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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Grace of Christ, and...: Chapter 28

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 28 [XXIV.]—The Heresy of Pelagius and Cœlestius Aims at the Very Foundations of Our Faith.

This is, however, in the matter of the two men by one of whom we are sold under sin, 1958 by the other redeemed from sins—by the one have been precipitated into death, by the other are liberated unto life; the former of whom has ruined us in himself, by doing his own will instead of His who created him; the latter has saved us in Himself, by not doing His own will, p. 246 but the will of Him who sent Him: 1959 and it is in what concerns these two men that the Christian faith properly consists. For “there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 1960 since “there is none other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved;” 1961 and “in Him hath God defined unto all men their faith, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” 1962 Now without this faith, that is to say, without a belief in the one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; without faith, I say, in His resurrection by which God has given assurance to all men and which no man could of course truly believe were it not for His incarnation and death; without faith, therefore, in the incarnation and death and resurrection of Christ, the Christian verity unhesitatingly declares that the ancient saints could not possibly have been cleansed from sin so as to have become holy, and justified by the grace of God. And this is true both of the saints who are mentioned in Holy Scripture, and of those also who are not indeed mentioned therein, but must yet be supposed to have existed,—either before the deluge, or in the interval between that event and the giving of the law, or in the period of the law itself,—not merely among the children of Israel, as the prophets, but even outside that nation, as for instance Job. For it was by the self-same faith in the one Mediator that the hearts of these, too, were cleansed, and there also was “shed abroad in them the love of God by the Holy Ghost,” 1963 “who bloweth where He listeth,” 1964 not following men’s merits, but even producing these very merits Himself. For the grace of God will in no wise exist unless it be wholly free.



Rom. vii. 14.


John 4:34, John 5:30.


1 Tim. ii. 5.


Acts iv. 12.


Acts xvii. 31.


Rom. v. 5.


John iii. 8.

Next: Chapter 29

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