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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on Nature and Grace.: Chapter 73

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 73.—He Meets Pelagius with Another Passage from Hilary.

Now even Job himself is not silent respecting his own sins; and your friend, 1315 of course, is justly of opinion that humility must not by any means “be put on the side of falsehood.” Whatever confession, therefore, Job makes, inasmuch as he is a true worshipper of God, he undoubtedly makes it in truth. 1316 Hilary, likewise, while expounding that passage of the psalm in which it is written, “Thou hast despised all those who turn aside from Thy commandments,” 1317 says: “If God were to despise sinners, He would despise indeed all men, because no man is without sin; but it is those who turn away from Him, whom they call apostates, that He despises.” You observe his statement: it is not to the effect that no man was without sin, as if he spoke of the past; but no man is without sin; and on this point, as I have already remarked, I have no contention with him. But if one refuses to submit to the Apostle John,—who does not himself declare, “If we were to say we have had no sin,” but “If we say we have no sin,” 1318 —how is he likely to show deference to Bishop Hilary? It is in defence of the grace of Christ that I lift up my voice, without which grace no man is justified,—just as if natural free will were sufficient. Nay, He Himself lifts up His own voice in defence of the same. Let us submit to Him when He says: “Without me ye can do nothing.” 1319



Pelagius, the friend of Timasius and Jacobus.


Job 40:4, Job 42:6.


Ps. 119:21, 118.


1 John i. 8.


John xv. 5.

Next: Chapter 74