paradise; and to contend that that concupiscence could have been there which would either always be followed by a disgraceful consent, or would sometimes be restrained by a pitiable refusal. I, however, do not greatly care what it delights you to think of it. Still, whatever of men is born by its means, if he is not born again, without doubt he is damned; and he must be under the dominion of the devil, if he is not delivered thence by Christ.


"We maintain," says he, "that men are the work of God, and that no one is forced unwillingly by His power either into evil or good, but that man does either good or ill of his own will; but that in a good work he is always assisted by God's grace, while in evil he is incited by the suggestions of the devil." To this I answer, that men, in so far as they are men, are the work of God; but in so far as they are sinners, they are under the devil, unless they are plucked from thence by Him who became the Mediator between God and man, for no other reason than because He could not be a sinner from men. And that no one is forced by God's power unwillingly either into evil or good, but that when God forsakes a man, he deservedly goes to evil, and that when God assists, without deserving he is converted to good. For a man is not good if he is unwilling, but by the grace of God he is even assisted to the point of being willing; because it is not vainly written, "For it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do for His good pleasure,"[1] and, "The will is prepared by God."[2]


But you think that a man is so aided by the grace of God in a good work, that in stirring up his will to that very good work you believe that grace does nothing; for this your own words sufficiently declare. For why have you not said that a man is incited by God's grace to a good work, as you have said that he is incited to evil. by the suggestions of the devil, but have said that in a good work he is always aided by God's grace?--as if by his own will, and without any grace of God, he undertook a good work, and were then divinely assisted in the work itself, for the sake, that is to say, of the merits of his good will; so that grace is rendered as due,--not given as not due,--and thus grace is made no more grace.[3] But this is what, in the Palestinian judgment, Pelagius with a deceitful heart condemned,--that the grace of God, namely, is given according to our merits. Tell me, I beseech you, what good, Paul, while he was as yet Saul, willed, and not rather great evils, when breathing out slaughter he went, in horrible darkness of mind and madness, to lay waste the Christians?[4] For what merits of a good will did God convert him by a marvellous and sudden calling from those evils to good things What shall I say, when he himself cries, "Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us"?[5] What is that which I have already mentioned[6] as having been said by the Lord, "No one can come to me,"-- which is understood as "believe on me,"--unless it were given him of my Father"?[7] Whether is this given to him who is already willing to believe, for the sake of the merits of a good will? or rather is the will itself, as in the case of Saul, stirred up from above, that he may believe, even although he is so averse from the faith as even to persecute the believers? For how has the Lord commanded us to pray for those who persecute us? Do we pray thus that the grace of God may be recompensed them for the sake of their good will, and not rather that the evil will itself may be changed into a good one? Just as we believe that at that time the saints whom he was persecuting did not pray for Saul in vain, that his will might be converted to the faith which he was destroying. And indeed that his conversion was effected from above, appeared even by a manifest miracle. But how many enemies of Christ are at the present day suddenly drawn by God's secret grace to Christ! And if I had not set down this word from the gospel, what things would that man have said in this behalf concerning me, since even now he is stirring, not against me, but against Him who cries, "No man can come to me, except the Father who hath sent me draw him"![1] For He does not say, "except He lead him," so that we can thus in any way understand that his will precedes. For who is "drawn," if he was already willing? And yet no man comes unless he is willing. Therefore he is drawn in wondrous ways to will, by Him who knows how to work within the very hearts of men. Not that men who are unwilling should believe, which cannot be, but that they should be made willing from being unwilling.


That this is true we do not surmise by human conjecture, but we discern by the most evident authority of the divine Scriptures. It is read in the books of the Chronicles: "Also in Judah, the hand of God was made to give them one heart, to do the commandment of the king and of the princes in the word of the Lord."[2] Also by Ezekiel the prophet the Lord says, "I will give them another heart, and a new spirit will I give them; and I will take away their stony heart out of their flesh, and I will give them an heart of flesh, that they may walk in my commandments and observe my judgments and do them."[3] And what is that which Esther the queen prays when she says, "Give me eloquent speech in my mouth, and enlighten my words in the sight of the lion, and turn his heart to hatred of him that fighteth against us"?[4] How does she say such things as these in her prayer to God, if God does not work His will in men's hearts? But perchance the woman was foolish in praying thus. Let us see, then, whether the desire of the petitioner was vainly sent on in advance, and whether the result did not follow as of one who heard. Lo, she goes in to the king. We need not say much. And because she did not approach him in her own order, under the compulsion of her great necessity, "he looked upon her," as it is written, "like a bull in the impulse of his indignation. And the queen feared, and her colour was changed through faintness, and she bowed herself upon the head of her maid, who went before her. And God changed him, and converted his indignation into mildness."[5] Now what need is there to relate what follows, where the divine Scripture testifies that God fulfilled what she had asked for by working in the heart of the king nothing other than the will by which he commanded, and it was done as the queen had asked of him? And now God had heard her that it should be done, who changed the heart of the king by a most secret and efficacious power before he had heard the address of the woman beseeching him, and moulded it from indignation to mildness,--that is, from the will to hurt, to the will to favour,--according to that word of the apostle, "God worketh in you to will also." Did the men of God who wrote these things--nay, did the Spirit of God Himself, under whose guidance such things were written by them--assail the free will of man? Away with the notion! But He has commended both the most righteous judgment and the most merciful aid of the Omnipotent in all cases. For it is enough for man to know that there is no unrighteousness with God. But how He dispenses those benefits, making some deservedly vessels of wrath, others graciously vessels of mercy,--who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counsellor? If, then, we attain to the honour of grace, let us not be ungrateful by attributing to ourselves what we have received. "For what have we which we have not received?"[6]


"We say," says he, "that the saints of the Old Testament, their righteousness being perfected here, passed to eternal life,--that is, that by the love of virtue they departed from all sins; because those whom we read of as having committed any sin, we nevertheless know to have amended themselves." Of whatever virtue you may declare that the ancient righteous men were possessed, nothing saved them but the belief in the Mediator who shed His blood for the remission of their sins. For their own word is," I believed, and therefore I spoke."[7] Whence the Apostle Paul also says, "And we having the same Spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak."[1] What is "the same Spirit," but that Spirit whom these righteous men also had who said such things? The Apostle Peter also says, "Why do ye wish to put a yoke upon the heathen, which neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? But, by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe that we shall be saved, even as they."[2] You who are enemies to this grace do not wish this, that the ancients should be believed to have been saved by the same grace of Jesus Christ; but you distribute the times according to Pelagius,[3] in whose books this is read, and you say that before the law men were saved by nature, then by the law, lastly by Christ, as if to men of the two former times, that is to say, before the law and under the law, the blood of Christ had not been necessary; making void what is said: "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."[4]


They say, "We confess that the grace of Christ is necessary to all, both to grown-up people and to infants; and we anathematize those who say that a child born of two baptized people ought not to be baptized." I know in what sense you say such things as these--not according to the Apostle Paul, but according to the heretic Pelagius;--to wit, that baptism is necessary for infants, not for the sake of the remission of sins, but only for the sake of the kingdom of heaven; for you give them outside the kingdom of heaven a place of salvation and life eternal, even if they have not been baptized. Nor do you regard what is written, "Whosoever believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he who believeth not shall be condemned."[5] For which reason, in the Church of the Saviour, infants believe by means of other people, even as they have derived those sins which are remitted them in baptism from other people. Nor do you think thus, that they cannot have life who have been without the body and blood of Christ, although He said Himself, "Unless ye eat my flesh and drink thy blood, ye shall have no life in you."[6] Or if you are forced by the words of the gospel to confess that infants departing from the body cannot have either life or salvation unless they have been baptized, ask why those who are not baptized are compelled to undergo the judgment of the second death, by the judgment of Him who condemns nobody undeservingly, and you will find what you do not want,--original sin!


"We condemn," says he, "those who affirm that baptism does not do away all sins, because we know that full cleansing is conferred by these mysteries." We also say this; but you do not say that infants are also by those same mysteries freed from the bonds of their first birth and of their hateful descent. On which account it behoves you, like other heretics also, to be separated from the Church of Christ, which holds this of old time.


But now the manner in which he concludes the letter by saying, "Let no one therefore seduce you, nor let the wicked deny that they think these things. But if they speak the truth, either let a hearing be given, or let those very bishops who now disagree with me condemn what I have above said that they hold with the Manicheans, as we condemn those things which they declare concerning us, and a full agreement shall be made; but if they will not, know ye that they are Manicheans, and abstain from their company;"--this is rather to be despised than rebuked. For which of us hesitates to pronounce an anathema against the Manicheans, who say that from the good God neither proceed men, nor was ordained marriage, nor was given the law, which was ministered to the Hebrew people by Moses! But against the Pelagians also, not without reason, we pronounce an anathema, for that they are so hostile to God's grace, which comes through Jesus Christ our Lord, as to say that it is given not freely, but according to our merits, and thus grace is no more grace;[7] and place so much in free will by which man is plunged into the abyss, as to say that by making good use of it man deserves grace,--although no man can make good use of it except by grace, which is not repaid according to debt, but is given freely by God's mercy. And they so contend that infants are already saved, that they dare deny that they are to be saved by the Saviour. And holding and disseminating these execrable dogmas, they still over and above constantly demand a hearing, when, as condemned, they ought to repent.




LET me now consider a second letter, not of Julian's alone, but common to him with several bishops, which they sent to Thessalonica; and let me answer it, with God's help, as I best can. And lest this work of mine become longer than the necessity of the subject itself requires, what need is there to refute those things which do not contain the insidious poison of their doctrine, but seem only to plead for the acquiescence of the Eastern bishops for their assistance, or, on behalf of the catholic faith, against the profanity, as they say, of the Manicheans; with no other view except, a horrible heresy being presented to them, whose adversaries they profess themselves to be, to lie hid as the enemies of grace in praise of nature? For who at any time has stirred any question of these matters against them? or what catholic is displeased because they condemn those whom the apostle foretold as departing from the faith, having their conscience seared, forbidding to marry, abstaining from meats that they think unclean, not thinking that all things were created by God?[1] Who at any time constrained them to deny that every creature of God is good, and there is no substance which the supreme God has not made, except God Himself, who was not made by any? It is not such things as these, which it is plain are catholic truths, that are rebuked and condemned in them; because not alone the catholic faith holds in detestation the Manichean impiety as exceedingly foolish and mischievous, but also all heretics who are not Manicheans. Whence even these Pelagians do well to utter an anathema against the Manicheans, and to speak against their errors. But they do two evil things, for which they themselves must also be anathematized--one, that they impeach catholics under the name of Manicheans, the other, that they themselves also are introducing the heresy of a new error. For they are not therefore sound in the faith because they are not labouring under the disease of the Manicheans. The kind of pestilence is not always one and the same--as in the bodies, so also in the minds. As, therefore, the physician of the body would not have pronounced a man free from peril of death whom he might have declared free from dropsy, if he had seen him to be sick of some other mortal disease; so truth is not acknowledged in their case because they are not Manicheans, if they are raving in some other kind of perversity. Wherefore what we anathematize with them is one thing, what we anathematize in them is another. For we hold in abhorrence with them what is rightly offensive to them also; just as, nevertheless, we hold in abhorrence in them that for which they themselves are rightly offensive.


The Manicheans say that the good God is not the Creator of all natures; the Pelagians that God is not the Purifier, the Saviour, the Deliverer of all ages among men. The catholic Church condemns both; as well maintaining God's creation against the Manicheans, that no nature may be denied to be framed by Him, as maintaining against the Pelagians that in all ages human nature must be sought after as ruined. The Manicheans rebuke the concupiscence of the flesh, not as if it were an accidental vice, but as if it were a nature bad from eternity; the Pelagians approve it as if it were no vice, but even a natural good. The catholic faith condemns both, saying to the Manicheans, "It is not nature, but it is vice;" saying to the Pelagians, "It is not of the Father, but it is of the world ;" in order that both may allow it as an evil sickness to be cured--the former by ceasing to believe it, as it were, incurable, the latter by ceasing to proclaim it as laudable. The Manicheans deny that to a good man the beginning of evil came from free will; the Pelagians say that even a bad man has free will sufficiently to perform the good commandment. The catholic Church condemns both, saying to the former, "God made man upright,"' and saying to the latter, "If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."[2] The Manicheans say that the soul, as a particle of God, has sin by the com-mixture of an evil nature; the Pelagians say that the soul is upright, not indeed a particle, but a creature of God, and has not even in this corruptible life any sin. The catholic Church condemns both, saying to the Manicheans, "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree evil and its fruit evil,"[3] which would not be said to man who cannot make his own nature, unless because sin is not nature, but vice; and saying to the Pelagians, "If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."[4] In these diseases, opposed as they are to one another, the Manicheans and the Pelagians are at issue, with dissimilar will but with similar vanity, separated by different opinions, but close together by a perverse mind.


Still, indeed, they alike oppose the grace of Christ, they alike make His baptism of no account, they alike dishonour His flesh; but, moreover, they do these things in different ways and for different reasons. For the Manicheans assert that divine assistance is given to the merits of a good nature, but the Pelagians, to the merits of a good will. The former say, God owes this to the labours of His members; the latter say, God owes this to the virtues of His servants. In both cases, therefore, the reward is not imputed according to grace, but according to debt. The Manicheans contend, with a profane heart, that the washing of regeneration--that is, the water itself--is superfluous, and is of no advantage. But the Pelagians assert that what is said in holy baptism for the putting away of sins is of no avail to infants, as they have no sin; and thus in the baptism of infants, as far as pertains to the remission of sins, the Manicheans destroy the visible element, but the Pelagians destroy even the invisible sacrament. The Manicheans dishonour Christ's flesh by blaspheming the birth from the Virgin; but the Pelagians by making the flesh of those to be redeemed equal to the flesh of the Redeemer. Since Christ was born, not of course in sinful flesh, but in the likeness of sinful flesh, while the flesh of the rest of mankind is born sinful. The Manicheans, therefore, who absolutely abominate all flesh, take away the manifest truth from the flesh of Christ; but the Pelagians, who maintain that no flesh is born sinful, take away from Christ's flesh its special and proper dignity.


Let the Pelagians, then, cease to object to the catholics that which they are not, but let them rather hasten to amend what they themselves are; and let them not wish to be considered deserving of approval because they are opposed to the hateful error of the Manicheans, but let them acknowledge themselves to be deservedly hateful because they do not put away their own error. For two errors may be opposed to one another, although both are to be reprobated because both are alike opposed to the truth. For if the Pelagians are to be loved because they hate the Manicheans, the Manicheans should also be loved because they hate the Pelagians. But be it far from our catholic mother to choose some to love on the ground that they hate others, when by the warning and help of the Lord she ought to avoid both, and should desire to heal both.


Moreover, they accuse the Roman clergy, writing, "That, driven by the fear of a command, they have not blushed to be guilty of the crime of prevarication; so that, contrary to their previous judgment, wherein by their proceedings they had assented to the catholic dogma, they subsequently pronounced that the nature of men is evil." Nay, but the Pelagians had conceived, with a false hope, that the new and execrable dogma of Pelagius or Coelestius could be made acceptable to the catholic intelligences of certain Romans, when those crafty spirits--however perverted by a wicked error, yet not contemptible, since they appeared rather to be deserving of considerate correction than of easy condemnation--were treated with somewhat more of lenity than the stricter discipline of the Church required. For while so many and such important ecclesiastical documents were passing and repassing between the Apostolical See and the African bishops,[1]--and, moreover, when the proceedings in this matter in that see were completed, with Coelestius present and making answer,--what sort of a letter, what decree, is found of Pope Zosimus, of venerable memory, wherein he prescribed that it must be believed that man is born without any taint of original sin? Absolutely he never said this--never wrote it at all. But since Coelestius had written this in his pamphlet, among those matters, merely, on which he confessed that he was still in doubt and desired to be instructed, the desire of amendment in a man of so acute an intellect, who, if he could be put right, would assuredly be of advantage to many, and not the falsehood of the doctrine, was approved. And therefore his pamphlet was called catholic, because this also is the part of a catholic disposition,--if by chance in any matters a man thinks differently from what the truth demands, not with the greatest accuracy to define those matters, but, if detected and demonstrated, to reject them. For it was not to heretics, but to catholics, that the apostle was speaking when he said, "Let us, therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded; and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you."[2] This was thought to have been the case in him when he replied that he consented to the letters of Pope Innocent of blessed memory, in which all doubt about this matter was removed. And in order that this might be made fuller and more manifest in him, matters were delayed until letters should come from Africa, in which province his craftiness had in some sort become more evidently known. And afterwards these letters came to Rome containing this, that it was not sufficient for men of more sluggish and anxious minds that he confessed his general consent to the letters of Bishop Innocent, but that he ought openly to anathematize the mischievous statements which he had made in his pamphlet; lest if he did not do so, many people of better intelligence should rather believe that in his pamphlet those poisons of the faith had been approved by the catholic see, because it had been affirmed by that see that that pamphlet was catholic, than that they had been amended because of his answer that he consented to the letters of Pope Innocent. Then, therefore, when his presence was demanded, in order that by certain and clear answers either the craft of the man or his correction might plainly appear and remain doubtful to no one, he withdrew himself and refused the examination. Neither would the delay which had already been made for the advantage of others have taken place, if it could not be of advantage to the pertinacity and madness of those who were excessively perverse. But if, which be far from the case, it had so been judged in the Roman Church concerning Coelestius or Pelagius, that those dogmas of theirs, which in themselves and with themselves Pope Innocent had condemned, should be pronounced worthy of approval and maintenance, the mark of prevarication would rather have to be branded on the Roman clergy for this. But now, when the first letters of the most blessed Pope Innocent, in reply to the letters of the African bishops,[3] would have equally condemned this error which these men are endeavouring to commend to us; and his successor, the holy Pope Zosimus, would never have said, never have written, that this dogma which these men think concerning infants is to be held; nay, would even have bound Coelestius by a repeated sentence, when he endeavoured to clear himself, to a consent to the above-mentioned letters of the Apostolic See;--assuredly, whatever in the meanwhile was done more leniently concerning Coelestius, provided the stability of the most ancient and robust faith were maintained, was the most merciful persuasion of correction, not the most pernicious approval of wickedness; and that afterwards, by the same priesthood, Coelestius and Pelagius were condemned by repeated authority, was the proof of a severity, for a little while intermitted, at length of necessity to be carried out, not a denial of a previously-known truth or a new acknowledgment of truth.


But what need is there for us to delay longer in speaking of this matter, when there are extant here and there proceedings and writings drawn up, where all those things just as they were transacted may be either learnt or recalled? For who does not see in what degree Coelestius was bound by the interrogations of your holy predecessor and by the answers of Coelestius, whereby he professed that he consented to the letters of Pope Innocent, and fastened by a most wholesome chain, so as not to dare any further to maintain that the original sin of infants is not put away in baptism? Because these are the words of the venerable Bishop Innocent concerning this matter to the Carthaginian Council: "For once," he said, "he bore free will; but, using his advantage inconsiderately, and falling into the depths of apostasy, he was overwhelmed, and found no way whereby he could rise from thence; and, deceived for ever by his liberty, he would have lain under the oppression of this ruin, if the advent of Christ had not subsequently for his grace delivered him, and, by the purification of a new regeneration, purged all past sin by the washing of His baptism."[1] What could be more clear or more manifest than that judgment of the Apostolical See? To this Coelestius professed that he assented, when it was said to him by your holy predecessor, "Do you condemn all those things that are bandied about under your name?" and he himself replied, "I condemn them in accordance with the judgment of your predecessor Innocent, of blessed memory." But among other things which had been uttered under his name, the deacon Paulinus had objected to Coelestius that he said "that the sin of Adam was prejudicial to himself alone, and not to the human race, and that infants newly born were in the same condition in which Adam was before his sin."[2] Accordingly, if he would condemn the views objected to by Paulinus with a truthful heart and tongue, according to the judgment of the blessed Pope innocent, what could remain to him afterwards whence he could contend that there was no sin n infants resulting from the past transgression of the first man, which would be purged in holy baptism by the purification of the new regeneration? But he showed that he had answered deceitfully by the final event, when he withdrew himself from the examination, lest he should be compelled, according to the African rescripts, absolutely to mention and anathematize the very words themselves concerning this question which he wrote in his tractate.


What was that which the same pope replied o the bishops of Numidia concerning this very cause, because he had received letters from both Councils, as well from the Council of Carthage as from the Council of Mileve--does he not speak most plainly concerning infants? For these are his words:[3] "For what your Fraternity[4] asserts that they preach, that infants can be endowed with the rewards of eternal life even without the grace of baptism, is excessively silly; for unless they shall eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, they shall not have life in themselves. [5] And they who maintain this as being theirs without regeneration, appear to me to wish to destroy baptism itself, since they proclaim that these have that which we believe is not to be conferred on them without baptism." What does the ungrateful man say to this, when the Apostolic See had already spared him on his profession, as if he were corrected by its most benignant lenity? What does he say to this? Will infants after the end of their life, even if while they live they are not baptized in Christ, be in eternal life, or will they not? If he should say, "They will," how then did he answer that he had condemned what had been uttered under his name "according to the judgment of Innocent, of blessed memory"? Lo, Pope Innocent, of blessed memory, says that infants have not life without Christ's baptism, and without partaking of Christ's body and blood. If he should say, "They will not," how then, if they do not receive eternal life, are they certainly by consequence condemned in eternal death if they derive no original sin?


What do they say to these things who dare also to write their mischievous impieties, and dare to send them to the Eastern bishops? Coelestius is held to have given consent to the letters of the venerable Innocent; the letters themselves of the prelate mentioned are read, and he writes that infants who are not baptized cannot have life. And who will deny that, as a consequence, they have death, if they have not life? Whence, then, in infants, is so wretched a penalty as that, if there is no original fault? How, then, are the Roman clergy charged with prevarication by those forsakers of the faith and opponents of grace under Bishop Zosimus, as if they had had any other view in the subsequent condemnation of Coelestius and Pelagius than that which they had in a former one under Innocent? Because, certainly, since by the letters of the venerable Innocent concerning the abode of infants in eternal death unless they were baptized in Christ, the antiquity of the catholic faith shone forth, assuredly he would rather be a prevaricator from the Roman Church who should deviate from that judgment; and since with God's blessing this did not happen, but that judgment itself was constantly maintained in the repeated condemnation of Coelestius and Pelagius, let them understand that they themselves are in the position wherein they accuse others of being, and let them hereafter be healed of their prevarication from the faith. Because the catholic faith does not say that the nature of man is bad in as far as he was made man at first by the Creator; nor now is what God creates in that nature when He makes men from men, his evil; but what he derives from that sin of the first man.


And now we must look to those things which they objected to us in their letters, and briefly mentioned. And to these this is my answer. We do not say that by the sin of Adam free will perished out of the nature of men; but that it avails for sinning in men subjected to the devil; while it is not of avail for good and pious living, unless the will itself of man should be made free by God's grace, and assisted to every good movement of action, of speech, of thought. We say that no one but the Lord God is the maker of those who are born, and that marriage was ordained not by the devil, but by God Himself; yet that all are born under sin on account of the fault of propagation, and that, therefore, all are under the devil until they are born again in Christ. Nor are we maintaining fate under the name of grace, because we say that the grace of God is preceded by no merits of man. If, however, it is agreeable to any to call the will of the Almighty God by the name of fate, while we indeed shun profane novelties of words, we have no use for contending about words.


But, as I was somewhat more attentively considering for what reason they should think it well to object this to us, that we assert fate under the name of grace, I first of all looked into those words of theirs which follow. For thus they have thought that this was to be objected to us: "Under the name," say they, "of grace, they so assert fate as to say that unless God inspired unwilling and resisting man with the desire of good, and that good imperfect, he would neither be able to decline from evil nor to lay hold of good." Then a little after, where they mention what they maintain, I gave heed to what was said by them about this matter. "We confess," say they, that baptism is necessary for all ages, and that grace, moreover, assists the good purpose of everybody; but yet that it does not infuse the love of virtue into a reluctant one, because there is no acceptance of persons with God."[1] From these words of theirs, I perceived that for this reason they either think, or wish it to be thought, that we assert fate under the name of grace, because we say that God's grace is not given in respect of our merits, but according to His own most merciful will, in that He said, "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy."[2] Where, by way of consequence, it is added, "Therefore it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."[3] Here any one might be equally foolish in thinking or saying that the apostle is an assertor of fate. But here these people sufficiently lay themselves open; for when they malign us by saying that we maintain fate under the name of grace, because we say that God's grace is not given on account of our merits, beyond a doubt they confess that they themselves say that it is given on account of our merits; thus their blindness could not conceal and dissimulate that they believe and think thus, although, when this view was objected to him, Pelagius, in the episcopal judgment of Palestine, with crafty fear condemned it. For it was objected to him from the words of his own disciple Coelestius, indeed, that he himself also was in the habit of saying that God's grace is given on account of our merits. And he in abhorrence, or in pretended abhorrence, of this, did not delay, with his lips at least, to anathematize it;[4] but, as his later writings indicate, and the assertion of those followers of his makes evident, he kept it in his deceitful heart, until afterwards his boldness might put forth in letters[5] what the cunning of a denier had then hidden for fear. And still the Pelagian bishops do not dread, and at least are not ashamed, to send their letters to the catholic Eastern bishops, in which they charge us with being assertors of fate because we do not say that even grace is given according to our merits; although Pelagius, fearing the Eastern bishops, did not dare to say this, and so was compelled to condemn it.


But is it true, O children of pride, enemies of God's grace, new Pelagian heretics, that whoever says that all man's good deservings are preceded by God's grace, and that God's grace is not given to merits, lest it should not be grace if it is not given freely but be repaid as due to those who deserve it, seems to you to assert fate? Do not you yourselves also say, whatever be your purpose, that baptism is necessary for all ages? Have you not written in this very letter of yours that opinion concerning baptism, and that concerning grace, side by side? Why did not baptism, which is given to infants, by that very juxtaposition admonish you what you ought to think concerning grace? For these are your words: "We confess that baptism is necessary for all ages, and that grace, moreover, assists the good purpose of everybody; but yet that it does not infuse the love of virtue into a reluctant one, because there is no acceptance of persons with God." In all these words of yours, I for the meanwhile say nothing of what you have said concerning grace. But give a reason concerning baptism, why you should say that it is necessary for all ages; say why it is necessary for infants. Assuredly because it confers some good upon them; and that same something is neither small nor moderate, but of great account. For although you deny that they contract the original sin which is remitted in baptism, yet you do not deny that in that layer of regeneration they are adopted from the sons of men unto the sons of God; nay, you even preach this. Tell us, then, how the infants, whoever they are, that are baptized in Christ and have departed from the body, received so lofty a gift as this, and with what preceding merits. If you should say that they have deserved this by the piety of their parents, it will be replied to you, Why is this benefit sometimes denied to the children of pious people and given to the children of the wicked? For sometimes the offspring born from religious people, in tender age, and thus fresh from the womb, is forestalled by death before it can be washed in the layer of regeneration, and the infant born of Christ's foes is baptized in Christ by the mercy of Christians,--the baptized mother bewails her own little one not baptized, and the chaste virgin gathers in to be baptized a foreign offspring, exposed by an unchaste mother. Here, certainly, the merits of parents are wanting, and even by your own confession the merits of the infants themselves are wanting also. For we know that you do not believe this of the human soul, that it has lived somewhere before it inhabited this earthly body, and has done something either of good or of evil for which it might deserve such difference in the flesh. What cause, then, has procured baptism for this infant, and has denied it to that? Do they have fate because they do not have merit? or is there in these things acceptance of persons with God? For you have said both,--first fate, afterwards acceptance of persons,--that, since both must be refuted, there may remain the merit which you wish to introduce against grace. Answer, then, concerning the merits of infants, why some should depart from their bodies baptized, others not baptized, and by the merits of their parents neither possess nor fail of so excellent a gift that they should become sons of God from sons of men, by no deserving of their parents, by no deservings of their own. You are silent, forsooth, and you find yourselves rather in the same position which you object to us. For if when there is no merit you say that consequently there is fate, and on this account wish the merit of man to be understood in the grace of God, lest you should be compelled to confess fate; see, you rather assert a fate in the baptism of infants, since you avow that in them there is no merit. But if, in the case of infants to be baptized, you deny that any merit at all precedes, and yet do not concede that there is a fate, why do you cry out,--when we say that the grace of God is therefore given freely, lest it should not be grace, and is not repaid as if it were due to preceding merits,--that we are assertors of fate?--not perceiving that in the justification of the wicked, as there are no merits because it is God's grace, so that it is not fate because it is God's grace, and so that it is not acceptance of persons because it is God's grace.


Because they who affirm fate contend that not only actions and events, but, moreover, our very wills themselves depend on the position of the stars at the time in which one is conceived or born; which positions they call "constellations." But the grace of God stands above not only all stars and all heavens, but, moreover, all angels. In a word, the assertors of fate attribute both men's good and evil doings and fortunes to fate; but God in the ill fortunes of men follows up their merits with due retribution, while good fortunes He bestows by undeserved grace with a merciful will; doing both the one and the other not according to a temporal conjunction of stars, but according to the eternal and high counsel of His severity and goodness. We see, then, that neither belongs to fate. Here, if you answer that this very benevolence of God, by which He follows not merits, but bestows undeserved benefits with gratuitous bounty, should rather be called "fate," when the apostle calls this "grace," saying, "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, but it is the gift of God; not of works, lest perchance any one should be lifted up,"--do you not consider, do you not perceive that it is not by us that fate is asserted under the name of grace, but it is rather by you that divine grace is called by the name of fate?


And, moreover, we rightly call it "acceptance of persons" where he who judges, neglecting the merit of the cause concerning which he is judging, favours the one against the other, because he finds something in his person which is worthy of honour or of pity. But if any one have two debtors, and he choose to remit the debt to the one, to require it of the other, he gives to whom he will and defrauds nobody; nor is this to be called "acceptance of persons," since there is no injustice. The acceptance of persons may seem otherwise to those who are of small understanding, where the lord of the vineyard gave to those labourers who had done work therein for one hour as much as to those who had borne the burden and heat of the day, making them equal in wages in the labour of whom there had been such a difference. But what did he reply to those who murmured against the goodman of the house concerning this, as it were, acceptance of persons? "Friend," said he, "I do thee no wrong. Hast not thou agreed with me for a denarius? Take what thine is, and go; but I choose to give to this last as to thee. Is it not lawful to me to do what I will? Is thine eye evil because I am good?"[1] Here, forsooth, is the entire justice: "I choose this. To thee," he says, "I have repaid; on him I have bestowed; nor have I taken anything away from thee to bestow it on him; nor have I either diminished or denied what I owed to you." "May I not do what I will? Is thine eye evil because I am good?" As, therefore, here there is no acceptance of persons, because one is honoured freely in such wise as that another is not defrauded of what is due to him: so also when, according to the purpose of God, one is called, another is not called, a gratuitous benefit is bestowed on the one that is called, of which benefit the calling itself is the beginning,--an evil is repaid to him that is not called, because all are guilty, from the fact that by one man sin entered into the world. And in that parable of the labourers, indeed, where they received one denarius who laboured for one hour, as well as those who laboured twelve times as long,--though assuredly these latter, according to human reasonings, however vain, ought in proportion to the amount of their labour to have received twelve denarii,--both were put on an equality in respect of benefit, not some delivered and others condemned; because even those who laboured more had it from the goodman of the house himself, both that they were so called as to come, and that they were so fed as to have no want. But where it is said, "Therefore, on whom He will He has mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth,"[2] who "maketh one vessel to honour and another to dishonour"[3] it is given indeed without deserving, and freely, because he is of the same mass to whom it is not given; but evil is deservedly and of debt repaid, since in the mass of perdition evil is not repaid to the evil unjustly. And to him to whom it is repaid it is evil, because it is his punishment; while to Him by whom it is repaid it is good, because it is His right to do it. Nor is there any acceptance of persons in the case of two debtors equally guilty, if to the one is remitted and from the other is claimed that which is equally owed by both.


But that what I am saying may be made clear by the exhibition of an example, let us suppose certain twins, born of a certain harlot, and exposed that they might be taken up by others. One of them has expired without baptism; the other is baptized. What can we say was in this case the "fate" or the "fortune,' which are here absolutely, nothing? What "acceptance of persons," when with God there is none, even if there could be any such thing in these cases, seeing that they certainly had nothing for which I the one could be preferred to the other, and no merits of their own,--whether good, for which the one might deserve to be baptized; or evil, for which the other might deserve to die without baptism? Were there any merits in their parents, when the father was a fornicator, the mother a harlot? But of whatever kind those merits were, there were certainly not any that were different in those who died in such different conditions, but all were common to both. If, then, neither fate, since no stars made them to differ; nor fortune, since no fortuitous accidents produce these things; nor the diversity of persons nor of merits have done this; what remains, so far as it refers to the baptized child, save the grace of God, which is given freely to vessels made unto honour; but, as it refers to the unbaptized child, the wrath of God, which is repaid to the vessels made for dishonour in respect of the deservings of the lump itself? But in that one which is baptized we constrain you to confess the grace of God, and convince you that no merit of its own preceded; but as to that one which died without baptism, why that sacrament should have been wanting to it, which even you confess to be needful for all ages, and what in that manner may have been punished in him, it is for you to see who will not have it that there is any original sin.


Since in the case of those two twins we have without a doubt one and the same case, the difficulty of the question why the one died in one way, and the other in another, is solved by the apostle as it were by not solving it; for, when he had proposed something of the same kind about two twins, seeing that it was said (not of works, since they had not as yet done anything either of good or of evil, but of Him that calleth), "The older shall serve the younger,"[1] and, "Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated;"[1] and he had prolonged the horror of this deep thing even to the point of saying, "Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will, and whom He will He hardeneth:"[2] he perceived at once what the trouble was, and opposed to himself the words of a gainsayer which he was to check by apostolical authority. For he says, "You say, then, unto me, "Why doth He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will?" And to him who says this he answered, "O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Doth the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power of the clay of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour "(3) Then, following on, he opened up this great and hidden secret as far as he judged it fit that it should be disclosed to men, saying, "But if God, willing to show His wrath and to demonstrate His power, endured in much patience the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, even that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy which He has prepared for glory."(4) This is not only the assistance, but, moreover, the proof of God's grace--the assistance, namely, in the vessels of mercy, but the proof in the vessels of wrath; for in these He shows His anger and makes known His power, because His goodness is so mighty that He even uses the evil well; and in those He makes known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, because what the justice of a punisher requires from the vessels of wrath, the grace of the Deliverer remits to the i vessels of mercy. Nor would the kindness which is bestowed on some freely appear, unless I to other equally guilty and from the same mass God showed what was really due to both, and condemned them with a righteous judgment. "For who maketh thee to differ?"(5) says the same apostle to a man as it were boasting concerning himself and his own benefits. "For who maketh thee to differ" from the vessels of wrath; of course, from the mass of perdition which has sent all by one into damnation? "Who maketh thee to differ?" And as if he had answered, "My faith maketh me to differ,--my purpose, my merit,"--he says, "For what hast thou which thou hast not received? But if thou hast received it, why dost thou boast as if thou receivedst it not?"--that is, as if that by which thou art made to differ were of thine own. Therefore He maketh thee to differ who bestows that whence thou art made to differ, by removing the penalty that is due, by conferring the grace which is not due. He maketh to differ, who, when the darkness was upon the face of the abyss, said," Let there be light; and there was light, and divided"--that is, made to differ--"between the light and the darkness."(6) For when there was only darkness, He did not find what He should make to differ; but by making the light, He made to differ; so that it may be said to the justified wicked, "For ye were sometime darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord."(7) And thus he who glories must glory not in himself, but in the Lord. He makes to differ who--of those who are not yet born, and who have not yet done any good or evil, that His purpose, according to the election, might stand not of works, but of Himself that calleth--said, The older shall serve the younger, and commending that very purpose afterwards by the mouth of the prophet, said, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."(8) Because he said "the election," and in this God does not find made by another what He may choose, but Himself makes what He may find; just as it is written of the remnant of Israel: "There is made a remnant by the election of grace; but if by grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace."(9) On which account you are certainly foolish who, when the Truth declares, "Not of works, but of Him that calleth, it was said," say that Jacob was loved on account of future works which God foreknew that he would do, and thus contradict the apostle when he says, "Not of works;" as if he could not have said, "Not of present, but of future works." But he says, "Not of works," that He night commend grace; "but if of grace, now s it no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace." For grace, not due, but free, precedes, that by it good works may be done; but if good works should precede, grace should be repaid, as it were, to works, and thus grace should be no more grace.


But that every lurking-place of your darkness may be taken away from you, I have proposed to you the case of such twins as were not assisted by the merits of their parents, and both died in the very beginning of infancy, the one baptized, the other without baptism; lest you should say that God foreknew their future works, as you say of Jacob and Esau, in opposition to the apostle. For how did He foreknow that those things should be, which, in those infants who were to die in infancy, He rather foreknew as not to be, since His foreknowledge cannot be deceived? Or what does it profit those who are taken away frown this life that wickedness may not change their understanding, nor deceit beguile their soul, if even the sin which has not been done, said, or thought, is thus punished as if it had been committed? Because, if it is most absurd, silly, and senseless, that certain men should have to be condemned for those sins, the guilt of which they could neither derive from their parents, as you say, nor could incur themselves, either by committing them, or even by conceiving of them, there comes back to you that unbaptized twin brother of the baptized one, and silently asks you for what reason he was made to differ from his brother in respect of happiness,--why he was punished with that infelicity, so that, while his brother was adopted into a child of God, he himself should not receive that sacrament which, as you confess, is necessary for every age, if, even as there is not a fortune or a fate, or an acceptance of persons with God, so there is no gift of grace without merits, and no original sin. To this dumb child you absolutely submit your tongue and voice; to this witness who says nothing,--you have nothing at all to say!


Let us now see, as we can, the nature of this thing which they will have to precede in man, in order that he may be regarded as worthy of the assistance of grace, and to the merit of which in him grace is not given as if unearned, but is rendered as due; and thus grace is no more grace. Let us see, however, what this is. "Under the name," say they, "of grace, they so assert fate as to say that unless God should have inspired the desire for good, and that, imperfect good, into unwilling and resisting man, he would neither be able to decline from evil nor to grasp after good." I have already shown what empty things they speak about fate and grace. Now the question which I ought to consider is this, whether God inspires the desire of good into unwilling and resisting man, that he may be no longer unwilling, no longer resisting, but consenting to the good and willing the good. For those men will have it that the desire of good in man begins from man himself; that the merit of this beginning is, moreover, attended with the grace of completion--if, at least, they will allow so much as even this. For Pelagius says that what is good is "more easily" fulfilled if grace assists.(1) By which addition--that is, by adding "more easily"--he certainly signifies that he is of the opinion that, even if the aid of grace should be wanting, yet good might be accomplished, although with greater difficulty, by free will. But let me prescribe to my present opponents what they should think in this matter, without speaking of the author of this heresy himself. Let us allow them, with their free will, to be free even from Pelagius himself, and rather give heed to their words which they have written in this letter to which I am replying.


For they have thought that it was to be objected to us that we say "that God inspires into unwilling and resisting man the desire," not of any very great good, but "even of imperfect good." Possibly, then, they themselves are keeping open, in some sense at least, a place for grace, as thinking that man may have the desire of good without grace, but only of imperfect good; while of perfect, he could not easily have the desire with grace, but except with it they could not have it at all. Truly, even in this way, too, they are saying that God's grace is given according to our merits, which Pelagius, in the ecclesiastical meeting in the East, condemned, in the fear of being condemned. For if without God's grace the desire of good begins with ourselves, merit itself will have begun--to which, as if of debt, comes the assistance of grace; and thus God's grace will not be bestowed freely, but will be given according to our merit. But that he might furnish a reply to the future Pelagius, the Lord does not say, "Without me it is with difficulty that you can do anything," but He says, "Without me ye can do nothing.(2) And, that He might also furnish an answer to these future heretics, in that very same evangelical saying He does not say, "Without me you can perfect nothing," but "da" nothing. For if He had said "perfect," they might say that God's aid is necessary not for beginning good, which is of ourselves, but for perfecting it. But let them hear also the apostle. For when the Lord says, "Without me ye can do nothing," in this one word He comprehends both the beginning and the ending. The apostle, indeed, as if he were an expounder of the Lord's saying, distinguished both very clearly when he says, "Because He who hath begun a good work in you will perfect it even to the day of Christ Jesus."(1) But in the Holy Scriptures, in the writings of the same apostle, we find more about that of which we are speaking. For we are now speaking of the desire of good, and if they will have this to begin of ourselves and to be perfected by God, let them see what they can answer to the apostle when he says, "Not that we are sufficient to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God."(2) "To think anything," he says,--he certainly means, "to think anything good;" but is it less to think than to desire. Because we think all that we desire, but we do not desire all that we think; because sometimes also we think what we do not desire. Since, then, it is a smaller thing to think than to desire,--for a man may think good which he does not yet desire, and by advancing may afterwards desire what before without desire he thought of,--how are we not sufficient as of ourselves to that which is less, that is, to the thinking of something good, but our sufficiency is of God; while to that which is greater,--that is, to the desire of some good thing--without the divine help, we are sufficient of free will? For what the apostle says here is not, "Not that we are sufficient as of ourselves to think that which is perfect;" but he says, "to think anything," to which "nothing" is the contrary. And this is the meaning of what the Lord says, "Without me ye can do nothing."


But assuredly, as to what is written, "The preparation of the heart is man's part, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord,"(3) they are misled by an imperfect understanding, so as to think that to prepare the heart--that is, to begin good--pertains to man without the aid of God's grace. Be it far from the children of promise thus to understand it! As if, when they heard the Lord saving, "Without me ye can do nothing,"(4) they would convict Him by saying, "Behold without Thee we can prepare the heart;" or when they heard from Paul the apostle, "Not that we are sufficient to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God,"(2) as if they would also convict him, saying, "Behold, we are sufficient of ourselves to prepare our heart, and thus also to think some good thing; for who can without good thought prepare his heart for good?" Be it far from any thus to understand the passage, except the proud maintainers of free will and forsakers of the catholic faith! Therefore, since it is written, "It is man's part to prepare the heart, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord," it is that man prepares his heart, not, however, without the aid of God, who so touches the heart that man prepares the heart. But in the answer of the tongue---that is, in that which the divine tongue answers to the prepared heart---man has no part; but the whole is from the Lord God.


For as it is said, "It is man's part to prepare his heart, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord;" so also is it said, "Open thy mouth, and I will fill it."(5) For although, save by His assistance without whom we can do nothing, we cannot open our mouth, yet we open it by His aid and by our own agency, while the Lord fills it without our agency. For what is to prepare the heart and to open the mouth, but to prepare the will? And yet in the same scriptures is read, "The will is prepared by the Lord,"(6) and, "Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise."(7) So God admonishes us to prepare our will in what we read," It is man's part to prepare his heart;" and yet, that man may do this, God helps him, because the will is prepared by the Lord. And," Open thy mouth." This He so says by way of command, as that nobody can do this unless it is done by His aid, to whom it is said, "Thou shalt open my lips." Are any of these men so foolish as to contend that the mouth is one thing, the lips another; and to say with marvellous triviality that man opens his own mouth, and God opens man's lips? And yet God restrains them from even that absurdity where He says to Moses His servant," I will open thy mouth, and I will instruct thee what thou oughtest to speak."(8) In that clause, therefore, where He says, "Open thy mouth and I will fill it," it seems, as it were, that one of them pertains to man, the other to God. But in this, where it is said, "I will open thy mouth and will instruct thee," both belong to God. Why is this, except that in one of these cases He co-operates with man as the agent, in the other He does it alone?


Wherefore God does many good things in man which man does not do; but man does none which God does not cause man to do. Accordingly, there would be no desire of good in man from the Lord if it were not a good; but if it is a good, we have it not save from Him who is supremely and incommunicably good. For what is the desire for good but love, of which John the apostle speaks without any ambiguity, and says," Love is of God"?(1) Nor is its beginning of ourselves, and its perfection of God; but if love is of God, we have the whole of it from God. May God by all means turn away this folly of making ourselves first in His gifts, Himself last,--because "His mercy shall prevent me."(2) And it is He to whom is faithfully and truthfully sung, "For Thou hast prevented him with the blessings of sweetness."(3) And what is here more fitly understood than that very desire of good of which we are speaking? For good begins then to be longed for when it has begun to grow sweet. But when good is done by the fear of penalty, not by the love of righteousness good is not yet well done. Nor is that done in the heart which seems to be done in the act when a man would rather not do it if he could evade it with impunity. Therefore the "blessing of sweetness" is God's grace, by which is caused in us that what He prescribes to us delights us, and we desire it,--that is, we love it; in which if God does not precede us, not only is it not perfected, but it is not even begun, from us. For, if without Him we are able to do nothing actually, we are able neither to begin nor to perfect,--because to begin, it is said "His mercy shall prevent me;"(2) to finish, it is said, "His mercy shall follow me."(4)


Why, then, is it that, in what follows, where they mention what they themselves think, they say they confess "That grace also assists the good purpose of every one, but that yet it does not infuse the desire of virtue into a reluctant heart"? Because they so say this as if man of himself, without God's assistance, has a good purpose and a desire of virtue; and this precedent merit is worthy of being assisted by the subsequent grace of God. For they think, perchance, that the apostle thus said, "For we know that He worketh all things for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to the purpose,"(5) so as to wish the purpose of man to be understood, which purpose, as a good merit, the mercy of the God that calleth might follow; being ignorant that it is said, "Who are called according to the purpose," so that there may be understood the purpose of God, not man, whereby those whom He foreknew and predestinated as conformed to the image of His Son, He elected before the foundation of the world. For not all the called are called according to purpose, since "many are called, few are chosen."(6) They, therefore, are called according to the purpose, who were elected before the foundation of the world. Of this purpose of God, that also was said which I have already mentioned concerning the twins Esau and Jacob, "That according to the election the purpose of God might remain, not of works, but of Him that calleth; it was said, that the elder shall serve the younger."(7) This purpose of God is also mentioned in that place where, writing to Timothy, he says, "Labour with the gospel according to the power of God, who saves us and calls us with this holy calling; not according to our works, but according to His purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the eternal ages, but is now made manifest by the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ."(8) This, then, is the purpose of God, whereof it is said, "He worketh together all things for good for those who are called according to the purpose." But subsequent grace indeed assists man's good purpose, but the purpose would not itself exist if grace did not precede. The desire of man, also, which is called good, although in beginning to exist it is aided by grace, yet does not begin without grace, but is inspired by Him of whom the apostle says, "But thanks be to God, who has given the same desire for you in the heart of Titus."(9) If God gives desire that every one may have it for others, who else will give it that a man may have it for himself?


Since these things are so, I see that nothing is commanded to man by the Lord in the Holy Scriptures, for the sake of trying his free will, which is not found either to begin by His goodness, or to be asked in order to demonstrate the aid of grace; nor does man at all begin to be changed by the beginning of faith from evil to good, unless the unbought and gratuitous mercy of God effects this in him. Of which one recalling his thought, as we read in the Psalms, says, "Shall God forget to be gracious ? or will He restrain His mercies in His anger? And I said, Now have I begun; this change is of the right hand of the Most High."(10) When, therefore, he had said," Now have I begun," he does not say, "This change is of my will," but "of the right hand of the Most High." So, therefore, let God's grace be thought of, that from the beginning of his good changing, even to the end of his completion, he who glorieth may glory in the Lord; because, as no one can perfect good without the Lord, so no one can begin it without the Lord. But let this be the end of this book, that the attention of the reader may be refreshed and strengthened for what follows.

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