Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 12.--The Law Could Not Take Away Sin.
Observe also what follows. Having said, |In which all have sinned,| he at once added, |For until the law, sin was in the world.| This means that sin could not be taken away even by the law, which entered that sin might the more abound, whether it be the law of nature, under which every man when arrived at years of discretion only proceeds to add his own sins to original sin, or that very law which Moses gave to the people. |For if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But sin is not imputed where there is no law.| Now what means the phrase |is not imputed,| but |is ignored,| or |is not reckoned as sin?| Although the Lord God does not Himself regard it as if it had never been, since it is written: |As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law.|