Augustine: Christ and the Soul -- Notes

[1.] On Pelagius, see G. de Plinval, Pélage, ses écrits, sa vie et sa réforme, supplemented by R.F. Evans, Pelagius: Inquiries and Reappraisals (London, 1968). Pelagius may not have been the originator of the ideas he preached, but he was a useful lightning rod for controversy.

[2.] De meritis et remissione peccatorum et de baptismo parvulorum (The Guilt and Remission of Sin; and Infant Baptism): Latin text in PL 44.109, CSEL 60; English translation in NPNF, first series, volume 5. The introduction and notes to this volume of NPNF are perhaps the handiest detailed discussion of Augustine's side of the Pelagian controversy in English, but must be supplemented with the works cited above and preferably with Peter Brown's able chapters (Augustine of Hippo, 353-364, 381-407).

[3.] See Conf. 1.7.11, where he echoes Job 14.4-5 (according an old version: "No one is clean of sin before you, not even the infant whose life on earth is one day old."

[4.] Augustine's Baptism in seven books expounded the theology of the sacrament against the background of the Donatist controversy and the writings of the third-century bishop of Carthage, Cyprian.

[5.] One other case may be mentioned. In a refutation of Pelagius written in 413-415, Nature and Grace, Augustine is at pains to insist that none of the patriarchs and prophets, not even those who were around Jesus in his infancy, were free of sin. But then he adds: "We except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sin, out of honor for the Lord. From Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin." (Nature and Grace 36.42)

[6.] De spiritu et littera (Spirit and Letter): Latin text in PL 44, CSEL 60; English translation in NPNF, series 1, volume 5; Basic Writings of Saint Augustine, ed. Whitney J. Oates (New York 1948), volume 1; Augustine: Later Works, ed. John Burnaby in the Library of Christian Classics, volume 8 (Philadelphia 1955).

[7.] For a refutation of the Pelagian system in its fully developed and accurately presented form, see The Grace of Christ and Original Sin (from 418; translated in NPNF, ser. 1, vol. 5).

[8.] Against Julian 3.10.22.

[9.] Rom. 11.33-36 or part thereof had appeared at the end of the discussion of grace in Romans at Seven Various Questions for Simplicianus 1.2.22; it also appears in at least the following anti-Pelagian works: Guilt and Remission of Sins 1.29; Spirit and Letter 60 and 66; Refutation of Two Pelagian Letters 4.16; Grace and Free Will 44; Punishment and Grace 17-19; The Predestination of the Blessed 4 and 16; The Gift of Perseverance 30.

[10.] De praedestinatione sanctorum (The Predestination of the Blessed): Latin text in PL 44; BA 24; English translation in Basic Writings, ed. Oates, volume 1; NPNF, ser. 1, vol. 5.

[11.] See Pelikan, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition, 319-331.

[12.] On this, see J.M. Rist, "Augustine on Free Will and Predestination," Journal of Theological Studies, 20(1969), 420-447.