Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 40 [XXXV.]--Why There is a Record in Scripture of Certain Men's Sins, Recklessness in Sin Accounts It to Be So Much Loss Whenever It Falls Short in Gratifying Lust.
He who has a sound judgment says soundly, |that the examples of certain persons, of whose sinning we read in Scripture, are not recorded for this purpose, that they may encourage despair of not sinning, and seem somehow to afford security in committing sin,| -- but that we may learn the humility of repentance, or else discover that even in such falls salvation ought not to be despaired of. For there are some who, when they have fallen into sin, perish rather from the recklessness of despair, and not only neglect the remedy of repentance, but become the slaves of lusts and wicked desires, so far as to run all lengths in gratifying these depraved and abandoned dispositions, -- as if it were a loss to them if they failed to accomplish what their lust impelled them to, whereas all the while there awaits them a certain condemnation. To oppose this morbid recklessness, which is only too full of danger and ruin, there is great force in the record of those sins into which even just and holy men have before now fallen.