Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 9 [V.]--Another Calumny of Julian,--That |It is Said that Marriage is Not Appointed by God.|
But now let us see what follows. |They say also,| he says, |that those marriages which are now celebrated were not appointed by God, and this is to be read in Augustin's book, against which I replied in four books. And the words of this Augustin our enemies have taken up by way of hostility to the truth.| To these most calumnious words I see that a brief answer must be made, because he repeats them afterwards when he wishes to insinuate what such men as they would say, as if against my words. On that point, with God's assistance, I must contend with him as far as the matter shall seem to demand. Now, therefore, I reply that marriage was ordained by God both then, when it was said, |Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh,| and now, wherefore it is written, |A woman is joined to a man by the Lord.| For nothing else is even now done than that a man cleave to his wife, and they become two in one flesh. Because concerning that very marriage which is now contracted, the Lord was consulted by the Jews whether it was lawful for any cause to put away a wife. And to the testimony of the law on the occasion mentioned, He added, |What, therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.| The Apostle Paul also applied this witness of the law when he admonished husbands that their wives should be loved by them. Away, then, with the notion that in my book that man should read anything opposed to these divine testimonies! But either by not understanding, or rather by calumniating, he seeks to twist what he reads into another meaning. But I wrote my book, against which he mentions that he replied in four books, after the condemnation of Pelagius and Coelestius. And this, I have thought, must be said, because that man avers that my words had been taken up by his enemies in hostility to the truth, lest any one should think that these new heretics were condemned as enemies of the grace of Christ on account of this book of mine. But in that book is found the defence rather than the censure of marriage.