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Chapter 48 [XXIV.]—A Letter Written by Timasius and Jacobus to Augustin on Receiving His Treatise “On Nature and Grace.”

“To his lordship, the truly blessed and deservedly venerable father, Bishop Augustin, Timasius and Jacobus send greeting in the Lord. We have been so greatly refreshed and strengthened by the grace of God, which your word has ministered to us, my lord, our truly blessed and justly venerated father, that we may with the utmost sincerity and propriety say, ‘He sent His word and healed them.’17451745     Ps. cvii. 20. We have found, indeed, that your holiness has so thoroughly sifted the contents of his little book as to astonish us with the answers with which even the slightest points of his error have been confronted, whether it be on matters which every Christian ought to rebut, loathe, and avoid, or on those in which he is not with sufficient certainty found to have erred,—although even in these he has, with incredible subtlety, suggested his belief that God’s grace should be kept out of sight.17461746     Supprimendam. There is, however, one consideration which affects us under so great a benefit,—that this most illustrious gift of the grace of God has, however slowly, so fully shone out upon us. If, indeed, it has happened that some are removed from the influence of this clearest light of truth, whose blindness required its illumination, yet even to them, we doubt not, the same grace will find its steady way, however late, by the merciful favour of that God ‘who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’17471747     1 Tim. ii. 4. As for ourselves, indeed, thanks to that loving spirit which is in you, we have, in consequence of your instruction, some time since thrown off our subjection to his errors; but we still have even now cause for continued gratitude in the fact that, as we have been informed, the false opinions which we formerly believed are now becoming apparent to others—a way of escape opening out to them in the extremely precious discourse of your holiness.” Then, in another hand: “May the mercy of our God keep your blessedness in safety, and mindful of us, for His eternal glory.”17481748     See Augustin’s Epist. 168.

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