Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 28 [XXVII.]--Pelagius Teaches that Satan May Be Resisted Without the Help of the Grace of God.
In the book which he addressed to a certain holy virgin, there is a passage which I have already mentioned, wherein he plainly indicates what he holds on this subject; for he speaks of our |deserving the grace of God, and by the help of the Holy Ghost more easily resisting the evil spirit.| Now why did he insert the phrase |more easily|? Was not the sense already complete: |And by the help of the Holy Ghost resisting the evil spirit|? But who can fail to perceive what an injury he has done by this insertion? He wants it, of course, to be supposed, that so great are the powers of our nature, which he is in such a hurry to exalt,that even without the assistance of the Holy Ghost the evil spirit can be resisted -- less easily it may be, but still in a certain measure.