Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/On the Proceedings of Pelagius/Chapter 23
Chapter 23 [XI.]—The Seventh Item of the Accusation: the Breviates of Cœlestius Objected to Pelagius.
Then follow sundry statements charged against Pelagius, which are said to be found among the opinions of his disciple Cœlestius: how that “Adam was created mortal, and would have died whether he had sinned or not sinned; that Adam’s sin injured only himself and not the human race; that the law no less than the gospel leads us to the kingdom; that there were sinless men previous to the coming of Christ; that new-born infants are in the same condition as Adam was before the fall; that the whole human race does not, on the one hand, die through Adam’s death or transgression, nor, on the other hand, does the whole human race rise again through the resurrection of Christ.” These have been so objected to, that they are even said to have been, after a full hearing, condemned at Carthage by your holiness and other bishops associated with you. I was not present on that occasion, as you will recollect; but afterwards, on my arrival at Carthage, I read over the Acts of the synod, some of which I perfectly well remember, but I do not know whether all the tenets now mentioned occur among them. But what matters it if some of them were possibly not mentioned, and so not included in the condemnation of the synod when it is quite clear that they deserve condemnation? Sundry other points of error were next alleged against him, connected with the mention of my own name. They had been transmitted to me from Sicily, some of our Catholic brethren there being perplexed by questions of this kind; and I drew up a reply to them in a little work addressed to Hilary, who had consulted me respecting them in a letter. My answer, in my opinion, was a sufficient one. These are the errors referred to: “That a man is able to be without sin if he wishes. That infants, even if they die unbaptized, have eternal life. That rich men, even if they are baptized, unless they renounce all, have, whatever good they may seem to have done, nothing of it reckoned to them; neither can they possess the kingdom of God.”
- Compare Augustin’s work De Peccato Originali, ch. xi. (12).
- See same treatise as before, and same chapter.
- See Augustin’s letter to Hilary, in Epist 157.