SCROLL DOWN FOR A FEW EXCERPTS FROM THE WRITINGS OF ST. AUGUSTINE, ONE OF THE GREATEST CATHOLIC AND CHRISTIAN THINKERS AND SAINTS WHO EVER LIVED.
BUT FIRST, A FEW NOTES ON ST. AUGUSTINE…..
ST. AUGUSTINE of HIPPO (A.D. 354-430) WAS AN UNWAVERING SUPPORTER OF THE PAPACY, AND ALL OF THE MAJOR CATHOLIC DOCTRINES, INCLUDING THE REAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST’S BODY AND BLOOD IN THE EUCHARIST, MORTAL SINS, VENIAL SINS, PUNISHMENT AND PENANCE FOR SINS, PRAYING FOR THE DEAD IN PURGATORY, THE POSSIBILITY OF LOSING ONE’S SALVATION/JUSTIFICATION, MARY NEVER SINNING, BAPTISM NECESSARY FOR SALVATION, THE DEUTEROCANONICAL BOOKS (OR SO-CALLED “APOCRYPHA”) ON EQUAL FOOTING WITH THE OTHER OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS, CONFESSION TO A PRIEST, ETC., ETC., ETC.
THE DOCTRINES HE BELIEVED IN OF COURSE CLASH WITH LUTHER’S DEFINITION OF SALVATION BY FAITH ALONE. FOR EXAMPLE, AUGUSTINE SAID BAPTISM WAS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION. HE ALSO SAID RECEIVING THE EUCHARIST WAS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION. HE ALSO SAID THAT ONCE SOMEONE SINS MORTALLY, DOING PENANCE WAS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION.
BUT FEAR NOT, NO ACT OF PENANCE IS FROM OURSELVES…. ALL ARE ATTRIBUTABLE TO GOD’S GRACE ONLY. THIS IS THE TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND OF ST. AUGUSTINE. ALL CHRISTIANS CAN AT LEAST AGREE ON THAT. ANYTHING DONE APART FROM GOD’S GRACE IS WORTHLESS.
NOW, ON THE ISSUE OF PREDESTINATION, EVANGELICALS ARE QUICK TO POINT OUT THAT AUGUSTINE’S VIEWS ON THIS TOPIC WERE CLOSER TO THEIRS THAN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S….. AND THEY ARE CORRECT. AUGUSTINE, UNLIKE MOST CHURCH FATHERS WHO OPPOSED HIM ON THIS SPECIFIC ISSUE, DID MAKE THIS REGRETTABLE MISTAKE, FAILING TO RECOGNIZE THAT GOD DIED FOR ALL (2 Cor 5:15), DESIRING ALL MEN TO BE SAVED (1 Timothy 2:4) AND NOT JUST THE ELECT.
HOWEVER, HE WAS ALLOWED TO HOLD HIS MISTAKEN VIEW BECAUSE THE PARTICULARS OF PREDESTINATION WERE STILL UNDER DEBATE AT THE TIME… LIKE THE TRINITY, THE DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION TOOK SOME TIME TO DEFINE. … SO THE DEFINITION WAS NOT BINDING ON THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY AT THE TIME AUGUSTINE LIVED. IF THE CHURCH HAD OFFICIALLY DEFINED THE TEACHING PRIOR TO HIS DEATH, AUGUSTINE MOST CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED IT. BECAUSE, FOR AUGUSTINE, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WAS THE FINAL AUTHORITY ON THE TRUTH OF CHRIST’S TEACHINGS.
UNLIKE THE FOUNDERS OF SOLA SCRIPTURA IN THE 16TH CENTURY, ST. AUGUSTINE WOULD HAVE NEVER DREAMED OF INTERPRETING THE BIBLE APART FROM THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, WHICH BY DEFINITION HAD TO BE HEADED (AND STILL MUST BE HEADED) BY A SUCCESSOR OF PETER. HE BELIEVED THAT, ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, EVEN IF A DOCTRINE WAS NOT WRITTEN DOWN, IT MUST BE BELIEVED IF IT WAS PART OF APOSTOLIC TRADITION (1 Cor 11:2, 2 Thess 2:15, 2 Thess 3:6, Jn 21:25, 2 Tim 1:13, 2 Pet 1:20, Mt 23:2-3)
WHAT PREDESTINATION MEANS FOR CATHOLICS
For more info on predestination, see the web sites below. As a Catholic, I believe predestination to be this: God foreknew us (ie. He knew us just as intimately a million years ago as he does today and tomorrow). Capable of seeing my final day on earth billions of years before I arrived on earth, God created a space in heaven or hell for me way back when. Everyone whose names he placed in the Book of Life will go to heaven.
The problem is, we humans don’t have access to that Book of Life, so the only way we can be sure we are on it is if on our last day here, we know we have persevered in grace and in love until the end.
“…the charity of many shall grow cold. But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)
WHY DO CATHOLICS REJECT THE PROTESTANT VIEW OF PREDESTINATION?
Evangelicals believe that God created some people for the purpose of going to hell and with no consideration of how they lived their life or what choices they made. The Catholic Church rejects this, saying that a loving Father would never sentence some of his children to eternal misery without giving them a chance, and without offering them the grace they need to live in Christ.
My now-retired parish priest, Monsignor James Meehan, offered this metaphor: a guy on a motorcycle speeds faster and faster down a straightaway that has a brick wall at the end, the brick wall being hell. A Catholic would say God knew from the beginning of time that the guy would crash into the wall, and gave him the grace he could have used to reject the wall, but didn’t stop him. The Evangelical would say God steered him into the wall, i.e. God created the guy to crash into the wall.
Evangelicals have told me their view of predestination is “so crystal clear” from reading the Bible.
But how could it be so crystal clear to my friends who state this when even the Early Church Fathers had to debate and study for decades before understanding the truth of predestination? These Church Fathers were brilliant guys, totally immersed in Scripture…. the “Einsteins” of Christianity. And it wasn’t clear to them. In the end, they settled upon the Catholic definition of predestination.
Web sites on predestination:
OK, HERE’S AUGUSTINE…..
AUGUSTINE ON AUTHORITY OF CATHOLIC CHURCH
“I would not believe the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not compel me.”
AUGUSTINE ON BEING IN UNION WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
"Whosoever shall have separated himself from the Catholic Church, no matter how praiseworthy such a person may fancy his life has been, yet for that one crime of having cut himself off from the unity of Christ he shall not have eternal life, but the wrath of God shall abide with him for ever." St.Augustine of Hippo ("Letter 141," c. early 5th century)
AUGUSTINE: CATHOLIC CHURCH IS AN AUTHORITATIVE CHURCH
“The Catholic Church is the work of Divine Providence, achieved through the prophecies of the prophets, through the Incarnation and the teaching of Christ, through the journeys of the Apostles, through the suffering, the crosses, the blood and death of the martyrs, through the admirable lives of the saints…. When, then, we see so much help on God’s part, so much progress and so much fruit, shall we hesitate to bury ourselves in the bosom of that Church? For starting from the apostolic chair down through successions of bishops, even unto the open confession of all mankind, it has possessed the CROWN OF TEACHING AUTHORITY.” (emphasis mine) (Augustine, “The Advantage of Believing 35…392 A.D.)
SALVATION ONLY THROUGH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (AUGUSTINE)
“A man cannot have salvation, except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church he can have everything except salvation. He can have honor, he can have Sacraments, he can sing alleluia, he can answer amen, he can possess the gospel, he can have and preach faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; but never except in the Catholic Church will he be able to find salvation.” (Augustine, Discourse to the People of the Church at Caesarea, A.D. 418)
AUGUSTINE ON HOW MORTAL SINS AND VENIAL SINS ARE FORGIVEN….ONLY THE BAPTIZED CAN BE FORGIVEN
“But do not commit those sins on account of which you would have to be separated from the Body of Christ; perish the thought! For those whom you see doing penance have committed crimes, either adultery or some other enormities: that is why they are doing penance. If their sins were light, daily prayer would suffice TO BLOT THEM OUT.(emphasis mine) [8, 16] In the Church, therefore, there are three ways in which sins are forgiven: in Baptism, in prayer, and in the greater humility of penance; yet, God does not forgive sins except to the baptized.” (Augustine, Sermon to Catechumens, on the Creed, AD 395)
AUGUSTINE URGES CHRISTIANS TO PRAY FOR THE DEAD (ONLY FOR THOSE STILL IN PURGATORY (NOT YET PURGED OF ALL SINS), BUT NOT TO PRAY FOR MARTYRS WHO ARE ALREADY IN HEAVEN)
“there is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God (17), where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for other dead who are remembered. For it is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended.” [Augustine, Sermons inter AD 391-430]
AUGUSTINE on the CATHOLIC CHURCH AS THE TRUE CHURCH:
“We believe also in the holy Church, that is, the Catholic Church; for heretics and schismatics call their own congregations churches.”
AUGUSTINE on PETER the ROCK and the KEYS GIVEN TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
“Let us not listen to those who deny that the Church of God is able to forgive all sins. They are wretched indeed, because they do not recognize in Peter the rock (3) and they refuse to believe that the keys of the kingdom of heaven, lost from their own hands, have been given to the Church. These are people who condemn as adulteresses widows who marry, and boast that theirs is a purity superior to the teaching of the Apostles!” (Augustine, Against the Letter of Mani, AD 396 aut 397)
AUGUSTINE ON SUCCESSION
“The succession of priests, from the very see of the Apostle Peter, to whom our Lord, after His resurrection, gave the charge of feeding His sheep, up to the present episcopate, keeps me here. And at last, the very name of Catholic, which, not without reason, belongs to this Church alone, in the face of so many heretics, so much so that, although all the heretics want to be called Catholic, when a stranger inquires where the Catholic Church meets (2), none of the heretics would dare to point out his own basilica or house (3).” (Augustine, Against the Letter of Mani, AD 396-397)
AUGUSTINE on REAL PRESENCE
“For it was the Body of the Lord and the Blood of the Lord even in those to whom the Apostle said: Whoever eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself (15).” (Augustine, Baptism, AD 400)
AUGUSTINE ON SACRAMENTS of BAPTISM and ORDERS
“Both of these, Baptism and Orders, are Sacraments, and each is given to a man by a certain sacred rite (1), when he is baptized, and the other, when he is ordained. In the Catholic Church, therefore, it is not permitted to repeat either of these Sacraments. For even if their leaders (2), when they come over to us from among the schismatics, are received for the good of peace and to rectify the error of schism, and even it is seen that it is feasible for them to carry on in the same offices which they had before, they are not ordained again, but, just as with their Baptism, so too their ordination remains whole; because the defect was in their separation, which is corrected by the peace that comes of unity, and not in the Sacraments, which everywhere they are found, are the same. (Augustine, Against the Letter of Paremenian. [ca A.D. 400]
AUGUSTINE on APOSTOLIC TRADITION
“What the universal Church holds, not as instituted by councils but as something always held, is most correctly believed to have been handed down by apostolic authority.” (Augustine, “Baptism” 4, 24, 31)
AUGUSTINE: BAPTISM AND EUCHARIST NECESSARY FOR SALVATION
“It is an excellent thing that the Punic Christians (8) call Baptism itself nothing else but salvation, and the Sacrament of Christ’s Body nothing else but life. Whence does this derive, except from an ancient and, as I suppose, apostolic tradition, by which the Churches of Christ, hold inherently that without Baptism and participation at the table of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the kingdom of God or to salvation and life eternal? This is the witness of Scripture too.” (Augustine, “Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of sins, and the Baptism of Infants, AD 412)
AUGUSTINE on BAPTISM AS REGENERATIVE
“If anyone wonders why children born of the baptized should themselves be baptized, let him attend briefly to this…The Sacrament of Baptism is most assuredly the Sacrament of regeneration. But just as the man who never lived cannot die, and one who has not died cannot rise again, so too one who was never born cannot be reborn…..Unless we voluntarily depart from the rule of the Christian faith it must be admitted that inasmuch as infants are, by the Sacrament of Baptism, conformed to the death of Christ, they are also freed from the serpent’s venomous bite. This bite, however, they did not receive in their own proper life, but in him who first suffered that wound.” (Augustine, “Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of sins, and the Baptism of Infants, AD 412)
AUGUSTINE SAYS TO PRAY FOR THE DEAD IN PURGATORY, BUT NOT THE DEAD IN HEAVEN OR HELL
The prayer either of the Church herself or of pious individuals is heard on behalf of certain of the dead; but it is heard for those who, having been regenerated in Christ, did not for the rest of their life in the body do such wickedness that they might be judged unworthy of such mercy, nor who yet lived so well that it might be supposed they have no need of such mercy. (21, 24, 2…..Augustine, “City of God” A.D. 413-426)
AUGUSTINE: SAYING THE LORD’S PRAYER TAKES AWAY SINS
The daily prayer, which Jesus Himself taught and for which reason it is called the Lord’s Prayer, certainly takes away daily sins, when we say daily: “Forgive us our debts (40).”
(Augustine, City of God” A.D. 413-426)
AUGUSTINE SAYS MARY NEVER SINNED
Having excepted the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom, on account of the honor of the Lord, I wish to have absolutely no question when treating of sins, - for how do we know what abundance of grace for the total overcoming of sin was conferred upon her, who merited to conceive and bear Him in whom there was no sin- …..” (Augustine, “Nature and Grace A.D. 415)
DEGREE OF SIN DETERMINES LENGTH OF PUNISHMENT
“Sins which are punished by an extremely lengthy period of penalties are committed in an extremely short time (34); nor is there anyone who would suppose that the punishments should be as quickly over as the offenses were quickly performed, whether murder or adultery or sacrilege or any other crime whatsoever that is to be measured, not by how long it took to do it, but by the magnitude of its wickedness and impiety. (Augustine…”City of God” 21, 11)
AUGUSTINE: PUNISHMENT FOR OUR SINS NOT COMPLETED WHEN WE DIE, WILL BE COMPLETED AFTER WE DIE BUT BEFORE JUDGMENT DAY (IE, PURGATORY)
Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by some both here and hereafter; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment (35). But not all who suffer temporal punishments after death will come to eternal punishments, which are to follow after that judgment. (Augustine….”City of God” 21, 13)
AUGUSTINE SAYS PURGATORY WILL END BY JUDGMENT DAY
“Let it not be supposed that there are any future purgatorial punishments, except before that last and tremendous judgment.”
AUGUSTINE REITERATES THAT SINS ARE FORGIVEN IN BAPTISM
“…..are cleansed and healed, not only all the sins which are remitted in Baptism, but even those which are committed later….” (Augustine, “Marriage and Concupiscence)
AUGUSTINE on UNBAPTIZED INFANTS
“If you wish to be Catholic, do not believe, do not say, do not teach that infants who are overtaken by death before they can be baptized are able to come to a forgiveness of original sins (3) (Augustine, “The Soul and Its Origin, A.D. 419-420)
AUGUSTINE: BAPTISM FORGIVES SINS
“We say that Baptism grants forgiveness (2) of all sins, and takes away crimes, not “shaving them off,” nor in such a way that “the roots of all sins are retained in the evil flesh, like the hairs shaved from the head, whence the sins may grow again to be cut down again.” (Augustine, “Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, A.D. 420)
AUGUSTINE: BAPTISM REMOVES SIN
“With the exception of the gift of Baptism, which is given against original sin, so that what was brought by generation might be taken away by regeneration, -though it also takes away actual sins, such as have ever been committed in thought, word, or deed – except therefore, for this great indulgence whereby man’s restoration begins and in which all his guilt, both original and actual, is removed, the rest of our life from the age of the use of reason, however much that life may abound in righteousness, is always in need of the forgiveness of sins….” (Augustine….Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love, A.D. 421)
“The guilt of concupiscence is remitted in Baptism….” (Augustine, “Corrections” A.D. 426 aut 427)
AUGUSTINE ON PENANCE FOR VENIAL AND MORE SERIOUS SINS
“Yet those who do penance in accord with the kind of sin they have committed are not to despair of receiving God’s mercy in the Holy Church, for the remission of their crimes, however serious. In the penitential action, however, where the crime committed was such that he who committed it is separated from the body of Christ, it is not so much the length of time as the depth of sorrow that is to be considered.” (Augustine, Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love, A.D. 421)
AUGUSTINE ON PURGATORY
“That there should be some such fire even after this life is not incredible, and it can be inquired into and either be discovered or left hidden whether some of the faithful may be saved, some more slowly and some more quickly in the greater or lesser degree in which they loved the good things that perish, -through a certain purgatorial fire.” (Augustine, Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love, A.D. 421)
AUGUSTINE: VENIAL SINS CAN BE FORGIVEN THROUGH PRAYER
“For the daily sins of the brief and trivial kind without which this life cannot be lived, the daily prayer of the faithful makes satisfaction. The faithful can say: “Our Father, who art in heave (19)”; for to such a Father they are already reborn of water and the Spirit (20). This prayer takes away completely our lesser and daily sins.” (Augustine, Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love, A.D. 421)
AUGUSTINE: LIGHTER SINS GET LESS SEVERE PUNISHMENT
“Surely the lightest punishment of all will be given those who, besides the sin which they brought with them originally, have added no other; and among the rest who have added other sins, damnation there will be so much the more tolerable as their wickedness here was the less serious.” (Augustine, Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love, A.D. 421)
AUGUSTINE: PRAYING FOR THE DEAD IS USEFUL, AS LONG AS THE DEAD PERSON IS NOT IN HELL OR HEAVEN
“The time which interposes between the death of a man and the final resurrection holds souls in hidden retreats, accordingly as each is deserving of rest or of hardship, in view of what it merited when it was living in the flesh.  Nor can it be denied that the souls of the dead find relief through the piety of their friends and relatives who are still alive. When the Sacrifice of the Mediator is offered for them, or when alms are given in the church. But these things are of profit to those who, when they were alive, merited that they might afterwards be able to be helped by these things. For there is a certain manner of living, neither so good that there is no need of these helps after death, nor yet so wicket that these helps are of no avail after death. There is indeed, a manner of living so good that these helps are not needed, and again a manner so evil that these helps are of no avail, once a man has passed from this life. (Augustine, Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love, A.D. 421)
AUGUSTINE SAYS PRAYING FOR THE DEAD IS A UNIVERSAL TEACHING OF THE CHURCH
“We read in the books of the Maccabees that sacrifice was offered for the dead. But even if it were found nowhere in the Old Testament writings, the authority of the universal Church which is clear on this point is of no small weight, wherein the prayers of the priest poured forth to the Lord God at His altar the commendation of the dead has its place. (Augustine, “The Care that Should be taken of the Dead, A.D. 421)
AUGUSTINE SAYS YOU CAN LOSE YOUR SALVATION (i.e. CAN LOSE JUSTIFYING GRACE)
“But if someone already regenerate and justified should, of his own will, relapse into his evil life, certainly that man cannot say: “I have not received”; because he lost the grace he received from God and by his own free choice went to evil.” (Augustine, “Admonition and Grace, A.D. 426 aut 427)
AUGUSTINE ON APOSTOLIC TRADITION
"Those which we keep, not as being written, but as from, if observed by the whole of Christendom, are thereby understood to be committed to us by the apostles themselves or plenary Councils, and to be retained as instituted." (Ep 118).
AUGUSTINE ON APOSTOLIC TRADITION "But in regard to those observances which we carefully attend and which the whole world keeps, and which derive not from Scripture but from Tradition, we are given to understand that they are recommended and ordained to be kept, either by the Apostles themselves or by plenary [ecumenical] councils, the authority of which is quite vital in the Church" (Letter to Januarius [A.D. 400]).
AUGUSTINE ON APOSTOLIC TRADITION "And if anyone seek for Divine authority in this matter, though what is held by the whole Church, and not as instituted by Councils, but as a matter of invariable custom, is rightly held to have been handed down by an apostolic authority." (On Baptism 24 speaking of infant Baptism).
AUGUSTINE ON APOSTOLIC TRADITION "[T]he custom of not rebaptizing converts] ...may be supposed to have had its origin in Apostolic Tradition, just as there are many things which are observed by the whole Church, and therefore are fairly held to have been enjoined by the Apostles, which yet are not mentioned in their writings" (On
AUGUSTINE: THE CHURCH ESTABLISHED BY CHRIST MUST BE HEADED BY DIRECT SUCCESSOR OF PETER
“For if the lineal succession of bishops is to be taken into account, with how much more certainty and benefit to the Church do we reckon back till we reach Peter himself, to whom, as bearing in a figure the whole Church, the Lord said: ‘Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!’ The successor of Peter was Linus, and his successors in unbroken continuity were these: ‑Clement, Anacletus, Evaristus, Alexander, Sixtus, Telesphorus, Iginus, Anicetus, Pius, Soter, Eleutherius, Victor, Zephirinus, Calixtus, Urbanus, Pontianus, Antherus, Fabianus, Cornelius, Lucius, Stephanus, Xystus, Dionysius, Felix, Eutychianus, Gaius, Marcellinus, Marcellus, Eusebius, Miltiades, Sylvester, Marcus, Julius, Liberius, Damasus, and Siricius, whose successor is the present Bishop Anastasius. In this order of succession no Donatist bishop is found” (Letters of Augustine 53, 2 in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 1st series, 1:298).
AUGUSTINE SAYS THE POPE OF HIS TIME, ANASTASIUS, SITS IN THE CHAIR OF PETER
“If all men throughout the world were such as you most vainly accuse them of having been, what has the chair of the Roman church done to you, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today?” [Against the Letters of Petilani 2:118 [A.D. 402]
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS AUTHORITY. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THE SUCCESSORS OF THE APOSTLES. EVERYONE IN THE WORLD KNOWS WHICH CHURCH IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
“In the Catholic
Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The
consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority,
inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by
age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the
Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to
feed His sheep (Jn 21:15-19), down to the present
“And so, lastly, does the very name of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.
“Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should...With you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me... No one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion...For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.”
AUGUSTINE SAID HE WHO SEPARATES FROM THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CANNOT ENTER HEAVEN
“Whosoever shall have separated himself from the Catholic Church, no matter how praiseworthy such a person may fancy his life has been, yet for that one crime of having cut himself off from the unity of Christ he shall not have eternal life, buth the wrath of God shall abide with him for ever.” St Augustine of Hippo (“Letter 141” c. early 5th century)
SOURCE for Augustine quotes: “The Faith of the Early Fathers” by William A. Jurgens and www.catholic.com
Finally, what is the difference between St. Augustine and Martin Luther? John Henry Cardinal Newman explained:
“The main point is whether the Moral Law can in its substance be obeyed and kept by the regenerate. Augustine says, that whereas we are by nature condemned by the Law, we are enabled by the grace of God to perform it unto our justification; Luther [and Calvin equally] that, whereas we are condemned by the law, Christ has Himself performed it unto our justification -- Augustine, that our righteousness is active; Luther, that it is passive; Augustine, that it is imparted, Luther that it is only imputed; Augustine, that it consists in a change of heart; Luther, in a change of state. Luther maintains that God's commandments are impossible to man Augustine adds, impossible without His grace; Luther that the Gospel consists of promises only Augustine, that it is also a law, Luther, that our highest wisdom is not to know the Law, Augustine says instead, to know and keep it -- Luther says, that the Law and Christ cannot dwell together in the heart. Augustine says that the Law is Christ; Luther denies and Augustine maintains that obedience is a matter of conscience. Luther says that a man is made a Christian not by working but by hearing; Augustine excludes those works only which are done before grace is given; Luther, that our best deeds are sins; Augustine, that they are really pleasing to God (Lectures on Justification, ch. ii, 58).” (Source: Catholic Encyclopedia)
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