Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 34.--How Concupiscence Made a Captive of the Apostle; What the Law of Sin Was to the Apostle.
Then, indeed, this statement, |I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind,| refers to that very concupiscence which we are now speaking of -- the law of sin in our sinful flesh. But when he said, |And bringing me into captivity to the law of sin,| that is, to its own self, |which is in my members,| he either meant |bringing me into captivity,| in the sense of endeavouring to make me captive, that is, urging me to approve and accomplish evil desire; or rather (and this opens no controversy), in the sense of leading me captive according to the flesh, and, if this is not possessed by the carnal concupiscence which he calls the law of sin, no unlawful desire -- such as our mind ought not to obey -- would,of course, be there to excite and disturb. The fact, however, that the apostle does not say, Bringing my flesh into captivity, but |Bringing me into captivity,| leads us to look out for some other meaning for the phrase, and to understand the term |bringing me into captivity| as if he had said, endeavouring to make me captive. But why, after all, might he not say, |Bringing me into captivity,| and at the same time mean us to understand his flesh? Was it not spoken by one concerning Jesus, when His flesh was not found in the sepulchre: |They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him|? Was Mary's then an improper question, because she said, |My Lord,| and not |My Lord's body| or |flesh|?