Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/Against Two Letters of the Pelagians/Book I/Chapter 28
Chapter 28 [XIV.]—Many Without Crime, None Without Sin.
All these products of concupiscence, and the old guilt of concupiscence itself, are put away by the washing of baptism. And whatever that concupiscence now brings forth, if they are not those products which are called not only sins, but even crimes, are purified by that method of daily prayer when we say, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive,” and by the sincerity of alms-giving. For no one is so foolish as to say that that precept of our Lord does not refer to baptized people: “Forgive and it shall be forgiven you, give and it shall be given you.” But none could rightly be ordained a minister in the Church if the apostle had said, “If any is without sin,” where he says, “If any is without crime;” or if he had said, “Having no sin,” where he says, “Having no crime.” Because many baptized believers are without crime, but I should say that no one in this life is without sin,—however much the Pelagians are inflated, and burst asunder in madness against me because I say this: not because there remains anything of sin which is not remitted in baptism; but because by us who remain in the weakness of this life such sins do not cease daily to be committed, as are daily remitted to those who pray in faith and work in mercy. This is the soundness of the catholic faith, which the Holy Spirit everywhere sows,—not the vanity and presumption of spirit of heretical pravity.
- Luke vi. 37, 38.
- Tit. i. 6.
- 1 Tim. iii. 10.