from AGAINST THE PELAGIANS|
"Have you not read, pray, 'that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy!' From this we understand that to will and to run is ours, but the carrying into effect our willing and running pertains to the mercy of God, and is so effected that on the one hand in willing and running free will is preserved; and on the other, in consummating our willing and running, everything is left to the power of God."
"Art is one thing, that which is above art is another. Medical skill, craftsmanship, and so on, are found in many persons; but to be always without sin is a characteristic of the Divine power only."
"We are then righteous when we confess that we are sinners, and our righteousness depends not upon our own merits, but on the mercy of God, as the Holy Scripture says, 'The righteous man accuseth himself when he beginneth to speak,' and elsewhere, 'Tell thy sins that thou mayest be justified.' 'God hath shut up all under sin, that He may have mercy upon all.' And the highest righteousness of man is this--whatever virtue he may be able to acquire, not to think it his own, but the gift of God."
"To confess that we are imperfect, and have not yet apprehended, nor yet obtained, this is true wisdom in man: know thyself to be imperfect; and, if I may so speak, the perfection of all who are righteous, so long as they are in the flesh, is imperfect."
"No one doubts that God commanded things possible. But because men do not what they might, therefore the whole world is subject to the judgment of God, and needs His mercy. On the other hand, if you can produce a man who has fulfilled the whole law, you will certainly be able to show that there is a man who does not need the mercy of God."
"All that the saints say is a prayer to God; their whole prayer and supplication a strong wrestling for the pity of God, so that we, who by our own strength and zeal cannot be saved, may be preserved by His mercy. But when we are concerned with grace and mercy, free will is in part void; in part, I say, for so much as this depends upon it, that we wish and desire, and give assent to the course we choose. But it depends on God whether we have the power in His strength and with His help to perform what we desire, and to bring to effect our toil and effort."
"This is what I told you at the beginning--that it rests with ourselves either to sin or not to sin, and to put the hand either to good or evil; and thus free will is preserved, but according to circumstances, time, and the state of human frailty; we maintain, however, that perpetual freedom from sin is reserved for God only, and for Him Who being the Word was made flesh without incurring the defects and the sins of the flesh. And, because I am able to avoid sin for a short time, you cannot logically infer that I am able to do so continually."