On The Merits And Forgiveness Of Sins, And On The Baptism Of Infants (With Active Table Of Contents)
Book I.In which he refutes those who maintain, that Adam must have died even if he had never sinned; and that nothing of his sin has been transmitted to his posterity by natural descent. He also shows, that death has not accrued to man by any necessity of his nature, but as the penalty of sin; He then proceeds to prove that in Adam’s sin his entire offspring is implicated, showing that infants are...
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baptized for the express purpose of receiving the remission of original sin.Book II.In which Augustin argues against such as say that in the present life there are, have been, and will be, men who have absolutely no sin at all. He lays down four propositions on this head: and teaches, first, that a man might possibly live in the present life without sin, by the grace of God and his own free will; he next shows that nevertheless in fact there is no man who lives quite free from sin in this life; thirdly, he sets forth the reason of this,—because there is no man who exactly confines his wishes within the limits of the just requirement of each case, which just requirement he either fails to perceive, or is unwilling to carry out in practice; in the fourth place, he proves that there is not, nor has been, nor ever will be, a human being—except the one mediator, Christ—who is free from all sin.Book III.IN THE SHAPE OF A LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE SAME MARCELLINUS.In which Augustin refutes some errors of Pelagius on the question of the merits of sins and the baptism of infants—being sundry arguments of his which he had interspersed among his expositions of Saint Paul, in opposition to original sin.To his beloved son Marcellinus, Augustin, bishop and servant of Christ and of the servants of Christ, sendeth greeting in the Lord.