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Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine

Chapter 37--The Same Continued. John, Bishop of Jerusalem, and His Examination.

With great propriety, as the proceedings show, did John, the holy overseer of the Church of Jerusalem, employ the authority of this same passage of the apostle, as he himself told our brethren the bishops who were his assessors at that trial, on their asking him what proceedings had taken place before him previous to the trial. He told them that |on the occasion in question, whilst some were whispering, and remarking on Pelagius' statement, that without God's grace man was able to attain perfection' (that is, as he had previously expressed it, man was able to be without sin'), he censured the statement, and reminded them besides, that even the Apostle Paul, after so many labours -- not indeed in his own strength, but by the grace of God -- said: I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me;' and again: It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy;' and again: Except the Lord build the house, they labour but in vain who build it.' And,| he added, |we quoted several other like passages out of the Holy Scriptures. When, however, they did not receive the quotations which we made out of the Holy Scriptures, but continued their murmuring noise, Pelagius said: This is what I also believe; let him be anathema, who declares that a man is able, without God's help, to arrive at the perfection of all virtues.'|
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