A Treatise on Grace and Free Will (eBook)

St Augustine

In ePub, .mobi and .pdf formats

HT: William H. Gross who did all of the mark-up for this classic work.

WITH reference to those persons who so preach and defend man’s free will, as to boldly deny and endeavour to do away with the grace of God which Calls us to Him, and which delivers us from our evil deserts, and by which we obtain the good deserts which lead to everlasting life: we have already said a good deal in discussion, and committed it to writing, so far as the Lord has granted to enable us. But since there are some persons who so defend God’s grace as to deny man’s free will, or who suppose that free will is denied when grace is defended, I have determined to write somewhat on this point to your Love, my brother Valentinus, and to the rest of you who are serving God together under the impulse of a mutual love. For it has been told me concerning you, brethren, by some members of your brotherhood who have visited us, and are the bearers of this communication of ours to you, that there are dissensions among you on this subject. This then being the case, dearly beloved, so that you are not disturbed by the obscurity of this question, I counsel you first to thank God for such things as you understand; but as for all which is beyond the reach of your mind, pray for understanding from the Lord, observing at the same time, peace and love among yourselves; and until He Himself leads you to perceive what at present is beyond your comprehension, walk firmly on the ground of which you are sure. This is the advice of the Apostle Paul who, after saying that he was not yet perfect, a little later adds, “Let us, therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded,” Phil 3.12, 15—meaning perfect to a certain extent, but not having attained to a perfection sufficient for us; and then immediately he adds, “And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to what we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule.”Phil 3.16 For by walking in what we have attained, we shall be able to advance to what we have not yet attained—God revealing it to us if in anything we are otherwise minded—provided we do not give up what He has already revealed.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1. THE OCCASION FOR AND ARGUMENT OF THIS WORK
CHAPTER 2. THE EXISTENCE OF FREE WILL IN MAN IS PROVED FROM THE PRECEPTS
ADDRESSED TO HIM BY GOD
CHAPTER 3. SINNERS ARE CONVICTED WHEN ATTEMPTING TO EXCUSE THEMSELVES BY
BLAMING GOD, BECAUSE THEY HAVE FREE WILL
CHAPTER 4. THE DIVINE COMMANDS MOST SUITED TO THE WILL, THEMSELVES
ILLUSTRATE ITS FREEDOM
CHAPTER 5. IGNORANCE AFFORDS NO EXCUSE THAT WILL FREE THE OFFENDER FROM
PUNISHMENT; BUT TO SIN WITH KNOWLEDGE IS A GRAVER THING THAN TO SIN IN
IGNORANCE
CHAPTER 6. GOD’S GRACE IS TO BE MAINTAINED AGAINST THE PELAGIANS; THE
PELAGIAN HERESY IS NOT AN OLD ONE
CHAPTER 7. GRACE IS NECESSARY ALONG WITH FREE WILL, TO LEAD A GOOD LIFE
CHAPTER 8. CONJUGAL CHASTITY IS ITSELF THE GIFT OF GOD
CHAPTER 9. PRAYING WHEN ENTERING INTO TEMPTATION IS A PROOF OF GRACE
CHAPTER 10. FREE WILL AND GOD’S GRACE ARE SIMULTANEOUSLY COMMENDED
CHAPTER 11. OTHER PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE WHICH THE PELAGIANS ABUSE
CHAPTER 12. PAUL PROVES THAT GRACE IS NOT GIVEN ACCORDING TO MEN’S MERITS
CHAPTER 13. THE GRACE OF GOD IS NOT GIVEN ACCORDING TO MERIT, BUT ITSELF
MAKES ALL GOOD DESERT
CHAPTER 14. PAUL FIRST RECEIVED GRACE THAT HE MIGHT WIN THE CROWN
CHAPTER 15. THE PELAGIANS PROFESS THAT THE ONLY GRACE WHICH IS NOT GIVEN
ACCORDING TO OUR MERITS, IS THAT OF THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS
CHAPTER 16. PAUL FOUGHT, BUT GOD GAVE THE VICTORY: HE RAN, BUT GOD SHOWED
MERCY
CHAPTER 17. THE FAITH THAT HE KEPT WAS THE FREE GIFT OF GOD
CHAPTER 18. FAITH WITHOUT GOOD WORKS IS NOT SUFFICIENT FOR SALVATION
CHAPTER 19. HOW IS ETERNAL LIFE BOTH A REWARD FOR SERVICE, AND A FREE GIFT OF
GRACE?
CHAPTER 20. THE QUESTION ANSWERED: JUSTIFICATION IS GRACE SIMPLY AND
ENTIRELY; ETERNAL LIFE IS REWARD, AND GRACE
CHAPTER 21. ETERNAL LIFE IS “GRACE FOR GRACE”
CHAPTER 22. WHO IS THE TRANSGRESSOR OF THE LAW? THE OLDNESS OF ITS LETTER;
THE NEWNESS OF ITS SPIRIT
CHAPTER 23. THE PELAGIANS MAINTAIN THAT THE LAW IS THE GRACE OF GOD WHICH
HELPS US NOT TO SIN
CHAPTER 24. THOSE WHO WISH TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS: “GOD’S
RIGHTEOUSNESS” IS WHAT MAN HAS FROM GOD
CHAPTER 25. THE LAW IS NOT THAT GRACE BY WHICH WE ARE CHRISTIANS, NOR IS OUR
NATURE ITSELF
CHAPTER 26. PELAGIANS CONTEND THAT THE GRACE WHICH IS NEITHER THE LAW NOR
OUR NATURE, AVAILS ONLY TO REMIT PAST SINS, NOT TO AVOID FUTURE ONES.
CHAPTER 27. GRACE EFFECTS THE FULFILMENT OF THE LAW, THE DELIVERANCE OF
NATURE, AND THE SUPPRESSION OF SIN’S DOMINION
CHAPTER 28. FAITH IS THE GIFT OF GOD
CHAPTER 29. GOD IS ABLE TO CONVERT OPPOSING WILLS, AND TO TAKE AWAY FROM THE
HEART ITS HARDNESS
CHAPTER 30. THE GRACE BY WHICH THE STONY HEART IS REMOVED IS NOT PRECEDED BY
GOOD DESERTS, BUT BY EVIL ONES
CHAPTER 31. FREE WILL HAS ITS FUNCTION IN THE HEART’S CONVERSION; BUT GRACE
TOO HAS ITS FUNCTION
CHAPTER 32. IN WHAT SENSE IT IS RIGHTLY SAID THAT, IF WE LIKE, WE MAY KEEP GOD’S
COMMANDMENTS
CHAPTER 33. A GOOD WILL MAY BE SMALL AND WEAK; AN AMPLE WILL HAS GREAT LOVE
—OPERATING AND COOPERATING GRACE
CHAPTER 34. THE APOSTLE’S EULOGY OF LOVE. CORRECTION IS TO BE ADMINISTERED
WITH LOVE
CHAPTER 35. COMMENDATIONS OF LOVE
CHAPTER 36. LOVE COMMENDED BY OUR LORD HIMSELF
CHAPTER 37. THE LOVE WHICH FULFILS THE COMMANDMENTS IS NOT OF OURSELVES,
BUT OF GOD
CHAPTER 38. WE WOULD NOT LOVE GOD UNLESS HE FIRST LOVED US. THE APOSTLES
CHOSE CHRIST BECAUSE THEY WERE CHOSEN; THEY WERE NOT CHOSEN BECAUSE
THEY CHOSE CHRIST
CHAPTER 39. THE SPIRIT OF FEAR IS A GREAT GIFT OF GOD
CHAPTER 40. PELAGIANS ARE IGNORANT IN MAINTAINING THAT THE KNOWLEDGE OF
THE LAW COMES FROM GOD, BUT THAT LOVE COMES FROM OURSELVES
CHAPTER 41. THE WILLS OF MEN ARE SO MUCH IN THE POWER OF GOD, THAT HE CAN
TURN THEM HOWEVER IT PLEASES HIM
CHAPTER 42. GOD DOES WHATEVER HE WILLS IN THE HEARTS EVEN OF WICKED MEN
CHAPTER 43. GOD OPERATES ON MEN’S HEARTS: TO INCLINE THEIR WILLS HOWEVER HE
PLEASES
CHAPTER 44. GRATUITOUS GRACE EXEMPLIFIED IN INFANTS
CHAPTER 45. THE REASON WHY ONE PERSON IS ASSISTED BY GRACE, AND ANOTHER IS
NOT, MUST BE REFERRED TO THE SECRET JUDGMENTS OF GOD
CHAPTER 46. UNDERSTANDING AND WISDOM MUST BE SOUGHT FROM GOD

 

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