Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 8 [VIII.]--Victor's Erroneous Opinion, that the Soul Deserved to Become Sinful.
Vainly supposing, then, that he was able to solve this question from the foreknowledge of God, he keeps floundering on, and says: |If the soul deserved to be sinful which could not have been sinful, yet neither did it remain in sin, because, as prefigured in Christ, it was not bound to be in sin, even as it was unable to be.| Now what can he mean when he says, |which could not have been sinful,| or |was unable to be in sin,| except, as I suppose, this, if it did not come into the flesh? For, of course, it could not have been sinful through original sin, or have been at all involved in original sin, except through the flesh, if it is not derived from the parent. We see it, then, liberated from sin through grace, but we do not see how it deserved to be involved in sin. What, then, is the meaning of these words of his, |If the soul deserved to be sinful, yet neither did it remain in sin|? For if I were to ask him, why it did not remain in sin, he would very properly answer, Because the grace of Christ delivered it therefrom. Since, then, he tells us how it came to pass that an infant's soul was liberated from its sinfulness, let him further tell us how it happened that it deserved to be sinful.