Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 32 [XIX.]--The Self-Contradiction of Victor as to the Origin of the Soul.
Under these circumstances, I find that this treatise of mine must now be closed. It contains, in fact, all that seemed to me chiefly necessary to the subject under discussion. They who peruse its contents will know how to be on their guard against agreeing with the person whose two books you sent me, so as not to believe with him, that souls are produced by the breath of God in such wise as not to be made out of nothing. The man, indeed, who supposes this, however much he may in words deny the conclusion, does in reality affirm that souls have the substance of God, and are His offspring, not by endowment, but by nature. For from whomsoever a man derives the origin of his nature, from him, in all sober earnestness, it must needs be admitted, that he also derives the kind of his nature. But this author is, after all, self-contradictory: at one time he says that |souls are the offspring of God, -- not, indeed, by nature, but by endowment;| and at another time he says, that |they are not made out of nothing, but derive their origin from God.| Thus he does not hesitate to refer them to the nature of God, a position which he had previously denied.