Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 19 [XIV.]--Victor Relies on Ambiguous Scriptures.
The passages of Scripture, indeed, which he has adduced in the attempt to prove from them that God did not derive human souls by propagation from the primitive soul, but as in that first instance that He formed them by breathing them into each individual, are so uncertain and ambiguous, that they can with the utmost facility be taken in a different sense from that which he would assign to them. This point I have already demonstrated with sufficient clearness, I think in the book which I addressed to that friend o ours, of whom I have made mention above. The passages which he has used for his proofs inform us that God gives, or makes, or fashion men's souls; but whence He gives them, or of what He makes or fashions them, they tell us nothing: they leave untouched the question whether it be by propagation from the first soul or by insufflation, like the first soul. This writer however, simply because he reads that God |giveth| souls, |hath made| souls, |formeth| souls, supposes that these phrases amount to a denial of the propagation of souls; whereas, by the testimony of the same scripture, God gives men their bodies, or makes them, or fashions and forms them; although no one doubts that the said bodies are given, made, and formed by Him by seminal propagation.