Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 34 [XIV.]--The Doctrine of Predestination Not Opposed to the Advantage of Preaching.
But they say that the |definition of predestination is opposed to the advantage of preaching,| -- as if, indeed, it were opposed to the preaching of the apostle! Did not that teacher of the heathen so often, in faith and truth, both commend predestination, and not cease to preach the word of God? Because he said, |It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure,| did he not also exhort that we should both will and do what is pleasing to God? or because he said, |He who hath begun a good work in you shall carry it on even unto the day of Christ Jesus,| did he on that account cease to persuade men to begin and to persevere unto the end? Doubtless, our Lord Himself commanded men to believe, and said, |Believe in God, believe also in me:| and yet His opinion is not therefore false, nor is His definition idle when He says, |No man cometh unto me| -- that is, no man believeth in me -- |except it has been given him of my Father.| Nor, again, because this definition is true, is the former precept vain. Why, therefore, do we think the definition of predestination useless to preaching, to precept, to exhortation, to rebuke, -- all which things the divine Scripture repeats frequently, -- seeing that the same Scripture commends this doctrine?