Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 16 [VIII.]--Why is Not Grace Given According to Merit?
But |why,| says one, |is not the grace of God given according to men's merits?| I answer, Because God is merciful. |Why, then,| it is asked, |is it not given to all?| And here I reply, Because God is a Judge. And thus grace is given by Him freely; and by His righteous judgment it is shown in some what grace confers on those to whom it is given. Let us not then be ungrateful, that according to the good pleasure of His will a merciful God delivers so many to the praise of the glory of His grace from such deserved perdition; as, if He should deliver no one therefrom, He would not be unrighteous. Let him, therefore, who is delivered love His grace. Let him who is not delivered acknowledge his due. If, in remitting a debt, goodness is perceived, in requiring it, justice -- unrighteousness is never found to be with God.