Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
A Work on the Proceedings of Pelagius.: Chapter 8
Chapter 8.—The Same Continued.
This being the case, how must Gods children, who have learned the truth of all this and rejoice at being ruled and led by the Spirit of God, have been affected when they heard or read that Pelagius had declared in writing that “all men are governed by their own will, and that every one is submitted to his own desire?” And yet, when questioned by the bishops, he fully perceived what an evil impression these words of his might produce, and told them in answer that “he had made such an assertion in the interest of free will,”—adding at once, “God is its helper whenever it chooses good; whilst man is himself in fault when he sins, as being under the influence of a free will.” Although the pious judges approved of this sentiment also, they were unwilling to consider or examine how incautiously he had written, or indeed in what sense he had employed the words found in his book. They thought it was enough that he had made such a confession concerning free will, as to admit that God helped the man who chose the good, whereas the man who sinned was himself to blame, his own will sufficing for him in this direction. According to this, God rules those whom He assists in their choice of the good. So far, then, as they rule anything themselves, they rule it rightly, since they themselves are ruled by Him who is right and good.
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