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St. Augustine on Reprobation


Everyone wants St. Augustine on their side. The specific nuances of his thought have sparked the fiercest debates within the realm of Historical Theology. Semipelagians, the Reformed, Lutherans, Jansenists, and Roman Catholics have all claimed him as their own. Within this hot debate, the fiercest battle has been waged over St. Augustine’s specific doctrine of Predestination, especially in the area of Reprobation.

This question is not merely a debate between modern academics on an inconsequential, arcane, and archaic point of theology, rather this is a living debate within the church catholic. Further, the solution of this “living debate” will be a “nail-in-the-coffin” of some sort for certain groups which pride themselves on their Augustinian pedigree.

While certain eminent and saintly interpreters of the Doctor gratiae differ, St. Augustine taught that there is a Massa Damnata [damned mass] which is negatively elected (passed over) unto damnation, based on the elective will of God as is seen in his work De praedestinatione sanctorum, in the rest of his corpus, and realized by the consensus of Augustinian interpreters.

To defend this thesis, first, I will give an “explanation of the question” whereas, after the mode of the schoolmen, I will first give those necessary distinctions and definitions which explains what is meant by “reprobation,” and second, will explain those questions which this paper does not seek to treat. Second, I will give the historical context of the Pelagian controversy which produced St. Augustine’s most mature reflection on the subject. Third, I will give an overview of the history of interpretation within the church catholic on this topic, especially focusing on the interpretations of St. Prosper of Aquitaine, the councils of Orange and Valence, Gottschalk of Orbais, St. Thomas Aquinas, the Reformed Scholastics, the Lutherans, the Council of Trent, and those involved in the Jansenist controversy.

Then, I will defend the thesis from the Augustinian corpus itself, especially from his work De praedestinatione sanctorum. Lastly, I will bring forth and respond to objections given against the thesis thus stated and proved from the Augustinian corpus. As a side note, due to the nature of the debate, a larger emphasis will be placed on those historical interpretations of St. Augustine, rather than those current, academic treatments of his thought (although those sources will be treated).

Explanation of the Question

First, the explanation of the question.[1] We must start with what “providence” is, and then from genus to species, explain “predestination,” and then the specific aspects of that “predestination,” that is, “election” and “reprobation.”

Providence is, as explained by St. Thomas Aquinas, “the order[ing] of things towards their end [which] pre-exist[s] in the divine mind.”[2] That is, providence is the ordering of all things in prudence by God to their end. All things are subject to this providence,[3] “all things that exist in whatsoever manner are necessarily directed by God towards some end,”[4] “even the smallest [thing],”[5] although in the “execution of this order [providence]...there are certain intermediaries of God’s that the dignity of causality is imparted even to creatures”[6] and “Divine providence does not therefore impose any necessity upon things so as to destroy their contingency.”[7]

A species of this providence is “predestination.” This is specifically the “order[ing] of things towards their end,” in that the “thing” is men, and the “end” is their eternal destiny. There are two aspects of this in that there are two eternal destinations, salvation and damnation. The execution of the former is called “election,” the execution of the latter is called “reprobation.”

In election, there “is not anything in the predestined; but only in the person who predestines [God].”[8] The execution of election “is in a passive way in the predestined, but actively in God.”[9] Specifically, the execution is called “the calling and magnification [glorification].”[10] The “foreknowledge of merits is not the cause or reason of predestination,”[11] rather the cause is found in the love of God.

Reprobation, on the other hand, is predestination in relation to the damned, thus the label “double-predestination.” This reprobation can be taken in four ways. First, the “Remonstrance” which conceives of the cause of reprobation thus, “Reprobation from eternal life is made according to the consideration of antecedent unbelief and perseverance in the same.”[12]

Second, the “equal-ultamists” or “hyper-calvinists” which conceive of election and reprobation to be equal in its instrumentality, means, execution, and governance. That is, just as God actively regenerates, infusing grace into the elect, so also God actively hardens the reprobate as his means for reprobation. This view conflates damnatio and reprobatio, placing the cause of damnatio not in the sin of the individual, but in the will of God in reprobation. The second and third groups distinguish damnatio and reprobatio thus “whereas the cause of damnatio is the sin of an individual, the cause of reprobatio is the sovereign will of God.”[13]

Third, the “supralapsarians” who, just as the hyper-Calvinists, consider reprobatio and electio to be coordinate, yet they are distinguished in that the supralapsarians deny an equality of instrumentality. The affirmation of equality is found in the “thing” or “object” of the decree in that “both election and reprobation ultimately take possible, creatable, and thus unfallen human beings as their object.”[14]

Fourth, the “infralapsarians” who differ from the supralapsarians in that they conceive of “reprobatio [as] a divine decree taking fallen humanity as its object and willing to leave some of the fallen in sin.”[15] In order to eschew the charge that this makes God the author of sin, there is a distinction made by supra- and infralapsarian alike between “positive” and “negative” aspects of reprobation. Negative reprobation is the will to refrain from giving grace on the reprobate, describe as a “decretum praeteritionis, a decree to set aside; or as decretum non miserandi, a decree not to have mercy; or as a decretum deserendi, a decree of desertion.”[16] On the other hand, Positive reprobation is the will of God which “ indicat[es] the divine will to set aside for condemnation those who, lacking grace, are hardened in sin.”[17]

It is this last position of Reprobation that will be argued for in St. Augustine. Therefore, the state of the question is not “Was God the positive cause of sin within the elect?” or “Did God reprobate those had not fallen into sin yet?” Rather, the question is thus “In the thought of St. Augustine, did God, will that some, who had fallen in Adam (the massa damnata), would not receive perservering grace and therefore that these who had fallen in Adam and persevere in their wickedness would be damned?”

The Historical Context of the Debate

Next, the historical context of the debate. St. Augustine had been in controversies prior to the Pelagian controversy, fighting Manichaeans, Donatists, and Pagans, yet the Pelagian controversy brought the Doctor Gratiae to the international stage. Pelagius was a British monk who lived in Rome. Pelagius affirmed that since God had commanded perfection then complete moral perfection was obligatory and that in our current state of goodness (in opposition to Original sin) we could achieve it.[18] Specifically, he affirmed this against St. Augustine himself in the phrase “Grant what Thou commandest, and command what Thou dost desire,”[19] writing the work On Nature.

St. Augustine responded to Pelagius with what will become known as the “anti-pelagian” writings. These writings covered human freedom, human sinfulness, Divine grace, and, most important for our purpose, Divine election. The canon of these writings are as follows, De peccatorum meritis et remissione et de baptismo parvulorum, De spiritu et littera, De natura et gratia, De perfectione iustitiae hominis, De gestis Pelagii, De gratia Christi et de peccato originali, De nuptiis et concupiscientia, De natura et origine animae, De animae quantitate, Contra duas epistulas Pelagianorum, De gratia et libero arbitrio, De correptione et gratia, De praedestinatione sanctorum, and De dono perseverantiae. The two last of these works (De praedestinatione sanctorum and De dono perseverantiae) will be the focus of this paper, although, since these serve as a capstone of the anti-Pelagian corpus, the other works within the corpus will be drawn from secondarily, and the larger corpus of Augustinian writings tertiarily.

The History of Interpretation

Now, the history of the interpretation of the Doctor Gratiae will follow. This takes the place of a strong focus for multiple reasons. First, from the nature of St. Augustine, in that his writings became the mark of Orthodoxy in soteriology, therefore those historical interpreters of his are of much greater value to treat than modern interpreters. Second, from the state of the question, for this specific question had been treated and expounded upon within the discipline of Augustinian soteriology. Third, from the nature of theological study, in that theological study is conducted by and for the church, and in this specific question, it falls more in the realm of theological study (as authoritative) than a mere historical question. That being said, modern interpreters of the Saint will be consulted.

First, those Doctors and councils before Gottschalk. The first of these authors is St. Prosper of Aquitaine. St. Prosper of Aquitaine became embroiled in the “Semi-Pelagian” Controversy immediately arising after the death of St. Augustine and defended the Augustinian view of Soteriology. St. Prosper taught on the issue of reprobation that the act of Reprobation is a negative one whereby God “allowed him [the reprobate] to follow a course of action which would be to his detriment.”[20] He denies that God “drives men to sin”[21] in reprobation. The causation of the damnatio in the eyes of St. Prosper is sin. He points to Christ’s words about Tyre and Sidon to back up this view that God “did not please to transform the hearts of these people [as he does the reprobate].”[22]

Next, the Council of Orange. The Conclusion of the Canons states, “We not only do not believe that any are foreordained to evil by the power of God, but even state with utter abhorrence that if there are those who want to believe so evil a thing, they are anathema.”[23] This may seem at first glance to be a rejection of reprobation by those who sought to faithfully interpret and promulgate Augustinian soteriology, but again we must realize that the statement only necessitates what was said by earlier authors, that an equality of the instrumentality of reprobation and election must be denied.

Next, another 8th-century semi-Pelagian controversy arose in the west which was solved by Pope Hadrian.[24] This controversy deals more explicitly with reprobation, the Pope not denying the statement “that predestination to life or to death is in the power of God and not in ours.”[25] Reprobation is clearly affirmed here, and there is some equality affirmed between election and reprobation, yet the specific nature is not described outside of an affirmation of the view of St. Fulgentius (who is known for his affirmation of Reprobation in such a formulation).

Now, the view of the post-Gottschalk, pre-Reformation age, which will be represented by Gottschalk himself and St. Thomas Aquinas. First, Gottschalk. In order to understand Gottschalk, we must first understand the background and larger context of the debate which erupted. Before Gottschalk and almost immediately after the death of St. Augustine there had been almost constant debates between the “Semi-Pelagians” and Augustinians over the nature of man, grace, and predestination. The controversy did not arise in a vacuum.

Gottschalk was condemned by local synods and subject to abuse over his views of reprobation and the extent of the atonement. There were many of his day who opposed and many who supported his view causing great controversy. The Catholic Encyclopedia admits, “It is doubtful whether Gottschalk's doctrine on predestination was heretical. There is nothing in his extant writings that cannot be interpreted in a Catholic sense.”[26]

There are two surviving and translated works of Gottschalk, the Confessio Brevior and the Confessio Prolixior. The Confessio Brevior is summed up thus, “I believe and confess that God in like manner (pariter) has, by His most just judgment...predestined reprobate men, who are his [the Devil’s] members, on account of their foreknown particular future evil deeds, to merited eternal death.”[27]

We see here nothing else than what was said before him. There is some sort of equality “in like manner [to election]” and yet there is a distinction in that the damnatio is based on their “evil deeds.”

Now, the Confessio Prolixior,

I believe and also confess that although thou hadst foreknown before the ages all things future, whether good or evil; that thou hast predestinated only the good...So also in nearly the same way (propemodum) thou hast predestinated lasting merited punishment for the devil and his angels, and for all reprobate men, so also thou hast predestinated them for punishment. Undoubtedly it would have been without cause that thou hadst predestinated them for it. For they would not go to it unless destined, neither would they have been destined unless predestined. Indeed if even one of the reprobate (which is impossible) had been destined thither, who had not been predestinated, then thou, before all ages hast been he who is not able even for a moment to be changeable, shouldest have now have been shown to be changed.[28]

We see here the same idea expressed as had been previously expressed. This is a reprobation which is the flip side of election, yet they differ in that election is without merit, yet the reprobate have “predestinated lasting merited punishment.”

To represent the Medieval view, I will bring forth the Doctor communis. Although outside of his sed contra, he does not quote St. Augustine as frequently, he still consciously stands within the stream of Augustinian thought, believing himself to be faithfully explicating his view on the matter. He writes in his Article on Predestination,

“I answer that, God does reprobate some...Thus, as men are ordained to eternal life through the providence of God, it likewise is part of that providence to permit some to fall away from that end; this is called reprobation. Thus, as predestination is a part of providence, in regard to those ordained to eternal salvation, so reprobation is a part of providence in regard to those who turn aside from that end. Hence reprobation implies not only foreknowledge, but also something more, as does providence, as was said above (Q. 22, A. 1). Therefore, as predestination includes the will to confer grace and glory; so also reprobation includes the will to permit a person to fall into sin, and to impose the punishment of damnation on account of that sin.”[29]

In the Summa, he affirms that same view of reprobation as was taught earlier, there is a reprobation which differs from election in that it is one of mere permission (negative), positively willing to punish them, yet negatively willing them to fall away.

In the Reformation, there were two interpretations, the Reformed/Lutheran[30] and Roman Catholic. The Roman Catholic interpretation varies, for the Council of Trent makes no definite statement on the issue, but merely gives this anathema, “If any one saith, that the grace of Justification is only attained to by those who are predestined unto life; but that all others who are called, are called indeed, but receive not grace, as being, by the divine power, predestined unto evil; let him be anathema.”[31]

In the larger Roman Church various theological opinions reign on this issue,

“Hence the earlier partisans of absolute predestination never denied that their theory compelled them to assume for the wicked a parallel, negative reprobation — that is, to assume that, though not positively predestined to hell, yet they are absolutely predestined not to go to heaven...In order to disguise the harshness and cruelty of such a Divine decree, the theologians invented more or less palliative expressions, saying that negative reprobation is the absolute will of God to "pass over" a priori those not predestined, to "overlook" them, "not to elect" them, "by no means to admit" them into heaven...The adherents of negative reprobation do not agree among themselves, namely, as to what is the motive of Divine reprobation. The rigorists (as Alvarez, Estius, Sylvius) regard as the motive the sovereign will of God who, without taking into account possible sins and demerits...A second milder opinion (e.g. de Lemos, Gotti, Gonet), appealing to the Augustinian doctrine of the massa damnata, finds the ultimate reason for the exclusion from heaven in original sin, in which God could, without being unjust, leave as many as He saw fit. The third and mildest opinion (as Goudin, Graveson, Billuart) derives reprobation not from a direct exclusion from heaven, but from the omission of an "effectual election to heaven"; they represent God as having decreed ante prævisa merita to leave those not predestined in their sinful weakness, without denying them the necessary sufficient graces; thus they would perish infallibility.”[32]

The Reformed view is that which I have previously stated as what I am arguing for in St. Augustine. It is helpful to restate this thesis before going into an analysis of how these Augustinian views relate to the thesis stated. That is, Reprobation, as taught by Augustine and the Reformed, infralapsarian orthodox, is that God willed that some, who had fallen in Adam would not receive persevering grace and therefore that those who had fallen in Adam and persevere in their wickedness would be damned.

This view, as we have seen through a brief overview of Augustinian interceptors, is held by St. Prosper, Pope Hadrian I, Gottschalk, St. Thomas Aquinas, the Reformed infralapsarians, Lutherans, and some Roman Catholics with greater or lesser clarity. The other sources consulted do not give a clear interpretation of the doctrine, but, as we have shown do not contradict the interpretation given.

Modern Interpretors

When it comes to modern interpreters it is varied. James Wetzel interprets Augustine as teaching a negative view of predestination, as a passing over of the Massa Damnata.[33] The Catholic Encyclopedia, while calling it the Heresy of Predestinarianism, admits that St. Augustine fell into it in his later years, affirming that he taught it,[34] calling the teaching of the Doctor Gratiae “exaggerations” and a “harsh doctrine.”[35] The Tractarian theologian James Bowling Mozley concludes that St. Augustine taught a reprobation of those within a Massa Damnata in a negative sense, although he admits that he believes St. Augustine is in error, explaining away the texts which do not fit his system.[36] Fr. William J. Most, a Roman Catholic theologian, writes “St. Augustine had held that all humans form a damned and damnable blob from original sin. God blindly picks a small percent to save, to show mercy; the rest, the great majority, He deserts, to show justice.”[37] Dr. Josef Lossl argues the same reading of St. Augustine, that he believed, in his most mature reflection, that there is a Massa Damnata which is passed over in reprobation.[38] Gerald Bonner, a Roman Catholic theologian, calls Augustine’s later doctrine of Predestination “harsh,” “brutal,”[39] and “terrifying,”[40] (in multiple places) with “clear flaws”[41] by which “Nothing is gained by dwelling on.”[42] He agrees with the interpretations we have seen thus far, St. Augustine taught a negative reprobation by which he chooses to pass over those who are in the Massa Damnata.

As we have seen from this brief overview of a variety of scholars over the past century and a half, the debate is not whether St. Augustine believed that there was a negative reprobation or not (this is agreed upon by all), but what many of them express is their horror of his view on this subject. There is a consciousness in the authors that they do not, in fact, follow in his footsteps, but they act as mere, honest interpreters of St. Augustine, wearing the hat of a historical theologian. In fact, many of the authors surveyed expressed the obvious nature of the idea in St. Augustine.

St. Augustine Himself

Now, we will show this doctrine from St. Augustine’s own works. First, from the two books in De Praedestinatione Sanctorum and then in his larger corpus, especially focusing on his anti-Pelagian writings.

First, it is seen in De Praedestinatione Sanctorum Book 1, Chapter 11. In it the Doctor Gratiae answers the objection made by the Pelagians that “Many hear the word of truth; but some believe, while others contradict. Therefore, the former will to believe; the latter do not will.” The Saint’s responses reveals much about his view of reprobation. First, the reason he places for their unbelief is that the will is “not prepared” which is on the principle of “God’s judgement,” which fits into the category of “negative reprobation,” a decretum non miserandi. They are described in this as “blinded” and given a “spirit of compunction.” There is also in this the positive reprobation, in their will is made manifest the “judgment of God” which is “done in recompense.”[43]

Second, this doctrine is expressed in De Praedestinatione Sanctorum Book 1, Chapter 11. In it he answers an objection made against him about teaching. In it, he answers that God does not teach those who are reprobate “in judgement.” For, he explains that God’s teaching of his elect is a “mercy” whereby “He gives good things.” This is the manner in which God carries out his election. The manner in which He carries out His reprobation “to show His wrath,” is that he withholds this teaching (negative reprobation) and thus “He hardens when He recompenses what is deserved.”[44]

He goes on in chapter 16 to continue a similar thought. In acknowledging that faith and perseverance is a gift of God, the question arises “why was it not given to all?” St. Augustine begins by admitting that it is given and withheld, “that this gift is given to some, while to some it is not given.” He goes on to say that “ought not to disturb the believer,” because in Adam all become a massa damnata, meriting the judgment of God, and this choice of reprobation for some within this massa damnata is “undoubtedly is most righteous.” In fact, he even goes so far as to say “that even if none were delivered therefrom, there would be no just cause for finding fault with God.”[45]

In chapter 33 of De Praedestinatione Sanctorum he continues to write about reprobation. In it, he teaches that God makes “good of evil things,” saying that it is “God’s ordering.” He further says that “It is, therefore, in the power of the wicked to sin; but that in sinning they should do this or that by that wickedness is not in their power, but in God's, who divides the darkness and regulates it; so that hence even what they do contrary to God'swill is not fulfilled except it be God's will.” Yet, even with this strong statement of God’s sovereignty, St. Augustine makes the qualification that this is negative and not positive in His activity, yet there is the positive aspect to it that the Infralapsarians and Thomists point out, that is, the will of God which “indicat[es] the divine will to set aside for condemnation those who, lacking grace, are hardened in sin.”[46] Further, he highlights this same aspect later in De dono perseverantiae (the second book of De Praedestinatione Sanctorum), saying, “Therefore He is powerful both to turn wills from evil to good, and to convert those that are inclined to fall, or to direct them into a way pleasing to Himself.”[47] Further in chapter 19 when asked the question of why some persevere and others do not, he highlights the positive aspect again, saying “God has judged it to be better to mingle some who would not persevere with a certain number of His saints, so that those for whom security from temptation in this life is not desirable may not be secure.”[48]

Next, in De dono perseverantiae 21, St. Augustine continues to answer the question of why some persevere and others do not. He answers the question by pointing to the will of God, willing some to persevere and others to not (positive reprobation), and because of this he withholds His grace from those reprobate (negative reprobation), while remaining innocent of any guilt.[49]

In chapter 25 of the same work St. Augustine, in meditating on the situation of Tyre and Sidon, explains why miracles were not done there. He writes “His miracles if they should be done among them, because He wills not to come to their help, since in His predestination He, secretly indeed, but yet righteously, has otherwise determined concerning them.”[50] This is a clear reference to a positive will of God towards His negative act of reprobation. The negative aspect is further brought out in chapter 35 when St. Augustine writes that “the rest [are] left by the righteous divine the mass of ruin...the means of believing...were denied them” and that God does not “will to take away the stony heart from those hardened ones.”[51]

Now, onto the larger Augustinian corpus. In De peccatorum meritis et remissione et de baptismo parvulorum Book 2, Chapter 26, St. Augustine writes,

But that what was hidden may come to light, and what was unpleasant may be made agreeable, is of the grace of God which helps the wills of men; and that they are not helped by it, has its cause likewise in themselves, not in God, whether they be predestinated to condemnation, on account of the iniquity of their pride, or whether they are to be judged and disciplined contrary to their very pride, if they are children of mercy.[52]

Notice how both positive “predestined to condemnation” and negative “on account of the iniquity of their pride” are used in this section. Similar language is also used in De perfectione iustitiae hominis Chapter 13, when he says “Such good then as this, seeking after God, there was not a man found who pursued it, no, not one; but this was in that class of men which is predestinated to destruction,”[53] further, St. Augustine uses similar language in De natura et origine animae, Book 4, Chapter 16, where he states “whilst to those whom He has predestinated to eternal death, He is also the most righteous awarder of punishment not only on account of the sins which they add in the indulgence of their own will, but also because of their original sin, even if, as in the case of infants, they add nothing thereto.”[54] Again, in De civitate Dei contra paganos, Book 15, Chapter 1, he writes,

This race we have distributed into two parts, the one consisting of those who live according to man, the other of those who live according to God. And these we also mystically call the two cities, or the two communities of men, of which the one is predestined to reign eternally with God, and the other to suffer eternal punishment with the devil.[55]

St. Fulgentius comments on this passage in Ad Monimum, book 1, chapter 5, interpreting in line with the interpretation expressed in this paper, saying,

In no other sense do I suppose that passage of St. Augustine should be taken, in which he affirms that there are certain persons predestinated to destruction than in regard to their punishment, not their sin: not to the evil which they unrighteously commit, but to the punishment which they shall righteously suffer; not to the sin on account of which they either do not receive, or else lose, the benefit of the first resurrection, but to the retribution which their own personal iniquity evilly incurs, and the divine justice righteously inflicts.[56]

St. Fulgentius here is expressing that difference between positive and negative reprobation. That they are positively reprobated in their punishment, yet negatively reprobated in that God does not cause their sin.

Lastly, to bolster the claim of positive reprobation in St. Augustine, it can be seen implicitly in multiple places throughout his works. For example, those places wherein he denies that God has a saving will towards the Reprobate. He writes in his Enchiridion,

When we hear and read in sacred Scripture that He wills all men to be saved . . . we must . . . so understand [it] . . . as if it were said that no man is saved except whom He wants [to be saved]. . . . Or certainly it was so said . . . not that there is no man whom He is unwilling to have saved, He who was unwilling to perform the wonders of miracles among those whom He says would have done penance it He had done them: but in such a way that we understand 'all men' to mean the whole human race, distributed into various categories: kings, private citizens, nobles, ordinary men, lofty, lowly, learned, unlearned.[57]

Further, he writes in De Correptione et Gratia Book 14, Chapter 44, "And that which is written that 'he wills all men to be saved and yet not all are saved, can be understood in many ways, of which we have mentioned some in other works, but I shall give one here. It is said in such a way . . . that all the predestined are meant: for the whole human race is in them."[58]


In conclusion, as has been shown from a survey of Historical Theology and of Augustine’s works, the conclusion that St. Augustine affirmed an infralapsarian-esque theology of reprobation is undeniable. The implications of such an argument is no small matter. For, this vindicates, at least in this area of soteriology, the claim of the Thomists and Infralapsarians to be “Augustinian.” His strong statements, proofs, and vindications of his theology on this matter shows that this was no minor issue for Augustine, but struck at the very heart of his debate with the Pelagian. To those who rage against the Catholic and Orthodox theology of St. Augustine and slander the great Doctor of the Church Catholic as “harsh,” I will leave a quote from the Doctor Gratiae himself,

Therefore let us believe in His mercy in the case of those who are delivered, and in His truth in the case of those who are punished, without any hesitation; and let us not endeavour to look into that which is inscrutable, nor to trace that which cannot be found out...who gives to those men to whom He will, because He is merciful, what if, however, He does not give, He is righteous: and He does not give to whom He will not, that He may make known the riches of His glory to the vessels of mercy. For by giving to some what they do not deserve, He has certainly willed that His grace should be gratuitous, and thus genuine grace; by not giving to all, He has shown what all deserve. Good in His goodness to some, righteous in the punishment of others; both good in respect of all, because it is good when that which is due is rendered, and righteous in respect of all, since that which is not due is given without wrong to any one.

[1] Many of the distinctions given in this section are drawn from Richard A Muller, 2017, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic). [2] St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Prima Pars, Q22.A1.C [3] Ibid., A2.C, “We must say, however, that all things are subject to divine providence, not only in general, but even in their own individual selves. This is made evident thus. For since every agent acts for an end, the ordering of effects towards that end extends as far as the causality of the first agent extends. Whence it happens that in the effects of an agent something takes place which has no reference towards the end, because the effect comes from a cause other than, and outside the intention of the agent. But the causality of God, Who is the first agent, extends to all being, not only as to constituent principles of species, but also as to the individualizing principles; not only of things incorruptible, but also of things corruptible.” [4] Ibid. [5] Ibid., A3.C [6] Ibid. [7] Ibid., A4.SC [8] Ibid., Q23.A2.C [9] Ibid. [10] Ibid. [11] Ibid., A5.SC. [12] Acta Synodi Nationalis … Dordrechti, Art. 1, Th. 8 [1620], Pt. I, p. 113 from Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, ed. James T. Dennison Jr., trans. George Musgrave Giger, vol. 1 (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1992–1997), 390. [13] Muller, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological terms, Reprobatio. [14] Ibid. [15] Ibid. [16] Ibid. [17] Ibid. [18] Peter Brown, 2000, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (New Edition, with an Epilogue), (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press), 342. [19]Sanctus Augustinus, Confessiones, Bk. X, Ch. 29 [20] Charles E. De Celles, 1965, The Problem of Predestination and Free Will as Seen Within the Context of the Universal Salvific Will of God: A Study in the Prose Works of Saint Prosper Tiro of Aquitaine, Master's Thesis, (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University), 89-90. It may be noticed that the author of this study frequently uses language which insinuates that St. Prosper denied Reprobation, but it is clear to any unbiased reader that what the author is denying is not reprobation in the sense that we are speaking of reprobation, but is denying the conclusion of an equality between the instrumentality of Reprobation and Election. This is a common mistake which is made when speaking of “reprobation” to equate the two, but the qualifications and affirmations which the author makes about the belief of St. Prosper makes it clear that St. Prosper makes the same qualifications and affirmations which Augustine and the larger Augustinian tradition makes on the issue. [21] Ibid., 90. [22] Ibid., 92 [23]Council of Orange, 529, Canons of the Council of Orange, Conclusion. [24] Francis X Gumerlock, 2009, “Predestination in the Century Before Gottschalk, Part II,” Evangelical Quarterly 81, no. 4 (October): 319-337. [25] Pope Hadrian, Letter 95 to the Spanish Bishops. [26]The Catholic Encyclopedia, “Gottschalk of Orbais.” [27] Gottschalk, Confessio Brevior [28] Gottschalk, Confessio Prolixior [29] Prima Pars, Q23.A3.C [30] Although many will respond “How can you say Lutheran/Reformed when there was a fundamental divide on this issue?” This is a common misconception, while there are differences, they are close enough to categorize them into a single group, as Richard Muller comments in his Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms, “As defined by the infralapsarians among the Reformed and by the Lutherans, reprobatio is a divine decree taking fallen humanity as its object and willing to leave some of the fallen in sin; the Lutherans add the reason: they are not found in Christ and do not believe. Thus the Lutheran orthodox rest reprobation on the vindicatory justice of God (see iustitia vindicativa sive punitiva) in its relation to sin and, above all, to final unbelief. In contrast to the Reformed, the Lutheran scholastics will not define reprobation as mere preterition (praeteritio, q.v.), or passing over, since God has seriously offered grace and salvation to the reprobate. Nonetheless, the decree of reprobation is defined as immutable by the Lutherans as well as by the Reformed.” [31] Council of Trent, Session 6, Canon XVII [32] Catholic Encyclopedia, Predestination [33] James Wetzel, 2001, “Predestination, Pelagianism, and foreknowledge,” In The Cambridge Companion to Augustine, edited by Norman Kretzmann and Eleonore Stump, 49-58, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press), “His doctrine has a dark corollary. If you are not one of the saints – one of those looked after by God – you are most certainly lost; your lot in life is to remain part of a ruined race, squandered in sin (massa perditionis). The doctrine of predes- tination and its corollary, the inevitable ruin of those not predestined to be redeemed, fairly encapsulate a career’s worth of theological reflection on Augustine’s part…For anyone who is similarly favored by God, the call to redemption is given in such a way as to elicit a faithful response; God never has to wait for human faith to come of its own. As for the ones not favored – the condemned heap (massa damnata) – they, like Esau, are simply never called in the right way.” [34] The Catholic Encyclopedia, Predestinarianism, “we find that all the adherents of this heresy have taken refuge behind the stout shield of Augustinism. The question therefore to be answered at present is this: Did St. Augustine teach this heresy? We do not wish to gainsay that St. Augustine in the last years of his life fell a victim to an increased rigorism which may find its psychological explanation in the fact that he was called to be the champion of Christian grace against the errors of Pelagianism and Semipelagianism. Still the point at issue is whether he, in order to establish the predestination of the just, gave up his former position and took refuge in the so-called "irresistible grace" (gratia irresistibilis) which in the just and in those who persevere destroys free will. Not only Protestant historians of dogma (as Harnack) but also a few Catholic scholars (Rottmanner, Kolb) even up to the present time have thought that they found in his works evident indications of such a strange view. But among most of the modern students of St. Augustine the conviction is constantly gaining ground that the African Doctor at no time of his life, not even shortly before his death, embraced this dangerous view of grace which Jansenism claims to have inherited from him. Even the Protestant writer E.F.K. Müller emphasizes the fact that St. Augustine, with regard to the liberty of the will in all conditions of life, "never renounced his repudiation of Manichæism, a step which had caused him so severe a struggle" (Realencyk. für prot. Theologie, Leipzig, 1904, XV, 590).” [35] Ibid., Predestination. [36] James B. Mozley, 1855, A Treatise on the Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination, (London, UK), 134-156 [37] Fr. William J. Most, 2004, Grace, Predestination, and the Salvific Will of God: New Answers to Old Questions, (Reprint ed. London, UK: Christendom Press.), although this is a truly horrific interpretation of St. Augustine (who taught that it isn't “blind,” because the reason is in God, not in us) it still shows forth an admission by Fr. Most of the Augustinian teaching on Reprobation. He doubles down on his Anti-Augustinianism, writing, “Basic question: does God decide to predestine to heaven with or without looking at a man's merits or demerits? All in the past have taken for granted that if He decides to predestine to heaven without looking, He does same for negative reprobation (letting one go). Or He decides both with looking. Both views give impossible consequences. Augustine wants to make both decisions, favorable and unfavorable be given without looking. Easterners reject negative reprobation without looking at demerits. The Eastern Fathers, absolutely all of them, and Westerners before Augustine, and even after him, saw that there is no reprobation, not even negative, except in consideration of demerits. Augustine did not see that, and the unfortunate massa damnata theory, which said the whole human race by original sin became a massa damnata et damnabilis: God could throw the whole damned race into hell for original sin alone, without waiting for any personal sin. God wanted to display mercy and justice. To display mercy, He chose a small percent to rescue; the rest He deserted and so they would go to hell. He thought God picked those to rescue blindly, without any consideration of how they lived. He picked them not that He had any love for them, but merely to make a point. Augustine did not see it, but that was a denial of God's love. For to love is to will good to another for the other's sake. If I will good to another not for that other's sake, but for some outside purpose of mine, I am not loving that person, but using him. So in that theory, God does not really love anyone, He merely uses the few for His own purposes, not for their sake. Hence, as we shall son see, he explicitly denied several times that "God wills all to be saved: (1 Tim 2:4) . He even said, as we shall soon see below, that it means nothing to God that most persons are damned, without a chance. Of course Augustine did not see this fact, or he would surely have stayed away from his theory. Actually, as we shall see later on, in about six places he implies the opposite of that theory, when his sense of God's goodness took over his thinking.” [38] Josef Lossl, 2002. “AUGUSTINE ON PREDESTINATION: CONSEQUENCES FOR THE RECEPTION.” Augustiniana 52 (2): 241-72. JSTOR. [39] Gerald Bonner, 2007, Freedom and Necessity: St. Augustine's Teaching on Divine Power and Human Freedom, (Washington, D.C., USA: Catholic University Press), 17, “few students of Augustine’s thought will be disposed to deny the harshness of the predestinarian teaching of the last twenty years of his life.” [40] Ibid., 20, “Nothing is gained by dwelling on this terrifying theology. What demands attention and some attempt at explanation is how Augustine came to formulate it, how he came to leave the individual apparently helpless in the hands of an angry God, whom he elsewhere sees as a God not simply of justice but of mercy and love, but who nevertheless apparently visits eternal penalties, not only for personal sins but for participation in the Fall by individuals who were, at the time, in the loins of Adam and had no consciousness of individuality, let alone any power of decision.” also on 23. [41] Ibid. [42] Ibid. [43] Sanctus Augustinus, De Praedestinatione Sanctorum, Bk. 1, Ch. 11, ““Many hear the word of truth; but some believe, while others contradict. Therefore, the former will to believe; the latter do not will.” Who does not know this? Who can deny this? But since in some the will is prepared by the Lord, in others it is not prepared, we must assuredly be able to distinguish what comes from God’s mercy, and what from His judgment. “What Israel sought for,” says the apostle, “he hath not obtained, but the election hath obtained it; and the rest were blinded, as it is written, God gave to them the spirit of compunction,—eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, even to this day. And David said, Let their table be made a snare, a retribution, and a stumblingblock to them; let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see; and bow down their back always.” Here is mercy and judgment,—mercy towards the election which has obtained the righteousness of God, but judgment to the rest which have been blinded. And yet the former, because they willed, believed; the latter, because they did not will believed not. Therefore mercy and judgment were manifested in the very wills themselves. Certainly such an election is of grace, not at all of merits. For he had before said, “So, therefore, even at this present time, the remnant has been saved by the election of grace. And if by grace, now it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace.” Therefore the election obtained what it obtained gratuitously; there preceded none of those things which they might first give, and it should be given to them again. He saved them for nothing. But to the rest who were blinded, as is there plainly declared, it was done in recompense. “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth.” But His ways are unsearchable. Therefore the mercy by which He freely delivers, and the truth by which He righteously judges, are equally unsearchable. [44] Sanctus Augustinus, De Praedestinatione Sanctorum, Bk. 1, Ch. 14, “Why, then, does He not teach all that they may come to Christ, except because all whom He teaches, He teaches in mercy, while those whom He teaches not, in judgment He teaches not? Since, “On whom He will He has mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.” But He has mercy when He gives good things. He hardens when He recompenses what is deserved. Or if, as some would prefer to distinguish them, those words also are his to whom the apostle says, “Thou sayest then unto me,” so that he may be regarded as having said, “Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will, and whom He will He hardeneth,” as well as those which follow,—to wit, “What is it that is still complained of? for who resists His will?” does the apostle answer, “O man, what thou hast said is false?” No; but he says, “O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Doth the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump?” and what follows, which you very well know. And yet in a certain sense the Father teaches all men to come to His Son. For it was not in vain that it was written in the prophets, “And they shall all be teachable of God.” And when He too had premised this testimony, He added, “Every man, therefore, who has heard of the Father, and has learned, cometh to me.” As, therefore, we speak justly when we say concerning any teacher of literature who is alone in a city, He teaches literature here to everybody,—not that all men learn, but that there is none who learns literature there who does not learn from him,—so we justly say, God teaches all men to come to Christ, not because all come, but because none comes in any other way. And why He does not teach all men the apostle explained, as far as he judged that it was to be explained, because, “willing to show His wrath, and to exhibit His power, He endured with much patience the vessels of wrath which were perfected for destruction; and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy which He has prepared for glory.” Hence it is that the “word of the cross is foolishness to them that perish; but unto them that are saved it is the power of God.” God teaches all such to come to Christ, for He wills all such to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. And if He had willed to teach even those to whom the word of the cross is foolishness to come to Christ, beyond all doubt these also would have come. For He neither deceives nor is deceived when He says, “Everyone that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to me.” Away, then, with the thought that any one cometh not, who has heard of the Father and has learned.” [45] Sanctus Augustinus, De Praedestinatione Sanctorum, Bk. 1, Ch. 16, “Faith, then, as well in its beginning as in its completion, is God’s gift; and let no one have any doubt whatever, unless he desires to resist the plainest sacred writings, that this gift is given to some, while to some it is not given. But why it is not given to all ought not to disturb the believer, who believes that from one all have gone into a condemnation, which undoubtedly is most righteous; so that even if none were delivered therefrom, there would be no just cause for finding fault with God. Whence it is plain that it is a great grace for many to be delivered, and to acknowledge in those that are not delivered what would be due to themselves; so that he that glorieth may glory not in his own merits, which he sees to be equalled in those that are condemned, but in the Lord. But why He delivers one rather than another,—“His judgments are unsearchable, and His ways past finding out.” For it is better in this case for us to hear or to say, “O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” than to dare to speak as if we could know what He has chosen to be kept secret. Since, moreover, He could not will anything unrighteous.” [46] Sanctus Augustinus, De Praedestinatione Sanctorum, Bk. 1, Ch. 33, “Moreover, it was this that he had in view when he said, The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Romans 11:29And in that saying also consider for a little what was its purport. For when he had said, For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, that you may not be wise in yourselves, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel should be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Sion one who shall deliver, and turn away impiety from Jacob: and this is the covenant to them from me, when I shall take away their sins; he immediately added, what is to be very carefully understood, As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sakes: but as concerning the election, they are beloved for their fathers' sakes. Romans 11:28 What is the meaning of, as concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake, but that their enmity wherewith they put Christ to death was, without doubt, as we see, an advantage to the gospel? And he shows that this came about by God's ordering, who knew how to make a good use even of evil things; not that the vessels of wrath might be of advantage to Him, but that by His own good use of them they might be of advantage to the vessels of mercy. For what could be said more plainly than what is actually said, As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sakes? It is, therefore, in the power of the wicked to sin; but that in sinning they should do this or that by that wickedness is not in their power, but in God's, who divides the darkness and regulates it; so that hence even what they do contrary to God's will is not fulfilled except it be God's will. We read in the Acts of the Apostles that when the apostles had been sent away by the Jews, and had come to their own friends, and shown them what great things the priests and elders said to them, they all with one consent lifted up their voices to the Lord and said, Lord, you are God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein; who, by the mouth of our father David, your holy servant, hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For in truth, there have assembled together in this city against Your holy child Jesus, whom You have anointed, Herod and Pilate, and the people of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and counsel predestinated to be done. See what is said: As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sakes. Because God's hand and counsel predestinated such things to be done by the hostile Jews as were necessary for the gospel, for our sakes. But what is it that follows? But as concerning the election, they are beloved for their fathers' sakes. For are those enemies who perished in their enmity and those of the same people who still perish in their opposition to Christ — are those chosen and beloved? Away with the thought! Who is so utterly foolish as to say this? But both expressions, although contrary to one another — that is, enemies and beloved— are appropriate, though not to the same men, yet to the same Jewish people, and to the same carnal seed of lsrael, of whom some belonged to the falling away, and some to the blessing of Israel himself. For the apostle previously explained this meaning more clearly when he said, That which lsrael wrought for, he has not obtained; but the election has obtained it, and the rest were blinded? Romans 11:7 Yet in both cases it was the very same Israel. Where, therefore, we hear, Israel has not obtained, or, The rest were blinded, there are to be understood the enemies for our sakes; but where we hear, that the election has obtained it, there are to be understood the beloved for their father's sakes, to which fathers those things were assuredly promised; because the promises were made to Abraham and his seed,Galatians 3:16 whence also in that olive-tree is grafted the wild olive-tree of the Gentiles. Now subsequently we certainly ought to fall in with the election, of which he says that it is according to grace, not according to debt, because there was made a remnant by the election of grace Romans 11:5 This election obtained it, the rest being blinded. As concerning this election, the Israelites were beloved for the sake of their fathers. For they were not called with that calling of which it is said, Many are called, but with that whereby the chosen are called. Whence also after he had said, But as concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes, he went on to add those words whence this discussion arose: For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, — that is, they are firmly established without change. Those who belong to this calling are all teachable by God; nor can any of them say, I believed in order to being thus called, because the mercy of God anticipated him, because he was so called in order that he might believe. For all who are teachable of God come to the Son because they have heard and learned from the Father through the Son, who most clearly says, Every one who has heard of the Father, and has learned, comes unto me. John 6:45 But of such as these none perishes, because of all that the Father has given Him, He will lose none. John 6:39 Whoever, therefore, is of these does not perish at all; nor was any who perishes ever of these. For which reason it is said, They went out from among us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would certainly have continued with us. John 2:19 [47] Sanctus Augustinus, De dono perseverantiae, 12. [48] Ibid., 19. [49] Ibid., 21, “Therefore, of two infants, equally bound by original sin, why the one is taken and the other left; and of two wicked men of already mature years, why this one should be so called as to follow Him that calls, while that one is either not called at all, or is not called in such a manner — the judgments of God are unsearchable. But of two pious men, why to the one should be given perseverance unto the end, and to the other it should not be given, God's judgments are even more unsearchable. Yet to believers it ought to be a most certain fact that the former is of the predestinated, the latter is not. For if they had been of us, says one of the predestinated, who had drunk this secret from the breast of the Lord, certainly they would have continued with us. 1 John 2:19 What, I ask, is the meaning of, They were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would certainly have continued with us? Were not both created by God— both born of Adam — both made from the earth, and given from Him who said, I have created all breath, souls of one and the same nature? Lastly, had not both been called, and followed Him that called them? And had not both become, from wicked men, justified men, and both been renewed by the laver of regeneration? But if he were to hear this who beyond all doubt knew what he was saying, he might answer and say: These things are true. In respect of all these things, they were of us. Nevertheless, in respect of a certain other distinction, they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they certainly would have continued with us. What then is this distinction? God's books lie open, let us not turn away our view; the divine Scripture cries aloud, let us give it a hearing. They were not of them, because they had not been called according to the purpose; they had not been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world; they had not gained a lot in Him; they had not been predestinated according to His purpose who works all things. For if they had been this, they would have been of them, and without doubt they would have continued with them.” [50] Ibid., 25, “Accordingly, as says the apostle, It is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy,Romans 9:16 who both comes to the help of such infants as He will, although they neither will nor run, since He chose them in Christ before the foundation of the world as those to whom He intended to give His grace freely — that is, with no merits of theirs, either of faith or of works, preceding; and does not come to the help of those who are more mature, although He foresaw that they would believe His miracles if they should be done among them, because He wills not to come to their help, since in His predestination He, secretly indeed, but yet righteously, has otherwise determined concerning them. For there is no unrighteousness with God; Romans 9:14 but His judgments are unsearchable, and His ways are past finding out; all the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth. Therefore the mercy is past finding out by which He has mercy on whom He will, no merits of his own preceding; and the truth is unsearchable by which He hardens whom He will, even although his merits may have preceded, but merits for the most part common to him with the man on whom He has mercy. As of two twins, of which one is taken and the other left, the end is unequal, while the deserts are common, yet in these the one is in such wise delivered by God's great goodness, that the other is condemned by no injustice of God's. For is there unrighteousness with God? Away with the thought! But His ways are past finding out. Therefore let us believe in His mercy in the case of those who are delivered, and in His truth in the case of those who are punished, without any hesitation; and let us not endeavour to look into that which is inscrutable, nor to trace that which cannot be found out. Because out of the mouth of babes and sucklings He perfects His praise, so that what we see in those whose deliverance is preceded by no good deservings of theirs, and in those whose condemnation is only preceded by original sin, common alike to both — this we by no means shrink from as occurring in the case of grown-up people, that is, because we do not think either that grace is given to any one according to his own merits, or that any one is punished except for his own merits, whether they are alike who are delivered and who are punished, or have unequal degrees of evil; so that he who thinks he stands may take heed lest he fall, and he who glories may glory not in himself, but in the Lord.” [51] Ibid., 35, “Will any man dare to say that God did not foreknow those to whom He would give to believe, or whom He would give to His Son, that of them He should lose none? John 18:9 And certainly, if He foreknew these things, He as certainly foreknew His own kindnesses, wherewith He condescends to deliver us. This is the predestination of the saints — nothing else; to wit, the foreknowledge and the preparation of God's kindnesses, whereby they are most certainly delivered, whoever they are that are delivered. But where are the rest left by the righteous divine judgment except in the mass of ruin, where the Tyrians and the Sidonians were left? Who, moreover, might have believed if they had seen Christ's wonderful miracles. But since it was not given to them to believe, the means of believing also were denied them. From which fact it appears that some have in their understanding itself a naturally divine gift of intelligence, by which they may be moved to the faith, if they either hear the words or behold the signs congruous to their minds; and yet if, in the higher judgment of God, they are not by the predestination of grace separated from the mass of perdition, neither those very divine words nor deeds are applied to them by which they might believe if they only heard or saw such things. Moreover, in the same mass of ruin the Jews were left, because they could not believe such great and eminent mighty works as were done in their sight. For the gospel has not been silent about the reason why they could not believe, since it says: But though He had done such great miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him; that the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled which he spoke, Isaiah 53:1Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? And, therefore, they could not believe, because that Isaiah said again, Isaiah 6:10 He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. Therefore the eyes of the Tyrians and Sidonians were not so blinded nor was their heart so hardened, since they would have believed if they had seen such mighty works, as the Jews saw. But it did not profit them that they were able to believe, because they were not predestinated by Him whose judgments are inscrutable and His ways past finding out. Neither would inability to believe have been a hindrance to them, if they had been so predestinated as that God should illuminate those blind eyes, and should will to take away the stony heart from those hardened ones. But what the Lord said of the Tyrians and Sidonians may perchance be understood in another way: that no one nevertheless comes to Christ unless it were given him, and that it is given to those who are chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, he confesses beyond a doubt who hears the divine utterance, not with the deaf ears of the flesh, but with the ears of the heart; and yet this predestination, which is plainly enough unfolded even by the words of the gospels, did not prevent the Lord's saying as well in respect of the commencement, what I have a little before mentioned, Believe in God; believe also in me, as in respect of perseverance, A man ought always to pray, and not to faint. Luke 18:1 For they hear these things and do them to whom it is given; but they do them not, whether they hear or do not hear, to whom it is not given. Because, To you, said He, it is given to knowthe mystery of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Matthew 13:11 Of these, the one refers to the mercy, the other to the judgment of Him to whom our soul cries, I will sing of mercy and judgment unto You, O Lord.” [52]Sanctus Augustinus, De peccatorum meritis et remissione et de baptismo parvulorum, Book 2, Chapter 26, “Let us now consider the point which I mentioned as our third inquiry. Since by divine grace assisting the human will, man may possibly exist in this life without sin, why does he not? To this question I might very easily and truthfully answer: Because men are unwilling. But if I am asked why they are unwilling, we are drawn into a lengthy statement. And yet, without prejudice to a more careful examination, I may briefly say this much: Men are unwilling to do what is right, either because what is right is unknown to them, or because it is unpleasant to them. For we desire a thing more ardently in proportion to the certainty of our knowledge of its goodness, and the warmth of our delight in it. Ignorance, therefore, and infirmity are faults which impede the will from moving either for doing a good work, or for refraining from an evil one. But that what was hidden may come to light, and what was unpleasant may be made agreeable, is of the grace of God which helps the wills of men; and that they are not helped by it, has its cause likewise in themselves, not in God, whether they be predestinated to condemnation, on account of the iniquity of their pride, or whether they are to be judged and disciplined contrary to their very pride, if they are children of mercy. Accordingly Jeremiah, after saying, “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, and that it belongeth not to any man to walk and direct his steps,”563 immediately adds, “Correct me, O Lord, but with judgment, and not in Thine anger;”564 as much as to say, I know that it is for my correction that I am too little assisted by Thee, for my footsteps to be perfectly directed: but yet do not in this so deal with me as Thou dost in Thine anger, when Thou dost determine to condemn the wicked; but as Thou dost in Thy judgment whereby Thou dost teach Thy children not to be proud. Whence in another passage it is said, “And Thy judgments shall help me.” [53] Sanctus Augustinus, De perfectione iustitiae hominis Chapter 13,“He has likewise propounded another question, as we shall proceed to show, but has failed to solve it; nay, he has rather rendered it more difficult, by first stating the testimony that had been quoted against him: “There is none that doeth good, no, not one;”1498 and then resorting to seemingly contrary passages to show that there are persons who do good. This he succeeded, no doubt, in doing. It is, however, one thing for a man not to do good, and another thing not to be without sin, although he at the same time may do many good things. The passages, therefore, which he adduces are not really contrary to the statement that no person is without sin in this life. He does not, for his own part, explain in what sense it is declared that “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” These are his words: “Holy David indeed says, ‘Hope thou in the Lord and be doing good.’”1499 But this is a precept, and not an accomplished fact; and such a precept as is never kept by those of whom it is said, “There is none that doeth good, no, not one.” He adds: “Holy Tobit also said, ‘Fear not, my son, that we have to endure poverty; we shall have many blessings if we fear God, and depart from all sin, and do that which is good.’”1500 Most true indeed it is, that man shall have many blessings when he shall have departed from all sin. Then no evil shall betide him; nor shall he have need of the prayer, “Deliver us from evil.”1501 Although even now every man who progresses, advancing ever with an upright purpose, departs from all sin, and becomes further removed from it as he approaches nearer to the fulness and perfection of the righteous state; because even concupiscence itself, which is sin dwelling in our flesh, never ceases to diminish in those who are making progress, although it still remains in their mortal members. It is one thing, therefore, to depart from all sin,—a process which is even now in operation,—and another thing to have departed from all sin, which shall happen in the state of future perfection. But still, even he who has departed already from evil, and is continuing to do so, must be allowed to be a doer of good. How then is it said, in the passage which he has quoted and left unsolved, “There is none that doeth good, no, not one,” unless that the Psalmist there censures some one nation, amongst whom there was not a man that did good, wishing to remain “children of men,” and not sons of God, by whose grace man becomes good, in order to do good? For we must suppose the Psalmist here to mean that “good” which he describes in the context, saying, “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.”1502 Such good then as this, seeking after God, there was not a man found who pursued it, no, not one; but this was in that class of men which is predestinated to destruction.1503 It was upon such that God looked down in His foreknowledge, and passed sentence.” [54] Sanctus Augustinus, De natura et origine animae, Book 4, Chapter 16, “Do not, my son, let senile timidity displease your youthful confidence. For my own part, indeed, if I proved unequal, either under the teaching of God or of some spiritual instructor, to the task of understanding the subject of our present inquiry on the origin of souls, I am more prepared to vindicate God’s righteous will, that we should remain in ignorance on this point, as on many others, than to say in my rashness what either is so obscure that I can neither bring it home to the intelligence of other people, nor understand it myself; or certainly even to help the cause of the heretics who endeavour to persuade us that the souls of infants are entirely free from guilt, on the ground, forsooth, that such guilt would only recoil on God as its Author, for having compelled innocent souls (for the help of which He knew beforehand no laver of regeneration was prepared) to become sinful, by assigning them to sinful flesh without any provision for that grace of baptism which should prevent their incurring eternal damnation. For the fact undoubtedly is, that numberless souls of infants pass out of the body before they are baptized. God forbid that I should cast about for any futile effort to dilute this stern fact, and say what you have yourself said: “That the soul deserved to be polluted by the flesh, and to become sinful, though it previously had no sin, by reason of which it could be rightly said to have incurred this desert.” And again: “That even without baptism original sins may be remitted.” And once more: “That even the kingdom of heaven is at last bestowed on those who have not been baptized.” Now, if I were not afraid to utter these and similar poisonous allegations against the faith, I should probably not be afraid to propound some definite theory on this subject. How much better, then, is it, that I should not separately dispute and affirm about the soul, what I am ignorant of; but simply hold what I see the apostle has most plainly taught us: That owing to one man all pass into condemnation who are born of Adam2477 unless they are born again in Christ, even as He has appointed them to be regenerated, before they die in the body, whom He predestinated to everlasting life, as the most merciful bestower of grace; whilst to those whom He has predestinated to eternal death, He is also the most righteous awarder of punishment not only on account of the sins which they add in the indulgence of their own will, but also because of their original sin, even if, as in the case of infants, they add nothing thereto. Now this is my definite view on that question, so that the hidden things of God may keep their secret, without impairing my own faith.” [55] Sanctus Augustinus, De civitate Dei contra paganos, Book 15, Chapter 1, “We ourselves, too, have spoken of these things in the foregoing books, and have written either what we read in the Holy Scriptures, or what we could reasonably deduce from them. And were we to enter into a more detailed investigation of these matters, an endless number of endless questions would arise, which would involve us in a larger work than the present occasion admits. We cannot be expected to find room for replying to every question that may be started by unoccupied and captious men, who are ever more ready to ask questions than capable of understanding the answer. Yet I trust we have already done justice to these great and difficult questions regarding the beginning of the world, or of the soul, or of the human race itself. This race we have distributed into two parts, the one consisting of those who live according to man, the other of those who live according to God. And these we also mystically call the two cities, or the two communities of men, of which the one is predestined to reign eternally with God, and the other to suffer eternal punishment with the devil. This, however, is their end, and of it we are to speak afterwards. At present, as we have said enough about their origin, whether among the angels, whose numbers we know not, or in the two first human beings, it seems suitable to attempt an account of their career, from the time when our two first parents began to propagate the race until all human generation shall cease. For this whole time or world-age, in which the dying give place and those who are born succeed, is the career of these two cities concerning which we treat.” [56] Sanctus Fulgentius, Ad Monimum, Bk. 1, Ch. 5. [57]Sanctus Augustinus, Enchiridion, 112, found in Most, Grace, Predestination, and the Salvific Will of God. [58] Sanctus Augustinus, De correptione et gratia, Book 14, Chapter 44 found in Ibid.

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