Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 73.--He Meets Pelagius with Another Passage from Hilary.
Now even Job himself is not silent respecting his own sins; and your friend, of course, is justly of opinion that humility must not by any means |be put on the side of falsehood.| Whatever confession, therefore, Job makes, inasmuch as he is a true worshipper of God, he undoubtedly makes it in truth. Hilary, likewise, while expounding that passage of the psalm in which it is written, |Thou hast despised all those who turn aside from Thy commandments,| says: |If God were to despise sinners, He would despise indeed all men, because no man is without sin; but it is those who turn away from Him, whom they call apostates, that He despises.| You observe his statement: it is not to the effect that no man was without sin, as if he spoke of the past; but no man is without sin; and on this point, as I have already remarked, I have no contention with him. But if one refuses to submit to the Apostle John, -- who does not himself declare, |If we were to say we have had no sin,| but |If we say we have no sin,| -- how is he likely to show deference to Bishop Hilary? It is in defence of the grace of Christ that I lift up my voice, without which grace no man is justified, -- just as if natural free will were sufficient. Nay, He Himself lifts up His own voice in defence of the same. Let us submit to Him when He says: |Without me ye can do nothing.|