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Professor of Ancient Church History 
and Christian Archaeology 


Professor of Patristic Greek 
and Ecclesiastical Latin 

The Catholic University of America 
Washington, D. C. 

No. 14 











P. DE LETTER, S. J., PH. D., S. T. D. 

Professor of Dogmatic Theology 
St. Mary's College, Kurseong, India 













First published in the U. S. A. 1952 
First published in Great Britain 1952 

De licentia Super ion's Ordinis. Nihil obstat: J. QUASTEN S cens. dep. 
Imprimatur: PATRICIUS A. O s BoYLE,DJD., Archiep. Washingtonen., die 8 Martii 1951 






TEXT 21 



BOOK Two 89 

NOTES 155 


To BOOK ONE 170 

To BOOK Two 195 

INDEX 221 




The De vocatione omnium gentium * is the first treatise 
in ancient Christian literature on the problem of the 
salvation of infidels. It is a controversial work written 
against the Semi-Pelagians about the year 450, probably 
at Rome. Its author there is reason to believe was St. 
Prosper of Aquitaine. This historical setting indicates at 
once what we should and what we should not expect 
about its contents. 

The Sixteenth Council of Carthage in 418 had sealed 
with a solemn declaration St. Augustine's successful 
defence of the Catholic doctrine on grace against Pelagius 
and his followers. 2 It had condemned the errors of the 
Pelagians, who attributed man's good works to his own 
free will and not to God's gratuitous help, and who, even 
where they allowed the activity of grace, conceived of it 
only as an exterior help, and, at any rate, proportioned to 
man's previous merits. But difficulties had arisen in the 
minds of Augustine's disciples even during his lifetime on 
some points in his teaching. 3 Two statements of his 
aroused surprise, if not opposition, among the monks of 
Hadrumetum in North Africa. He had written that the 
beginning of all good works comes from grace and not 
from man, and that final perseverance is a gift of God 
and not the result of man's efforts. Set against the back- 
ground of St. Augustine's views on the Fall and based on 
his rigid conceptions on predestination and reprobation, 
according to which God seemed to choose some men for 
the revelation of His mercy and to leave others for the 



manifestation of His Justice, 4 these teachings seemed to 
them to endanger, or render useless, man's striving for 

When consulted on the matter, St. Augustine gave his 
answer in two treatises. In the De gratia et libero arbitrio 5 
he established the f act t that man's free will remains un- 
touched, and is rather perfected by grace; and he proved 
the reality of both free will and grace from the Scriptures, 
without, however, attempting to reconcile the two, as in 
later times theology would do. In the De correptione et 
gratia 6 he explained the nature, action, and distribution 
of grace, seen in the light of our historical state: the 
human race after original sin is a massa damnationis out 
of which God's mercy freely chooses His predestined elect. 
Augustine's explanations apparently satisfied the Had- 
rumetan monks, but they were to lead to new contro- 
versies in the monastic centres of Southern Gaul. There 
the opposition of the Massilienses, the monks of Marseilles, 
to Augustine's teaching developed into a heterodox posi- 
tion which their opponents were to style the reliquiae 
Pelagianorum and which was to be known as Semi- 
Pelagianism only many centuries later. 7 

The history of this reaction against St. Augustine's 
teaching on predestination 8 and on its connexion with the 
doctrine of grace falls into two periods of heated contro- 
versy. 9 The first of these controversies, prepared and set in 
motion during the last years of St. Augustine's lifetime, 
flared up violently almost immediately after his death in 
430. It took place in some monasteries of Southern Gaul, 
at Marseilles and Lerins. The chief defender of Augus- 
tine's doctrine on grace against the new error was St. Pros- 
per of Aquitaine, a layman who was connected with the 


monasteries, a faithful follower and occasional corre- 
spondent of St. Augustine. 10 His Epistola ad Augustinum 11 
together with another letter to St. Augustine written by 
Hilary^ a friend of his, 12 in which they exposed to their 
master the novel teachings of the monks and asked for 
advice and direction, occasioned the first and last direct 
intervention of the seventy-five year old bishop of Hippo 
in the Semi-Pelagian controversy: the two books known 
as De praedestinatione sanctorum and De dono persever- 

antiae. 1 * 

Originally two parts of one treatise, the first dealt with 
the problem of the inception of faith in our souls, the 
second exposed the doctrine of the gift of perseverance. 
In both St. Augustine showed how the Semi-Pelagians, 
though protesting that they would have nothing to do 
with Pelagius 3 heresy, yet, unless they agreed to attribute 
the beginning of faith and final perseverance to grace, 
did away with the gratuitousness of grace, and thus went 
over into Pelagius 3 camp. 14 On the Semi-Pelagian side 
the chief opponents to Augustinism were Cassian, abbot 
of the Marseilles monastery of St. Victor and author of 
the famous Conferences, 15 and St. Vincent of Lerins who 
wrote the Commonitorium 1G in a strongly anti-Augustin- 
ian tone, and was probably connected with the composi- 
tion and circulation of the pamphlet known as the Obiec- 
tiones Vincentianae. 17 The first phase of the controversies 
ended soon after Cassian's death in 435, but not without 
a partial withdrawal of the Augustinians, expressed in 
the Capitula, seu praeteritorum Sedis Apostolicae epis- 
coporum auctoritates de gratia Dei. This Roman docu- 
ment, drawn up by St. Prosper before 441-442, states the 
points of Catholic doctrine that were involved in the 


controversy,, but it leaves out the deeper and more obscure 
questions. 18 

A period of relative calm ensued which gave St. Prosper 
an opportunity for a quiet and peaceful review of the 
whole dispute. The De vocatione was the fruit of this 
study. Whether it was, in spite of its moderate and concil- 
iatory tone, the occasion for reviving the old controversies 
or not, a new outburst of anti-Augustinism soon followed 
when Faustus of Riez, first a monk and later abbot at 
Lerins, and from about 462, bishop of Riez, published his 
De gratia Dei. 19 After repudiating the old Pelagian error 
and affirming his faith in God's grace, he restated the two 
Semi-Pelagian theses. In the process of man's salvation 
the initiative belongs to man, otherwise his free will would 
be destroyed; and so, too, for the same reason, does final 
perseverance. Incidentally, against the unnamed author 
of the De vocatione, he insists on an interpretation of 
God's universal salvific will that practically eliminates 
predestination. 20 Meeting with little opposition in France 
(St. Prosper was no longer there; perhaps he was dead 
by then), but faced with a decided opponent in North 
Africa, St. Fulgentius of Ruspe, 21 the fate of this last phase 
of Semi-Pelagianism was, after long-drawn-out wrangles 
and protracted delays caused by the barbarian invasions 
in Southern Europe, finally sealed at the Council of 
Orange in 529, 22 where St. Caesarius of Aries 23 was the 
leading figure. The decisions of this council, particularly 
its capitula 9 to 25, were mainly taken from St. Prospers 
Liber sententiarum ex S. Augustino delibatarum^ 

The De vocatione thus originated during the period of 
quiet between the two critical phases of the Semi-Pelagian 
controversies. About this all patristic scholars agree. 25 The 


question, however, of its authorship has been disputed, 26 
especially since the second half of the seventeenth century. 
Up to that date the traditional view, in accord with the 
manuscript tradition and with the medieval authors who 
quote it under St. Prosper's name, held Prosper to be the 
author. Little credence could be given to a manifestly 
erroneous opinion, found in some manuscripts and 
accepted by a few editors in the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries, which attributed the De vocatione to St. Am- 
brose. 27 The anachronism is evident, as St. Ambrose had 
died before either Pelagianism or Semi-Pelagianism were 
born. 28 

But when Quesnel, who was editing the works of St. 
Leo the Great, claimed the authorship of the book for 
that saint, on the strength of internal evidence revealed 
in certain Leonine ideas and expressions only, 29 then was 
the traditional opinion shaken. QuesnePs own opinion 
found little favour with others, but he succeeded in cast- 
ing a doubt on the accepted view that St. Prosper was the 
author. Thus his opponent in the matter, J. Antelmi, 30 
while defending St. Prospers authorship, supported the 
opinion which Quesnel had put forward and which Du 
Pin 31 was later to spread with considerable success that 
the author, in order to cover up his attempt at reconciling 
Augustinism and Semi-Pelagianism, purposely remained 
anonymous. In the face of all these differences of opinions 
and arguments one thing seemed clear to the Ballerini 
brothers 32 when in 1756 they re-edited the De vocatione 
among the works of St. Leo, namely, that the question 
of its authorship remained uncertain. It is this solution, 
or this lack of solution, which was the more commonly 
accepted view of patristic scholars down to our own day. 33 


Some twenty years ago, however, a new attempt was 
made, and not without success, to re-establish the formerly 
accepted authorship of St. Prosper. Dom M. C. Cappuyns 
has proposed 34 the following arguments to prove that the 
De vocatione is a work of St. Prosper, and to refute at the 
same time all other opinions: 

1 ) The manuscript tradition, apart from the few refer- 
ences to St. Ambrose which need no serious consideration, 
unanimously points out St. Prosper as the author. This 
can be vouched for from the ninth to the fifteenth cen- 
tury. 35 Literary attestations in favour of St. Prosper con- 
firm this tradition. In 852 the De vocatione is quoted 
in favour of Augustinism under Prosper's name by 
Ratramnus of Corbia; 36 and a little later by his adversary 
Hincmar of Rheims, 37 against the Augustinian doctrine of 
predestination. If we take into account that St. Prospers 
works, except for one letter to St. Augustine, have not 
come down to us in manuscripts dated before the ninth 
century, 38 and that tradition is unanimous in naming St. 
Prosper, we have to discard definitely the hypothesis of 
an intentional anonymity. 39 

2) The teaching of the De vocatione is identical with 

that of St. Prosper on practically all points of doctrine. 40 

3) The literary procedure is the same: similar expres- 
sions, similar ways of developing ideas. 41 

4) One particular and revealing indication is found In 
the Scripture quotations. The same versions of the Scrip- 
ture (Vulgate or older texts) are used in the De vocatione 
and in St. Prosper, and, what is more striking, combining 
the new and old versions for the same passages. 



Cappuyns concludes: "Who can the author be who 
thinks, reasons, writes exactly like Prosper? Who else but 
Prosper himself?" 43 Further, he completes his proof by 
answering all arguments Quesnel had advanced in favour 
of St. Leo. He shows that Quesnel's attribution of author- 
ship to Leo rests on internal evidence only; that it goes 
against all the external evidence of the manuscript and 
literary attestations; that it is made improbable by the 
divergent mentality of the Doctor of the Incarnation, 
eminently practical and clear-minded, and interested ever 
so little in the subtleties of the Gallic controversies. A 
close examination of the parallel texts on which Quesnel 
based his conclusion, reveals a similarity which is more 
apparent than real, and which in every case leaves room 
for differences in the ideas. That the similarity pointed 
out does not postulate an identity of authorship, can be 
sufficiently shown by the influence exercised by St. Leo on 
the author of the De vocations. And this influence was to 
be expected considering that St. Prosper at the time of 
writing the treatise lived in Rome, at the papal court, as 
secretary to St. Leo. 44 

We may, then, align ourselves with a number of patris- 
tic scholars 45 and safely accept Cappuyns 3 conclusion that 
St. Prosper's authorship of the De vocatione is historically 

If we admit that St. Prosper is the author of our treatise, 
it is imperative to find a place for it in his literary and 
doctrinal evolution. We know but little about his person, 
except that he was a layman of Southern Gaul, connected 
with the monasteries there, especially at the time of the 
first Semi-Pelagian controversies, and that he left his home 
country for Rome and the papal court shortly after Cas- 


sian's death in 435. 46 His literary work, however poeti- 
cal, theological, and historical is sufficiently well-known 
and dated. 47 Students of St. Prosper are agreed in perceiv- 
ing a progress and development in his doctrinal positions, 
but there are different opinions as to the extent of this 
evolution. 48 The question in dispute is this: did St. Pros- 
per who was a loyal disciple of St. Augustine and a staunch 
defender of his doctrine, remain faithful to all the ideas 
of his master on grace and predestination, or is there a 
real difference between the works of his youth, where, in 
fact, he faithfully echoes St. Augustine, and those of his 
later years? 49 All agree that even at the time of writing 
the De vocatione St. Prosper remained thoroughly Augus- 
tinian, penetrated with the ideas and moulded on the spirit 
of the Doctor of Grace, of whose teachings and words we 
find reminiscences in nearly every chapter of our treatise. 50 
All seem to think that there has been an evolution in his 
rigidly formulated Augustinism, particularly in the ques- 
tion of predestination, where he toned down some of his 
master's exaggerated expressions. This evolution, accord- 
ing to some, goes even further than the bare expressionsit 
affects his ideas as well. The point is not without impor- 
tance for the understanding of the De vocatione. 

With Cappuyns, 51 who sees in St. Prosper the first rep- 
resentative of medieval Augustinism, we may divide his 
literary activity over three periods of unequal length. The 
first period, of rigid Augustinism and strict fidelity to St. 
Augustine's teachings on predestination and grace, ex- 
tends to the year 432. He holds the doctrine of absolute 
predestination and non-predestination, and of a restricted 
salvific will; and he links the gratuitousness of grace with 
predestination. The second period, 433-435, covers his 


first concessions to the Semi-Pelagian positions. He con- 
cedes that the salvific will is universal and explains the 
negative counterpart of predestination, that is, reproba- 
tion, as mere prescience of evil. God does not predestine 
any one to evil. He only foreknows it. But no explicit dis- 
tinction is as yet made between the Catholic doctrine and 
Augustinian teaching. In the third period we find him 
making the great concessions to his adversaries. The 
progressive element in his doctrinal position is the con- 
scious distinction he makes between the authentic teach- 
ing of the Church and the private opinions of the Doctors, 
and even of St. Augustine. In the matter of predestination 
and grace this means the dissociation of the gratuitousness 
of grace from the Augustinian views on predestination. 
About these latter St. Prosper takes a more independent 
attitude. Consequently, he is able to lay greater stress on 
the universalism of God's salvific will. The De vocations 
belongs to this third period. 52 

Our treatise examines the problem of the salvation of 
all men from a double aspect. If God's salvific will is uni- 
versaland of this there can be no doubthow is it that 
many are not saved, or, as the author prefers to view it, 
how is it that many do not receive the grace that saves 
(Book One)? 53 And inversely, if many are not saved or 
do not receive the grace that saves, how can there really 
be in God a universal salvific will (Book Two)? 

The problem is difficult, and, especially in Prosper's 
time, it was a delicate one to tackle. St. Prosper proposes to 
explain the doctrine of God's universal salvific will. But it 
so happened that St. Augustine had not, or, at any rate, 
had not clearly, taught a universalist doctrine about God's 
will of salvation; rather, he had repeatedly interpreted the 


Scripture texts about God's will to save men, in a restrictive 
sense. 54 On the other hand, the Semi-Pelagians, Prosper's 
opponents, forcefully stressed the universality of God's 
salvific will in order to drive home their point regarding 
the initiative of man's free will in the work of salvation. 55 
St. Prosper had therefore to steer a middle course between 
these two extremes. Against Semi-Pelagianism he had to 
assert the absolute gratuitousness of grace, but in such 
wise as to safeguard a real universal salvific will. On the 
other hand, in spite of St. Augustine's teaching, he had to 
maintain the universalism of God's will to save men, with- 
out, however, impairing the gratuitousness of grace; this 
gratuitousness he held, with Augustine, to be the Catholic 

Did he succeed in avoiding the danger on both sides and 
synthesize the complete gratuitousness of grace with God's 
universal salvific will? 5G To effect this synthesis, one way 
alone was open, namely, to disconnect the gratuitous 
character of grace from the Augustinian doctrine on pre- 
destination. 57 Predestination of the elect only, such as St. 
Augustine was commonly understood to have taught, and 
a universal will to save all men do not go hand in hand. 
St. Prosper certainly tried to separate these two doctrines 
and did so effectively up to a point. A glance at the con- 
tents of each book will enable us to judge about the matter. 

God wills all men to be saved. Yet many are not saved 
and do not receive the grace that actually saves. Why? 
(1). From the threefold degree of man's will, animal, 
natural, and spiritual, it appears that all initiative for 
good comes from grace (2-8). But the universal salvific 
will as taught in Scripture can be understood in the sense 


of a specified or restricted totality (9-12); the mysterious 
reason of its restriction remains unknown to us (13 f.). 
Saving grace, however, is wholly gratuitous (15), as is 
clear in the case of children dying before the age of reason 
(16) and from death-bed conversions (17). It is given 
without any preceding merit (18) or any effective initiative 
of nature for good (19). Yet there is a divine salvific will 
for all (20), though the reason why God chose Israel and 
left aside the Gentiles, remains a mystery (21). This, 
however, is certain: the chosen ones are chosen without 
any merit of their own (22), for all gifts of grace are 
totally gratuitous (23 f.). Why they are given to one and 
not to another is a mystery which we cannot fathom 
(25). 5S 

What, then, is the answer of Book One to the first 
aspect of the problem: how is it that, in spite of God's 
universal salvific will, not all men are saved? Because 
they do not all receive the grace that actually saves. For 
this, however, no one can rightly blame God, since grace 
is a gratuitous gift. We cannot know why it is given 
to some and not to some others. 

We may consider this answer to be rather unsatisfac- 
tory. St. Prosper's insistence on the gratuitousness of grace 
appears to be beside the point. 59 As he himself asks in 
the first chapter, why does God not give all men the gift 
without which no one can be saved, if He really wants all 
to be saved? Book One does not give the answer. For St. 
Prosper, too, the problem is not solved. He has, no doubt, 
maintained the gratuitousness of grace; but has he not 
sacrificed the universalism of the salvific will? Inevitably 
the objection which arises is the one formulated in the last 
chapter: if many are not saved because they do not receive 


the grace that saves, how, then, can we believe as we 
must that there is in God a really universal salvific will? 
The answer to this difficulty is the central theme of 
Book Two. 

It begins by stating three points that are certain in the 
matter: God wills all men to be saved; knowledge of the 
truth and salvation come from grace; God's judgments 
are impenetrable ( 1 ) . Scripture tells us that God wills all 
men to be saved (2), but we do not know how this will 
works, why He delays to call some (3). Still, there always 
was a general call addressed to all men and a special elec- 
tion for Israel (4). Even among the Gentiles there were 
some specially chosen (5). In fact, there are differences 
in the graces of God (6) which are not due to previous 
merits (7), since all merit originates from grace (8); 
differences of which we cannot and need not know the 
reason (9). The fact remains that God's mercy is shown 
to all (10) and spreads out its gifts in the course of time 
(11). Without these gifts free will leads only to evil ( 12) . 
Even for the wicked there was, and is, divine grace 
(1345), for Christ died for all (16). The fruits of His 
Redemption are to be applied to men at the appointed 
time (17) as they also were in former ages (18). At all 
times, therefore, God's salvific will was universal (19). If 
you bring up the case of infants who die without baptism 
(20), St. Prosper answers by saying that they are not 
treated unjustly (21); God's judgments are just (22); 
these children, too, received the general grace in the call 
of their parents (23); their case only serves to bring out 
both God's justice and grace (24). Here, then, is the 
solution: God's salvific will provides a general grace for 
all men, but a special grace for some (25). It is grace 


that produces in men both the good will and the consent 
to good (26 f.), but in such a way that they remain free 
(28). The universal salvific will is being fulfilled every 
day (29). Prosper briefly repeats what is certain in the 
matter in question (30 =1). At all times grace has been 
giyen to all men but in different measure, not due to 
their merits, but to God's hidden judgments (31 f.). The 
elect, however, are certainly saved (33), their good works 
and prayers being a factor in the work of their salvation 
(34-36). The fact of their election remains unknown 
during their stay on earth (37). 

Why, then, can we say that there is in God a universal 
salvific will, in spite of the fact that many are lost? The 
answer of Book Two is: God's real will to save all men 
is shown by the general grace He gives to all, with no 
one left out no, not even the infants; but His special 
grace that leads to actual salvation He freely and gratui- 
tously bestows only on the elect who remain free to collab- 
orate with grace and who alone are actually saved. As to 
the reason of this discrimination in God's gifts to men, this 
is a mystery not known to men. 

The originality of St. Prospers De vocatione in solving 
the problem of the salvation of all mankind lies in this idea 
of a general grace given to all men. He has been the first to 
state this in explicit terms. He may have found the germ 
of the idea in St. Augustine, 60 or he may have obtained it 
from St. Leo, 01 but the clear expression of it is his original 
contribution. We have, therefore, to consider it more 
closely. His explanation of the universal salvific will may 
be synthesized as follows: 

God wills all men to be saved, even the children who 
die before baptism. The proof and expression of this will 


is the general grace He refuses to no one, not even to the 
children. Yet not all are actually saved, because they do 
not receive the special graces that lead to actual salvation. 

The general grace which is given to all comprises two 
elements, an exterior one and an interior one. The ex- 
terior help is the testimony of the created things which 
reveal to men their Maker. The interior help, which is 
like the spirit of this preaching opposed to the letter, is 
the illumination of the heart by God. When men accept 
this grace and co-operate with it as they can and should, 
they receive further special graces. These are necessary 
for salvation, but, apparently, are withheld by God only 
when men reject them or reject the previous graces offered 
them. The special graces are of two kinds; or rather, they 
lead to two different results: either to a temporary practice 
of virtue as in the case of the just who do not persevere 
in grace, through their own fault, for God abandons no 
one who does not first turn away from Him; or to final 
perseverance, in the case of the elect who are foreknown 
as such by God. 62 

Children also receive the general grace, in their parents. 
If the parents co-operate with the general grace they 
receive and even infidels receive it then they will also 
be given the special graces that are needed to come to 
the faith, and their children also will be brought to what 
is for them the only concrete form of the special grace 3 
the sacrament of baptism. 03 

In the history of the economy of grace we see that the 
Gentiles always received the general grace in the testimony 
of created things. Some of them responded to it and they 
received further special graces that led them to actual 
salvation. Israel, God's chosen people, was given the same 


general grace., and besides, the special graces of the Law 
and the Prophets special exterior graces which, however, 
did not save all of them but only those who accepted them 
and received also the necessary interior graces (for the 
letter killeth . . .). Ever since Christ came into the world 
and saved mankind,, the special grace of the Gospel Is 
offered to all. It has not reached all the Gentiles yet, but 
it is destined to do so and will do so in the appointed 
time. All who accept this special exterior grace and are 
given the corresponding interior grace come to justifica- 
tion, and if they are the elect, to final perseverance and 

What are we to think of this solution? Does it give the 
answer as to why, in spite of God's universal salvific will, 
not all men are saved; and inversely, why God's will to 
save mankind is really universal although many are not 
actually saved? We may notice how St. Prosper in pro- 
posing his theory is struggling to break away from the 
influence of the Augustinian predestination or election 
doctrine. 64 Owing to his inability to free himself fully from 
it, his idea of the general grace, universally given to all, 
fails to solve the problem. His solution appears purely 
nominal. For a will of salvation can hardly be called real 
when it is expressed only in a non-saving grace; the 
general grace is actually such. No salvation of any one 
individual can take place without special graces, addi- 
tional to the general one, and these are not given to all. 
If it were clearly said that the only reason why these 
special graces are not given to some, is because they 
themselves refuse them, 65 then the proposed solution 
would in fact mean a great step forward in the right 
direction. Unfortunately, this idea is rather insinuated 


than clearly stated. The Idea of the divine election which 
haunts our author prevents him from taking this step 
frankly. His attempt at reconciling a universalist doctrine 
of the divine salvific will with a theory of election that 
remains essentially the same as Augustinian predestina- 
tion,, may then in reality come to little more than "a good 

intention." GG 

Yet from another point of view the De vocations holds 
an important place in the history of Augustinism and 
of St. Augustine's influence on Catholic theology. It is 
an evident desire and an effective attempt to tone down 
Augustine's rigid expressions and views on predestination. 
This may be observed not only in the terminology by 
the conspicuous absence of all "predestinational" terms, 
which are avoided, seemingly, of set purpose, but also in 
the ideas themselves, especially when drawn out in relief. 67 
God's universal salvific will is stressed incomparably more 
than it had ever been by St. Augustine. Quite certainly 
it is the awareness of this change in outlook and in con- 
ception together with a sense of reverence for the memory 
of the Doctor of Grace which prompts St. Prosper to omit 
any explicit reference to him in this treatise. Human free- 
dom which remains intact under the action of grace is 
brought into greater relief here than it was in Augustine's 
works. The gratuitousness of grace is no less stressed than 
it had been by Augustine, but here it is explained without 
explicit connection with predestination. This latter, called 
by Prosper election, and chiefly stressed as God's eternal 
and infallible foreknowledge of His elect, comes in only 
as the answer to the mysterious why of God's discriminat- 
ing choice. 

Perhaps this change of viewpoint, with its consequent 


shifting of the stress laid now on ideas which St. Augustine 
may have known, but left in the background of his general 
outlook, constitutes St. Prospers chief emancipation from 
rigid Augustinism. Besides this point, some passing intui- 
tions that are hardly exploited by him, imply a real begin- 
ning of a doctrine which would later be developed in a 
more boldly universalistic sense; as, for example, the 
mention (2.5) of the grace that singled out the elect from 
the Gentiles. We must not overstress this and similar 
elements of progress in a direction which would lead to 
our present-day unquestioned view that all men receive 
sufficient graces to be saved if they wish to be saved. All 
the same, the De vocations constituted at the time when 
it was written a definite attempt to get loose from Augus- 
tinian particularism in the doctrine of the salvation of 
mankind. 68 It was certainly partially successful, and due 
to the influence it was to exert in the early Middle Ages, 69 
it prepared the way for further progress in the same 

The text from which the present translation was made 
is that of the Ballerini, as found in the second volume of 
their edition of St. Leo, Venice, 1756, cols. 167-250. 70 
This seems to be the best among the printed texts of 
the De vocations, and is better than Mangeant's edition, 
Paris, 171 1, 71 which was reprinted in Migne's Patrologia 
latina 51, from the re-edition of Venice, 1827. As, how- 
ever, the Ballerini text is more rarely found than the one 
reprinted by Migne, we shall point out its different read- 
ings whenever they affect the meaning. 72 

As to modern translations, we have been able to use 


the three-century-old French version published in Paris 
in 1649 by Pere Antoine Girard, under the title. Saint 
Prosper, disciple de Saint Augustin, De la Vocation des 
Gentils, ou la Doctrine Catholique de la liberte et de la 
Grace est declaree centre les erreurs des Heretiques et de 
ceux qui favorisent leur party. No other more recent 
translation of the work seems to have been made. To our 
knowledge none is found in the English, German, Italian, 
or other collections of the works of the Fathers. At 
all events, the present translation appears to be the first 
English version of St. Prosper's treatise on The Call of All 




1. The author states the theme of this book and shows the 
error of those who hold that to predicate grace means to 
deny free will 26 

2. Every human soul has a will of some kind, whether it be 
animal or natural or spiritual 27 

3. The animal will 28 

4. The natural will. The only compensation it offers is 
earthly glory, even when through God's gift it rises to a 
higher wisdom 28 

5. All the Gentiles have received in things created the pre- 
cepts of the Law so that their idolatry is unwarrantable . 30 

6. Without divine grace, the more keenly the will is intent 
on action, the more quickly does it run into sin, because 

it does not live for God's glory 31 

7. When a man is converted to God, no new substance is 
created in him, but his own which was spoiled is remade. 
Nothing is taken away from him but vice, and his former 
will is set right 33 

8. Grace repairs God's work in such a manner as not to take 
away free will but rather to heal it by itself 35 

9. When Scripture speaks of the good or the wicked, of the 
elect or the reprobate, it mentions one class of men in 
such wise that it seems as though no one is omitted 40 

10. Scripture speaks of the elect and the reprobate in one 
nation as though it meant the same persons 48 

11. Scripture speaks of men of different ages as if they were 

one and the same generation 50 

12. The word of the Apostle, who will have all men to be 
saved,, is to be understood in its entire and full meaning. 51 

13. We cannot understand in this life the deep mystery, why 
the grace of God passes by some men for whom the 
Church offers prayers 53 




14. In the dispensation of God's works the reasons of many 
things remain hidden and only the facts are manifest ... 55 

15. We may not attribute the salvation of a part of mankind 
to their own merits, as if grace chose the good and passed 

by the wicked 58 

16. Before the use of reason all children are alike, yet some 
pass to eternal life, others to eternal death; this is a proof 

of God's inscrutable judgments 59 

17. Deathbed conversions of sinners are a proof that grace is 
given unmerited and that God's judgments are inscru- 
table 60 

18. Grace, the condition sine qua non of all merit, is given 
unmerited purely out of God's good pleasure 63 

19. What nature is without grace 65 

20. Our Lord in His mercy wishes to save all nations and is 
actually working for their salvation, yet it is true that no 

one accepts His word 65 

21. We must not seek to know why God chooses some and 
not others, nor why in the past He left aside all the 
Gentiles and chose Israel alone 68 

22. Those who see in human merit the reason why God dis- 
tinguishes between some whom He selects and others 
whom He does not elect, teach that no one is saved 
gratuitously but only in justice; the case of infants refutes 
their position 69 

23. All human merit from the beginning of faith to final per- 
severance is a divine gift. This is shown first regarding 
faith 71 

24. Grace is the source of all good in man. Faith is given 
unasked and enables us to obtain in prayer all other 
blessings 76 

25. The problem why one man receives grace rather than 
another we cannot solve; the answer does not lie with 
their free will 86 


1. Three points are certain in this matter: God wills all 
men to be saved, the knowledge of truth and salvation 
is due to grace, and God's judgments are inscrutable . . 89 



2. Scripture teaches that God wills all men to be saved .... 90 

3. We cannot know why God decreed to delay the call of 
some nations 92 

4. In past ages God's goodness drew all men to His worship 
through things created, but Israel in a special way 
through the Law and the Prophets 95 

5. The Gentiles who pleased God were singled out by a 
gratuitous spirit of faith 97 

6. Even in our times grace is not given to all men in the 
same measure 98 

7. The inequality of the divine gifts does not come from 

the merits of preceding works, but from God's liberality . 99 

8. Every one receives with no merit on his part the means 
of gaining merit. Having received grace, he is expected 

to increase this gift through Him who gives the increase . 1 00 

9. We must not seek the reason why God dispenses His 
grace differently in different ages 102 

10. Throughout the centuries God's mercy provided food for 

the bodies of men and help for their souls 104 

11. Men acquire slowly and little by little what God's liber- 
ality has decreed to give them 105 

12. When we turn away from God, this is our doing, not His 
ordinance. Man merits by persevering, because he could 

fall away 108 

13. Before the Flood God's goodness assisted with His direc- 
tions not only the saints but sinners also 109 

14. At the time of the Flood and afterwards till the coming 
of Christ there were signs of the working of God's grace 
and figures of the miracles of Christian grace, although 
the abundant grace which now floods mankind did not 
then flow with such bounty Ill 

15. Men are not born now with a better nature than before 
Christ; rather, at the time of His coming the iniquity 
then existing was the more pronounced in order the 
better to manifest the power of God's grace 114 

16. Christ died for all sinners 118 

17. The nations that have not yet seen the grace of our 
Saviour will be called to the Gospel at the appointed time 121 



18. In former ages the mystery of their call to the faith was 
hidden from the Gentiles, but not from the Prophets 122 

19. God's will to save all men is active in all ages 125 

20. Objection against the text, who wills all men to be saved, 
taken from the case of infants 125 

21. God is just when He rejects unbaptised infants both in 

this life and in the next because of original sin 127 

22. Divine justice measures out to each one his lot of mis- 
fortune 129 

23. Children who die receive the general grace bestowed 
upon their parents 130 

24. We can find no reason for a just complaint in the differ- 
ent destiny of children who in all other respects are alike; 
rather there is a strong proof of God's justice and of 
Christ's grace 132 

25. With His general grace given to all, God always wills 
and has willed all men to be saved; but His special grace 

is not granted to all 133 

26. In every justification grace is the outstanding factor, 
while the human will is a secondary one, united with 
grace and co-operating with God working in man; grace 
prepares the will for this co-operation 134 

27. Grace causes the consent of our will not only by teaching 

and enlightening but also through terror and fear 136 

28. The faithful who by God's grace believe in Christ remain 
free not to believe; and those who persevere may yet turn 
away from God 137 

29. God is fulfilling His promise to bless all the nations every 
day, so as not to leave any excuse to the reprobate, nor 

to give the elect a reason to glory in their justice 141 

30. Recapitulation of chapter one, Book Two 142 

31. In all ages God's general goodness gave grace to all men, 

but to the elect He gave His special grace 143 

32. Among the faithful there are different degrees in God's 
gifts, and this is not due to their merit but to God's just 

and hidden judgment 144 

33. Not one of the elect is lost, but all who were chosen from 

all eternity attain salvation 145 



34. Though God's design about the salvation of the elect is 
without change, yet it is not useless to work and to ac- 
quire the merit of good actions, and also to keep on 
praying 148 

35. The elect receive grace, not to allow them to be idle or to 
free them from the Enemy's attacks, but to enable them 

to work well and to conquer the Enemy 149 

36. Election does not dispense from application to prayer, 
rather it reaches its fulfilment through the medium of 
prayer and good works 151 

37. Of no man can it be stated before his death that he will 
share the glory of the elect; on the other hand, there is 

no reason to despair of any fallen man's conversion 152 

3 14 



The author states the theme of this book and shows the 

error of those who hold that to predicate 

grace means to deny free will. 

A great and difficult problem has long been debated 
among the defenders of free will and the advocates of the 
grace of God. 1 The point at issue is whether God wills 
all men to be saved; and since this cannot be denied, 2 
the question arises, why the will of the Almighty is not 
realized. When this is said to happen because of the 
will of men, grace seems to be ruled out; and if grace is 
a reward for merit, it is clearly not a gift but something 
due to men. 3 But then the question again arises: why 
is this gift, without which no one can attain salvation, not 
conferred on all, by Him who wills all to be saved? Hence, 
there is no end to discussions in either camp so long as 
they make no distinction between what can be known 
and what remains hidden. 4 

On this conflict of opinions I shall endeavour, 5 with 
the Lord's help, to investigate what restraint and modera- 
tion we ought to maintain in our views. I shall apply to 
this study my meagre talents in a matter where my own 
convictions are, I think, moderate. Thus, if in writing on 
this subject I can avoid all that is offensive or wrong, it 
may prove useful, not only for us but also for others, to 
have found out a limit where our inquiry should stop. 6 



First of all, then, we have to study the operations of 
the human will in its different degrees. 7 Some people set 
up an untenable cleavage between this will of men and 
God's grace, holding that by predicating grace one denies 
free will. 8 They do not notice that it could be objected 
equally well that they deny grace when they consider 
the latter not as leading, but as following, the human will. 9 
For if the will is suppressed when it is not the source of 
true virtues 3 then also is grace eliminated when it is not 
the cause of merits. 10 But let us now, with Christ's help, 
begin our treatise. 


Every human soul has a will of some kind, whether 
it be animal or natural or spiritual. 

Every human soul, as far as we can know it from experi- 
ence, is endowed with a will manifesting itself in some 
manner or other. 11 It desires what is pleasing and turns 
away from what displeases. With regard to its natural 
impulses now weakened by the infection of the first sin, 
this will is of two kinds, either animal or natural But 
when God's grace is present, a third kind is added by the 
gift of the Spirit. 12 The will then becomes spiritual, and 
thanks to this higher impulse, it rules all its affections, 
from wheresoever they may arise, according to the law 
of a higher wisdom. 13 


The animal will 

The animal will, 14 which we may also call carnal, does 
not rise above the impulse that is born of the bodily 
senses, as in the case of infants. Although these do not 
have the use of reason, yet they show that they desire 
some things and do not want others. When they see, hear, 
smell, taste, touch, they love what pleases them and hate 
what hurts them. Now, what else is love but desire? Or 
what else is hatred but aversion? They, too, have therefore 
a will of their own. This will may be inexperienced and 
unable to foresee or to deliberate, but it likes to be busy 
about objects that flatter the animal sensesuntil rational 
nature wakes up to life in them, when the functions of 
the body are more developed, and is stirred to use the 
service of its limbs, not at another's bidding but according 
to its own ruling. 


The natural will. The only compensation it offers 

is earthly glory, even when through God's 

gift it rises to a higher wisdom. 

From this animal will, which is the only one found in 
those adults who are insane and remain deprived of the 
use of reason, man rises to the level of the natural will. 15 
Though at this stage the will can, before it is guided by 


the Spirit of God, raise itself above its animal impulses, 
still, as long as it does not share in divine charity, it busies 
itself with earthly and perishable things. When led by 
it at this level, human hearts do not, it is true, undergo the 
shameful slavery of bodily pleasures, but rule their desires 
according to the laws of justice and probity. They do 
not, however, merit any higher reward than earthly glory. 
Although they succeed in leading the present life in a 
becoming manner, still they do not reap the reward of 
eternal happiness. 16 For they do not refer their righteous 
actions and good endeavours to the praise and honour of 
Him who gave them the power of actually fostering a 
higher wisdom and of gaining greater glory than others. 17 
Some, in fact, have applied their minds not only to the 
practice of the useful arts and to the study of the liberal 
sciences, but also to the quest of the supreme Good. They 
clearly saw and understood the invisible things of God by 
the things that are made. 18 But, failing to give thanks to 
God and acknowledge Him as the author of this their 
faculty, they professed themselves to be wise; 19 that is, 
they gloried not in God but in themselves, as if they had 
reached the knowledge of truth through their own efforts 
of reasoning. They became vain in their thoughts, 2 and 
what they had gained in the light of God's grace, they 
lost again in the blindness of their pride. They fell back 
from the heavenly light into their own darkness, that is, 
from the changeless and eternal Good to their own fickle 
and corruptible nature. 21 

Such men, therefore, return to self-love. They are so 
pleased with themselves, that whatever they judge praise- 
worthy in their own persons, they do not refer to God's 
gifts; they claim it as their own merit and attribute it 


to the efforts of their own wills. Consequently, they 
remain below the level of the spiritual will. They possess 
in themselves nothing to lead them on to eternal life, for 
they actually begin to spoil in their own hearts those very 
natural gifts of God, and they pass from a rightful use of 
them to the practice of unnumbered vices. 22 


All the Gentiles have received in things created 

the precepts of the Law so that their 

idolatry is unwarrantable. 

It is written that when the Most High divided the 
nations, as He dispersed the sons of Adam, He appointed 
the bounds of the nations according to the number of the 
angels of God, and His people became the Lord's portion 
Jacob, the lot of His inheritance Israel. 23 It is also written 
that the Lord spoke to Israel: You will be holy before me, 
because I am holy the Lord your God, who separated you 
from all nations to be mine. 2 * It is further written in the 
Book of Esther, Mardochai speaking: / give Thee thanks, 
Lord, because Thou hast wrought new signs and wonders, 
as have not happened among the nations, dividing the 
whole world into two parts; one didst Thou choose as 
Thy own people, leaving the other for the Gentiles 25 
Paul, too, and Barnabas said: We also are mortals, men 
like unto you, preaching to you to be converted ... to the 
living God who made the heaven and the earth and the 
sea and all things that are in them; who in times past 


suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 2Q These 
and many similar statements are found in the infallible 
Scripture. Yet according to the same Scripture we believe 
and devoutly confess that never was mankind as a whole 
without the care of Divine Providence. 27 And, though 
Providence led the people it had chosen to a right way of 
conduct through special ordinances, it did not, neverthe- 
less, withhold the gifts of its goodness from any nation 
among men. They manifestly have been taught the pro- 
nouncements of the Prophets and the precepts of the 
Law by the things created 28 the services they received 
from them and the lessons they gathered from them. 29 
Hence, they had no excuse when they made into gods the 
very gifts of God and when they turned into objects of 
worship that which was created for their use. 



Without divine grace, the more "keenly the will is intent 

on action, the more quickly does it run into sin, 

because it does not live for God's glory. 

Even the nation which the Lord had separated unto 
Himself from among all nations, would have fallen com- 
pletely into this wickedness, had not the design of His 
mercy taken care to support His elect who were ever 
stumbling. The pages of the Old Testament are full of 
the story of Israel's defections, in order that it may appear 
clearly that it was always due only to divine grace when 
not all the people fell away from the Lord. 31 Thus human 


nature, vitiated in the first man's sin., is always inclined, 
even when surrounded with God's mercies, with His pre- 
cepts and aids, towards a degenerate will, to surrender to 
which means sin. 32 This will, then, is unsettled, uncertain, 
unsteadfast, unwise, weak to accomplish, quick to risk, 
blind in desire, conceited when honoured, agitated with 
cares, restless with suspicions, more desirous of glory than 
of virtue, more solicitous of a good reputation than of a 
good conscience, and through all its experiences still more 
unhappy when enjoying what is coveted than when 
deprived of it. It has of its own nothing but a readiness 
to fall; for a fickle will which is not ruled by the change- 
less will of God, runs the more quickly into sin the more 
keenly it is bent on action. 33 

As long, then, as man takes pleasure in what displeases 
God, his will remains on a natural plane, because even 
when his action is morally good, his life remains bad if 
he does not live for God's glory. 34 For this is the chief 
characteristic of the devout, that they glory in the Lord 
and do not love themselves except in God. Hence, only 
they love themselves well who love in their persons the 
works of God. Obviously, God also loves in us what He 
himself has wrought in us, and He hates what is not His 
work. If, then, we love God's work in us, we rightly love 
in ourselves the will for good which surely would not be 
lovable if it were not God's creation. 35 But who is the 
man except he be of a bad will, who would not love in 
himself the good will, which is the first plant of the 
heavenly Husbandman? When the Truth says, Every 
plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall 
be rooted up/ 6 it is clear that whatever is not to be rooted 
up was planted by the Father. Now, good will is the first 


seed of all virtues. When it relies on its source, it rests 
on the eternal and unchanging will and thus truly becomes 
spiritual 87 For he who is joined to God, is one spirit. 38 
Then, through the communion of the Illuminator with 
the illuminated, of the Justifier with the justified, of the 
Ruler with the ruled all action is referred to one end, 39 and 
this same action thus referred to one end belongs to both: 
from God cannot be taken away what He has given, nor 
from man what he has received. 40 


When a man is converted to God, no new substance is 

created in him, but his own which was spoiled is 

remade. Nothing is taken away from him 

but vice, and his former will is set right. 

This seems to be the place to put the question: When 
a man is converted to a will disposed to do good, is then 
the will that was in him set right, or does he receive a 
new will which he did not have before and which is the 
reverse of his former one? 41 To make this clearer, let us 
make the effort to look into the matter more thoroughly. 

All of us have been created in the first man without any 
blemish and we have all lost the integrity of our nature 
through the sin of the same first man. Hence followed 
mortality, hence the manifold corruption of body and 
mind, ignorance and difficulty, useless cares, unlawful 
desires, sacrilegious aberrations, vain fears, harmful love, 
unholy pleasures, blamable designs, and as great a host 


of woes as of sins. With these and other evils assailing 
human nature, with faith lost, hope abandoned, the intel- 
lect blinded, the will enslaved, 42 no one finds in himself 
the means of a restoration. Although some tried, guided 
by their natural reason, to resist vices, the life of decency 
they led here on earth was sterile. They did not acquire 
true virtues and attain eternal happiness. Without wor- 
ship of the true God even what has the appearance of 
virtue is sin. No one can please God without God. 43 But 
he who does not please God, whom will he please but 
himself and the devil? 

When man was robbed by the devil, he was not deprived 
of his will but of the righteousness of his will. 44 For man 
could not be thrust down from the state of innocence 
unless he sinned wilfully. Thus his nature which was 
good has been infected by an evil quality; 45 and the soul's 
aspiration which can never be without some love, that 
is, without some will, has not lost its power of desiring 
but it has changed its affections. It now embraces in 
desire what it should have rejected by reason. When, 
therefore, a man returns to God, the Scripture word 
applies to him, a wind that goeth and returneth not, 46 
because if God did not convert him, he would not return; 47 
and when he becomes a new cast and a new creature, 48 
then no new substance is created in him, but his own 
which was shaken is restored. Nothing else is taken away 
from him but the blemish which he did not have by 



Grace repairs God's work in such a manner as not to take 
away free will but rather to heal it by itself. 

In Adam our nature existed without blemish, but 
he by his wilful disobedience incurred many evils and 
transmitted them to his posterity in whom they were to 
multiply more and more. The victory over these evils 
and their utter destruction only springs from the grace of 
the Saviour who restores His own work with His own 
labour. 49 For, as the Apostle John says. For this purpose 
the Son of God appeared., that He might destroy the 
works of the devil. 50 He it is who breaks the chains of the 
prisoner. He clothes the nakedness of the robbed man, 
He heals the injuries of the wounded, but all this in such a 
manner that what He works in him is also effected by man 
himself. 51 He indeed cannot risk to fight against his enemy 
without a protector. He has to wage war against one who 
once defeated him. He should, therefore, not trust in 
his own strength which, even when it was unimpaired, 
did not hold out; but let him seek victory through the 
One who alone is unconquerable and who brought victory 
to all. 

And if he does seek victory, he should not doubt that 
he has received this very desire of seeking it from Him 
whom he is seeking. 52 And he should not think that, 
because he is led by the Spirit of God, 53 he no longer has 
free will. 54 This he did not lose even when he wilfully 
surrendered himself to the devil. The devil perverted his 
judgment that goes with the will, but did not take it 


from him. What was not taken away 55 by the one who 
inflicted a wound is still less destroyed by the One who 
comes to heal. He heals the wound. He does not set aside 
nature. But what was lost in nature cannot be restored 
except by its Author; in whose sight what was lost in 
nature did not perish. 56 He is eternal wisdom, eternal 
truth, eternal goodness, eternal justice, He is, in short, 
the eternal light of all virtues, and all that is virtue is 
God. 57 Unless He works in us, we cannot be partakers of 
any virtue. For indeed without this Good nothing is good, 
without this Light nothing is bright, without this Wisdom 
nothing is wise, without this Justice nothing is right. 58 
For the Lord says through the mouth of Isaias, / am, I am 
the Lord, and there is no one besides me who saves; 59 and 
Jeremias says, / know, O Lord, that the way of a man is 
not in him; neither is it in a man to direct his way. QO 
Mortal man, born according to the flesh from a source 
that was cursed in Adam, cannot come to the spiritual 
dignity of the new birth except through the guidance of 
the Holy Spirit. Indeed, he cannot even foster any desire 
for it as long as he has not received from God the ardour 
of this desire, 61 about which the Lord says, / am come to 
cast fire on the earth, and what will I, but that it be 
burning? 62 That fire is the love of God which a lover of 
the world cannot conceive in his enslaved heart. He is 
filled with the love of vain things, and even if he could 
escape these to some extent, and, rising above temporal 
and visible goods, attain through his own understanding 
the eternal and invisible ones; 63 even if he could renounce 
the worship of idols and give up the adoration of heaven 
and earth and all the created things of this world; 64 even 
so he would not conceive the faith and the love of Christ, 


because he would be upset by His lowliness. He would 
not with his own insight overcome the scandal of our 
Lord's nativity and death. For, as the wisdom of the 
world resists the wisdom of God, thus blinding the pride 
of the self-conceited,, so it pleased God by the foolishness 
of our preaching to save them that believe. 5 Hence, those 
who are made arrogant by their worldly learning, think 
that the Cross of Christ is something to be laughed at 
rather than adored; and the higher a man rises in the 
attainments of the human sciences, the more he scorns 
the humility and feebleness of our preaching. 

No wonder either, that pagan philosophy opposes the 
Gospel of the Cross of Christ, when Jewish learning also 
resists it. We conclude that neither the learned nor the 
illiterate of whatever race or rank come to God led by 
human reason; but every man who is converted to God 
is first stirred by God's grace. 66 For man is no light unto 
himself, nor can he inflame his own heart with a ray of 
his own light. If Saint John than whom no son of men 
was greater, 67 was not the light because he did not shine 
with his own brightness, but had received the power to 
enlighten others from the true Light which enlighteneth 
every man that cometh into this world: what man is 
there who would give up so many conflicting opinions, 
so many constraining habits, so many inveterate preju- 
dices, relying only on his own judgment and helped solely 
by the spoken word of a teacher? Grace would then con- 
sist only in the exterior hearing of the doctrine and the 
whole of a man's faith would spring from his own will 68 
If such were the case, there would be no difference between 
grace and the Law; and the spirit of forgiveness would 
enliven no one if the letter that kills remained. For indeed 


the Law commands things to be done or avoided, but it 
does not help one to do or to avoid them. 69 Its rigour is 
complied with not out of free choice but out of fear. But 
the Lord with a view not to destroy but to fulfil the Law, 70 
through the help of His grace, made the command of the 
Law effective, and through the abundance of His clemency 
lifted its penal sanction so that He might not avenge sin 
with punishments, but destroy it through forgiveness. 71 

That is why the adulterous woman whom the Law pre- 
scribed to be stoned, was set free by Him with truth and 
grace, when the avengers of the Law frightened with the 
state of their own conscience had left the trembling guilty 
woman to the judgment of Him who had come to seek 
and save what was lost. 72 And for that reason He, bowing 
downthat is, stooping down to our human level and 
intent on the work of our reform ationiorote with His 
finger on the ground in order to repeal the Law of the 
commandments with the decrees of His grace 74 and to 
reveal Himself as the One who had said, I will give my 
laws in their understanding and I will write them in their 
heart. This indeed He does every day when He infuses 
His will into the hearts of those who are called, and when 
with the pen 76 of the Holy Spirit the Truth mercifully 
rewrites on the pages of their souls all that the devil 
enviously falsified. 

Whenever, then, the word of God enters into the ears 
of the body through the ministry of the preachers, the 
action of the divine power fuses with the sound of a human 
voice, 77 and He who is the inspirer of the preacher's office 
is also the strength of the hearer's heart. Then the food 
of the word becomes sweet to the soul; the darkness of 
old is expelled by the new light; the interior eye is freed 


from the cataracts of the ancient error; the soul passes 
from one will to another, 78 and although the will that is 
driven out lingers on for a while, yet the newborn one 
claims for itself all that is better in man, so that the law 
of sin and the law of God do not dwell in the same way 
and together in the same man. 79 And then, whilst the 
flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit also resists 
the desires of the ftesh, 80 the tempter ventures to ambush 
man through exterior objects; but the mind strong with 
God's help prevails. For, obviously, there are occasions 
for struggle and these serve the great profit of the faithful: 
their weakness is buffeted that their holiness may not yield 
to pride. 81 Hence, too, the Apostle says: Lest in the great- 
ness of the revelations I should be exalted, there was given 
me . . . an angel of Satan to buffet me. For which thing 
thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart from me, 
but He said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee, for 
power is made perfect in infirmity. 82 

Let, then, the Lord seek His image; 83 let the Good 
Shepherd find His erring sheep and not disdain to bear 
it, sick and tired for long of the trackless wilds, on His 
shoulders, and save it not only by calling it back, but also 
by carrying it along. Let the Lord seek His image, wash 
away from it all accumulated uncleanness that has stained 
it and so brighten up the mirror of the human heart. For 
it is written: Who can make clean that is conceived of 
unclean seed? Is it not Thou who only art? 84 Let the 
Lord seek His image that in its renovation and justifica- 
tion the grace of its Reformer may appear, as the Apostle 
Paul testifies to have happened to himself when he says: 
And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea, 
which were in Christ. . . . They had heard only that he 


who persecuted us in times past doth now preach the faith 
which . . .he impugned. And they glorified God in me. 85 
Such was the conviction of the Christian people at that 
time, such the belief of the first members of the Church 
who had but one heart and one soul: 86 when they saw a 
man converted from his error to the acceptance of the 
truth, they gave glory to God and confessed that the 
convert's faith came from a divine gift. 87 The Lord Him- 
self when instructing His disciples, the teachers of all 
nations, said: So let your light shine before men, that, 
seeing your good works, they may magnify your Father 
who is in heaven. 88 


When Scripture speaks of the good or the wicked, of the 

elect or the reprobate, it mentions one class of men in 

such wise that it seems as though no one is omitted. 

It is in our own best interest, therefore, to hold that 
all good things, especially those conducive to eternal life, 
are obtained through God's favour, increased through 
God's favour, and preserved through God's favour. 89 With 
this faith firmly fixed and rooted in our hearts, I think 
our religious sense ought not to be disturbed by the prob- 
lem of the total or only partial conversion of mankind. 
This is a condition we must keep that we do not permit 
what is inaccessible to our knowledge to render obscure 
what we know clearly, and that we do not, whilst wantonly 
insisting on knowing what we cannot know, lose sight of 


what we are able to know; 90 since It ought to be enough 
for us to live on with the knowledge that we have gained. 91 

[For, this we do know beyond any doubt: all beginning 
and all increase of merit is for every man a gift of God. 
Moreover, it is impossible that He who wills all men to be 
saved would, for no reasons whatever, not save the greater 
part of them. But we are not able to know these reasons, 
which would not have remained secret had it been neces- 
sary for us to know them. Here our faith is to be tested 
in the things that are not visible; and we have always to 
preserve our reverence for God's justice even when we do 
not understand its course.] 92 

What wonder, indeed, if some men do not come to the 
sacraments of life 93 when they who seemed to have come 
to them fall away? Of such it is said: They went out 
from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been 
of us, they would no doubt have remained with us. 94 Like 
unto these are they who profess that they know God, but 
in their works . . , deny Him. 95 For, though it be written, 
Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be 
saved?* yet of some the Lord says: Not every one that 
saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of 
heaven; but he that doth the will of my Father who is in 
heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; 9T and, 
Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not 
prophesied in Thy name and cast out devils in Thy name 
and done many miracles in Thy name? And then will I 
say unto them: I never knew you. Depart from me, you 
workers of iniquity** Such people do not really invoke 
the name of the Lord because they do not have the Spirit 
of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). 99 
But, No man can say The Lord Jesus, but by the Holy 


Spirit; 10 and, Whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, 
they are the sons of God 101 

They who come to God through God and with the desire 
of being saved, are saved without fail, for they conceive 
the very desire of salvation through God's inspiration, 
and thanks to an illumination from Him who calls, they 
come to the knowledge of the truth. They are indeed the 
sons of promise, the reward of faith, the spiritual progeny 
of Abraham, a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood 2 
foreknown and foreordained 10S for eternal life according 
to the testimony of the Holy Spirit expressed by the 
prophet Jeremias: Behold the days shall come, saith the 
Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the house of 
Israel and with the house of Juda; not according to the 
covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that 
I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land 
of Egypt, for they did not persevere in my covenant, and 
I left them aside, saith the Lord. This is the covenant 
that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, 
saith the Lord: I will give my laws in their understanding, 
and I will write them in their hearts; and I will be their 
God, and they shall be my people. And no man shall 
teach his neighbour, and no man his brother, saying: 
Know the Lord. For all shall know me from the small 
among them even to the great . . . , for I will forgive their 
iniquities and I will remember their sins no more. 104 And 
I will give them another way and another heart that they 
may fear me all days for their good and that of their 
children after them. And I will make an everlasting 
covenant with them which I will not take away from 
them; and I will give my fear in their heart, that they 


may not revolt from me, and I will visit them, that I may 
make them good. 105 

Through Isaias also the Lord foretells the same things 
about His grace by which He fashions all men into a new 
creation. He says: Behold, I do new things which shall 
spring forth, and you shall know them; I will make a 
way in the wilderness and rivers in the dry land. The 
beasts of the field shall bless me, the sirens and the young 
of ostriches, because I have given water in the wilderness 
and rivers in the dry land, to give drink to my chosen 
race, to my people whom I have won unto me that they 
may preach my powers. 106 And again: I have sworn by 
myself, justice alone shall go out of my mouth and my 
words shall not be turned away; for every knee shall be 
bowed to me, and every tongue shall confess to God 107 

If, then, it is not possible that these things shall not 
take place, because God's foreknowledge is not faltering 
and His design not changeable, nor His will inefficacious 
nor His promise false, 108 then all, without any exception, 
about whom these predictions were made are saved. He 
establishes His laws in their understanding and writes 
them with His finger in their hearts, so that they recognize 
God not through the working of human learning, but 
through the teaching of the Supreme Instructor; 109 for 
neither he that planteth is anything, nor he that water- 
eth, but God that giveth the increase. 110 All these, from 
the small to the great, know God/ 11 because they have 
heard and learned from the Father how to come to Christ. 
All of them, led out of error, are directed towards the way 
of life. To all is it given, with a change of heart, to know 
the right thing and to will it. In all is implanted the fear 
that makes them keep 112 the commandments of God. A 


road is opened in the desert., the parched land is watered 
with streams. They who formerly did not open their 
mouths to praise God but like dumb and irrational 
animals had taken on the ferocity of beasts, 113 now, hav- 
ing drunk 114 at the fountain of the divine pronounce- 
ments, bless and praise God and recount the power and 
wonders of His mercy, how He chose them and adopted 
them to be His sons and made them heirs of the New 
Testament. Now if, as the Apostle says, a man's testa- 
ment, if it be confirmed, no man despiseth nor addeth to 
it, 115 how, then, could a divine promise in any manner 
be possibly made void? 

What, then, the Lord promised to Abraham without 
a condition and gave without a law, remains absolutely 
firm and sees its fulfilment every day. 116 It is true, some 
who have heard this preached to them have not believed, 
yet their unbelief has not made the faith of God without 
effect. For God is true and every man a liar. 117 Obviously, 
men who have heard the Gospel and refused to believe, 
are all the more inexcusable than if they had not listened 
to any preaching of the truth. But it is certain that in 
God's foreknowledge they were not sons of Abraham and 
were not reckoned among the number of them of whom 
it is said, In thy seed all the tribes of the earth shall be 
blessed. 118 He promised them the faith when He said: 
And no man shall teach his neighbour, and no man his 
brother,, saying: Know the Lord. For all shall know me 
from the small among them even to the great. 119 He 
promised them pardon when He said, I will forgive their 
iniquities and I will remember their sins no more. 120 He 
promised them an obedient heart when He said, I will 
give them another heart and another way, that they may 


fear me all days. 121 He promised them perseverance when 
He said, I will give my fear in their heart, that they may 
not revolt from me, and I will visit them, that I may make 
them good. 122 Finally, to all without exception He prom- 
ised the faith 123 when He said: / have sworn by myself, 
justice alone shall go out of my mouth, and my words shall 
not be turned away; for every knee shall be bowed to me, 
and every tongue shall confess to GocL 124 

If, then, we were to say that what God has sworn to 
do will not take place, we would be ascribing heaven 
forbid! falsehood to God and a lie to Truth. Our religious 
faith prompts us to say that God's words do not fail, that 
what He has decreed must come to pass. How, then, 
are we to be convinced of the absolute truth of His 
promise, when many thousands of men still serve demons 
and bow their knees before idols? 125 Only by remember- 
ing this: such pronouncements of God are made accord- 
ing to that unchangeable knowledge 12Q in which He sees 
ail mankind already divided. Whether He speaks of the 
good only or of the wicked only, He does so in such a 
manner that He seems to omit no one. 127 Thus, when 
the Apostle says: The old things are passed away. Behold, 
all things are made new 128 does he not seem to say that 
all men have been renewed? Or when he says: Because 
in Him it hath well pleased the Father that all fulness 
should dwell, and through Him to reconcile all things 
unto Himself 12 does he not speak as if he meant us to 
understand that no one is excluded from this reconcilia- 
tion? Or when he says: (God) in these latter days hath 
spoken to us by His Son, whom Pie hath appointed heir 
of all things 1 * does the statement as it stands mean any- 
thing else than that all men have been transferred by the 


Father into Christ's inheritance, according to the prophecy 
of David who said: Ask of me, and I will give Thee the 
Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of 
the earth for Thy possession? m And when the Lord says, 
If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to 
myself, 132 does it not look as if He promised the conver- 
sion of each and every one? Or when a prophecy about 
the Church says: Every valley shall be filled and every 
mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked 
shall become straight, and the rough ways plain, 1 would 
one think that any man is passed by, any man not indi- 
cated as a future subject of Christ? And what about this 
text, And all flesh shall come before my face, to adore in 
Jerusalem, saith the Lord; 134 or this one, And it shall 
come to pass in those days, that I will pour out my Spirit 
upon all flesh; 1S5 and this one, The Lord lifteth up all 
that fall; and setteth up all that are cast down? 136 Does 
it not sound as if no one is excluded from this favour 
of God? 

God's people, therefore, has a completeness all its own. 
It is true that a great part of mankind refuse or neglect 
the grace of their Saviour. In the elect, however, and 
the foreknown who were set apart from the generality 
of mankind, we have a specified totality. 137 Thus the whole 
world is spoken of as though the whole of it had been 
liberated, and all mankind as though all men had been 
chosen. 138 So, too, in the texts concerning the reprobate 
the divine Author speaks in such a way that what He says 
of a certain part of mankind He seems to say of the whole 
of it. 139 A case in point is this word of John the Baptist: 
He that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He 
hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man 


receiveth His testimony. UQ Or this saying of the Apostle, 
All seek the things that are their own, not the things that 
are Jesus Christ's. 1 * 1 Or these versicles of the Davidian 
psalm: The Lord hath looked down from heaven upon 
the children of men, to see if there be any that understand 
and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are become 
unprofitable together; there is none that doth good, not 

one. 1 * 2 

From these and other texts which could easily be multi- 
plied by anyone looking for them, it is shown beyond 
doubt that the whole earth is at times mentioned for a 
part of it, the whole world for a part of the world and all 
mankind for a section of it. 143 In these texts, however, 
Scripture itself is generally quick to indicate the necessary 
restriction, drawing the reader's attention away from the 
whole that is expressly stated, to the part that is to be 
understood by it. 144 Take, for example, this word of the 
Apostle: We preach Christ crucified: unto the Jews indeed 
a stumbling block and unto the Gentiles foolishness; but 
unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, 
the power of God and the wisdom of God. 145 Is Christ 
actually a power for those to whom He is a stumbling 
block? Again, is He both wisdom and foolishness to 
some? No some of these will be justified through faith 
whilst others will become hardened in irreligion. Thus, 
in one group, including both believers and unbelievers, 
he sets apart some, namely the called. UQ In that way, he 
pointed out, those whom he had said to be alien to the 
faith, are also excluded from the call, though they had 
heard the Gospel. 1 




Scripture speaks of the elect and the reprobate in one 
nation as though it meant the same persons. 148 

According to the same rule, 149 Sacred Scripture makes 
a promise through Isaias: I will lead the blind into the 
way they know not; and in the paths which they are 
ignorant of they will walk. I will make darkness light 
before them, and crooked things straight. These things 
shall I do, and I shall not forsake them. 150 But what 
follows,, They are turned back, 151 is to be applied to one 
part of their race, not to those of whom it is said, I shall 
not forsake them. Again the Lord says to Jacob: Fear 
not, for I am with thee. I will bring thy seed from the 
east, and gather thee from the west. I will say to the north: 
Bring them; and to the south: Keep them not back. 
Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends 
of the earth, all those among whom my name is called 
upon. I have created him for my glory, I have fashioned 
him and made him. 152 But what follows, And I brought 
forth a blind people, and their eyes are blind, and they 
have deaf ears/ 53 can in no way apply to those whom He 
says He has prepared for His glory. In fact, of all these 
sayings uttered about one race of men a first set applies 
to some persons, a second to others. 

In the Apostle also we find narrated under the name 
of the whole people what concerns only a part of them, 
and this remaining part 154 is reckoned as a totality. For 
instance, discoursing about the blindness of the Jews and 
at the same time showing that some of them were saved 
through grace, he says: I say then: Hath God cast away 


His people? God forbid! For I also am an Israelite of the 
seed of Abraham,, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not 
cast away His people which He foreknew. 155 

So, this foreknown people, this people not cast away, 
these are the justified in Christ. What seems to be affirmed 
of all Israel is shown to apply to those only whom grace 
chose for its own, 156 as the sequel of the Apostle's discourse 
relates. He goes on to say: Know you not what the Scrip- 
ture saith of Elias, how he calleth on God against Israel? 
"Lord, they have slain Thy prophets, they have dug down 
Thy altars. And I am left alone, and they seek my life." 
But what saith the divine answer to him? "I have left me 
seven thousand men that have not bowed their knees to 
Baal." Even so then, 157 at this present time also there is 
a remnant saved according to the election of grace. And 
if by grace, it is not now by works; otherwise grace is no 
more grace. 158 Not the whole of Israel, therefore, was 
rejected; nor was the whole of it chosen. Rather, a wilful 
blindness turned away one section, while the light of grace 
kept the other as its own. 159 And yet they are spoken of 
as if no division had been made of the whole people, in 
those who perish and those who are saved. For when we 
read: As concerning the Gospel, indeed, they are enemies 
for your sake; hut as touching the election of God, they 
are beloved for the sake of the fathers, 1 it sounds as 
though he called "beloved" those whom he has termed 
"enemies." But the Apostle himself dispelled this obscur- 
ity by adding that blindness in part has happened in 
Israel. 161 We have to understand that one genus is divided 
into two species and that expressions like "all men," "all 
fulness," "all Israel," need not always designate a totality 
but often only a part. 162 



Scripture speaks of men of different ages as if 
they were one and the same generation. 

Among these various ways of speaking found in Scrip- 
ture there is still another to which we should turn our 
attention. What refers to men of different ages is pre- 
sented as if it applied to but one generation, to men of 
one lifetime. 168 Thus the Apostle Saint Peter,, writing for 
the people of his own time and of the future, says: But 
you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood y a holy 
nation, a purchased people; that you may declare His 
virtues., who hath called you out of darkness into His 
marvellous light; who in time past were not a people,, 
but now are the people of God; who had not obtained 
mercy y but now have obtained mercy. , 1G4 Were, at the time 
of this preaching, all those men still alive whom God in 
times past suffered to walk in their own ways? 165 And 
those who had once been delivered unto their own desires, 
are they identically the same people who now will be 
called 1QQ out of the darkness into His marvellous light? 
Had they not already died in their ignorance? Were 
they any longer in the world? And was there any return 
from error to truth for those who had died in times past? 
Yet in speaking, usage is such that when grace conquered 
the descendants of the ungodly, we seem to say 16T that 
those are chosen now who were once forsaken. What is 
said here, however, does not apply to the same men but to 
men of the same race. The call which appeared at the 
approach of the end of the world 168 has no retrospective 


effect on the past ages. So those about whom these things 
are successively said are, in a sense, the same men and 
yet not the same men. While in one case special consider- 
ations are not distinguished from general ones, in another 
they are. 169 


The word of the Apostle, "who will have all men to 

be saved," is to be understood in its 

entire and full meaning. 

When devotees of sophistical wranglings 17 read or 
hear this, they will object that our arguments contradict 
and fulness, we mean to take nothing from the context 
the Apostle who teaches that God will have all men to be 
saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 171 We 
accept this brief sentence of the Apostle in its entirety 
preceding it or following it. 172 Let us leave aside all other 
testimonies of the inspired writings. This one passage 
will do to refute their slanderous objection and to defend 
what they impiously deny. 

Now, then, the Apostle Paul, teacher of the Gentiles, 
writing to Timothy, says: / desire, therefore, first of all, 
that supplications, intercessions, thanksgivings be made 
for all men, for kings and for all that are in high station: 
that we mat/ lead a quiet and peaceable life in all piety 
and chastity. For this is good and acceptable in the sight 
of God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved 
and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is 
one God and one Mediator of God and men, the man 
Christ Jesus who gave Himself a redemption for all. m 
For the universal Church this constitutes a fundamental 


norm of the Apostle's teaching. 174 Let us, then, seek the 
mind of the universal Church about it in order not to 
understand it ainiss by relying on our own judgment. 
There can be no doubt about what is enjoined, if the 
efforts made by all those who obey are the same. 170 

The Apostle commands-~-rather, the Lord speaking 
through the Apostle commands through him that suppli- 
cations and intercessions, thanksgivings be made for all 
men, for kings and for all that are in high station. All 
priests and all the faithful, adhere unanimously to this 
norm of supplication in their devotions. There is no part 
of the world in which Christian peoples do not offer up 
these prayers. The Church, then, pleads before God 
everywhere, not only for the saints 177 and those regen- 
erated in Christ, but also for all infidels and all enemies 
of the Cross of Christ, for all worshippers of idols, for all 
who persecute Christ in His members, for the Jews whose 
blindness does not see the light of the gospel, for heretics 
and schismatics who are alien to the unity of faith and 
charity. 178 

But what does she beg for them if not that they leave 
their errors and be converted to God, that they accept 
the faith, accept charity, that they be freed from the 
shadows of ignorance and come to the knowledge of the 
truth? They cannot do this by themselves: they are 
struggling under the weight of vicious habits and are 
ensnared by the bonds of Satan. They are powerless before 
their own deceptions; so stubbornly do they cling to them 
that they love falsehood in the measure truth should be 
loved. Hence the merciful and just Lord wishes that 
prayers be offered Him for all men. When we see count- 


less souls drawn out of such deep misery, we should have 
no doubt that God is granting a prayerful request. While 
thanking Him for those who are saved., we should hope- 
fully pray that the same divine grace may deliver from 
the power of darkness those who are still without light 
and conduct them into the kingdom of God before they 
depart this life. 1 



We cannot understand in this life the deep mystery, 

why the grace of God passes by some men for 

whom the Church offers prayers. 

We indeed see it happen that the grace of the Saviour 
passes by some men and that the prayers of the Church 
in their favour are not heard. 180 This must be ascribed 
to the secret judgments of divine justice. We must 
acknowledge that we cannot understand this profound 
mystery in this life. 181 For we know in part, and we 
prophesy in part; 182 and we see now through a glass in 
a dark manner. 18 * We are neither wiser nor better 
informed than the most blessed Apostle. When he entered 
into the secret of these great mysteries in explaining the 
power of grace,, he was overcome by the things that are 
beyond all utterance. He said: For I would not have you 
ignorant, brethren, of this mystery (lest you should he 
wise in your own conceits) that blindness in part has 
happened in Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles should 
come in. And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: 
"There shall come out of Sion, He that shall deliver and 
shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And this is to 
them my covenant: when I shall take away their sins. 



As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for 
your sake; but as touching the election, they are most 
dear for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the call- 
ing of God are without repentance. For as you also in 
times past did not believe God, but now have obtained 
mercy, through their unbelief: so these also now have 
not believed, for your mercy, that they also may obtain 
mercy. For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that He 
may have mercy on all. 185 

Enraptured, as it were, he had poured out these mysteri- 
ous statements on the divine ways which are beyond all 
bounds of human understanding; then, as though dazed, 
he broke off all logical sequence in his discourse. 186 
Astounded at the things he had uttered, he exclaimed: 
O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowl- 
edge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments, 
and how unsearchable His ways! For who hath known 
the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counsellor? 
Or who hath first given to Him, and recompense shall be 
made him? For of Him, and by Him, and in Him, are all 
things: to Him be glory for ever. Amen. 187 

Quite obviously, what he had been teaching above, 
raised many questions. 188 For example, one could inquire 
why God's grace works in a different way in many peoples 
and ages. Why, namely, were all nations in former ages 
left to walk in their own ways, 189 when Israel alone was 
singled out to be instructed by God's own words and was 
chosen to know the truth, whereas in the end her unbelief 
was to be the occasion for the salvation of the Gentiles? 
Could not the mercy of God, because this one people per- 
severed in its ancestral faith, bestow itself also on the 
other nations? Indeed, why could not they whose down- 


fall means salvation for the nations, be freed from 
their blindness before the fulness of the Gentiles should 
come in? 19 Could they not receive the light at one time 
with all mankind, they, who after the conversion of all 
nations will yet be saved? Or how 191 can the whole of 
Israel be freed from its blindness and saved when a count- 
less number of them die in unbelief and never obtain the 
promised chance for salvation? Or how can one say of the 
Gentiles, too, who were not called at first, that the fulness 
of them now comes in, when so many thousands of men 
of every age and station in life, in all the nations that live 
under the sun, die without the justification of Christ? 
But the reasons of these mysterious decrees our God- 
fearing and learned teacher preferred to leave hidden in 
the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of 
God, rather than rashly to seek what is withheld from 
our human knowledge, namely, the secret of the most just 
Truth and the most merciful Goodness. He omitted noth- 
ing of what we should know, but he did not touch on what 
is not given to us to see. 192 


In the dispensation of God's works the reasons of many 
things remain hidden and only the facts are manifest. 

In the divine economy the reasons of many things actu- 
ally remain hidden and only the facts become known. 193 
We see what takes place, we do not see why it happens. 
The event itself is plain, its reason is kept hidden. Thus 


about the same event no one can presume to scrutinize 
the inscrutable or to deny falsely what is evident. I do not 
know, for example, why this man was created a Greek 
and that one a barbarian, why this one was born in wealth 
and another in destitution; why the strength and beauty 
of a stately body exalts this one, whilst the withered thin- 
ness of feeble limbs deforms that man; why one is born 
of Catholic stock and nourished in the cradle of the faith, 
while another is a child of heretics and drinks with his 
mother's milk the poison of error. 

A thousand other differences in the conditions of the 
bodies and the qualities of the minds, in the circumstances 
of time and the customs of the countries, I cannot account 
for. But I do not for that reason fail to know that God is 
the Creator and Ruler of all these things. He did indeed 
create the bodies and souls of each and every man. Besides 
the diversity following from the pursuits which each man 
chooses. He himself produces a great and manifold diver- 
sity at the very beginning of each one's existence. 194 Brag- 
garts with their many fancies would disturb us and lead 
us astray: they rashly presumed to explain the unknown 
and ascribe these original inequalities to the fates 195 
which do not existor to the stars. 196 But we know with 
absolute certitude that God our Creator forms each indi- 
vidual from the original elements just as He pleases, and 
that though bodies are of one nature and souls of one 
nature, He tempers them according to the measures most 
agreeable to Him. 197 These works of God would not be 
withdrawn from our human understanding, were there 
any need for us to know them. It would be revealed why 
each particular event takes place, were it not sufficient 
to know that it happens. 1 



The Lord says to Moses, Who gave man a mouth, or 
who made dumb and deaf, seeing and Mind? Did not I, 
the Lord God? 199 And through Isaias, Behold, is it not 
I who made barren and fecund? saith the Lord. 200 The 
Book of Eccleslasticus reads, Good things and evil, life and 
death, poverty and riches, are from God. 201 And Job says, 
The tabernacles of robbers abound, and they provoke God 
boldly; whereas it is He that hath given all into their 
hands. 202 The same, treating about the growth and de- 
cline of all human things and ascribing all changes to 
God's judgments, says again: With Him is wisdom and 
strength, He hath counsel and understanding. If He pull 
down., there is no man that can build up. If He shut up 
a man, there is none that can open. If He withhold the 
waters, all things shall be dried up; if He send them out, 
they shall overturn the earth. With Him is strength and 
wisdom; He knoweth both the deceiver and him that is 
deceived. He bringeth counsellors to a foolish end, and 
judges to insensibility. He looseth the belt of kings, and 
girdeth their loins with a cord. He leadeth away priests 
without glory, and overthroweth nobles. He changeth the 
speech of the true speakers, and taketh away the doctrine 
of the aged. He poureth contempt upon princes, and 
relieveth them that were oppressed. He discovereth deep 
things out of darkness, and bringeth up to light the 
shadow of death. He multiplieth nations and destroyeth 
them, and will restore them again after they were over- 
thrown. He changeth the heart of the princes of the earth 
and deceiveth them, that they walk in vain where there 
is no way. They shall grope as in the dark, and not in 
the light; and He shall make them stagger like men that 
are drunk. 2 And again, explaining that God's will can- 


not be frustrated, he says. For He is alone, and no man 
can turn away His thought. And whatsoever His soul 
desireth, that will He c?o. 204 


We may not attribute the salvation of a part of mankind 

to their own merits, as if grace chose the 

good and passed by the wicked. 20 * 

One section of mankind attains salvation., the other 
perishes. Were we to ascribe this to individual merits and 
say that grace left off the wicked and chose the good, then 
we would be faced with the case of countless peoples to 
whom for so many ages no messenger of the heavenly 
doctrine has appeared. 206 And we should not say that their 
posterity were better than they, for it is written of them: 
The nation of the Gentiles that was sitting in darkness 
has seen a great light; and to them that were sitting in 
darkness and the shadow of death, light is risen; 207 and it 
is to these that the Apostle Peter says: But you are a chosen 
generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased 
people, that you may declare His virtues, who hath called 
you out of darkness into His marvellous light; who in time 
past were not a people, but are now the people of God; on 
whom once He had no mercy, but now He shows mercy. 208 
Therefore, what the fathers 209 did not merit, the sons did 
not receive on account of their merits. For indeed, fathers 
and sons alike were steeped in irreligion, the blindness of 
ignorance plunged them both in the same errors. 


But who is so learned as to understand, or who is so 
wise as to discover why God did not have mercy on the 
former, hut was merciful towards the latter? The reason 
of this discrimination escapes us; the difference itself we 
see. We do not understand God's judgment, but we see His 
work. Shall we accuse His justice which is hidden, when 
we must give thanks for His mercy which is manifest? No, 
let us praise and reverence God's action, while there is no 
risk in not knowing what He keeps veiled. 2 



Before the use of reason all children are alike., yet some 

pass to eternal life, others to eternal death; this 

is a proof of God's inscrutable judgments. 

Consider also 211 the case of the whole multitude of chil- 
dren. In none of them do you find deserts, neither past nor 
future, only the sin in which the whole human race is born 
unto damnation. We speak now of children before the 
use of reason and before they are able to make any use of 
their free will. Some are regenerated in baptism and pass 
on to eternal happiness, others are not reborn and go to 
unending misery. 212 

You may say, they have original sin; yes, they have it, 
but all are equally guilty. Or you look for moral inno- 
cence; agreed, but none of them has sinned. Our human 
sense of justice can see no reason for discrimination, but 
God's ineffable grace finds subjects for election. 213 His 
design is secret, but His gift is manifest. It is His mercy 


that inspires the work. His power that hides from us the 
reason. But both what we see and what we do not see is 
equally above suspicion. When He is the Author of what 
we see taking place, we cannot withhold our praise of His 
justice, though it surpasses our understanding. 2 

, 214 


Deathbed conversions of sinners are a proof that 

grace is given unmerited and that God's 

judgments are inscrutable. 

Now turn your attention to the case of sinners who 
after a long lifetime of shame and crime receive new life 
in the sacrament of Christ's baptism just before they de- 
part from this world. 215 Without any good works to plead 
for them they are admitted to the communion of the king- 
dom of heaven. How will you understand this judgment 
of God? You can only confess unhesitatingly that God's 
gifts are unmerited. There are no crimes so hateful that 
can prevent the gift of grace, just as there can be no good 
works so excellent that can claim as their just reward what 
God gives gratuitously. 216 

Suppose that justification, which is the work of grace, 
were due to previous merits; suppose it were like the pay 
of a labourer rather than the gift of a Donor: would not 
then our Redemption in the blood of Christ be debased, 
and the initiative claimed by human works refuse to yield 
to God's mercy? 217 And how could you then show that no 
human industry is able to remove original sin? You could 
never show it unless both unbelievers and sinners were 


through the laver of Christ admitted into His kingdom; 
and unless they who glory in their innocence acknowledge 
how they can really do nothing worthy of the adoption of 
the sons of God when they have not received the sacra- 
ment of regeneration. For in this respect they are in the 
same condition as the greatest sinners; regenerated in bap- 
tism they are alike in sanctity; take away baptism, and 
they perish all together. 218 

It is a fact, then, that grace seeks its adopted sons even 
among the worst sinners in their very last moments, and 
that many who looked less wicked are denied this gift. 
But who could say that these facts escape God's ruling or 
that He decrees them without a profound justice? 219 And, 
obviously, there is no injustice here merely because this 
is shrouded in mystery, rather there is justice because it 
flows from God's decree. In fact, for what depends solely 
on God's free decision we cannot know definitely what 
His judgment will be, before He decrees the facts. 220 But 
when the facts have taken place, no one is left free to com- 
plain of the outcome of God's decree, for it is altogether 
certain that He had not to act otherwise than He did. 221 

He Himself has illustrated the diversity of His manifold 
calling, pertaining to the same grace, by the celebrated 
example of the Gospel parable. There He shows a house- 
holder who hires workmen for his vineyard at different 
hours of the day on a contract of a denarius a day. 222 Now, 
it is clear that the man sent to the vineyard at the eleventh 
hour to work with those who had laboured the whole day, 
represents the class of people of whom we are now treat- 
ing. God's mercy shows them this generosity at the de- 
cline of the day, that is, at the end of their life, to reveal 
the excellence of His grace. For He does not pay the price 


of their labour, but showers on them whom He has chosen 
without works of their own, the riches of His goodness. 
Thus they also who laboured the whole day long in the 
sweat of their brow and did not receive more than the 
latecomers, have to understand that they were given a 
gratuitous gift, not the reward of their labours. 

Shall we, too, murmur against the Householder be- 
cause He gives the same wages to those called last and to 
the full-time labourers, and because no greater compen- 
sation is earned by much labour than by labour that is 
scarcely existent? Then we shall have to hear what one 
of those men was told: Friend, I do thee no wrong. Didst 
thou not agree with me for a penny? Take what is thine 
and go thy way. I will also give to this last even as to thee. 
Or, is it not lawful for me to do with my property what 
1 will? Or, is thy eye evil because I am good? 223 Clearly, 
to this grumbler such liberality seemed unjust. 224 What 
lesson was he taught? What explanation was he given? 
He was not told anything as to the justice of this ruling; 
he was not given any insight into the hidden mystery. But 
that he might refrain from discussing God's judgments, 
he was confronted with the goodness of His mercy and 
the power of His will 225 The Apostle's word might have 
been addressed to Him also: O man, who art thou that 
repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him 
that formed it: Why hast Thou made me thus? 226 



Grace, the condition sine qua non of all merit., is given 
unmerited purely out of God's good pleasure. 

God's will, therefore, is the sole reason why grace is 
bestowed on any man, whatever be his nation or race, his 
state or age. 227 In that will does the motive of his election 
lie hidden. Merit begins with grace,, which was itself 
received unmerited. If merit could be gained without 
grace, we would not have these words,, Unless a man be 
born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter 
into the kingdom of God; 22S and. Except you eat the flesh 
of the Son of man and drink His blood, you shall not have 
life in you; 229 we would rather hear, "Unless a man be 
just and good he cannot attain eternal happiness." 

There would be no need of being born again of water 
and of the Spirit, if it were sufficient to know the Law. 230 
We believe that in baptism all sins are forgiven; this faith 
would be vain if we were taught that grace is not given 
to the wicked and the ungodly, but only to the good and 
the righteous. Thus the source of true life and of true 
justice lies in the sacrament of regeneration. When man 
is born again, then his virtues begin to be true/ 31 then 
they 232 who could hardly gain an earthly reward of vain 
praise, 233 begin through faith to advance towards eternal 
glory. Before a man is justified, be he a Jew proud of his 
knowledge of the Law or a Greek conceited with the study 
of natural wisdom, he is imprisoned under sin. 234 Were 
he to persist in his unbelief, the anger of God would re- 
main upon him, the anger incurred in Adam's sin. 


The Apostle speaks of this where he says: And you, 
when you were dead in your offences and sins, wherein in 
times past you walked according to the course of this world., 
according to the prince of the power of this air, of the spirit 
that now worketh on the children of unbelief; in which 
also we conversed in time past, in the desires of our flesh, 
fulfilling the will of the flesh and of our thoughts, and 
were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest; 235 and 
again: That you were at that time without Christ, being 
aliens from the conversation of Israel and strangers to the 
testament, having no hope of the promise and without God 
in the world; 23e and again: You were heretofore darkness, 
but now light in the Lord; 237 and again: Giving thanks to 
God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers 
of the lot of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from 
darkness and the power of darkness and hath translated us 
into the kingdom of the Son of His love; 238 and again: For 
we ourselves also were some time unwise, incredulous, err- 
ing, slaves of divers desires and pleasures, living in malice 
and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the 
goodness and kindness of our Saviour appeared, not by the 
works of justice which we have done, but according to His 
mercy, He saved us by the lover of regeneration of the Holy 
Spirit. Whom He hath poured forth upon us abundantly, 
through Jesus Christ our Saviour: that being justified by 
His grace, we may be heirs according to the hope of life 


What nature is without grace. 

To explain in a very few words what human nature is 
without grace, 240 let the Apostle Jude tell us what both 
the ignorance of the uncultured and the learning of the 
wise produce. But these men, he says, blaspheme whatever 
things they know not; and what things soever they nat- 
urally know, like dumb beasts, in these they are cor- 
rupted. 2 * 1 Let also the Evangelist Luke tell us in the words 
of Zacharias what night envelops the human race before 
the light of grace shines on it, and from what shadows of 
ignorance God's people is freed. And thou, child, he says, 
shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt 
go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give 
knowledge of salvation to His people unto the remission of 
their sins, on account of the bowels of the mercy of the 
Lord, in which the Orient from on high hath visited us, 
to shine before them that sit in darkness and in the shadow 
of death; to direct our feet into the way of peace. 2 



Our Lord in His deep mercy wishes to save all nations and 

is actually working for their salvation, yet it 

is true that no one accepts His word. 

In this His deep mercy, the Lord wishes not only to 
redeem one people but to save all nations, 243 as the Evan- 


gelist says: That Jesus should die for the nation. And not 
only for the nation, but also to gather together in one the 
dispersed children of God. 244 That is the meaning of our 
Lord's great proclamation which, like a trumpet resound- 
ing with His loving-kindness throughout the world, 
invites and summons all men. For after He had said: 
/ confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, be- 
cause Thou hast hid these things from the wise and the 
prudent and hast revealed them to the little ones. Yea, 
Father; for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight, He added: 
All things are delivered to me by my Father. And no one 
knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither doth any one 
know the Father, but the Son and he to whom it shall 
please the Son to reveal Him; and then further: Come to 
me, all you that labour and are burdened, and I will re- 
fresh you. Take up my yoke upon you and learn of me, 
because I am meek and humble of heart; and you shall find 
rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden 
light. 2 * 5 John the Baptist, too, proclaims with prophetic 
insight, in the Gospel of John: He that cometh from heaven 
is above all What He hath seen and heard, He testifieth; 
and no man receiveth His testimony. He that receiveth 
His testimony, hath set to his seal that God is true. 246 

Reflecting, therefore, the blindness which the human 
race contracted in its long night of ignorance and pride, the 
Creator of the world came into the world, and the world 
knew Him not; 24T The light shineth in darkness, and the 
darkness did not comprehend it; 24S He ... is above all; 
what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no 
man receiveth His testimony. 2 ** But not in vain did God, 
the Son of God, corne into this world and give Himself for 
all and die, not only for the nation, but to gather in one 


the dispersed children of GocL 250 And He says to all, Come 
to me, all you that labour and are burdened. 2 * 1 Keeping to 
Himself the deciding motive of an election that is unknow- 
able to us, He communicates the knowledge of Himself 
and of the Father to whomsoever He chooses to reveal it. 252 
For these reasons do all the sons of light, sons of the 
promise, sons of Abraham, sons of God, a chosen people, a 
kingly priesthood, true Israelites, foreknown and foreor- 
dained for the kingdom of God who has called them not 
only from among the Jews but also from among the Gen- 
tiles, 233 accept the word of Him who came down from 
heaven, and by so doing, they seal God's truthfulness; 
that is, they clearly show in their own salvation that God 
is truthful, namely, that He is actually fulfilling the prom- 
ise He made to Abraham, the father of all the nations. 
When he was promised by God that he was to be the heir 
of the world, he staggered not by distrust; but was strength- 
ened in faith, giving glory to God and most fully knowing 
that what He has promised, He is able also to perform. 25 * 
But who is so alien to Abraham's faith, who has sunk so 
low in his descent from the father of all nations as to say 
that God's promise is not fulfilled or that it is fulfilled by 
another than Him who made it? That man would be a 
liar. But God is truthful, and everyone who accepts His 
word is a living witness proclaiming that God's light shin- 
ing on him made him see, made him obey, made him un- 
derstand. This John the Evangelist attests, saying: We 
know that . . . the whole world is seated in wickedness. 
And we know that the Son of God is come. And He hath 
given us understanding that we may know the true God 
and may be in His true Son. 255 



We must not seek to know why God chooses some 

and not others, nor why in the past He left aside 

all the Gentiles and chose Israel alone. 

You may ask why the Saviour of all men did not give 
to all the understanding which enables men to know the 
true God, and to be, that is, to remain, in His true Son. 256 
Although we believe that the help of grace was never fully 
withheld from any one (we shall treat of this more fully 
in the following 25T ) , yet the reason you ask about remains 
veiled in much the same way as is hidden from us the mo- 
tive for which God formerly left aside all the Gentiles and 
took one people for His own in order to raise them to the 
knowledge of the truth. If we must not complain of this 
latter judgment of God, much less can we murmur against 
His way of ruling the election of all the Gentiles. We must 
not scrutinize what God wants to be hidden, but we may 
not disregard what He made manifest, else we may be 
wrongly inquisitive about the former and deserve blame 
for not gratefully receiving the latter. 208 

We know quite well that some people 259 are so incon- 
siderate in their presumption and so arrogant in their 
pride that they dare to profane with their pretended learn- 
ing what the great Teacher of the Gentiles was taught not 
of men, neither by men/ 60 but by God, and what he con- 
fessed to be far above all limitations of his knowledge. 
They would see nothing mysterious or secret in those 
things of which the Apostle refrained from giving any 


explanation, and only made plain what we must not search 
into. As we have already said above, 261 it is not given to 
any human study or genius to explore the decree and de- 
sign according to which God, who is invariably good, in- 
variably just, ever foreknowing, ever omnipotent, hath 
concluded all in unbelief, that He may have mercy on 
all; 262 yet He delayed for centuries, while He was educat- 
ing Israel, to enlighten the countless peoples of infidels; 
and now He allows that same Israel to go blind till the 
universality of the Gentiles enter the fold. He allows so 
many thousands of this people to be born and die to be 
lost, when only those whom the end of the world will find 
alive will attain salvation. 263 From the explanation which 
all the Scriptures give of this mystery we learn what has 
happened in the past, what is taking place at present, and 
what remains to come about. But why God's good pleas- 
ure decreed all this, is withheld from the ken of human 


Those who see in human merit the reason why God dis- 

tinquishes between some whom He selects and others 

whom He does not elect, teach that no one is 

saved gratuitously but only in justice; the 

case of infants refutes their position. 

Those men who feel ashamed to acknowledge ignorance 
in any matter, and who when faced with an obscure ques- 
tion throw out their snares of deception, 264 see in human 
merit the reason why God discerns whom He has elected 265 


and whom He has not for many are called but few are 
chosen. 2 Consequently,, they teach that no one is saved 
gratuitously but only in justice, because all men are able 
by natural means to discover the truth if they wish, and 
grace is given freely to all who beg for it. 267 

This statement/ 68 not to speak now of what is really 
meant by grace, 269 may be able to show some sort of pre- 
tence in the case of adults who have the use of their free 
will. But for infants who lack altogether the merit of a 
will to do good and who, just like all other mortals, are 
wounded with original sin, they can offer no explanation 
whatever. Why are some of them regenerated in baptism 
and saved, while others fail to Jbe reborn and are lost? 27 
How can this happen in spite of the Providence and om- 
nipotence of Him in whose hand is the soul of every living 
thing and the spirit of all flesh of man, 271 and to whom 
was said. The days of man are short., and the number of 
his days is with Thee? 272 

But I do not think that these patrons of human liberty 
will so impudently misuse the simplicity of men as to as- 
sert that all this happens by chance, or that the unbap- 
tised are not lost. 273 For then they would show plainly that 
they either share the views of the pagans about fate, or 
deny with the Pelagians that Adam's sin is transmitted 
to his posterity. But even the Pelagians could not say that 
it is due to fate that children happen not to receive bap- 
tism. And when they ventured to assert that infants are 
free from sin, they were rightly condemned. 274 But when 
the question is raised about the discrimination of all man- 
kind, one cannot very well exclude infants from all man- 
kind. And since, too, He who is Truth, said of all men of 
all ages indiscriminately, The Son of man is come to seek 


and to save that which was lost* 75 they try in vain to 
sound the depth of grace which is unsearchable, with 
their "free will," and to find in human merits the reason 
for the election of all those who happen to be chosen. 
Though they did advance many silly and false statements 
about the will and judgment of adults, 276 they fail to ac- 
count for the discrimination among infants; and they 
cannot boast of having given a satisfactory answer to a 
question that concerns all men/ 77 but which they fail to 
solve for all. 


All human merit from the beginning of faith to final 

perseverance is a divine gift. This is shown 

first regarding faith. 

The rich variety and the greatness of divine grace 278 
show that the theories of those men are false even when 
they speak of the wills of adults. 279 The evidence of the in- 
spired writings refutes their opinion. If we wanted to quote 
all these texts, our dissertation would never end. We shall, 
however, mention some that come to our mind. Our pur- 
pose is to show as far as is necessary that a man's merit 
from the beginning of faith to final perseverance 28 is a 
gift and a work of God. 

To begin with faith, which is the source of good will and 
of righteous actions the Apostle Paul explains whence 
it springs when he gives thanks to God for the faith of the 


Romans in these words: First, I give thanks to my God, 
through Jesus Christ, for you all, because your faith is 
spoken of in the whole world. 231 When writing to the Ephe- 
sians, too,, he says: Wherefore I also, hearing of your faith 
that is in the Lord Jesus and of your love towards all the 
saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making com- 
memoration of you in my prayers, that the God of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you 
the spirit of wisdom and of revelation, in view of the 
knowledge of Him: the eyes of your heart enlightened, 
that you may know what the hope is of His calling, what 
are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the 
saints. 282 Likewise,, thanking God for the faith of the Co- 
lossians, he says: We give thanks to God and the Father 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, hearing 
your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have 
towards all saints, for the hope that is laid up for you in 
heaven. . . , 283 And he explains what other good things 
he is asking for them in his prayers to the same Author 
of all good things, saying: Therefore we also, from the 
day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you and to beg 
that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will, in 
all wisdom and spiritual understanding: that you may 
walk worthy of God, pleasing Him; being fruitful in 
every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 
strengthened with all might, according to the power of 
His glory, in all patience and long-suffering with /oy. 284 In 
the same sense, to the Thessalonians with their ardent 
spirit of faith and love, he says: We give thanks to God 
always for you all: making a remembrance of you in our 
prayers without ceasing, being mindful of the work of 
your faith and labour and charity and of the enduring of 


the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our 
Father. 285 And further: Therefore, we also give thanks to 
God without ceasing: because, that when you had re- 
ceived of us the word of the hearing of God, you received 
it, not as the word of men, but (as it is indeed) the word 
of God, who worketh in you that have believed. 286 

Could there be a fuller or more evident proof that the 
faith of the believers is a gift of God, than these thanks 
given to God precisely because they who heard the word 
of God in man's preaching did not disbelieve in it as com- 
ing from a man's mouth, but believed in God speaking 
through men and producing in their hearts this very faith? 
In his Second Epistle to the same Thessalonians the Apos- 
tle speaks about the faith of those who are advancing in 
Christ, in these words: We are bound to give thanks always 
to God for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith 
groweth exceedingly and the charity of every one of you to- 
wards each other aboundeth. So that we ourselves also 
glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and 
faith in all your persecutions and tribulations which you 
endure for an example of the just judgment of God, that 
you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for 
which you also suffer. 287 

The Apostle Peter also preaches that faith comes from 
God, and writes: Knowing that you were not redeemed 
with corruptible things, as gold and silver, from your vain 
conversation of the tradition of your fathers, but with the 
precious blood of Christ Jesus, as of a lamb unspotted and 
undefiled, foreknown indeed before the foundation of 
the world, but manifested in the last times for you; who 
through Him are faithful to God who raised Him up from 
the dead and hath given Him glory, that your faith and 


hope might be in the Lord. 2B8 The same again in his 
Second Epistle speaks of receiving the faith in these words: 
Simon Peter, servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them 
that have obtained equal faith with us through the justice 
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 289 

The Apostle John indicates very clearly the source of 
the spirit of faith, when he says: Every spirit which con- 
fesseth that Jesus is come in the flesh, is of God; and 
every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God. And this 
is Antichrist. 2 He also says that only a man who has 
the spirit of truth accepts the Gospel. We, says he, are of 
God. He that knoweth God heareth us. He that is not 
of God, heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of 
truth and the spirit of error. 291 

Again, in the Acts of the Apostles we hear Peter the 
Apostle proclaiming that faith comes from the Lord Jesus 
Christ. He says: This man, whom you see and know, 
hath His name strengthened. And the faith which is by 
Him hath given this perfect soundness in the sight of you 
all. 222 In the same narrative we read of the faith of Lydia 
whom the Lord singled out among the women that heard 
the Gospel to open her heart: And upon the Sabbath day 
we went forth without the gate by a river side, where it 
seemed that there was prayer; and sitting down, we spoke 
to the women that were assembled. And a certain woman 
named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, 
one that worshipped God, did hear: whose heart the 
Lord opened to attend to those things which were said 
by Pau/. 293 

The word of the Truth itself confirms that faith does 
not originate in human wisdom but in a divine inspiration; 
for the Lord said to His disciples: But whom do you say 


that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art 
Christ, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus answering 
said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon, Bar-Jona, because 
flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father 
who is in heaven. 2M 

The Apostle Paul preaches that this same faith is given 
in a measure determined by the will of the Giver: For 
I say by the grace that is given me, to all that are among 
you not to be more wise than it behoveth to be wise, but 
to be wise unto sobriety, according as God hath divided to 
every one the measure of faith. 2Q5 He also writes that it 
is God who gives unity in the true faith and concord in 
praising God. Noio,, he says, the God of patience and com- 
fort grant you to be of one mind, one towards another, 
according to Jesus Christ, that with one mind and with 
one mouth you may glorify God and the Father of our 
Lord Jesus C/irisL 296 And further: Now the God of hope 
fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may 
abound in hope and in the power of the Holy Spirit. 297 This 
text teaches that not only faith, but also joy and peace 
and abundance of hope cannot be had except through the 
power of the Holy Spirit. 

Again, when writing to the Ephesians the Apostle men- 
tions the riches of grace which returns good for evil; and, 
speaking of faith which is not our conquest but God's 
gift, he says: But God, who is rich in mercy, for His ex- 
ceeding charity wherewith He loved us even when we were 
dead in sins, hath quickened us up together in Christ, by 
whose grace we are saved, and hath raised us up together 
and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places, 
through Christ Jesus. . . . For by grace you are saved 
through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift 


of God; not of works, that no man may glory. For we are 
His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus in good works 
which God hath prepared that we should walk in them. 29B 
The new creation, then, that rises from grace causes them 
who are God's handiwork and who through a heavenly 
birth are established in Christ, not to indulge in an idle 
life nor to yield to slothfulness, but rather to advance from 
virtue to virtue along the path of good works. That is the 
meaning of being "His handiwork," of being changed from 
the old creation to the new, of being reformed from the 
likeness of the earthly man into the likeness of the heav- 
enly one. This may be done visibly through such as co- 
operate with grace, or in a hidden manner through the 
ministry of the Spirit. In either case beginning, increase, 
and completion are the work of Him whose husbandry, 
whose building, 29Sa whose handiwork we are. 


Grace is the source of all good in man. Faith is 

given unasked and enables us to obtain 

in prayer all other blessings. 

This evidence from Scripture and we could gather 
many other textsdemonstrates abundantly, I think, that 
faith which justifies a sinner cannot be had except for 
God's gift, and that it is not a reward for previous merits. 299 
Rather is it given that it may be a source of merit, and 
while it is itself given unprayed for, the prayers it inspires 
obtain 30 all other favours. To prove this some texts out of 


many must be cited which will show the bounty of grace 
In the variety of its gifts. To begin with,, it is God who 
causes a man to choose God's way or to rise from a fall, 
as we read in the Psalm in which David sings: By the 
Lord shall the steps of a man be directed, and he shall like 
well His way. When he shall fall, he shall not be bruised, 
for the Lord putteth His hand under him. 301 He also says 
that God guides men to come to God: Send forth Thy 
light and Thy truth: they have conducted me and brought 
me into Thy holy hill and into Thy tabernacles* 02 He 
says likewise that a man's strength rests in the Lord, and 
that God's will takes the initiative in a man's liberation: 
I will keep my strength to Thee, for Thou, God, art my 
protector. My God, His will shall prevent me. 303 

In the Proverbs we also read about wisdom and under- 
standing: Because the Lord giveth wisdom, and out of 
His face cometh knowledge and understanding. 30 * In the 
same book again it is stated regarding the dispensations of 
God's wisdom without which no actions are righteous: 
Counsel and protection is mine; I am prudence, strength 
is mine. By me the kings reign and tyrants by me occupy 
the earth* 05 Again, elsewhere it is said that no one can 
walk along the right path except through the Lord's guid- 
ance: The steps of man are guided by the Lord. But who 
is the mortal that can understand his own ways? 30G Else- 
where, again, Every man seemeth right to himself; but the 
Lord guideth the hearts. 307 And further, The will is 
prepared by the Lord. 303 Likewise in the same book we 
read about human thought and counsel, There are many 
thoughts in the heart of man; but the counsel of the Lord 
prevaileth 3 

In the Book of Ecclesiastes we find it written that both 


to have what we need and to make good use of It is given 
us by God: This only is good for man, that he ate and 
drank, and he showeth the good of his soul in his labour. 
And of all this I have seen that it conies from God's hand. 
For who shall eat and be nourished without Him? 31 Again 
in the same book we read that the hearts and the works of 
the just are in God's hand and that they succeed in their 
pursuits in the measure He grants success: However much 
a man shall labour to seek, he shall not find; and whatso- 
ever the wise man shall say that he knoweth, he shall not 
be able to find. . . . Because all this he has put in my heart 
and my heart hath seen all this, because just men and wise 
men and their works are in the hand of God. 311 

In the Book of Wisdom it is said about the same work 
of grace: Because He is also the guide of wisdom and the 
director of the wise. For in His hands are both we, and 
our words, and all wisdom, and the knowledge and skill 
of works* 12 The same book speaks of continence as being 
a favour which God bestows on man: As / knew that 
I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, and 
this also was a point of wisdom, to know whose gift it 
was. 313 The teaching of the Apostle Paul is in agreement 
with this opinion when he writes, in the First Epistle to 
the Corinthians: For I would that all men were even as 
myself. But every one hath his proper gift from God: one 
after this manner, another after that* 1 * Our Lord also 
insinuates the same about the gift of continence as related 
in the Gospel according to Matthew. When His disciples 
said, If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not ex- 
pedient to marry, Jesus answered, Not all men take this 
word, but they to whom it is given. 515 

Of the fear of God and of wisdom we read in Ecclesias- 


ticus: The fear of the Lord is a crown of wisdom, . . . hut 
both are gifts of God 316 Also in the same book: The fear 
of the Lord hath set itself above all things. Blessed is he 
to whom it is given to have the fear of God. 317 Isaias, too, 
speaks of the spiritual riches of which the Lord is the 
Author, in these words: Our salvation cometh with trea- 
sureswisdom, piety, and instruction from the Lord: these 
are the treasures of justice* 18 Likewise about the depth of 
the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God whose 
goodness no man's merit can outstrip, he says: Who hath 
measured the waters in His hand and weighed the heavens 
with His palm and the whole earth with the hollow of 
His hand? Who hath placed the mountains in scales and 
the hills in a balance? Who hath known the sense of the 
Lord, or who hath been His counsellor who advised Him? 
Or with whom hath He consulted, and who hath in- 
structed Him? Or who hath shown Him judgment, or 
shown Him the way of understanding? Or who hath 
given Him first, that he would be given in return?* 1 
Further in the Book of Job we read in the same sense the 
words of the Lord: Who hath given me before that I 
should repay him? All things that are under heaven are 

mine* 20 

Jeremias, explaining that man receives wisdom from 
God, states as follows: I know, O Lord, that the way of a 
man is not his; neither is it of a man ... to direct his 
way. 321 Again the Lord proclaims through the same 
Prophet that God operates the conversion of a heart to 
God, and says: / will bring them again into this land. 
And I will build them up again and not pull them down; 
and I will plant them and not pluck them up. And I will 
give them a heart to know me., that I am the Lord; and 


they shall be my people and I will be their God; because 
they shall return to me with their whole heart. 322 Baruch 
also proclaims that knowledge of God comes from God. 
And they shall know., he says, that I am the Lord their 
God; and I will give them a heart to understand, and ears 
to hear* 2 * 

In the First Epistle to the Corinthians the Apostle Paul 
teaches that every good word and every holy action is 
inspired by the Holy Spirit, without whom we can do 
nothing that is right. He says: Wherefore., I give you to 
understand that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, 
saith Anathema to Jesus. And no man can say The Lord 
Jesus, but by the Holy Spirit. Now there are diversities of 
graces, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of 
ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities 
of operations, but the same God who worketh all in all. 
And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man 
unto profit. To one indeed, by the Spirit is given the word 
of wisdom; and to another, the word of knowledge accord- 
ing to the same Spirit; to another, faith in the same Spirit; 
to another, the grace of healing in the same Spirit; . . . 
to another, prophecy; to another, the discerning of spirits; 
to another, diverse kinds of tongues; to another, interpreta- 
tion of speeches. But all these things one and the same 
Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as He 

The same Apostle, writing to the Ephesians, states that 
each one possesses that much of grace as the Lord gives 
him: One body and one Spirit: as you are called in one 
hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. 
One God and Father of all, who is above all men, and 
above all things, and in us all. But to every one of us is 


given grace according to the measure of the giving of 
Christ. Wherefore He saith: "Ascending on high, He 
led captivity captive; He gave gifts to men." 325 The same 
again in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians says that 
we are not able even to conceive a spiritual thought ex- 
cept with God's grace: And such confidence we have,, 
through Christ, towards God. Not that we are sufficient 
to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves; but our 
sufficiency is from God. Who also hath made us fit min- 
isters of the new testament, not in the letter, but in the 
spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit quickeneth. B2B 
And again in the same epistle he teaches that God's grace 
gives efficacy and sufficiency to good works. He states: 
And God is able to make all grace abound in you, that ye 
through all having sufficiently in all things, may abound 
to every good work, as it is written: "He hath dispersed 
abroad, He hath given to the poor; His justice remaineth 
for ever." And He that ministereth seed to the sower, will 
both give you bread to eat ... and increase the growth of 
the fruits of your justice, that being enriched in all things, 
you may abound unto all simplicity. 327 

When writing to the Ephesians, the Apostle teaches 
them that all good things by which man pleases God are 
His gifts, and that they have to beg Him to bestow them 
on all who have not received them yet. He says: For this 
cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is 
named, that He would grant you might according to the 
riches of His glory, that you might be strengthened by 
His Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell by 
faith in your hearts; that, being rooted and confirmed in 
charity, you may be able to comprehend with all the 


saints, what is the breadth and length, height and depth; 
to know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all 
knowledge; that you may be filled unto all the fulness of 
God. Now to Him who is able to do all things more 
abundantly than we desire or understand, according to 
the power that worketh in us: to Him be glory in the 
Church and in Christ Jesus, world without end. Amen. 328 

That the author of all good is God whose gifts, neither 
uncertain nor changeable, flow from His eternal will, the 
Apostle James states as follows: Do not err, my dear breth- 
ren. Every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there 
is no change nor shadow of alteration. For of His own 
will hath He begotten us by the word of truth, that we 
might be some beginning of His creature^ And the 
prophet Zacharias agrees with him when he says: And 
the Lord will save His people in that day as sheep; for holy 
stones shall be rolled over His land. For whatever is good 
is His, and whatever is best, comes from Him. 830 

In the Gospel according to Matthew it is said that 
knowledge and understanding are gifts of God which He 
grants to whomsoever He pleases: Then His disciples 
came and said to Him: Why speakest Thou to them in 
parables? But He answered and said to them: Because to 
you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of 
heaven; but to them it is not given. 3 * 1 John the Evangelist 
also proclaims that no man possesses any good which he 
has not received from on high. A man, he says, cannot 
receive anything unless it be given him from heaven. 332 
In the same Gospel the Truth itself teaches that no one 
comes to the Son except drawn to Him by the Father, for 
it is God who bestows on any man that is to come to Him, 


both understanding and willingness. He says: No man 
can come to me, except the Pather, who hath sent me, 
draw him; and I will raise him up in the last day. For it 
is written in the Prophets: "And they shall all be taught 
of God." Every one that hath heard of the Father and 
hath learned, cometh to me; 333 and further. Therefore did 
I say to you that no man can come to me, unless it be given 
him by my Father. 3 ** 

The authority of Sacred Scripture confirms that a di- 
vine gift and a divine help is necessary for man to make 
progress in faith and good works and to persevere in them 
till the end. Thus the Apostle Paul, writing to the Philip- 
pians, says: Being confident of this very thing: that He 
who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it unto 
the day of Christ Jesus. 335 Some one wanted to explain 
this text so as to prove from it his own perverse teaching; 
he wanted the text which reads, who hath begun in you, 
to be understood as though it read, who hath begun 
"from" you? m Thus he attributed both the beginning and 
the completion of a work not to God but to man, whose 
will would be responsible for such a beginning and com- 
pletion. 337 But in the same epistle the great preacher of 
grace shatters this most insane pride, saying: In nothing 
be ye terrified by the adversaries: which to them is a 
cause of perdition, but to you of salvation, and this from 
God. For unto you it is given for Christ, not only to be- 
lieve in Him, but also to suffer for Him. 338 And again he 
says: With fear and trembling work out your salvation. 
For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to 
work, according to His good un//. 339 Likewise in his First 
Epistle to the Thessalonians he teaches that the begin- 
ning, progress, and perfection of every virtue come from 


God, saying: Now God himself and our Father and the 
Lord Jesus direct our way unto you. And may the Lord 
multiply you and make you abound in charity towards 
one another and towards all men, as we do also towards 
you. To confirm your hearts without blame, in holiness, 
before God and our Father, at the coming of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, with all His saints. 340 When writing to the 
Corinthians, too, and declaring that progress and perse- 
verance in every virtue is a gift of God, he says: I give 
thanks to my God always for you, for the grace of God 
that is given you in Christ Jesus: that in all things you are 
made rich in' Him, in all utterance and wisdom; as the 
testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that nothing 
is wanting to you in any grace, waiting for the manifesta- 
tion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who also will confirm you 
unto the end without crime for the day of the coming 
of the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 * 1 

Again, writing to the Romans, he speaks about the 
charity of Christ by which He makes unconquerable those 
whom He loves, that is makes them persevere till the 
end (for, what else is it to persevere but not to be over- 
come by temptation?): Who shall separate us from the 
love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecu- 
tion, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or the sword? (As 
it is written: cc For Thy sake, we are put to death all the 
day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.") 
But in all these things we overcome through Him that 
hath loved us. 342 Likewise to the Corinthians he speaks 
about the victory won by Christ: The sting of death is 
sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, 
who hath given us the victory through Jesus Christ our 
Lord 343 To the Thessalonians, too, he states about per- 


severance as a gift of God: And may the God of peace 
Himself sanctify you in all things: that your whole spirit 
and soul and body may be preserved blameless for the 
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is faithful who hath 
called you, who will also do it. 344 To the Thessalonians 
again, to explain that all good either in deeds or in words, 
and perseverance in it, is a gift of God, he says: Now our 
Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who hath 
loved us and hath given us everlasting consolation and 
good hope in grace, exhort your hearts and confirm you 
in every good work and word. For the rest, brethren, pray 
for us, that the word of the Lord may run and may be 
glorified, even as among you; and that we may be delivered 
from importunate and evil men, for not all men have 
faith. But God is faithful, who will strengthen and keep 
you from evil** 5 

Let us also listen to what the Apostle Peter teaches 
about the source of our strength for perseverance; he says: 
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His 
eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a 
little, will Himself perfect you and confirm you and es- 
tablish you; to whom belongs strength and power, for 
ever and ever. Amen. 346 And the Apostle John, explaining 
that the victory of the saints is the work of God living in 
the saints, says: You are of God, little children, and have 
overcome the world; because greater is He that is in you, 
than he that is in the world. 3 * 7 And the same again: 
Whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world. And 
this is the victory which overcometh the world: our 
faith. B4S In the Gospel according to Luke it is brought out 
that it is God who gives perseverance in faith, in these 
words: And Jesus said to Peter: Simon, Simon, behold 


Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as 
wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: 
and thou, being converted, confirm thy brethren, and pray 
lest you enter into temptation. 349 

Also in the Gospel of John we read the Truth saying of 
Christ's sheep whom no one can snatch from His hand: 
But you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep. 
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them; and they fol- 
low me. And I give them life everlasting; and they shall 
not perish for ever, and no man shall pluck them out of 
my hand. 350 Likewise in the same Gospel we hear from 
the mouth of the Lord Himself, when He speaks of those 
whom the Father gives to the Son and who all come to the 
Son and of whom no one is lost: All that the Father 
giveth to me, cometh to me; and him that cometh to me, 
I will not cast him out. Because I am come down from 
heaven, not to do my will, but the will of Him that sent 
me, the Father, . . . that of all that He hath given me, I 
should lose nothing, but raise it up again in the last 


The problem why one man receives grace rather 

than another we cannot solve; the answer 

does not lie with their free will. 

There are 352 many other passages in the canonical 
Scriptures which we have omitted intentionally for brev- 
ity's sake. The texts we have cited are not few, neither 


are they equivocal or unimportant. They state quite 
plainly that whatever has to do with merit unto eternal 
life, can neither be begun nor increased nor be completed 
without God's grace. On the contrary, all pride that 
boasts of free will, bows down before the famous and un- 
answerable question of the Apostle: For who distin- 
guishes thee? Or what hast thou that thou hast not re- 
ceived? And if thou hast received, why dost thou glory, 
as if thou hadst not received it? 353 Accordingly, this 
profound problem of which we confess with the awe- 
struck Apostle 354 that it cannot be fathomed, is not solved 
by appealing to the acts of the free will. 355 For, although 
it lies in a man's power to reject what is good, yet, unless 
it is given him, he is unable by himself to choose this 
good. 356 The power to do the former was contracted by 
our nature with original sin; but nature has to receive the 
ability to do the latter from grace. 

Nature is the same in all men, guilty and wretched in 
all before its reconciliation. Not all men are justified and 
only a certain part of them are set apart from the repro- 
bate by Him who is come to seek and save that which was 
lost* 57 But why this is so, our human intellect can in no 
way find out. You may point ever so much to the wicked- 
ness of the unbelievers, their resistence to God's grace: 
will this prove that they to whom grace is given have 
merited it? Or has this same grace, which subjected to 
itself whom it pleased, remained powerless to convert also 
them that have remained unconvertible? Those who were 
won by grace had the same nature as they who were left 
in their hardness of heart. To the first, amazing grace 
granted what it pleased, to the second, just truth rendered 
their due. Actually, God's judgments are still more in- 


scrutable when His grace chooses the elect than when His 
justice punishes the reprobate. 

But we may not leave the impression that the doctrine 
of our faith 35S according to which we devoutly believe 
that God wills all men to be saved through the recogni- 
tion of the truth 3 is weakened by what we have explained 
and proved about the effects of grace. 359 For that reason 
we must try to show, with the help of Christ, that this 
doctrine stands unassailable. But because an amount of 
research is necessary for what is a formidable task, let 
us undertake the discussion that is still to follow with 
the beginning of our Second Book. 



Three points are certain in this matter: God wills 

all men to be saved, the knowledge of truth 

and salvation is due to grace, and 

God's judgments are inscrutable. 

If we give up completely all wrangling that springs up 
in the heat of immoderate disputes, it will be clear that 
we must hold for certain three points concerning the 
problem on which we begin our Second Book. 1 First, we 
must confess that God wills all men to be saved and to 
come to the knowledge of truth. 2 Secondly, there can be 
no doubt that all who actually come to the knowledge 3 
of the truth and to salvation, do so not in virtue of their 
own merits but of the efficacious help of divine grace. 4 
Thirdly, we must admit that human understanding is 
unable to fathom the depths of God's judgments, and we 
ought not to inquire why He who wishes all men to be 
saved does not in fact save all. 5 For if we do not search 
into what we cannot know, 6 then we shall have no dif- 
ficulty in reconciling the first point with the second, but 
we shall be able to preach and to believe them both with 
the security of an undisturbed faith. God indeed in whom 
there is no injustice 7 and all of whose ways are mercy and 
truth, 8 is the beneficent Creator of all men and their just 
Ruler. He condemns no one without guilt and saves no 
one for his merits. When He chastises the guilty, He 
punishes our demerits, and when He makes us just, He 


7 14 


bestows of His own gifts. 9 Thus the mouth is stopped of 
them that speak wicked things 10 and God is justified in 
His words and overcomes when He is judged. 11 The con- 
demned cannot complain in justice that they did not de- 
serve punishment, nor can the justified truthfully claim 
that they have merited grace. 

Scripture teaches that God wills all men to be saved. 

We must not profane with our human dialectics the 
texts quoted from the divine Scriptures 12 to explain what 
grace is; that would be to drag so many clear and con- 
cordant statements into the uncertainty of a misleading 
interpretation. In the same way, no argumentation to the 
contrary must defile what we find in the same body of 
Scripture about the salvation of all men. Rather, the 
more difficult is its understanding the more praiseworthy 
will the faith be that believes. 13 That assent is indeed 
very strong whose motive is derived from authority as a 
sufficient proof of truth, even though the why of things 
remain hidden. 

Let us, then, carefully examine the behest which our 
Lord makes to the preachers of the gospel According to 
Matthew, He says: All power is given to me in heaven and 
in earth. Going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing 
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the 
Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatso- 


ever I have commanded you. And behold I am wllh you 
all days, even to the consummation of the world. 1 * Ac- 
cording to Mark, He speaks thus to the same Apostles: 
Go ye into the world and preach the gospel to every crea- 
ture, and he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; 
but he that believeth not shall be condemned. 15 

Does this command make a difference between any 
peoples or any individuals? No, He welcomed no one 
for his merits, singled out no one for his birth, made no 
distinction with anyone because of his social state. The 
gospel of the Cross of Christ was extended to all men 
without exception. And that no one should consider the 
ministry of the preachers as but a merely human enter- 
prise, He said, Behold I am with you all days, even to the 
consummation of the world. lQ That is, when you will 
go like sheep in the midst of wolves, 17 do not be afraid on 
account of your weakness; have confidence in my power, 
for I shall not forsake you in this great mission till the 
end of the world. Not that you will have nothing to suf- 
fer; but what is much greater, I shall give you strength 
that you may not be overcome by any cruelty of savage 
tyrants. For you will preach with my power; and through 
me it will come about that from among your opponents 
and persecutors sons of Abraham will be raised up from 
the very stones. 18 I shall instil my doctrine, I shall ac- 
complish my promise. For they will deliver you up in 
councils and they will scourge you in their synagogues. 
And you shall stand before kings and governors for my 
sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But 
when they shall deliver you up, take no thought how or 
what to speak. . . . For it is not you that speak, but the 
Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you. The brother 


also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father 
the son; and "the children shall raise up against their 
parents" and shall put them to death. And you shall 
be hated by all men, for my name's sake. But he that 
shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved. 19 

Therefore, as the Apostle says, the grace of God our 
Saviour hath appeared to all men; 20 and yet the minis- 
ters of His grace were hated by all. There were those 
who hated on the one hand, and on the other, those who 
were oppressed by the hatred of their persecutors; but 
neither group was excluded in the term "all men," even 
though the class of the rebels suffered the loss of their sal- 
vation, while the faithful in their privileged condition 
were accounted a totality. 21 For the Apostle John says: 
But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, 
Jesus Christ the Just. And He is the propitiation for our 
sins; and not for our sins only, but also for those of the 
whole world. 22 


We cannot know why God decreed to 
delay the call of some nations. 

We find the sign of a great and ineffable mystery 23 in 
the fact that the same preachers to whom our Lord said, 
Go ye into the whole world and preach the Gospel to 
every creature? 4 ' had first been commanded: Go ye not 
into the way of the Gentiles, and into the city of the Sa- 
maritans enter ye not. But go ye rather to the lost sheep 


of the house of Israel. 25 For though the call of the Gospel 
was addressed to all men, and the Lord willed all men to 
be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth, 26 yet He 
had not taken from Himself the power over His own rul- 
ings so that His decree would come into effect otherwise 
than He had decided in His hidden and just judgment. 27 
We can, therefore, have no just reason for murmuring 
or for insolent complaints, since it is evident that what 
God has decreed had not to happen in any other man- 
ner than He decided. At a later time when the Lord 
Jesus was already sitting in the glory of God the Father 
and when the preachers of God's word were discharging 
their mission, the Apostles intended to preach the Gospel 
in Asia, but they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit 28 
And when they attempted to go into Bithynia, the Spirit 
of Jesus suffered them not; 2Q not because grace was re- 
fused to those peoples, but, as far as we can see, it was 
only delayed. In fact, later the Christian faith grew 
from strength to strength among them as well. 

We do not see the reason why God delayed their call. 
Even so, this historical fact is an object lesson. We learn 
that among the things which God ordinarily promises, 
designs, or orders, He makes some exceptions to the com- 
mon laws, and in His wisdom ordains them in a more 
mysterious manner. I think it is His purpose to bring 
out more strikingly the mysterious clarity of His design 
by contrast with some things veiled in obscurity. 30 He 
does not want our investigation to become slothful when 
we find the truth without much effort, as when we are 
lulled into security by familiar objects unless something 
unusual crops up to awaken us. At any rate, we know 
that these incomprehensible delays of enlightenment take 


place, and that meanwhile many actually die in unbe- 
lief, not only among the distant nations of infidels, but 
even in the cities of the faithful in numerous houses and 
families as long as they who will eventually be Christians 
are adverse to the Christian faith. For many will love 
what they now hate, and will preach what they now re- 
fuse to accept. 

Faced with these facts, who will tell the querulous and 
the curious why the Sun of Justice 31 still does not rise 
for some peoples; why the Truth that will shine on them 
one day, still keeps back its rays from their hearts 
shrouded in darkness? 32 Why are future converts al- 
lowed to continue in their errors for so long? Why are 
aged men refused during a long lifetime the light which 
they see in the end? Why do parents not yet have the 
faith when their children already believe in Christ? Again, 
why the disparity of devout parents having a wicked off- 
spring? But it is at God's own behest that prayers are 
offered for all men every day 33 to Him who gives to all 
the beginning of faith and progress in it: therefore, we 
must know and understand that when He hears these 
prayers, His mercy grants a gratuitous gift; and when 
He does not, then His judgment remains truthful. 



In past ages God's goodness drew all men to His worship 

through things created, but Israel in a special 

way through the Law and the Prophets. 

Not even in the past ages 34 was the world without 
this same grace, which after the Resurrection of our Lord 
Jesus Christ has spread everywhere and of which Scrip- 
ture says. Thy lightnings enlightened the world. 35 It 
is true that God's special care and mercy chose the people 
of Israel as His own, while all the other nations were 
left to walk in their own ways* Q that is, to live according 
to their own choosing. Yet the eternal goodness of their 
Creator did not turn away from them so as not to ad- 
monish them with some tokens of His own, of their duty 
to know and fear Him. Indeed, the heavens and the 
earth, the sea and every creature that man can see or 
know, is for the service of mankind; and chiefly for this 
purpose, that the rational beings, when contemplating 
so many beautiful things, enjoying so many good gifts, 
receiving so many favours, must needs learn to worship 
and love the Author of them all. The Spirit of God in 
whom we live and move and are* 7 fills the whole world. 
For although salvation is far from sinners* 8 yet nothing 
is devoid of His saving presence and power. 

Thus, as the Prophet says, The earth is full of the 
Lord's mercy* which has never forsaken any ages or 
any generations. He ever shows His Providence by which 
He governs and sustains the whole universe when He 


rules and feeds all living creatures. In the eternity of His 
immutable design He has settled what He would dispense 
at each particular age and by which gifts and mysteries 40 
He would unfold the inscrutable and unsearchable 
rhythm of His multiform grace. The very wealth of His 
grace which in these times has flowed over to the Gen- 
tiles must not make us forget the grace which under the 
Law bedewed Israel alone, and the present riches do not 
dispense us from believing in the past scarcity. Likewise 
God's particular care by which He guided the sons of 
the Patriarchs in the right path must not make one fancy 
that the ruling of the divine mercy was withheld from 
all other men. Compared with the chosen people, they 
may look like castaways, but in fact they never were de- 
nied God's manifest and hidden mercies. -Indeed, we 
read in the Acts of the Apostles that the Apostles Paul 
and Barnabas said to the Lycaonians: Ye men, why do 
ye these things? We also are mortals, men like unto you, 
preaching to you to be converted from these vain things 
to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth 
and the sea and all things that are in them; who in times 
past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Never- 
theless, He left not Himself without testimony, doing them 
good, from heaven giving rains and fruitful seasons, filling 
our hearts with food and gladness. 41 

Now, what else is this testimony, always at the Lord's 
command and never silent about His goodness and 
power/ 2 except the unspeakable beauty of the whole 
world and the rich and orderly dispensation of His count- 
less 4S mercies? These offered to the hearts of men tables, 
as it were, of the Eternal Law where they could read in the 
pages of the created things and the volumes of the un- 


folding ages the universal and common doctrine God 
was teaching them. The heavens and all the things in 
the heavens, the sea and the earth and all that is in them 
in the perfect harmony of their beauty and order, proclaim 
the glory of God and in ceaseless preaching speak of the 
majesty of their Maker. In spite of all this, the greater 
number of men who were left to walk in the ways of their 
own choice, did not understand nor follow this Law. The 
vivifying fragrance that breathed life became for them 
a deadly odour unto death, 44 so that we learned also of 
these testimonies of the visible world that the letter kill- 
eth, but the spirit quickeneth 4 * Thus, what the promul- 
gation of the Law and the preaching of the Prophets did 
for Israel, that the testimony of the whole creation with 
all the wonders of God's goodness wrought at all times 
for all nations. 


The Gentiles who pleased God were singled out by 
a gratuitous spirit of faith. 

Within the people of Israel which was guided by both 
these teachings of things created and of the Law and 
Prophets no one could be justified except through grace 
in a spirit of faith. 46 Who, then, would doubt that all men, 
at all times, from whatever nation, who were able to please 
God, had been singled out by the breath of God's grace? 47 
That grace, it is true, was more sparingly given 48 and 
less apparent among the Gentiles; but it was not denied 
to any nation always one and the same in its power, 
though varying in measure; immutable in its design, 
though multiform in its effects. 49 



Even in our times grace is not given to all 
men in the same measure. 

Even in our own day when streams of ineffable gifts 
flood the whole world, grace is not bestowed on all men 
in the same measure and intensity. Though the minis- 
ters of the word and of God's grace preach the same truth 
to all and address to all the same exhortations, yet this is 
God's husbandry and God's building, and it is He whose 
power invisibily acts and gives growth to what they build 
or cultivate. 50 The Apostle attests this in these words: 
What, then, is Apollo, and what is Paul? The ministers 
of Him whom you have believed; and to every one as the 
Lord hath given. I have planted, Apollo watered; but 
God hath given the increase. Therefore, neither he that 
planteth is anything, nor he that watereth; but God that 
giveth the increase. Now, he that planteth and he that 
watereth, are one. And every man shall receive his own 
reward, according to his own labour. For we are God's 
coadjutors; you are God's husbandry, you are God's 
building. 51 

In this husbandry and this building every man is a 
helper, a workman and a minister, in the measure of the 
Lord's gift. And they who are tended by the toil of the 
ministers, progress in the very measure in which the 
Author of all growth raises them; for in the Lord's field 
the plants are not all uniformly developed nor is there 


one kind of plants only. Again, although the structure 
of the whole temple makes for all the beauty that it has, 
yet the places and functions of the stones that go into 
it, are not the same for all; just as in one body all mem- 
bers have not the same function, as the Apostle says 
But now God hath set the members., and every one of 
them as it hath pleased Him. 52 


The inequality of the divine gifts does not come 

from the merits of preceding works, 

but from God's liberality. 

The same Teacher explains from where all the mem- 
bers of the body derive their fitness, function, and beauty 
in these words: Wherefore, I give you to understand that 
no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith Anathema 
to Jesus. And no man can say The Lord Jesus, but by the 
Holy Spirit. Now, there are diversities of graces, but the 
same Spirit. And there are diversities of ministers, but the 
same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but 
the same God who worketh all in all. And the manifes- 
tation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit. To 
one indeed, by the Spirit is given the word of wisdom; 
and to another, the word of knowledge according to the 
same Spirit; to another, faith in the same Spirit; to an- 
other, the grace of healing in the same Spirit; to another, 
the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another, 
the discerning of spirits; to another, diverse kinds of 


tongues; to another, interpretation of speeches. But all 
these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to 
every one according as He will. 5B Considering this crystal- 
clear preaching of the Teacher of the Gentiles, who could 
find a reason or a pretext to doubt that we receive the 
seed of all virtues from God? Who but a consummate 
fool would complain of the differences in the divine gifts, 
or fancy that it is due to unequally distributed merits 
when the divine liberality does not give the same graces 
to all? For if the distribution of His favours were regu- 
lated by the merits of the antecedent works of men, then 
the Apostle would not end his list of divine gifts with the 
conclusion. But all these things, one and the same Spirit 
worketh, dividing to every one according as He will. 5 * If 
in this passage he had wanted to say that merit is the 
determining factor, he would have said, "dividing to each 
according as they deserve"; just as He promised those who 
plant and water, the reward of their toil by saying, And 
every man shall receive his own reward? according to his 
own labour. 55 


Every one receives with no merit on his part the means 

of gaining merit Having received grace, he is 

expected to increase this gift through 

Him who gives the increase. 

Every one receives with no merit on his part the means 
of gaining merit, and before he has done any work what- 
ever, he is given the dignity 56 thanks to which his work 


will deserve a reward. This fact may also be gathered 
from the teaching of the Gospel truth, where it is said 
in the parable: A man going into a far country called his 
servants and delivered to them his substance; and to one 
he gave five talents, and to another two., and to another 
one, to each one according to his proper ability 57 ~ that 
is, according to his own innate ability and not according 
to his own deserts. For it is one thing to be able to work 
and another to work, one thing to be able to have charity 
and another to have it, one thing to be capable of conti- 
nence, justice, wisdom and another to be continent, just, 
and wise. And so not every man that can be remade is 
actually remade, and not every man who can be healed 
is actually restored to health; for only the possibility of 
restoration or healing is given with nature, but it is grace 
that actually remakes or heals. 58 Finally, when the dis- 
tributor of his goods entrusted an unequal number of 
talents to his servants according to their abilities which 
he foresaw, 59 he was not giving them a reward for merit 
but material to work with. On the two alert and enter- 
prising servants he not only bestowed high praise but 
he also ordered them to enter into the eternal joy of 
their Lord. 60 But he punished the lazy life and listless 
negligence of the third servant so as not only to disgrace 
him with reproach and censure, but to deprive him of the 
share he had received. 61 For, as he had not practised 
charity, he deserved to lose a faith that bore no fruit in 

In the discourse that follows and which exposes very 
clearly the procedure of the future judgment, we read 
that when the Son of man shall sit upon the seat of His 
majesty and all the nations shall be gathered before it, 



He will place some on His right hand and others on His 
left. Those at His right He will praise for their works 
of charity, while to those on His left He will make no 
other reproach than their neglect of mercy and kindness. 63 
They also had received the faith but they did not prac- 
tise charity; they will be condemned not for not having 
preserved, but for not having increased the gift they had 
received. 64 For, though all good things are gifts of God, 
yet some are granted unasked in order 65 that with these, 
men may pursue what they have not yet been given. The 
seed that is cast into the earth is not sown in order that 
it should remain there alone, but that it may bear fruit 
and multiply. 66 Its growth, however, comes from Him 
who giveth the increase. 67 And when the living earth 
of the rational soul has been fertilised by the rain of 
grace, it is able to increase, as it is expected to do, the 
gifts it has received. 68 


We must not seek the reason why God dispenses 
His grace differently in different ages. 

We have, I believewith the Lord's help treated this 
whole question satisfactorily. Let us, then, after this di- 
gression return to our subject, namely, to the consider- 
ation of the differences we find in the effects and gifts of 
divine grace. 69 The depth of the riches of the wisdom and 
of the knowledge of God, whose judgments are inscru- 
table and whose ways unsearchable has always so tem- 
pered His mercy and His justice that according to the 


most hidden decree of His eternal design He did not wish 
to give equal measures of grace at all times to all genera- 
tions or to all individual men. In fact. He chose to help 
in one way those men whom He invited to His knowl- 
edge through the testimony of the heavens and the earth. 
In another way He chose to help those of whom He took 
care not only with the service of created things, but also 
with the doctrine of the Law, the oracles of the Prophets, 
the language of miracles, and the help of the angels. 

But He has shown His mercy for all men in a far more 
extraordinary manner when the Son of God became the 
Son of man, so that He could be found by those who did 
not seek Him and be seen by those who did not call upon 
Him. 71 Since then the glory of the race of Israel shines 
not in one people only. To Abraham a numerous poster- 
ity is born among all nations under the heavens. The 
promised heritage falls no longer to the sons of the flesh, 
but to the sons of the promise. 72 The great parsimony in 
bestowing grace which in the past ages befell all other na- 
tions, is now the lot of the Jewish people. Yet, when the 
fulness of the Gentiles will have come in, then a flood 
of the same waters of grace is promised for their dry 
hearts. 73 Who will tell the reasons and motives of these 
differences within one and the same grace when Sacred 
Scripture is silent about them? When the Apostle Paul 
stopped in his knowledge and discussion of this problem 
and gave way to utter astonishment, 74 who would be so 
presumptuous as to believe that he could try and explain 
it rather than admire it in silence? 75 



Throughout the centuries God's mercy provided food for 
the bodies of men and help for their souls. 

Let us, then, with patience and in peace of soul remain 
ignorant of a secret that is withheld from our human 
knowledge. 76 We must not, however, because we cannot 
penetrate into what is closed to us, fail to enter into that 
which lies open to us. For many evidences from the di- 
vine Scriptures and the uninterrupted experience of all 
ages have made it clear that God's just mercy and mer- 
ciful justice never ceased to provide food for the bodies 
of men and direction and help for their minds. At all 
times He has rained upon the good and the bad and made 
His sun rise upon the just and the unjust. 77 At all times 
He has given the life-giving air, regulated the alternations 
of day and night, granted fertility to the fields, growth to 
the seeds, and fecundity for the propagation of mankind. 
If at times He withdrew any of these things, then He 
meant to chastise with fatherly correction the unwilling- 
ness and sloth of men who misused them, intending that 
in adversity they should seek His mercy when in pros- 
perity they forgot the fear of His justice. 

Finally, if we go back to the very beginning of the 
world, we shall find that the Spirit of God was the guide 
of all the saints who lived before the deluge and who 
were on account of His guidance called sons of God; be- 
cause, as the Apostle says, Whosoever are led by the 
Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 78 When these 


men paid no attention to the religion of their fathers and 
contracted forbidden marriages with the reprobate/ 9 and 
when they were judged worthy of extermination because 
of their wicked alliances, then the Lord said, My Spirit 
shall not remain with these men because they are flesh. 8 
Hence it is clear that this people whose history we find 
narrated there In chronological order, was spiritual at 
first when their wills were guided by the Holy Spirit, 81 
who ruled them in such a manner as not to take away 
from them the possibility of falling into sin. As long as 
this people left this power unused, they did not aban- 
don God nor were they forsaken by Him. They were 
then like the man of whom it is said, Happy he that 
could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed. 82 As 
long, then, as the people remained united with God, they 
did so with a will that God inspired and guided, as we 
read, For the will is prepared by the Lord. 83 


Men acquire slowly and little by little what God's 
liberality has decreed to give them. 

But this preparation does not always follow the same 
process or keep the same rhythm. Because the effects and 
the gifts of grace appear in many ways and in countless 
variations, within the several kinds of gifts there are 
still different degrees and unequal measures. The off- 
shoots of herbs and trees that spring from the earth are 
not all of one species or of one kind, but one and all they 
are shaped according to the pattern of their kind and 

8 14 


the properties of their species; and they do not have their 
full shapeliness as soon as they appear, but develop grad- 
ually and orderly till they reach their own individual 
size through successive stages of growth. In the same 
way the seeds of divine graces and the plants of the vir- 
tues do not spring forth in the field of all human hearts 
in that perfection which they will acquire later; and 
you do not easily find maturity from the beginning or 
perfection from the start. 84 

It is true, the action of the God of power and mercy 
frequently produces marvellous effects, and, without 
awaiting the time required for a gradual progress, at once 
plants in some minds all that He wishes to confer upon 
them. In the loins of Abraham Levi was sanctified 85 and 
with him the whole house of Aaron and the priestly class 
was blessed. 86 In Isaac who was conceived according to 
promise and born against the hope of his aged and sterile 
parents, 87 the call of all the Gentiles and the fulness of 
Christ is prefigured. Jacob without any merits to speak 
for him was beloved and chosen before he was born. 88 
To Jeremias was said: Before I formed thee in the bowels 
of thy mother, 1 knew thee; and before thou earnest forth 
out of the womb I sanctified thee. 89 John, still in the womb 
of his mother Elizabeth, was filled with the Holy Spirit 
and leaped up, 90 and that there might be no one greater 
than him among the sons of women, 91 he awoke to the 
life of grace before that of nature. 

Though other texts of like applicability are not lack- 
ing, we pass them over for brevity's sake. But we meet 
with many more frequent and more numerous cases of 
men to whom the heavenly bounty grows as its gifts are 
granted piecemeal: the reasons for granting further gifts 


are to arise from those already given. Some men receive 
the faith, but are still not without distrust, as, for ex- 
ample, he was aware who said, I do believe, Lord. Help 
my unbelief? 2 The men also who said, Lord, increase our 
faith** felt that diffidence was not fully absent from 
their hearts. Some do not grasp what they believe, and 
many of these remain for a long time confined within 
their simplicity. But many soon receive light to under- 
stand, yet of these not all have an equally firm and 
equally facile power of understanding. And many others 
who apparently have both faith and understanding, yet 
badly lack charity, and they are unable to cling to what 
an enlightened faith makes them see; for man cannot 
persevere for long in what he does not love with his 
whole heart. 94 

Charity itself is not always given in such a way that 
the one who receives it takes in at once all that belongs 
to its perfection. For charity is a love that can be over- 
come by another love, and often enough the love of 
God is stifled by the love of the world; unless, kindled by 
the Holy Spirit, it reaches such a state of fervour, that 
no cold can extinguish it nor any tepidity slacken its ar- 
dour. Indeed, since the sum total of all God's bounty 
and the soul of all virtues is given with this ineffable 
gift, all other gifts are granted us to enable the yearning 
of the faithful soul to strive effectively after perfect char- 
ity. As this is not only from God but is God Himself, 95 
it makes steadfast, persevering, and unconquerable all 
those whom it floods with its delight. But men who do 
not know the sweetness of these waters and still drink 
of the torrents of this world; men who even after touch- 
ing with the lips and tasting of the fountain of life, still 


like to get drunk with the golden cup of Babylon, 96 are 
completely deceived by their own judgment and fall 
through their own fault. If they persist in this slothful- 
ness, they themselves throw off what they had received. 
For without charity it is easy to lose all gifts, which 
same gifts are useless without charity. 97 


When we turn away from God, this is our doing, not 
His ordinance. Man merits by persever- 
ing, because he could fall away. 

Let this brief survey of facts serve as a sure proof that 
God never forsakes any of the faithful who do not first 
turn away from Him, 98 and that His ordinance never 
plans any one's fall. Rather, many who have attained 
the use of reason are left capable of turning away from 
Him that they may be rewarded for not having done so, 
and that the merit of a behaviour which is not possible 
without the help of the Spirit of God, may yet belong to 
man by whose will it could have been absent. This will 
is by itself able to sin, but cannot by itself perform good 
works. 100 Though true virtue is in conformity with his 
nature, still the viciousness that has infected his nature 
following his evil will, 101 cannot be overcome by the 
power of nature but only by grace. 



Before the Flood God's goodness assisted with His 
directions not only the saints but sinners also. 

The Spirit of God guided the first people of God/ 02 
and thanks to the guidance of the Holy Spirit it kept 
away from the intercourse and the ways of the cursed 
and reprobate 10S people. Thus it preserved itself apart and 
free from mixing with carnal men men with whose evil 
deeds God's patience bore up as long as good men could 
please Him by not imitating them. But when the good 
also became corrupted and imitated the wicked, and 
when all mankind in wilful defection from God fell into 
the same sinfulness, then one divine sentence destroyed 
all, as all had fallen into the same ungodliness, except 
only the house of Noe. 

But God's goodness had not been withheld even from 
the men who did not persevere in charity and who from 
the beginning of their history were intoxicated with the 
poison of a devilish envy. When the prince of the wicked 
race, jealous of his saintly brother's merits and with frat- 
ricide in his heart, was planning his murder, the Lord 
deigned to soothe him with fatherly advice; He said to 
Gain: Why hast thou become gloomy? Why is thy 
countenance fallen? Didst not thou y when thou didst 
offer rightly but didst not divide rightly, incur sin? Calm 
down. To thee will be the return therefrom,, and thou 
shalt have dominion over i. 104 "Lay down," He says, 
"thy sadness born from ill will and jealousy, and ex- 


tinguish the flames of thy cruel hatred. Abel did not 
do thee any harm; by pleasing me he did not hurt thee. 
I despised thy offerings on my own judgment, not at his 
wish. For thou didst a good work negligently. Thy obla- 
tion would have been acceptable if thy discernment had 
been right. Knowing to whom thou wert offering, thou 
shouldst have known what to dedicate. Thou didst not 
make a worthy division between me and thyself because 
thou didst reserve for thyself the better things. That was 
thy mistake and thy sin. Calm down and do not be 
agitated against thy innocent brother. Let rather thy guilt 
come back on thee. Do not allow sin to reign in thee, but 
thou thyself rather take command over it. 105 Through 
repentance thou wilt both not fall into a greater sin and 
be cleansed from the one by which thou art sorry for 
having offended me." 

When, therefore, we hear God speaking in this strain 
to Cain, can we have any doubt that He wished and as 
much as was necessary for his conversion 106 worked to 
bring him back to his senses from that frenzy of impiety? 
But Cain's obstinate malice became more inexcusable 
through what should have been its remedy. And, of 
course, God foreknew to what extremes his madness 
would drive him; yet, because of this infallible knowledge 
of God we may not conclude that his criminal will was 
urged on by any necessity to sin. 107 Truly, God could 
have saved Abel and kept him uninjured and untouched 
by Cain's murderous intention and action. But He was 
pleased to allow for the greater glory of His forbearance 
that the momentary frenzy of a wicked man should be- 
come the eternal glory of a just one. 

As for the posterity of the parricide, who will not 


easily see that God's goodness was not withheld from 
them, even though they lived in the same wicked way 
as their forebear? We must but consider what such a 
persevering patience of God, such rich abundance of tem- 
poral goods, and such numerous descendants due to their 
great fecundity could have meant to them. 108 Though 
these divine mercies did not bring any remedy or amend- 
ment of these obdurate sinners, they show, nevertheless, 
that their estrangement was not the effect of a divine 
ordinance but of their own wills. 


At the time of the Flood and afterwards till the coming of 

Christ there were signs of the working of God's 

grace and figures of the miracles of Christian 

grace, although the abundant grace 

which now floods mankind did not 

then flow with such bounty. 

In the preservation of Noe with his sons and their 
wives, 109 who were to be the nursery of all the nations. 
Holy Scripture shows us the revelation of the wonders 
of divine grace. The ark of astounding capacity, which 
sheltered as many animals of all species as would be 
needed for the restoration of their kind, is the figure of 
the Church which is to assemble into herself the whole 
of mankind. In the wood and the water we see disclosed 
the Redemption through the Cross of Christ and the 


laver of regeneration. Those who were saved from the 
world-wide destruction symbolize the chosen fulness of 
all nations. 110 In them the gift of fecundity is renewed 
and the freedom to eat what they please is broadened, 
excluding only strangled things and blood; 1U and in the 
token of a many-coloured rainbow, that is, the symbol 
of God's multiform grace, solemn pledge of salvation 
is given. 112 All these mysteries and sacred signs 112a were 
a teaching not only for the few members of one single 
family but also through them for all their posterity. 
The lesson God taught the parents was also meant for 
the instruction of their children. 

Again, when the increase of the human race followed 
its upward course and men grew proud of their very num- 
bers, and when their insolence rose to such a height that 
they dreamt of pushing up into heaven the massive 
structure of a building of fantastic proportions, 113 how 
wonderful was then the stricture of God's justice to stop 
their insolence! The one common language which all 
these people spoke and understood He threw into confu- 
sion and split it up into seventy-two tongues, 114 so as 
to break up by the confusion of their speech the unity of 
the workers and thus to foil the contrivance of their 
mad undertaking. At the same time God intended with 
the opportune dispersion of a union that had grown evil, 
to provide a population for the still uninhabited world. 
But in this work of God's Providence we also see pre- 
figured the wonders of Christian grace which was to 
gather this entire dispersed humanity within the walls 
of that building where every knee bows to God and every 
tongue confesses that Jesus is in the glory of the Father. 115 

This diffusion of grace which was to be revealed in the 


fulness of the appointed time, appears with still clearer 
signs in God's promise to Abraham, when He foretold 
him that his twofold posterity, that is, the children of the 
flesh and the children of the promise, would grow as 
numerous as the sand and the stars. 116 Then this old man, 
who by reason of the barrenness of his wife for years had 
already given up the hope of a son, believed with a faith 
that deserves praise, that through a single son he would 
become the father of the world. He foresaw, indeed, saw 
among his posterity Him who said, Abraham saw my day 
and was glad. 11 * 

At the time Abraham was justified through this faith, 
he had not yet received God's command about the cir- 
cumcision; and though he was then in his natural uncir- 
cumcision, his faith was reputed to justice. 118 That same 
faith received the sign of the circumcision in the part of 
the body through which the seed of procreation was to 
advance to that flesh of which, without the seed of the 
flesh, the Son of God, God the Word, was made flesh 119 
and was born of Abraham's daughter, the Virgin Mary. 
By His birth among men He made all men His brothers, 
who would be reborn in Christ through the Spirit and 
would have Abraham's faith. But up to the day that 
the seed should come of which it had been said, In thy 
seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed 120 this 
faith remained confined to the people of one race, and 
there with the true Israelites the hope of our Redemption 
was kept alive. For although there were some men of 
other races whom, whilst the Law was in force, the truth 
deigned to enlighten, yet they were so few that we can 
hardly know whether there were any. 121 But notwith- 
standing the fact that the abundance of grace which now 


floods the whole world did not then flow with equal 
bounty, this does not excuse the Gentiles who, being 
aliens from the conversation of Israel,, . . . having no 
hope, . . . and without God in this world, 122 have died in 

the darkness of their ignorance. 


Men are not born now with a better nature than 
before Christ; rather, at the time of His coming 
the iniquity then existing was the more 
pronounced in order the better to man- 
ifest the power of God's grace. 

God's revelation 12S was always imparted to all men in 
some measure which, even when given more sparingly 
and hiddenly, was yet judged sufficient by the Lord to 
be a saving remedy for some and a testimony unto all. 
Thus He made it clear beyond doubt that, if where sin 
abounded, grace had not abounded more/ 24 even now all 
mankind would still be blinded by the same irreligion. Or, 
to quote the nonsense spoken by many, 125 are men born 
in our times better disposed than those of old? Have 
these last ages produced souls that are more fit to receive 
the divine gifts? Even if it were so, we would have to 
attribute this to the goodness of their Maker who would 
for the peoples whom He called to eternal life have fash- 
ioned hearts that would not resist Him. But it is not so. 
There is nothing novel in the propagation, of men ac- 
cording to the flesh. The younger generation is not born 


superior to Its forefathers. On the contrary, observation 
shows that regarding the men who lived when the Re- 
deemer of the world came, the more recent the generation 
was, the greater was their iniquity. 120 

The proof of this is the impious frenzy of the Jews. 
' The proof of how ready for the Gospel of Christ that gen- 
eration was, 127 are the dispositions not only of the people 
but also of the scribes, the princes, and the priests. It 
was not enough for them, in opposition to the teaching 
of the Law, to the oracles of the Prophets, and to the 
proofs given them of divine power, to have vented their 
fury against the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins 
of the world,* 2 * in sedition, contumelies, spitting, buffets, 
blows, stoning, scourging, and, finally, the cruel death 
of the Cross. In their unchanged insanity they were to 
persecute also the witnesses of the Resurrection. But when 
scourged by the high priests, the Apostles showed how this 
had been foretold in the Psalm of David, saying: Lord, 
Thou art He that didst make heaven and earth, the sea 
and all things that are in them. Who, by the Holy Spirit, 
by the mouth of our father David, Thy servant, hast said: 
"Why did the Gentiles rage and the people meditate vain 
things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes 
assembled together against the Lord and His Christ" 129 
For of a truth there assembled together in this city against 
Thy holy Son Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, Herod 
and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of 
Israel, to do what Thy hand and counsel decreed to be 

Consequently, the reason why God withheld from the 
former ages .the manifestation of the grace which in His 
eternal design He had prepared for the salvation of all 


nations, is not that they were unfit for it. He rather 
chose the times which produced such people as would, in 
their wild and wilful malice, and not because they wished 
to be helpful but because they intended to do harm, per- 
sist in carrying out the very counsels of God's hands. 131 
Thus God's grace and power would appear the more mar- 
vellous when He transformed these hardened souls, these 
dark minds, these hostile hearts into His own people- 
faithful, submissive, holy; who were led to the light of 
God's wisdom not by the wisdom of this world, but 
through the gift of Him to whom the Apostle John bears 
witness in these words: We know that the Son of God is 
come. And He hath given us understanding that we may 
know the true God and may be in His true Son. 132 With 
this testimony the Apostle Paul agrees when he says: 
Giving thanks to the Father who hath made us worthy 
to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light; who hath 
delivered us from darkness and from the power of dark- 
ness and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son 
of His /oue. 133 And he again says: For we . . . were some 
time unwise, incredulous, erring, slaves to divers desires 
and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and 
hating one another. But when the goodness and kindness 
of ... our Saviour appeared: not by works of justice 
which we have done, but according to Plis mercy, He 
saved us, by the laver of regeneration . ..of the Holy Spirit. 
Whom He poured forth upon us abundantly, through 
Jesus Christ our Saviour; that, being justified by His 
grace, we may be heirs according to the hope of life ever- 

Could he have explained more fully, more clearly, more 
truly, what kind of merits Christ found in men, what 


sort of characters He subjected to Himself,, what kind of 
hearts He converted to Himself, when He came to heal, 
not the healthy, but the diseased, and to call, not the 
just, but sinners? 135 For The people of the Gentiles that 
sat in darkness have seen a great light; and to them that 
sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, light is risen. 136 
The Gentiles howled, the peoples were angry, the kings 
raged, those in power spoke in opposition, the supersti- 
tions and errors of the whole world offered resistance. 
But from among those who resisted, who were enraged, 
and who persecuted, Christ chose to increase His people; 
and with the chains, tortures, and deaths of His saints 
the faith grew stronger, the truth conquered, and the 
wealth of the Lord's harvest spread throughout the whole 
world. Heaven gave so great a steadfastness in the faith, 
so great a trust in hope, so great a fortitude in endurance, 
that the fire of love kindled in the hearts of the faithful 
by the Holy Spirit could in no way be extinguished by 
their persecutors. Rather, those who were being tor- 
tured, were the more vehemently set on fire with love, 
and frequently their persecutors themselves were caught 
by the flame they were fighting. 

Saint Paul the Apostle was on fire with that flame 
when, filled with trust and fervour, he said: Being justi- 
fied therefore by faith, let us have peace with God, 
through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have 
access through faith into grace wherein we stand, and 
glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God. And 
not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing 
that tribulation worketh patience; and patience trial; and 
trial hope; and hope confoundeth not, because the charity 
of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit 


who is given to us. 137 And again: Who . . . shall separate 
us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? Or distress? 
Or persecution? Or famine? Or nakedness? Or danger? Or 
the sword? (As it is written: "For Thy sake are we put to 
death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the 
slaughter.") 138 But in all these things we overcome 
through Him that hath loved us. For I am sure that 
neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor 
powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, 
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be 
able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ 
Jesus our Lore/. 139 With this charity diffused in their 
hearts by the Holy Spirit, the world of the faithful over- 
came the world of the unbelievers. This charity put to 
shame the cruelty of Nero, the fury of Domitian, and the 
frenzied rage of numerous emperors after them, in the 
glorious death of countless martyrs. There Christ be- 
stowed on His followers through the persecution of the 
rulers the wreaths of their eternal crowns. 

Christ died for all sinners. 

There can, therefore, be no reason to doubt that Jesus 
Christ our Lord died for the unbelievers and the sinners. 140 
If there had been any one who did not belong to these, 
then Christ would not have died for all. But He did die 
for all men without exception. There is no one, there- 
fore, in all mankind who was not, before the reconcilia- 


tion which Christ effected in His blood, either a sinner 
or an unbeliever. The Apostle says: For why did Christ, 
when as yet we were weak, according to the time, die for 
the ungodly? For scarce for a just man will one die; yet 
perhaps for a good man one would dare to die. But God 
commendeth His charity towards us, because if when as 
yet we were sinners, Christ died for us, much more, be- 
ing justified by His blood, shall we be saved from wrath 
through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were 
reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, 
being reconciled, shall we be saved by His Kfe. 141 The 
same Apostle says in his Second Epistle to the Corin- 
thians: For the charity of Christ presseth us, judging this, 
that if One died for all, then all were dead. And He died 
for all, that they also who live, may not live to themselves, 
but unto Him who died for them and rose again. 142 And 
let us hear what he says of himself. A faithful saying, he 
states, and worthy of all acceptation: that Christ Jesus 
came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the 
chief. But for this cause have I obtained mercy: that 
in me first Christ Jesus might show forth all patience, for 
the information of them that shall believe in Him unto 
life everlasting. 1 ^ 

Wherefore, the whole of mankind, whether circum- 
cised or not, was under the sway of sin, in fetters because 
of the very same guilt. No one of the ungodly, who dif- 
fered only in their degree of unbelief, could be saved with- 
out Christ's Redemption. This Redemption spread 
throughout the world to become the good news for all 
men without any distinction. In fact, on the fiftieth day 
after the paschal feast on which the true Lamb had of- 
fered Himself as a victim to God, when the Apostles and 


those who were of one mind with them were filled with 
the Holy Spirit and spoke the languages of all the nations, 
a multitude of people of different races, stirred by the 
miracle, flocked together, and in them the whole world 
was to hear the Gospel of Christ. There were then as- 
sembled, as Scripture says, Parthians, and Medes, and 
Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia., Judea, and 
Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, 
Egypt and the parts of LyMa about Gyrene, and strangers 
of Rome, Jews also and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, 144 
who all heard the wonderful works of God preached in 
their own tongues. Their testimony was to spread far 
and wide also to the more distant nations. We believe 
that God's Providence had willed the expansion of the 
Roman Empire as a preparation for His design over the 
nations, who were to be called into the unity of the Body 
of Christ: He first gathered them under the authority of 
one empire. 149 

But the grace of Christianity is not content with the 
boundaries that are Rome's. Grace has now submitted 
to the sceptre of the Cross of Christ many peoples whom 
Rome could not subject with her arms; though Rome 
by her primacy of the apostolic priesthood has become 
greater as the citadel of religion than as the seat of 
power. 146 



The nations that have not yet seen the grace 

of our Saviour will be called to the 

Gospel at the appointed time. 

It may be true that, just as we know that in former 
times some peoples were not admitted to the fellowship 
of the sons of God, 147 so also to-day there are in the remo- 
test parts of the world some nations who have not yet 
seen the light of the grace of the Saviour. 148 But we have 
no doubt that in God's hidden judgment, for them also 
a time of calling has been appointed, when they will hear 
and accept the Gospel which now remains unknown to 
them. 149 Even now they receive that measure of general 
help which heaven 15 has always bestowed on all men. 151 
Human nature, it is true, has been wounded by such a 
severe wound that natural speculation cannot lead a per- 
son to the full knowledge of God if the true light does not 
dispel all darkness from his heart. 152 In His inscrutable 
designs the good and just God did not shed this light 
as abundantly in the past ages as He does in our own 
day. That is why the blessed Apostle Paul says in writ- 
ing to the Colossians: The mystery which hath been hid- 
den from ages and generations, but now is manifested in 
His saints, to whom God would make known the riches 
of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which 
is Christ in_you. 153 



In former ages the mystery of their call to the faith 

was hidden from the Gentiles, but 

not from the Prophets. 

Did this mystery also remain sealed for the Prophets? 
Were they, the mouthpieces of the Holy Spirit, unaware 
of what they were preaching? I do not think we have to 
understand the text in that way, but only in the sense 
that to the Gentiles this mystery 154 remained hidden 
a mystery which the Lord revealed when it pleased Him 
and to whomsoever He pleased. For concerning the call 
of the Gentiles, who did not belong to the people of God 
and on whom at first God did not have mercy while now 
He has shown mercy, we read in Deuteronomy as fol- 
lows: And the Lord saw and was roused and moved to 
wrath because of the provocation of His sons and daugh- 
ters. And He said: 1 will turn away my face from them., 
and will show what will happen in the end. For it is a 
perverse generation, children in whom there is no faith. 
They have provoked me to anger with that which is no 
god, they have angered me with their idols. And I will 
provoke them to anger with them who were not a nation, 
and I will vex them with a foolish nation. 155 And David 
foretells that all nations will adore God, in these words, 
All the nations Thou hast made shall come and adore be- 
fore Thee, O Lord, and they shall glorify Thy name. 156 
And the same again, And all kings of the earth shall adore 


Him, all nations shall serve Him. 15T And again. In Him 
shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed, all nations shall 
magnify Him. 158 

Isaias also makes similar pronouncements, saying: For 
in the last days the mountain of the Lord shall be mani- 
fest and the house of God on the top of the mountains, 
and it shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations 
shall come unto ft. 159 And the same says again: And the 
Lord of hosts shall make unto all the nations in this 
mountain that they will drink wine in gladness, that they 
will be anointed with ointments on this mountain. He 
shall give all this to the nations, for this is His counsel 
concerning all the nations. 1 And again: And the Lord 
will reveal His holy arm in the sight of all the Gentiles, 
and all the nations of the earth shall see the salvation 
that cometh from the Lord. 161 And again, Behold, stran- 
gers shall come to thee through me, and take refuge with 
thee. 1Q2 And further: Nations that knew thee not, will 
call on thee; and the peoples that know thee not, will 
run to thee. 1Q3 

Osee also prophesies the same things and says: And it 
shall be in the place where it was said to them: You are 
not my people; there they will be called sons of the liv- 
ing God. And the children of Juda and the children of 
Israel shall be gathered together* And again: I will 
have mercy on the not-beloved one. And I will say to 
that which was not my people: Thou art my people; and 
they shall say: Thou art my GocL 165 

At the time of the Apostles the believers in Christ who 
were of the circumcision expressed the opinion that the 
Gentiles, whom they called the uncircumcision, could not 
share in the justifying effects of grace. The blessed 


Apostle Peter explains that before God there is no dis- 
crimination between both peoples as long as both are 
gathered in the unity of one faith. He says: And when 
I had begun to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, 
as upon us also in the beginning. And I remembered the 
word of the Lord, how that He said, "John indeed bap- 
tized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy 
Spirit" 166 If then God gave them the same grace as to 
us also who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; who 
was I, that could withstand God? Having heard these 
things, they held their peace and glorified God saying: 
God then hath also to the Gentiles given repentance unto 
/ife. 167 The Apostle James also says about the call of the 
Gentiles: Men, brethren, hear me. Simon hath related 
how God first visited to take of the Gentiles a people to 
His name. And to this agree the words of the Prophets, 
as it is written: "After these things I will return and will 
rebuild the tabernacle of David which is fallen down. 
And the ruins thereof I will rebuild, and I will set it up, 
that the residue of men may seek after the Lord, and all 
nations upon whom my name is invoked, saith the Lord, 
who doth those things." 16S To the Lord was His own 
work known from the beginning of the u?or/c/. 169 Simeon, 
too, the one to whom the Holy Spirit had said that he 
should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the 
Lord, proclaimed the salvation of all the Gentiles as 
being revealed in Christ, as follows: Now Thou dost dis- 
miss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in 
peace; because my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which 
Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: a light 
to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy 
people Israel. 1 

' 171 



God's will to save all men is active in all ages. 

These 172 and other evidences from the Scriptures prove 
beyond doubt 1TS that the great wealth, power, and benefi- 
cence of grace which in these last times m calls all the 
Gentiles into the kingdom of Christ, was in former cen- 
turies hidden in the secret counsel of God. 173 No knowl- 
edge can comprehend, no understanding can penetrate 
the reason why this abundance of grace which has now 
come to the knowledge of all nations, was not revealed 
to them before. Yet we believe with complete trust in 
God's goodness that He wills all men to be saved and to 
come to the knowledge of the truth: 176 this we must hold 
as His changeless will from eternity, 177 which manifests 
itself in the different measures in which He in His wis- 
dom chose to augment His general gifts 17S with special 
favours. Thus those who did not share in His grace/ 79 
plead guilty of malice, and those who were resplendent 
with its light, cannot glory in their own merit but only 
in the Lord. 


Objection against the text, "who wills all men to be 
saved," taken from the case of infants. 

This subtle but correct way of understanding our 
problem is confronted by a great difficulty in the case of 


Infants. 180 Infants have not the use of reason by which 
they can understand the mercies of their Maker and be 
enabled to approach to the knowledge of truth. It would 
not seem right to blame them for neglecting the help of 
grace, when they are by their nature in such a state of 
ignorance that they are unable and there can be no 
doubt about it to acquire any knowledge or to grasp 
any teaching. If 5 then, God wills all men to be saved 181 
what is the reason why so great a number of infants re- 
main deprived of eternal salvation, and why so many 
thousands of human beings at this tender age are not 
admitted to eternal life? 182 

It would look as if God, who created no one out of 
hatred, had created these children only to throw them 
in the bonds of an unforgivable guilt which they con- 
tracted without any fault of their own, for the only rea- 
son that they entered this world in a flesh of sin. 183 What 
can be more unfathomable, more astounding than this? 184 
For it would not be right to believe that these children 
who have not received the sacrament of regeneration, do 
in any way belong to the communion of the Blessed. 185 
And what makes it still more stupendous and strange is 
this: here we have no guilt incurred through actions, 
no free wills capable of offering resistance; there is mis- 
fortune which is the same for all, there is equal help- 
lessnessa case precisely the same for all Yet, in spite 
of this complete parity of their case, the judgment is 
not the same for all; but 186 some He disowns as repro- 
bate, others He adopts as His elect, 187 



God is just when He rejects unbaptized infants both in 
this life and in the next because of original sin. 

But if we are humble of heart we shall not be disturbed 
by the unfathomable depth of this discrimination of 
God. 188 We must but believe with firm and steadfast 
faith that all of God's judgments are just, 189 and not 
wish to know what He wanted to remain secret. Where 
we cannot possibly investigate the reason of His judg- 
ment, we should rest content with knowing who He is 
that judges. 190 Though our problem is not so obscure 
that we can learn from it nothing whatever. We must 
only with the peaceful gaze of a discreet mind consider 
what we are able to know. 

For instance, let us reflect on this. Among pagans, 
among Jews, among heretics, and among Catholic Chris- 
tians also, how large a number of children die who man- 
ifestly, as far as their own wills go, have done neither 
good nor evil! But we are told that on them weighs the 
sentence which the human race received for the sin of 
Adam, our first father. And the rigour of this sentence, 
which is not relaxed even for children, proves only how 
grave that sin was. 191 Were children not to suffer harm 
from their privation of baptism, then also 192 we would 
no longer believe that no one is born in innocence. 

And there is no reason to complain that death comes 
too early for them, because once mortality invaded our 
nature through sin, 193 every day of our life was forfeited 


to it. There would be reason for complaint if there were 
a time when man could not die at all and he could thus 
be said to have a limited immortality. But at no moment 
does our corruptible nature share in incorruption to the 
extent that, when it is born for death, it would not al- 
ways be liable to decay. The beginning of life is the com- 
mencement of death. No sooner do we advance in age 
than we start to decline. When a space of time is added 
to our age, this is not an addition resulting in a state of 
stability, but a mere form of transition to death. There- 
fore, if a being is perishable from its inception, whatever 
day it passes away, it does not perish contrary to the law 
of mortality. It is never so fully in possession of life that 
it is not within the grasp of death. 194 And, although the 
mortality of all mankind has sprung from one source, 
yet our corruptible nature is torn asunder not by one but 
by many kinds of weakness. Illness, debility, accidents 
threaten not only the years or months or days of our 
human existence but every hour and every minute. There 
is no kind of death, no manner of leaving this world 
which does not befall some portion of mortal mankind. 195 
For there remains a heavy yoke upon the children of 
Adam, from the day of their coming out of their mother's 
womb until the day of their burial into the mother of a//. 190 



Divine justice measures out to each one 
his lot of misfortune. 

But the weight of this most heavy yoke 19T did not so 
fall on the sons of Adam that God's justice would in no 
way apply to it 198 His own standards. According to 
these He submitted defective beings to the laws of their 
deficiencies., but at the same time did not withhold from 
them His power of mitigating their miseries. 199 He did 
not allow that 5 just because all men on account of their 
common sinful condition are liable to all evils, each and 
every evil should befall each and every man. The Lord 
wished that general necessity to assert itself in varying 
degrees, while keeping to Himself the reasons both for 
indulgence and for severity; and the one debt common to 
all was to both make of His forgiveness a mercy and of 
His punishment an act of justice. 200 

We know, then, that God's just and omnipotent Prov- 
idence governs all things unceasingly; that nobody comes 
into this world or departs from it except as the Lord of 
all things, in His unfathomable knowledge and wisdom, 
has decreed his birth or death; 201 as is written in the 
Book of Job: Who is ignorant that the hand of the Lord 
hath made all these things? In whose hand is the soul of 
every living being, and the spirit of all flesh of man; 202 
and again, The days of man are short, and the number 
of his days is with Thee. 2QB Who would dare search into 
the reasons of His works and counsels? For inscrutable 


and great Is the secret reason why men, whose human 
condition is the same, are treated in so different ways. 
One is harassed from childhood to old age with a long ill- 
ness, and in spite of persisting pains no moment is cut 
off from his appointed lifetime; while another enjoys 
the full strength of his powers with a vigorous health up 
to 204 an old age. To one death comes in childhood, to 
another in adolescence. One is not allowed to go beyond 
youth, another cannot even reach the age of speech. Our 
frail mortality would find all this delimitation of life, so 
unequal in many respects, less bitter if there were the 
loss of the present life only, and if children who depart 
from this world without the laver of regeneration did 
not fall into unending misery. 2 

. 205 


Children who die receive the general grace 
bestowed upon their parents. 

The reason that regulates the distribution of the gifts 
of grace is more inscrutable for us than the cause of the 
miseries which our nature deserved. But this very diffi- 
culty in understanding the mystery makes us look up to 
our Maker. 206 If we ask, how it can be said that God wills 
all men to be saved, 207 when He does not grant to all the 
time when they are able to receive grace in a free accept- 
ance of the faith, I think we may believe without irrever- 
ence towards God and conceive without impropriety, that 
those human beings who live only a few days share in 


the kind of grace 208 which has always been given to all 

For indeed, if the parents were to make good use of this 
grace, the children also would derive a saving help from 
it through them. 209 In fact, all children depend for their 
birth and during the whole time of their infancy up to 
the age of reason on the decisions made by other men, 
and the guidance given them must come exclusively 
from others. 210 Thus it follows that infants share the lot 
of those persons whose right or wrong dispositions decide 
their condition. 211 Some of them happen to have the faith 
through the profession of faith of other people; 212 in the 
same way some fail to have the faith on account of the 
unbelief or the guilty neglect of others. Though they 
themselves had no desire either of the present life or of 
the future,, yet, just as their birth has become their own 
concern, so also the eventual privation of rebirth be- 
comes their own. 213 And just as in the case of adults it is 
obvious that some, in addition to the general grace which 
moves all human hearts in a more sparing and more hid- 
den way, receive a special call with more excellent ef- 
fects of grace, with more generous gifts, and with a 
stronger power; so also in the case of the countless in- 
fants the same election reveals itself. 214 The election was 
not withheld even from the children who failed to receive 
baptism, when it was present in their parents; but it 
reached some children who were baptised, without reach- 
ing their parents. 215 Thus it often happened that children 
were taken care of by strangers when their unbelieving 
kinsfolk failed them; and through strangers they came 
to receive regeneration when their own people would not 
have provided this for them. 216 



We can find no reason for a just complaint in the different 

destiny of children who in all other respects 

are alike; rather there is a strong proof of 

God's justice and of Christ's grace. 

In this economy of grace 217 who but one altogether 
Insolent and benighted could complain of divine justice, 
because Providence does not treat all children in the same 
way, and because its power does not discard, nor its 
mercy forestall, all perils that may prevent the regener- 
ation of such as are bound to die? This would indeed be 
done for all children, if it had to be done by all means. 218 

But it is not difficult to see what carelessness would 
arise in 219 the hearts of the faithful, if in the matter of 
the baptism of children the neglect of a person or the pos- 
sibility of their dying offered no cause for fear; for in that 
hypothesis it could never happen that children would re- 
main deprived of baptism. 220 But this supposition, that 
the happiness of children can never be frustrated, would 
add great strength to the erroneous opinion which ven- 
tures to say, in opposition to our Catholic faith, that men 
receive grace according to their merit. 221 For then it would 
look as though the guiltless innocence of infants could 
claim in full justice that not one of their number should 
fail to receive this adoption, because no guilt holds them 
in chains. Then there would have been nothing against 
the faith in the statement made by someone about the 
baptism of children: "Grace has something to adopt, but 


the water of baptism has nothing to cleanse." 222 But all 
followers of the truth see the execrable implication of the 
gospel preached here. It is obvious that all who die with- 
out baptism are lost; 223 and this fact proves by itself that 
all men who attain salvation owe this, not to their own 
merit, but to grace. Certainly, were not the others stained 
with a very grave sin,, they would not be lost. 224 But as 
it is, God's discriminating judgment, hidden but just, 
manifests both the gift which grace bestows on man and 
the punishment which sinful nature deserves. Thus no 
human pride can boast that grace is not a gift, nor may 
our diligence relax as though there were no danger to 


With His general grace given to all, God always 

wills and has willed all men to be saved; but 

His special grace is not granted to all. 

Whether, then, we look on these last centuries or on 
the first or on the ages between, we see that reason and 
religious sense alike make us believe that God wills and 
has always willed all men to be saved. 225 We prove this 
from no other source than from the very gifts which 
God's Providence generally bestows on all men without 
any distinction. These gifts are found to be so general 
in the past and in the present, that men find in their tes- 
timony sufficient help to seek the true God. 226 Over and 
above these gifts which proclaim their Maker throughout 
the ages, God has scattered a special bounty of grace. 


And though this grace is bestowed more abundantly now- 
adays than before,, yet the Lord has reserved to Himself 
the knowledge of the reasons of His dispensations and 
kept them hidden in the secrecy of His all-powerful will. 227 
Were these to come to all men uniformly, then there 
would be nothing hidden about them. 228 And just as 
there can be no doubt about His general kindness to all 
men, so also there would be nothing astounding concern- 
ing His special mercy. 229 Consequently, the former would 
appear to be a grace, while the latter would not. 230 But 
God was pleased to grant this latter grace to many and 
to withhold the former from no one. He wished to make 
it clear from both that He did not refuse to all mankind 
what He gave to some men, 231 but that in some men 
grace prevailed and in others nature recoiled. 2 



In every justification grace is the outstanding factor, 

while the human will is a secondary one, united with 

grace and co-operating with God working in man; 

grace prepares the will for this co-operation. 2 * 3 

We believe and we know from experience that this 
abundant grace acts in man as a powerful influence; 
but in our opinion this influence is not such as to be over- 
powering, to the extent that whatever transpires in men's 
salvation is achieved by God's will alone; 234 for already 
in the case of children it is the assent of another man's 
will that is the medium for them to be relieved of their 
affliction. 235 The special grace of God is certainly the 


more prominent factor in every justification. It urges on 
with exhortations, moves by examples, inspires fear from 
dangers, rouses with miracles, gives understanding, in- 
spires counsel, illumines the heart itself and inspires it 
with the aspirations of the faith. 236 

But man's will is also associated with grace as a second- 
ary factor. For it is roused by the above-mentioned aids 
in order that it may co-operate with God's work which 
is being accomplished in man, and that it may begin to 
practise and gain merit from that for which the divine 
seed inspires the effective desire. 237 Thus its eventual fail- 
ure is due to its own fickleness; but its success is due to 
the help of grace. 

This help is given in countless ways, some of which 
are hidden, and others are easily discernible. If many 
refuse this help, it is only their malice that is the cause. 
If many accept it, then this is due to both divine grace 
and their human will. 238 We may examine the beginning 
of faith in the faithful or their progress or final persever- 
ance in it, nowhere shall we discover any sort or kind 
of virtue which it not the fact of both the gift of grace 
and the consent of our wills. For grace, in all the variety 
of remedy or help which it provides, first operates to pre- 
pare the will of the recipient of its call to accept and fol- 
low up its gifts. Virtue is non-existent with men who do 
not wish to be virtuous/ 39 and you cannot say that men 
could have faith or hope or charity, if they refuse their 
free consent to these virtues. 



Grace causes the consent of our will not only by teaching 
and enlightening but also through terror and fear. 

Men give their free consent to grace not only when 
induced to do so by the exhortation of preachers and the 
inspiration of doctrine, but also through fear. 240 That is 
why we read in the Scripture, The fear of the Lord is the 
beginning of wisdom. 2 * 1 This fear, the result of frighten- 
ing experiences of whatever sort, tends only to make a 
man willing who began by fearing, and not only willing 
but also wise. That is why Scripture says again, Blessed 
is the man to whom it is given to have the fear of God. 242 
For what gives greater happiness than this fear which 
produces and fosters wisdom? With the devotion that 
springs from wisdom the will also is filled, and thanks to 
the same fear which first stirred it to action and then 
produced grace, the will now starts making progress. 243 
When this fear is struck into a man even with the shock 
of a great fright, this does not mean that it blots out his 
reason or deprives him of his understanding. It rather 
dispels the darkness that oppressed the mind, so that his 
will, which was before depraved and captive, is now set 
right and free. 244 Consequently, just as the soul acquires 
no virtue unless it has received a ray of the true light, 245 
so also grace bestows no favour on the man whom it 
calls, unless it has first opened the eyes of his will. 246 

As was discussed above, 247 in many men grace produces 
great fervour from its first stirrings and then it is quickly 
enriched with considerable increase. But in many also 


who advance slowly and hesitatingly, it hardly grows 
strong enough to reach the firmness that is necessary for 
perseverance. Our Lord indeed says, No man can come 
to me, except the Father y who hath sent me, draw /urn. 248 
But Christ said this to teach us that faith, without which 
no one can come to Him, is a gift of the Father, as was 
shown in what He said to the Apostle Peter: Blessed art 
thou, Simon Bar-Jona; because flesh and blood hath not 
revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. 2 * 9 It 
is the Father who in the hearts of the men He wished to 
draw to Himself produced both the faith and the good 
will. For they could not have been so drawn had they 
not followed freely through faith and good will. 250 Men 
who refuse the faith are neither drawn to Him nor do 
they come to Him. When they withhold their free con- 
sent, they do not come nearer, they rather go farther 
away from Him. It is love that leads to Him all those 
who come to Him. 251 He loved them first and they re- 
turned His love. He sought them first and they in turn 
sought Him; and when God inspired their will with His 
own, they willingly followed Him. 2 



The faithful who by God's grace believe in Christ remain 
free not to believe; and those who persevere 
may yet turn away from God. 

He who inspires men with the desire to obey Him, does 
not take away from them, even from those who will per- 
severe., the fickleness by which they can still refuse obe- 

10 14 


dience. 253 If it were otherwise, then none of the faithful 
would ever have given up the faith, concupiscence would 
overcome no one nor sadness depress any one; anger would 
vanquish no one and the charity of no one would grow 
cold; no one's patience would give way and no one would 
neglect the grace that is offered him. But since these 
things can take place and men all too easily and readily 
yield and consent to such temptations, the words which 
our Lord spoke to His Apostles, Watch ye and pray that 
ye enter not into temptation., 254 should ever keep ringing 
in the ears of the faithful. Had He admonished His dis- 
ciples to watch only and not to pray also, then it might 
appear that He wished only to rouse the energy of their 
free wills. But by adding, and pray, He showed well 
enough that it would be thanks to a gift from heaven 
together with their watchfulness that they would stand 
firm in the storm of temptation. 

In the same sense He said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan 
hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. 
But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and 
thou, being converted in the end, confirm thy brethren. 255 
And pray lest ye enter into temptation 256 When the faith 
of so great an Apostle was going to give way unless Christ 
prayed for him, 257 this was a sure sign that he, too, was 
subject to unsteadiness which could falter in temptation; 
and he was not so confirmed with the strength to per- 
severe, that he was not liable to any weakness. For in- 
deed, even after all this, trepidation was to shake him so 
badly that in the house of Caiphas, frightened by the 
questions of some servant girl, his constancy was to give 
way, and that to the extent of disowning Christ 25S three 
times, after he had promised to die for Him. At that 


moment He looked on the troubled heart of His Apostle 
not with human but with divine eyes/ 39 and with a 
piercing glance stirred it to abundant tears of repentance. 
The Lord could also have given the chief of His disciples 
such firmness of soul that, as He Himself was not to "be 
deterred from the resolve to undergo His Passion, so Saint 
Peter also on that occasion would not have been over- 
come by any fear. 

But such steadfastness belonged only to Him who alone 
could say in truth and reality, I have power to lay down 
my life, and I have power to take it up again. 260 In all other 
men., as long as the flesh lusteth against the spirit., and the 
spirit against the flesh, 2 1 and as long as the spirit indeed 
is willing, but the flesh is weak 2&2 immovable strength 
of soul is not to be found, because the perfect and undis- 
turbed happiness of peace is not our lot in this life, but 
in the next only. But in the uncertainty of the present 
struggle, when the whole of life is a trial 26S and when 
victory itself is not shielded from the Waylayer's pride, 
the danger of inconstancy is ever present. True, God's 
protection gives the strength of final perseverance to His 
countless saints, yet He does not free any of them from 
the resistance which their efforts encounter in their own 
nature. In all their exertions and endeavours the struggle 
between willingness and unwillingness continues una- 
bated. 264 

The most blessed Peter himself passed through this 
conflict at the very moment when he was about to crown 
all his victories. That is what our Lord foretold him when 
He said: Amen, amen, I say to thee, when thou wast 
younger, thou didst gird thyself and didst walk where 
thou wouldst. But when thou shalt be old, thou shalt 


stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee and 
lead thee whither thou wouldst not. And this He said 
signifying by what death he should glorify Got/. 265 Who, 
then, would doubt, who would fail to see that this strong- 
est of rocks, who shared in the strength and the name of 
the first Rock, 266 had always nourished the wish to be 
given the strength of dying for Christ? Yet even he was 
not to escape the impact of terror. This man who was 
most anxious to suffer martyrdom heard the promise that 
he would indeed be victorious in his sufferings, but not 
without the test of fear. 

Rightly, therefore, do not only beginners but advanced 
saints as well beseech the Lord in the same manner and 
say, Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from 
evil. 2 7 For to all who persevere in faith and charity it is 
He who grants the strength not to be overcome in tempta- 
tion, that he that glorieth may glory in the Lord 268 And 
though it is He who gives them the victory, 269 He attrib- 
utes to them the merit of it. Though it is only with God's 
help that they stood firm in temptation, yet because 
they were of their nature exposed to falling, He reckons 
it to their credit that they remained steadfast. 270 Conse- 
quently, just as those who are believers receive help to 
persevere in their faith, so they also who are still unbe- 
lievers receive help to come to the faith. And just as it 
is possible for the former to leave the faith, so are unbe- 
lievers capable not to come to it. 271 It is clear, then, that 
in a countless variety of ways God wills all men to be 
saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 272 When 
they do come, then God's help is their guide; and when 
they do not, the fault of the refusal lies with their own 



God is fulfilling His promise to bless all the nations 

every day, so as not to leave any excuse to 

the reprobate, nor to give the elect a 

reason to glory in their justice. 

Many people 273 are in love with their own darkness 
and do not accept the splendour of the truth. Many who 
have seen the light return to their darkness. Yet the word 
of God endureth for ever, 27 * and no tittle of His truthful 
promise lacks fulfilment. Every day the foreknown and 
promised fulness of the Gentiles 275 enters the fold, and 
in the seed of Abraham every nation, every tribe, every 
language receives His blessings. 276 For what the Father 
gave to the Son, the Son does not lose, 277 and no one can 
snatch from His hand what He has received. 278 The sure 
foundation of God standeth firm, 2 and the building of 
the temple that will stand forever does not shake, be- 
cause God's truth and mercy cover all men. God effects 
in the men who come within His promise what He re- 
fuses to no one and what He owes to no one. 280 He Him- 
self worketh all in all, 281 and all that He works cannot but 
be just and good. 282 For all the ways of the Lord are justice 
and truth 2 

God foreknew before all ages how many from all over 
the world would, though they enjoyed His general gifts 
or were even aided with His special helps, 284 still stray 
from the path of truth and life and take the broad road 
of error and death. He likewise ever saw in His prescience 


how many God-fearing men, thanks to the help of His 
grace and to their own obedient service, would enter into 
eternal beatitude. 285 Thus, while no one was to fall from 
the number of the promised elect, except those who would 
fail to make progress or would neglect to profit by His 
help. He was to exalt in glory above all the elect whom 
He chose from all mankind. Certainly, as we have proved 
abundantly, God's manifold and ineffable goodness al- 
ways provided and still provides for all mankind 286 in 
such a way that not one of the reprobate can find an 
excuse as though he had been refused the light of truth, 
and that no one can rightly boast of his own justice. The 
one group perishes by reason of its own malice, 287 while 
it is God's grace that leads the other into glory. 

Recapitulation of chapter one, Book Two. 

We wish to recommend here again what we had sug- 
gested at the beginning of this Second Book, namely, that 
when we treat about the depth and height of divine grace, 
we should base our reasoning on these three propositions 
which are perfectly sound and true. One of these de- 
clares that God's goodness from all eternity and of His 
own free choice wills all men to be saved and to come to 
the knowledge of the truth** 8 With this goes another, 
stating that every man who is actually saved and comes 
to the knowledge of the truth, owes it to God's help and 
guidance just as he owes to Him his perseverance in faith 
that worketh by charity. 289 A third acknowledges with 


modesty and circumspection that we cannot comprehend 
the motive of every divine decree and that the reasons of 
many of God's works remain hidden from our human 
understanding. 290 We see that God acts in a different or 
even in a singular way at different times, when dealing 
with different nations or families, with infants or the 
unborn,, or even with twins. 291 We have no doubt that 
here we are facing those things which God in His justice 
and mercy does not wish us to know in this fleeting world. 
And we must be persuaded that this was thus dis- 
posed for our good. Thus, seeing that we are saved by 
hope 292 and that God has prepared for us that eye hath 
not seen, nor ear heard neither hath it entered into the 
heart of man; 293 and just as we firmly believe that some 
day we shall see what we do not yet see, so also we wait 
patiently to understand what we do not yet understand. 
Wherefore, if all spite and subtlety are put aside and if 
all insolent presumption bows down, then, after all that 
we have said, and said correctly, I think, there will be no 
matter left for further quarrel, and there will be no further 
need for us to busy ourselves with endless discussions. 


In all ages God's general goodness gave grace to all 
men, but to the elect He gave His special grace. 

We have endeavoured to prove as best we could with 
the Lord's help, 294 that not only in our own day but in all 
past ages as well God gave His grace to all men, provid- 


ing equally for all and showing to all His general good- 
ness, yet in such a manner that the effects of His grace 
are manifold and the measure of His gifts varying. For 
in hidden or open ways He is, as the Apostle says, the 
Saviour of all men, especially of the faithful 2 * 5 This state- 
ment is subtle in its brevity 296 and strong in its conclu- 
siveness. If we consider it with a calm mind, we shall 
notice that it decides the whole of the present controversy. 
For by saying, who is the Saviour of all men, the Apostle 
affirmed that God's goodness is general and takes care of 
all men. But by adding, especially of the faithful., he 
showed that there is a section of humankind whom God, 
thanks to their faith which He himself inspired, leads on 
with special helps to the supreme and eternal salvation. 297 
In doing this, God, who is supremely just and merciful, 
is above all injustice, and we have not to discuss His 
judgment about these rulings that would be arrogance 
but rather to praise it in awe and trembling. 


Among the faithful there are different degrees in God's 

gifts, and this is not due to their merit but 

to God's just and hidden judgment. 

In fact, among the faithful themselves, as we have al- 
ready shown above, 298 these gifts are not the same and are 
not equal for all. Before human merit can have any in- 
fluence, the divine mercies are measured out most un- 
equally. Rightly so. If we dare not complain of the 


decision of human parents when they show more Indul- 
gence and love for some of their children even before they 
have considered their behaviour or received from them 
any filial services; if we allow human masters also the 
free disposal of their servants, and if we cannot justly 
censure one who in a household of the same social stand- 
ing chooses those to whom he wishes to give greater priv- 
ileges and to provide with a more liberal education: 2 " 
must we then find fault with the most benevolent justice 
of the supreme Father and the true Master, because in 
His large household He disposes all things in countless 
ways and variations? Though no man has any good 
which he was not given by God, yet not all are resplen- 
dent with the same virtues or endowed with the same 
gratuitous gifts. And we may not see the reason of these 
different degrees in their different merits; it is rather 
grace which is the first cause of all merit, and which pro- 
duces all that is praiseworthy in each and every one. 



Not one of the elect is lost, but all who were chosen 
from all eternity attain salvation. 

Therefore, 301 just as our religious sense forbids us to 
harbour in our hearts any complaint about the multi- 
farious operations of the Holy Spirit within the Church, 302 
in the same manner we should in no way murmur about 
God's Providence which rules the destiny of the infidels. 
For our Master who is both just and kind, cannot will 


anything unjust nor waver in His discernment. We must, 
then, not fancy that, in spite of the immeasurable mercy 
and justice of almighty God, a man who is not a repro- 
bate would be lost. 303 

No part of the world is left without the Gospel of 
Christ. 304 And although that general call of His does not 
cease, yet the special call 305 has now also reached the 
whole of mankind. From every nation and every con- 
dition thousands of aged people, thousands of youths, 
thousands of children daily receive the grace of adoption. 
The very armies that exhaust the world help on the work 
of Christian grace. How many indeed who in the quiet 
of peace-time delayed to receive the sacrament of bap- 
tism, were compelled by fear of close danger to hasten 
to the water of regeneration, and were suddenly forced 
by threatening terror to fulfil a duty which a peaceful 
exhortation failed to bring home to their slow and tepid 
souls? Some sons of the Church, made prisoners by the 
enemy, changed their masters into servants of the Gospel, 
and by teaching them the faith they became the superiors 
of their own wartime lords. Again, some foreign pagans, 
whilst serving in the Roman armies, were able to learn 
the faith in our country, 308 when in their own lands they 
could not have known it; they returned to their homes 
instructed in the Christian religion. Thus nothing can 
prevent God's grace from accomplishing His will. He 
makes even of dissensions a bond of union and turns mis- 
fortunes into remedies. Thus where the Church feared 
danger, there she finds her expansion. 307 

Consequently, to whatever course of human events we 
direct our attention, we shall find out that no centuries 
or events, no rising or falling generations are independent 


of God's eternal and inscrutable judgments. All conflicts 
of opposed interests and all the causes of confusing 
events 30S which we are not able to search into and to 
explain, are simultaneously known and clear to God's 
eternal knowledge. There nothing is unsettled even of 
the modalities of actions that are still to come. For in 
God there is neither sudden impulse, nor new will, nor 
temporary design. His thought does not alter with the 
alternations of changeable things, but He comprehends 
with His eternal and immovable glance all times and 
things of time alike. He has already rendered all to all, 
since He has already accomplished what is still to come. 309 
Hence the well-known text of the blessed Apostle Paul 
to the Ephesians: Blessed be the God and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with spiritual 
blessings in heavenly places, in Christ, as He chose us in 
Him before the foundation of the world, that we should 
be holy and unspotted in His sight in charity. Who hath 
predestined us unto the adoption of children through 
Jesus Christ in Himself, according to the purpose of His 
will, unto the praise of the glory of His grace, 310 and so 
the rest of the text where the Apostle expresses the same 
idea. He teaches that the gift and the effect of grace al- 
ways existed in God's eternal design, and that God chose 
all His sons of adoption not only when He called them 
during their lifetime, but before the world was established. 
No one of mankind who was not foreknown as an elect 
in Christ, will in any way share in the election. 311 For 
all who at any time will be called and will enter into the 
kingdom of God, have been marked out in the adoption 
which preceded all times. 312 And just as none of the in- 
fidels is counted among the elect, so none of the God- 


fearing is excluded from the blessed. For in fact God's 
prescience which is infallible,, cannot lose any of the mem- 
bers that make up the fulness of the Body of Christ. And 
the number of the elect who were foreknown and fore- 
chosen in Christ before all times, can in no way be di- 
minished; 313 as the Apostle writes to Timothy: Labour 
with the gospel, according to the power of God, who hath 
delivered us and called us by a holy calling, not according 
to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, 
which was given us in Christ Jesus before time eternal. 



Though God's design about the salvation of the elect is 

without change, yet it is not useless to work and 

to acquire the merit of good actions, 

and also to keep on praying. 

To this blinding light of the invincible truth some peo- 
ple are wont to object unwisely: If the election of the 
grace of Christianity is fixed already in God's changeless 
counsel, and if nothing can turn out otherwise than was 
settled by the will of the Almighty, then it is superfluous 
to labour and to acquire the merit of good works, and it is 
useless to go on with prayers by which we hope to prevail 
upon Him. 315 But if they fancy that their objection is an 
acute one, then they fail to see that God's knowledge 
which embraces the past, the present, and the future, is 
not encompassed by time, and that future events are as 
present to Him as are current or past ones. Since this is 


absolutely true, this power which sees at a glance that is 
everlasting and truthful both what was created and is 
still to be, what was born and will be born, what was 
done and is still to be done, is not in need of time to look 
and discern. All that comes to pass in the whole universe 
through the appointed ages and is unrolled in a multitude 
of various events, it comprehends now in its entirety, in 
the same order in which till the end of the world it will 
take place according to His supreme and perfect judg- 

ment. 316 

But this eternal and ever serene knowledge does not 
impose on us any necessity of sinning, 317 and no iniquity 
can spring from the source of all justice. For, since the 
good God made all things good, and evil has no nature 
of its own at all, 318 it is from free wills that a wilful trans- 
gression arose; yet it was good that these wills were created 
free. Our fickle nature whose integrity depended on the 
changeless Essence, tore itself away from the supreme 
Good when taking pleasure in that which was its own. 319 
It is for this fall that God's grace now brings the remedy. 


The elect receive grace, not to allow them to be idle or to 

free them from the Enemy's attacks., but to enable 

them to work well and to conquer the Enemy. 

And for that reason 320 Jesus Christ came into this 
world, that He might destroy the works of the devil* 21 He 
effects this destruction in such a manner that the men 
whom He helps have an active part in it, and this also is 


a gift of the Saviour. That is why the blessed Apostle 
says: And not only so: but we glory also in tribulations, 
knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience 
trial; and trial hope; and hope confoundeth not; because 
the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the 
Holy Spirit who is given to us. 322 In like manner he says 
to the Ephesians: By grace you are saved through faith 
and that not of yourselves, for it is a gift of God; not of 
works, that no man may glory. For we are His handiwork, 
created in Christ ... in good works, which God hath pre- 
pared that we should walk in them. B2s 

God, then, grants to His elect whom He chose without 
any merit of their own, the means to gain merit. 324 And 
in vain would you say that the elect have no reason to 
labour; they were rather chosen that they should labour. 325 
For God's gifts, which are the virtues, cannot remain idle, 
because, as the Truth says. To every one that hath shall 
be given, . . . but from him that hath not, that also which 
he hath shall be taken away* 2Q Consequently, God does 
not give continence to allow a man not to resist his inor- 
dinate desires. He does not give wisdom and understand- 
ing to dispense a man from meditating on the Lord's law 
day and night. 327 What can the gift of charity effect if a 
man is not ever animated by a desire to help others? 
What can be the fruit of patience if fortitude has no 
chance to suffer? Or how will a man give proof that the 
life he lives is really devoted to Christ, 328 if he does not 
suffer any persecution? Or does the peace a man enjoys 
from God and with God, give the right sort of quiet if it 
is not in opposition to the world? Or can a man have the 
friendship of God without enmity of the devil? God's 
grace does not make any one proof against temptation. 


The Christian soldier is not equipped with heavenly 
weapons, both offensive and defensive, in order not to 
fight with any enemy; because it brings greater glory and 
happiness to come through battle invincible than to prove 
unassailable because of indolence. 


Election does not dispense from application to prayer, 

rather it reaches its fulfilment through the 

medium of prayer and good works. 

That the design of the divine election does not do away 
with attention to prayer, 329 I shall prove with evidence 
from one text, omitting all others for the sake of brief- 
ness. In the Book of Tobias the angel Raphael says to 
Tobias, the son: Remember the commandments of thy 
father., that he ordered thee to take a wife 33 from the 
family of thy father. And now, hear me, brother, do not 
take into account that devil; but ask for her. And know 
that she will be given thee for wife this night. And when 
thou shalt enter into the chamber, take of the liver of that 
fish, and put it on the coals: a smell will spread, and the 
devil shall smell it, and he will be driven away, and he 
shall never anymore make his appearance about her. And 
when thou shalt begin to desire to be with her, first rise 
both, and pray the Lord of heaven, that mercy and health 
be given you. And do not fear, for she was destined for 
thee before the centuries, and thou shalt heal /ier. 331 

Therefore, although it is impossible that God's decree 


would not come true, yet it does not do away with the 
practice of prayer, nor does the design of the election 
diminish the effort of man's free will. God rather preor- 
dained the effect He intended in such a way that He de- 
sires man's merit to grow through the labour of good 
works, through perseverance in supplications, through the 
practice of virtues. He wants to crown the good works of 
men not only according to His own plan but also ac- 
cording to their merits. And clearly it is for this reason 
that He hides the preordination of their election in a se- 
crecy quite inaccessible to human knowledge. 332 


Of no man can it be stated before his death that he will 

share the glory of the elect; on the other hand, 

there is no reason to despair of any 

fallen man's conversion. 

And of no man can the verdict be given before his death 
that he will share in the glory of the elect; rather, a salu- 
tary fear should make him persevere in humility. Let 
him that standeth, take heed lest he fall; 333 and if he 
should happen to fall, overcome by a temptation, let him 
not be consumed by sadness, nor despair of the mercy of 
Him who lifteth up all that fall, and setteth up all that 
are cast down*** For as long as we live in our bodies we 
must not neglect to correct any one, nor despair of any 

one's conversion. 335 

Let, then, Holy Church pray, let her give thanks for 


those who have received the f aith a let her make entreaty 
for their progress and perseverance. Let her plead on be- 
half of infidels that they may believe. 336 And when her 
prayers are not heard for some of them, let her not desist 
from praying. For God who wills all men to come to the 
knowledge of the truth, 3 * 7 cannot repel any one without 
a just reason. 













Ancient Christian Writers 

Ballerini text of De vocations 

Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticoram latinorum 

Dictionnaire apologetique de la foi catholique, 

4th ed. s ed. by A. d'Ales 

Dictionnaire de spiritualite ascetique et mystique 
Dictionnaire de theologie catholique 
Enchiridion symbolorum, 21st ed., ed. by H. Den- 

ziger, C. Bannwart, J. B. Umber g 
Histoire des conciles 
Mangeant text of De vocatione 
Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima col- 


P. J. Migne, Patrologia latina 
Thesaurus linguae latinae 


1 The title of the treatise reads Duo libri de vocatione omnium 
gentium, meaning two books intended to prove that all nations are 
the object of God's call to salvation. Omnium gentium reflects, no 
doubt, a term occurring frequently in the New Testament: e.g. 
Matt. 24. 14 ( e in testimonium omnibus gentibus'); 28. 19 ('docete 
omnes gentes**); Mark 13. 10 ( e in omnes gentes . . . oportet praedi- 
cari Evangelium'); Luke 24. 47; etc. 

2 For the latest study on Pelagius, cf. G. de Plinval, Pelage, ses 
ecrits, sa vie et sa reforme (Lausanne 1943); for the history of 
Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism, the chapters, c Les luttes pela- 
giennes' and 'L'activite doctrinale dans FEglise gallo-romaine/ by 


158 NOTES 

the same author, in A. Fliche and V. Martin, Histoire de I'Eglise 
4 (Paris 1937) 79 ff., 397 ff. For the canons of the Council of 
Carthage, cf. Mansi 3. 810-23 (still called there 'Milevitanum') 
Hefele-Leclercq 2. 1. 190-6 = ES 101-8. 

3 Cf. St. Augustine, Epist. 217 (Ad Vital) and 194 (Ad Six*.)- 

4 Cf., e.g. Epist. 186 (Ad Paulin.) 7. 25 f. 

5 Published in 426 or 427. Cf. also Epist. 214 and 215 (Ad 

6 Published in 426 or 427. Cf. the annotated edition by C. Boyer 
in Textm et documenta, ser. theoL (Rome 1932). 

7 At the time of the Congregatio de auxiliis (1598-1607). Cf. M. 
Jacquin, C A quelle date parut le terrne "semi-pelagien"?' in Rev. sc. 
phil theol 1 (1907) 506-8. For the doctrinal history of Serni- 
Pelagianism, cf. E. Amann, 'Semi-Pelagiens,' DTC 14.2 (1941) 
1796-850. The expression reliquice pelagianorum takes its origin 
from St. Prosper who calls the doctrines of St. Augustine's op- 
ponents pelagianae pravitatis reliquiae: Epist. ad Aug. 7. It may be 
good to recall that the term e Semi-Pelagianism' is historically a mis- 
nomer. None of the Semi-Pelagians ever had, or wished to have, 
any share in Pelagius' doctrines; both Cassian and Faustus of Riez 
protested that they condemned his errors with the Church. They 
were in no way half-converted Pelagians. Cf. O. Chadwick. John 
Cassian. A Study in Primitive Monasticism (Cambridge 1950) 113. 

8 Augustinism or St. Augustine's teaching on grace and liberty 
taken as a whole (cf. E. Portalie, c Augustinisme, II,' DTC 1. 2 [1903] 
2515ff.), has been understood in different ways according to the 
different spirit that guides the interpretation of St. Augustine's writ- 
ings. Some insist more on material faithfulness to the letter; 
e.g. O. Rotmanner, Der Augustinismus, eine dogmengeschicht- 
liche Studie (Munich 1892), as trans, and pref. by J. Liebaert, 
Mel. sc. rel. 6 (1949) 29-48, brings out the points of doctrine in 
which St. Augustine has not been followed by the Church; thus, 
in connection with our subject, his teaching on predestination for 
heaven and hell, and his interpretation of the Scripture text, 1 Tim. 
2. 4, on God's salvific will in a restrictive sense. Others endeavour 
rather to reveal the spirit of his system and its fundamental agree- 
ment with the Church's doctrine even in the matter of predesti- 
nation and salvific will, in spite of some unfortunate expressions 
or an unhappy insistence on one aspect of the question. Cf., e.g. C. 
Boyer, c Le systeme de Saint Augustin sur la grace,' Rech. sc. rel 20 
(1930) 501-25, reprinted in the volume of Essais sur la doctrine de 


Saint Augustin (Paris 1932) 206-36; or H. Rondet, 'L'anthropologie 
religiense de Saint Augustin,' Rech. sc. rel. 29 (1939) 188-96. 

9 Cf. Amann, art. tit. 1819-27 and 1833-49. 

10 The works of St. Prosper are found in ML 51. 

"ML 51.67-71 or ML 33. 1002-7 = A. Goldbacher, CSEL 
57. 454-68. 

12 ML 33. 1007-12 CSEL 57. 468-81. 

13 Both written in 428 or 429. For the contents, cf. N. Merlin, 
Saint Augustin et les dogmes du peche original et de la grace (Paris 
1931) 310-46. 

14 Cf. s e.g. De praed. sanct. 2. 3. St. Prosper will follow this ex- 
ample of argumentation in the Contra collator em (6 and 14) or the 
Carmen de ingratis (e.g. 126-46; the burden of the whole poem is 
to show that the Semi- Pelagians logically follow Pelagius); cf. also 
De voc. 1. 22. 

15 Collationes; text in ML 49.477-1326 and in M. Petschenig, 
CSEL 13. Cassian's Serni-Pelagianisrn is especially manifest in the 
13th Conference (ML 49. 897-954 = CSEL 13.361-96), which 
is taken to task by St. Prosper in his De gratia et arbitrio liber 
contra collatorem (ML 51.215-74). On Cassian, cf. L. Cristiani, 
Jean Cassien (2 vols., Paris 1946); Chadwick, op. cit.; for his 
spiritual doctrine, M. Olphe-Galliard, 'Cassien, 3 DSAM 2 (1938) 

1C Text (ML 50. 637-86) by R. S. Moxon, in Cambridge Patristic 
Texts (Cambridge 1915). On the author and purpose of this 
treatise, cf. Amann, art. cit. 1819-22. St. Vincent's opposition to 
Augustinisrn was confined to the doctrine of grace. On that of the 
Trinity and the Incarnation he was an admirer of St. Augustine as 
is apparent from a recently discovered work of his: cf. J. Madoz, 
Un tradado desconocido de San Vicente de Lerins, 3 Gregorianum 
21 (1940) 75-94; and Eoccerpta Vincentii Lirinensis, in Estudios 
Onienses, ser. I. 1 (Madrid 1940). 

17 Cf. St. Prospers Pro Augustino responsiones ad capitula obiec- 
tionum Vincentianarum: ML 51. 177-86. 

18 Text, ML 51.205-12 ES 129-42. Cf. Amann, art. cit. 
1828-30, on the meaning of the document. St. Prosper's authorship 
was proved by M. Cappuyns, *L'origine des capitula pseudo-celes- 
tiniens contre le semi-pelagianisme,' Rev. Ben. 41 (1929) 156-70. 
L. Cristiani, op. cit. (2.240), characterizes the three respective 
positions in the question of grace involved in the controversies as 
follows: To the question, what is man after the Fall able to do 

160 NOTES 

by himself (without grace) in view of his eternal salvation, Pela- 
gius answers that he can do everything; St. Augustine, that he can 
do nothing; the Semi-Pelagians, that he can do something. 

19 Text in ML 58. 783-836, and A. Engelbrecht, CSEL 21. 1-98. 
Cf. Amann, art. tit. 1833-7. 

20 Cf. 1. 11, e . . . fatalis persuasio quae vim praescientiae cogentis 
inducit, omnino respuenda est'; also 2. 4. Cf. Amann, art. cit. 

21 St. Fulgentius' reply to Faustus' De gratia Del has not been 
preserved, but is known from his Epist. ad loan, et Vener. (ML 
45. 435-42) and from a treatise, De veritate praedestinationis (ibid. 
603-72). Cf. Amann, art. tit. 1840. 

22 In Mansi 8. 712-8 Hefele-Leclercq 2.2.1085-109. Cf. 
M. Cappuyns, T'origine de capitula d'Orange 529,' Rech. theol. 
anc. med. 6 (1934) 121-42. According to Cappuyns, canons 1-8 
come from John Maxentius (of whom fragments of works are found 
in MG 86. 1. 75-158). The capitula 9-25 are taken from St. Pros- 
per's Liber sententiarum ex Augustino delibatarum. 

23 St. Caesarius' sermons in ML 39 and 67 = G. Morin, Sancti 
Caesarii Arelatensis Sermones (2 vols., Maredsous 1937). On 
Caesarius, cf. P. Lejay, c Cesaire d' Aries (Saint), 3 DTC 2. 2 (1910) 
2168-85, which summarizes the same author's study, e Le role the- 
ologique de Cesaire d' Aries, 3 Rev. d'hist. et de lit. rel 10 (1905) 

24 ML 51. 427-96. As noted by Cappuyns, c Le premier represen- 
tant de Paugustinisme medieval, Prosper d'Aquitaine,' Rech. theol. 
anc. med. 1 (1929) 309-37, this Liber sententiarum is the first 
sample of a type of literature much in fashion in the Middle Ages. 
(Further references to this article will be shortened, Cappuyns, 
"Premier representant.')On St. Augustine's contribution to the 
final victory over Pelagianism, cf. K. Rahner, 'Augustin und der 
Semipelagianismus, 3 Zeitschr. kith. Theol. (1938) 171-96. 

25 Cf. Amann, art. cit. 1830. 

26 Cf. M. Cappuyns, c L'auteur du De vocatione omnium gentium,' 
Rev. Ben. 39 (1927) 198-226. Further references to this study will 
be shortened, Cappuyns, 'L'auteur.' The uncertainty about the 
author of the De vocatione originates, no doubt, from the wide- 
spread fashion of the time by which writers concealed their author- 
ship either in anonymity or under another well-known author's 
name. Cf. J. de Ghellinck, Patristique et Moyen Age 2 (Brussels- 
Paris 1947) 351 f. 


27 Cappuyns, 'L'auteur' 199, enumerates six codices with St. 
Ambrose's name, of which two of the sixteenth century are pos- 
terior to the 1492 edition of St. Ambrose's works (Amerbach, 
Basel). One more was known by ancient cataloguers. He briefly 
sketches the history of this MS -attribution of the De vocatione to 
St. Ambrose; it appears to originate from one codex Vat. Lot. 268, 
as the Ballerini already believed (cf. ML 55. 159). 

28 Cf. Cappuyns, c L 5 auteur 3 198 n. 2. Cappuyns mentions (ibid. 
n. 1) other conjectures about the author, pointing to Eucher of 
Lyons, or Prosper of Orleans. Cf. Quesnel (ML 55. 340-4) or the 
Ballerini (ML 55. 371-3). 

29 p^ Quesnel, Dissertatio secunda de auctore librorum de voca- 
tione omnium gentium, in vol. 2 of S. Leonis opera omnia, Paris, 
1675; Lyons, 1700. This dissertation was reprinted in ML 
55. 339-72. Quesnel admitted that the accepted opinion considered 
St. Prosper as the author; the heading of his dissertatio continues, 
qui Prospero Aquitano vulgo attribuuntur. He also attests, op. cit. 
18 (ML 55. 361), that before him reasons for doubting St. Prosper's 
authorship had been proposed by G. J. Vossius, Historiae de con- 
troversiis quas Pelagius eiusque reliquiae moverunt: Lib. VII 
(Amsterdam 1655) 1. 20; and by H. de Noris, Historia Pelagiana 
(Padua 1673) 2. 14. Cf. Cappuyns, 'L'auteur* 201 n.3. Quesnel's 
edition of St. Leo was put on the Index on account of the Jansenistic 
ideas expressed in his annotations (cf. a description of his edition 
in the Schoenemanni notitia historico-litteraria in S. Leonem y in 
ML 54. 82-6). A new edition of St. Leo was then prepared by the 
brothers J. and P. Ballerini (cf. below, n. 32) by commission of, 
and with the financial support of, Pope Benedict XIV to whom 
they dedicate their work. 

It should be noted that QuesneFs argument from internal evi- 
dence for the Leonine composition of the De vocatione is weak 
when we consider the fact of Prosper's influence in St. Leo's writ- 
ings, which is generally admitted. Cf. de Ghellinck, op. cit. 213 f ., 
and below, n. 44. 

30 J. Antelmi, De veris operibus SS. Patrum Leonis Magni et 
Prosperi Aquitani dissertationes criticae 3 Paris, 1869; cf. the Bal- 
lerini in ML 55. 373 f., and Cappuyns, 'L'auteur 5 198 n. 1. Antel- 
mi's hypothesis that the treatise had been published anonymously, 
was also proposed by Quesnel, op. cit. 12 (ML 55. 345 f.). 

31 L. E. Du Pin, Nouvelle bibliotheque des auteurs ecclesiastiques 
(Paris 1695) 4. 199 ff. The Admonitio in libros de vocatione om- 

162 NOTES 

nium gentium, printed in ML 51.639-48, is the Latin translation 
of Du Pin's article. Cf. Cappuyns, 'L'auteur' 199 n. 1. 

32 Ballennorum observationes in dissertationem secundam Ques- 
nelli de auctore librorum de vocatione omnium gentium, in vol. 2 
of S. Leonis opera, Venice, 1756 = ML 55. 371-88. They conjec- 
tured as author an unknown Prosper, other than St. Prosper of 
Aquitaine; cf. ML 55. 160. The Schoenemanni notitia hist.-litt. gives 
a glowing description of their edition of St. Leo's works, ML 
54. 97-103. 

33 Cf. O. Bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchlichen Literatur 4 
(Freiburg i. B. 1924) 541 f.; J. Tixeront, A Handbook of Patrology 
(4th ed. trans, by S. A. Raemers, St. Louis 1927) 272; A Cayre, 
Patrologie et histoire de la theologie (4th ed. Tournai 1947) 2. 186. 
Yet, cf. Amann, art. cit. 1832: 'The question of the author seems 
to tend towards a definite solution.' The solution he expects to 
become definite is the one of Cappuyns. 

34 'L'auteur,' etc. cf. above, n. 26. 

35 Cappuyns, 'L'auteur' 200, enumerates ten extant MSS which 
attribute the De vocatione to St. Prosper, and mentions six more 
that were known by ancient editors or authors. He concludes: 
'L'attribution a Prosper n'est pas un fait isole au XII e siecle et se 
rencontre deja en Allemagne au IX-X e siecle.' 

36 ML 121. 276: De hac iterum dispensatione divinorum operum 
Prosper in libro de vocatione gentium it a loquitur . . . .' This is fol- 
lowed by the quotation, 'Multa enim sunt . . .,' comprising the en- 
tire ch. 14 of Book One. 

37 ML 125.203 D-4A: 'Prosper in libro secunda de vocatione 
gentium demonstrat dicens . . .,' with quotation from. ch. 8. : 'Non 
omnis reparabilis reparatus . . . .' till c gratia est. 3 

38 Cappuyns, 'L'auteur' 201 n. 1. 

39 Cappuyns, ibid. 201. 

40 Cappuyns concludes a close examination (ibid. 202-12) of the 
doctrinal parallelism between St. Prosper and the De vocatione thus 
(212), We have found no real difference in doctrine.' As examples 
of this identity of doctrine he gives the following: both affirm a 
universal salvific will, both refer this fact to God's general mercies, 
both sacrifice partly the Augustinian predestination and lay greater 
stress on human freedom. In both we find the same incoherences 
and the same original line of evolution. 

41 The literary comparison is found in pp. 213-20 of Cappuyns' 
'L'auteur. 3 


42 Cf. Cappuyns, ibid. 214 f. and n. 1 of 214 

43 Ibid. 220. Independently of Cappuyns' study and as commu- 
nicated in writing to the present translator, P. Schepens (+1950), 
in an unpublished comparative study of the vocabulary of St. 
Prosper and the De vocations, had arrived at the same conclusion 
about the author of our treatise. 

44 Cappuyns, c L'auteur } 220-5. Compare the title page of ML 51 : 
S. Prosperi Aquitani S. Augustini disdpuli S. Leonis papae no- 
tarii .... For the parallel passages pointed out by Quesnel, cf. his 
dissertatio (ML 55. 351-4). 

45 E.g. G. Bardy, 'Prosper d'Aquitaine (Saint)/ DTC 13.1 
(1936) 847. In his revised edition of P. de Labriolle's Histoire de 
la litterature latine chretienne (Paris 1947) 2. 666 n., Bardy writes: 
C I1 est actuellement demontre que saint Prosper est encore Pauteur 
du De Vocatlone omnium gentium. 3 See also B. Steidle, Patrologie 
(Freiburg i. B. 1937) 96; B. Altaner, Patrologie (2nd ed. Freiburg i. B. 
1950) 400: the work can be attributed to Prosper 'with great prob- 
ability. 3 L. Pelland, S. Prosperi Aquitani doctrina de praedestina- 
tione et voluntate salvifica, de eius in augustinismum influxu (Mon- 
treal 1936) 154, believes, c solida cum probabilitate posse hos libros 
De voc. omn. gent. Prospero Aquitano attribui.' Cf. J. Gaidioz, 
"Saint Prosper d'Aquitaine et le tome a Flavien, 5 Rev. sc. rel. 23 
(1949) 270-301, esp. 287 ff. In order to confirm the conclusion 
that St. Prosper is the author of the De vooatione, we shall fre- 
quently refer in the notes to parallel or identical texts in his other 

46 Cf. G. Bardy, art. tit., who utilizes the preceding studies on 
Prosper, especially the two articles of Cappuyns frequently quoted 
here. Cf. also L. Valentin, Saint Prosper d'Aquitaine, etude sur la 
litterature latine ecclesiastique au V e siecle en Gaule (Paris 1900), 
and his reviewer, L. Couture, in two articles: "Saint Prosper d'Aqui- 
taine,' Bull litt. eccles. (1900) 269-82 and (1901) 33-49; M. Jac- 
quin, e La question de la predestination au V e et VI e siecles,' Rev. 
hist, eccles. (1906) 269-300. 

47 Except for slight discrepancies which do not affect Prosper's 
doctrinal evolution, scholars agree on the chronology of his works. 
Cf . below, n. 52. 

48 Thus Valentin, Couture, Jacquin, Bardy, Amann, Cayre, Cap- 

49 Jacquin, art. cit., holds that St. Prosper abandoned St. Augus- 
tine's teaching in one point only, and brought in an innovation 

164 NOTES 

by explaining reprobation post praevisa merita. This can be seen, 
for instance, in Resp. cap. Gall. 3: 'Ideo praesdestinati non sunt, 
quia tales futuri ex voluntaria praevaricatione praesciti sunt.' Cap- 
puyns, 'Premier representant,' admits a more general evolution in 
St. Prosper's doctrinal positions, in a direction away from Augus- 
tinism; so, too, Amann, art. cit. 1827: C V. Le repli des augustiniens 5 ; 
and several others. Pelland, op. cit., refuses to believe that St. 
Prosper ever ceased to be a faithful follower of St. Augustine. These 
differences in interpretation arise partly from the different con- 
ceptions of Augustine's doctrine and of Augustinism. Cf. above, n. 8. 

50 We shall frequently indicate in the notes parallel passages in 
St. Augustine's works, drawing mainly from those written at the 
time of the Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian controversies (412-30), 
and only occasionally from his other writings. It will thus be seen 
that these are incomparably more numerous than the few similar 
texts which Quesnel detected between St. Leo and the De vocatione. 
This will be at the same time an additional proof to exclude Ques- 
nel's supposition that Leo must be the the author of our treatise. 
For St. Leo, as is well known, was never influenced by St. Augus- 
tine, in his ideas and their expression, to the extent that one can 
perceive the Augustinian influence at work in the De vocatione; 
whilst St. Prosper in all his works does clearly reveal his Augus- 

51 'Premier representant 9 310. 

52 The chronological order of St. Prosper's works, according to 
Cappuyns, art. cit., is as follows. First period (till about 432) : 1) 
Epistola ad Rufinum de gratia et libero arbitrio (426-427); 2) 
Epistola ad Augustinum (end of 428); 3) Carmen de ingratis 
(about 430), a versified rendering of the Epist. ad Ruf. y with a pun 
on the ingrati 'ungrateful' and 'enemies of grace' (inspired by St. 
Augustine, Serm. 26. 11. 14, 'contra istam gratiam ab ingratis non 
disputetur'); 4) Pro Augustino responsiones ad excerpta Genuen- 
sium (after 430). Of this last work G. de Plinval, Pelage 367 n. I, 
ventures a possible correction of the title, Agenuensium = 'the men 
of Agen/ instead of Genuensium. Valentin, Couture, Jacquin, Pel- 
land, Amann invert the order of Epist ad Ruf. and Epist. ad Aug. 
Second period (433-435) : 1) De gratia et libero arbitrio liber con- 
tra collatorem, a heated and not always fair attack on Cassian (see 
Chadwick, op. cit. 135); 2) Pro Augustino responsiones ad capitula 
obiectionum Gallorum calumniantium; 3) Pro Augustino respon- 
siones ad capitula obiectionum Vincentianarum. Valentin and Cou- 


ture invert this order and place the Contra coll after both series of 
Responsiones. Jacquin here agrees with Cappuyns, but places the 
Resp. excerp. Gen. in this period. Third period (after 435, date of 
Cassian's death, when Prosper resides in Rome): 1) Expositio in 
Psalmos (between 435 and 449), a summary of St. Augustine's 
Enarr. in Ps.; 2) Gapitula, sen praeteritorum Sedis Apostolicae 
episcoporum auctoritates de gratia Dei (between 435 and 442); 3) 
450); 4) Liber sententiarum ex Augustino delibatarum (about 451); 
5) Epigrammata ex sententiis S. Augustini (after 451), the previous 
work in verse; 6) St. Prospers Chronicum, begun before 435 during 
his stay in Gaul and continued in Rome, stops at the year 455. Cap- 
puyns concludes that he must have died shortly after this date. 
Even for scholars who hesitate to subscribe to Cappuyns 5 con- 
clusion about St. Prosper's authorship of the De vocations, our 
treatise finds its historical setting in the evolution of Augustinism 
at the moment when the Catholic doctrine began to be separated 
from Augustinian theories. Whether written by Prosper or not, 
the De vocatione is the fruit and a symptom of a partial withdrawal 
of the Augustinians. Cf. Amann, art. cit. 1827. This is exactly St. 
Prosper's position in his last period, as Cappuyns, 'Premier repre- 
sentant,* has clearly shown. 

53 Several authors writing on the De vocatione summarize Book 
One by saying that it deals with the gratuitousness of grace; ci 
Amann, art cit. 1831, or L. Caperan, Le problems du salut des infi- 
deles. Essai historique (2d ed. Paris 1934) 138. This may be correct 
as to the material contents of the Book, but it hardly corresponds to 
the author's purpose and to the formal viewpoint he takes. He in- 
tends to study the universal salvific will, De vocatione OMNIUM 
GENTIUM. Only in order to expose this doctrine 'which cannot be 
denied' (1.1) and to reconcile it with the fact that many are not 
saved, he brings in the doctrine about the gratuitousness of grace. 
Cf. in this sense Pelland, op. cit. 157. 

54 For St. Augustine's interpretation of 1 Tim. 2. 4 (or of similar 
texts) cf. E. Portalie, c Augustin (Saint)/ DTC 1. 2 (1903) 2407, or 
Caperan, op. cit. 197-9. St. Augustine, as is well known, inter- 
preted the text in a restrictive meaning in at least three different 
ways: cf. Enchir. 27. 103 (ACW 4. 97 and n. 336); De corrept. et 
grat. 15. 47; De praed. sanct. 8. 14. For a brief historical survey 
of medieval Augustinism, cf. A. d'Ales, 'Predestination,' DAFC 4 

166 NOTES 

(1922) 216-25. After Cappuyns' studies on the De vocations, the 
reference to its 'anonymous author' needs revision. 

55 Cf. Cassian, Coll. 13, De prov. div. 7. Cf. St. Prospers Epist. 
ad Aug. 4, and Hilary's Epist. ad Aug. 7. 

56 Even to-day scholars do not agree in their way of interpreting 
the De vocatione. Does it hold universalism or particularism of 
God's salvific will? Some, as for instance, A. d'AIes, art. cit. 216, 
read in it an indubitable universalism. So did Portalie, 'Augustin- 
isme,' DTC 1.2 (1903) 25251 Others, e.g. Jacquin, art. cit. 293, 
refuse to read in St. Prospers works a genuinely unrestricted uni- 
versal will of salvation. A key to this diversity of opinions may 
perhaps be discovered in Amann, art. cit. 1832, when he says that 
the doctrine of the De vocatione is to some extent inconsistent in its 
diverse affirmations, owing to the 'fluctuations of a thought of which 
cohesion is not the most outstanding feature. 5 The author of the 
De vocatione sees in each of the opposing systems of St. Augustine 
and the Semi-Pelagians what are their good and weak points; from 
both sides he takes what he thinks right, and rejects what he con- 
siders unacceptable, without realizing that by so doing he con- 
structs a system that harbours inconsistencies and contradictions. 
(Cappuyns, 'L'auteur 3 212, also notes these incoherences.) This 
view may be the closest to the objective facts given by the texts. 
It also allows a more natural interpretation of various statements 
which it is then not necessary to force into a firmly coherent 
structure. But the desire of the author to open out a more pro- 
nounced universalism than he had read in St. Augustine seems to 
be beyond doubt. It will have to be seen in detail how far he is 
successful in executing this desire. 

5T A clear expression of this connection between the gratuitous- 
ness of grace and predestination is found, for example, in De dono 
persev. 13. 33. 

58 This brief summary of Book One may fail to bring out suffi- 
ciently the formal viewpoint of St. Prosper in dealing at length with 
the gratuitousness of grace. The text itself interspersed with re- 
peated mention of the universal salvific will (1.5, 12, 20, 25) mani- 
fests his intention more clearly. His study of the gratuitousness of 
grace, aimed undoubtedly at the Semi-Pelagians, is loosened from 
its connection with predestination, and answers the question why 
it is that not all are saved. The Semi-Pelagians answered the ques- 
tion by saying that those perish who do not wish to be saved. 


stressing the fact that grace waits for their initiative. St. Prosper 
wanted to discard this explanation at any cost. 

59 The universal distribution of grace is in no way opposed to its 
gratuitous character. Cf., e.g. a modern theologian, H. Rondet, *La 
grace liberatrice,' Nouv. rev. theol. 69 (1947) 128 f. St. Prosper, 
as has just been said, has his own reason for insisting on the com- 
plete gratuitousness of grace: he writes against the Semi-Pelagians. 

60 Those authors especially who maintain that St. Prosper never 
swerved from St. Augustine's teaching, find in the Doctor of Grace 
an equivalent to St. Prosper's distinction between general and 
special grace. Already Portalie, art. cit., DTC 1.2. 2407 f., leads 
up to it when he sees in St. Augustine's interpretation given in the 
De spir. et. litt. 33. 58, a universal but conditional salvific will 
(corresponding to St. Prosper's gratia generalis, and, for Portalie, 
the equivalent of the voluntas antecedens of later Scholasticism) 
and in the later interpretations of 1 Tim. 2. 4 the efficacious salvific 
will which applies only to the elect (the equivalent of the gratia 
specialis of the De vocatione, and of the voluntas consequens of the 
Scholastics). There may be a real, but implicit and incomplete, 
correspondence. On the idea of universal grace in St. Augustine, 
cf. de Plinval, Pelage 399 f. 

61 Cf. Cappuyns, 'L'auteur' 222. Quesnel found in St. Leo the 
idea of a general help offered and given to all men in the follow- 
ing seven passages: Serm. 18. 2, 19. 2, 35. 4, 38. 3 3 44. 1, 82. 2, 91. 1. 
Cappuyns, ibid. 224, notes more parallel expressions (e.g. Serm. 
24. 1, 67. 1) , and points out the different doctrinal context. St. 
Leo gives expression to the idea, but does not connect it with the 
salvific will; he does not go beyond St. Paul's idea in Rom. I. 20 f. 

62 For a detailed discussion of the gratia generalis and specialis, 
cf. below, Book Two n. 226, where references to the text are given 
for every particular statement. 

63 Cf. below, Book Two nn. 210-16. 

64 On the doctrine of election or predestination in the De voca- 
tione, cf. n. 316 to Book Two. 

65 This important element for the solution of our problem is in- 
sinuated rather than explicitly stated, but it is scarcely made use of 
owing, no doubt, to the fact that our author is obsessed by the 
election theory: cf. below. Book Two n. 232. 

66 Thus Cappuyns, 'Premier representant' 337, e Aussi bien 1'uni- 
versalisme de Prosper . . . se reduit-il au derniere analyse a une 
excellente intention.' Perhaps this conclusion should be slightly 

168 NOTES 

modified, and in the light of n. 56, a more real universalism may be 
said to have been affirmed by St. Prosper; provided, however, we do 
not require too stringent a consistency of the system found in the 
De vocatione. He really intends to establish a universal salvific will 
which excludes no man and extends grace to all men, no one being 
excepted. And he means to say explicitly that all men do receive 
grace. Yet it is clear that grace which actually leads to salvation is 
not received by all, for not all are saved. Why does their grace 
not save them? Here lies the mystery; for St. Prosper the answer is 
hidden in God's judgments His election. 

67 No one denies that St. Prosper softens down St. Augustine's 
excessively rigid expressions; the purposeful avoidance of the words 
'predestination 9 and its derived forms (it occurs only once, in a 
Scripture quotation) is too clear a proof of this. As noted above, 
n. 56, not all students of Prosper agree that he would also have 
interpreted some of St. Augustine's ideas on predestination and 
salvific will in a more lenient sense. We are inclined to think that 
there is a real change in the viewpoint and in the stress laid on 
different aspects of the mystery of man's salvation, and, conse- 
quently, a change, at least to some extent, in the ideas themselves. 
If we do not demand absolute consistency of system in the De vo- 
catione, as in the whole of St. Prosper 's theology, we may frankly 
admit a veering away from St. Augustine's ideas in the conception 
of the universal salvific will. Yet at the same time he tries to hold 
on to a theory of election that does not go together with his uni- 
versalism. At any rate, the De vocatione remains 'another attempt 
to temper the Augustinian teaching' (Cayre, Manual of Patrology 2 
[tr. by H. Howitt, Tournai 1940] 190). 

68 Thus Cappuyns, Valentin, d' Ales, Amann, Caper an, Tixeront, etc. 

69 St. Prosper's influence, though real in the early Middle Ages 
(cf. Cappuyns, 'Premier representant' 335 n. 82) is less felt in the 
golden age of Scholasticism. St. Thomas, for example, seems to have 
known only or mainly his Liber sent, ex Aug. delib. This may be 
partly due to the fact, recently pointed out by H. Bouillard, Con- 
version et grace chez S. Thomas d'Aquin, Etude historique (Paris 
1944), that the historical Semi-Pelagianism and the canons of the 
Council of Orange that condemned it were practically unknown by 
the Scholastics from the twelfth to the sixteenth century. These 
canons were not in the council collections in use at the time, up 
to 1538, when they were inserted in a new edition of the councils 
by Peter Crabbe, Cologne. Till then the theologians were unac- 


quainted with the Council of Orange itself. Cf. Bouillard, op. tit. 
92-122: 'Decouverte du semi-pelagianisme/ To-day the De voca- 
tione finds honourable mention in most theological or historical 
surveys of the problem of the salvation of infidels. Cf., e.g. Cape- 
ran, op. tit. 137-43, or d'Ales, art. tit. 1156-81. A recent study by 
I. Ortega, De vocations omnium gentium in salutem (Manila 1946) 
87, mentions our treatise in its historical survey, with too laudatory 
an appreciation of it: catholicam doctrinam it a insigniter confecit 
ut addendum vix quidquam appareat.' 

70 With the title, De vocatione omnium gentium libri duo qui 
Leoni Magno a Quesnello perperam attributi ignoto cuidam Pros- 
pero adiudicandi videntur (cf. above, n. 29 and n. 32). The Bal- 
lerini text of the De vocatione, which was not reprinted in Migne 
with their text of St. Leo, improves Mangeant's edition (for which 
cf. the foil, n.) by a further collation of three MSS: Vat. Reg. 293, 
Vat. Lat. 268, and Vat. Lat. 262 (cf. ML 55. 157-9). The Ballermi, 
loc cit. } cite three more MSS of the De vocatione that bear St. Pros- 
per's name, Vat. Palat. 236, Vat. Lat. 558, and Vat. Lat. 559, and 
a fourth under St. Ambrose's name, Vat. Lat. 281, which, however, 
they did not use to establish their text. 

71 Mangeant's text, prepared by le Brun des Marettes and D. 
Mangeant, is based on the printed editions of St. Prosper's works 
of Louvain (1565, by J. Soteaux), Douai (1577, by J. Olivier), and 
Cologne (1609, reproduces Douai), which they corrected with the 
assistance of QuesnePs edition of the De vocatione in the Opera 
S. Leonis (this itself was mainly made on a MS Par. Nat. 2156 = 
the Codex Thuaneus of ML 51) and through collation of two more 
MSS, one of the Codex Camber onensis, known but not used for 
the revision of the text by J. Olivier for the Douai edition, and the 
Par. Nat. 17413 ( Co dex Joliensis). Cf. ML 51. 649 A and 
55. 157 f.; and Cappuyns, 'L'auteur' 200 n. L H. Hurter has the De 
vocatione in vol. 3 of the SS. PP. opuscula selecta, with only a few 
variant readings from the Ballermi text. ML 17 prints a text of the 
De vocatione among the doubtful or spurious works of St. Ambrose 
(1073-132); it was added by Migne to the Benedictine edition of 
St. Ambrose's works which he was reprinting, without any indi- 
cation of its source. This text has a different division into chapters, 
only nine for Book One and ten for Book Two. 

72 In the notes B stands for the Ballerini text and M for Man- 
geant's (Migne 51). 

7S The translation is mentioned in the Schoenemanni notitia his- 

170 NOTES 

torico-litteraria in S. Prosper urn, printed in Migne's volume of St. 
Prosper's works (ML 51.61). The rare work is found in the Biblio- 
theque Nationale of Paris from where a copy of it on microfilm 
was obtained. For the author of that translation, Antoine Girard, 
cf. C. Sommervogel, Bibliotheque des ecrivains de la Compagnie de 
Jesus 3. 1434-43. The Vocation des Gentils is mentioned 1439. 14 
bis. It was published without the name of the translator, as more 
books and translations of A. Girard had been. Girard's remarks 
are mainly levelled against the Jansenists. The French translation 
of St. Prosper's works published by P. Lequeux, Paris, 1762, does not 
give the De vocatione. This translator included only the works that 
definitely belong (or were considered as belonging) to St. Prosper, 
and after QuesnePs dissertatio the once accepted opinion was no 
longer commonly held. A. Girard who came before Quesnel, con- 
sidered St. Prosper as the author of the De vocatione. 


1 defensores liberi arbitrii = the Massilienses, later known as the 
Semi-Pelagians; praedicatores gratiae Dei = the followers of St. 
Augustine. The text refers to the first phase of the Semi-Pelagian 
and Augustinian controversies, the acme of which was reached 
in the years 430-5, with Cassian and St. Vincent of Lerins on the 
Semi-Pelagian side, and St. Prosper of Aquitaine as their chief op- 
ponent. Cf. Intro. 4-6. 

2 The De vocatione affirms universalism in God's salvific will, 
which is taken as certain or even as of faith (cf. below, ch. 25) : 
it departs in this view from St. Augustine's restrictive interpreta- 
tions of 1 Tim. 2.4 (cf., however, below chs. 9-12). Cf. Prosper 
in Resp. cap. Vincent. 2: 'Sincerissime credendum atque profiten- 
dum est Deum velle ut omnes homines salvi riant'; and Resp. cap. 
Gall. 8. Jacquin, 'La question de la predestination au V e et VI e 
siecles,' Rev. hist. eccl. 7 (1906) 293, does admit here a real uni- 
versalism. Cf. Cappuyns, 'L'auteur' 206 f. 

3 Cf. St. Augustine, Enarr. in Ps. 70. 2. 1 : 'Gratia gratis data est. 
Nam nisi gratis esset, gratia non esset'; and Retract. 1.22.2: c Non 
est gratia, si earn ulla merita praecedunt . . . .' The dilemma is 
clearly stated. If God wills the salvation of all men, why are not 

BOOK I 171 

all actually saved? Either because of the will of men, but then 
grace without which there is no salvation is made dependent on the 
merits of men and it is no longer a gift but something due to men; 
or because of the will of God who does not give grace to some men, 
but then there seems to be no universal salvific will, since God 
would not give to all the only means of salvationwhich He alone 
can give grace. The latent presupposition of the dilemma is the 
Augustinian idea that God's will and grace are always effective of 
their purpose. Later theology will distinguish two kinds of divine 
will and of grace, and thus evade the dilemma. St. Augustine, as is 
well known (cf. Amann, art. eft. 1814), avoided to treat ex professo 
of the salvific will, and in his later years at least interpreted the 
relevant Scripture texts in a particularistic sense. 

4 An often recurring principle of solution for the problem studied 
in the De vocations is stated here: it is necessary to clearly dis- 
tinguish between what we are able to know and what is beyond 
our ken (cf. Book Two, ch. 1). This reference to the unknowable 
mystery of God's judgments is Augustinian: cf. 5 e.g. De corrept. et 
grot. 8. 17; and Amann, art. cit. 1802. St. Prosper insists more par- 
ticularly on the necessity of discerning between the mystery and 
what we can come to know. Cf. below, Book Two n. 290. 

5 annitar inquirere: in this phrase Quesnel, Dissertatio 2a (ML 
55. 345 f.), and the Ballerini, Observations in diss. 2a (ibid. 373), 
read an indication that it is the first time the author of the De 
vocatione treats of this problem; that he, therefore, cannot be St. 
Prosper of Aquitaine. This conclusion seems to be unwarranted, 
when we consider his purpose, expressly stated here: to determine 
what can and what cannot be known in the matter. Would it not 
be more correct to say that this is possible only, or, at any rate, 
will be better done, if done by one who has dealt with these 
problems before and is familiar with them? 

6 This limit of our knowledge will repeatedly be pointed out; cf. 
below, chs. 13, 14, 21, 25. 

7 ... de . . . motibus et gradibus voluntatis: lit., the 'movements* 
of the will at its different levels or degrees. Gf. below, ch. 2, the 
threefold will in man. 

8 Pelagius' conception of freedom (cf., e.g. St. Augustine, Opus 
imp. c. lul. 6. 9, Julian's explanation: c . . . possibilitas peccandi et 
non peccandi . . . quae habeat facultatem in quod voluerit latus 
suopte insistendi arbitratu') according to which he is free who 
can do what he wants, requires that man is equally able to do good 

172 NOTES 

or evil. Consequently, if a man is not able to do good by himself, 
without grace, this would mean that he is not free. The Semi- 
Pelagians did not go that far (cf., however, Cassian., in St. Prosper's 
Contra coll. 13. 6), but they objected to the initiative being taken 
by grace; if the will is set in motion by grace, it does not move 
Itself, and would then not be free. Cf. the following note. 

9 non ducem sed comitem: grace not preceding or leading, but 
following, the will. This expresses exactly the Semi-Pelagian po- 
sition; cf. Cassian, Coll 13. 11. Cassian taught, it should be noted, 
that the initiative for good works at times belongs to our human 
will and at other times to grace; cf. Amann, art. cit. 1806-8. Note 
also Prosper, Epist. ad Aug. 5: '. . . gratiam Dei, quam comitem, 
non praeviam humanorum volunt esse meritorum.' Compare St. 
Augustine, Epist. 186 (Ad Pau/m.) 3. 10: c . . . comitante, non 
ducente, pedisequa, non praevia voluntate.' St. Augustine's answer 
to the Semi-Pelagian position was already noted (above, n. 3); cf. 
also Epist. 194 (Ad Sixt.) 3. 14; De corr. et grat. 7. 13. 

10 For this argument of the Semi-Pelagians in favour of free will, 
cf. Contra coll. 19: c Quoniam secundum ipsos, si aufertur Hberum 
arbitrium cum gratia praevenitur, aufertur gratia cum libero ar- 
bitrio praevenitur. 5 No direct answer is given to it here. The De 
vocatione holds the Augustinian view that there can be no true 
virtues without grace (cf. below, ch. 4). An argument ad hominem 
is, however, sketched here: if grace is not the cause of all merits, 
it is no longer grace; it would then be due to man for some previous 
merit Cf. Rom. 11. 6; St. Augustine, Epist. 194 (Ad Szbrt.) 3. 7. 

11 naturaliter inest qualiscumque voluntas: as the three follow- 
ing chapters will show, in St. Prosper's conception the same appeti- 
tive faculty in man, called will, is active at three different levels or 
attains three different degrees of perfection. 

12 For donum Dei, donum Spiritus (Sancti), see J. P. Christopher, 
ACW 2. 132 n. 222; L. A. Arand, ACW 3. 128 n. 120. 

13 These three degrees of the will are found in St. Prosper's other 
works, though not brought together as here. Cf. below, nn. 14, 15, 
36. St. Augustine has the same conception, but considers especially 
the last two degrees. Cf. De civ. Dei 13. 2, 'Quid sit secundum 
camera, quid secundum spiritum vivere'; and 4, 'Quid sit secundum 
hominem, quid secundum Deum vivere.' 

14 Voluntas sensualis: the animal will or the appetitive power that 
tends spontaneously to sensible objects, as in the irrational animals. 
It is not sensual in the meaning of the English word that connotes 

BOOK I 173 

something inordinate or sinful. Scholastic philosophy will call It 
the sensitive appetitive power and conceive it as distinct from the 
rational will. Cf. Contra coll. 13. 6; the infantes, excordes et jatui, 
are said to have a will but not a liberum arbitrium. 

15 voluntas animalis: the purely human or natural will, called 
anlmalis, an echo of St. Paul, 1 Cor. 2. 14, in opposition to the 
spiritual will (below, ch. 6), not because it aims only at sensible 
objects, as the animal or sensitive appetite does, which has been 
called sensualis in the previous chapter; but because in all its objects 
it does not look for a higher spiritual good and remains confined to 
earthly and perishable things. Cf. Spencer's translation of I Cor. 
2. 14. It is natural in the sense of not supernaturalized or spiri- 
tualized. Cf. Girard's French translation, Volonte naturelle.' 

16 That only a terrestrial reward awaits the good efforts of the 
natural will, is an Augustinian idea, found especially in St. Augus- 
tine's teachings about the virtues of pagans; see, e.g. De civ. Dei, 
5. 15; also Prosper, Carm. de ingr. 401 f., and the text cited in the 
following note. 

17 Another conception of St. Augustine: reference to God of all 
good works is necessary to make them truly good and worthy of a 
lasting reward. Cf. De spir. et litt. 27. 48; Contra lul Pelag. 
4. 3. 22. Note, too, Prosper, Contra coll. 13. 3: c . . . multi eorum (im- 
piorum) sint iustitiae, temperantiae, continentiae et benevolentiae 
sectatores; quae omnia non frustra quidem neque inutiliter habent, 
multumque ex eis in hac vita honoris et gloriae consequuntur; sed 
quia in his studiis non Deo sed diabolo serviunt, licet habeant tem- 
poralem de vana laude mercedern, ad illam tamen beatarum vir- 
tutum non pertinent veritatem.' 

18 Rom. 1. 20. For the Scripture texts of which our author will 
quote abundantly, we should note at the outset that, as is to be 
expected of a fifth-century author, St. Prosper cites different ver- 
sions of the Latin Scriptures, both the Vulgate and the ancient ver- 
sions, without any rigid consistency. It is not always possible (cf. 
Cappuyns, 'Uauteur' 214 n. 1), on account of the imperfect state of 
the edited texts, to determine with accuracy which versions are 
cited. Broadly speaking, we may say that the New Testament books 
are generally quoted according to the Vulgate, with occasional in- 
versions in the order of the words and slight variants that hardly 
affect the meaning. A few exceptions to this rule were pointed out 
by Cappuyns, loc. tit., as an additional proof of St. Prosper's au- 
thorship of the De vocatione, the same exceptions occurring in 

174 NOTES 

Prosper's other works. The variant readings are more rarely found 
for the Gospels and the Acts than for the Epistles of St. Paul and 
St. John; they are more frequent and more considerable for the 
two Epistles of St. Peter, so much so that for these especially (and 
at times also for St. Paul) it is often impossible to say whether the 
texts are taken from old versions or merely cited in a free way from 
the Vulgate. Of the Old Testament, the Psalms and Job are consis- 
tently quoted according to the Vulgate. Most of the other books 
are cited from older versions, especially the Prophets, (Jer., Isa., 
Joel); Prov., Isa., Tob., and Esth. are also (or generally) quoted 
according to the Septuagint. 

19 Rom. I.22.~-Cf. Resp. excerp. Gen. 8; St. Augustine, De spir. 
et litt. 11.20. 

2Q IUd. 1.21. 

21 When men rise to the knowledge of the supreme Good, they 
do not effect this without the help of God's grace illuminante Dei 
gratia. This might be interpreted to mean that human reason 
cannot come to the knowledge of God without the help of grace. 
To-day we believe the contrary cf. ES 1785, 1806. The De voca- 
tione only says that in fact grace was given men to come to the 
knowledge of God. Cf. the theme of Augustine in De civ. Dei 
11.2: e De cognoscendo Deo, ad cuius notitiam nemo hominum 
pervenit nisi per mediatorem Dei et hominum, hominem Christum 
lesum. 5 

22 Another Augustinian idea: man cannot be good unless he be 
led and helped by grace: cf. De spir. et litt. 3. 5: c Neque liberum 
arbitrium quidquam nisi ad peccandum valet, si lateat veritatis via. 5 
Yet, when a man comes to sin, he is not without guilt, as the follow- 
ing chapter will explain. 

23 Deut 32.8 (Septuagint). 

24 Lev. 20. 26. 

25 Esther 10. 9 f. (Sept.). 

26 Acts 14. 14 f. 

27 God elected his chosen people Israel among the nations and 
guided them by His special Providence, a gift not bestowed on the 
other peoples. This statement of Scripture does not exclude the 
general Providence which at all times God has shown for all na- 
tions. We have here a first expression of St. Prosper's original 
contribution to the explanation of the universal salvific will, the 
distinction between a special and a general Providence and grace 
(cf. Intro. 15-18). A similar distinction is found in St. Augustine, 

BOOK I 175 

especially In his writings previous to the controversies on grace, 
but without explicit reference to the salvific will. Cf. De div. quaest. 
83. 44: e Aliud enim est quod divina providentia quasi privatim cum 
singulis agit, aliud quod generi universe tamquam publice consulit'; 
see also De vera rel. 25. 46. The apparent digression of this ch. 5 
fits in with our author's treatment of the natural will in man; 
it explains how the aberrations of the natural will are without 

28 elementorum: c the things created' (Tertullian, De ieiun. 10: 
sun and moon; Adv. Hermog. 31: earth and sky; cf. TLL 
5. 2. 346. 51 ff.) which, according to Rom. 1. 20, naturally lead men 
to the knowledge and worship of their Creator. For a study of 
the term elementum, see H. Diels, Elementum (Leipzig 1899). 

29 Is the care of Providence for all men and the gifts His goodness 
extends to all a natural or a supernatural help? As is well known, 
the distinction between natural and supernatural is not as yet ex- 
plicit at the time of St. Prosper. According to Cappuyns, e L*au- 
teur 5 209, the generalis gratia of the De vocatione and of St. Pros- 
per's other works is more than a merely natural help. For Pelland, 
op. cit. 166 f., this general Providence does not exclude, it is true, 
interior graces but leaves these out of consideration; it aims only 
at the external vocation to the faith. Cf. below, Book Two n. 226. 

30 Cf. St. Paul, Rom. 1. 20-25. 

31 Compare St. Paul, Rom. 3. 9-20. The idea is to bring out that 
even among the chosen people the just or elect remained so through 
grace only. Cf. below, n. 34, and above, n. 22. There is no true vir- 
tue without grace. 

32 ... cut committi non est aliud quam dimitti = to entrust oneself 
to the direction of this degenerate will means nothing else than to 
be forsaken and to go astray. Compare Girard (8), c pour elle c'est 
la meme chose de faire des chutes, que d'etre mise en son pouvoir'; 
also the Ballerinis 9 marginal note, c sibi committi, dimitti est.' 

33 Cf . Carm. de ingr. 530. 

34 About this well-known teaching of St. Augustine's that the 
virtues of pagans are vices, cf. J. Wang-Teh' ang-Tche, Saint Augus- 
tin et les vertus des paiens (Paris 1938). It is evidently to be 
rightly understood. Taken out of its context this very proposition 
has been condemned by the Church among the errors of Baius 
(ES 1025), of the Jansenists (ibid. 1298) and of Quesnel (ibid. 
1388). For St. Augustine, cf., e.g. De civ. Dei 19.25; Contra lul 
Pelag. 4. 3. 17; In loan. Ev. tract. 45. 2; and the penetrating analysis 

176 NOTES 

by J. Mausbach, Die Ethik des heiligen Augustinus (2nd ed. Frei- 
burg i. Br. 1929) 2. 258-341: T)as sittliche Handeln ausserhalb des 
Christentums und der Kirche. 5 Prosper proposes the same idea, 
e.g. in Contra coll 13.3: 'Et ita manifestissime patet, in impiorum 
animis millam habitare virtutem, sed omnia opera eorum immunda 
esse atque polluta. 3 Cf. Carm. de ingr. 406-9. 

35 This is the catholic teaching, that the beginning of all good, 
the will for good, comes from grace and not from man's initiative 
(the famous initium fidei). The Semi-Pelagian position of Cassian 
held that God waits and sees till we wish to turn to good works, 
and then comes and strengthens us with His grace, as the Lord did 
with Zachaeus: cf. Coll 13. 11. Regarding this bona voluntas, see 
St. Augustine, De grat. et lib. arb. 15. 31. On the Semi-Pelagian 
meaning of initium fidei, cf. J. Chene, c Que signifiait "initium fidei" 
et "affectus credulitatis" pour les Semipelagiens? 5 in Rech. $c. rel 
35 (1948) 566-88. 

36 Matt 15.13. 

37 voluntas spiritualis, the spiritual or spiritualized will, the high- 
est of the three degrees at which the human will can arrive; it is 
spiritualized by its union with the Spirit of God, or supernaturalized 
by grace. 

38 1 Cor. 6. 17. 

39 The one end for which man is to act is God's glory. Only 
thanks to grace he is able to strive after this. Compare the Augus- 
tinian and Thomistic teaching that without grace fallen man is not 
able to love God above all things. Cf. St. Augustine, Epist. 217 
(Ad Vital) 12, "Liberum arbitrium ad diligendum Deum primi 
peccati granditate perdidimus 5 ; St. Thomas, Sum. theol. I. II. 109. 3. 

40 Cf. Augustine, De spir. et litt. 34. 60: c Ac per hoc quid habeat 
et quid accipiat, Dei est: accipere autem et habere utique accipientis 
et habentis est. 5 God's gift remains His, but its acceptance is the 
inalienable role of man's free will. Cf. X. Leon-Dufour, 'Grace et 
libre arbitre chez saint Augustin/ Rech. sc. rel. 33 (1946) 129-63, 
esp. 143-5. 

41 The question here asked concerns the process of justification or 
conversion: What happens in man when he is converted to God? 
The answer depends on the conception of the Fall: What did the 
deterioration of human nature through the first sin consist in? 
The question is asked 'here in order to bring out the difference be- 
tween the natural will (of chs. 4-6) that is not spiritualized by 
divine grace, and the spiritual will (of chs. 6 f.). 

BOOK I 177 

42 This picture of fallen man's state is Augustinian and to be 
understood in the Augustinian context: e.g. voluntate captiva (cf. 
Epist. 217 [Ad Vital] 3. 8, arbitrium captiuum) the enslavement 
of the will is not the loss of its freedom but of its capacity to do 
good. As this chapter further explains, this whole corruption is 
accidental, leaving the substance of the nature untouched, though 
weakened or ill. 

43 Cf. above, ch. 4 nn. 16, 17; also 34. 

44 This conception of the effects of the Fall, according to which 
man has not changed the 'substance 3 of his will but lost only its 
integrity or soundness (which is righteousness), is derived from St. 
Augustine: cf. the following note. Compare Car m. de ingr. 581-92; 
Contra coll 12. 4. 

45 qualitate facta est mala: man's nature which was good before 
sin, has turned bad accidentally, infected by an evil quality; but 
the substance of his will remains good. Cf. St. Augustine, De perf. 
iust. horn. 2. 4, c qualitas secundum quam malus est animus.' This 
evil quality is remedied in justification cf. Prosper, Contra coll 
18. 3, 'qualitate et conditione mutata per Mediatorem.' 

46 Ps. 77. 39. 

47 The catholic idea holds that the initiative of a conversion 
comes from God and not from man. Cassian taught the opposite, 
at least for some cases; Coll 13.8, c . . . incrementum tribuens ei 
quern vel ipse plantavit vel nostro conatu viderit emersisse.' 

48 Compare St. Paul, 2 Cor. 5. 17 and Gal. 6. 15. 

49 Cf. Contra coll 12. 4. Prosper's insistence on man's collabora- 
tion with grace is to be noted, and contrasted, with St. Augustine's 
exposition in De spir. et litt. 30.52. 

50 1 John 3. 8. 

51 Cf. Contra coll 12, c non est ab ipso quamvis non sine ipso 

52 Again, the initiative for a conversion comes from grace; cf. 
above, n. 47. 

53 Cf. Rom. 8. 14. 

54 Grace does not destroy freedom but heals and restores it. 
Cf. Carm. de ingr. 593 ff. The idea comes from St. Augustine 
(cf., e.g. De pecc. mer. 2. 17. 26 c ut suave fiat quod non delectabat, 
gratiae Dei est'). St. Prosper explains it in his own way. Cf. Cap- 
puyns, c L'auteur' 21 1 n. 2. 

55 B ereptum, M interfectum. 

56 The idea here is not clear. Girard translates (13) : e entre les 

178 NOTES 

mains de qui rien n'est pery de ce qu'a perdu la Nature.' Man- 
geant refers to Contra coll 12 ( . . . manens enim liberum arbi- 
trium . . .'). This may be meant: God's favour, the source of 
grace, remained unchanged when nature lost grace. 

57 ... totumque quod virtus est, Deus est: 'all that is virtue is 
God.' Cf. Contra coll. 13. 1 : 'Virtus namque principaliter Deus est: 
cui non aliud est habere virtutem, quam esse virtutem.' Girard in- 
terprets, 'tout ce qui est de loiiable en la vertu, est en Dieu.' The 
Ballerini remark, 'omnis virtus a Deo operante manat.' 

58 No true virtue without divine grace: cf. above, ch. 7. 

59 Isa. 43.11. 

60 Jer. 10.23. 

61 Cf. above, n. 52. 

62 Luke 12.49. 

63 Cf . above, ch. 4. 
6 * Cf. above, ch. 5. 
65 1 Cor. 1. 21. 

66 The reason why the initiative in the process of a conversion 
comes from grace and not from man's free will, is mainly drawn 
here, as in St. Augustine, from the healing character of grace, for 
fallen nature is in dire need of a healing. The 'raising' character 
of grace, though not neglected, is left in the background. 

67 Cf. Matt. 11. 11 (Mark 7.28); for the following, John 1.9. 
The same idea about St. John the Baptist is found in St. Augustine, 
De spir. et Hit. 7. 11. 

68 The Pelagian position admitted an exterior grace, the exterior 
preaching of the doctrine, as a necessary help to stir the human will, 
but denied that an interior grace or motion by God was needed. 
This error is here aimed at. Cf. also Carm. de ingr. 335-47; St. 
Augustine, De grat Christi 1. 7-14; De civ. Dei 15. 6. 

69 The Law commands but does not give the strength to fulfill 
the commandment: cf. St. Paul, Rom. 7. St. Augustine in his De 
spir. et litt. develops this opposition between the Law and grace. 

70 Cf. Matt. 5. 17, and Augustine, Enchir. 1. 8. 20. 

71 Grace destroys sin through forgiveness without exacting the 
punishment laid down for the offence by the Law. This is shown 
in the example of Christ who did not condemn the adulterous 
woman (John 8. 1-11). 

72 Luke 19. 10. 

73 John 8.6. 

BOOK I 179 

74 Cf. St. Augustine's comment on this episode in In loan. Ev. tract. 
23. 4-6; also Serm. 13. 4 f. 

75 Jer. 31.33. 

76 sty/o Spiritus Sancti. The idea expressed is that grace works 
interiorly in the human soul; the teaching of the Law was only 
an exterior help. 

77 Compare this description of the intimate action of grace in the 
soul with St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 15.6. 

78 Cf. above, ch. 2, the three levels or degrees of the human will. 
Through grace man passes from the natural to the spiritual will. 

79 . . . ut lex peccati et lex Dei diversas et distinctas habeant 
mansiones: the law of sin which rules the natural will, cannot be 
in the same way and at the same time in one man with the law 
of God that rules the spiritual will. 

80 Cf. Gal. 5. 17. 

81 A Pauline and Augustinian idea: the usefulness of temptation 
and trial for humility. This text is quoted by Pope Gelasius in his 
pamphlet against the Pelagians, ML 159. 127. Compare Trent's 
teaching on concupiscence c quae ad agonem relicta sit' (ES 792). 

82 2 Cor. 12. 7-9. 

83 His image cf. Gen. 1. 27; the lost sheep-Luke 15. 5. 

84 Job 14.4. 

85 Gal. 1.22-24. 

86 Cf. Acts 4. 32. 

87 Cf., e.g. Acts 21. 19 f. 

88 Matt. 5. 16. 

89 Every good conducive to heaven, that is, all true virtue, 
comes from grace in its beginning, its increase, and its permanence 
or perseverance. The Semi- Pelagians denied the necessity of grace 
for the first and third of these stages. 

90 Cf . ch. 1 and n. 4. 

91 Cf. Phil. 3. 15 f.; St. Augustine, De praed. sanct. 1. 2. 

92 The passage between brackets is given by B (but bracketed 
also) and (also by Hurter) from Ms. Vat. Lat. 262. It is absent from 
M and also from the text in ML 17. Girard's translation does not 
include it either. 

93 sacramenta vitaethe sacraments of baptism, confirmation, 
and the Eucharist, received together by the catechumen at Easter. 
Cf. L. Duchesne, Origines du culte chretien (5th ed. Paris 1925) 
ch. 9: 'L'initiation chretienne.' The author states that those who 
became Christians but afterwards fell away from the faith, merely 

180 NOTES 

'seemed' (videbantur*) to come to these life-giving (vitae) sacra- 
ments. They never were among the elect. Cf. Augustine, De corr. 
et grat. 7. 16; 9. 20; 12. 36 ( e qui autem cadunt et pereunt, in 
praedestinatorum numero non fuerunt'); De dono persev. 9.21. 

94 1 John 2. 19. 

95 Titus 1.16. 

96 Rom. 10.13. 

97 Matt. 7.21. 
Q8 IUd. 7.221 

99 Rom. 8. 15. 

100 1 Cor. 12. 3. 

101 Rom. 8. 14. 

102 1 Peter 2. 9. 

103 praesciti et praeordinati: the 'foreknown and foreordained,' 
that is, the predestined. As noted in the Introduction (18), the 
term 'praedestinat? is avoided. Girard translates praeordinati 
by predestine, but as if the text were a Scripture quotation from 
Rom. 4. 

104 Jer. 31. 31-34. Compare St. Augustine, De spir. et litt. 24. 39 f. 

105 Jer. 32.39-41. 

106 Isa. 43.19-21. 
IUd. 45.23f. 

108 The elect are infallibly saved because the election necessarily 
has its effect. This idea, though not different from St. Augustine's 
predestination, is not termed so. Cf. St. Augustine, De corr. et 
grat. 7. 13 f. 

109 Prosper refers to the interior action of grace, stressed anew in 
opposition to the Pelagian idea of an exterior grace. Cf . above, n. 68. 

110 1 Cor. 3. 7. 
m Cf. Jer. 31.34. 

112 B custodiantur, M erudiantur; Girard (22), c qui leur fait 
garder ses commandements/ 

113 Cf. Isa. 43.19-21. 

m B inundati, M mundati. 

115 Gal. 3. 15. 

116 Namely, the salvation of the elect. 

117 Rom. 3.3f. 

118 Gen. 28. 14. Those who do not come to the faith after having 
it preached to them, never were among the elect, while the elect 
infallibly reach salvation. Cf. above, n. 108. 

BOOK I 181 

119 Jer. 31. 34. A similar procedure in quoting Scripture texts is 
found in St. Augustine, De spir. et Hit. 30. 52. 

120 Jer. ibid. 

121 Ibid. 32.39. 

122 Ibid. 32.40!. 

123 g credituros (added from Vat. Reg. 293) promisit, M promisit. 

124 Isa. 45. 23 f. 

125 The difficulty, that in spite of God's promise to save all men, 
many are still outside the way to salvation, will be answered here 
by a restrictive interpretation of the salvific will. All men means, 
all the elect. Cf. Resp. cap. Gall. 13. 

126 secundum illam incornmutabilem scientiamthe election is 
mainly considered as God's infallible foreknowledge of the elect. 

127 Prosper's exegesis here and in the following may appear 
somewhat artificial or clumsy. It is inspired by a preconceived idea 
about the salvific will which he learned from Augustine's restrictive 
interpretations of Scripture. Here, in accounting for the number of 
those that are actually saved, the Augustinian idea of specialis 
universitas, a restricted totality, is applied. See below, n. 137. 

128 2 Cor. 5. 17. 

129 Col. 1. 19f. 

130 Heb. 1.2. 

131 Ps. 2. 8. 

132 John 12.32. 

133 Isa. 40. 4. 

134 ZMd 66.23. 

135 Joel 2.28. 

136 Ps. 144. 14. 

137 specialis universitas : a specified totality (cf . B's marginal note : 
'plenitude* universitas elector 'um : '). The elect are taken from all 
over the world and for that reason the whole world is said to be 
saved. They constitute a totality, but specified or restricted. See 
St. Augustine's interpretation of 1 Tim. 2. 4 in Enchir. 27. 103 (cf. 
also L. A. Arand's remarks in ACW 3. 141 n. 336) : Ter omnes 
homines omne genus humanum intelligamus per quascumque dif- 
ferentias distributum'; or De con. et grot. 14.44: c lta dictum est 
omnes homines salvos fieri, ut intelligantur omnes praedestinati; 
quia omne genus hominum in iis est.' This is, moreover, a common 
way of speaking. We say, C A11 nations were present,' The whole 
of Europe or America thinks like that,' when there are some rep- 

182 NOTES 

resentatives of all these nations or countries who came or are 
of that opinion. 

138 ... ut de toto mundo totus mundus liberatus et de omnibus 
hominibus omnes homines videantur assumpti: the elect are 
chosen from all over the world and thus the whole world is said 
to have been liberated; they are taken from among all mankind and 
so the whole of mankind is said to have been chosen. Cf. Girard 
(25): e . . . une certaine plenitude, comme si un monde estoit 
separe d'un autre monde, ou si tous les hommes estoient choisis 
d'entre tous les autres hommes.' 

139 The argument a pari taken from the texts concerning the 
reprobate will seem weak. Replaced in their context these quota- 
tions do not mean to say a totality or universality. The author is 
aware of it; cf. below, n. 144. 

140 John 3. 3 If. 

141 Phil. 2.21. 

142 Ps. 13. 2 f. 

143 It is hard for us to see the importance of an argumentation 
built on a figure of speech (called hyperbole). 

144 The context itself of the Scripture texts indicates what is 
meant by an apparently universalistic expression. 

145 1 Cor. 1.23f. 

146 Girard seems to misunderstand when he translates (27) : 
c il a compris les fidelles et les infidelles sous le nom general des 

147 .. . vocationis extraneos: a discreet way of expressing repro- 
bation. Cf. Intro, n. 49, on St. Prosper's conception of the reproba- 
tion 'post praevisa merita. 3 

148 This chapter builds an argument on another stylistic figure, 
called in rhetoric 'metonymy of the part for the whole.' A whole 
is named to designate now one part of it and then another; e.g. 
man is mortal that is, his body is mortal; man does not die, that 
is, his soul does not die. 

149 B hanc regulam, M hac regula. 

150 Isa. 42. 16. 
^Ilid. 42.17. 

152 Ibid. 43. 5-7. 

153 Ibid. 43.8. 

154 reliquiae: cf. Rom. 11.5, cited below, reliquiae secundum 
electionem gratiae'a remnant saved according to the election of 
grace.' In spite of many going astray, grace always chose a rem- 

BOOK I 183 

nant of the people to itself. This remainder is reckoned as a total- 
ity: see the same idea above (n. 1ST) specialis universitas. Cf. St. 
Augustine, De dono persev. 18. 47. For this 'remainder' of Israel, 
cf. L. Cerfaux, La theologie de FEglise suivant Saint Paul (Paris 
1942) 115f. 

155 Rom. 11. If. 

i5B sibi reliquos fecit: lit. e made them into its remnant or re- 
mainder'; see above, n. 154. 

157 M inserts inquit, B omits this. 

158 Rom. 11. 2-6. Cf. M. J. Lagrange, Saint Paul, Epitre aux Re- 
mains (5th M Paris 1931) 270; J. Sickenberger, Die Brief e des heili- 
gen Paulus an die Korinther und Romer (4th ed. Bonn 1932) 262 f. 

159 ... partem sibi illuminatio gratuita reservavit: grace kept 
the other section of the people of Israel as its remnant the reli- 
quiae of Rom. 11 just cited (n. 154). 

160 Rom. 11. 28. Cf. the same reasoning on this text in St. Augus- 
tine, De praed. sanct. 16. 33. 

161 Rom. 11.25. 

162 The whole gist of this chapter comes to this: the expression 
all at times designates a totality, at times one section of this to- 
tality, at other times still another section of the same. The con- 
text indicates which of the three possible meanings applies in each 
case. The intention of this whole discussion is evidently to show 
that even a restricted interpretation of the divine salvific will 
would not go counter to the meaning of the Scriptural texts, since 
other examples of a similar usage abound. 

163 Introducing one more study of a figure of speech or a way 
of speaking which has little direct relation with the question of 
the universal salvific will, but is meant to stress the need of un- 
derstanding or interpreting some statements of Scripture. 

164 1 Peter 2. 9 f . 

165 Acts 1415. 

166 B vocabuntur, M vocabantur. 

167 loquendi consuetude, usage in speaking, which is common par- 
lance and not particular to Scripture. 

IBS p r0 p e rnundi finem, towards the end of the world. The idea 
implied is that Christ's coming has inaugurated the last world 
period. As to how St. Augustine understood this, cf. Epist. 199 
(Ad Hesz/ch,) 6. 17. See also J. P. Christopher, ACW 2. 136 
nn. 250 f . 

169 The figure of speech on which the argument in this chapter 

184 NOTES 

is built is called metonymy of the effect or substitution of the 
effect (here, the descendants) for the cause (the forefathers). 

170 ... qui amant calumniosa certamina, sophistical or slander- 
ous wranglings, meant for the Semi-Pelagians; cf. R.esp. cap. Gall. 1 
and Resp. cap. Vincent. I. 

171 1 Tim. 2. 4. After the long discussions on hermeneutics in 
the three preceding chapters, the author comes to his point, as to 
how to interpret this text in St. Paul. 

172 Perhaps there is some truth in the objection. It is hard to rec- 
oncileand it may be questioned whether St. Prosper here or in 
his previous works succeeds in doing so a particularist concep- 
tion of the real salvific will, or of the election and predestination, 
with St. Paul's text. Our author claims to do so. He himself may 
have sensed something of the incoherence or lack of synthesis in 
his own teaching, as is pointed out by Amann, art. cit. 1832. Cf. 
Intro, n. 56. 

173 1 Tim. 2. 1-6. 

174 ... hac ergo doctrinae apostolicae regula . . . imbuitur. 

175 si obedientia concordat in studio, if obedience to the com- 
mand leads to agreement in action. Cf. Girard (32), la loi ne 
pourra estre douteuse, si Ton derneure d' accord de Pobeissance qui 
lui est deiie.' 

176 Cf. a similar interpretation in Resp. cap. Vincent. 2; Contra 
coll 12; also in St. Augustine, Enchir. 27. 103; cf. De corr. et grat. 
15. 47, e nos facit velle.' 

177 sancti, in the sense of St. Paul (e.g. Eph. 3. 8) =Christians. 
Cf. H. Delehaye, Sanctus (Brussels 1927) esp. 24-59. 

178 This text (see also below, Book Two, ch. 37) is quite rem- 
iniscent of the solemn prayers chanted after the singing of the Pas- 
sion on Good Friday, and it is given here in the Latin: 'Supplicat 
ergo ubique Ecclesia Deo, non solum pro sanctis et in Christo re- 
generatis, sed etiam pro omnibus infidelibus et inimicis crucis 
Christi, pro omnibus idolorum cultoribus, pro omnibus qui Chris- 
tum in membris ipsius persequuntur, pro ludaeis quorum caecitati 
lumen Evangelii non refulget, pro haereticis et schismaticis, qui ab 
unitate fidei et caritatis alieni sunt.' The so-called orationes so- 
lemnes of Good Friday appear to be a remnant of the ancient 
e prayer of the faithful 3 (oratio fidelium) regularly recited in the 
Mass of the Roman liturgy after the sermon or homily and before 
the offertory. Cf. Duchesne, op. cit. 182 L; esp. V. L. Kennedy, 

BOOK I 185 

The Saints of the Canon of the Mass (Studi di antichita cristiana 
14, Rome 1938) 31 f., where the present passage is noticed. 

179 Contrast this with Prospers criticism of the idea of a universal 
salvific will in his Epist. ad Ruf. 13. 

180 This chapter meets the classical objection against the given 
interpretation of 1 Tim. 2. 4; it does not solve, but only shifts, the 
crux of the problem. 

181 The answer to the objection is that we do not know the rea- 
sons of God's mysterious decrees which rule the dispensation of 
graces, and St. Paul's example in the matter is referred to. Cf. St. 
Augustine in De spir. et litt. 34. 60. On the fideistic or agnostic 
aspect of this renouncement of knowledge, cf. X. Leon-Dufour, 
art. cit. 160. At its basis is an anthropomorphic transposition into 
God of human freedom of choice, thus establishing in God a choice 
between the elect and the reprobate. 

182 1 Cor. 13. 9. 

183 Ibid. 13.12. 

184 A conflation by St. Paul, quoting from memory, of Isa. 59. 20 f . 
and 27. 9. 

185 Rom. 11.25-32. Cf. St. Augustine's similar reflexion on this 
text in De grat. et lib. arb. 22. 44. 

iss Girard translates (35) : C I1 ne donne pour toute raison de 
Pexposition qu'il avoit faite, qu'un enthousiasme qui le fit eerier 
comme un homme ravy en extase.' 

187 Rom. 11.33-36. Cf. St. Augustine, Contra duas epist. Pelag. 
4. 6. 16; or Serm. 17. 6 f. 

188 St. Prosper is alive to the problems involved in the mysterious 
economy of men's salvation, particularly in the historical develop- 
ment or unfolding of this divine plan with regard to Israel and the 
Gentiles. According to St. Paul this comprises three stages : 1 ) the 
election of Israel and the abandonment of the nations; 2) the un- 
belief of the chosen people who rejected the Messias and the con- 
version of the nations; 3) after the conversion of the Gentiles, the 
return of Israel. St. Paul says that the reason of this economy of 
graces has not been made known to men. Cf. F. Prat, The Theol- 
ogy of St. Paul (tr. by J. Stoddard, London 1945) 1.249-67. For 
present-day controversies on this teaching of St. Paul, cf. G. Fessard, 
'Theologie et histoire, a propos du temps de la conversion d'lsrael, 3 
Dieu Vivant 8 (1947) 37-65. 

189 Cf. Acts 14. 15. 

190 Rom. 11.25. 

13 14 

186 NOTES 

191 The principle of a solution for these last two questions has 
been given in chs. 9 and 10; all signifies a restricted or specified 

192 This blind trust in the wisdom of God's revelation which 
teaches us all that we need to know, so that what has not been 
revealed we need not know s is found elsewhere in St. Prosper: cf. 
Epist. ad Ruf. 13, 'sine fidei diminutione nescitur'; Carm. de ingr. 
752 L 

193 This chapter intends to justify the author's answer to the 
problems raised by his interpretation of I Tim. 2. 4 (which was 
that we do not know the reason of God's dispositions), by enlarg- 
ing the issue, and showing that many other things remain myster- 
ious to us in the divine world economy. 

194 According to the Christian conception, God's Providence is 
the cause of all inequalities among men and among creatures in 
general. This does not, as we know, exclude as executing agents 
of Providence the secondary or created causes. 

195 Pagan fatalism of the Romans held that all events are unal- 
terably predetermined by the blind power personified in the god- 
desses of destiny. Cf. St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 5. 8; St. Prosper, 
Resp. cap. Gall. 1, Tati enim opinio vana est, et de falsitate con- 
cept a.' 

196 Astrology believed in the occult influence of the stars upon 
human affairs, particularly upon the destiny and character of in- 
dividual men said to be dependent on the constellation under 
which they are born. Cf. on ancient astrology, A. J. Festugiere, 
La revelation d*Hermes Trismegiste I: L'astrologie et les sciences 
occultes (Paris 1944). Cf. also St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 5. 1-7. 

197 Bodies are of one nature, made out of the four elements, ac- 
cording to the philosophy of the time; souls are of one nature, 
spirits created by God. The differences in the individual men 
come from different proportions in which both are adjusted to 
each other: cf. Carm. de ingr. 728 f. Compare St. Augustine, 
De div. quaest. 83. 40; Opus imp. c. lul 4. 128; De Gen. ad litt. 
10. 17. 30. 

198 Cf. Epist. ad Ruf. 13; Resp. excerp. Gen. 8; also Augustine, 
De praed. sanct. 8. 16; De dono persev. 11. 27. 

199 Exod. 4.11. 

200 Isa. 66. 9. B Nonne ecce ego, M Nonne ego. 

201 EccIus. 11.14. 

202 Job 12.6. 

BOOK I 187 

203 Ibid. 12. 13-25. 
x*Ibid. 23.15. 

205 In ch. 15 begin the proofs for the gratultousness of grace; 
at the same time stress is laid on the need of discerning between 
what is hidden from our knowledge and what has been revealed 
to us about the salvation of mankind. 

206 The first proof for the gratuitousness of grace is drawn from 
the fact that so many nations in the past ages have not been called 
to the true religion whilst their descendants who were not better 
that their own ancestors, have been. Cf. Prosper, Epist. ad Aug. 5. 

207 Isa. 9. 2. 

208 1 Peter 2. 9 f. 

209 minores et maiores, the descendants and the ancestors. 

210 Cf. above, n. 192; Carm. de ingr. 709-11. See also Augustine, 
De civ. Dei, 12. 27. 2 . . . occulto Dei iudicio, sed tamen iusto'; 
Opus imp. c. lul 1. 48. 

211 Another proof for the gratuitousness of grace is the case of 
infants who die without baptism. Cf. Epist ad Aug. 5; Epist. ad 
Ruf. 7; Carm. de ingr. 616-28; and St. Augustine, De grat. et lib. 
arb. 22. 44; De praed. sanct. 12. 24; De dono persev. 9. 21 f.; Epist. 
194 (AdSta.) 7.32. 

212 St. Augustine speaks of the mitissima damnatlo of unbaptized 
infants: cf. Enchir. 23.93 (ACW 3.88 and n.301). St. Prosper 
still holds on to this conception which to-day has been considerably 
mitigated. Cf., e.g. A. Gaudel, 'Limbes, 9 DTC 9.1 (1926) 760-72. 

213 Compare the Semi-Pelagian solution of the case of the in- 
fants as reported to Augustine by Prosper in his Epist ad Aug. 5, 
or by Hilary in his own Epist. ad Aug. 8, that, namely, infants die 
with or without baptism according to God's foreknowledge of the 
merit or demerit they would have gained if they had been allowed 
to attain adult age. St. Augustine's answer is given in De praed. 
sanct. 12-14, 23-29; and earlier in Contra duas epist. Pelag. 
2. 7. 14; also Epist. 194 (Ad Six*.) 8.35 and 9. 41 f. 

214 Side by side with the argument for the gratuitousness of grace 
in these chs. 15-18 is the insistence on the necessity of discerning 
between the known and the unknown elements in God's economy 
of grace. The facts we see, the motives we cannot know. 

215 Regarding this third proof for the gratuitousness of grace 
and of the unknowability of God's mysterious designs deathbed 
conversions cf. also Epist ad Ruf. 17, and Carm. de ingr. 434-8. 

216 The gratuitousness of grace refers to both merit and demerit; 

188 NOTES 

sinful works cannot prevent grace, and good works cannot claim it 
as their reward. 

217 As the Semi-Pelagians held, namely, that grace waits for 
our good will (sometimes, if not always). Cf. above, n. 9. 

218 This is not to be understood as if innocence and sin were 
the same thing, but in such wise that natural merit has no better 
claim on grace than sinfulness. The parity of the just and the 
sinners expressed here refers to original sin in which all are born 
and which includes all in the massa damnationis, the Augustinian 
idea of the first sin according to which God's justice could rightly 
condemn all men for all eternity because of this original guilt; His 
mercy, however, chooses out of this condemned multitude His own 
elect Cf. De civ. Dei 21. 12. 

219 The divine justice, so repeatedly stressed here, implies that 
God decrees nothing arbitrarily, but everything for some good 
reason often unknown to us. Cf. St. Augustine, De grot. et. lib. orb. 
21.43 (referring to Rom. 9. 14). 

220 God's free decrees we cannot know except after the event, or 
through revelation. 

221 Cf. Resp. cap. Vincent. 2, c . . . de quo dici non potest, aliter 
eum quidquam facere debuisse quam fecerit.' 

222 Cf. Matt. 20. 1-16; Augustine, De dono persev. 7. 17.-M in- 
serts here between brackets, c quo vitae aeternae significatur aequal- 
itas,' which is found in one MS and the early editors and which 
Quesnel (cf. n. in M ad Zoc.) regarded as an interpolation reflect- 
ing the opinion of the heretic Jovinian, a contemporary of St. 
Jerome. On the interpretation of the parable, see M. J. Lagrange, 
Evangile selon saint Matthieu (8th ed. Paris 1948) 384-6. 

22 *Matt 20. 13-15. 

224 Perhaps not only to him I The absolute gratuitousness of grace 
is an idea of which it is difficult to grasp the import and implica- 
tions. Pelagius had insisted on the fact that God is not 'gratiosus 
aut personarum acceptor' (cf. Plinval, op. cit. 230), implying and 
saying that He gives equal chances to all men, c . . . cum universa 
turba credentium paria dona gratiae percipiat' (Plinval, ibid.). 
Against this, cf. St. Augustine, Epist. 186 (Ad Paulin.} 6. 16. 

225 Girard mistranslates volentis potestas, le pouvoir du Franc- 

226 Rom. 9. 20. 

227 Here follows the conclusion of the preceding chs. 15-17 on 
the gratuitousness of grace. Pelagius had held c gratiam Dei secun- 

BOOK I 189 

dum merita nostra darf (cf. Augustine, De grat. Christi 1. 22. 23). 
Our author will show, ch. 22, that the Semi-Pelagians, when ascrib- 
ing the initium fidei to man's free will and not to grace, logically 
hold on to the Pelagian error. 

228 John 3. 5. 

229 Ibid. 6. 54. 

230 Referring to the exterior grace of Pelagius, the hearing of the 
Law or of the doctrine; cf. above, n. 76. 

231 Cf. ch. 6 and n. 34. 

232 Both B and M discard Quesnel's reading quae (=the virtues) 
in place of qui. 

233 Cf. above, ch. 4 and nn. 16 f. 

234 Cf. Gal 3. 22. 

235 Eph. 2.1-3. 

236 Ibid. 2. 12. 

237 Ibid. 5. 8. 

238 Col. 1. 12 f. 

239 Titus 3. 3-7. 

240 Confirmation of the preceding doctrine on the gratuitousness 
of grace: nature without grace is but corruption and error; how 
could it merit grace? Cf. St. Augustine, Contra duos epist. Pelag. 
2. 5. 9. 

241 Jude 10. 

242 Luke 1.76-79. 

243 After the discussion on the gratuitousness of grace in the 
preceding chapters, meant to explain partly why the grace that 
saves does not reach all men, the idea of the universality of God's 
calling is taken up again, to answer other difficulties against it. 
In the present chapter two series of Scriptural texts confront each 
other: one shows Christ's call to all men, the other asserts that 
men refuse to answer His call. The synthesis of both, according to 
the De vocations, is given by the salvation of the elect; this con- 
stitutes the actual fulfilment of God's call. 

244 John ll.Slf. 

245 Matt 11.25!., 27, 28-30. 

246 John 3.31-33. 
*Ibid. 1.10. 
**Ibid. 1.5. 

M Ibid. 3. 31 1. 
2 *Ilbid. 11.52. 
251 Matt. 11.25. 

190 NOTES 

252 Cf. Luke 10. 22. 

253 Cf. Rom. 9. 24. 

254 Ibid. 4.20 f. 

255 1 John 5. 19 f. We could summarize this chapter in the three 
logical moments: thesis, God calls all men; antithesis, men refuse 
His call; synthesis, God saves His elect. 

256 The election of Israel and non-election of the Gentiles is a 
classical proof of the gratuitousness of grace, as also of the in- 
scrutability of God's designs. The first aspect of this mystery was 
treated above, ch. 13. The second is considered here. 

257 In Book Two, especially in chs. 4, 19, 23, and 25, Prosper 
will explain how a general grace (cf. above, n. 27) is given to all 
men, no one excepted. 

258 As noted already (above, n. 4), the De vocations insists on dis- 
tinguishing between what we can know and what we cannot know: 
cf. Book Two, ch. L 

259 1^ Pelagians explained away the mystery of predestination, 
and the Semi- Pelagians found in the initiative of man's will the 
reason why grace is given or not given. 

260 Gal. 1.1. 

261 Cf. ch. 14. 

262 Rom. 11.32. 

ses Q n ^jjg three historical stages in the economy of man's sal- 
vation, see above, ch. 13 and n. 188. 

264 Obviously directed against the Semi-Pelagians and their 
calumniosa certamina of ch, 12. 

265 B aZros elegit, aliosque non elegit, M alios eligit, aliosque non 
eligit. B remark that when speaking of the divine election the 
past tense is used in Scripture and ordinary usage. 

266 Matt 20.16. 

267 The Semi-Pelagian position as understood by St. Prosper 
cf. Epist. ad Aug. 4: c . . . bono naturae bene usus ad istam salvan- 
tem gratiam initialis gratiae ope meruerit pervenire'; Contra coll. 20. 

268 B diffinitio, M definitio, in the sense of opinion or statement; 
cf. Contra coll. 19. 

269 ... ut interim de gratiae veritate taceatur, as already argued 
in chapter 1; if grace is given for merit, and not gratuitously, it is 
no longer grace but something due to man. Cf. St. Augustine, De 
gest. Pelag. 14.33: e lpsum quippe gratiae nomen, et eius nominis 
intellectus aufertur, si non gratis datur, sed earn qui dignus est 
accipit 3 

BOOK I 191 

270 The case of infants has already been considered above, ch. 16, 
as a proof of the gratuitousness of grace. Here it is taken as an 
argument against the Semi-Pelagian conception that merit is the 
reason for discrimination between the elect and the non- elect or 
reprobate. In infants there can be no question of merit. Cf. the 
same reasoning in St. Augustine, De praed. sanct. 12. 23. 

271 Job 12. 10. 

272 Ibid. 14. 5. 

273 St. Prosper corners the Semi-Pelagians by a dilemma: Either 
you attribute the discrimination between infants, baptised and 
saved, or unbaptised and lost, to chance which would be to fall 
into pagan fatalism (cf. above, n. 195) ; or you assert that there is no 
real discrimination of the infants, as the unbaptised are not lost, 
which supposes that they are without original sin and this is 
Pelagianism. Even the Pelagians rejected pagan fatalism (cf. St. 
Augustine, Epist. 194 [Ad Sixt.] 7. 31); but their denial of original 
sin was condemned by the Church (cf. the foil. n.). It is inter- 
esting to remember that according to St. Prosper (Epist. ad Aug. 3) 
fatalism is exactly the objection made against St. Augustine's doc- 
trine of predestination. Augustine himself had repudiated this 
interpretation, Contra duas epist. Pelag. 2. 5. 9; and retorted the 
accusation of fatalism against the Pelagians themselves: ibid. 
2. 6. 11. As noted already, the Semi-Pelagians did give an argu- 
ment for the discrimination of infants, namely, their c futurible 5 
merits; a sophism which was answered by St. Augustine (cf. above, 
n. 213). 

274: In the General Council of Africa, the Sixteenth of Carthage, 
of the year 418: cf. Mansi 3. 811; Hefele-Leclercq 2. 1. 192 = ES 

275 Luke 19. 10. 

276 Some of their arguments may be found in Contra coll. 7. 

277 B omnibus hominibus, M omnibus. 

278 This refers to the Scripture examples which follow in the 
chapter, not to what precedes. 

279 In the preceding chapter St. Prosper has shown that the 
Semi-Pelagian teaching about the case of infants is erroneous. Here 
he will refute their theories about the justification or call to the 
faith of adults. Let it be recalled that their two chief unorthodox 
tenets are these: the beginning of the faith and final perseverance 
are due to man's free will, not to grace. This ch. 23 refutes the 
first from the Scriptures. 

192 NOTES 

280 'p]^ accumulated Scripture texts not only refute the Semi- 
Pelagian position just mentioned, but also prove that all good in 
man is due to grace. This stresses once more the absolute gra- 
tuitousness of grace one of the elements in the solution proposed 
by the De vocatione of the problem it studies, namely, the salva- 
tion of mankind. 

281 Rom. 1. 8. 

282 Eph. 1.15-18. 

283 Col. 1.3-5. 

284 Ibid. 1.9-11. 

285 1 Thess. 1.2f. 

286 Ibid. 2. 13. 

287 2 Thess. 1.3-5. 

288 1 Peter 1. 18-21. 

289 2 Peter 1.1. 

290 1 John 4. 2 f . 

291 Ibid. 4. 6. 

292 Acts 3. 16. 

293 Ibid. 16. 13 f. 

294 Matt. 16.15-17. 

295 Rom. 12.3. 
lUd. 15. 5 f. 

297 Ibid. 15. 13. 

298 Eph. 2. 4-6, 8-10. 
298a Cf. 1 Cor. 3. 9. 

299 The preceding chapter has proved that the beginning of all 
good, initium fidei, is due to grace. It remains to be shown that 
faith is the source of all good and virtuous work. By faith is meant 
here the 'fides quae per caritatem operator': cf. Gal. 5. 6. 

300 B conferantur, M consequantur. 

301 Ps. 36. 23 f. 

302 Ibid. 42. 3. 

303 Ibid. 58. 10 f. 
30 *Prov. 2.6 (Sept.). 
sos lbid. 8. 14-16 (Sept.). 

306 Ibid. 20.24 (Sept.); B a Domino diriguntur, M corriguntur. 
sm Ibid. 21. 2 (Sept.). 

308 Ibid. 8.35 (Sept.). 

309 Ibid. 19.21 (Sept.). 
310 Eccles. 5. 17 f. 

311 Ibid. 8. 17-9. 1. B universum hoc dedit, M dedi. 

BOOK I 193 

312 Wisd. 7. 15 f. 

313 Ibid. 8.21. 

314 1 Cor. 7. 7. 

315 Matt. 19. 10 f. 
316 Ecclus. 1. 221 
317 Ibid. 25. 14 f. 

818 Isa. 33.6 (Sept.). 

819 Ibid. 40.12-14 (Sept). 

320 Job 4 1.2. 

321 Jer. 10.23. 

322 Ibid. 24. 6 f. 

323 Bar. 2.31. 

324 1 Cor. 12. 3- 1 1. B gratia sanitatum in eodem Spiritu, M in uno 

325 Eph. 4. 4-8. 

326 2 Cor. 3. 4-6. 
IUd. 9.8-11. 

328 Eph. 3. 14-21. 

329 James 1. 16 f. 
330 Zach. 9. 16 f. (Sept). 

331 Matt 13. 10 f. 

332 John 3. 27. 

333 Ibid. 6. 44 f. 

334 Ibid. 6. 66. 

335 Phil. 1. 6. 

336 Cf. Girard (69), 'celui d'entre vous qui aura bien commence', 
finira bien.' 

33T Cf. B's marginal note, Telagiana interpretatio loci Paulini.' 
Prosper rather refers to the Semi-Pelagian position which claimed 
for man's free will both the beginning of faith and the completion 
of perseverance; see Contra coll. 19 (quarta defi.nitio'); in general, 
also Augustine, De praed. sanct. and De dono persev.CL Pelagius' 
commentary: A. Souter, Pelagius' Exposition of Thirteen Epistles 
of St. Paul 2 (Cambridge 1926) 389. 

338 Phil. 1.28f. 

339 Ibid. 2. 12 f. B sui operatur velle et operari, M . . . et perftcere. 

340 1 Thess. 3. 11-13. 

341 1 Cor. 1. 4-8. The phrase, 'proficientem perseverantiam,' is 
Augustinian: Epist. 217 (Ad Vital.) 5; De dono persev. 20. 53. 
342 Rom. 8. 35-37. 
843 1 Cor. 15. 56 f. 

194 NOTES 

344 1 Thess. 5. 23 f. 

345 2 Thess. 2. 15-3. 3. 
346 1 Peter 5. 10 f. 

34T 1 John 4. 4. 
^ Ibid. 5. 4. 

349 Luke 22. 31 f., 46. B et rogate, M et roga. The old and new 
versions of the text are here combined, as also in Epist. ad Ruf. 10 
and Contra coll. 15. 3. 

350 John 10.26-28. 

351 Ibid. 6. 37-39. 

352 The concluding chapter of Book One repeats once more the 
principle that we cannot know the reasons of God's ruling in His 
dispensation of graces; which shows how the Semi-Pelagian at- 
tempt to solve the problem by calling in free will fails to give an 

353 1 Cor. 4. 7. Cf, Contra coll 13. 6. 

354 Cf. Rom. 11.33-36. 

355 As the Semi-Pelagians tried to explain, according to St. Pros- 
per's Epist. ad Aug. 4, e . . . ut et qui voluerint fiant filii Dei, et inex- 
cusabiles sint qui fideles esse noluerint' Cf. Carm. de ingr. 757 f. 

356 Cf. above, ch. 6: There is no real or true virtue without 
grace and without the true faith. 

357 Luke 19. 10. 

358 ilia pars fidei: according to St. Prosper the universal salvific 
will is a doctrine of faith, and not a mere human theory. 

359 When we recall Cassian's insistence on the universal salvific 
will and the conclusion he drew from this doctrine, namely, that 
the initiative in the process of salvation belongs to free will, we 
shall not be surprised that Prosper in the De vocatione has de- 
voted the entire first book to the study of the gratuitousness of 
grace. He must synthetise this doctrine with the universality of 
God's salvific will. This latter will chiefly be studied in Book Two. 
Cf. the Introduction 12 and n. 55. For Cassian, see Coll. 13 De pro- 
tectione divina 7: Tropositum namque Dei, quo non ob hoc hom- 
inem fecerat ut periret, sed ut in perpetuum viveret, manet immo- 
bile. Cuius benignitas cum bonae voluntatis in nobis quantulam- 
cumque scintillam emicuisse perspexerit, vel quam ipse tamquam de 
dura silice cordis excuderit, confovet earn et exsuscitat, suaque in- 
spiratione confortat, volens omnes homines salvos fieri et ad agni- 
tionem veritatis venire. . . . Qui enim ut pereat unus ex pusillis non 
habet voluntatem, quomodo sine ingenti sacrilegio putandus est, 

BOOK I 195 

non universaliter omnes, sed quosdam salvos fieri velle pro omni- 
bus? 5 From this he concludes: e Praesto est ergo cotidie Christi gra- 
tia, quae, dum vult omnes homines salvos fieri et ad agnitionem 
veritatis venire, cunctos absque ulla exceptione convocat. 3 Grace is 
ready for all, but often, according to Cassian, waits for man's good 
will. Cf. Prosper, Epist. ad Aug. 4. 


1 Book Two proposes to answer the following question: If many 
men are not saved, as is admitted and explained in Book One, how 
then can it be said that the divine salvific will is really universal? 
Cf. the Intro. 13 f. 

2 Cf . Book One, ch. 25 and n. 358 : pars fidei, a doctrine of faith. 

3 B agnitionem, M cognitionem. 

4 Cf . Book One, ch. 23. 

5 Cf. Book One, chs. 14 and 21. 

6 Girard seems to translate a different reading (76), c si la 
premiere ou la seconde Verite nous est inconniie.' 
7 Cf. Rom. 9.14. 

8 Ps. 24.10. 

9 That is, iustitia et misericordia, justice and mercy cf. Book 
One, ch. 15; Resp. cap. Vincent. 2: *Ut enim reus damnetur, in- 
culpabilis Dei iustitia est; ut autem reus iustificetur, ineffabilis Dei 
gratia est.' Cf. also Augustine, De dono persev. 8. 17 f. Girard 
here apparently again translates a different text (76), e et couronne 
ses dons quand il recompense les Justes.' 

10 Ps. 62. 12. 

11 Ibid. 50. 6. 

12 Ch. 2 states the doctrine of faith which is to be explained in 
the following chapters. 

13 This is not to be understood as excluding all fides quaerens 
intellectum; the whole purpose of the De vocatione aims at under- 
standing the faith, and Book Two will propose an explanation of 
the problem connected with a mystery of the faith. 

14 Matt. 28. 18-20. 

15 Mark 16. 15. 

16 Matt. 28. 30. 

196 NOTES 

17 Cf. ibid. 10.16. 

18 Cf. ibid. 3. 9. 

19 Ibid. 10.17-22. 

20 Titus 2.11. 

21 plenitudinis censum fideliumcL what was said about this 
spedalis universitas in Book One, ch. 9 nn. 137 and 138. 

22 1 John 2. 1 f . 

23 Ch. 3 begins the explanation of our problem by removing one 
difficulty: the divine call is delayed for some peoples. 

24 Mark. 16.15. 

25 Matt 10. 5 f. 
26 1 Tim. 2. 4. 

27 God sees to it that all things happen according to His decrees 
and not differently. Girard reads (80), *. . . donne un autre cours 
a sa Providence. 3 

28 Acts 16.6. 

29 Cf. ibid. 16.7. The Scripture reminiscences here mix two 
versions: vetiti sunt is from the Vulgate, and prohibiti sunt from 
the older version; so, too, in Contra coll. 12. 

30 The mystery of man's salvation of which we know God's de- 
sign (He wills all men to be saved) is brought out more wonder- 
fully by the fact that the call of some men and some nations is de- 
layed. The contrast of this element of obscurity in God's plan 
gives relief to the bright light of the salvific will. This is one of 
St. Prosper's own views and opinions (cf . Book One, ch. 1 ) . Girard 
translates (80): e afm que par 1'interposition de quelques voiles, 
les Verites les plus occultes paraissent a nos yeux avec plus d'eclat.' 

31 Cf. Mai. 4. 2. 

32 Cf. Wisd. 5. 6. 

33 Cf. Book One, ch. 12, the interpretation of 1 Tim. 2. 4, and 
ch. 13, the difficulty arising from that interpretation: Why does 
not God hear the prayers offered Him for all men? 

34 The solution of our problem is being prepared by pointing to 
a classical example of differences in the divine call to salvation: 
Israel was called with a special grace, all other men with a general 
one only. Cf. Book One, ch. 5 and nn. 28 and 29; also Contra coll. 
7 and Resp. cap. Gall 8. See St. Paul, Rom. 1 and 2. 

35 Cf. Ps. 76.19. 

36 Cf. Acts 14.15. 
87 7ted. 32.5. 

38 Ps. 118.155. 

BOOK II 197 

39 Ibid. 32. 5. 

40 ... per quae dona ac sacramenta. 

41 Acts 14. 14-16. B benefaciens eis y M benefaciens. 

42 B de bonitate ac potestate, M de bonitate. 

43 B innumerabilium beneficiorum, M inenarrabilium. 

44 Cf. 2 Cor. 2.16. 

45 Cf. ibid. 3. 6. Would not this reference to the Scriptural text 
insinuate that in the conception of the De vocatione God's call to 
all nations through the medium of things created is not only an 
exterior teaching but also implies an interior action of His Spirit? 
Cf. the Ballerini's note, 'quatenus sine spiritu gratiae sola exteriora 
auxilia nequeunt plane erudire nee ad verum Dei cultum et amo- 
rem perducere.' This general grace would then truly involve a 
supernatural element. Cf. below, n. 226, on the gratia generalis. 
St. Augustine, De spir. et Hit. 14. 23, says, 'Decalogus occidit, nisi 
adsit gratia. 9 Prosper confirms this in the following chapter: the 
Gentiles who did profit of the testimony of things created did so 
thanks to an interior grace of faith. Compare the negative counter- 
proof of ch. 4, Book One. 

4(1 Among the Jews also it was an interior grace, not the Law 
that justified the elect: see St. Paul, Rom. 2. 29 and 3. 30; and 
ch. 4 S the example of Abraham's faith. 

47 The De vocatione takes for granted that some Gentiles have 
been able to please God and were enabled to do this by grace. 
They, therefore, received grace. This is consistent with the teach- 
ing of ch. 6, Book One: as long as the virtues of the infidels are 
not helped by grace, they are not true virtues. Here the possi- 
bility is admitted that infidels in the past have received grace. The 
admission is pregnant with far-reaching consequences for the sal- 
vation of the infidels. Cf. St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 18. 47, 
e . . . etiam per alias gentes esse potuisse qui secundum Deurn vix- 
erunt eique placuerunt. 3 

48 parcior grace was given more sparingly to the Gentiles than 
to the Jews if only because of the lesser abundance of exterior 
means of grace. The pagans disposed of one source of knowledge 
of God only, the created things, not two (or more, cf. below, ch. 9) 
as did the Israelites who had besides the first, the Law and the 

49 Grace is c one in power, 3 equally able to gain the Gentiles and 
the Jews; Varying in measure,' cf. the previous note and the fol- 
lowing chapter; 'immutable in its design, 3 infallibly leading to 

198 NOTES 

God's purpose in granting it salvation (as in fact 'efficacious 5 grace 
does); 'multiform in its effects/ that is, there are different virtues 
in different degrees according to the different men to whom it is 

50 God's interior grace accompanies the preaching of the min- 
isters: cf. Book One, ch. 8. Cf. below, n. 226, on the import of 
this conception for the supernatural character of the gratia gene- 

51 1 Cor. 3. 4-9. 

52 Ibid. 12.18. 

53 1 Cor. 12.3-11. 

Ibid. 12.11. 

55 Ibid. 3.8. 

56 Id unde, c the dignity'; Girard (87), 'le secours.' 

57 Matt 25.141. 

58 The passage, Non itaque omnis reparabilis reparatus . . , 5 Is 
cited by Hincmar of Rheims (cf. n. 37 to the Intro.). The interpre- 
tation given here to the parable aims at bringing out that grace 
is given not for merit, but gratis. Capacity or ability for work or 
virtue, which is all that man has before he receives grace, does not 
mean work or virtue; and only from virtuous actions can merit 
spring. Merit, therefore, follows on grace and can never precede 
it. In the context where Hincmar quotes the text, he explains the 
three stages of man's nature in this regard: before sin man was 
sanus, after sin he is sanabilis, through grace he can again become 
sanus. Cf. St. Augustine, De praed. sanct. 6. 10: 'Posse habere 
fidem, sicut posse habere caritatem, naturae est hominum; habere 
autem fidem, quemadmodum habere caritatem, gratiae est fidel- 
ium* (see also Prosper, Lib. sent, ex Aug. delib. 318). 

59 praevidebat, 'foresaw,' or perhaps better, 'knew for himself," 
'saw before him.' 

60 Cf. Matt. 25. 21 and 23. 

61 Cf. ibid. 25.26S. Quesnel, op. cit. (ML 55.354A), finds a 
parallel to this passage in St. Leo, Serm, 10; cf. Cappuyns, 'L'au- 
teur* 221 f. 

62 B antequam (read ante quam), M ante quern. 

63 Cf. Matt. 25. 31 ff. 

64 Compare Pelagius, Epist. ad Demetr. 16 (ML 30. 29 f.), 'Nee 
minuisse solum, sed non auxisse culpabile est.* 

65 B ideo 3 M a Deo. Quaerantur, 'pursue 5 rather than 'ask,' as 
Girard translates (90), 'demander. 5 

BOOK II 199 

66 Cf. John 12. 24. 

67 Cf. 1 Cor. 3. 7. 

68 Habet quod ab ipso expectetur, ad id quod accepit augendum. 
Cf. Girard (90), e doit faire profiler ce qu'elle a receu, et produire 
le fruit qu'on attend d'elle.' 

69 Cf. above, ch. 6. The question treated in the digression is the 
gratuitousness of the beginning of grace in man, against the Semi- 
Pelagians. Grace is given to man without any merit on his part, 
but it is up to him to increase it. The excursus was occasioned by 
the idea of the inequality of the graces which are given to dif- 
ferent men; the differences are not due to different merits antece- 
dent to grace, since all merit comes from grace. 

70 Cf. Rom. 11.33. 

71 Cf. Isa. 65. 1. These three periods in the history of the dis- 
pensation of graces are found in Resp. cap. Gall. 8. 

72 Cf . Rom. 9. 8. 

73 For these three historical stages in the economy of the sal- 
vation of men, see Book One, n. 188. 

74 Cf. Rom. 11. 33. See Book One, ch. 13. 

75 Cf. Augustine., De corr. et grat. 16; De praed. sanct. 16; In 
loan. Ev. tract. 53. 6. 

76 This practical attitude of mind, concluded from the much 
repeated principle that there are many things in the mystery of 
God's dispensations of grace which surpass our understanding, to- 
gether with the following practical rule, that yet we must try to 
know what is accessible to our knowledge, characterises St. Pros- 
per's mental outlook well, as it reveals itself in the De vocatione: 
a synthesis of a partly 'agnostic' attitude and of a practical belief 
in the possibility of understanding the faith. He had learned this 
from St. Augustine: cf. De dona persev. 14. 37, TSFumquid ideo 
negandum est quod apertum est, quia comprehend! non potest quod 
occultum est?' Cf. B's marginal note, c non negligenda cognita 
propter incognita.' 

77 Matt. 5.45, with interchange of the clauses, as also in Resp. 
cap. Vincent. 13. In the following the term 'vitales auras' harks 
back to Lucretius: De rer. nat. 3. 405; 5. 857; cf. also Vergil, Aen. 

78 Rom. 8. 14. 

79 Cf. the story of Gen. 6. 1-4. Prosper interprets the filiae ho- 
minum (Gen. 6. 2) as meaning the reprobate. 

w Gen. 6. 3. 

200 NOTES 

81 Cf. Book One, chs. 2 and 6 on the spiritual will, and ibid. 
n. 37. Besides God's exterior gifts bestowed on all men, the just, 
or saints from the beginning of human history received interior 
graces the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

82 Ecclus. 31.10. 

83 Prov. 8.35 (Sept). 

84 This idea of the gradual dispensation of God's graces is one 
aspect or manifestation of the inequality of God's gifts to men, and 
prepares the further important distinction between the gratia 
genera/is and the gratia specialis. 

85 Cf. Heb. 7. 10. 

86 Cf. Gen. 14.19. 

87 Cf. Rom. 4.18. 
88 CLMal, 1.2 and Rom. 9. 13. 
89 Jer. 1.5. 

90 Cf. Luke 1.44. 

91 Cf. Matt. 11.11. 

92 Mark 9. 23. 

93 Luke 17.5. 

94 For these Augustinian ideas and views on the triadfaith, 
understanding, charity cf. M. Schmaus, Die psychologische Trin- 
itdtslehre des hi. Augustinus (Miinster i. W. 1927) 299 f. For 
Augustine's celebrated 'Intelligam,' inquis, 'ut credam': 'Crede, 3 
inquam, 'ut intelligas* see Serm. 43. 6. 7, and E. Gilson, Intro- 
duction a I'etude de saint Augustin (2nd ed. Paris 1943) 31-47. 

95 Cf. 1 John 4. 8. Cf. the same idea and the same Scripture 
reference in St. Augustine, Epist. 188 (Ad lulian.) 1. 3; Serm. 21. 2; 
156. 5. 5; Gilson, ibid. 183 f. 

96 Cf. Jer. 51.7; Apoc. 14.8 and 16.19. 

97 Cf. 1 Cor. 13. 2 f. 

98 We have here one element for the explanation of the fact 
that not all are saved: they who turn away from God (and they 
only) are forsaken by Him. Cf. Resp. cap. Vincent. 7, 'Deus qui 
priusquam deseratur, neminem deserit' The idea comes from St. 
Augustine, De nat. et grat. 26. 29, e non deserit si non deseratur. 3 

99 Cf. below, ch. 28 and n. 270. 

100 ]\j true virtue without grace cf. Book One, ch. 6. 

101 Cf. Book One, ch. 2, c Huius voluntatis, quantum ad naturalem 
pertinet motum ex vitio primae praevaricationis infirmum . . . .' 

102 The first people of God was Israel, the second will be the 
Christians; cf. 1 Peter 2. 9, often cited in the De vocatione. 

BOOK II 201 

103 praedamnati, the reprobate. But as noted already (Intro, 
n. 49) and as appears from what follows, St. Prosper teaches repro- 
bation post praevisa merita. The expression praedamnati is to be 
understood from the context. 

104 Gen. 4.6f. (Sept.). 

105 The commentary given here explains the otherwise obscure 
meaning of the quoted text. Cain's sin consisted in not dividing 
rightly between God and himself, when he reserved the better 
fruits of his fields for himself instead of offering these to God. His 
sin could have c corne back on him 3 through repentance and sor- 
row for it, and thus it was possible for him to 'take command over 
it.' Compare St. Augustine's reflexions on Cain's sin, in De civ. 
Dei 15.7. 

106 B quantum ad medendi modum, M quantum ad ilium medendi 

107 For the reconciliation of God's foreknowledge and man's free 
will, cf. St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 5. 10.2. 

108 .. . multiplicatae fecunditatis tarn numerosa propagatio: cf. 
Gen. 4. 17-24, the generations of Cain. Quesnel, op. cit. (ML 
54. 165B), found in the present passage a parallel to St. Leo's 
Serm. 10. 

109 Cf. Gen. 7. This symbolical interpretation of the story of the 
Flood is not uncommon with the Fathers: cf., e.g. Augustine, De 
civ. Dei 15. 26 f. See J. Danielou, 'Deluge. Bapteme, Jugement,' 
Dieu Vivant 8 (1947) 98, 112. 

110 omnium gentium plenitudo> the fulness of the nations which 
constitutes the specialis universitas of the elect cf. Book One, ch. 9. 
Another idea implied is that of the fixed number of the elect, as 
conceived by St. Augustine in his doctrine on predestination; see 
below, ch. 29 and n. 285. Cf. Amann, art. cit. 1802. 

111 Cf. Gen. 9. 4; Lev. 17. 14; Acts 15. 20, 29. 

112 Cf. Gen. 9. 13 f. 

112a . . . mysteria atque sacramenta. 

113 Cf. Gen. 11. 1-11. 

114 These seventy- two tongues originated at Babel according to 
a tradition followed, for example, by St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 
16.4 (cf. 16.11). 

115 Phil. 2.11. 

116 Cf. Gen. 22. 17 and Rom. 9. 8. 

117 John 8. 56. 

118 Cf. Rom. 4. 10. 

202 NOTES 

119 John 1.14. 

120 Gen. 22.18, 26.4, 28.14 (Acts 3.25). 

121 Cf. above, ch. 5 and nn. 46 and 47. The present text is more 
restrictive than the former. 

122 Eph. 2.12. 

123 superna doctrina, 'teaching from heaven' or c God's revela- 
tion, 5 a grace of light that is sufficient to enlighten all testi- 
moraum but leads to salvation only some. Cf. below, n. 226, 
the gratia generalis. A hint is given here as to the interior and 
supernatural character of this grace of light which is called par- 
cioris et occultioris gratiae: the external grace is not hidden, but 
only an interior one. 

124 Rom. 5.20. 

125 plerique, 'many.' Nothing more seems to be meant here than 
a poke at the Pelagian optimism believing that man, because of his 
free will, can be naturally good and without sin. 

126 Cf. St. Paul, Rom. 3. 9, 23, and 5. 20. 

127 Ironically, of course : they were not ready for the Gospel at 
all, as far as psychological preparedness was concerned. 

128 John 1. 29. B tollentem peccata, M tollentem peccatum. 
129 Ps. 2. If. 

130 Acts 4. 24-28. 

131 This idea that the wicked in carrying out their evil designs 
are instrumental in bringing into effect the plans of God's Provi- 
dence, is not original to St. Prosper: cf. St. Augustine, De grat. 
et lib. ark. 20. 41 and 21. 42; De praed. sanct. 16. 33. 

132 1 John 5. 20. 

133 Col. 1. 12 f. 

134 Titus 3. 3-7. 

135 Cf. Matt 9. 12 f. 

136 Isa. 9.2f. 

137 Rom. 5.1-5. 

138 Ps. 43.22. 

139 Rom. 8. 35-39. 

140 The Semi-Pelagians wrongly concluded from St. Augustine's 
teaching on predestination that Christ did not die for all men, but 
only for the predestined. Cf. Prosper's answer in Resp. cap. Vin- 
cent. 1 and Resp. cap. Gall. 9. 

141 Rom. 5.6-10. 

142 2 Cor. 5. 14 f. 

143 1 Tim. 1. 15f. 

BOOK II 203 

144 Acts 2.9-11. 

145 The providential preparation of the Roman Empire for the 
expansion of Christianity is the well-known idea of St. Leo, 
Serm. 82. 2: Ut autem huius inenarrabilis gratiae per totum mun- 
dum diffunderetur effectus, Romanum regnum divina providentla 
praeparavit.' The parallelism was naturally pointed out by Ques- 
nel (ML 55. 353. 3). The Idea Itself was developed much earlier 
cf. Origen, Contra Cels. 2.30. 

146 Quae tamen per apostoliti sacerdotii prindpatum amplior 
facta est arce religionis, quam solio potestatis. Gf. Carm. de ingr. 
40-42; Leo, Serm. 82. 1. 

147 Glrard (112) translates here a variant reading quoted by 
Mangeant, 'quemadmodum quasdam gentes quod ante non nover- 
unt, in consortium nliorum Dei novimus adoptatas': e nous sgavons 
qu'il se trouve quantite de peuples qui ont 1'honneur d'estre desia 
receus au nombre des enfants de Dieu.' 

148 The stage is here set for the discussion of the problem of the 
salvation of infidels. Prosper admits that there may be in his own 
days, as there were in the past, peoples who have not heard the 
Gospel yet. What about them and God's salvific will? 

149 A first element of his answer: the time of their call to the 
Gospel is appointed by God's Providence. They will be called, 
though we do not know when. 

150 B desuper, M de super. 

151 A second element of the answer: the Gentiles always re- 
ceived the general help which God's Providence never refused to 
anyone. Cf. above, chs. 4 and 15. 

152 spontanea contemplatio, 'natural speculation 5 cf. Book One, 
ch. 4. As has been said there already, this natural speculation can- 
not lead to the effective knowledge of God without superna lux, the 
divine light, called there illuminans Dei gratia (cf. n. 21 to Book 
One). If so, we have here another indication that the general 
help given to all is, for St. Prosper, a real grace or supernatural help. 

153 Col. 1.26L 

154 B hoc mysterium, M mysterium. 
155 Deut 32.19-21 (Sept.). 

156 Ps. 85. 9. 

157 Ibid. 71.11. 

158 Ibid. 71.17. 

159 Isa. 2.2 (Sept). 

* 60 Ibid. 25. 6 f. (Sept.). 

204 NOTES 

161 Ibid. 52. 10 (Sept). 

1Q2 Ibid. 54. 15 (Sept.). 

lQB Ibid. 55.5 (Sept.). On the universalism of messianism in 
Isaias, which is the Old Testament expression of the universal sal- 
vific will, cf. A. Condamin, Le Lime d'Isaie (Paris 1905) 361. Com- 
pare St. Augustine, De civ. Dei, 18. 29. 

164 0see 1. 10 f. (Sept.). 

165 Ibid. 2. 23 f. 

166 Cf. Matt. 3. 11. 

167 Acts 11.15-18. 

168 Amos 9. llf. (Sept). 

169 Acts 15.13-18. 

170 Luke 2. 26. 
171 Z6iU2.29-32. 

172 B begins chapter 19 here: His et aliiis testimoniis; M cuts 
the sentence after absconditum fuisse consilio, and begins the 
present chapter with Et cur hac manifestatione. 

173 This chapter contains the explicit statement of the original 
contribution of the De voaatione to the problem of the universal 
sal vific will: its theory of the general grace or divine help given 
to all men, and of a special help or grace given to the elect. 

174 in novissimo mundi tempore, in this last world period begun 
with the coming of Christ: cf. 1 Cor. 10. 11; above. Book One 
n. 168. 

175 Does this mean hidden absconditam in the sense of with- 
held, not given; or rather, when given, then done so in a hidden 
way? From what was said in previous chapters and what follows in 
the next, the idea seems rather to be that the abundance of grace 
was withheld in former ages, when grace was given sparingly to 
the non- chosen peoples. 

176 1 Tim. 2. 4. 

177 Cf. Book One, ch. 25 and n. 358 9 pars fidei. 

178 These general gifts of grace given to all men (cf. above, 
ch. 15), as pointed out already (cf. nn. 123, 152) imply interior and 
supernatural graces. They are not restricted to the exterior grace 
only, to the teaching gathered from the testimony of the created 
world. The special gifts added to these will be explained further. 

179 Obviously the gratia here mentioned refers to the abundant 
grace of which the beginning of this chapter makes mention; cf. 
also above, n. 175. All men did receive the general gifts of grace 
which are sufficient to be for all a lesson, omnibus in testimonium 

BOOK II 205 

(cf. above, ch. 15 and n. 123); and on that account they plead 
guilty of malice, de sua nequitia arguantur. With the special gifts 
added to these, God's grace provides, according to the same chapter 
15, a saving remedy for some, quibusdam in remedium, namely, for 
the elect who are actually saved. 

iso 'p^g case o f -faQ infants, of whom some happen to receive 
baptism and others not, has been dealt with in Book One, ch. 16, 
as a proof of the inscrutability of God's decrees; and in ch. 22 as 
an argument for the gratuitousness of the first grace. Here it is pre- 
sented as an objection against the universal salvific will of which 
the preceding chapter proposed an explanation. The objection is 
this: The children who die without baptism do not seem to have 
received the general help of grace which was said to be given to 
all men. 

181 1 Tim. 2. 4. 

182 ^y e should recall here that for our author, as for St. Augustine, 
unbaptised children are condemned to hell, though theirs is mi- 
tissima damnatio. Cf. above, Book One n. 212. 

183 cum peccati carnecL Rom. 8. 3. 

184 This sentence is absent from Vat. Reg. 293 and Vat. Lat. 262; 
: n Vat. Lat. 268 it is only a marginal note (Ballerini). 

185 Cf. Book One, nn. 273 and 274. 

186 B sed quotes, M et quales. 

187 The reason for this discrimination is unknowable for us, as 
explained in Book One, ch. 16. Cf. Augustine, Epist. 194 (Ad 
Sixt.) 7. 33, e . . . cur in eadem causa super alium veniat miseri- 
cordia, super alium maneat ira eius. 5 

IBS f j i ] ie g u i}t o f original sin is sufficient, in our author's concep- 
tion to justly condemn to hell all who die with it. Cf. above, n. 182; 
Augustine, Epist. 184A (Ad Petr. et Abrah.) 2: c potest eorum 
merito dici in ilia damnatione minima poena, non tamen nulla.' 

189 Regarding the hidden justice of God, cf. Book One, ch. 17 
n. 219. 

190 The necessity of not investigating what God wants to be 
unknown by us, has been repeatedly stressed, e.g. Book One, ch. 13 
n. 192; Book Two, ch. 1. 

191 St. Prosper has inherited this deep awareness of the grave 
guilt implied in original sin from St. Augustine; cf. De civ. Dei 
21. 12. 

192 B Nemo etiam, M nemo autem. 

193 The Church officially sanctioned the doctrine that mortality, 

206 NOTES 

or the necessity to die, has originated in mankind with original sin, 
when she condemned Pelagius in the Sixteenth Council of Carthage. 
Cf. Mansi 3. 81 1A Hefele-Leclercq 2. 1. 190 = ES 101. 

194 Cf. Girard (120), e il n'est jamais tellement en possession de 
la vie, qu'il ne soit toujours en peril de mort.' 

195 Compare with the expose of man's subjection to death St. 
Augustine, De civ. Dei 13. 10, 'nihil aliud tempus huius vitae quam 
cursus ad mortem.' 

196 Ecclus. 40.1. 

197 The belief in the perfect justice of God's ruling in the 
problem of physical evil draws from the Augustinian conception 
of the grave malice of original sin; cf. above, n. 191. 

198 B nihil ei, M nihil els. 

199 Justice tempered with mercy: the idea is St. Augustine's 
cf., e.g. Enarr. in Ps. 32. 1. 10-12. 

200 An Augustinian idea flowing from his conception of the state 
of fallen mankind as a massa damnationis: cf. De civ. Dei 21. 12. 

201 B decessu, M discessu. 

202 Job 12. 9 f. 

203 Ibid. 14. 5. 

204 B usque ad senectutem, M usque in senectutem. 

205 The problem of physical evil in connection with the infants 
is made very acute by the assumption that unbaptised infants are 
condemned to hell in the next world, as St. Augustine held (cf., 
e.g. Enchir. 23.93: ACW 3.88) and St. Prosper after him. 

206 Here is the answer to the objection formulated in ch. 20 cf. 
above, n. 180. Children did receive a general grace. 

207 Cf. 1 Tim. 2. 4. 

208 ... illam gratiae partem, that is, a 'general' grace, referred 
to above, ch. 19, as dona generalia. 

209 It is not very clear what our author means. The general grace 
given to the parents consists mainly in the knowledge of God drawn 
from things created, with the help of an interior grace of light (cf. 
above, Book One, ch. 4, and Book Two, ch. 4 and n. 44). This 
can indeed be a help for the parents who are adults, but what help 
does it mean for their children? Or have we to suppose that if the 
parents had made good use of the general grace they received, 
God would also have given them the special graces needed for sal- 
vation, both for themselves (the grace of the faith) and for their 
children (the grace of baptism)? This seems to be the implication 
of the whole argument. Cf. below, n. 215. 

BOOK II 207 

210 ... sub arbltrio iacent voluntatis alienae, nee ullo modo eis 
nisi per olios consuli potest. 

211 ... ad eorum pertinere consortium, they are one with their 

212 Sicut enim ex aliena professione credunt: this does not mean 
that the parents' profession of the faith by itself provides the faith 
to the children (how could it?) ; but that if the parents have the 
faith (and had, therefore, received the special graces necessary to 
come to the true faith), they will be instrumental in providing for 
their children the special grace needed for them to receive the faith, 
namely, baptism. 

213 Quam ipsorum factum est nasci, tarn ipsorum efficitur non 
renasci: when the children are born, their existence or their having 
come to exist is their own concern, in the sense that they are the 
interested subjects of this fact and it is they who will derive the 
advantages implied in birth. A pari, the privation of baptism non 
renasci is also their loss or disadvantage; they have to suffer the 
consequences of it. But cf. Girard (124), e la regeneration leur 
est aussi etrangere que la naissance leur est propre.' 

214 This application of the teaching of ch. 19 on the general and 
special grace, to the case of infant children, throws more light on 
that doctrine itself than on the problem of the children's salvation. 
The theory has as its background the Augustinian doctrine of elec- 
tion-predestination. The general grace given to all is an effect of 
the universal salvinc will, but it is by itself insufficient for actual 
salvation. Only with the addition of special grace can it lead to 
salvation and these special graces are given to the elect only. 

215 How does the election reveal itself in the case of children 
who die before the age of reason, some being baptised and others 
not? In general the divine election is expressed in the special 
graces given in addition to the general ones. The election, there- 
fore, is revealed in the way the special graces reach the children. 
This is said to happen in two possible manners which are alto- 
gether different in their outcome. Either the children receive the 
special grace in their parents, when these have the faith; but this 
special grace of the parents will not in fact profit the children who 
die before baptism; yet the special grace, result of the election, is 
not withheld from them in so far as their parents have received 
the special grace of the faith (which is for the children normally 
the first step to the grace of baptism). Or they receive the special 
grace without their parents having received the same, when they 

208 NOTES 

are unbelievers, and when outsiders see to the baptism of the chil- 
dren, thanks to a special providential disposition resulting from their 
election (cf. the n. following) .The first alternative may seem, and 
is, a purely nominal solution. These unbaptised children did not in 
fact receive themselves the special grace which is the effect of the 
election. The election therefore, though not withheld from them 
in so far as it has reached their parents, yet does not in fact mean 
anything to them personally; unless we say that it reveals itself as 
their non-election. 

216 This care of strangers is the providential way of the election, 
procuring to these infants the special grace needed for actual sal- 
vation, the grace of baptism. Their own people could not do so, 
because they themselves were impii, unbelievers, and had received 
the general grace only. Thus the election reveals itself in this 
mysterious discrimination between children. Some children of be- 
lieving parents fail to receive baptism; they are not among the 
elect. Others, children of non- Christians, happen to be baptised 
thanks to the care of strangers; they are objects of the divine elec- 
tion. Cf. Carm. de ingr. 632-6. St. Augustine frequently pointed to 
these same facts (some children of baptised parents die without 
baptism; others of unbelieving parents die after baptism) to bring 
out his views on predestination: note Epist. 194. (Ad Sixt.) 7. 32; 
De grat. et lib. arb. 23. 45; De corr. et grat. 8. 18. 

217 The chapter answers the unformulated objection: But why 
does not God provide the special grace of actual baptism for all 
children? Is not that unjust? 

218 The answer is: God would give the special grace of baptism 
to all children if this were necessary because of His justice or 
mercy. But as will be proved instantly, it is not necessary. 

219 B quantum in cordibus, M quantum cordibus. 

220 A first proof that it is not necessary for God always to pro- 
vide baptism for all children, but rather better not to provide it: 
if He did, the certainty of baptism would cause the faithful to be 
negligent about having their children receive it. 

221 According to this second argument, the Pelagians could say 
that children are not excluded from heaven, not because Provi- 
dence always sees to their baptism, but because they are without sin 
and thus have a claim to happiness. 

222 Habet gratia quod adopfet, non habet unda quod diluats. 
Pelagian formula found in the anonymous work Hypomnesticon 
(or Hypognosticon) contra Pelagianos et Caelestianos 5. 8. 13 (ML 

BOOK II 209 

45. 1656). On this ps.-Augustinian work, variously ascribed to 
Marius Mercatur and Pope Sixtus III, cf. Bardenhewer, op. cit. 
4. 479. A marginal note in B reads, c dogma Pelagianum. 5 

223 See the reference to the condemnation in the Sixteenth 
Council of Carthage of the Pelagian doctrine on the baptism of 
children above, Book One, ch. 22 and n. 274. 

224 'YfaQ conclusion of this chapter once more reveals our author's 
keen sense of original sin, which is at the root of this acceptance of 
God's just judgment on the unbaptised children. Today an addi- 
tional element for an answer is drawn from the doctrine on Limbo 
which was unknown in St. Prosper's time (see above, n. 212 to 
Book One). 

225 In this chapter we have a precise statement of Prosper's con- 
ception of the universal salvific will: God wills all men to be saved 
without exception meaning that He gives grace to all, though 
not to all in the same degree. All receive a general grace, and only 
some a special grace; and these alone actually attain salvation. 

226 Cf. above, chs. 4 and 19. Is this general grace only an ex- 
terior help or is it also interior? From the present passage it would 
seern to be merely exterior; at any rate, only the exterior help is 
mentioned explicitly. Yet, as the Ballerini brothers already noted, 
Observations in Dissert. II Quesnelli 17 (ML 55. 380D), and 
recently Cappuyns, 'L'auteur' 204 n. 2, the gratia generalis of the 
De vocatione comprises both exterior and interior divine help. At 
times the interior help is stated explicitly (1.4; 2.4, 17.25), in 
other places only the exterior testimony of things created is men- 
tioned (1.5; 2. 25). Even then in St. Prosper's conception an in- 
terior help is indirectly postulated. For, according to a frequently 
expressed view of his, all grace, either special or general, if *t is to 
lead to any good results, requires both exterior and interior help. 
The special grace, as found in the Law and Prophets or in the 
Gospel, remains ineffective without interior grace (2. 7) ; so also 
the general grace which is the testimony of created things (2. 4). 
Whenever the general grace was effective, this was due to an in- 
terior grace (2.5), just as for the Law (1.8) and the Gospel 
(ibid.). Another confirmation of this lies in the statement often 
repeated that the difference between special and general grace is 
one of degree only of greater abundance or scarcity (2. 19, 23, 25), 
not of kind. It is always the grace of the Redeemer, Christ 
(2.5, 9, 15). St. Prosper's opposition to the Pelagian conception 

210 NOTES 

of an exterior grace (1. 8) makes it altogether improbable that he 
would call grace a merely exterior help. 

Should it not be said that the interior help added to the exterior 
teaching or preaching of the created things is the special grace, so 
that exterior grace is the same as general, and interior the same as 
special grace? This does not seem to be the idea of the De voca- 
tione. Both the Law and the Prophets, and the Gospel, which 
are exterior graces, are called gratia specialis (2. 4, 9), and at the 
same time it is said explicitly that they cannot actually lead to 
salvation without an interior action of God in the soul (1. 8; 2. 4). 
If general grace meant exterior help only, then no one could ever 
profit by it. If special grace meant only interior help, then there 
would be no reason why Israel or the Christians would be con- 
sidered as privileged; for then what they have received more in the 
line of exterior help, the Law or the Gospel, would always remain 
a grace that can lead nowhere without the addition of an interior 
grace. But it is said explicitly that the call to the Gospel is a 
special one (2. 23), just as was the direction provided by the Law 
for Israel (2.9). Both the special grace, therefore, and the gen- 
eral one comprise exterior and interior help from God. 

227 ^y e already know St. Prosper's insistence on the unknow- 
ability of the reasons or motives of God's decrees and judgments 
about the dispensation of grace; cf. below, n. 290. 

228 If all men received the same graces, the question would no 
longer arise why this man receives one grace and that one another. 
There would be no question of mysterious reasons for a diversity. 
This was exactly Pelagius' position: c Nam cum universa turba 
credentium paria dona gratlae percipiat et iisdem omnes sacra- 
mentorum benedictionibus glorientur . . .' (Cf. de Plinval, Pelage 

229 Then His special grace would no longer appear as something 
special and surprising, since it would be the same for all. 

230 How does this follow? God's general kindness would remain 
a grace, since all would be able to know their Maker from His 
gifts; but there would be no special grace any more: no particular 
gifts, given to some and not given to others, would strikingly bring 
out the gratuitousness of all God's gifts. 

231 The meaning seems to be that God did not refuse to all man- 
kind the special grace, since He gives it to some of them. Perhaps 
this implies that God was ready to give the special grace to all, but 
that some refused to accept it; the proof of His readiness to give 

BOOK II 211 

more being precisely the general grace which He actually gives to 
all. Cf. the following n. 

232 This apparently insinuates that the reason why special graces 
are not given to all is because in some men 'nature recoiled,' that 
is, because they did not want to accept them. But would this be 
consistent with the election theory of our author? Hardly. At any 
rate, he does not explain it further. If we understand these lines 
in this sense, that they lay the reason why God withholds His 
special graces from some in the free will of men who refuse to 
accept them, then his solution of the universal salvific will becomes 
considerably more satisfactory. For then it comes to mean that 
the special grace needed for actual salvation is offered to all, but 
not actually given to some because they refuse it. This, however, 
is inconsistent with our author's views on the election (cf. above, 
ch. 23) according to which God reveals His mercy in some men 
through special graces, and in others, His justice. But cf. Intro. 
n. 56. Cf. Resp. cap. Vincent. 7, 'Quamdiu salvi esse nolunt, salvi 
esse non possunt.' 

233 The problem examined in the present chapter is not how to 
reconcile grace and free will, but only to show the fact that free 
will remains as a necessary but secondary factor in the process of 
justification. We are reminded of St. Augustine in the De grat. et 
lib. ark., but perhaps there is more insistence on the active co-op- 
eration of man's will. Are we to see here an indication that the 
resiluisse naturam of the previous chapter (n. 232) is to be taken 
as a refusal of grace? 

234 Grace would do violence to the human will if God's will did 
everything in a man's salvation without the free co-operation of 
man. This would be against the free nature of man's will. But the 
will is associated with grace. 

235 Even in the case of the justification of children God does not 
do alone the whole work since another man's will intervenes. They 
who bring the children to baptism co-operate with God. 

236 As was explained above, n. 232, and is explicitly stated here, 
both exterior and interior aids belong to the gratia specialis. 

237 The co-operation of free will and grace, expressed here, comes 
to this: grace has the initiative in stirring the will and enabling 
it to act; thus moved and enabled, the will co-operates with the 
gift given in order to gain merit. 

238 It is worth pointing out that St. Prosper explicitly attributes 
the virtuous actions done with the help of grace to both grace and 

212 NOTES 

free will. In this point he differs from St. Augustine who stresses 
the role of grace to the extent of obscuring the part of the free 
will. Girard (161) reads here the distinction between sufficient 
grace (given to all) and efficacious grace (made thus through free 
co-operation) . 

239 The positive counterpart of this negative statement, namely, 
that virtue is given to all who wish to be virtuous (and there is no 
true virtue without grace), is found nowhere in the De vocatione. 
We may not, therefore, deduce from this negative sentence that a 
lack of good will is the only reason why virtue is not given. This 
would run counter to the election doctrine, according to which God 
gives or does not give His graces as He pleases, for reasons of His 
own which we cannot know. 

240 When grace is said to act through teaching or through fear, 
we must remember that in our author's conception exterior grace 
is not isolated but doubled with interior grace; cf. above, n. 226. 

241 Prov. 9. 10. 
242 Ecclus. 25. 15. 

24 *Quae auctore gratiae eodem proficit timore quo coepit: both 
B and M follow this reading, and note the variant, 'quo auctore.' 
The meaning is much the same: the fear of the Lord is the source 
of progress as it was the beginning of virtue. Cf. Girard (129), 
e qui est cause du progres, non rnoins que du commencement de 
la grace.' 

244 Cf. Book One, ch. 8, on the healing effects of grace. 

245 Cf. Book One, ch. 6 no true virtue without grace. 

246 . . . nisi oculos in eo aperuerit voluntatis: the eyes of the 
will, that is, the eyes of the soul that should direct the will. It 
should be noted that Prosper frequently calls grace a light, imply- 
ing in this more than mere knowledge a desire and inclination to 
act accordingly. Cf. Book One, ch. 8, on the interior action of 
grace which goes together with the exterior grace. In this also 
we find an Augustinian idea: that grace is superior to the Law 
in that it not only shows what is to be done, but gives the de- 
sire and the strength to do what is commanded: cf. De spir. et 
litt. 19. 32. 

247 Cf. ch. 11. 

248 John 6. 44. 

249 Matt 16.17. 

250 Cf . above, ch. 26. 

BOOK II 213 

251 Cf. St. Augustine, Conf. 13. 9. 10, 'Pondus meum amor meus; 
eo feror, quocumque feror. 5 

252 Et quod eos voluit Deus velle, voluerunt: cf. St. Agustine, 
Contra duas epist. Pelag. 1. 19. 37, c . . . ut volentes ex nolentibus 
fiant'; Epist. 186 (Ad Paulin.) 2. 6, 'Recolat utrum quaesierit, an 
quaesitus sit.' 

253 Repeated stress on the fact that free will remains under the 
action of grace, that the election does not put aside freedom. Girard 
( 1 64 f . ) comments : efficacious grace and free will. 

254 Matt. 26.41. Cf. the same argumentation on this text in 
St. Augustine, De grat. et lib. arb. 4. 9. 

255 Luke 22.311 

256 Ibid. 22. 40. 

257 B pro eo, M pro ea. 

258 B negationem eius, M negationem Christi. 

259 ... conturbatum cor Apostoli non humanis sed divinis con- 
venit oculis; cf. St. Leo, Serm. 54. 5, e illis turbatum discipulum con- 
venit oculis' a parallel among several which Quesnel pointed out, 
op. dt. (ML 55. 353 BC). 

260 John 10.18. 

261 Gal. 5. 17. 

262 Matt. 26.41. 

263 Cf. Job 7. 1. 

264 Cf. above, Book One, ch. 8 and n. 81, on the usefulness of 
struggle and temptation. 

265 John 21. 18 f. 

266 . . . quae ab ilia principali petra communionem et virtutis 
sumpsit et nominis: cf. Leo, Epist. 28.5, c . . . a principali petra 
soliditatem et virtutis traxit et nomims'; cf. Quesnel, op. cit. (ML 

267 Matt. 6. 13. 

268 1 Cor. 1. 31. 

269 B victoriam, M gloriam. 

270 Cf. above, ch. 12. A similar idea is found in Pelagius' Epist. 
ad Demetr. 3 : e Nec esset omnino virtus ulla in bono perseverantis, 
si is ad malum transire non potuisset' (ML 30. 17D). 

271 Note once more the stress on freedom which remains under 
the action of grace and with the gift of perseverance. 

272 1 Tim. 2. 4. 

273 The present chapter is perhaps the most striking example of 
Prosper's struggle to synthesize the Augustinian doctrine on elec- 

214 NOTES 

tion-predestination with his own universalistic conception of the 
divine salvific will; perhaps it is also another proof of his incon- 
sistency in holding on to both doctrines which, when taken rigidly, 
are irreconcilable. 

274 Isa. 40. 8. 

275 praescita et promissa: the term praedestinata is avoided; 
gentium plenitude: a restricted totality cf. Book One, ch. 9 and 
nn. 127, 137. 

276 Cf . Book One, ch. 9, where the promise is interpreted in a 
restrictive sense. 

277 Cf. John 6. 39. 

278 Cf. ibid. 10.29. 

279 2 Tim. 2. 19. 

280 Quod et nemini negatur et nemini debetur, in its quos promi- 
sit, efficiturthe grace which is given to the men that are com- 
prised in the promise(= election = predestination) is refused to 
no one. How to understand this? Is the specialis gratia without 
which there is no salvation, and with which there is, offered to all 
men? Is it not actually given to all only because they refuse to ac- 
cept it? Cf. above, n. 232, and below, n. 284. If so, this can hardly 
be reconciled with the election-predestination doctrine. 

281 1 Cor. 12. 6. 

282 iusta et ttona: God's justice and goodness or mercy are mani- 
fested in the distribution of His gifts, tempering each other. Cf. 
above, ch. 22 and n. 199. 

283 Ps. 24. 10. 

284 The special graces which up to now were apparently said 
to be given only to the elect (cf. ch. 25), are said here to have been 
given also to some men who stray from the path of truth and life. 
This is also implied further in this chapter, nullo excidente de 
plenitudine promissionum, qui . . . nee auxilio defuturus. Must we 
think of a double kind of gratia specialis, one given to the elect 
only, another given also to some who will not persevere? Cf . below, 
ch. 33 and n. 305. 

285 In God's foreknowledge the number of the elect is fixed: an 
Augustinian idea; cf. Augustine, De corr. et grat. 23. 39, 'Certum 
vero esse numerum electorum, neque augendum, neque minuen- 
dum. 5 

286 By g ran ting to all the gratia genera/is cf. above, ch. 25. 

287 Their malice consisted in not making use of the general gifts 
of grace given to all men, or even according to what was said here 

BOOK II 215 

(cf. n. 284) in misusing or leaving unused the special graces given 
to some who do not persevere. 

288 Cf . 1 Tim. 2. 4. 

289 Gal 5. 6.~Cf. Book One, chs. 23 and 24. 

290 The frequent reference (in not less than 10 chs. in Book One, 
and 12 in Book Two) to the mysterious and hidden things in the 
economy of divine grace which are beyond all human knowledge, 
besides passing allusions to the same mystery, is one more Augus- 
tinian feature of the De vocatione. Cf. St. Augustine, e.g. De pecc. 
mer. 1.21.29; 2. 18.32; De spir. et litt. 35.61; 36.66; Epist. 194 
(Ad Sioct.) 3. 10; and the classical citation from St. Paul, Rom. 
11. 33, O altitudo. ... If we summarize St. Prosper's ideas in this 
connection, we come to the following. God has reserved to Himself 
certain truths which are beyond human investigation (1.20, 21). 
He has not revealed them to us because it was unnecessary for 
us to know them. Had it been necessary, He would have made 
them known (1. 13, 14). These truths, therefore, we need not try 
to find out, we must stop at the limit of our human knowledge 
(1. 1, 15; 2. 1, 10, 21). And what are these unknowable truths? 
They are mainly the reasons or motives of God's ways in the 
economy of His grace and the election (1. 13, 14, 18, 21; 2. 25, 30) : 
why He saves some and not others (2. 1); why He bestows such 
gifts on one and others on another (1. 17); why He acts with re- 
gard to the salvation of men, in different ways at different times 
(1. 13; 2. 9) and for different persons and nations (1. 15; 2.22). 
We know the differences, we cannot know the reasons (2.22). 
The answer to the why of all these differences lies with the in- 
scrutable decrees and judgments of God which are mysterious and 
hidden, but cannot but be just (2. 1, 3, etc.). 

291 Each item of this enumeration has been dealt with in pre- 
vious chapters: different times, cf. the three periods in the history 
of the salvation of mankind Book One, n. 188; different nations, 
that is, especially Israel and the Gentiles cf. Book One, ch. 21; 
different families, cf. above, ch. 3; the infants, Book One, ch. 16; 
the unborn have not been mentioned explicitly in the De voca- 
tione (but St. Augustine mentions them, for the case of Esau 
and Jacob-Epfcf. 194 [Ad SixL] 8. 35 and Epist. 286 [Ad Paulin.] 
4. 14 f.); twins, see the allusion to the classical proof for the gra- 
tuitousness of grace derived from Esau and Jacob above, ch. 11 
and n. 88; also Carm. de mgr. 637-47; St. Augustine, Contra duas 
epist. Pelag. 2. 7. 15. 

216 NOTES 

292 Rom. 8. 24. 

293 1 Cor. 2. 9. 

294 Compare this expression of the author's modesty with Book 
One, ch. 1. 

295 1 Tim. 4. 10. 

296 Another reading noted by M has suUilissimae veritatis instead 
of brevitatis. B does not mention it. 

29T These special helps are the gratia spedalis of the elect. The 
special grace given to some who will not persevere (cf. above, 
n. 284) is not meant here. 

298 Book Two, ch. 6. 

299 The illustrations are aimed at Pelagius' objection against the 
inequality of graces, namely, that God is acceptor personarum. 
Cf. above, n. 224 to Book One. St. Augustine had answered the 
objection, e.g. Contra duas epist. Pelag. 2. 7. 13. 

300 Cf. above, ch. 8; also Book One, ch. 24. 

301 The present chapter holds on, except for the word itself, to 
St. Augustine's predestination doctrine. It would seem to weaken 
to some degree what has been explained in the previous chs. 19 
and 25 on the universal call of all men through general graces. 

302 The previous chapter treated of these. 

303 ... qui perire non debeat, who is not a reprobate: cf. Intro, 
n. 49, for Prosper's conception of reprobation. 

304 Contrast with this the non-universal promulgation of the 
Gospel as expressed above, ch. 17; see also Resp. cap. Gall. 4 and 
Carm. de ingr. 275 f. 

805 spedalis vocatio, the special call expressed in the Gospel, 
has become universal. Perhaps this special call is not the same 
as the special grace, or it is only the special grace given also to 
those who will not persevere. It is, moreover, only as such an ex- 
terior grace. Cf. above, nn. 226 and 284. 

306 This is commonly pointed out as an indication that the De 
vocatione was written in Rome. 

307 This Christian view of Providence making all events con- 
tribute to carry out its designs is, as is well-known, the fundamental 
idea of St. Augustine's philosophy of history and of his De civitate 
Dei. Cf. C. Dawson, The City of God,' in A Monument to Saint 
Augustine (London 1930) 43 ff. 

308 B provectuum, M proventuum. 

309 This apparently paradoxical expression of God's eternal 
prescience is a reminiscence from St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 22. 2: 

BOOK II 217 

'Secundum illam vero voluntatem suam, quae cum eius praescientia 
sempiterna est> . . . etiam futura iam fecit.' Girard here translates 
(143) 5 *et il a desia determine les recompenses apres avoir conclu 
les merites.' 

310 Eph. 1. 3-6. B per lesum Christum in ipso, M omits in ipso. 
The present Scripture quotation is the only place in the De vo- 
catione where we find the word praedestinare. 

311 Negative reprobation, or non-inclusion in the number of the 

312 Again predestination without the name. Cf. below, n. 316. 

313 Compare the Augustinian idea of the numerus clausus of the 
elect (above, n. 285). Both aspects of it, neque augendus neque 
minuendus, are developed in this chapter. 

314 2 Tim. 1.8f. 

315 These were the difficulties of the Hadrumetan monks against 
St. Augustine's teaching on predestination. See Augustine's De 
gratia et libero arbitrio and De correptione et gratia. 

316 St. Prosper's answer to the difficulties considers only God's 
foreknowledge, while the election-predestination implies also the 
part of God's will or God's choice. It may be helpful to synthetise 
here the dispersed elements of our author's election theory. This 
conception states that the sons of the promise, foreknown and fore- 
ordained (1. 9, 20) before all times (2. 33), are all saved without 
exception (1.9; 2.29), chosen as they are without any merit of 
their own (1. 22, 25) for reasons that remain hidden in God's om- 
nipotent will (1. 16, 18, 20). Thus, in the sight of God mankind is 
divided into two sections (1. 10), one of the elect and the other of 
of the reprobate (2. 33). The number of the elect is fixed (2. 29, 
33), God's eternal foreknowledge of it cannot fail (ibid.). The 
elect are infallibly, though freely, led to salvation, with special 
graces in addition to the general graces given to all (2.25,28), 
out of mere mercy (1. 25; 2. 29); while the non-elect receive in the 
end the just punishment of their sin (1. 25; 2. 29). The non-elect 
did not receive the special graces of the elect, but only the general 
graces, or at most the special graces that do not grant perseverance 
(2.29). Even the children are condemned justly on account of 
original sin (2.21). No one is lost except the reprobate (2.33). 

Why were the special graces not given to the reprobate? A two- 
fold answer is given: the one, more stressed and more explicit, is 
that we do not know the reasons for God's unequal distribution 
of graces (1. 13, 15; 2. 9, 22, 24); the other, stated more in passing 

15 14 

218 NOTES 

and only insinuated, is that nature recoiled (2. 25), or men refused 
them (2.28 fin.), since God abandons no one unless man first 
turns away from Him. (2. 12). 

Is this different from St. Augustine's doctrine on predestination? 
His classical definition of it reads (De dono persev. 14. 35) : 'Est 
praedestinatio sanctorum . . . praescientia . . . et praeparatio bene- 
ficiorum Dei, quibus certissime liberantur quicumque liberantur.' 
In St. Prosper's theory of election there is one element of difference: 
election is mainly considered as God's infallible prescience. Yet the 
other aspect, regarding the will, is not excluded, as appears from 
the much used terms, praescitum et praeordinatum (1. 9), prae- 
cogniti et praeordinati (1.20), praecognita et praeelecta (2.33). 
The main identity between predestination and election is the neces- 
sity of salvation for the elect and the certainty of non-salvation for 
the reprobate. 

317 This was the Semi- Pelagian objection against predestination; 
cf. Resp. cap. Gall 11. 

318 St. Augustine's teaching on the negative nature of evil is 
well-known; cf., e.g. Opus imp. c. luL 3. 206, 'Nulla enim natura, 
in quantum natura est, malum est.' 

319 B propriis, M proprio. 

320 This chapter answers the first objection formulated in the pre- 
vious one against the election, that it would render good works un- 

321 1 John 3. 8. 

322 Rom. 5.3-5. 

323 Eph. 2.8-10. 

324 Cf. above, ch. 8. 

325 B and M correct the text to read cum etiam ad hoc ut operen- 
tur electl sint; while Girard translates (148) the uncorrected text 
quoted by Mangeant ad hoc operentur ut electi sint with Veu 
mesme qu'ils travaillent pour estre elus.' 

326 Matt. 25. 29. 
32T Cf. Ps. 1.2. 

328 Cf. 2 Tim. 3. 12. 

32& The chapter gives the answer to the second objection against 
election: it would make prayer superfluous. 

330 B accipere debere uxorem, M accipere uxorem. 

331 Tob. 6.16-18 (Sept.). 

332 This reason why God's decrees about the election must re- 
main hidden from our knowledge, namely, in order that we may 

BOOK II 219 

continue in good works and prayer, was not given before in the 
De vocatione. Cf. St. Augustine, De corr. et grat. 13.40: 'Nam 
propter huius utilitatem secreti, ne forte quis extollatur, sed omnes, 
etiam qui bene currunt, timeant, dum occultum est qui perveni- 
ant . . .'; De dono persev. 13. 33. 

33S 1 Cor. 10. 12. 

33 *Ps. 144.14. 

335 Cf. St. Augustine, De corr. et grat. 15. 46; also the parallel in 
St. Leo, Serm. 34. 5, 'nullius desperanda salus' (cf. Quesnel, op. 
eft., ML55.353D). 

336 See above, Book One, ch. 12 and n. 178. 
887 1 Tim. 2.4. 



Abel, 110 

Abraham, father of all the na- 
tions, 67; faith of, 67, 113; 
God's promise to, 113, fufilled 
every day, 44, 67; sons of, 42, 
44, 67, 91, 103 

Adam, 33; sin of, 63, 127 

adoption, as sons of God, 44, 
146, 147; of grace, 132, 146; 
preceded all times, 147 

adults, justified gratuitously, 70, 
71, 191 

adulterous woman, 38, 178 

Ales, A. d', 165, 166, 169 

Altaner, B., 163 

Amann, E., 158-60, 163, 164, 
165, 168, 171, 184, 201 

Ambrose, St., 7f., 161, 169 

agnostic attitude, 185, 199 

angels, 103 

animal will, see will; desires, 28 

Antelmi, J., 7, 161 

anthropomorphism, 185 

anti-Augustinism, 4 f. 

Arand, L. A., 172, 181 

ark of Noe, symbolism of, 111 f., 

arts, useful, 29 

astrology, 56, 186 

Augustine, St., 3; and Semi- 
Pelagians, 3 f.; relations with 
St. Prosper, 4 f.; and salvific 
will, 11, 171. See election, 

Conf. 13.9. 10: 213; C. duos 
ep.Pel. 1.19.37: 213; 2. 5. 9: 
189, 191; 2.6.11: 191; 2.7. 
13: 215; 2. 7. 14: 187; 2. 7. 15: 


215; 4.6.16: 185; C. M. 
Pelag. 4. 3. 17: 175; 4. 3. 22: 
173; De civ. Dei: 216; 5. 1-7: 
186; 5.8: 186; 5.10.2: 201; 
5. 15: 173; 11.2: 174; 12.27. 
2: 187; 13. 2: 172; 13. 10: 206; 
15.6: 178; 15.7: 201; 15.26 
f.: 201; 16.4: 201; 16.11: 
201; 18.29: 204; 18.47: 197; 
19. 25: 175; 21. 12: 188, 205, 
206; 22. 2. 2: 216; De corr. et 
grot.: 4, 217; 7. 13: 172; 7. 13 
f.: 180; 7.16: 180; 8. 17: 171; 
8.18: 157; 9.20: 180; 12.36: 
180; 13.39: 214; 13.40: 219; 
14.44: 181; 15.46: 219; 15. 
47: 165, 184; 16: 199; De div. 
quaest. 83.40: 186; 44: 175; 
De dono persev.: 5, 193; 7. 17: 
188; 8. 17 f.: 195; 9. 21 f.: 180, 
187; 11.27: 186; 13.33: 166, 
219; 14. 35: 218; 14. 37: 199; 
18.47: 183; 20.53: 193; De 
Gen. ad litt. 10.17.30: 186; 
De gest. Pel. 14.33: 190; De 
grat. Christi 1.7-14: 178; 1. 
22.23: 189; De grat. et lib. 
arb.: 4, 211, 217; 4.9: 213; 
15.31: 176; 20.41: 202; 21. 
42: 202; 21.43: 188; 22.44: 
185, 187; 23. 45: 208; De nat. 
et grat. 26.29: 200; De pecc. 
mer. 1.21.29: 215; 2.17.26: 
177; 2. 18. 32: 215; De perf. 
iust. horn. 2. 4: 177; De praed. 
sanct.: 5, 193; 1.2: 179; 2.3: 
159; 6. 10: 198; 8. 14: 165; 
8.16: 186; 12.23: 191; 12.24: 



187; 12-14, 23-29: 187; 16: 
199; 16.33: 183, 202; De spir. 
et litt.: 178; 3.5: 174; 7.11: 
178; 11.20: 174; 14.23-. 197; 
19. 32: 212; 24. 39 f.: 180; 27. 
48: 173; 30.52: 177, 181; 34. 
60: 176, 185; 35.61: 215; 36. 
66: 215; De ver. rel. 25.46: 
175; Enarr. in Ps. 32. 1.10-12: 
206; 70.2.1: 170; Enchir. 1. 
8.20: 178; 23.93: 187, 206; 
27. 103: 165, 181, 184; Ep. 
184A2: 205; 186.2.6: 213; 
186.3.10: 172; 186.4. 14 f.: 
215; 186.6.16: 188; 186.7. 
25 f.: 158; 188.1.3: 200; 194: 
158; 194. 3. 7: 172; 194. 3. 10: 
215; 194.3.14: 172; 194.7. 
31: 191; 194.7.32: 187, 208; 
194. 7. 33: 205; 194. 8. 35: 187, 
215; 194. 9. 41 f.: 187; 199.6. 
17: 183; 214-215: 158; 217: 
158; 217.3.8: 177; 217.5: 
193; 217. 12: 176; In loan. ev. 
tract. 33.4-6: 179; 45. 2: 175; 
53.6: 199; Op. imp. c. lul. 
1.48: 187; 3. 206: 218; 4. 128: 
186; 6.9: 171; Retract. 1.22. 
2: 170;Serm. 13.4 f.: 179; 17. 
6f.: 185; 21. 2: 200; 43.6.7: 

Augustinism, 4f., 18, 158 
authority, reason for assent, 90 

Babel, confusion of languages, 


Baius, M., 175 
Ballerini, J. and P., 7, 19, 161 f., 

169, 171, 175, 178, 197, 205, 


baptism, sacrament of regenera- 
tion, 59 f., 63, 70, 126 f., 146, 
206 ff.; why not provided to 
all infants, 132 f., 208 

barbarian, 56 

Bardenhewer, O., 162, 209 

Bardy, G., 163 

beginning of faith, of good 
works, of merit, 3, 5, 41, 71 ff., 
83, 94, 135, 176, 179 

birth, heavenly, 76; birth and 
death ruled by Providence, 

bodies and souls, origin of dif- 
ferences, 56, 186 

Body of Christ, 120, 148 

Bouillard, H., 168 

Boyer, C., 158 

Cain, 110, 201 

call, 47, 93, 106, 189; general 
and special, 14, 189, 196; of 
some people delayed, 14, 196, 
203; to the faith is gratuitous, 
91; time appointed for, 203 

Caperan, L., 165, 169 

Cappuyns, M., 8ff., 159 ff., 168 
f., 173, 175, 177, 198, 209 

Carthage, council of, 3, 191, 
206, 209 

Cassian, J., 5, 9 f., 158, 159, 176, 

Collationes, 159, 166, 172, 
176, 177, 194 f. 

castaways, 96 

Catholic doctrine, distinction of, 
and Augustinian teaching, 11 

Catholics, 127 

Cayre, R, 163, 168 

Cerfaux, L., 183 



Cesarius of Aries, St., 6, 160 

Chadwick, O. 5 158, 159 

chance, see fatalism 

charity, 36, 102, 117f., 150; 
gradual growth, 107; sum 
total of all virtue, 107; faith 
not firm without, 108 

chastisement, 89, 104. See pun- 

Chene, J., 176 

children, see infants 

Christ, died for all men, 14, 66, 
118, 202; Body of, 120, 148 

Christopher, J. P., 172, 183 

Church, 46, 51 f. 5 111, 145, 146; 
prayers of, 52, 152 

circumcision, 113 

concupiscence, 138 

Condamin, A., 204 

consent, of free will caused by 
grace, 136 

continence, 78, 101, 150 

conversion, 33 f., 110, 177; heal- 
ing of wounded nature, 36; 
of sinner always possible, 152; 
problem of c. of mankind, 40. 
See deathbed conversions 

co-operation with grace, 134 f. 

counsels of God, 125, 129. See 

Couture, L., 163, 164 f. 

council, of Carthage, 3, 158, 191, 
206, 209; of Orange, 6, 169; 
of Trent, 179 

Crabbe, P., 168 

created things, testimony of, 16, 
30 f., 95 ff., 197, 209 

creation, new, 76 

Cristiani, L., 159 

Cross of Christ, 37, 91, 111, 120; 
enemies of, 52 

Danielou, J., 201 

Dawson, C, 216 

death, consequence of sin, 127, 
205 f.; early, 127 f. 

deathbed conversions, 13, 60 f. 3 

decrees, God's, see judgments; 
all things happen according 
to God's free decrees known 
from the facts only, 61 

delay, of the call to salvation of 
some peoples, 14, 92 f., 196; 
reason unknown, 69, 93; rea- 
son is not their unworthiness, 
58 f.; obscurity in plan of 
salvation, 93, 196 

Delehaye, H., 184 

demerit, 89, 187 

design of God, 69, 96, 103, 115, 
121, 147, 196 

destiny, see fatalism, astrology 

devil, 34, 35, 150 

De vocations, 3, 6; authorship, 
7 f.; arguments for St. Pros- 
per's authorship, 8 f., 165; 
written in Rome, 3, 216; 
theme of, 11 f. 3 165; contents, 
12 .; incoherence in system, 
166, 184, 214; originality, 15, 
174, 204; place in Augustin- 
ism, 18, 19, 165; MSS and 
editions, 19, 169; translation, 
20 f., 170 

dialectics, 90 

Diels, H. 9 175 

differences, in God's gifts, 12, 14, 
53, 100, 102, 199; in God's 
ways with men, 56, 196; 
reasons unknown, 55 f., 102 f., 
143; among men originate 
from God, 56 f., 130 



diffidence, distrust, 107 

discrimination, among infants, 
59 f., 70 f., 126 f., 207 f.; Semi- 
Pelagian explanation, 187, 
191; between elect and rep- 
robate, reasons unknown, 15, 
68, 87 f.; Semi-Pelagian ex- 
planation, 69 f., 190 

dispensation of graces, 185, 194, 
199, 211; gradual, 105 f., 200 

dispensations, of God, 77, 96, 

doctrine of faith, 88, 194, 196 

Domitian, 118 

Duchesne, L., 179, 184 

Dupin, E, 7, 161 f. 

economy of grace, 16, 132; three 
historical stages in, 54 f., 103, 
185, 190, 199; what we know 
and do not know about, 187, 
190, 215 

elect, 4, 12, 15, 18, 46, 87, 142, 
180, 181, 197, 201, 205, 207; 
all infallibly saved, 15, 141 f., 
146, 180; salvation of, is ful- 
filment of God's promise to 
Abraham, 67, 141, 190; num- 
ber of, is fixed, 142, 148, 201, 
214, 217; unknown till their 
death, 152 

election, 14, 17, 18, 68, 147, 
167, 180, 184, 207 f., 21 1,214, 
217; motive hidden in God, 
63, 67, 68, 143; why hidden, 
152, 169; motive does not lie 
in merit, 63, 69 f.; is revealed 
in baptism of infants, 131, 
207 f.; and prayer, 148, 151; 
and good works, 148, 150 

elementa, 175; original elements, 
56, 186. See created things 

end of the world, 50, 69, 183; 
last period before, 204 

Engelbrecht, A., 160 

error, 56, 141 

Esau and Jacob, 215 

eternal life, 30, 87 

Eucharist, 179 

Eucher of Lyons, 161 

evil, 129, 149, 206, 218 

faith, a divine gift, 40, 71 ff., 76, 
137; source of justification, 97; 
of merit, 76; of good works, 
192; and charity, 102, 107; 
fruitless without charity, 102; 
tested in things invisible, 41; 
accepted freely, 135, 137; 
understanding it, 147, 195; in 
Christ, 137 

faithful, the, 132; receive dif- 
ferent gifts of God, 144 f. 

Fall, the, 3, 35, 176 f.; reparation 
of, through the grace of Christ, 
35 f. See sin 

fatalism, 56, 70, 186, 191 

fathers and sons, treated differ- 
ently by God's Providence, 
58 f. 

Faustus of Riez, 6, 158 

fear, of God, 45, 79, 136; test 
of fear, 140; fear and grace, 
136, 212 

Fessard, G. 5 185 

Festugiere, A. J., 186 

fickleness, of human nature, 
139, 149 

figures of speech, in Scripture, 
182, 183, 184 

filiae hominum, 199 



finger of God, 43 

flesh, and spirit, 39; flesh of sin, 

Flood, the, lilt, 201 

foreknowledge, of God, 43, 45, 
147 f., 149; and sin, 110, 149; 
and free will, 201, 217 

forgiveness, 38, 178 

fortitude, 117, 150 

free will, and grace, 4, 15, 26 1, 
35 f., 135, 136, 172 f., 177, 
211, 213; free co-operation 
with grace, 18, 134 f., 149 f., 
211; defenders of, 26, 170; not 
lost by original sin, 34; and 
election, 87; and perseverance, 
137 f.; source of evil, 149 

good, capacity to do, 177 

Good Friday, solemn orations, 

Fulgentius of Ruspe, St., 6, 160 

fulness, of Christ, 106; of the 
Gentiles, 55, 112, 141, 201: 
see totality; of time, 113 
futurible merits of infants, 187, 

Gaidioz, J., 163 

Gaudel, A., 187 

Gaul, 4, 9 

Gelasius, St., pope, 179 

Gentiles, 13, 185, 190, 197, 215; 
elect among the, 14, 19, 97, 
113, 197; call of the, 122, 125; 
grace given to, 97, 197; delay 
in the call of the, 54, 69, 121, 
196; and Jews, equal in the 
faith, 124 

Ghellinck, J. de, 160, 161 

gifts of God, 29, 31, 82, 100, 
102, 114, 125, 133, 141 

Wilson, K, 200 

irard, A., 20, 170, 173, 175, 
178, 179, 180, 182, 184, 185, 
188, 193, 195, 196, 198, 203, 
206, 207, 212, 213, 217, 218 

glory, 142 

od, source of all good actions, 
76; of all good, 36, 40, 81; 
glory of, 32, 97 

Goldbacher, A., 159 

Gospel, 44, 74, 90, 101; destined 
for all men, 17, 93, 121, 203; 
promulgated the world over, 
146, 167; not yet spread to all 
nations, 121, 203; a special 
grace become general, 17, 146, 
210, 216 

grace, 3, 11, 97, 197; cause of all 
merit, 27: see merit; acts in- 
teriorly in man, 38, 43, 180; 
differences in God's grace, 14, 
98, 100, 105, 136 f., 144 f., 
197f.; exterior and interior, 
16, 135, 178, 180, 197, 198, 
202, 209 f., 212; general, 15 ff., 
68, 96 f., 114, 121, 125, 131, 
133 f., 141, 144,174, 190, 196 
ff., 199, 202 ff., 204 f., 209, 
210 f., 214; special, 14, 16 1, 
125, 134, 141, 144, 196, 207 f., 
210 f., 214, 216; two kinds of 
special grace, 16, 214, 216; 
reason why special grace not 
given to all, 211, 214, 217 f.; 
gradual dispensation of graces, 
105f.; marvellous effects of, 
106; given to sinners, 109, 
111; only remedy for sin, 114; 
power of, shown in conversion 
of the wicked, 115; parsimony 
of, in the past, 103, 121 f., 



125, 204; role of, in justifica- 
tion, 134 L; source of all good 
in man, 76 ff., 81, 85, 87, 89, 
179, 192; superior to the Law, 
178, 212; healing and elevat- 
ing character of, 177, 178; 
multiform, 112; sufficient and 
efficacious, 212 

gratuitousness of grace, 5, 10 f., 
170, 191,192, 199, 210; proofs 
of, 58 3 59, 60, 187, 189, 190, 
215; and predestination, 10, 
12, 166 

Greek, 56 

growth of the seed, 102, 105 f. 

guidance, of the Holy Spirit, 
105, 109, 200. See Holy Spirit 

guilt, of original sin, 126 f. 

Hadrumetum, 3, 217 

healing grace, 101 

hell, 205 f. 

heretics, 52, 56, 127 

Hilary, 5 

Ep. ad August, 166, 187 

Hincmar of Rheims, 8, 198 

history of the economy of grace, 
three periods, 54 f., 103, 185, 
199, 215 

Holy Spirit, 27, 35, 38, 75, 80, 
104, 107 ff., 117f., 145, 197, 
200; nothing right without His 
guidance, 35, 80 

hope, 75, 117, 135; of Redemp- 
tion, 113 

humility, fruit of temptation 
and trial, 39, 179 

Hurter, R, 169, 179 

hyperbole, 182 

Hypomnesticon, 208 

idolatry, idol worship, 31, 36, 


ignorance, 65, 69, 114 } 126 
image of God in man, 39, 179 

increase of grace given by God, 
102, 179 

inequality of God's gifts, 56, 
186, 199, 200; among men not 
due to fate, 186; not to the 
stars, 186 

infants, 13 f., 28, 59, 206 ff., 215; 
baptised and unbaptised, mys- 
tery of their discrimination, 
59, 70, 126 f, 191, 205; fate 
of, dying without baptism, 59, 
126, 130 ff., 181, 206; case of, 
objection against salvific will, 
14, 126, 130 f., 205, 208; re- 
ceive general grace in their 
parents, 16, 130 f., 207; elec- 
tion of, 59, 131, 207 f.; elect 
and reprobate, 126; Semi- 
Pelagian explanation, 187, 

infidels, 145; prayers for, 52, 
153; God's Providence for, 145 
f.; salvation of, 3, 203; call of, 
delayed, 69, 93 f. 

initiative, of conversion, 37, 76 
f., 79, 82, 177 f.; of good 
works, is from grace, 12, 211; 
not from nature, 13, 60, 65 

initium fidei, 176, 189, 192 

innocence, 59, 132, 188 

inscrutable, see unknowable 

inspiration, divine, 74, 137 

integrity of nature lost by orig- 
inal sin, 33 f . 

Isaac, 106 

Isaias, universal messianism in, 

INDEX 229 

Israel, election of, 13 f., 30, 68 f., 
174, 185, 190; special provi- 
dence for, 31, 95 L, 103, 215; 
special call of, 196; story of 
defections of, 31; rejection of, 
unbelief of, 54 f., 69, 103,185; 
final conversion of, 55, 69, 
103, 185 

Israelites, true, 67, 113 

Jacob, see Esau 

Jacquin, M., 158, 163, 165, 166 

Jansenists, 175 

Jeremias, 106 

Jews, 127, 197: see Israel; learn- 
ing of, 37; at the time of 
Christ, 115 

John the Baptist, St., 37, 106 

John Maxentius, 160 

Jovinian, 188 

judgment, last, 101 f. 

judgments of God, inscrutable, 
14, 53 f., 87 f., 144 f., 147, 171, 
215; just when hidden, 15, 61, 
93, 127, 133 

just, the, and sinners, 61, 188 

justice, God's, 41, 188, 206; and 
mercy, 59, 142, 146, 195, 206, 
214; shown in the punishment 
of the reprobate, 87, 89 

justification, 17, 39, 60, 134, 176, 
177. See conversion 

Kennedy, V. L., 184 

kingdom of God, 53; of Christ, 
125; of heaven, 60 

kings, and emperors, 118 

knowledge, limit of our, 26 5 87; 
what we have of it about God 
is not without grace, 29, 67 f., 
121, 174, 203; of truth, 89, 93, 

125 f., 142, 153; that of God 
is eternal and serene, 149. 
See unknowable 

Labriolle, P. de, 163 

Lagrange, J. M., 183, 188 

languages, confusion of, 112, 
201; all spoken on Pentecost 
Day, 120 

laver of Christ, 61; of regenera- 
tion, 112, 130. See baptism 

Law, 95 f.; and grace, 37 f., 179, 
189; the precepts of the, 31; 
and the Prophets, a special 
grace given to Israel, 17, 31, 
97, 197, 209 f. 

Le Brun des Marettes, J. B., 169 

Lejay, P., 160 

Leo, St., pope, 7, 9, 167; author- 
ship of the De vocatione 
claimed for, 7 3 161 

Sermones, parallel passages 
in De voc., 167, 198, 201, 203, 
213 219 

Leon-Dufour, X., 176, 185 

Lequeux, P., 170 

Lerins, 4, 6 

letter, and spirit, 97, 197 

Levi, 106 

Liebaert, J., 158 

light, grace as, 29, 49, 65, 67, 
121, 125, 135 f., 203, 212 

Limbo, 187, 209 

limitations, of our knowledge, 
68. See unknowable 

love, of God, see charity; of God 
above all things, 176; and love 
of the world, 36, 69; of Christ, 

Lucretius 3 De rer. nat. 3. 405, 5. 
857: 199 



Madoz, J., 159 

malice, 205 

Mangeant, D. s 19, 169 3 178 

mankind, one section saved, one 
lost, 58 

Marius Mercator, 209 

martyrdom, martyrs, 118, 140 

Marseilles, 4 

Mary, B. Virgin, 113 

Massilienses, 4, 170 

massa damnationis, 4, 188, 206 

Mausbach, J., 176 

measure, of grace, 98, 103, 105, 

members, of Christ, 52, 148; of 
the body, 99 

mercy, God's, and justice, 14, 
102. See justice 

merit, 13, 14, 140, 152; grace 
source of all, 14, 27, 41, 71, 
135, 150, 199; not the reason 
of the election, 58, 60, 69 f., 
190; or of the differences in 
God's gifts, 144 f. 

Merlin, R, 159 

messianism, 204 

metonymy, 182, 184 

ministers, 98. See preachers 

minores et maiores, 187 

misfortune, man's, 129 f.; miti- 
gated by Providence, 129; 
turned into remedy, 146 

Morin, G., 160 

mortality, 33, 128, 205 f. 

Moxon, R. S., 159 

mystery, 13, 15, 171, 190, 195, 
215: see unknowable; of the 
dispensations of grace, 53, 69, 
103 f., 121 f., 121 f., 130, 199, 
210; of unheard prayers, 53; 

economy of men's salvation, 
185, 196 

nations, all called to salvation, 
66, 115f.: see Gentiles; for- 
merly left aside, 95, 185; call 
of some delayed, 14, 92 f., 196 

natural, will. See will 

nature, before and after the Fall, 
33 ff., 176; without grace, 65, 
87, 189; and grace, 101; hu- 
man, the same now as of old, 
114f.; recoiled in some men 
134, 211; three stages of 
man's, 198; fallen, healed by 
Christ's grace, 36 f. 

Nero, 118 

Noe, 109, lllf. 

Noris, H. de, 161 

obedience, 52, 138 f. 

Olivier, J., 169 

Olphe-Galliard, M., 159 

opinions, private, 11, 196 

Orange, council of, 6, 168 f. 

Origen, 203 

original sin, 87: see Fall; grave 
guilt of, 127, 205; nature de- 
teriorated by, 33 f.; punish- 
ment in next life, 133, 188, 
205; removed in baptism, 60 
f.; in children, 59, 69 f., 132 f., 
191, 208 

Ortega, I, 169 

pagans, 69, 127, 146, 197. See 

parable, of the labourers in the 

vineyard, 61 f., 188; of the 

talents, 101, 198 
parents, 131, 206 f. 



particularism, see salvific will 

patience of God, 111 

Paul, St., refrained from in- 
vestigating the mystery of 
grace, 53 f., 68 f., 103, 185 

Pelagianism, 3, 190; denies ori- 
ginal sin, 70, 132, 191, 208 f.; 
explanation of baptism of in- 
fants, 132 f., 208 f.; admits ex- 
terior grace, 3, 178, 180, 189, 
209 f.; grace given according 
to merit, 3, 132, 188 f., 208; 
optimism, 202; condemned in 
council of Carthage, 3, 70, 
191, 209; and predestination, 

Pelagius, 3, 157 f., 160, 171, 
188, 206, 210 

Ep. ad Demetr., 198, 213; 
Expositio Ep. Pauli, 193 

Pelland, L., 163, 164, 175 

people of God, 109, 122, 200 

persecution, 115, 117f., 150 

persecutors, converted, 91, 117 

perseverance, final, 3, 5, 16, 71, 
137, 140, 179; Semi-Pelagian 
position, 179, 191; not without 
grace, 83, 84 f., 135, 179,213; 
meritorious because man can 
be unfaithful, 108, 140, 213 

Peter, St., temptation of, 138 fL 

Petschenig, M., 159 

philosophy, pagan, 37 

Plinval, G. de, 157, 164, 167, 
188, 210 

Portalie, E, 158, 165, 166, 167 

Prat, R, 185 

prayers, 15, 76, 138 ff.; offered 
by the Church for all men, 
52, 94, 152 f.; not heard for 
all, 53, 153, 196; necessary 

also for the elect, 148, 152, 

preachers, 38, 91 f., 98, 136 

preaching, with exterior, God 
interiorly moves the hearers, 
38, 197 

predestination, term avoided in 
the De vocations, 18, 168, 180, 
214, 217: see election; ac- 
cording to St. Augustine, 3 f., 
10, 158, 207, 208, 213 f., 216, 
218; explained away by Pela- 
gians, 190; and fatalism, 191 

prescience, 142, 148. See fore- 

priests, class of, in Israel, 106; 
high, 115 

progress, a gift of grace, 76, 83, 
94, 135, 136 f., 212; gradual, 

promise, God's always fulfilled, 
44 f., 141, 214; sons of the, 
42, 67 

Prophets, 31, 97, 122; Law and 
the, see Law 

Prosper of Aquitaine, St., 3, 4, 
7 f., 9; and Semi-Pelagianism, 
4, 170; author of the De 
vocatione, 7ff., 173; and St. 
Augustine, 4, 164; and St. 
Leo, 9; chronology of works, 
10 f., 1641; editions, 169; 
evolution in doctrinal posi- 
tions, 9f., 164; evolution in 
his Augustinism, 10 f., 17 ff., 
164, 168. See De vocatione 

Carm. de ingr.: 164; 40-42: 
203; 126-46: 159; 275 f.: 216; 
335-47: 178; 401 f.: 173; 406- 
9- 176; 434-38: 187; 581-92: 
177; 593 ff.: 177; 616-28: 187; 



632-36: 208; 637-47: 215; 
709-11: 187; 728 f.: 186; 752 
f.: 186; 757 f.: 194: Chronic.: 
165; Contra coll: 159, 164; 
6: 159; 7: 191; 7.2: 196; 
12: 184, 196; 12.4: 177, 
178; 13.1: 178; 13.3: 173, 
176; 13.6: 172, 194; 14: 159; 
15.3: 194; 18. 3: 177; 19: 190; 
19.4: 193; 19. 6: 172; 20: 190; 
Epigr. ex sent. Aug.: 165; Ep. 
ad August.:5, 164; 3: 191; 4: 
166, 190, 194, 195; 5: 172, 
187; 7: 158; Ep. ad Rufin.: 164; 
7: 187; 10: 194; 13: 185, 186; 
17: 187; Expos, in Ps.: 165; 
Lib. sent, ex Aug. del: 6, 160, 
165; 318: 198; Praeter. Sed. 
Ap. episc. auct.: 5, 165; Resp. 
cap. Gallon: 164; 1: 184, 186; 
2: 184; 4: 216; 8: 170, 196, 
199; 9: 202; 11:218; 13: 181; 
Resp. cap. Vincent.: 159, 164; 
1: 184, 202; 2: 170, 184, 188, 
195; 7: 200, 211; 13: 199; 
Resp. excerp. Genuen.: 164; 8: 
174, 186 

Prosper of Orleans, 161 

Providence, 31, 95, 112, 129, 
143 f., 175, 216; general, 31, 
104, 133, 174, 199, 203; 
special, 31, 174; designs of, 
carried out by all, 146; even 
by the wicked, 116, 202; and 
inequalities among men, 186 

punishment, 90, 133. See chas- 

Quesnel, 7, 9, 161, 164, 170, 
171, 175, 188, 198, 201, 203, 
213, 219 

quest of the supreme Good, 29 

Rahner, K., 160 

Ratrarnnus of Corbia, 8 

reason, natural, and knowledge 
of God: see knowledge; use 
of, 29 

reasons, of God's decrees hidden, 
13, 41, 55, 59, 681: see un- 
knowable; for differences in 
grace, 102 f., 125, 130, 134, 
194; in God's ways with men, 
129 f. 

Redemption, 111, 113, 118L, 
passim; universal, 118ff. 

regeneration, sacrament of, see 

reliquiae Pelagianorum, 4, 158 

reliquiae secundum electionem 
gratiae, 48, 182 

remedy, revelation as, 114 

repentance, 110, 139, 201 

reprobate, the, 40, 48, 88, 105, 
109, 142, 182, 199, 201, 216, 
217 f. 

reprobation, 3, 11, 164, 182, 201, 

restoration, of fallen nature, 35 

revelation, 56, 114, 202; blind 
trust in, 55, 186 

reward, 101; temporal, for natu- 
ral will, 29; for pagan virtues, 
34; eternal, 30 

Rock, the, 140 

Roman Empire, willed by Provi- 
dence, 120, 203 

Rome, 9, 120, 216; armies of, 

Rondet, H, 159, 167 

Rotmanner, O., 158 



sacraments of life, 41, 179 

saints, 52 3 104, 184, 200 

salvation, of infidels, 3, 54 f., 197, 
203; three historical periods: 
see economy of grace; is gratu- 
itous, 69 f., 89, 133, 142, 191; 
what we know and do not 
know about, 59, 187 

salvific will, restricted, 10, 11 f., 
170, 181, 183, 184; universal, 
6, lift, 15 f., 26, 51 f., 65 f., 
88, 89 f., 125, 133 f., 142, 165, 
166, 168, 170, 189, 194, 195, 
204, 207, 209, 211, 214; yet 
not all are saved, 89 f., 181 

scandal of Our Lord's nativity 
and death, 37 

Schepens, P., 163 

schismatics, 52 

Schmaus, M., 200 

Schoenemann, C.T.G., 161, 162, 

sciences, liberal, 29 

Scripture, versions quoted, 8, 
173 f., 194, 196; ways of 
speaking in, 45 ff., 50 f., 181, 

self-love, 29 

Semi-Pelagians, 3 ff., 12, 158 f., 
166, 168, 179, 184, 188, 189, 
191, 193, 194; doctrines, 4f., 
70, 83, 172, 191, 202; initium 
fidei, 189; universal salvific 
will, 12, 194 f.; and predes- 
tination, 218 

Sickenberger, J., 183 

sin, destroyed by grace, 38, 179 

Sixtus III, pope, 209 

sons of God, 104, 121. See 

Sommervogel, C, 170 

Soteaux, J., 169 

Souter, A., 193 

speech, age of, 130. See figures 

of speech 

Spencer, F. A., 173 
Spirit, Holy, spiritualizes the 

will, 27; fills the world, 95. 

See Holy Spirit 
spiritual will, see will 
steadfastness, 139 f. 
struggle, 39; inner, 139 
success, of good works, a gift of 

God, 78 
supernatural, 197f., 202, 203, 

204, 207 

teachers, of all nations, 40 

temple, 99, 141 

temptation, 139, 152; St. Peter's, 

139; usefulness of, 39, 150, 


tempter, 39, 139 
Tertullian, Adv. Hermog. 31: 

175; De ieiun. 10: 175 
Thomas Aquinas, St., 168, 176 
thought, spiritual, 81 
Tixeront, J., 162, 168 
totality, specified or restricted, 

46, 48, 92, 181, 183, 186, 196, 

201, 214 

Trent, council of, 179 
truth, knowledge of, 42, 52, 68, 

trust, in the wisdom of God's 

revelation, 186 

unbaptised, 70 

unbelief, unbelievers, 47, 63, 87, 

94, 118f., 140 
understanding, 68 f., 77, 83, 89, 

107, 136 



ungodliness, ungodly, 50, 63, 

109, 114, 119 

unity, of faith and charity, 52 
universalisni, 170. See salvific 


unknowable, judgments of God, 
53 f., 59, 67, 89, 92 f., 127, 
129 f., 143, 185 f., 205, 210, 
215; distinction between what 
can be known and what can- 
not, 26, 41 f., 55 f., 68, 104, 
171, 187, 190; reason why 
some things are, 93, 152, 

unsteadiness, 138 
use of reason, 28, 59, 126 

Valentin, L., 163, 164 
Vergil, Aen. 1.3871: 199 
vice, viciousness, 30, 33 1, 108 
victory, God's gift, 35, 140 
Vincent of Lerins, St., 5, 170; 
Commonitorium: 5; Excerpta: 

virtue, true, 27; not without in- 
tention of God's glory, 321, 
34, 173; not without grace, 
34, 36, 63, 108, 1351, 172, 
179, 194, 197, 212; only in the 
true religion, 63, 194; of pa- 
gans, or infidels, 63, 173, 175; 
supposes free will, 135 

virtuous action, originates from 
God and man's free will, 32 f., 

Vossius, G. J., 161 

Vulgate, 173 1 

Wang-Tch'ang-Tche, J., 175 

watchfulness, 138, 150 

wicked, the, 58, 109; race of, 
1091; and Providence, 116, 

will, three degrees of human, 
12, 27, 172; animal, 12, 28, 
1731; natural, 12, 281, 32, 
173, 175, 176; spiritual, 12, 
33, 351, 39, 105, 176, 179; 
degenerate, evil, 32, 108; good, 
a gift of God, 15,32, 137, 176; 
God's cannot be frustrated, 43 

wisdom, 29, 77, 79, 101, 136; of 
God and of the world, 37 

witnesses, of the Resurrection, 

works, merit of good, 135, 152; 
good, not possible to nature 
alone, 108; election and good, 
148 ff., 218; gratuitousness of 
grace and good, 60, 1871 

world, period, 183 

Zachaeus, 176 


Edited by 
I QUASTEN, S.T.D. 3 and J. C. PLUMPE, PH.D. 


OF ANTIOCH. Trans, by JAMES A. KLEIST, S. J., PH. D. Pages x + 162. 


Trans, by JOSEPH P. CHRISTOPHER, PH. D. Pages vi + 171. 1946. 


ARAND, S. S., S. T. D. Pages vi + 165. 1947. 


MARY JOSEPHINE SUELZER, PH. D. Pages vi + 220. 1947. 


by JOHN J. JEPSON, S. S., PH. D. Pages vi + 227. 1948. 


S.J., PH.D. Pages vi + 235. 1948. 


GEORGE E. MCCRACKEN, PH.D., Pages vi + 372. 1949. 


GEORGE E. MCCRACKEN, PH.D. Pages vi + 287. 1949. 


TEACHER. Trans, by JOSEPH M. COLLERAN, C. SS. R., PH. D. Pages vi 
+ 255. 1950. 


T. MEYER, PH.D. Pages vi + 155. 1950. 


DAVIS, S. J., B. A. LOND. Pages vi + 281. 1950. 


O'MEARA, M. A., D.PHIL. (Oxon). Pages vi + 213. 1950. 


Trans, by WILLIAM P. LE SAINT, S. J., S.T.D. Pages viii + 196. 1951. 


Trans, by P. DE LETTER, S.J., S.T.D. Pages vi + 234. 1952.