Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume III/Moral Treatises of St. Augustin/On Continence/Section 12
12. When, therefore, you hear it said, “Sin shall not reign over you;” have not thou confidence of thyself, that sin reign not over thee, but of Him, unto Whom a certain Saint saith in prayer, “Direct my paths after Thy Word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.” For lest haply, after that we had heard, “sin shall not reign over you,” we should lift up ourselves, and lay this to our own strength, straightway the Apostle saw this, and added, “For ye are not under the Law, but under Grace.” Therefore, Grace causeth that sin reign not over you. Do not thou, therefore, have confidence of thyself, lest it thence reign much more over thee. And, when we hear it said, “If by the Spirit ye shall mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye shall live,” let us not lay this so great good unto our own spirit, as though of itself it can do this. For, in order that we should not entertain that carnal sense, the spirit being dead rather than that which putteth others to death, straightway he added, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Therefore that by our spirit we may mortify the works of the flesh, we are led by the Spirit of God, Who gives Continence, whereby to curb, tame, overcome lust.
- Rom. vi. 14
- Ps. cxix. 133
- Rom. viii. 13
- Rom. viii. 14