Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 33.--Opposition of the Manichean and Catholic Dogmas.
What is it, then, which in their raging blindness of mind they are now spreading about, |that almost throughout the entire West a dogma not less foolish than impious is taken up;| when by the mercy of God and by His merciful governance of His Church, the catholic faith has been so watchful that the dogma, |not less foolish than wicked,| as of the Manicheans, so also of these heretics, should not be taken up? So holy and learned catholic men, such as are attested to be so by the report of the whole Church, praise both God's creation, and marriage as ordained by Him, and the law given by Him by means of the holy Moses, and the free will implanted into man's nature, and the holy patriarchs and prophets, with due and fitting proclamation; all which five things the Manicheans condemn, partly by denying, and partly also by abominating. Whence it appears that these catholic doctors were far removed from the notions of the Manicheans, and yet they assert original sin; they assert God's grace above free will, as antecedent to all merit, so as truly to afford a gratuitous divine assistance; they assert that the saints lived righteously in this flesh, in such wise that the help of prayer was necessary to them, by which their daily sins might be forgiven; and that a perfected righteousness which could not have sin would be in another life the reward of those who should live righteously here.