Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 248: Timasius and James
Timasius and James
Augustine had apparently begun to write De natura et gratia as Orosius left Africa. A little while after he had arrived in Palestine Orosius assured them in the presence of Pelagius himself Augustine was responding fully to one of his writings.1 Augustine had been asked to write a treatise by Pelagius’ disciples who had placed this work in his hands. This statement clearly relates to De natura et gratia. At the same time Jerome mentions Augustine’s writing directed against Pelagius which he had not as yet seen.2 In effect Augustine places the composition as the last work among those of which he speaks in Letter 169 at the end of 415.
Pelagius’ disciples at whose request he was writing were Timasius and James, two young men from good families well educated in the sciences from their childhood.3 They had embraced monastic life and had abandoned secular hope through the exhortations of Pelagius himself.4 In 411 Pinianus had delivered a message to Augustine through a monk Timasius.5
When Timasius and James severed themselves from the world through Pelagius they became involved in his errors.6 They listened carefully to his lectures and followed them faithfully.7 In accord with Pelagius’ teaching they accepted his doctrine contrary to the grace which made them Christians.8 Through Augustine’s admonitions God delivered them from the precipice. Instructed through his spirit of charity Timasius and James abandoned Pelagius’ error and submitted to the truth. Thus...