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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Work on the Proceedings of Pelagius.: Chapter 64

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 64.—How the Bishops Cleared Pelagius of Those Charges.

These four dogmas, thus connected with the name of Cœlestius, were therefore not approved by the bishops in their judgment, in the sense in which Cœlestius was said to have set them forth but in the sense which Pelagius gave to them in his reply. For they saw clearly enough, that it is one thing to be without sin, and another thing to live holily and righteously, as Scripture testifies that some lived even before the coming of Christ. And that although the Church here on earth is not without spot or wrinkle, she is yet both cleansed from every spot and wrinkle by the laver of regeneration, and in this state the Lord would have her continue. And continue she certainly will, for without doubt she shall reign without spot or wrinkle in an everlasting felicity. And that the perpetual virginity, which is not commanded, is unquestionably more than the purity of wedded life, which is commanded—although virginity is persevered in by many persons, who, notwithstanding, are not without sin. And that all those graces which he enumerates in a certain passage were possessed by the Apostle Paul; and yet, for all that, either they could quite understand, in regard to his having been worthy to receive them, that the merit was not according to his works, but rather, in some way, according to predestination (for the apostle says himself: “I am not meet to be called an apostle;”) 1778 or else their attention was not arrested by the sense which Pelagius gave to the word, as he himself viewed it. Such are the points on which the bishops pronounced the agreement of Pelagius with the doctrines of godly truth.



1 Cor. xv. 9.

Next: Chapter 65

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