Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 21.--Augustin Compliments Victor's Talents and Diligence.
It would take me too long a time to handle and discuss fully all the points which I wish to be amended in your books, or rather in your own self, and to give you even a brief reason for the correction of each particular. And yet you must not because of them despise yourself, so as to suppose that your ability and powers of speech are to be thought lightly of. I have discovered in you no small recollection of the sacred Scriptures; but your erudition is less than was proportioned to your talent, and the labour you bestowed on them. My desire, therefore, is that you should not, on the one hand, grow vain by attributing too much to yourself; nor, on the other hand, become cold and indifferent by prostration or despair. I only wish that I could read your writings in company with yourself, and point out the necessary emendations in conversation rather than by writing. This is a matter which could be more easily accomplished by oral communication between ourselves than in letters. If the entire subject were to be treated in writing, it would require many volumes. Those chief errors, however, which I have wished to sum up comprehensively in a definite number, I at once call your attention to, in order that you may not postpone the correction of them, but banish them entirely from your preaching and belief; so that the great faculty which you possess of disputation, may, by God's grace, be employed by you usefully for edification, not for injuring and destroying sound and wholesome doctrine.