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Four Anti-Pelagian Writings (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 86)

Four Anti-Pelagian Writings (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 86)

Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 372
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    Four Anti-Pelagian Writings (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 86)
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    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1186-2
    Subjects: Religion
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  3. PREFACE (pp. vii-x)
  4. ABBREVIATIONS (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY (pp. xv-xx)
  6. On Nature and Grace
    • INTRODUCTION (pp. 3-21)

      On Nature and Grace (De natura et gratia) represents, in Augustine’s own account, a turning point in his attitude toward Pelagius. Writing, together with Alypius, to Paulinus of Nola in 417, he speaks of Pelagius as follows:

      The love we have for him now is different from the love we had for him formerly; then we loved him as one who seemed to be of the true faith, whereas we now love him in order that, by the mercy of God, he may be set free from those antagonistic views which he is said to hold against the grace of...

    • ON NATURE AND GRACE (pp. 22-90)

      The book which you have sent to me, dearly beloved sons Timasius and James,¹ I have read through somewhat rapidly—having set aside for a little while the books which I was reading—but with considerable attention. I saw [in this book] a man inflamed with a very ardent zeal against those who, although they ought, when they sin, to censure the human will, try instead to accuse the nature of human beings and thus to excuse themselves. He has flared up excessively against this plague, which even writers of secular literature have strongly reproved, exclaiming: “The human race wrongly...

  7. On the Proceedings of Pelagius
    • INTRODUCTION (pp. 93-110)

      As it turned out, it was Spain that linked Africa and Palestine in the Pelagian conflict. Orosius,¹ a Spanish priest, native of Braga, came to Augustine in 415 to consult with him about Origenism and Priscillianism, the latter of which especially was gaining prominence in Spain. For Augustine he wrote a brief work, Commonitorium de errore Priscillianistarum et Origenistarum, and to this Augustine replied in 415 with Ad Orosium contra Priscillianistas et Origenistas. Augustine describes him as “religious,” “alert of mind, ready of speech, burning with eagerness.”² Putting together what Augustine says with what he leaves unsaid, Bonner characterizes him...


      After there came into our hands, O holy father Aurelius, the ecclesiastical proceedings wherein the fourteen bishops¹ of the province of Palestine had proclaimed Pelagius to be a Catholic, my hesitation, which had been making me reluctant to furnish any more extensive and more forthright statement concerning the defense that Pelagius had made, came to an end. For I had already read the defense he had made in a paper² that he had sent to me, and, since I received no letter from him accompanying it, I was afraid that there might be some discrepancy between my statement and the...

  8. On the Predestination of the Saints and On the Gift of Perseverance
    • INTRODUCTION (pp. 181-217)

      The last two works—really two parts of one work—contained in this volume represent one of the final phases of the Pelagian controversy during Augustine’s lifetime. The scene of the conflict has shifted to Gaul, although North Africa is directly involved and the East indirectly, through the person of John Cassian. Augustine’s opponents now are not Pelagians, as Augustine himself acknowledges, but they take exception to the more extreme positions to which Augustine has been led in the course of the Pelagian controversy. Since the seventeenth century they have commonly been known as “Semi-Pelagians,” but, as will be discussed...


      We know that the Apostle has said in the Epistle to the Philippians, “To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not wearisome, but to you is necessary.”¹ But the same Apostle, writing to the Galatians, when he saw that he had done enough among them by the ministry of his word to accomplish what he saw as necessary, said, “For the rest, let no one cause me difficulty,” [PL 44.960] or, as it reads in most manuscripts, “Let no one be troublesome to me.”² Now I confess that it troubles me that the divine words in...


      The subject of perseverance is now to be considered more carefully (in the former book we have already said something about it when dealing with the beginning of faith¹) What we maintain, then, is that the perseverance by which we persevere in Christ to the end is a gift of God. And by “the end” I mean the time at which this life is finished, during which alone there is the peril of falling. Thus, it is uncertain whether anyone has received this gift so long as he is still living. [PL45.994] For ifhe falls before his death, he is...

  9. GENERAL INDEX (pp. 341-346)
  10. INDEX OF HOLY SCRIPTURE (pp. 347-351)