Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 19 [IX.]--He Interprets the Scriptures Which the Pelagians Make Ill Use of.
But assuredly, as to what is written, |The preparation of the heart is man's part, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord,| they are misled by an imperfect understanding, so as to think that to prepare the heart -- that is, to begin good -- pertains to man without the aid of God's grace. Be it far from the children of promise thus to understand it! As if, when they heard the Lord saying, |Without me ye can do nothing,| they would convict Him by saying, |Behold without Thee we can prepare the heart;| or when they heard from Paul the apostle, |Not that we are sufficient to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God,| as if they would also convict him, saying, |Behold, we are sufficient of ourselves to prepare our heart, and thus also to think some good thing; for who can without good thought prepare his heart for good?| Be it far from any thus to understand the passage, except the proud maintainers of free will and forsakers of the catholic faith! Therefore, since it is written, |It is man's part to prepare the heart, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord,| it is that man prepares his heart, not, however, without the aid of God, who so touches the heart that man prepares the heart. But in the answer of the tongue -- that is, in that which the divine tongue answers to the prepared heart -- man has no part; but the whole is from the Lord God.