Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 1 [I.]--Introductory Statement.
I Cannot tell you, dearly loved and honoured son Valerius, how great is the pleasure which my heart receives when I hear of your warm and earnest interest in the testimony of the word of God against the heretics; and this, too, amidst your military duties and the cares which devolve on you in the eminent position you so justly occupy, and the pressing functions, moreover, of your political life. After reading the letter of your Eminence, in which you acknowledge the book which I dedicated to you, I was roused to write this also; for you request me to attend to the statement, which my brother and fellow-bishop Alypius is commissioned to make to me, about the discussion which is being raised by the heretics over sundry passages of my book. Not only have I received this information from the narrative of my said brother, but I have also read the extracts which he produced, and which you had yourself forwarded to Rome, after his departure from Ravenna. On discovering the boastful language of our adversaries, as I could easily do in these extracts, I determined, with the help of the Lord, to reply to their taunts with all the truthfulness and scriptural authority that I could command.