Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 2 [II.]--Some Persons Attribute Too Much to the Freedom of Man's Will; Ignorance and Infirmity.
A solution is extremely necessary of this question about a human life unassailed by any deception or preoccupation of sin, in consequence even of our daily prayers. For there are some persons who presume so much upon the free determination of the human will, as to suppose that it need not sin, and that we require no divine assistance, -- attributing to our nature, once for all, this determination of free will. An inevitable consequence of this is, that we ought not to pray |not to enter into temptation,| -- that is, not to be overcome of temptation, either when it deceives and surprises us in our ignorance, or when it presses and importunes us in our weakness. Now how hurtful, and how pernicious and contrary to our salvation in Christ, and how violently adverse to the religion itself in which we are instructed, and to the piety whereby we worship God, it cannot but be for us not to beseech the Lord for the attainment of such a benefit, but be rather led to think that petition of the Lord's Prayer, |Lead us not into temptation,| a vain and useless insertion, -- it is beyond my ability to express in words.