Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 14.--None of the Elect and Predestinated Can Perish.
Of such says the apostle, |We know that to those that love God He worketh together all things for good, to them who are called according to His purpose; because those whom He before foreknew, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified.| Of these no one perishes, because all are elected. And they are elected because they were called according to the purpose -- the purpose, however, not their own, but God's; of which He elsewhere says, |That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth, it was said unto her that the elder shall serve the younger.| And in another place he says, |Not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace.| When, therefore, we hear, |Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called,| we ought to acknowledge that they were called according to His purpose; since He thence began, saying, |He worketh together all things for good to those who are called according to His purpose,| and then added, |Because those whom He before foreknew, He also did predestinate, to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren.| And to these promises He added, |Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called.| He wishes these, therefore, to be understood whom He called according to His purpose, lest any among them should be thought to be called and not elected, on account of that sentence of the Lord's: |Many the called but few are elected.| For whoever are elected are without doubt also called; but not whosoever are called are as a consequence elected. Those, then, are elected, as has often been said, who are called according to the purpose, who also are predestinated and foreknown. If any one of these perishes, God is mistaken; but none of them perishes, because God is not mistaken. If any one of these perish, God is overcome by human sin; but none of them perishes, because God is overcome by nothing. Moreover, they are elected to reign with Christ, not as Judas was elected, to a work for which he was fitted. Because he was chosen by Him who well knew how to make use even of wicked men, so that even by his damnable deed that venerable work, for the sake of which He Himself had come, might be accomplished. When, therefore, we hear, |Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?| we ought to understand that the rest were elected by mercy, but he by judgment; those to obtain His kingdom, he to shed His blood!