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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : CHAP. X. How, in the reign of Arcadius, Pelagius, a Briton, insolently impugned the Grace of God. [395 AD]

Bedes Ecclesiastical History Of England by St. Bede

CHAP. X. How, in the reign of Arcadius, Pelagius, a Briton, insolently impugned the Grace of God. [395 AD]

In the year of our Lord 394, Arcadius, the son of Theodosius, the forty-third from Augustus, succeeding to the empire, with his brother Honorius, held it thirteen years. In his time, Pelagius, [Pelagius, the founder of the heresy known as Pelagianism, was probably born in 370 A.D., and is said to have been a Briton. His great opponent, St. Augustine, speaks of him as a good and holy man; later slanders are to be attributed to Jerome's abusive language. The cardinal point in his doctrine is his denial of original sin, involving a too great reliance on the human will in achieving holiness, and a limitation of the action of the grace of God] a Briton, spread far and near the infection of his perfidious doctrine, denying the assistance of the Divine grace, being seconded therein by his associate Julianus of Campania,^ who was impelled by an uncontrolled desire to recover his bishopric, of which he had been deprived. St . Augustine, and the other orthodox fathers, quoted many thousand catholic authorities against them, but failed to amend their folly; nay, more, their madness being rebuked was rather increased by contradiction than suffered by them to be purified through adherence to the truth; which Prosper, the rhetorician,^ has beautifully expressed thus in heroic| verse : --

|They tell that one, erewhile consumed with gnawing spite, snake-like attacked Augustine in his writings. Who urged the wretched viper to raise from the ground his head, howsoever hidden in dens of darkness? Either the sea-girt Britons reared him with the fruit of their soil, or fed on Campanian pastures his heart swells with pride.|

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