Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 38 [XXXV.]--A Definition of the Grace of Christ by Pelagius.
|Let them read,| says he, |the epistle which we wrote about twelve years ago to that holy man Bishop Paulinus: its subject throughout in some three hundred lines is the confession of God's grace and assistance alone, and our own inability to do any good thing at all without God.| Well, I have read this epistle also, and found him dwelling throughout it on scarcely any other topic than the faculty and capacity of nature, whilst he makes God's grace consist almost entirely in this. Christ's grace, indeed, he treats with great brevity, simply mentioning its name, so that his only aim seems to have been to avoid the scandal of ignoring it altogether. It is, however, absolutely uncertain whether he means Christ's grace to consist in the remission of sins, or even in the teaching of Christ, including also the example of His life (a meaning which he asserts in several passages of his treatises); or whether he believes it to be a help towards good living, in addition to nature and teaching, through the inspiring influence of a burning and shining love.