Chapter 66 [XXIV.]—Recapitulation and Exhortation.
But what more shall I say? I think that I p. 552 have taught sufficiently, or rather more than sufficiently, that both the beginning of faith in the Lord, and continuance in the Lord unto the end, are Gods gifts. And other good things which pertain to a good life, whereby God is rightly worshipped, even they themselves on whose behalf I am writing this treatise concede to be Gods gifts. Further, they cannot deny that God has foreknown all His gifts, and the people on whom He was going to bestow them. As, therefore, other things must be preached so that he who preaches them may be heard with obedience, so predestination must be preached so that he who hears these things with obedience may glory not in man, and therefore not in himself, but in the Lord; for this also is Gods precept, and to hear this precept with obedience—to wit, that he who glories should glory in the Lord 3713 —in like manner as the rest, is Gods gift. And he who has not this gift,—I shrink not from saying it,—whatever others he has, has them in vain. That the Pelagians may have this we pray, and that our own brethren may have it more abundantly. Let us not, therefore, be prompt in arguments and indolent in prayers. Let us pray, dearly beloved, let us pray that the God of grace may give even to our enemies, and especially to our brethren and lovers, to understand and confess that after that great and unspeakable ruin wherein we have all fallen in one, no one is delivered save by Gods grace, and that grace is not repaid according to the merits of the receivers as if it were due, but is given freely as true grace, with no merits preceding.
1 Cor. i. 31.