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and Lazarus was read in Latin, by an interpreter. The council declared itself satisfied; Pelagius was absolved and acknowledged to be orthodox.
The report of this decision soon reached Africa. The great activity that prevailed in the church at that epoch is well known, as also with what rapidity reports and writings circulated from Asia to Africa, from Africa to Europe, and from city to city. As soon as St. Augustin was informed of the result of the council of Diospolis, and before he was apprised of its acts, he powerfully exerted himself to counteract its effects. About the same time, an incident happened at Palestine which gave a bad color to the cause of Pelagius. He had remained at Jerusalem, and promulgated his ideas with increased assurance. A violent commotion broke out at Bethlehem against St. Jerome and the monasteries that had been formed in his neighborhood. Grave excesses were committed ; houses were pillaged and burnt, a deacon was killed, and St. Jerome was compelled to seek refuge in a tower. The Pelagians, it was said, were the authors of these disorders. The assertion is not proved, and I am a little inclined to doubt it; still, there was room for suspicion, and the belief of their guilt was general. A great clamor arose ; St. Jerome wrote to the bishop of Rome, Innocent I., and Pelagianism was seriously compromised.
Two solemn councils were held this year (416) in Africa,-one at Carthage, another at Milevas; sixty-eight bishops were present at the one, sixty-one at the other. Pelagius and his doctrine were formally condemned; the two assemblies informed the pope of their decision, and St. Augustin, with four other bishops, also wrote to him, giving him the details of the whole affair, and soliciting him to examine it himself, that he might be able to proclaim the truth and anathematize error.
On the 27th January, 417, Innocent replied to the two councils and the five bishops, and condemned the doctrines of the Pelagians. They, however, did not consider themselves vanquished. In two months Innocent was dead, and Zosimus had succeeded him. Celestius returned to Rome, obtained from the new pope a new examination, and explained his opinions to him, probably in the same manner that Pelagius had done at Diospolis. On the 21st of September, 417, Zosimus, in three letters, informed the bishops of Africa that he had carefully examined the affair; that he had heard Celestius himself, at a meeting of priests, held in the church of St. Clement; that Pelagius had written to him to justify himself; and that he was satisfied with their explanations, and had restored them to the communion of the church.
Hardly had these letters reached Africa when a new council was convened at Carthage, (May, 418.) Two hundred and three bishops (other accounts say two hundred and fourteen) were present. The council, in eight explicit canons, condemned the doctrines of Pelagius, and addressed itself to the emperor Honorius, to obtain from him measures against the heretics, to guard the church from peril.
From 418 to 421, several edicts and letters were issued by the emperors Honorius, Theodosius II., and Constantius, banishing Pelagius, Celestius, and their partisans, from Rome, and from all the cities in which they might attempt to promulgate their fatal errors.
The pope Zosimus did not long resist the authority of councils and emperors. He convoked a new assembly, in order to afford Celestius another hearing; but the latter had left Rome, and Zosimus wrote to the bishops of Africa that he had condemned the Pelagians.
The quarrel continued for some time longer; eighteen Italian bishops refused to subscribe the condemnation of Pelagius, and were deprived of their sees and exiled to the East. The triple decree of the council, the pope, and the emperor, had given the cause a mortal blow. From the year 418 no more trace of Pelagius is found in history. The name of Celestius is occasionally met with till about the year 427, when he also disappears. When these two men had left the stage their school rapidly declined. The opinions of St. Augustin, adopted by the councils, the popes, and the civil authority, became the general doctrine of the church. But the victory was still to cost him a struggle; Pelagianism left an heir at its death. The semi-Pelagians instantly renewed the combat, which St. Augustin was no longer able to sustain.
In the south of Gaul, in the bosom of the monasteries of Lerins and St. Victor, then the refuge of boldness of thought, it appeared to a few men, and among others to the monk Cassien, of whom I have already spoken, that the error of Pelagius had been in being too exclusive, and in not giving sufficient importance to all the facts relative to human liberty and its relation to the divine power. The insufficiency of the human will, for example, the necessity of exterior assistance, and ine moral revolutions that happen in the soul without its concurrence, were real and important facts, which could neither be neglected nor called in question. Cassien openly and fully admitted them, thus giving to the doctrine of free-will something of that religious character which Pelagius and Celestius had so much enfeebled. But at the same time he controverted,
more or less openly, several of the ideas of St. Augustin ; among others, his explanation of the moral reform and progressive sanctification of man. St. Augustin attributed them to the direct, immediate, and special action of God upon the soul-to grace, properly so called ; a grace to which man has, by himself, no title, and which proceeds from the absolutely gratuitous gift and free choice of the Divinity. Cassien conceded more efficacy to the merits of man, and maintained that his moral melioration is in part the work of his own will, which draws upon him the divine assistance, and produces by a natural process, though often imperceptibly, those interior moral changes by which the progress of sanctification is recognized.
Such was the principal subject of controversy between the semiPelagians and their redoubtable adversary. It commenced about the year 428, immediately after the letters of Prosper of Aquitaine and Hilary, who had hastened to inform St. Augustin that Pelagianism was reviving under a new form. The bishop of Hippo at once wrote a new tract, entitled, De Prædestinatione Sanctorum, et de Dono Perseverantiæ; Prosper published his poem Against the Ingrates, and the war of pamphlets and letters resumed all its activity.
St. Augustin died in 430, and upon St. Prosper and Hilary rested the charge of following up his work. They repaired to Rome, and procured from Pope Celestine the condemnation of the semi-Pelagians. However this doctrine might be modified, it found little favor in the church. It reproduced a vanquished heresy, and enfeebled, though in a less degree, the religious foundation of morals and government; it was not in accordance with the general course of ideas, which tended, on all occasions, to attribute the largest part to divine intervention; and it would have fallen almost without resistance, if a doctrine directly the contrary, that of the Predestinarians, had not lent it some moments of strength and credit.
From the writings of St. Augustin on the impotence of the will, the nullity of human merits, and the perfectly free and gratuitous nature of divine grace, some intractable logicians deduced the predestination of all men, and the irrevocability of the decrees of God on the eternal destiny of each. The first manifestations of this doctrine in the fifth century are obscure and doubtful; but as soon as it appeared it shocked the good sense and moral equity of the majority of Christians. The semi-Pelagians were also eager to combat it, and to present their ideas as the natural antidote of such an error. Such was especially the character which the bishop of
Riez, Fauste, of whom I have already spoken, endeavored to impress upon semi-Pelagianism, about the year 445. He presented himself as a sort of mediator between the Pelagians and the Predestinarians. In the question of the grace of God and the obedience of man, said he, we must keep the middle path, and incline neither to the right nor the left. According to him, Pelagius and St. Augustin had both been too exclusive; the one conceded 100 much to human liberty, and not enough to divine influence; the other was too forgetful of human liberiy. This species of mediation obtained at first much favor in the Gallic church. Two councils, one at Arles in 472, the other at Lyons in 473, formally condemned the Predestinarians, and commissioned Fauste to publish a treatise which he had written against them-entitled, Of Grace, and the Freedom of the Human Will—at the same time ordering him to add to it soine developments. But this was merely a day of respite, a glimmering of prosperity for semi-Pelagianism, and it soon fell again into discredit.
During his lifetime, St. Augustin had been accused of urging the doctrine of predestination to the complete abolition of freedom of the will, but had energetically defended himself from the charge. He erred, I apprehend, as a logician, in denying a conclusion which seems inevitably to flow from his ideas on the one hand, concerning the impotence and corruption of the human will; on the other, concerning the nature of the divine foreknowledge and interposition. But St. Augustin's superiority of mind saved him, on this occasion, from the errors into which logic might have precipitated him, and he was inconsequent precisely on account of his superior reason. May I be permitted to insist for a moment on this moral fact, which alone explains the contradictions of so many men of genius: I shall take a familiar example, and one of the most striking—I mean the Contrat Social (Social Contract) of Rousseau. The sovereignty of numbers, of the numerical majority, is, it is well known, the fundamental principle of that work, and Rousseau for a long time follows up its consequences with inflexible rigor. A moment arrives, however, in which he abandons them, and with great effect. He wishes to give to the nascent society its fundamental laws, its constitution ; his superior understanding forewarned him that such a work could not be obtained from universal suffrage, from the numerical majority, from the multitude. “There must be gods," says he, "to give laws to men. It is not magistracy, it is not sovereignty; but a peculiar and superior function, which has nothing in common with human empire;'
and we see him interposing a peculiar legislator, a sage, thus violating his principle of the sovereignty of numbers to recur to quite a different principle—the sovereignty of intelligence, the right of superior reason.
The Contrat Social, and nearly all the works of Rousseau, abound in similar contradictions, and they are, perhaps, the most striking proof of the great mind of their author.
It was by an inconsequence of the same nature that St. Augustin boldly disavowed the predestination imputed to him. Others after him, subtil and narrow dialecticians, advanced unhesitatingly to this doctrine, and established themselves in it; but he, as soon as he perceived it, enlightened by his genius, turned aside, and without quite retracing his steps, took his flight in another direction, absolutely refusing to abolish liberty. The church did the same. She had adopted St. Augustin's doctrines concerning grace, and on this ground condemned the Pelagians and the semi-Pelagians. She condemned in like manner the Predestinarians, thus taking from Cassien, Fauste, and their disciples, the pretext, under favor of which they had regained some ascendency. Semi-Pelagianism declined from this period. St. Cesarius, bishop of Arles, renewed against it, at the commencement of the sixth century, the war which St. Augustin and St. Prosper had declared. In 529 the councils of Orange and Valence condemned it; in 530 Pope Boniface II., in his turn, hurled against it a sentence of anathema, and it soon ceased for a long time to agitate men's minds. Predestination shared the same fate.
None of these doctrines brought forth a sect, properly so called; they were not separate from the church, or constituted into a distinct religious society; they had no organization, no worship. They were mere opinions, debated among intellectual men; more or less sanctioned by, more or less contrary to, the official doctrine of the church, but they never menaced her with a schism. Of their appearance, and of the debates they had occasioned, there also remained little except certain tendencies, certain intellectual dispositions; no sects or schools. In all the epochs of European civilization we encounter-First: Minds especially preoccupied with what there is of human in our moral activity, with the fact of liberty, and who thus attach themselves to the Pelagians. Secondly: Minds particularly struck with the influence of God upon man, with the divine interposition in human activity, and inclined to sink human liberty beneath the hand of God; these adhere to the Predestinarians. Between these two tendencies is found the general doctrine of the church, which aims to take account of all