Augustine on Monergism

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Knight

Puritan Board Freshman
Surprisingly, I haven't seen many posts regarding Augustine's monergistic beliefs. I thought, therefore, some here might be interested in the following post in which I've cited some quotes according to relevance to a doctrine of grace:

On Depravity

Augustine believed fallen man:

1. ”Is not be able to refrain from acts of inordinate desire…”
2. ”[Is not able to do]good works… [until]… rescued from his lostness.”
3. ”Had his…free will [to do right]… destroyed.”
4. ”[Lost all moral liberty except]…the liberty that loves to sin.”
5. ”…serves freely… the will of his master.”
6. ”[Is not]…free to do right unless he is delivered from the bondage of sin and begins to be the servant of righteousness.”
7. ”…is not yet free to act rightly.”
8. ”[Has not]…the capacity of not sinning…”
9. “[Sins of]…necessity.”
10. ”[Is] either unable to understand what [he] wants, or else… not strong enough to accomplish what [he has] come to understand.”
11. “…do absolutely no good thing, whether in thought, or will and affection, or in action [apart from] the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
12. “[Must have the Lord] remove [his] hard heart, out of which [he does] not act, and… give [him] an obedient heart, out of which [he] shall act.”
13. ”[Must be regenerated in order to come to the] faith… which obtains by prayer what the law commands.”
14. “[By] the Spirit of righteousness [have transferred] to them that faith which, of their own will, they could not yet have.”
15. ”Needs divine grace... to live well and righteously. For free will in the sinner did not perish [to the extent that] what they are pleased to do gives them pleasure.”
16. ”[Has no] power… of free will [to believe]; because it will not be free for good if the deliverer have not made it free; but in evil he has a free will.”
17. ”Is free in evil things because it takes pleasure in evil, is not free in good things, for the reason that it has not been made free.”
18. “Avails for sinning in men subjected to the devil; while it is not of avail for good and pious living, unless the will itself of man should be made free by God’s grace, and assisted to every good movement of action, of speech, of thought… born again in Christ.”
19. “Art made to differ [by] He… who bestows that… [regenerative] grace which is not due.”
20. ”[Is] free in evil, but for doing good it must be made free by God’s grace, [which] is opposed to the Pelagians; but in that we say [man’s will] originated from that which previously was not evil, this is opposed to the Manicheans.”

On Efficacious Grace

Augustine believed soteric grace:

1. ”[Is necessary due to the fact that]…out of a heart which is not good [we can do no good].”
2. ”[Is]…gratuitous and effectual.”
3. “…makes us to walk, to observe, to do.”
4. ”[Shows]…[faith and mortifying the deeds of the flesh]… to be God’s gifts, in order that we may understand both that we do them, and that God makes us to do them.”
5. ”[Is]…able to turn to belief wills that are perverse and opposed to faith.”
6. ”[Is such]…that [men] may act, not that they may themselves do nothing.”
7. ”[Is]…sufficient by itself.”
8. ”[Is the result of a God who]…makes us act, by applying efficacious powers to our will.”
9. “…remove your hard heart, out of which you did not act and… give you an obedient heart, out of which you shall act.”
10. “Operates without us.”
11. “…effect that man will, and will so much, and love with such ardour, that by the will of the Spirit he overcomes the will of the flesh, that lusteth in opposition to it.”
12. "…is too little… not to be able without it either to apprehend the good or to continue in good if he will, unless he is also made to will.”
13. ”[Is]…so great and such a help as to will, ecause by this grace of God there is caused in us…not only to be able to do what we will, but even to will to do what we are able.”
14. ”[Is given to the elect so that they]…should most invincibly will what is good, and most invincibly refuse to forsake this…”
15. ”[Is given by]…that God whom no man’s will resists when He wills to give salvation...”
16. “…is rejected by no hard heart, because it is given for the sake of first taking away the hardness of the heart.”
17. “Is that for which [man] gives thanks to God… [for] it is a vain and idle thing if He to whom he gives thanks did not Himself… worketh in the hearts of men with that calling according to His purpose… that they should not hear the gospel in vain, but when they heard it, should be converted and believe, receiving it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth the word of God.”
18. ”[Is such that]…[man] not only knows what it is he ought to do, but also actually does what he thus knows… [for] He so teaches, that whatever a man learns, he not only sees with his perception, but also desires with his choice, and accomplishes in action."
19. ”[Is such that the]…volition itself, and performance itself, are assisted, and not merely the natural “capacity” of willing and performing, [f]or if nothing but this “capacity” of ours were assisted by this grace, the Lord would rather have said, “Every man that hath heard and hath learned of the Father may possibly come unto me.””
20. “[Is such that]…every one who has learned of the Father not only has the possibility of coming, but comes; and in this result are already included the motion of the capacity, the affection of the will, and the effect of the action.”

Augustine believed that the sovereignty of God is such that:

1. “…the human will is not taken away, but changed from bad to good, and assisted when it is good… [and] that it is… the inspired Scripture which has spoken to you, in the clearest testimonies of truth…”
2. “…He turns them whithersoever He wills, and whensoever He wills...”
3. “…not by a command [does] He bade [man], in which case… obedience would be praiseworthy; but He inclined… man’s will, which had become debased by his own perverseness, to commit… sin, by His own just and secret judgment.”
4. “…God uses the hearts of even wicked men for the praise and assistance of the good.”
5. “…the Lord both stirred up [man’s] spirit, and yet [men act] of their own will. For the Almighty sets in motion even in the innermost hearts of men the movement of their will, so that He does through their agency whatsoever He wishes to perform through them...”
6. “…God, wishing to punish [sin, can wrought it in] man’s heart...”
7. “…His own judgment [is] sometimes manifest, sometimes secret, but always righteous.”
8. ”[God]…is able, either through the agency of angels (whether good ones or evil)… to operate in the hearts even of the wicked…”
9. “…through the Holy Spirit, He works good in the hearts of the elect, who has wrought it that their hearts become good instead of evil…”
10. “…men’s wills cannot… withstand the will of God… since He does even concerning the wills themselves of men what He will, when He will.”

On Election

Augustine believed:

1. ”God calls whomsoever He deigns, and whom He wills He makes religious.”
2. ”It is God… who makes religious whomsoever He pleases” such that no one hastens to, depends upon, cleaves to, nor desires God “unless he be made by God...”
3. ”[Because]God acts upon us by the incentives of our perceptions, to will and to believe… whatever [man] possesses, and whatever [man] receives, is from God...”
4. ”[The mystery of why one should be persuaded of the gospel and another should not lies, not in human autonomy, but in] the depths of His riches!”
5. ”[We should not attribute what we have received to ourselves, because it is according to God‘s own mind and counsel that] He dispenses those benefits, making some deservedly vessels of wrath, others graciously vessels of mercy...”
6. ”God willed it to pertain only to His grace that man should approach to Him…"
7. ”[Christians]receive [the power to become sons of God] from Him who gives pious thoughts to the human heart, by which it has faith...”
8. ”We are not sufficient to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God, in whose power is our heart and our thoughts.”
9. ”No one… comes to Christ unless it were given him, and that it is given to those who are chosen in Him before the foundation of the world...”
10. ”[Foreknowledge] signif[ies] predestination.”
11. “[Paul] knew that he had not first given the beginning of his faith to God, and had its increase given back to him again by Him; but that he had been made faithful by God, who also had made him an apostle.”
12. “If any one dare to say, “I have faith of myself, I did not, therefore, receive it,” he directly contradicts this most manifest truth, not because it is not in the choice of man’s will to believe or not to believe, but because in the elect the will is prepared by the Lord.”
13. “God indeed calls many predestinated children of His, to make them members of His only predestinated Son, not with that calling with which they were called who would not come to the marriage, since with that calling were called also the Jews, to whom Christ crucified is an offence, and the Gentiles, to whom Christ crucified is foolishness; but with that calling He calls the predestinated which the apostle distinguished when he said that he preached Christ, the wisdom of God and the power of God, to them that were called, Jews as well as Greeks… [that is,] with that calling wherewith a man is made a believer.”
14. “...we [are not] called because we believed… [or because] we were going to be of ourselves holy and immaculate, but He chose and predestinated us that we might be so.”
15. “...if they had been elected because they had believed, they themselves would certainly have first chosen Him by believing in Him, so that they should deserve to be elected.”
16. “...if [‘He hath chosen us in Himself before the foundation of the world’] were said because God foreknew that they would believe, not because He Himself would make them believers, the Son is speaking against such a foreknowledge as that when He says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you;” when God should rather have foreknown this very thing, that they themselves would have chosen Him, so that they might deserve to be chosen by Him.”
17. “…who can hear the Lord saying, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” and can dare to say that men believe in order to be elected, when they are rather elected to believe; lest against the judgment of truth they be found to have first chosen Christ to whom Christ says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you”?”
18. “...if the apostle had wished us to understand that there were future good deeds of the one, and evil deeds of the other – which God, of course, foreknew – he would never have said "not of good works" but rather "of future works."”
19. “Since this judgment [of wrath] was due them both, [Jacob] learned from what happened [Esau] that the fact that he had not, with equal merit, incurred the same penalty gave him no ground to boast of his own distinctive merits – but, instead, that he should glory in the abundance of divine grace, because "it is not a question of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God's showing mercy."“
20. ”…grace alone separates the redeemed from the lost, all having been mingled together in the one mass of perdition, arising from a common cause which leads back to their common origin.”
21. “[God] chose [the elect] in Christ before the foundation of the world as those to whom He intended to give His grace freely – that is, with no merits of theirs, either of faith or of works, preceding…”
22. “…the kindness which is bestowed on some freely [would not] appear, unless to other equally guilty and from the same mass God showed what was really due to both, and condemned them with a righteous judgment.”
23. “…in [election] God does not find made by another what He may choose, but Himself makes what He may find.”
24. “…[some think] the apostle thus said, “For we know that He worketh all things for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to the purpose,” so as to wish the purpose of man to be understood, which purpose, as a good merit, the mercy of the God that calleth might follow; being ignorant that it is said, “Who are called according to the purpose,” so that there may be understood the purpose of God, not man, whereby those whom He foreknew and predestinated as conformed to the image of His Son, He elected before the foundation of the world."
25. “…[lest] the carnal man in his foolish pride should, on hearing the question, “Who maketh thee to differ from another?” either in thought or in word answer and say: My faith, or my prayer, or my righteousness makes me to differ from other men, the apostle at once adds these words to the question, and so meets all such notions, saying, “What hast thou that thou didst not receive? now, if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou didst not receive it?”
26. “…if we first loved Him, in order that by this merit He might love us, then we first chose Him that we might deserve to be chosen by Him… He, however, who is the Truth says otherwise, and flatly contradicts this vain conceit of men.”
27. “… it was because they had been chosen, that they chose Him; not because they chose Him that they were chosen... [for] there could be no merit in men’s choice of Christ, if it were not that God’s grace was prevenient in His choosing them.”
28. “…for rebuke by the agency of man to avail, whether it be of love or not, depends only upon God.”
29. “…none of [the elect] perishes, because God is overcome by nothing.”
30. “Peter’s faith would then have perished if that will by which he was faithful should fail, and that it would have continued if that same will should abide…When, then, He prayed that his faith should not fail, what was it that he asked for, but that in his faith he should have a most free, strong, invincible, persevering will!”

On Atonement

Augustine believed:

1. “The whole world… is the Church.”
2. “He who chose the world out of the world, effected for Himself, instead of finding, what He should choose.”
3. “[Not all] human beings are… redeemed by Christ's blood.”
4. “[Christ] intercedeth for thee, Who on earth died for thee.”
5. “When we ask for the reason why not all are saved, the customary answer is: "Because they themselves have not willed it." But this cannot be said of infants, who have not yet come to the power of willing or not willing.”
6. “As far as [the depraved are] concerned, they did what God did not will that they do, but as far as God's omnipotence is concerned, they were quite unable to achieve their purpose. In their very act of going against his will, his will was thereby accomplished.”
7. "In a strange and ineffable fashion even that which is done against his will is not done without his will. For it would not be done without his allowing it – and surely his permission is not unwilling but willing – nor would he who is good allow the evil to be done, unless in his omnipotence he could bring good even out of evil.”
8. "The omnipotent God never doth anything except what he doth will, and doth everything that he willeth.”
9. “The word concerning God, "who will have all men to be saved," does not mean that there is no one whose salvation he doth not will – he who was unwilling to work miracles among those who, he said, would have repented if he had wrought them – but by "all men" we are to understand the whole of mankind, in every single group into which it can be divided: kings and subjects; nobility and plebeians; the high and the low; the learned and unlearned; the healthy and the sick; the bright, the dull, and the stupid; the rich, the poor, and the middle class; males, females, infants, children, the adolescent, young adults and middle-aged and very old; of every tongue and fashion, of all the arts, of all professions, with the countless variety of wills and minds and all the other things that differentiate people.”
10. "We could interpret [1 Timothy 2:4] in any other fashion, as long as we are not compelled to believe that the Omnipotent hath willed anything to be done which was not done.”

On Perseverance

Augustine believed:

1. “[Men do not persevere who have] not been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.”
2. “… if you say that it pertains to man’s free will… that any one should persevere in good, or should not persevere, and it is not by the gift of God if he persevere, but by the performance of human will… you strive against the words of Him who says, “I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith fail not.”
3. "If God works our faith, acting in a wonderful manner in our hearts so that we believe… there [no] reason to fear that He cannot do the whole.”
4. “No one of His own is indifferent to [the Father’s] voice… for this reason also does He announce it to the [sheep], that he may abide perseveringly with Himself to the end.”
5. “…after the fall of man, God willed it to pertain only to His grace that man should approach to Him; nor did He will it to pertain to aught but His grace that man should not depart from Him.”
6. “It is He… who makes [men] to persevere in good, who makes them good. But they who fall and perish have never been in the number of the predestinated."
7. “Consider if in such a way any other result be gained than that the grace of God is given in some way or other, according to our merit, and so grace is no more grace.”
8. “It is [foreign to] the truth to deny that perseverance even to the end of this life is the gift of God; since He Himself puts an end to this life when He wills, and if He puts an end before a fall that is threatening, He makes the man to persevere even unto the end.”
9. "When Christ intercedes, therefore, on behalf of these, that their faith should not fail, doubtless it will not fail unto the end.”
10. “To the saints predestinated to the kingdom of God by God’s grace, the aid of perseverance that is given is not such as the former, but such that to them perseverance itself is bestowed; not only so that without that gift they cannot persevere, but, moreover, so that by means of this gift they cannot help persevering."
 

P.F.

Puritan Board Freshman
Ryan,

I love the list. I know it would be a lot of work, but your list would be even more helpful if you provided a citation for each quotation so that your list of quotations was documented. That would help folks who use your list avoid the charge of taking the quotations out of context, since it would permit them to check the context and confirm that they mean what they appear to mean.

One other suggestion: you may wish to be prepared to respond to those who point to Augustine's use of the word "co-operation." Such a response doesn't necessarily have to be a part of this list, but it should be something you should be ready for, if you attempt to use this list in an argument.
 

Notthemama1984

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Thanks for the list. Did you compile it? I posted it as a note on my facebook, but want to give credit to the compiler.
 

Knight

Puritan Board Freshman
Ryan,

I love the list. I know it would be a lot of work, but your list would be even more helpful if you provided a citation for each quotation so that your list of quotations was documented. That would help folks who use your list avoid the charge of taking the quotations out of context, since it would permit them to check the context and confirm that they mean what they appear to mean.

All of the quotes I cite may be found in their original contexts (with citations) in one of my blog posts. You may go here to see the list.

PCFLANAGAN said:
One other suggestion: you may wish to be prepared to respond to those who point to Augustine's use of the word "co-operation." Such a response doesn't necessarily have to be a part of this list, but it should be something you should be ready for, if you attempt to use this list in an argument

If you follow my link, you will see that I address such a hypothetical in this blog post:

Knight said:
“In beginning He works in us that we may have the will, and in perfecting works with us when we have the will. On which account the apostle says, “I am confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” He operates, therefore, without us, in order that we may will; but when we will, and so will that we may act, He co-operates with us.”(Chapter 33)

Some might jump on the phrase “co-operates” as though Augustine did not just finish explaining that until we will, God acts alone. But if read in the context, Augustine is not at all supporting a perspective of autonomy but rather aiming to show that we do not act involuntarily when we do will His precepts. In fact, Augustine makes quite clear a little later in On Grace and Free Will precisely how sovereign God is in all matters (which will be examined in the next note).

And then, as I said I would do, I continue it in my next blog post to address that point in my examination of Augustine's beliefs in chapters 41-43 of On Grace and Free Will, which I feel was appropriately concluded by Augustine's thoughts in chapter 45:

Augustine said:
It is not, then, to be doubted that men’s wills cannot, so as to prevent His doing what he wills, withstand the will of God, “who hath done all things whatsoever He pleased in heaven and in earth,” and who also “has done those things that are to come;” since He does even concerning the wills themselves of men what He will, when He will.”

-----Added 11/25/2009 at 12:06:24 EST-----

Thanks for the list. Did you compile it? I posted it as a note on my facebook, but want to give credit to the compiler.

Yes.
 

nate895

Puritan Board Freshman
Learning that there were Early Church Fathers such as Augustine who held to the system (or at least a very similar system) that we know today as Calvinism really opened up the door to me actually becoming a Calvinist. Before I had thought that the Reformed position just plopped out of nowhere in the 16th century with Calvin in Geneva. This will be a really nice summary to show how the Doctrines of Grace didn't just come out of some theologian's overactive mind 1500 years after Christ.

Thanks,
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Ryan the list of quotes is wonderful; but I've clicked several times on the bloglink (I'm on pain medicine today so am not trusting my senses entirely :) and can't see the citations? Am I just overlooking them somewhere?

Thanks.
 

Knight

Puritan Board Freshman
Ryan the list of quotes is wonderful; but I've clicked several times on the bloglink (I'm on pain medicine today so am not trusting my senses entirely :) and can't see the citations? Am I just overlooking them somewhere?

Thanks.

The citations are scattered throughout the blog posts. If you will notice, the first link takes you to 11 blog posts relating to Augustine. The one at the top is the most recent blog post: it's the one I posted here, i.e. one which summarizes the others. The 10 previous blog posts contain the quotes I make in the OP as well as other quotes, all with citations, and some commentary by myself.

So, for example, if you read the blog post pertaining to Augustine on Perseverance, you'll notice that the quotes in bold at the bottom of the post are the same which I cite in the OP. Those quotes summarize the specific blog post which contains the quote in context (with citations).

Maybe if I give you an example of how one post is set up, you'll be able to see how each of the rest of the 10 blog posts are formatted. Here is my note on Augustine's beliefs regarding perseverance. I'll bolden each quote used in the OP (the same which are provided at the end of the post itself), along with the citation:

Knight said:
Augustine’s perspective on perseverance of believers unique, to say the least. He might say the saints persevere, but Augustine would qualify who a saint is differently than would one would adheres to the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints. He would consider a saint to be an elect individual over against a believer. Why would Augustine think it necessary to make such a qualification?

“Therefore, of two infants, equally bound by original sin, why the one is taken and the other left; and of two wicked men of already mature years, why this one should be so called as to follow Him that calleth, while that one is either not called at all, or is not called in such a manner – the judgments of God are unsearchable. But of two pious men, why to the one should be given perseverance unto the end, and to the other it should not be given, God’s judgments are even more unsearchable. Yet to believers it ought to be a most certain fact that the former is of the predestinated, the latter is not. “For if they had been of us,” says one of the predestinated, who had drunk this secret from the breast of the Lord, “certainly they would have continued with us.” What, I ask, is the meaning of, “They were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would certainly have continued with us”? Were not both created by God – both born of Adam – both made from the earth, and given from Him who said, “I have created all breath,” souls of one and the same nature? Lastly, had not both been called, and followed Him that called them? and had not both become, from wicked men, justified men, and both been renewed by the laver of regeneration? But if he were to hear this who beyond all doubt knew what he was saying, he might answer and say: These things are true. In respect of all these things, they were of us. Nevertheless, in respect of a certain other distinction, they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they certainly would have continued with us. What then is this distinction? God’s books lie open, let us not turn away our view; the divine Scripture cries aloud, let us give it a hearing. They were not of them, because they had not been “called according to the purpose;” they had not been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world; they had not gained a lot in Him; they had not been predestinated according to His purpose who worketh all things. For if they had been this, they would have been of them, and without doubt they would have continued with them.” (The Gift of Perseverance, Chapter 21)

Augustine believed – probably due in part to his belief in baptismal regeneration – that a believer could fail to persevere. Of course, this does not make Augustine unique; what makes Augustine unique is the fact that his soteriology was monergistic despite the fact he believed believers could fail to persevere:

“If, therefore, you confess that to persevere to the end in good is God’s gift, I think that equally with me you are ignorant why one man should receive this gift and another should not receive it; and in this case we are both unable to penetrate the unsearchable judgments of God. Or if you say that it pertains to man’s free will – which you defend, not in accordance with God’s grace, but in opposition to it – that any one should persevere in good, or should not persevere, and it is not by the gift of God if he persevere, but by the performance of human will, why will you strive against the words of Him who says, “I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith fail not”? Will you dare to say that even when Christ prayed that Peter’s faith might not fail, it would still have failed if Peter had willed it to fail; that is, if he had been unwilling that it should continue even to the end? As if Peter could in any measure will otherwise than Christ had asked for him that he might will. For who does not know that Peter’s faith would then have perished if that will by which he was faithful should fail, and that it would have continued if that same will should abide?” (On Grace and Free Will, Chapter 17)

Consistent with the rest of his beliefs, Augustine believed God’s grace is the sole distinguishing factor that determines one’s state before God. This is a point Augustine stresses many times, even in the context of a doctrine which many use to assert the autonomy of men:

““He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” No one of His own is indifferent to such a voice, a stranger does not hear it: for this reason also does He announce it to the former, that he may abide perseveringly with Himself to the end; but by one who is wanting in such persevering continuance with Him, such a word remains unheard.” (Tractates on the Gospel of John, 10:1-3)

““And they shall never perish:” you may hear the undertone, as if He had said to them, Ye shall perish for ever, because ye are not of my sheep.” (Tractates on the Gospel of John, 10:22-42)

“For rebuke by the agency of man to avail, whether it be of love or not, depends only upon God.” (On Grace and Free Will, Chapter 9)

To the saints predestinated to the kingdom of God by God’s grace, the aid of perseverance that is given is not such as the former, but such that to them perseverance itself is bestowed; not only so that without that gift they cannot persevere, but, moreover, so that by means of this gift they cannot help persevering. For not only did He say, “Without me ye can do nothing,” but He also said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” By which words He showed that He had given them not only righteousness, but perseverance therein. For when Christ thus ordained them that they should go and bring forth fruit, and that their fruit should remain, who would dare to say, It shall not remain? Who would dare to say, Perchance it will not remain? “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance;” but the calling is of those who are called according to the purpose. When Christ intercedes, therefore, on behalf of these, that their faith should not fail, doubtless it will not fail unto the end. And thus it shall persevere even unto the end; nor shall the end of this life find it anything but continuing.” (On Grace and Free Will, Chapter 34)

It is He, therefore, who makes them to persevere in good, who makes them good. But they who fall and perish have never been in the number of the predestinated. Although, then, the apostle might be speaking of all persons regenerated and living piously when he said, “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth;” yet he at once had regard to the predestinated, and said, “But he shall stand;” and that they might not arrogate this to themselves, he says, “For God is able to make him stand.”” (On Grace and Free Will, Chapter 36)

…after the fall of man, God willed it to pertain only to His grace that man should approach to Him; nor did He will it to pertain to aught but His grace that man should not depart from Him.” (The Gift of Perseverance, Chapter 13)

“Wherefore, also He willed that He should be asked that we may not be led into temptation, because if we are not led, we by no means depart from Him. And this might have been given to us even without our praying for it, but by our prayer He willed us to be admonished from whom we receive these benefits.” (The Gift of Perseverance, Chapter 15)

See now how foreign it is from the truth to deny that perseverance even to the end of this life is the gift of God; since He Himself puts an end to this life when He wills, and if He puts an end before a fall that is threatening, He makes the man to persevere even unto the end.” (The Gift of Perseverance, Chapter 41)

“…where he says, “I thank my God in every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making quest with joy for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,” what else does he promise to them from the mercy of God than perseverance in good to the end?” (The Predestination of the Saints, Chapter 10)

This last quote refers to the confidence one should feel that the God who begins our salvation can surely secure it. Given that the apostles apparently knew who was among the elect, perhaps one might posit that Augustine believed one may be assured by God’s promises to the elect only if one was specifically told he was among the elect. Actually, Augustine wrote that the same assurance could be possessed by his readers:

If God works our faith, acting in a wonderful manner in our hearts so that we believe, is there any reason to fear that He cannot do the whole; and does man on that account arrogate to himself its first elements, that he may merit to receive its last from God? Consider if in such a way any other result be gained than that the grace of God is given in some way or other, according to our merit, and so grace is no more grace.” (The Predestination of the Saints, Chapter 6)

For Augustine, however, this cuts both ways. If God is both the root cause that one perseveres over against another, and if indeed “…it is uncertain whether any one has received this gift [of perseverance] so long as he is still alive” (The Gift of Perseverance, Chapter 1), then one has no reason to believe God will finish what He began. This may explain why Augustine conflictingly writes that one should be fearful that he may lose his justification:

“God has judged it to be better to mingle some who would not persevere with a certain number of His saints, so that those for whom security from temptation in this life is not desirable may not be secure.” (The Gift of Perseverance, Chapter 19)

Further complications arise when one considers Augustine’s interpretation of 1 John 2:18-19 and John 6:60-66 (respectively):

“…there are some who are called by us children of God on account of grace received even in temporal things, yet are not so called by God; of whom the same John says, “They went out from us, but they were not of us, because if they had been of us they would, no doubt, have continued with us.” He does not say, “They went out from us, but because they did not abide with us they are no longer now of us;” but he says, “They went out from us, but they were not of us,” – that is to say, even when they appeared among us, they were not of us. And as if it were said to him, “Whence do you prove this? he says, “Because if they had been of us, they would assuredly have continued with us.” It is the word of God’s children; John is the speaker, who was ordained to a chief place among the children of God. When, therefore, God’s children say of those who had not perseverance, “They went out from us, but they were not of us,” and add, “Because if they had been of us, they would assuredly have continued with us,” what else do they say than that they were not children, even when they were in the profession and name of children? Not because they simulated righteousness, but because they did not continue in it. For he does not say, “For if they had been of us, they would assuredly have maintained a real and not a feigned righteousness with us;” but he says, “If they had been of us, they would assuredly have continued with us.” Beyond a doubt, he wished them to continue in goodness. Therefore they were in goodness; but because they did not abide in it – that is, they did not persevere unto the end – he says, “they were not of us, even when they were with us” – that is, they were not of the number of children, even when they were in the faith of children; because they who are truly children are foreknown and predestinated as conformed to the image of His Son, and are called according to His purpose, so as to be elected. For the son of promise does not perish, but the son of perdition.” (Rebuke and Grace, Chapter 20)

“Are not these even in the words of the gospel called disciples? And yet they were not truly disciples, because they did not continue in His word, according to what He says: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye indeed my disciples.” Because, therefore, they possessed not perseverance, as not being truly disciples of Christ, so they were not truly children of God even when they appeared to be so, and were so called. We, then, call men elected, and Christ’s disciples, and God’s children, because they are to be so called whom, being regenerated, we see to live piously; but they are then truly what they are called if they shall abide in that on account of which they are so called. But if they have not perseverance – that is, if they continue not in that which they have begun to be – they are not truly called what they are called and are not; for they are not this in the sight of Him to whom it is known what they are going to be – that is to say, from good men, bad men.” (Rebuke and Grace, Chapter 22)

Indeed, Augustine writes that those who do not persevere should accordingly be regarded as indistinguishable “from that lump which it is plain is condemned, as all go from one into condemnation.” (Rebuke and Grace, Chapter 12). Apparently, Augustine’s doctrine of adoption is intrinsically tied to his doctrine of election. But as we cannot know that we are among the elect, one wonders on what basis one can claim to know he is a child of God. Furthermore, in his Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Augustine says that “all heretics, all schismatics went out from us, that is, they go out from the Church; but they would not go out, if they were of us” (2:17-18). Can we know that we are adopted or in the Church? Apparently not.

We needn’t color his beliefs. Augustine wasn’t entirely doctrinally sound, and he contradicted himself (as most men do) on some points. Be that as it may, Augustine is to be commended for his consistent upholding of God’s grace as that alone by which one is saved.

Summary

Augustine believed:

1. “[men do not persevere who have] not been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.”

2. “… if you say that it pertains to man’s free will… that any one should persevere in good, or should not persevere, and it is not by the gift of God if he persevere, but by the performance of human will… you strive against the words of Him who says, “I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith fail not.”

3. “If God works our faith, acting in a wonderful manner in our hearts so that we believe… there's [no] reason to fear that He cannot do the whole.”

4. “No one of His own is indifferent to [the Father’s] voice… for this reason also does He announce it to the [sheep], that he may abide perseveringly with Himself to the end.”

5. “…after the fall of man, God willed it to pertain only to His grace that man should approach to Him; nor did He will it to pertain to aught but His grace that man should not depart from Him.”

6. “It is He… who makes [men] to persevere in good, who makes them good. But they who fall and perish have never been in the number of the predestinated.”

7. “Consider if in such a way any other result be gained than that the grace of God is given in some way or other, according to our merit, and so grace is no more grace.”

8. “It is [foreign to] the truth to deny that perseverance even to the end of this life is the gift of God; since He Himself puts an end to this life when He wills, and if He puts an end before a fall that is threatening, He makes the man to persevere even unto the end.”

9. "When Christ intercedes, therefore, on behalf of these, that their faith should not fail, doubtless it will not fail unto the end.”

10. “To the saints predestinated to the kingdom of God by God’s grace, the aid of perseverance that is given is not such as the former, but such that to them perseverance itself is bestowed; not only so that without that gift they cannot persevere, but, moreover, so that by means of this gift they cannot help persevering.”

If you want to find where the reference is for a given citation in the OP, I recommend clicking on the link to the blog posts (the first one given in post #4) and then CTRL+F search to find it. Does that help?
 
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