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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Grace of Christ, and...: Chapter 36

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 36 [XXXIII.]—Cœlestius Openly Declares Infants to Have No Original Sin.

Who would believe that, under so clear a confession, there is concealed a contrary meaning, if Cœlestius had not exposed it? He who in that book of his, which he quoted at Rome in the ecclesiastical proceedings there, 1878 distinctly acknowledged that “infants too are baptized for the remission of sins,” also denied “that they have any original sin.” But let us now observe what Pelagius thought, not about the baptism of infants, but rather about the assistance of divine grace, in this exposition of his belief which he forwarded to Rome. “We confess,” says he, “free will in such a sense that we declare ourselves to be always in need of the help of God.” Well, now, we ask again, what the help is which he says we require; and again we find ambiguity, since he may possibly answer that he meant the law and the teaching of Christ, whereby that natural “capacity” is assisted. We, however, on our side require them to acknowledge a grace like that which the apostle describes, when he says: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind;” 1879 although it does not follow by any means that the man who has the gift of knowledge, whereby he has discovered what he ought to do, has also the grace of love so as to do it.



See above, ch. 32 [xxx.]; compare De Pecc. Orig. chs. 5, 6.


2 Tim. i. 7.

Next: Chapter 37

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