Page images
PDF
EPUB

Augustine deal with Vitalis : to whom he saith: “Ih do not believe indeed that thou art a Pelagian heretic : but so I would have thee to be, that no part of that error may pass unto thee, or be left in thee."

The doctrine of the Semi-Pelagians in France is related by Prosper Aquitanicus and Hilarius Arelatensis, in their several epistles written to St. Augustine of this argument: “ they do agree," saith Hilarius, “ that all men were lost in Adam, and that from thence no man by his proper will can be freed: but this they say is agreeable to the truth, or answerable to the preaching of the word, that when the means of obtaining salvation is declared to such as are cast down and would never rise again by their own strength, they by that merit, whereby they do will and believe that they can be healed from their disease, may obtain both the increase of that faith, and the effecting of their whole health.” And “thatk grace is not denied, when such a will as this is said to go before it, which seeketh only a physician, but is not of itself otherwise able to do any thing. For as touching that place: As he hath distributed to every one the measure of faith, and other like testimonies, they would have them make for this, that he should be holpen that hath begun to will; but not that this also should be given unto him, that he might will." Prosper in his poems doth thus deliver it :

Gratia' qua Christi populus sumus, hoc cohibetur
Limite vobiscum, et formam hanc asscribitis illi :

b Ego hæreticum quidem Pelagianum te esse non credo : sed ita esse volo, ut nihil illius ad te transeat, vel in te relinquatur erroris. Aug. ep. 217. ad Vitalem. op. tom. 2. pag. 807.

Consentiunt omnem hominem in Adam periisse, nec inde quenquam posse proprio arbitrio liberari : sed id conveniens asserunt veritati, vel congruum prædicationi, ut cum prostratis et nunquam suis viribus surrecturis annunciatur obtinendæ salutis occasio ; eo merito, quo voluerint et crediderint a suo morbo se posse sanari, et ipsius fidei augmentum, et totius sanitatis suæ consequantur effectum. Hilar. epist. ad August. inter op. Augustin. tom. 2. pag. 825.

k Nec negari gratiam, si præcedere dicatur talis voluntas, quæ tantum medicum quærat, non autem quicquam ipsa jam valeat. Nam illa testimonia, ut est illud, Sicut unicuique partitus est mensuram fidei, et similia, ad id volunt valere, ut adjuvetur qui cæperit velle ; non ut etiam donetur, ut velit. Ibid.

| Prosper, de Ingratis, cap. 10.

Ut cunctos vocet illa quidem, invitetque ; nec ullum
Præteriens, studeat communem adferre salutem
Omnibus, et totum peccato absolvere mundum.
Sed proprio quemque arbitrio parere vocanti,
Judicioque suo, mota se extendere mente
Ad lucem oblatam; quæ se non subtrahat ulli,
Sed cupidos recti juvet, illustretque volentes.
Hinc adjutoris Domini bonitate magistra
Crescere virtutum studia; ut quod quisque petendum
Mandatis didicit, jugi sectetur amore.
Esse autem edoctis istam communiter æquam
Libertatem animis, ut cursum explere beatum
Persistendo queant : finem effectumque petitum
Dante Deo, ingeniis qui nunquam desit honestis.
Sed quia non idem est cunctis vigor, et variarum
Illecebris rerum trahitur dispersa voluntas :
Sponte aliquos vitiis succumbere, qui potuissent
A lapsu revocare pedem, stabilesque manere.

Against these opinions St. Augustine wrote his two books, of the predestination of the Saints, and of the gift of perseverance : in the former whereof he hath this memorable passage among divers others : “ Manym hear the word of truth ; but some do believe, others do contradict. Therefore these have a will to believe, the others have not. Who is ignorant of this ? who would deny it? but seeing the will is to some prepared by the Lord, to others not, we are to discern what doth proceed from his mercy, and what from his judgment. That which Israel did seek, saith the apostle", he obtained not : but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Behold mercy and judgment; mercy in the election which hath obtained the righteousness of God, but judgment upon the rest

m Multi audiunt verbum veritatis ; sed alii credunt, alii contradicunt. Volunt ergo isti credere, nolunt autem illi. Quis hoc ignoret ? quis hoc neget? Sed cum aliis præparetur, aliis non præparetur voluntas a Domino : discernendum est utique quid veniat de misericordia ejus, quid de judicio. Quod quærebat Israel, ait apostolus, hoc non est consecutus : electio autem consecuta est, cæteri vero excæcati sunt, &c. Ecce misericordia et judicium ; misericordia in electione quæ consecuta est justitiam Dei, judicium vero in cæteros qui excæcati sunt: et tamen illi quia voluerunt, crediderunt; illi quia noluerunt, non crediderunt. Misericordia igitur et judicium in ipsis voluntatibus facta sunt. Augustin. de Prædestinat. Sanctor. cap. 6. op. tom. 10. pag. 798.

» Rom. chap. 11. ver. 7.

that were blinded: and yet the one because they would, did believe ; the others because they would not, did not believe. Mercy therefore and judgment were executed even upon the wills themselves.” Against the same opinions divers treatises were published by Prosper also; who chargeth these men with nourishing the poison of the Pelagian pravity, by their positions: inasmuch as I. “ The beginning of salvation is naughtily placed in man" by them. II. “ The will of man is impiously preferred before the will of God: as if therefore one should be holpen because he did will, and did not therefore will because he was holpen.” III. “ A man originally evil is naughtily believed to begin his receiving of good, not from the highest good, but from himself.” IV. “ It is thought that God may otherwise be pleased, than out of that which he himself hath bestowed.” But he maintaineth constantly, that both the beginning and ending of a man's conversion is wholly to be ascribed unto grace: and that God effecteth this grace in us, “not by way of counsel and persuasion only, but by an inward change and reformation of the mind, making up a new vessel of a broken one, by a creating virtue.”

NonP hoc consilio tantum hortatuque benigno
Suadens atque docens, quasi normam legis haberet
Gratia : sed mutans intus mentem, atque reformans,
Vasque novum ex fracto fingens, virtute creandi.

The writers of principal esteem on the other side, were Johannes Cassianus', and Faustus Regiensis or Reiensis: the former of which was encountered by Prosper, in his book contra Collatorem, the latter by Fulgentius,

• In istis Pelagianæ pravitatis reliquiis non mediocris virulentiæ fibra nutritur, si principium salutis male in homine collocatur ; si divinæ voluntati impie voluntas humana præfertur, ut ideo quis adjuvetur quia voluit, non ideo quia adjuvatur velit: si originaliter malus receptionem boni non a summo bono, sed a semetipso inchoare male creditur; si aliunde Deo placetur, nisi ex eo quod ipse donaverit. Prosp. in epist. ad August, int. op. Augustin. tom. 2. pag. 824.

P Id. de Ingratis, cap. 14.

9 Opuscula Cassiani, presbyteri Galliarum, apocrypha. Opuscula Fausti Rhegiensis, Galliarum apocrypha. Concil. Roman. 1. sub Gelasio.

Johannes Maxentius, Cæsarius, Johannes Antiochenus : as also by Gelasius and his Roman synod of seventy bishops, the writings of them both were rejected amongst the books apocryphal. And lastly by the joint authority both of the see of Rome', and of the French bishops assembled in the second council of Orange, in the year of our Lord DXXIX. sentence was given against the Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians in general, that their opinions touching grace and free will, were not agreeable to the rule of the Catholic faith ; and these conclusions following, among sundry others, determined in particular.

“ If any doth say, that by man's prayer the grace of God may be conferred, and that it is not grace itself which maketh, that god is prayed unto by us: he contradicteth the prophet Isaiah, or the apostle saying the same thing; I was found of them that sought me not, and have been made manifest to them that asked not after met.”

“Ifu any man defend, that God doth expect our will, that we may be purged from sin, and doth not confess that this will of ours to be purged, is wrought in us by the infusion and operation of the Holy Ghost: he resisteth the Holy Ghost, saying by Solomon: The" will is prepared by the Lord ; and the apostle preaching wholesomely: It is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do, of his good pleasure."

r Unde id nobis, secundum admonitionem et auctoritatem sedis apostolicæ, justum ac rationabile visum est, ut pauca capitula ab apostolica nobis sede transmissa, quæ ab antiquis Patribus de sanctarum Scripturarum voluminibus in hac præcipue causa collecta sunt, ad docendos eos qui aliter quam oportet sentiunt, ab omnibus observanda proferre, et manibus nostris subscribere deberemus. Præfat. Concil. Arausican. II. Quot Arausicani canones, tot sunt Catholicæ ecclesiæ stabilitæ sententiæ, a quibus absque prævaricationis piaculo haud liceat fideli recedere. Baron. addit. ad tom. 7. ann. 529. in 10. tomi appendice.

Si quis invocatione humana gratiam Dei dicit posse conferri; non autem ipsam gratiam facere, ut invocetur a nobis : contradicit Isaiæ prophetæ, vel apostolo idem dicenti : Inventus sum a non quærentibus me, palam apparui iis qui me non interrogabant. Concil. Arausican. II. Can. 3.

* Isai. chap. 65. ver. 1. Rom. chap. 10. ver. 20.

u Si quis ut a peccato purgemur, voluntatem nostram Deum expectare contendit; non autem ut etiam purgari velimus per sancti Spiritus infusionem et operationem in nobis fieri confitetur : resistit ipsi Spiritui sancto, per Solomonem dicenti: Præparatur voluntas a Domino ; et apostolo salubriter prædicanti ; Deus est qui operatur in nobis et velle et perficere pro bona voluntate. Ibid. can. 4.

“ Ify any man say, that to us, without grace, believing, willing, desiring, endeavouring, labouring, watching, studying, asking, seeking, knocking, mercy is conferred by God, and doth not confess, that it is wrought in us by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that we may believe, will, or do all these things as we ought; and doth make the help of grace to follow after man's either humility or obedience, neither doth yield that it is the gift of grace itself, that we are obedient and humble: he resisteth the apostle, saying: What hast thou, that thou hast not received ? and : Bya the grace of God I am that I am."

“ Itb is God's gift, both when we do think aright, and when we hold our feet from falsehood and unrighteousness. For as oft as we do good things, God worketh in us, and with us, that we may work."

“ There are many good things done in man, which man doth not. But man doth no good things, which God doth not make man to do."

“ Thisa also do we wholesomely profess and believe,

* Prov. chap. 8. ver. 35. according to the Septuagint. * Philipp. chap. 2. ver. 13.

y Si quis sine gratia Dei, credentibus, volentibus, desiderantibus, conantibus, laborantibus, vigilantibus, studentibus, petentibus, quærentibus, pulsantibus nobis misericordiam dicit conferri divinitus ; non autem ut credamus, velimus, vel hæc omnia sicut oportet agere valeamus, per infusionem et inspirationem sancti Spiritus in nobis fieri confitetur ; et aut humilitati aut obedientiæ humanæ subjungit gratiæ adjutorium, nec ut obedientes et humiles simus ipsius gratiæ donum esse consentit : resistit apostolo dicenti : Quid habes, quod non accepisti ? et: Gratia Dei sum id quod sum. Concil. Arausican. II. can. 6. * 1 Cor. chap. 4. ver. 7.

a Ibid. chap. 15. ver. 10. b Divini est muneris, cum et recte cogitamus, et pedes nostros a falsitate et injustitia tenemus. Quoties enim bona agimus, Deus in nobis atque nobiscum, ut operemur, operatur. Ibid. can. 9.

C Multa in homine bona fiunt, quæ non facit homo. Nulla vero facit homo bona, quæ non Deus præstet, ut faciat homo. Ibid. can. 20.

« Hoc etiam salubriter profitemur et credimus, quod in omni opere bono non nos incipimus, et postea per Dei misericordiam adjuvamur; sed ipse nobis,

« PreviousContinue »