Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/On the Proceedings of Pelagius/Chapter 21

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Chapter 21 [VIII.]—The Same Continued.

It is not nature, therefore, which, sold as it is under sin and wounded by the offence, longs for a Redeemer and Saviour; nor is it the knowledge of the law—through which comes the discovery, not the expulsion, of sin—which delivers us from the body of this death; but it is the Lord’s good grace through our Lord Jesus Christ.[1]

Chapter 21 [IX.]—The Same Continued.

This grace is not dying nature, nor the slaying letter, but the vivifying spirit; for already did he possess nature with freedom of will, because he said: “To will is present with me.”[2] Nature, however, in a healthy condition and without a flaw, he did not possess, for he said: “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth nothing good.”[3] Already had he the knowledge of God’s holy law, for he said: “I had not known sin but through the law;”[4] yet for all that, he did not possess strength and power to practise and fulfil righteousness, for he complained: “What I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”[5] And again, “How to accomplish that which is good I find not.”[6] Therefore it is not from the liberty of the human will, nor from the precepts of the law, that there comes deliverance from the body of this death; for both of these he had already,—the one in his nature, the other in his learning; but all he wanted was the help of the grace of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Footnotes[edit]

  1. Rom. vii. 25.
  2. Rom. vii. 18.
  3. Rom. vii. 18.
  4. Rom. vii. 7.
  5. Rom. vii. 15.
  6. Rom. vii. 18.