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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Grace of Christ, and...: Chapter 40

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 40 [XXXVII]—The Help of Grace Placed by Pelagius in the Mere Revelation of Teaching.

“Let them read moreover” says he, “what I wrote, 1881 when I was in the East, to Christ’s holy virgin Demetrias, and they will find that we so commend the nature of man as always to add the help of God’s grace.” Well, I read this letter too; and it had almost persuaded me that he did acknowledge therein the grace about which our discussion is concerned, although he did certainly seem in many passages of this work to contradict himself. But when there also came to my hands those other treatises which he afterwards wrote for more extensive circulation, I discovered in what sense he must have intended to speak of grace,—concealing what he believed under an ambiguous generality, but employing the term “grace” in order to break the force of obloquy, and to avoid giving offence. For at the very commencement of this work (where he says: “Let us apply ourselves with all earnestness to the task which we have set before us, nor let us have any misgiving because of our own humble ability; for we believe that we are assisted by the mother’s faith and her daughter’s merit” 1882 ) he appeared to me at first to acknowledge the grace which helps us to individual action; nor did I notice at once the fact that he might possibly have made this grace consist simply in the revelation of teaching.



See above, ch. 23.


Epistle to Demetrias, ch. 1.

Next: Chapter 41

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