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Chapter 46.—A Man Who Does Not Persevere Fails by His Own Fault.

But it is said, “It is by his own fault that any one deserts the faith, when he yields and consents to the temptation which is the cause of his desertion of the faith.” Who denies it? But because of this, perseverance in the faith is not to be said not to be a gift of God. For it is this that a man daily asks for when he says, “Lead us not into temptation;”36743674     Matt. vi. 13. and if he is heard, it is this that he receives. And thus as he daily asks for perseverance, he assuredly places the hope of his perseverance not in himself, but in God. I, however, am loth to exaggerate the case with my words, but I rather leave it to them to consider, and see what it is of which they have persuaded themselves—to wit, “that by the preaching of predestination, more of despair than of exhortation is impressed upon the hearers.” For this is to say that a man then despairs of his salvation when he has learned to place his hope not in himself, but in God, although the prophet cries, “Cursed is he who has his hope in man.”36753675     Jer. xvii. 5.


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