Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 19 [VIII.]--The Pelagians Misunderstand |Seed| In Scripture.
He goes on to say: |After a while the divine Scripture says again, Adam knew Eve his wife; and she bare a son, and he called his name Seth: saying, The Lord hath raised me up another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.'| He then adds: |The Divinity is said to have raised up the seed itself; as a proof that the sexual union was His appointment.| This person did not understand what the Scripture records; for he supposed that the reason why it is said, The Lord hath raised me up another seed instead of Abel, was none other than that God might be supposed to have excited in him a desire for sexual intercourse, by means whereof seed might be raised for being poured into the woman's womb. He was perfectly unaware that what the Scripture has said is not |Has raised me up seed| in the sense he uses, but only as meaning |Has given me a son.| Indeed, Adam did not use the words in question after his sexual intercourse, when he emitted his seed, but after his wife's confinement, in which he received his son by the gift of God. For what gratification is there (except perhaps for lascivious persons, and those who, as the apostle says with prohibition, |possess their vessel in the lust of concupiscence| ) in the mere shedding of seed as the ultimate pleasure of sexual union, unless it is followed by the true and proper fruit of marriage -- conception and birth?