Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/Against Two Letters of the Pelagians/Book I/Chapter 39
Chapter 39 [XXI.]—Julian’s Fifth Objection Concerning the Saints of the Old Testament.
“We say,” says he, “that the saints of the Old Testament, their righteousness being perfected here, passed to eternal life,—that is, that by the love of virtue they departed from all sins; because those whom we read of as having committed any sin, we nevertheless know to have amended themselves.” Of whatever virtue you may declare that the ancient righteous men were possessed, nothing saved them but the belief in the Mediator who shed His blood for the remission of their sins. For their own word is, “I believed, and therefore I spoke.” Whence the Apostle Paul also says, “And we having the same Spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” What is “the same Spirit,” but that Spirit whom these righteous men also had who said such things? The Apostle Peter also says, “Why do ye wish to put a yoke upon the heathen, which neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? But, by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe that we shall be saved, even as they.” You who are enemies to this grace do not wish this, that the ancients should be believed to have been saved by the same grace of Jesus Christ; but you distribute the times according to Pelagius, in whose books this is read, and you say that before the law men were saved by nature, then by the law, lastly by Christ, as if to men of the two former times, that is to say, before the law and under the law, the blood of Christ had not been necessary; making void what is said: “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
- Ps. cxvi. 10.
- 2 Cor. iv. 13.
- Acts xv. 10, 11.
- See above, On Original Sin, 30.
- 1 Tim. ii. 5.