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giving, they are made subject to him, who did first fall from God. Neither: ought we therefore to imagine, that the beginnings of virtues be in the treasures of nature, because many commendable things are found in the minds of ungodly men, which do proceed indeed from nature, but because they have departed from him that made nature, cannot be accounted virtues. For that which is illuminated with the true light, is light; and that which wanteth that light, is night: because the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. And so that is vice, which is thought to be virtue: as that is foolishness, which is thought to be wisdom.” Hitherto also pertaineth that sentence, produced by him out of St. Augustine's works: “ The whole life of unbelievers is sin; and there is nothing good without the chiefest good. For where there is wanting the acknowledgment of the eternal and unchangeable truth, there is false virtue even in the best manners.” Which he elegantly expresseth in verse, as well in his eighty-first epigram, as in his poem against the Pelagians, wherein of natural wisdom he writeth thus :
Et licet eximias studeat pollere per artes,
8 Nec ideo existimare debemus, in naturalibus thesauris principia esse virtutum, quia multa laudanda reperiuntur etiam in ingeniis impiorum : quæ ex natura quidem prodeunt ; sed quoniam ab eo qui naturam condidit recesserunt, virtutes esse non possunt. Quod enim vero illuminatum est lumine, lumen est; et quod eodem lumine caret, nox est : quia sapientia hujus mundi stultitia est apud Deum. Ac sic vitium est quod putatur esse virtus: quandoquidem stultitia est, quod putatur esse sapientia. Prosp. contr. Collator. cap. 13.
h Omnis infidelium vita peccatum est : et nihil est bonum sine summo bono. Ubi enim deest agnitio æternæ et incommunibilis veritatis, falsa virtus est, etiam in optimis moribus. Id. ex Augustino Sentent. 106. et Epigram. 81.
| Id. de Ingratis, cap. 16.
The author of the book De vocatione Gentium (by some wrongly attributed to St. Ambrose, to Prosper by others) delivereth the same doctrine in these words: “ Althoughk there have been some who by their natural understanding have endeavoured to resist vices; yet have they only barrenly adorned this temporal life, but not profited at all unto true virtues and everlasting bliss. For without the worship of the true God, even that which seemeth to be virtue is sin: neither can any man please God without God. And he that doth not please God, whom doth he please but himself and the devil ? By whom when man was spoiled, he was deprived not of his will, but of the sanity of his will. Therefore if God do not work in us, we can be partakers of no virtue. For without this good, there is nothing good; without this light, there is nothing lightsome; without this wisdom, there is nothing sound; without this righteousness, there is nothing right.” So Fulgentius, in his book of the incarnation and grace of Christ : “ Ifm unto some who did know God, and yet did not glorify him as God, that knowledge did profit nothing unto salvation: how could they be just with God, which do so keep some goodness in their manners and works, that yet they refer it not unto the end of Christian faith and charity? In whom there may be indeed some good things that appertain to the
k Etsi fuit qui naturali intellectu conatus sit vitiis reluctari ; hujus tantum temporis vitam steriliter ornavit, ad veras autem virtutes æternamque beatitudinem non profecit. Sine cultu enim veri Dei, etiam quod virtus videtur esse, peccatum est: nec placere ullus Deo sine Deo potest. Qui vero Deo non placet, cui nisi sibi et Diabolo placet? A quo cum homo spoliaretur; non voluntate, sed voluntatis sanitate privatus est. Prosp. de Vocatione Gent. lib. 1. cap. 7.
| Qui si non operatur in nobis, nullius possumus esse participes virtutis. Sine hoc quippe bono, nihil est bonum: sine hac luce, nihil est lucidum; sine hac sapientia, nihil sanum; sine hac justitia, nihil rectum. Ibid. cap. 8.
m Quod si quibusdam cognoscentibus Deum, nec tamen sicut Deum glorificantibus, cognitio illa nihil profuit ad salutem : quomodo hi potuerunt justi esse apud Deum, qui sic in suis moribus atque operibus bonitatis aliquid servant, ut hoc ad finem Christianæ fidei charitatisque non referant? Quibus aliqua quidem bona, quæ ad societatis humanæ pertinent æquitatem, inesse possunt : sed quia non charitate Dei fiunt, prodesse non possunt. Fulgent. de incarn. et grat. Christi, cap. 26.
equity of human society: but because they are not done by the love of God, profit they cannot.” And Maxentius in the Confession of his faith : “ We believe that natural free will hath ability in nothing else, but to discern and desire carnal or secular things only; which not with God, but with men peradventure may seem glorious : but for the things that pertain to everlasting life, that it can neither think, nor will, nor desire, nor effect, but by the infusion and inward operation of the Holy Ghost." And Cassiodorus, in his exposition of the Psalms : “ Ono the evil part indeed there is an execrable freedom of the will that the sinner may forsake his Creator, and convert himself to wicked vices: but on the good part, by Adam's sinning, we have lost free will, unto which otherwise than by the grace of Christ we cannot return: according to the saying of the apostle: It is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do, of his good pleasure”.”
The first presumptuous advancer of free will, contrary to the doctrine anciently received in the Church, is by Vincentius Lirinensis noted to be Pelagius the heretic. For “ who' ever,” saith he, “ before that profane Pelagius, presumed the virtue of free will to be so great, that he did not think the grace of God to be necessary for the helping of it in good things at every act?” For maintaining of which ungodly opinion, both he and his disciple
* Liberum naturale arbitrium ad nihil aliud valere credimus, nisi ad discernenda tantum et desideranda carnalia sive secularia ; quæ non apud Deum, sed apud homines possunt fortassis videri gloriosa. Ad ea vero quæ ad vitam æternam pertinent, nec cogitare, nec velle, nec desiderare, nec perficere posse, nisi per infusionem et inoperationem intrinsecus Spiritus Sancii. Jo. Maxent. in Confessione suæ fidei.
• Est quidem in mala parte execrabilis libertas arbitrii, ut prævaricator creatorem deserat, et ad vitia se nefanda convertat : in bona vero parte arbitrium liberum, Adam peccante, perdidimus ; ad quod nisi per Christi gratiam redire non possumus : dicente apostolo; Deus est enim qui operatur in vobis, et velle, et perficere, pro bona voluntate. Cassiod. in Psal. 117.
P Philipp. chap. 2. ver. 13.
9 Quis unquam ante profanum illum Pelagium tantam virtutem liberi præsumpsit arbitrii ; ut ad hoc in bonis rebus per actus singulos adjuvandum, necessariam Dei gratiam non putaret? Vincent. Lirinens. advers. hæres. Commonitor. 1. cap. 34.
Celestius were condemned by the censure of the two hundred and fourteen bishops assembled in the great council of Carthage', “ until they should acknowledge by a most open confession, that by the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord, we are holpen not only to know but also to do righteousness at every act: so that without it we can have, think, say, do, nothing that belongeth to true and holy piety.” Wherewith Pelagius being pressed, stuck not to make this profession: “Anathemat to him, who either thinketh or saith, that the grace of God, whereby Christ came into this world to save sinners, is not necessary, not only at every hour or every moment, but also at every act of ours: and they who go about to take away this, are worthy to suffer everlasting punishment.” Four books also did he publish in defence of free will: to which he thus referreth his adversaries for further satisfaction in this matter: “ Letthem read the late work, which we were forced to set out the other day for free will; and they shall perceive how unjustly they go about to defame us with the denial of grace, who throughout the whole context almost of that work do perfectly and entirely confess both free will and grace." Yet for all this he did but equivocate in the name of grace: “under an ambiguous
I Anno Dom. 418.
s Donec apertissima confessione fateantur, gratia Dei per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum, non solum ad cognoscendam verum etiam ad faciendam justitiam, nos per actus singulos adjuvari; ita ut sine ea nihil veræ sanctæque pietatis habere, cogitare, dicere, agere valeamus. Synod. African. epist. ad Zosimum pap. apud Prosperum contra Collator. cap. 5. et Respons. ad object. 8. Gallorum : ubi addit, hanc constitutionem contra inimicos gratiæ Dei totum mundum amplexum esse.
Anathema qui vel sentit vel dicit, gratiam Dei, qua Christus venit in hunc mundum peccatores salvos facere, non solum per singulas horas aut per singula momenta, sed etiam per singulos actos nostros non esse necessariam ; et qui hanc conantur auferre, pænas sortiuntur æternas. Pelag. apud Augustin. lib. 1. de gratia Christi, contr. Pelag. et Celest. cap. 2.
u Legant etiam recens meum opusculum, quod pro libero nuper arbitrio edere compulsi sumus ; et agnoscent quam inique nos negatione gratiæ infamare gestierint ; qui per totum pene ipsius textum operis perfecte atque integre et liberum arbitrium confitemur et gratiam. Id. ibid. cap. 41.
Sub ambigua generalitate quid sentiret abscondens; gratiæ tamen vocabulo frangens invidiam, offensionemque declinans. Augustin. ibid. cap. 37.
generality hiding what he thought, but by the term of grace breaking the envy, and declining the offence" which might be taken at his doctrine, as St. Augustine well observeth. For, by grace, he did not understand, as the Church did in this question, the infusion of a new quality of holiness into the soul, whereby it was regenerated, and the will of evil made good: but first thex possibility of nature, that is to say, the natural freedom of will which every one hath received from God by virtue of the first creation. Against which St. Augustine thus opposeth himself: “ Why is there so much presumed of the possibility of nature? It is wounded, it is maimed, it is vexed, it is lost. It hath need of a true confession, not of a false defence.” And Prosper, speaking of the state of man's free will after Adam's fall;
hinc? arbitrium per devia lapsum
Secondly, by grace he understood the grace of doctrine and instruction, whereby the mind was informed in the truth out of the word of God. Which by Prosper is thus objected to his followers:
aliud non est vobiscum gratia quam lex, Quamque propheta monens, et quam doctrina ministri.
Unto whom St. Augustine therefore saith well: “Leth
* Pelag. apud Augustin. de gestis contra Pelag. cap. 10. et in epist. 177. op. tom. 2. pag. 623. Vid. eund. Augustin. de grat. et lib. arbitr. cap. 13. et serm. 26. op. tom. 5. 139.
y Quid tantum de naturæ possibilitate præsumitur ? Vulnerata, sauciata, vexata, perdita est. Vera confessione, non falsa defensione opus habet. Augustin. de natur, et grat. cap. 53.
2 Prosp. de Ingratis, cap. 27.
a Id. ibid. cap. 20. Vid. eund. in epist. ad Rufinum, non procul ab initio : et Augustin. de hæres. cap. 88. et lib. 1. de gratia Christi contr. Pelag. cap. 8, 9, 10.
b Legant ergo et intelligant, intueantur atquc fateantur, non lege atque doc