Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter XV.--(34.) The Opposing Passages.
And yet the passages are true which he goes on to adduce by way of answer, saying: |The Saviour in the gospel declares, Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.' David also says, Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that is innocent in his hands, and pure in his heart;' and again in another passage, Do good, O Lord, unto those that be good and upright in heart.' So also in Solomon: Riches are good unto him that hath no sin on his conscience;' and again in the same book, Leave off from sin, and order thine hands aright, and cleanse thy heart from wickedness.' So in the Epistle of John, If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God; and whatsoever we ask, we shall receive of Him.'| For all this is accomplished by the will, by the exercise of faith, hope, and love; by keeping under the body; by doing alms; by forgiving injuries; by earnest prayer; by supplicating for strength to advance in our course; by sincerely saying, |Forgive us, as we also forgive others,| and |Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.| By this process, it is certainly brought about that our heart is cleansed, and all our sin taken away; and what the righteous King, when sitting on His throne, shall find concealed in the heart and uncleansed as yet, shall be remitted by His mercy, so that the whole shall be rendered sound and cleansed for seeing God. For |he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy: yet mercy triumpheth against judgment.| If it were not so, what hope could any of us have? |When, indeed, the righteous King shall sit upon His throne, who shall boast that he hath a pure heart, or who shall boldly say that he is pure from sin?| Then, however, through His mercy shall the righteous, being by that time fully and perfectly cleansed, shine forth like the glorious sun in the kingdom of their Father.