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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter I.

Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine

Chapter I.

Your love, which in both of you is so great and so holy that it is a delight to obey its commands, has laid me under an obligation to reply to some definitions which are said to be the work of Coelestius; for so runs the title of the paper which you have given me, |The definitions, so it is said, of Coelestius.| As for this title, I take it that it is not his, but theirs who have brought this work from Sicily, where Coelestius is said not to be, -- although many there make boastful pretension of holding views like his, and, to use the apostle's word, |being themselves deceived, lead others also astray.| That these views are, however, his, or those of some associates of his, we, too, can well believe. For the above-mentioned brief definitions, or rather propositions, are by no means at variance with his opinion, such as I have seen it expressed in another work, of which he is the undoubted author. There was therefore good reason, I think, for the report which those brethren, who brought these tidings to us, heard in Sicily, that Coelestius taught or wrote such opinions. I should like, if it were possible, so to meet the obligation imposed on me by your brotherly kindness, that I, too, in my own answer should be equally brief. But unless I set forth also the propositions which I answer, who will be able to form a judgment of the value of my answer? Still I will try to the best of my ability, assisted, too, by God's mercy, by your own prayers, so to conduct the discussion as to keep it from running to an unnecessary length.
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