Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 43 [XXXVII.]--Why Scripture Has Not Mentioned the Sins of All.
|But perhaps,| says he, |they will ask me: Could not the Scripture have mentioned sins of all of these?| And surely they would say the truth, whoever should put such a question to him; and I do not discover that he has anywhere given a sound reply to them, although I perceive that he was unwilling to be silent. What he has said, I beg of you to observe: |This,| says he, |might be rightly asked of those whom Scripture mentions neither as good nor as bad; but of those whose holiness it commemorates, it would also without doubt have commemorated the sins likewise, if it had perceived that they had sinned in anything.| Let him say, then, that their great faith did not attain to righteousness in the case of those who comprised |the multitudes that went before and that followed| the colt on which the Lord rode, when |they shouted and said, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord,| even amidst the malignant men who with murmurs asked why they were doing all this! Let him then boldly tell us, if he can, that there was not a man in all that vast crowd who had any sin at all. Now, if it is most absurd to make such a statement as this, why has not the Scripture mentioned any sins in the persons to whom reference has been made, especially when it has carefully recorded the eminent goodness of their faith?