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Chapter 61.—History of the Pelagian Heresy. The Pelagian Heresy Was Raised by Sundry Persons Who Affected the Monastic State.

Since it was necessary that the Apostle Paul’s prediction should be accomplished,—“There must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you,”17621762     1 Cor. xi. 19. —after the older heresies, there has been just now introduced, not by bishops or presbyters or any rank of the clergy, but by certain would-be monks, a heresy which disputes, under colour of defending free will, against the grace of God which we have through our Lord Jesus Christ; and endeavours to overthrow the foundation of the Christian faith of which it is written, “By one man, death, and by one man the resurrection of the dead; for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive;”17631763     1 Cor. xv. 21, 22. and denies God’s help in our actions, by affirming that, “in order to avoid sin and to fulfil righteousness, human nature can be sufficient, seeing that it has been created with free will; and that God’s grace lies in the fact that we have been so created as to be able to do this by the will, and in the further fact that God has given to us the assistance of His law and commandments, and also in that He forgives their past sins when men turn to Him;” that “in these things alone is God’s grace to be regarded as consisting, not in the help He gives to us for 210each of our actions,”—“seeing that a man can be without sin, and keep God’s commandments easily if he wishes.”

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