Augustin and the Pelagian Controversy.
A Treatise on the Merits and Forgiveness of Sins, and on the Baptism of Infantsby Aurelius Augustin, Bishop of Hippo;
In Three Books,
Published in 1886 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.
Addressed to Marcellinus, a.d. 412.
Book II.In which Augustin argues against such as say that in the present life there are, have been, and will be, men who have absolutely no sin at all. He lays down four propositions on this head: and teaches, first, that a man might possibly live in the present life without sin, by the grace of God and his own free will; he next shows that nevertheless in fact there is no man who lives quite free from sin in this life; thirdly, he sets forth the reason of this,--because there is no man who exactly confines his wishes within the limits of the just requirement of each case, which just requirement he either fails to perceive, or is unwilling to carry out in practice; in the fourth place, he proves that there is not, nor has been, nor ever will be, a human being--except the one mediator, Christ--who is free from all sin.
Chapter 1 [I.]--What Has Thus Far Been Dwelt On; And What is to Be Treated in This Book.We have, my dearest Marcellinus, discussed at sufficient length, I think, in the former book the baptism of infants,--how that it is given to them not only for entrance into the kingdom of God, but also for attaining salvation and eternal life, which none can have without the kingdom of God, or without that union with the Saviour Christ, wherein He has redeemed us by His blood. I undertake in the present book to discuss and explain the question, Whether there lives in this world, or has yet lived, or ever will live, any one without any sin whatever, except "the one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all;"  --with as much care and ability as He may Himself vouchsafe to me. And should there occasionally arise in this discussion, either inevitably or casually from the argument, any question about the baptism or the sin of infants, I must neither be surprised nor must I shrink from giving the best answer I can, at such emergencies, to whatever point challenges my attention.
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In which Augustin refutes some errors of Pelagius on the question of the merits of sins and the baptism of infants--being sundry arguments of his which he had interspersed among his expositions of Saint Paul, in opposition to original sin.
To his beloved son Marcellinus, Augustin, bishop and servant of Christ and of the servants of Christ, sendeth greeting in the Lord.
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